DxO / LR 11 workflow change?

I have just noticed that with LR 11 and DXO Photolab Elite 4.3.3 when I ‘export’ to DxO Photolab and then return to LR the edits I made in LR to the RAW files prior to the export are no longer applied to the returning DNG files (save for LR sharpening or noise reduction).

This is a real pain as my workflow was to ingest / cull / edit in LR and then round-trip to DxO Photolab 4.3.3 Elite for better RAW processing / noise reduction / lens correction & sharpening. Now I have to manually sync the edits i made in LR to each image processed in DxO, which takes far longer.

Is there a way to get the previous process back?

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Both Lr and PL keep their own record of changes made and the RAW files are not touched.

If you are looking at the RAW files in Lr, you will not see any difference when you return because all changes are stored in the PL database and DOP files, neither of which Lr can read. The only way you will see the difference is to export from PL after the edits to either JPEG, TIFF or DNG and then look at those images in Lr. But you will not be able to interact with any of the PL edits, only make new edits to the exported, non-RAW, files.

Although I would ask why you are round-tripping anyway?

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I haven’t used LR for quite some time. In LR are you using the edit with command? If so you are demosaicing in LR and sending a RGB file to DXO, which is not what you want.

If LR is sending the raw file for demosaicing in DXO then it is pointless to carry-out any “edits” in LR as these cannot be applied to the raw file without LR demosaicing the file and sending a RGB file, even if it is in a dng container like a LR pano/hdr, to DXO.

You might like to consider using something like FastRawViewer, which shows you the raw histogram etc as your culling tool. Then drag the selected files into a new project in DXO, apply noise reduction, dcp profile (I think you can use LR dcp files), major tonal edits and then export dng files back into the same folder. You can then import these files into LR for final processing helping to keep your LR catalogue “clean”.

FastRawViewer is an excellent, modestly priced tool that should be in everyones photo toolkit :slight_smile:



OK, some confusion here. Let me try and explain.

After ingesting, culling and editing images in LR, I send my selected, edited LR images to DxO via the provided plugin. This plugin actually sends the unedited RAW file(s) to DxO Photolab 4. I then apply a default preset that applies DeepPrime and Lens Corrections / Sharpening and send them back to LR as Linear RAW DNG files. Therefore I get the benefits of DxO’s better RAW processing / demosaicing as well as LR’s DAM and editing tools.

Previously, in LR 10.4, when the DNG files came back to LR the edits made in LR were then applied, except for lens corrections, noise reduction and sharpening. It did miss out the profile though (I use Color Fidelity profiles in LR and DxO Photolab). However, in LR 11 this no longer happens and I have to reapply (by syncing with the edited RAW in LR) these edits to the DNGs.

As the files come back from DxO Photolab as Linear RAW DNGs, edits in LR can be applied in the same way as for any native RAW file.

I am not using edits in DxO nor its database to do anything. I am using it as if it was DxO PureRAW, but I have control over how much DeepPrime noise reduction and Lens Sharpening are applied, which you can’t do in PureRAW.

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I am not sure that’s an ideal workflow.

When the raw file is opened in DXO whatever default preset you have set is applied to the raw file. DXO does a very good “automatic” job but it is important to recognise that any crushed blacks or blown highlights derived from the DXO automatic conversion will be baked into the linear dng file sent back to LR. This is why I suggested doing the major tonal adjustments in DXO.

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Well, I’m not sure about anything being baked in. That’s exactly how PureRAW is intended to work. So if sub optimal, why would DxO be selling PureRAW to LR users? Also, the transfer back to LR has an option to only apply noise reduction and lens corrections / sharpening. Why offer this if again it’s sub optimal.

I can apply all of LR’s tools to the DNGs, including white balance, white and black points etc. so the workflow makes perfect sense to me for existing images I have already edited in LR without having to re-edit them in PhotoLab.

I’m new to PhotoLab, but I do intend to use more of its capabilities over time.

Dxo-photolab is superior to Pure Raw because you are not limited to an auto raw conversion. An auto raw conversion has limits.
When you open a raw file in Lightroom it applies its default conversion. Are blacks or highlights never crushed / blown and need adjusting? If you convert the file with blown/crushed data in LR to a tif (linear DNG is effectively tif) the crushed blacks /blown highlights are baked in and can’t be recovered. That’s just how it is.


Firstly, I want you to realise that I am not using LR’s RAW processing engine in this workflow. I am using PL4’s.

When I installed PL4 E it added a ‘Transfer to DxO Photolab 4’ plugin to LR. When I activate that plugin from LR it simply tells PL4 to open the folder where the files that I have selected in LR are stored. I then process these files in PL4 with my default preset and then use the ‘Export to Lightroom’ function to import the demosaiced / noise reduced / lens sharpened files - all done by PL4 - into LR as new DNG files.

I could do further processing in PL4 before this transfer back to LR, but then they would not look like as already processed in LR. I have many thousands of images that I wish to re-process in PL4 to improve image quality, and do not want to have to try and reproduce the editing I have already done in LR using PL4.

This process does NOT create an RGB file within LR in the normal way an Export would. This process does NOT use LR’s RAW processing engine.

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To support what I am saying about Linear DNG files, please look here: Linear DNG

Further relevant discussion is here: DNG vs Linear DNG

The simple truth of the matter is, whatever you have done to a RAW file in Lr, PL has no way of interpreting those edits and can only start from scratch with the basic, unaltered, RAW file. And the RAW file is totally untouched in PL, so you have to export to a non-RAW file format to get it back into Lr.

I really can’t see why you would want to do any further processing in Lr when PL can do virtually everything you need and give you a finished exported file, which you could view in Lr if you really wanted to for cataloging purposes.

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As far as I see on my Mac, the workflow did not change with DPL and LrC10 vs. LrC11.

From Lightroom’s Plug-in options, I sent an image to PhotoLab, changed a few things in DPL and exported the result as a DNG. After synchronising the source folder in LrC, the modified image (B/W with a flipped green tonecurve) appeared in LrC. Did a few things in LrC and compared the original to the round-tripped image. As can be seen in the screenshot, DPL’s modifications carry over to LrC (low noise and high details in foliage from DeepPrime and modified tonality due to green flip).

Again, the roundtrip did not change between LrC10 and LrC11 on 2019 Intel-iMac.

Nevertheless, if PhotoLab could be set to display the built-in previews (instead of calculating from raw) in PhotoLibrary view, culling in PhotoLab would be a breeze.


I guess you are still not understanding what I am saying.

When I activate the DxO plugin from within LR, PL4 starts with the selected RAW file(s) in the Photo Library view. No edits from LR come across. I then apply my preset for DeepPrime noise reduction and lens correction / sharpening in PL4 and export as DNG back to LR (one button click and selection of the option for just noise and lens correction to be applied).

In LR previously (v10.4) the edits made in LR prior to activating the DxO plugin are then applied to the returning DNG file from PL4. Apart from the correct camera profile (the returning DNG always has the Adobe Color profile set), the original RAW file edited in LR and the DNG with LR edits applied now look the same. I can then set the camera profile correctly for an exact colour match. However, the DNG has the benefit of the better RAW processing of PL4, lens correction / sharpening and noise reduction.

DxO PureRAW essentially executes the same workflow as this but is less well integrated with LR and lacks control over the level of noise reduction and lens sharpening applied. Hence why I chose PL4.

I have thousands of files I want to process this way that have already have had edits in LR. I want to preserve these and not change them but take advantage of DxO’s better RAW processing. This workflow now seems broken on LR 11 as the existing LR edits are not now applied to the returning DNGs…



It looks like you are doing your main edits in PL4 and then tweaking in LR after the round-trip. So we are not attempting the same thing. I am trying to preserve my existing LR edits but leverage the better RAW processing engine of PL4. This workflow used to work OK in LR 10.4, but appears for me broken in LR 11. I imagine the DxO plugin in LR needs updating to work with LR 11.

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This was just a test, Lightroom is still my primary system. My message here is, that Lr does indeed understand edits done in PhotoLab while not resorting to TIFF…but…PhotoLab’s DNG files come with rgb data per pixel, not the mosaicked data as in a RAW. And all this is the same with Lr10 and Lr11 here.

If you want to profit from PhotoLab’s demosaicing and noise reduction, there is no way around using DNG or TIFF files and PhotoLab as the first processing step, which means that you’ll

  • Cull in Lightroom (profiting from speed when using built-in previews) and nothing else.
  • Do in PL what it does best: demosaic, noise reduction, lens correction, then export as DNG
  • Do all the rest in Lightroom again (geotag, keywords, print, books etc.)

Use one app for one kind of work. No one single app does all things best. :man_shrugging:

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Great - someone that actually understands what I have been trying to explain!

My issue - going back to the topic of this thread - is that LR 10.4 and LR 11 behave differently. In LR 10.4 the DNG files imported from DxO PL 4 have any LR edits that pre-existed the round-trip applied on import, so they match the LR version (except with better RAW processing etc.). Whereas, in LR 11 these pre-existing edits are no longer automatically applied to the DNGs.

Have you experienced this?

Colin, I’m NOT experienced with what you are trying, but as if to me I had seen an explanation (video ?) about this – can you invoke some ‘synchronisation’ manually?


Yes, I can manually sync each DNG with the pre-existing RAW edits made in LR following the round-trip. However, for the many thousands of images I intend to re-process int this way (in batches over the next few weeks) this would be very tedious.

Just to be sure…is this what you’re saying and expecting?

  1. customize a RAW in LrC.
    → LrC writes changes to the catalog and to .xmp sidecars (if that option is turned on)
  2. send unaltered RAW to DPL, apply stuff and send DNG back to LrC
  3. LrC then re-applies changes that were saved in step 1.
    → automatically in LrC 10.4
    → not in LrC 11, but you expect LrC 11 to do as LrC10.4: Re-apply changes done in step 1

Have I experienced this?
…(hold on, have to switch users…)


Exactly so. Can you give it a try and see what happens for you?

LrC 11 does not reapply changes, which is what I expect, because the PhotoLab export is a new file and has no history in Lightroom. Only the default preset will be applied…

Cannot test with LrC 10.4, have already removed it.