Levels adjustment

The smart exposure idea with two eye droppers is another idea. You could use those eyes toppers to set the white point and black point on that levels tool.

The key point here is to be able to change the contrast and exposure by adjusting the white point OR the black point. Today, any adjustment to the exposure slider changes the white point and the black point at the same time. Any changes to contrast slider also changes the white point and the black point at the same time. A true levels tool would be a great alternative.

With ‘‘Levels’’ do you mean this new tool should look similar as Levels in Capture One?


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C1’s levels tool offers great possibilities and is easily the implementation I like best.
Make the size of the pickup tool variable and DxO would get another of my votes.

We should add a feature request for this!

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I don’t have Photoshop but the video showes me what I’ve thought. Not in detail off course. I’m happy with curves in general. The tool could use some more development in PL.


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thanks for the video – saves me to explain …

The most I’m missing in DPL’s Tone curve is the hand tool and an ‘integrated’ histogram – even the simplified version of LR5 has them.


@StevenL – maybe to take note

This video shows which curvetool we would like to have in DxOPL.
Those selectiontoolset is the cherry on the cake.

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C1 Levels tool is fantastic. And yes, you can recover highlights above 255 with the C1 levels tool. DXO really would benefit from a tool like this.

Vote for it here:

There doesn’t exist anything above 255 in a 8-bit division. You must have missed something.


@MikeR, you seem to be thinking/writing about ooc jpeg vs. raw images. Yes, a jpeg can have blown highlights, while the raw image has none.

Blown highlights in a jpeg can not be recovered, but they can be replaced by something that is not white.

Blown highlights in raw image data cannot be recovered either. The only possibility to “recover” something is to replace the process that clipped available data by something that does not. In our environment here, it’s replacing ooc jpegs by images created by customising of raws in DPL.

May I add something to this.

You may do this, but the result will be different. Pixel values are corrected with a gamma correction in the conversion. What you think will have a space of 1 stop in RAW will have just a little in RGB. You might see the effect in the histogram when playing with the gamma correction, or the exposure correction. The gamma correction of 1 in PL is based on the initial RGB image, so after the one done in the conversion. And 1 does mean no correction.


I give up…
I can recover raw highlights in capture one with the levels tool. This is a fact. I can’t recover raw highlights with the adjustments on the tone curve tool in DXO. This is also a fact.

I would like a levels tool that works like capture one.

Can you share a link to a RAW file, the highlights of which that you can’t recover in PL4 but that you can recover in C1?

Thanks. I understand your request for a Levels tool in PL and think it is a good one. I would just like to try it out myself with Curves only. If I am unable to recover the highlights using Curves only, I will support your proposal :smiley:

I’ll PM a file to you… And I’ll try to illustrate the issue. Standby…

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First image is the Raw image with ALL adjustments removed. Substantially overexposed but highlights are present in the ARW.

Second image is the file with exposure and contrast backed down. This isn’t how I would finish this edit, but is illustrative of the issue. ONLY exposure and contrast were modified. No other corrections enabled.

Third image is the file with approximately the same adjustment via the tone curve. Of course, all of the highlights present in the ARW file are NOT recovered, and the blown whites (at 255) have all been reduced to 172,172,172 in this instance. You can see the hair in the closest dancer is the same exposure between the two adjusted images. But the highlights are still gone and have become grey.


Exposure/Contrast Adjustment:

Tone Curve Adjustment:

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Just curves, with clipping.

And without clipping

There’s no raw data available in a jpg.


I am trying to grasp why we want an other new tool like levels instead of shining a light on that curve tool shown in the video to get the attention of the DxO staf.
1 the present tonecurve tool of dxo is at least not finished.(edit as in you could get more out of it.)
2 the video showes a tool which looks much more usefull in detailed work.
I say shows because i didn’t work with it and can’t tell if it’s better or not but i looks much more controllable.
3 levels is something what you can implement in the Histogramtool.
A quick fix tool.
Make it latent and to be visual on command over the histogram.
Whitepoint and blackpoint, eyedroppers for on image selectable whitepoint and blackpoint.(edit, would be working great with the clipping warnings that are already in the histogramtool. Turn on clipping warnings, eyedrop on whitepoint and re-set blackpoint after that for details exposure correction done.)
When you need more detailed work open curvetone tool and work further on that tool.

My “problem” with adding seperate tools is more screenspace occupied and more mouse movements due working in more different tools.
Ik am fond of tools who has more then one functionwindow and a customisable userinterface so everyone can create there one workspace.

So my idea is fit levels in the present histogramtool so it’s more then a viewingwindow in the screenspace and expend the curvetool in adding the histogram as backscreen and add some extra tools as shown above.

This don’t cramp up my screen more by more toolwindows and i have instand acces to quick exposure and tone changes.
Edit, one thing must be thought of a tool must not be overcrowded with options so you lose oversight and can’t find the one you are looking for without clicking through serveral tabs.

Edit 2: (some picture’s to clearify my idea: (@John-M i hope you still are liking it.)

See the difference?
an other thing i am font of and really like to have implemented is this:

a visual connection between the contrast sliders and microcontrast/clearview and the tonecurve tool.
It shows what i already have done in the other tool to improve tone and contrast.
and it shows the changes in the histogram when i move clarity or blacklevel or Dehaze also the contrast centre changes in the subline(midpoint neutral on the tone line.)
So when i counter attack the contrast in tonecurve i see the amount of adjustment i did in sliders and then i can decide to change there some to adjust overal effect or make a precise negative drop of contrast in the curve to ease a certain area in contrast and keep full adjustment on the other sections:

It’s a way of how can i implement controls with out getting it massive cluttered and messy.

(@pjglad : i only respond to you because of the video not because i want to convince you.)


Yes ! :+1: … And I don’t see any need for a “new” Levels Adjustment ( especially if there were to be enhancements to the Tone Curve tool along the lines you propose) - - because it would just create more unnecessary overlap between tools.

John M

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Hi @MikeR,
thank you for providing us with some examples.

Inspired by you and @George, I took your ‘original’ 2021-02-27 11.47.01-00 A9M2.jpg and tried a lot of
stuff in PL, like reducing Exposure, playing with Contrast and/or reducing Highlights.
But apart from setting the Exposure to -0,05 to ‘break’ the clipping, everything else gave a funky result, not at all satisfying (also played around with my old PS / LR).

Setting PL’s Tone curve tool to -253 ‘broke’ the clipping as well – the gradiant tool in PS did it at -254
and LR at 99,6/99,2%.
Then, to keep the pleasing impression from bright light and wide open lens, I simply corrected the Tone curve – complemented with a few Control points. :slight_smile:

Screen Shot 04-10-21 at 06.16 PM Screen Shot 04-10-21 at 06.17 PM

2021-02-27 11.47.01-00 A9M2.jpg.dop (21,5 KB) → original + virtual copy

have fun, Wolfgang