PL3 does not read lens sharpness correctly

I am not generalizing, I am stating a fact. I’ve used DxO software for many years with Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70, with Sony A900 and a series of Zeiss lenses, with NEX7 and several Zeiss lenses and now with Sony A7R2 also with a series of Zeiss lenses both Sony-Zeiss and Batis. Even scans from my Contax fotos, jpg’s and tiff’s. The results are always the same. Capture one previews are a lot sharper than those of PhotoLab (Optics Pro for that matter). Also, I absolutely see no evidence that this mushiness of the previews in PL is a consequence of certain camera-lens combinations. It is entirely a consequence of DxO programming and has nothing to do with camera-lens combinations. You refer to “the above”. Have you read all messages? Then you will see that it mainly concerns the fact that PL3 appears to be even less sharp than PL2.

This thread is about a specific issue not about general sharpness comparisons between software.
It is a very subtle sharpening effect when Lens Sharpness has been applied.
Open an image in PL3 and expand to 1:1. For me the photo looks softer than the same photo, same setting, in PL2. If I slightly adjust/shrink the PL window on the screen the photo snaps into the expected clarity.

If you would like to complain about PL3 overall preview sharpness, please start a new topic.


Windows 10, no correction except the lens sharpness:
I see absolutely no difference between screen display PL2 and PL3, at 75%, 100%. And including below 75% (but it’s less defined, which is normal)
Checked with different raw images (Sony A7RIII and Sony FE lenses, including the 55mm “sharp”)


On a recent Youtube tutorial the guy mentioned that Mac computers have a default resolution that is not the monitors native resolution and that they use pixel doubling.
His recommendation was to manually set the monitor resolution to the monitors native resolution. He was using a 5K monitor. The reason was that at 100% you want to have 1 image pixel for each monitor pixel. Could this be why there are differences in the perceived image quality. Window machines default to monitor native resolution.
If the people on this thread reported their actual monitor resolution being used maybe a pattern could be discerned?


My Mac’s monitor was at native res…

This was PhotoJoseph talking about Output Sharpener Pro (direct link to the relevant part of the Webinar: Output Sharpener Pro is not made for HiDPI therefore the effect may be relevant (I haven’t checked for myself).

For PL3 I expect it to be compatible with Retina-Displays. Also iMac Retina-Displays are running at their native resolution by default.

To help clarify my earlier post:

I observed the soft previews with multiple .dng raw files, PL3 at default settings, sharpness off (both kinds) and noise reduction off (did not make a difference.)

The camera lens combinations were Leica M10, M9 with Summilux 50 and 35, and Summicron 75.

I had deleted PL2 so could not make a comparison, but I could make comparisons to LR/PS, C1Pro, On1 and Luminar, some of which did not support the body/lens combinations. I also compared some DAM apps, including Neofinder, Apollo, PhotoMechanic, and FastRawViewer. The softness with PL3 was immediate and obvious.

Did you also notice the issue with native raw files? I never use .dng files myself.


Again, this thread is about a specific issue comparing PL3 with 2, not about general sharpness comparisons between software.
It is a very subtle sharpening effect when Lens Sharpness has been applied.

I have uploaded a short movie of the effect.
The image jerks left when I slightly nudge the PL window. At that point you can see the image snap sharper.


I see what you are showing. the difference is extremely obvious. However, I’m not able to recreate it on on my desktop or my laptop. Both monitors are 4K. Both computers are running Windows 10 with all updates applied. I have PL2 and PL3 on my desktop and PL1 and PL3 on my laptop. I’ve been comparing a number of raw files with fine detail at various zoom levels from 100% to 400%, first with no sharpening applied and then with different amounts of sharpening applied. I then did the comparison with some presets. So far if there is any difference at all on my monitors between the three versions of PhotoLab it is too subtle to be obvious and I’m certainly not seeing anything like the huge differences in your examples.



Thanks for looking.

I wish I could be more helpful. You are obviously not making this up. Something is causing the results you are seeing. But if I can’t recreate it, I’m not sure what else I can do. The soft version you are seeing in PhotoLab 3 isn’t just soft by comparison to PhotoLab 2, its soft by any measure, and would be obviously soft even if you didn’t have the sharper version with which to compare it.


Fortunately I can mitigate the issue by nudging the window.

Not sure what you mean by that.


i.e. resizing it slightly

This looks indeed very “bad” and the "resizing"action is bringing it back to real preview value.
my Win10 version isn’t doing this on any version of PL. (Yes i get the “sorry i am buzzy to (re) render fuzzyness” but it pops in to detail by it’s self i don’t need to “jerk” or “nudge” the image.)
i am very interested to see the reaction/reply of one of the dxostaff members about this.

(ps how many other mac users have testing your image about this behaviour?)

Yes the momentary preview fuzziness while scrolling through photos, that some experience, is not the issue discussed here.

For your flower image against the wall exactly how much sharpening did you add? I downloaded you raw file and am playing with it now.


Just the Lens Sharpness panel, default settings based on the Optics Module for the lens used.

The first screenshot is the raw file at 100% zoom in PL3 with the default sharpening and no other corrections on my Windows 10 Machine. It may be very slightly softer than the sharper left hand version of your image but, it is no where near as soft as your version on the right side of your image. A 100% version of an exported tiff file follows, and then a 200% zoom of the raw file. I forgot to add the optics model for your camera and lens in the first 3 screenshots so here is a forth one of the raw at 100% with the optics distortion module engaged.

The monitor being used is a 28" 4K Samsung.

If there is any preview softness in PL3 on Windows it is doesn’t appear to be anywhere nearly as profound as your images suggest. Perhaps it is a Mac issue?


This first screenshot is of the raw image with sharpening applied

The second one is a screenshot of an exported 16bit tiff file.

The third is the raw file at 200%

The fourth is the raw file at 100% with the optics module engaged.