Blurred images until zoomed

I am encountering what seems to be a display issue where images seem a little blurred when viewing at 70% or below and when I zoom in beyond 75%, they clear up as if zooming in kicked off a rendering process. I have Photolab 6.6.1 Elite. Here are sample screen captures…

The only difference in the two images is the zoom level.

Unfortunately Photolab only applies sharpening and lens corrections (except distortion) from zoom levels of 75% and higher, with no option to remove this restriction. This has been a crticism for many versions of Photolab already…


Bummer! Thanks for letting me know.

There’s also a bottom limit. When passing the 20% or something like that. That limit is also screen related.


This is very frustrating especially with lower megapixel images on a larger monitor where it is common to have zoom below 75%. I hope DXO will reconsider this!

Been pestering DXO for years about this… It really makes it hard to judge sharpness and even saturation on a 4K monitor. But it seems like it’s not a priority…

“Blurred images until zoomed” hehe, I though you were talking about Adobe Bridge. I see that happening there for last several versions.

As for PhotoLab, yes as maderafunk answered: “Unfortunately Photolab only applies sharpening and lens corrections (except distortion) from zoom levels of 75% and higher, with no option to remove this restriction. This has been a crticism for many versions of Photolab already…”

The manual for PhotoLab will also state this: “The effect of this tool can be previewed only if your image is displayed at 75% zoom or higher.” In fact if you click on the little “?” question mark icon next to pallets in PhotoLab you will get same explanation for some of the tools.

This is not uncommon, we actually see this being the case in Photoshop for years now. If you zoom to certain percentages you get full accurate preview. 100%, 50% 33% 25% etc. Otherwise it won’t render all pixels. I’m not sure if this is a software or hardware limitations that is a legacy of the older technology. But I too would like to see full, accurate, fast preview for all the settings. I hope DXO team can polish that in future releases.


The correct sharpening - and noise reduction - is always shown in the preview window. This is always at 100%. I understand the reason for not showing these effects in the main window below 75% zoom is to reduce the resources needed for displaying an increasingly large part of the image area, and it has been this way as long as I can remember. Adobe products, for comparison, also don’t show (in the main screen) the actual sharpening that will be applied on export - only an approximation.

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It would be nice for it to be a user-side option. If the extra engine work causes performance issues then that should be for ‘me’ to choose.

In the interests of user intuitiveness, in most complex applications I’m all for an ‘advanced settings’ menu where all this crap can be hidden.

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Unfortunately, this is an absolute no-go.
I view photos filling the screen and not 100%.
If that doesn’t work because the display is blurry, the software is unusable for me.

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Unfortunately, as with other software, there is a compromise that has to be made.

If you render the whole image sharp and perfectly adjusted, you will be waiting for seconds, if not minutes for it to re-render every time you make the slightest adjustment. What you can do, at any time, is export the image at full resolution and view the fully edited image at whatever resolution you wish. But, even then, you will get interpolation artefacts and possible moire at various scales.

It does seem that there could be some helpful tweaking of the rendering zoom levels to fit some common environments. Full screen app and default zoom level on 1080, 2560, 3840, monitors (with Microsoft’s default DPI) seems like reasonable zoom levels to render fully at rather than just +75% zoom. A setting to configure this to match your particular environment could go a long way.


As has been suggested for so many years…

You may think you’re viewing true sharpness in full screen with LR/ACR, but you’re not, it’s only an approximate pre-rendering. Actual output is often better (not always). In DXO you can always see the actual sharpness at 100% in the preview window, though of course this is just a small portion. I think we’ve all had this experience with DXO, and generally learn to live with it because if the superb output quality.

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Exactly. Other software that seems to show sharpening at lower zoom levels is not displaying the actual sharpening but only an interpolation of it. Those of us who are long-term users of PhotoLab understand this. I don’t think twice about it anymore.

One of the techniques to get around this is to process your raw files using Export to DNG (optical corrections only) and do the rest of your edits directly to the resulting DNG file. That export only includes optical corrections and ignores all other corrections. Optical correction settings must be applied prior to the export. The optical corrections in PhotoLab include Lens sharpening, Distortion correction, Vignetting correction, Chromatic aberration correction, and DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD noise reduction.

One of the additional advantages to this approach, besides being able to view the effects of sharpening at any zoom level while editing, is that you can also see the effects of DeepPRIME or DeepPRIME XD on the entire image.


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The disadvantage is the disk size needed (RAW + DNG) particularly if you work with HiResolution cameras.

you do not need to keep linear DNG - just sync the edits back to the original raw


Or I don’t understand what @mwsilvers or you said or syncing the edit back to original RAW loose the advantage of @mwsilvers method :

which is the point of creating a DNG in this case.

The idea is to create a totally noise free copy from the original. Then edit that copy, with the advantage of having an image to edit that is as if it were noise free from the camera.

You can now simply copy all the edits from the DNG version back over the unedited original and delete the DNG version.

This is what I understood.

Which means your WIP is lost unless generating again a DNG and copying settings back to it …

A really heavy method. But the only one, of course.