Digital Outback Photo
- Photography using Digital SLRs


Workflow Technique #035

Note on DxO Optics Pro

review note by Uwe Steinmueller


At PMA many like us were excited about the concept presented by DO Labs. The reason is that DO Labs addresses an essential issue: Correcting lens flaws in software.

  • Distortion
  • Blur
  • Vignetting
  • CA (Chromatic Aberrations)

Of course software corrections will be always less effective than good optics in the first place. But there are big tradeoffs for any lens design:

  • Price
  • Open aperture
  • weight
  • size
  • Zoom vs. prime

On the other side if you have your lenses it can only be a good thing to improve the results. This is what Optics Pro tries to address.

The use of Optics Pro is quite easy (you need a free USB port for the dongle though).

Main Application

You add your files to the batch list and if you have the right modules for the cameras and lenses Optics Pro will do its job.

Note: Optics Pro does not preserve the color spaces of your JPG files.

Module List

Here is the first crux right now:. The modules available are very limited and only a few cameras are supported so. Most of our camera/lens combinations are not.

But the main issue is actually that this is a program for serious photographers (also not that inexpensive, you also can find the price list here) but right now they only support JPG files right out of the camera. Most serious photographers probably use raw files. DO Labs is aware of this dilemma and plans a raw version for later this year.

We took a few test shots with our Canon 10D and the 17-40mm f/4 lens. We also compared the results to the free PTLens tool and using our Simple Sharpening.

1. Distortion Correction

Original JPG

DxO corrected

PTLens and Simple Sharpening

Optics Pro does clearly a great job correcting the perspective and makes wide angle lenses more fun to use. But also PTLens does a nice job and the difference to Optics Pro seems not to be big (we don't know which is better but both improve on the original a lot).



  • It can also be used for JPGs that are created from a Camera Raw 2.2 conversion and saved at very low compression.
  • Many more cameras supported
  • New Cameras and lenses can be calibrated (PTLens page)

PTLens is now also available as a Photoshop plugin

  • Plugin is much faster
  • Keeps color profiles


2. Image Detail

original crop (100% magnification)

The problem is that already the original JPG shows halo from in camera sharpening. We set camera sharpening to the lowest level.

Corrected with Optics Pro

Unfortunately Optics Pro amplifies the halos quite a bit.

PTLens and Simple Sharpening

Simple Sharpening does not quite that much amplify the halos. Of course it cannot correct the original halos either.


We wait for DO Labs to support raw files and have a look again. Right now PTLens will be our tool of choice if it comes to distortion corrections.



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