Thread: Are Red images soft in general?

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  1. #1 Are Red images soft in general? 
    I recently shot a project on a Epic Mysterium X and I thought the images were too soft. I commented this to the editor/colorist who usually works with this camera operator, and she said that Red images are known to be soft, because in post you add sharpness etc. Is this true? I thought what comes out of any Red camera is crisp sharp from scratch.

    I include a link to a screenshot below. Couldn't figure out how to insert an image!
    Last edited by Urban Skargren; 11-08-2017 at 09:36 AM.
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  2. #2  
    Senior Member Thomas Koch's Avatar
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    Red is one of the only camera manufacturers to not automatically sharpen the images. This leaves it up to each persons preference. that image seems a bit right.

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  3. #3  
    Assumng a sharp lens, an infocus picture, an aperture that is neither diffraction limiting or wide open soft, a scene that has inherent sharpness to be revealed, and the use of some downsampling Red pictures are plenty sharp... so much so we often use a softneing OLPF from kippertie to take the edge of the sharpenss.

    That said they are not crisped and ringing due to electronic sharpneing and if that is what people like you need to add in post!

    when you process R3ds there is often a choice of downsampling filter and this makes a HUGE difference.. it is worth playing around with the different options
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  4. #4  
    Moderator Phil Holland's Avatar
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    There's a few things going on.

    First, as mentioned, RED cameras do not apply any in camera sharpening or any real processing for that matter (like noise reduction).

    So if you are shooting say UHD 4K for a UHD 4K resolution you'll notice that pretty clearly and depending on your preference you may want to add some light sharpening in post.

    However, RED cameras also feature over sampling resolutions such as 5K, 6K, 7K, or 8K, etc...

    So when an 8K image is scaled down to your output resolution it will appear sharper as it's scaling the detail down to the output resolution. Example, UHD 8K finished out to UHD 4K.

    Even still some people like a crisper image, which is a bit less filmlike, but you may even want to slightly sharpen from there too.

    When it comes to post sharpening and RED you will find companies, studios, and post houses that:
    - Will never do it
    - Sometimes do it
    - Always do it

    To that effect, there is no one way or right answer, just the look you want at the end of the day.

    My best advice? If you do apply post sharpening, do so with a light touch. Most who are filming 5K for 4K or any higher resolution to finish out at 4K will find they often don't need to sharpen.

    A side note, optics play a big role here and often what you want is captured detail and not sharpness. Shoot accordingly. Chose your lense wisely and your exposure T Stop to fit what you are after.

    Interestingly enough, we also live in a time where people enjoy using rather soft vintage lenses to aesthetically combat a more pristine level of image quality (which some feel looks digital, but it's more about tieing a look to an era of optics).

    Long story short, no right or wrong perspective when it comes to how the final image should look. That comes from you and what fits your project.
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  5. #5  
    Senior Member Joel Arvidsson's Avatar
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    One thing to notice if your using premiere as an editor and use the ”scale to fit” function you are throwing away alot of resolution making the image even softer. I think the red cameras in general could have a little weaker olpf filter, but I have a sony a7rii aswell wichs is sharper for sure (in camera sharpening). But i only use that a handfull of times, cause i find red gives me much more natural feel (less digital if you like). I think some of this is due to the stronger olpf filter. It feels like olpf filter (standard version) on the epic w is less strong, giving it a crispier 1:1 image. On the mx i would not shoot anything lower than 4k, cause to my eyes you get to soft images. I dont think red images needs a lot of sharpenning, but if youre finishing in 4k you should probely compensate a little for the stronger olpf filter. If you finish in 1080 the downsample could have enough sharpening effect.

    Also, if it will be watched on consumer televisions it will be extra sharpened there. So there red will only shine more.

    Also i wish you could choose the downsample algoritm in premiere thoe.
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  6. #6  

    Did you apply any sharpening in post with your downtown LA aerials shot on the Tokina Vista 35mm, or was that just a result of downsampling? Lastly, did you decrease shutter angle to reduce any motion induced blurring?
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  7. #7  
    Senior Member rand thompson's Avatar
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    I added a little sharpening to the gentleman's on the left face and contrast and color to both men to give the appearance of more sharpness. However, his eyes are still not in focus.

    [IMG]the interviewer_1.1.2 by rand thompson, on Flickr[/IMG]
    Last edited by rand thompson; 11-08-2017 at 04:19 PM.
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  8. #8  
    I'd also suggest that maybe the lens you used is opened up to its limit f/t stop. A lot of lenses will look like this when at an extreme. When I want SHARP I'll use a bit more light/ISO and stop the lens down a bit from it's extreme. +1 on the other thoughts as well.
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  9. #9  
    Senior Member Aaron Lochert's Avatar
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    The focus plane appears to be slightly in front of his eyes. Am I seeing that right?
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  10. #10  
    Senior Member rand thompson's Avatar
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    If you are looking at my grade, I sharpened the face but didn't qualify the eyes. In the original, I believe the whole face is slightly out of focus
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