I'm not trying to be contrary to anyone for the sake of being contrary, but those three screencaps from season two that you quoted look pretty nice. Actually, the majority of the screencaps from TrekCore's review look really stunning, perhaps not up to the high bar of the first season, but they still look marvelous. I mean, how can one say otherwise?
Not trying to be contrary but yet asking how anyone can say anything contrary to the shots looking marvelous?
It's like this, the majority of the work we've seen from Season 2 has been pretty slapped together looking. The same stock footage used in Season 1 that looked absolutely stunning, suddenly looks only a tad better than it did in SD. Seriously. Season 2 VFX have, for whatever reason, been drained of the amazing color correction of Season 1. The restored footage has been blurred for some mind boggling reason.
How HTV, under the supervision of some of the original production crew, could take many of the same shots and make them look far worse than CBS-Digital did...and in some cases worse than the original compositions(technically speaking here...loss of shadow, contrast, detail, etc), is beyond me.
If Season 1 had looked like Season 2, we would have probably assumed that was the best they could do with the old footage but CBS-Digital showed us just how amazing the footage could really look. HTV did the bare minimum and it really shows.
It will never happen but I hope at the end of this project that CBS-D recalls Season 2 and re-releases it from their own studio.