Nik Sharpener Pro 3 Raw Presharpening useful after Raw processing with PhotoLab 3 Elite

What do you think of the use of Sharpener Pro 3 Raw Presharpening after Raw processing with PhotoLab 3 Elite ?
I have made some tests with a Lumix G9 and Leica 12-60 and 50-200 lenses :

  • 3200 ISO : I get more noise without more sharpness.
  • 200 ISO : I get a little more sharpness without noise.

I develop my Raw files with PhotoLab 3 Elite :

  • Denoising with Prime
  • Optic sharpness
  • No use of sharpness mask

I export in tiff 16 bits without compression, and process it with Nik.

Hi Christian,

That’s correct NOT to use Unsharp Mask when there is a DxO Optics Module for your body+lens combination (the UM tool is there only for the cases where there is not an Optics Module).

As you will have found; exporting 16bit Tiffs results in very large files - and without noticeable (to me, at least) difference in on-screen quality to a high quality JPG.

I resample down to a JPG with largest size 1920 pix, at 98% quality, using Bicubic sharpener interpolation … I don’t use the Nik sharpening tools.

I always keep my original RAW files, along with the PL corrections in its corresponding sidecar/.dop file … so, I can always re-export any image (say, to a 16bit Tiff) if I need a better quality file in the future.

Hope that helps …

John M


Hi John,

I appreciate very much your answer.
It comforts me in the thinking that PhotoLab 3 Elite is the best tool for the first step of the processing of raw files for noise and sharpness.
I continue to use Lightroom for Library, until PhotoLab gets a full Library management.
Concerning the size of 16 bits tiff files, I have the following work-around :

  • In Lightroom export to PhotoLab 3
  • Processing in PhotoLab 3
  • Export of the tiff file, not directly in Lightroom, but in a separate folder on an external hard disk. This avoids mixing big tiff files with my raw files.
  • Import in Lightroom of the tiff files from this folder.

This workflow can seem heavy but it does not concern the majority of my photos, and it is compatible with my backup strategy :

  • All my raw files are on my internal fusion drive
  • Backup of my internal fusion drive with Carbon Copy Cloner to an external drive

The external drive containing the tiff files is not backed up, but the .dop files are backed up with the raw files.


Christian C.

98% quality? Are you sampling down to the same Mb as a oocjpeg? Did you find any improvement from 90%-98%?

(I think that Sharpener Pro 3 is ment to be used when a basic rawconverter is used to create a TiFF which then is run through SPro3 before edited in a pixel editer not after a rawdeveloper which has a good optical module and lens/camera sharpener then you just sharpen a sharpened image again which can cause artefacts.)

Yes, a strange choice ! - - I should have explained that, Peter.

98% is simply the % that resulted in best quality JPG (close to 100%) at a reasonable file size.
eg. For a sample image I tested just now;

  • for 98% JPG quality, size is 2.8MB
  • for 100% JPG quality, size is 4.4MB

And I cannot detect any difference (on screen) between the two images.

For same image at 90% JPG quality, size is 1.3MB … and, again, I cannot see any difference.
So, that’s a good inferred point, Peter - - I’ll split the difference and henceforth will go for 95% quality.



Someone else was struggling with that export presentage so i dugg in my memory why i choose 90%.
Ooc jpeg size (my g80) and raw to dxojpeg same size is around 98%.

So i think 90-100% is a form of compression factor not in actual los of pixels/resolution and colordepth. Stil 8bits.

95% couldbe a nice comfort. Maybe i follow your lead😉
(i would be out of interest happy if a dxostafmember can explain more about this again.i think i asked before in 2017/18 when i purchaged dxo plv1 .)

Edit: found the old thread


I was doing this at 100%. The 98% or 95% does not only produce smaller files, but also processes them a lot faster. At the moment processing a huge amount of old raw files.