Repair tool bug in PL4 (Mac OS)

I have noticed that using the repair tool to remove spots, a huge number of tiny spots that is, will eventually lead to the application crashing. The problem is fixed by resetting the tool and thus removing the lot of repair instances. It is reasonable to deduce that the application has a limit regarding repair instances, and past this limit PL4 gets unstable and quits. Compared to Photoshop’s spot removal tool, the repair tool in PL4 is dysfunctional. That being said, the PL4 repair tool is pretty OK until the limit of instances is reached. Photoshop’s spot removal tool does not seem to have any such limit.
A point to make here is of course that I can understand why PL4 will choke on a huge number of repair instances based on some guesses regarding the internal workings of this application. However from a user’s perspective the repair tool in future versions of Photolab should be “equal” or better than the spot removal in Photoshop, and not generate application crashes.

Hi Stein. I ran into this problem years ago with Optics Pro 8 when the application provided only spot removal. The Clone/Repair tool in Photolab 4 is much more sophisticated and takes more time to redraw the preview. I retouch a lot of scanned film negatives with literally hundreds of tiny dust spots and have not run into that problem recently. One thing that I would recommend is to allow the application time to redraw the preview every 10 spots or so before adding more. This gives it time to catch-up. A little bit slower but better than having a crash or resetting.

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Could you please provide us more information about your system.
Cause I did some tests on some images, where I put more than 150 repair point without a crash.

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I’ve also had this kind of issue.

I’ve observed that if you don’t Show masks, you can work better and some freeze may disappear.

I’ve not really seen that recently as, knowing this limitation, when I have a lot of repair to do I do it in Affinity instead…

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Could you please send us the image just before the crash?
and if you can run the diagnostic to help us to understand the crash?

Thanks in advance

Hi @SebinParis

As far as I remember I’ve not had crash but freeze or very high response time of repair tool, and the freeze or response time were reduced when I was not showing masks.

I will try again soon.

I just sent you a message regarding this.

My main point here is that it would be wise to have a spot removal tool in Photolab that does not introduce any performance penalties when compared to the similar tool in Photoshop. Perhaps this could be achieved by introducing a third option in the current repair tool or a new tool that is suitable for special use cases.


With the latest PL4 release 4.3.0, I’ve dome lots of repair with a NEF file from Nikon D810.

Until the 15th spot it’s ok, then from 16th to 20th, it’s becoming more and more long, ie 2-3 sec to end one spot.
I then click Hide masks option, and I’m back with an instant reactivity for each spot.
10 sorts later, I click on Show masks option, and then each sport takes more around 10 sec to finish.
In that case, I draw my spot but don’t see anything till I finish to draw, then wait some seconds, then beginning of showing the blue mask for 2-3 sec then apply clone.
So not really impossible to do it but very very long and difficult to control what I’m doing.

After 100 spots it takes around 15 sec to accomplish with masks shown and still quick when not shown.
But not (yet?) crash.

After that, working with other corrections like mirocontrast shows an erratic display, with squares in image, as here:

And here is a copy screen of masks at this stage: