White balance change when using Photolab to sharpen and denoise


I’m using Photolab Elite v5 as a plug-in to Lightroom to sharpen and denoise certain images before exporting back to LR for more processing. (The method recommended by Robin Whalley).

I’ve recently noticed that the white balance is changing during that process - for example in an image from yesterday in LR the WB was 5200, after Photolabbing it was 4700. This seems pretty consistent now but I’m not sure if it was the case when I first started using this method.

Can anyone advise?


It seems that some software respects the in-camera WB better than others.

Because PL seems not to honour the Nikon value that I always use, I have a fixed temperature of 5600°K as part of my default preset in PL.

All the raw converters I use present different WB numbers. I’ve therefore stopped worrying about that an focus on how an image looks instead.

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On most images it doesn’t seem to make much difference visually but there was at least one that looked horrible with the new WB value.

Is there a setting in presets to leave WB as is somewhere?

Create your own custom preset and ensure that it includes the WB, then set that as your default preset.

How should a preset know which whitebalance would be the right one? In RAW, whitebalance is not important when shooting - the camera display will never be accurate enough. That’s just my lame excuse for “often forgetting to set up WB”.

But I can’t confirm that PL “doens’t honour WB values”. Different values lead to different colour casts. However - which camera is calibrated properly? And what would be the point of that calibration? Instead of carrying a Colorimeter around and measure a scene before setting up the camera, I eventually will find a grey card (if I urgendtly need a reference) or deal with it lateron. I don’t think a picture will shine more by a calibrated WB - it has to transport the emotion, the impression, but not necessarily “true colours”, except for colour samples - and for them, a completely calibrated colour management is necessary.

As far as I can see the preset is set to “As shot” so I don’t know where the change comes in.

As for JoJu’s comment, I tend to trust auto white balance values unless for example it is a sunset shot. But I’m still puzzled as to why there is a change in WB during demosaicing/denoise/sharpening in Photolab.

I almost always keep my WB on 5600°K (habit from colour slide days) and then I know how warm/cool the light was in relation to what I want in the final image.

Looking into it a bit further, I can see that the WB change comes in the export to Lightroom from Photolab.

Original in LR - WB = 5500
Original in Photolab WB = 5514
Exported file back in LR - WB =4950

I don’t use LR so I’m not familiar with the workflow that you are using. I don’t know how it works, but is it possible to use the " Export to DNG with lens corrections and NR" option when exporting back to LR? If so, this should leave the WB in the camera sensor space.

If you take a picture from a greycard with good, even lighting, you’ll see different values for the same grey in all raw converters. Not by much: 5000 or 5050 K ist just 1 % difference and hard to see without direct comparison

There are different ways to display the colour temperature curve in a gamut: “Daylight” and “Black Body” and the two curves’ locations differ slightly. Differences could also be amplified by the respective rendering intents of the apps and camera bodies. I’d still not worry about the WB numbers.

See how whitepoints can shift in the gamut (+ / X / curve)

(Screenshot taken from DisplayCal.app)

No this is more like 5500 versus 5000, and it does make a visible difference.

And just to re-iterate my point - it’s not just about the numbers - it does make a visible difference, sometimes quite noticeable, and unpleasant.

That was a good suggestion, Mark; I just wish it worked!

Unfortunately the LR version had a WB of 5250, while exported from Photolab using “Denoise and Optical Corrections only” gave me a WB of 4750.

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Sorry it didn’t work. I have no idea why. :man_shrugging:

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I have seen the same kind of the same behaviour with my Olympus M1 mark II.
I do the same as you. Start in lightroom and denoise and maybe sharpen in DxO PL,
When I return to Lightroom I have more saturated and warmer colors. I have set DxO PL up so it should not change anything except what I manually chose for the photo.

Hi Kim,

I can’t imagine it’s related to the camera at all. For me in some cases anyway (possibly not all) the result of using PL in the same way as PureRAW is a definite cooling of the image. It looks like it occurs during the “export to Lightroom” part of the process. Sometimes it either doesn’t affect the image, or maybe I just don’t notice it, other times its quite noticeable. I think it may be more than a simple yellow/blue change.

I note from one of the other threads that there is a difference of opinion over whether to use ClearView Plus as part of the preset when importing into PL from LR. I wonder if that could be related in some way?


Here’s how to do what Joanna suggests … Just substitute WB for CV (and deactivate the WB tool).

John M