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Is it worth upgraded- Opinions Please


limey

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Hi All, I presently use PS CS 5.1 for the Mac, and I'm envious of the new tools that are available now in the newer versions.
I'm wondering if it is worth the extra money to buy the newer versions or just try to get 3rd party plugins that will do what I want.
I like to work on restoring old photographs but just for my own entertainment and for a website that I have.

I would appreciate any suggestions from those of you that have been fortunate to have used some of the newer programs that are available.

Thanks
 

IamSam

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There's been a few changes in the newer versions, but none that still can't be done with CS5. As long as it's meeting your needs, I would stick with it.

Having said that, I'm still running CS6, but only because I feel I would have to upgrade my mac to operate the newer versions of Ps efficiently. I'm in the "If it's not broken and it's meeting your needs, don't mess with it" camp!
 

limey

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Thanks for suggestion, I'm inclined to think like that too, the biggest incentive is to maybe find some tools that will save me from taxing my eyes as much they aren't as young as they used to be. Do you have any ideas on 3rd party offerings that are out there, like de-blurring and sharpening tools to name a couple.
 

Tom Mann

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It turns out that I just compiled a list of sharpening plugins for another thread, with a bit of discussion of them:
https://www.photoshopgurus.com/foru...ned-photos-post1533736166.html#post1533736166

In addition to Topaz Detail, I am particularly fond of Topaz's "InFocus". If you want an offer you can't beat, for a while, Google has been offering the entire (former) NIK suite of plugins for free!!! I use some of them every bit as much as I use the Topaz suite. For sharpening, give the NIK Sharpener Pro plugin a try:
https://www.google.com/nikcollection/

Like all sharpening plugins, on the right images, it works beautifully, whereas on images not suited to it, the wrong sharpening algorithm can be underwhelming or worse, LOL.

Have fun!

Tom M
 

limey

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Thanks again IamSam, I've heard of the Topaz products but never tried any of them, I'll check out that link.
 

limey

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Hi Tom, thanks for the links. I did hoof it over there to Google and downloaded the NIK collection and just jumped right in and tried to get it to work on a black and white photo but couldn't get anything to work. At first when I opened up PS I checked the filters for the NIK plugin but it was greyed out, went back to Google and found that a selective window will show itself when ever PS is launched and you use that if you can't get it to work from the filter menu.
I'm thinking it might be a bit too complicated for what I'm used to, I couldn't get anything to work. No matter what I clicked on came up with the same response ( The command xxxxxx is not currently available. ) I'll take a more in depth look at the Help page and see if I can figure out what is going wrong.
Will check out your other link now on the sharpening plugins.
Thanks for the help.
 

limey

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Hi Tom, just found that neither program will work with black and white images only colour, so back to the drawing board.
 

Tom Mann

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Hi Tom, just found that neither program will work with black and white images only colour, so back to the drawing board.
Many 3rd party plugins, as well as many native Photoshop filters don't work on grayscale images, just like a few years ago, many plugins and native PS filters didn't work on 16 bit images or under a 64 bit OS.

The incompatibility of the NIK plugins with grayscale images is no big deal whatsoever because you can simply change the mode of the image to RGB, run the NIK plugins, do any other manipulations in RGB, and then, if for some bizarre reason you really want to go back to grayscale, just go back to Image -> Mode, and just select "Grayscale" when you have completed your work on the image.

However, to be honest, in the hundreds of thousands of images I have dealt with, I have hardly ever used the grayscale mode because there are almost no benefits to doing this, but there are disadvantages.

The main "advantage" is that the file sizes are smaller, but, with the current extraordinarily low prices for storage and data bandwidth, unless you are storing and moving huge images (ie, tens of thousands of pixels on a side), this is almost a moot point. IMHO, there is really only one valid reason to use grayscale mode (at 8 bits per channel), and that is that it gives you access to other relatively obscure Photoshop processing modes such as bitmap, halftone screens, duotones, tritones, etc.

The disadvantages to working in, and distributing grayscale images include the one you just discovered, and in addition, because 99.99% of all digital images (say, on the web) are RGB, there is viewing software out there that just doesn't understand grayscale, CMYK, or other variants of RGB such as ProFoto RGB, so you are just making a potential headache for yourself by distributing images in grayscale instead of in the form of a desaturated sRGB image. If your grayscale images are seen by a wide variety of people, eventually you will start receiving a low but steady stream of complaints from viewers using either ancient or cheap software that can't display them.

Bottom line: Convert to RGB and you'll be fine.

Tom M
 

limey

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Thanks Tom for the info on changing the image to RGB, you're right it works fine. I also appreciate you pointing it out to me the pros and cons of saving as sRGB, I wasn't aware of the possibilities it had. I did notice though after I had changed the mode setting to RGB and went to Save As in PS, it was already set up to save as sRGB.
I will begin to use your suggestion from now on, however will the image still retain the clean black and white look after it has saved as sRGB.
 

Tom Mann

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Thanks Tom ...snip...however will the image still retain the clean black and white look after it has saved as sRGB

You are quite welcome! Glad to have helped.

WRT your question, as long as you are comparing apples-to-apples, the resulting images from an unsaturated RGB image will have exactly the same clean blacks (and other tonality) as if it was processed the same way as a grayscale image. There will be no change.

I should clarify that when I said one must be sure to do an apples-to-apples comparison, what I meant that the output device (eg, the printer) must be the same in both cases. For example if one sent a RGB image to a 6 ink color Epson, and compared it to a grayscale image sent to a 6 ink Epson that had been retrofitted with a specialty set of B&W inks (i.e., different shades of gray / black), obviously, the printer that had been turned into a specialty grayscale printer would always look better no matter how you sent the B&W image to it, either as a desaturated RGB or a true grayscale file.

HTH,

Tom M
 

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