X-Trans Processing Guides
To learn more about X-Trans post-processing, and how to get the best from your raw files, check out my series of guides on the topic.
About the Fuji X-Trans Sharpening Presets
Over the past few years I’ve written a lot about processing Fuji X-Trans files in both Lightroom and other software. I’ve experimented lots of times with ways to improve the look of files from Lightroom, and in particular, on how to minimise the smearing effect that can sometimes occur with Fuji X-Trans files and fine details, especially foliage. I’ve worked out some sharpening settings in the past and posted them here, but that was a good while ago, and I’ve updated them several times with various different attempts. In order to save a bit of confusion and make it easier for everyone, I’ve put them altogether into one download, together with some new versions that I haven’t shared in the past. In the past these were hosted on my blog, but to make them easier to find, I’m now hosting them here, on the store as a free download.
These are being supplied as is. Some are very subtle and you may not notice much difference. Also, because of the way Lightroom renders images, you may not appreciate the differences unless you zoom into 1:1. Some of these are just experiments, so if you don’t think they work for you or you don’t like the result, then don’t use them!
I’m supplying these for free with no strings attached, but I can’t offer support either. Also, these do not come with any instructions for use. They were developed over a period of time through trial and error. Some of the presets contain names which suggest their use, but there is not guide, or description for each preset. They are supplied “as-is”.
Anyway, I hope they’re worth something to someone. I don’t have an installer so you’ll have to manually install them, but it’s actually relatively easy. Here are the steps you need to take:
- Download the preset file and un-zip the file if it does not un-zip automatically
- Inside of Lightroom go to your preferences. Inside of the preferences window, click on the preset tab. Now click on the button that says “Show Lightroom Presets Folder”
- In the Finder (on the Mac) or Windows Explorer (on a PC) open this folder and navigate to the Develop Presets folder. Open this fodder.
- Copy the folders of presets you downloaded earlier into the Develop Presets folder you opened earlier. Make sure to copy the whole folder, and not just the individual .lrtemplate files.
For more details on how to install Lightroom Presets, please see this article in the Help Centre.
How These Sharpening Presets Came About
Here’s a re-cap my reasoning behind these presets. Here’s what I wrote on the original blog post the first time I posted these. This was from the first post back in 2013, and I know the Lightroom issue has been discussed to death by now, and it’s already improved since writing this, but for the sake of an explanation, here’s a quick re-cap:
There’s something odd about how Lightroom processes X-Trans files. Despite a previous fix for the issue of smearing it still exists, and while it is not too bad at default settings, the files are a little soft, and the patterning becomes very apparent when you sharpen the files. There is also some weird thing going on where high contrast edges have a halo around them almost like it was embossed. I think this is what is causing the weird pattern like smearing when you turn up the sharpening. The other odd thing that I’ve found is that if you turn the sharpening off in Lightroom all together, the images look much softer than they do in other software when you do the same thing and turn sharpening off. It’s not just an over all Lightroom thing either though, as raw files from other manufacturers don’t show as big a difference when sharpening is disabled
Anyway, I’ve tried to be proactive about the issue and see if I could tweak the settings to minimise the issue. I had posted some sharpening settings before that I found created a more natural look, but after doing some research and a lot of experimentation I’ve come up with some new settings that I believe work quite well. There’s no one setting fits all approach, and I’ve found that different types of image work better with different sharpening settings. The key seems to be not to increase the actual sharpen values too much, and instead turn up the detail. I’ve also found that for certain types of images, particularly architecture, using a high radius works too.
I’ve created a set of presets that you can download and install and try yourself. You’ll have to play around and see if they work for you. You may already have your own workflow, but I thought I would share these anyway.
Since then, I’ve posted a second set which had similar goals. Lots of people have downloaded these and I’ve had lots of really positive feedback over the last few years about them, so thank you to everyone who wrote to thank me. Since that time, I’ve worked on two more sets, which I never got around to sharing, until now. My methodology for these was to try and match the sharpening settings that come in the Raw Developer which ships with Fuji’s cameras. While I’m not a fan of the software in general, it does render nice detail, and has good sharpening settings. Some of these are my attempts at matching these. The other sets are just further experiments.
NOTE: These presets are also included for free with my Lightroom X-Trans Processing Guide.