Wacom Tablet — anyone got tips?

So I just pur­chased a new Wacom tablet. I heard they rock and make photo edit­ing so much eas­ier. So after wast­ing 1/2 hour installing the fUC@**&%$en!!!!!! dri­ver which did NOT eas­ily install onto my Vista machine…here I go. My first instinct (to be fair after 10 min­utes of use) is that it is NOT as easy to use as every­one raves.

There seems to be an unnat­ural dis­con­nect in my brain between the size of the fixed nib on the pen and the brush size that you choose in pho­to­shop. I guess i will need to play and even check out the tuto­r­ial on the disk. If any­one has any tips or pointers…I’m all ears. Thanks!

Added on Feb. 18, 2007‚ — This com­ment and pic­ture by David Red­ding was really infor­ma­tive so I added it to this main post. Thanks David!

Here is a side by side of one of my touch up jobs. Now all of this could
have been done with a mouse, but I find I can be quite a bit more pre­cise
with the styl­ist. for exam­ple, if you take a look at the fore­head in the
retouched image, even at this web size you can make out skin details (good
luck doing that with a blur mask…I could never fig­ure out how). I am
able to do the touch up and main­tain skin tex­ture by first doing a round
of Cloning and Heal­ing at about 100–200% mag­ni­fi­ca­tion. Once I have
removed all the rather large blem­ishes and skin imper­fec­tions I use the
Brush tool in CS3 with a soft edge, the Pro­tect Tex­ture option in the
brush tool kit selected and an opac­ity of around 20%. I then sam­ple the
skin for colour and just paint on the skin correction.

the biggest dif­fer­ence between the mouse and the styl­ist when doing
edit­ing jobs like this is with the mouse, when using the Brush tool, if
you set the Opac­ity to say 30% (or what ever set­ting) that is what you
get. But, with the styl­ist that same set­ting of 30% is just the max­i­mum,
you can achieve less with the pres­sure of the stylist.

Like I said in my response to you post­ing, the styl­ist does take some
get­ting use to.…How long have you been using a mouse for? But, once you
do get the set­tings to your lik­ing and actu­ally train your brain to use
the styl­ist instead of the mouse you will see how accu­rate you can be with
your editing.

Also, a graph­ics tablet can be a waste of money for some peo­ple. Really,
if all you really do in your edit­ing is crop­ping, curves, colour bal­anc­ing
(in RAW I hope) and sharp­en­ing, then a graph­ics tablet is really a waste
of money. But, on the other hand. If you do a fair amount of touch­ing up
skin, dodg­ing and burn­ing or even cus­tom graph­ics like paint­ing on
pat­terns in you images, then a Tablet could be your sav­ing grace.