review of QImage

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    Topic: review of QImage Read 672 Times
  • Daniel Koretz
    Daniel Koretz
    Participant
    Posts: 87
    General
    on: December 19, 2020 at 3:34 pm

    Oliver,

    Thanks for posting the article on QImage. I have an additional question for you. You’ve explained why you use it with Capture One. However, my question is how it compares with Lightroom. I went through a description of QImage some time ago, and it didn’t seem to offer much that Lightroom doesn’t for people printing single prints. However, I couldn’t find any comparison of the quality of their output sharpening algorithms. Have you seen a comparison, or do you have an opinion about that?

    Dan

    Oliver Ritter-Wolff
    Oliver Ritter-Wolff
    Silver Member
    Posts: 116
    Re: review of QImage
    Reply #1 on: December 20, 2020 at 9:20 am

    Oliver,

    Thanks for posting the article on QImage. I have an additional question for you. You’ve explained why you use it with Capture One. However, my question is how it compares with Lightroom. I went through a description of QImage some time ago, and it didn’t seem to offer much that Lightroom doesn’t for people printing single prints. However, I couldn’t find any comparison of the quality of their output sharpening algorithms. Have you seen a comparison, or do you have an opinion about that?

    Dan

    Hello Dan,

    I’m afraid I didn’t do a hard scientific A/B comparison at the time between upscaling prints from Lightroom and Qimage Ultimate. When upscaling was necessary I mostly went via TIFF export to Photoshop and printed from there directly or with the QTR print tool.

    However, I remember printing a few prints directly from Lightroom (upscaliny done by LR) to my then 24″ HP z3100 and then doing the same again with QImage Ultimate. The upscaled (and output sharpened) Qimage prints clearly looked better.

    The days I read that Adobe is recently working with AI technology on such issues:

    https://blog.adobe.com/en/2019/02/12/february-lightroom-releases.html#gs.o0fvk2

    How good this is then compared to Qimage must be seen.

    I have not yet seen a direct A/B comparison from others. But it would be interesting. Unfortunately, I no longer have an LFP printer here.

    An new Epson SC-P900 will only come on board in 2021. Currently, the model is hardly or not at all available in Germany.

    A few more links that don’t directly answer your question, but go in that direction:



    Oliver

    http://www.riwodot.de/vorsitzender.html

    Daniel Koretz
    Daniel Koretz
    Participant
    Posts: 87
    Re: review of QImage
    Reply #2 on: December 20, 2020 at 10:30 am

    Oliver,

    Thanks.

    I’ve actually had good experiences printing with Lightroom up to 17 x 22 inches (43 x 56cm), but I’m always open to approaches that are enough better to justify losing the features of Lightroom’s print module, which I find very handy (in particular, the ability to create templates very simply that include virtually all relevant software, firmware, and paper settings).

    Since printing is the issue, I’m concerned with output sharpening rather than capture and creative sharpening. The two are mixed in one of the videos. Likewise, Lightroom’s enhance details option is for capture/creative sharpening (there is no clear difference between them in LR), not output sharpening.

    The videos don’t really answer my question. The first is a comparison of DFS to USM, but I almost never use USM. (I do most of my capture/creative sharpening with the Lightroom/ACR tools, a high pass filter, or Photoshop’s smart sharpen. I generally use USM only for local contrast adjustments.) The second video is a comparison with Topaz. The third is mostly about QImage’s superiority in creating multi-image page  layouts. I knew about that benefit, but I almost never print multi-image pages, so it isn’t relevant to me. It ends with an assertion that QImage’s output sharpening is ‘second to none’, but they just show one row of small images with no information about how they were created.

    Most serious printers I know print from Photoshop and don’t consider Lightroom acceptable because print sharpening is determined by the software, after the user selects one of three levels, and you don’t preview the output sharpening on screen. If I’m not mistaken, QImage uses the same approach as Lightroom, but with more than 3 levels to choose from. Is that right?

    If anyone has done A/B comparisons, I’d be interested in knowing what you found.

    Thanks again.

    Dan

    Oliver Ritter-Wolff
    Oliver Ritter-Wolff
    Silver Member
    Posts: 116
    Re: review of QImage
    Reply #3 on: December 20, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Hello Dan,

    yes it is correct you do not have a preview for sharpening in Qimage One. But there are 20 sharpening levels that you have to experiment with, depending on the printer-paper combination and the subject, to find the ideal setting.
    However, I’m not sure if there is a preview in terms of sharpening under the new versions of QImage Ultimate. That would have to be looked at. Anyway, QImage Ultimate offers additional features around sharpening https://www.ddisoftware.com/qimage-u/tech-tts.htm as you may have seen? However, I don’t know these myself from practical experience.

    By the way, I’ve had the best results in output sharpening with the camera specific Photoshop actions of Roberto Casavecchia, which are distributed by FineArtPrinter.de. He has also developed an upscaling Photoshop action called “Fine Grain” which gives very good results. For large prints (beyond Super B size) I have often used both actions and then output the print with the QTR print tool ( http://www.quadtonerip.com/html/QTRprinttool.html ). I had asked some time ago whether Roberto and Hermann Will (FineArtPrinter.de) plan such actions also for Affinity Photo but that was answered negatively, apparently Affinity Photo is limited here in parts.

    Once I have my EPSON SC-P900 in 2021 (my Epson 3880 was recently sold) I will be sure to compare these Photoshop actions with QImage One’s scaling and sharpening algorithms and see where the advantages and disadvantages lie. Assuming I have the Epson printer before my Adobe subscription expires in the spring, which I don’t really want to renew.

    https://www.dropbox.com/s/x5ya0xj5cbhenn8/QImage_One.jpg?dl=0

    Oliver

    http://www.riwodot.de/vorsitzender.html

    Daniel Koretz
    Daniel Koretz
    Participant
    Posts: 87
    Re: review of QImage
    Reply #4 on: December 21, 2020 at 10:22 am

    Oliver,

    Thanks very much. If you do compare these once you get your new P900, please post the results. I’m sure I am not the only one here who would be interested in seeing them.

    Dan

    Andrew Wilford
    Andrew Wilford
    Participant
    Posts: 1
    Re: review of QImage
    Reply #5 on: December 21, 2020 at 10:28 am

    Hello,

    First, I would like to thank Oliver for his review of Qimage One. As one of the owners of Binartem, Inc. and developer of the macOS version. I am happy to answer any questions about Qimage One.

    With respect to the Deep Focus Sharpening function in Qimage One, this should not be confused with the amount of sharpening one would use to achieve the artistic element of the print. The purpose of print sharpening is to account for the interpolation that takes place, and to compensate for the affects that the printed media has on the image. For these reasons, it is difficult to preview the final look, since it is inherently a function of the physical media.

    We recommend that a user prints s small test sample with the selected sharpening until they achieve the best result and then use that setting as a starting point for prints on the same type of media. You could also use the Print to File function to create several output images with different sharpening values, but this would not give you as much information as making the test print.

    Andrew Wilford

    Binartem, Inc.

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