If you haven’t read the first part please take a look at it, because there you may see the images unsharpened and learn about the specifics of this comparison.
In this second part we shall see how the converters behave in the sharpening department. We will try to sharpen the images to the best results that each raw converter allows with its own tools.
A few notes:
– not all the raw converters tested in the first part have sharpening tools, so they will be excluded from this second part of the comparison
– RawTherapee has an excellent automatic chromatic aberration feature; it is not tested here, but thanks to that RawTherapee is the only program that for example makes usable, in my experience, the pictures shot with the Canon 24mm f/1.4 at full aperture (loads of spherochromatism…)
Please keep in mind that some of the images may look a bit oversharpened here at 100% on screen, but that they will look good once printed.
To my eyes: RawTherapee, thanks to the deconvolution sharpening, wins clearly WITH THIS IMAGE, followed by the wonder couple Apple Preview / Rawker. I said with this image because with others the placing it’s reversed. Look for example at the two crops at the end of the post, extracted from a portrait: here only Preview and Rawker have been able to “paint” the texture of the fabric of this hairpin, while keeping noise at the minimum and the hairpin borders sharp.
But keep in mind that to obtain this result in RawTherapee, with a deconvolution filter set to 100 passes, my iMac core i5 takes almost 1 full minute for each picture, while converting the same photo in Apple Preview or Rawker with a slightly less satisfactory result takes just a couple of seconds.
Also Corel AfterShot is pretty sharp, but loses some points because it generates a bit of chromatic aberration, not present with other converters.
100% crops, sharpening set for the best possible result in each raw converter