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Thread started 20 Mar 2017 (Monday) 22:26
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DPP DLO (Digital Lens Optimizer) experiments

 
mfturner
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Mar 20, 2017 22:26 |  #1

Mods, feel free to move this if there is a better home for this thread, I plan to post to it a couple of times over the next week or two in the hopes that it helps anyone who is trying to decide if DLO might be useful to them.

A summary of my initial conclusions are:

1. DLO is helpful for older lens designs that need some correction, and less helpful with lenses that are sharp and distortion-free out of the box.
2. DLO is a strong operator, it will amplify noise when viewed at high magnification levels, so other sharpening may need to be reduced.
3. DLO in DPP 4.x does not appear to increase the file size of the image like people complained about when it first arrived in DPP 3.x
4. While very slow re-drawing the preview on my whimpy laptop's CPU, really too slow for A vs B comparisons, you can change a setting and convert to jpeg just as quickly as before, so A vs B is easier done writing out several jpegs and then comparing the resulting jpegs.
5. I have not found a way to get it to happen in-camera, maybe just my bad, I'll edit this if I can find a way to make it work
6. It is possible that the reputedly strong AA filter on my 60D camera body will gain more improvement out of DLO than other camera bodies.

I have very recently found DLO within DPP, I use a DPP-centric flow so DLO should be well suited for me if it is helpful. I cannot compare DLO against PS or Lightroom so other people may find input on that comparison useful if anyone has a comment on it. I never found DPP's lighting optimizer to be very helpful, and I confused the acronym I suppose so I never realized DLO was a different product. Some experimenting this weekend taught me that DLO should be part of my flow for my EF 40f2.8 STM and my EF 100f2 lenses, but may not add much to my EF 300F4L IS lens unless I am using a very small aperture (rare on that lens).

As with most things related to sharpening, the use of DLO will be driven by taste, and will be traded off with noise tolerance, all of which relates to the viewing magnification. I typically try to stay below 50% magnification, generally if I am happy with an image's sharpness at 50% then I can make use of it for family and friends. The effects of DLO are more obvious at 100% or higher, but with the 40 and 100 mm lenses they can be seen at 50 and 25% magnification, which makes DLO useful to me. With the 300mm lens wide open, I cannot claim that I can perceive a change until I get to 100% magnification, although I plan to experiment with small aperture settings. In reviewing old threads on DLO, I found a lot of wishful thinking in 2012 when it first came out claiming its deconvolution might be nearly perfect, but convolving any kernel into noise gives creepy artifacts under high magnification. I'm an engineer, not a scientist, so theoretical perfection isn't as interesting to me as "is it helpful?" so here we go with some experiments.

A link to a couple of 100f2 examples are here in the macro talk thread, at 100% so you can see an example of added noise in the DLO at 80% example:

https://photography-on-the.net …showthread.php?​p=18306450

I will add more posts with examples over the next couple of days.




  
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mfturner
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Mar 20, 2017 22:34 |  #2

A few EF 40f2.8 STM examples. In these cases, I am attempting to illustrate 50% magnification by selecting a 2400x1600 px crop and down-rezzing it to 1200x800 with three different DLO percentage settings. In these cases, the 60D's sharpness was set to "2", which gives USM values of 2,2,2. The auditorium lighting level gave an ISO setting of 800, which is beginning to show some noise, but at 50% magnification it is acceptable, and the different DLO settings do not obviously affect the noise until you look at higher magnifications. To see the differences, you might look at the snare drum's metallic details, its player's hair, or the tuba and trombone bell outlines.

First a baseline with DLO set to 0% (which experimentally looks identical to turning it off).


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mfturner
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Mar 20, 2017 22:35 |  #3

Next, the same framing with DLO set to 30%


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mfturner
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Mar 20, 2017 22:38 |  #4

Finally in this series, the same framing with DLO set to 100%. The difference at 50% magnification is subtle, but it is there. I won't bother with 25% magnification with this lens, the difference is just barely perceptible and I doubt you can see it without me arranging it side-by-side.


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Mar 20, 2017 23:04 |  #5

I have been testing out DLO. It provides true deconvolution which I really like and have taken a lot of interest in. I noticed it does not generate artifacts at any level that other software does. This is because it does not use USM like LR/ACR and others do at the capture stage of sharpening.

At one point I thought it was outstanding but realized I was not comparing apples to apples against LR/ACR. Canon recommends to turn sharpening off before applying DLO which I didn't. So when I applied DLO, did not turn the sharpening off and then compared it to LR's detail tab it blew LR out of the water.

LR/ACR does not apply output sharpening until with LR you export or with PS you apply a sharpening filter. So to be on the same playing field you need to turn sharpening off in DPP when comparing to LR's or ACR's detail tab. With careful adjustments using the sharpening, detail and masking sliders you can get very close to DPP. You need to be more careful with the the sharpening slider to control artifacts.

I recently learned that the detail slider in LR/ACR has two jobs. 0-50 controls halo suppression. 50-100 controls deconvolution but loses halo suppression.

Obviously as you said DPP will benefit with older and less expensive as it is more dedicated to Canon lenses. With newer lenses like my 100-400 II I see little gain when compared to LR/ACR. Also it is too bad that it takes 7 seconds for DLO to do it's thing. Add 36 seconds to convert a file you can feel yourself age when processing 100 files.

Also DPP does not offer DLO as a preset to auto apply in the preferences. So you have to apply it to every file. You can activate it on some cameras but then you get a reduced shooting rate warning. I saved a recipe in a file to apply to multiple files but is painfully slow.

I use LR, ACR and DPP. All very good tools.

Great info about DLO here.

http://web.canon.jp/im​aging/dlo/ (external link)


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Mar 20, 2017 23:06 |  #6

Getting late. Tomorrow I'll post some tests I did comparing LR to DPP at the capture stage of sharpening.


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Apr 01, 2017 03:19 |  #7

mfturner wrote in post #18306525 (external link)
A summary of my initial conclusions are:

1. DLO is helpful for older lens designs that need some correction, and less helpful with lenses that are sharp and distortion-free out of the box.

I used DLO with images taken with my 300 f2.8 IS II, with & without the 1.4xIII. I didn't see any improvement. Well, now I know why.


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Apr 01, 2017 18:11 |  #8

Yes, I will try to get some "with and without" examples with my 300f4L IS, which is inferior to your lens, and show that you don't see enough difference to make the long processing time worth it.

My EF 100f2.0 on the other hand benefits nicely. I also will try to resurrect some of my old EF-s 18-200 shots, I bet that would have benefited quite a bit.




  
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Apr 04, 2017 22:59 |  #9

OK, so I did some work on the old 18-200mm zoom first, which I no longer own. As I suspected, it does have a pretty strong "sharpening" effect. I thought it may directly work on the distortion, but it doesn't appear to, that is controlled by the separate distortion control. Below, are 100% and 50% crops of the same photo at 200mm. From left to right are USM only, 30% DLO and 100% DLO. There isn't much difference in 30% and 100%, but there is some if you look around the fur on the hat.


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Apr 04, 2017 23:16 |  #10

Next, with the same lens, are 100% and 50% views at 18mm. For this lens, DLO doesn't add much apparent sharpening at 25% enlargement. This certainly is not a substitute for a sharp lens, or good focus and technique. I had to look through a couple of hundred photos from this vacation to the UK to find a couple of photos sharp enough with that lens to be worth the experiment. I have a lot higher hit rate with my current set of lenses, even without IS on the 100f2 and 40f2.8. Once again, these are from left to right, USM only, 30% DLO and 100% DLO.


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Apr 05, 2017 06:01 |  #11

Did you turn the sharpening off when you did those tests? You will see a big difference if you do. Canon does recommend to do this first and then apply sharpening.

I only say this in case someone compares ACR or LR to DPP. The detail screen in ACR and LR is for the capture sharpening stage just like DLO is. However LR does not sharpen for output until you export or in PS until you sharpen for output using USM, etc so it is not a fair comparison.

DLO does a great job but turn sharpening off and then compare the results to LR or ACR's detail tab. I ran into that and thought DLO was incredible until I realized this. I can do a good job of matching Adobe to DPP at the capture stage of sharpening.

DLO is true deconvolution so it does not produce halos, etc while Adobe does apply USM os you have to be more careful.


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Apr 05, 2017 07:58 |  #12

I don't think the DLO correction can be regarded as a common deconvolution sharpening process. The deconvolution sharpening tools that I've seen act equally across the entire picture and the most info (if any) that they need about the image is whether the blur to erase is Gaussian or motion blur.

DLO, on the other hand, requires lens data to remove the known optical aberrations effects that the lens design wasn't able to fully correct and acts as required, i.e. stronger on images taken with inferior lenses and stronger towards the image corners, according to the particular lens' fall-off. I presume that also the type of correction differs, according to the aberration products needing repair (e.g. whether it's coma or diffraction).




  
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Apr 05, 2017 09:10 |  #13

I agree. Just pointing out that with sharpening on it can be misleading when comparing to other software.


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DPP DLO (Digital Lens Optimizer) experiments
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