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Image in Lightroom Develop Module looks dramatically different than image in Library module or exported image. How do I fix this?

Community Beginner ,
May 26, 2017

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Forgive me, I know this has been discussed at length, but (partly due to my ineptitude) I'm unable to figure it out.

My issue is:

I work on an image in the develop module and when I become satisfied with it, I export it. The exported image loses clarity and becomes lighter. I am exporting the image as a Jpeg (I've tried other formats too) at 100% and have tried every color space variation but have gotten the same disappointing results. The exported image is identical to how the photo looks in the library module, not the develop module. This is very frustrating, because I want it to appear identical to the image on the develop module (since that's what I have control of). It seems pointless to put all this effort into editing the image to have the export look so different and then need to over edit your photo in hopes of making the library/export image look how you want it. It doesn't make sense.

I've read various, confusing things about how to remedy this.

The first photo is a screenshot of the Develop Module (How I want the export to look), the second one is the library (How the export actually looks). As you can see, the top one is darker and sharper.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 5.20.51 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-26 at 5.20.57 PM.png

Some stuff I've read:

1. The library module uses a different color spacing than the develop module and for them to look the same, I need to properly calibrate my screen. I don't have Spyder or any external products to calibrate the screen but I did attempt to do it through my MacBook Pro's settings. I've tried many different variations of this but have never been able to have the develop image look the same as the library/export. Beyond that, it doesn't seem to make sense that calibrating the screen would fix this since I'm looking at these images on the same screen, no? Even if the screen is improperly calibrated, both images would be viewed on the same screen, so how would that cause a disparity in how they look?

Also, is there a way to adequately calibrate my screen without having to buy a pricey product like Spyder?

2. The library module and export will apply noise reduction which changes the appearance of the image. This seems to be true and I tried reducing the noise reduction in the develop module, in hopes of making the library/export image look the same, but I didn't achieve the results I was looking for.

3. People have pointed out that the Library and Develop module do look identical when both are viewed at 1:1 ratio. This is true, but it seems to be a moot point. They may be identical at a a 1:1 ratio, but the export isn't meant to be viewed that way. I'm putting these images on the web, so yes, theoretically the export will look identical to the develop module's image when magnified to 1:1, but nobody will be viewing it at that level of magnification.

Basically, I just want my exported photo to look like what I've worked for in the develop module. Is this possible? How? I'm at a loss here.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Todd_Shaner | Adobe Community Professional

I suggest also checking the Detail panel settings. If the image was shot at a high ISO setting noise in the image can cause the difference you are seeing between the Develop and Library module as well as Export files. Adjust the Detail panel Sharpening to Amount 50 or less and apply Luminance and Color setting to reduce noise in the image visible at 1:1 Zoom view setting. This should make the images appear virtually identical. The Develop module uses a simpler algorithm for creating the Loupe preview to prevent adjustment slider lag. The Library module creates a Preview file, which is created using the Bicubic algorithm (same as the Export module), which provides much more accurate interpolation. BTW- The most accurate view in the Library module are the pyramid Zoom settings 1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc. rather than Fit of Fill. This is because a 2nd interpolation is applied to Fit and Fill previews, which may slightly soften the image detail. The 1:1 view is the most accurate, but of little value for most viewing purposes.

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Image in Lightroom Develop Module looks dramatically different than image in Library module or exported image. How do I fix this?

Community Beginner ,
May 26, 2017

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Forgive me, I know this has been discussed at length, but (partly due to my ineptitude) I'm unable to figure it out.

My issue is:

I work on an image in the develop module and when I become satisfied with it, I export it. The exported image loses clarity and becomes lighter. I am exporting the image as a Jpeg (I've tried other formats too) at 100% and have tried every color space variation but have gotten the same disappointing results. The exported image is identical to how the photo looks in the library module, not the develop module. This is very frustrating, because I want it to appear identical to the image on the develop module (since that's what I have control of). It seems pointless to put all this effort into editing the image to have the export look so different and then need to over edit your photo in hopes of making the library/export image look how you want it. It doesn't make sense.

I've read various, confusing things about how to remedy this.

The first photo is a screenshot of the Develop Module (How I want the export to look), the second one is the library (How the export actually looks). As you can see, the top one is darker and sharper.

Screen Shot 2017-05-26 at 5.20.51 PM.pngScreen Shot 2017-05-26 at 5.20.57 PM.png

Some stuff I've read:

1. The library module uses a different color spacing than the develop module and for them to look the same, I need to properly calibrate my screen. I don't have Spyder or any external products to calibrate the screen but I did attempt to do it through my MacBook Pro's settings. I've tried many different variations of this but have never been able to have the develop image look the same as the library/export. Beyond that, it doesn't seem to make sense that calibrating the screen would fix this since I'm looking at these images on the same screen, no? Even if the screen is improperly calibrated, both images would be viewed on the same screen, so how would that cause a disparity in how they look?

Also, is there a way to adequately calibrate my screen without having to buy a pricey product like Spyder?

2. The library module and export will apply noise reduction which changes the appearance of the image. This seems to be true and I tried reducing the noise reduction in the develop module, in hopes of making the library/export image look the same, but I didn't achieve the results I was looking for.

3. People have pointed out that the Library and Develop module do look identical when both are viewed at 1:1 ratio. This is true, but it seems to be a moot point. They may be identical at a a 1:1 ratio, but the export isn't meant to be viewed that way. I'm putting these images on the web, so yes, theoretically the export will look identical to the develop module's image when magnified to 1:1, but nobody will be viewing it at that level of magnification.

Basically, I just want my exported photo to look like what I've worked for in the develop module. Is this possible? How? I'm at a loss here.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Todd_Shaner | Adobe Community Professional

I suggest also checking the Detail panel settings. If the image was shot at a high ISO setting noise in the image can cause the difference you are seeing between the Develop and Library module as well as Export files. Adjust the Detail panel Sharpening to Amount 50 or less and apply Luminance and Color setting to reduce noise in the image visible at 1:1 Zoom view setting. This should make the images appear virtually identical. The Develop module uses a simpler algorithm for creating the Loupe preview to prevent adjustment slider lag. The Library module creates a Preview file, which is created using the Bicubic algorithm (same as the Export module), which provides much more accurate interpolation. BTW- The most accurate view in the Library module are the pyramid Zoom settings 1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc. rather than Fit of Fill. This is because a 2nd interpolation is applied to Fit and Fill previews, which may slightly soften the image detail. The 1:1 view is the most accurate, but of little value for most viewing purposes.

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May 26, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 27, 2017

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Try to reset your monitor profile: https://www.lightroomqueen.com/articles-page/how-do-i-change-my-monitor-profile-to-check-whether-its...

For serious photo work you need to buy a product like a Spyder or alike. Compare the price to any piece of your photo gear and I'm sure it will be among the cheapest.

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May 27, 2017 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 27, 2017

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I suggest also checking the Detail panel settings. If the image was shot at a high ISO setting noise in the image can cause the difference you are seeing between the Develop and Library module as well as Export files. Adjust the Detail panel Sharpening to Amount 50 or less and apply Luminance and Color setting to reduce noise in the image visible at 1:1 Zoom view setting. This should make the images appear virtually identical. The Develop module uses a simpler algorithm for creating the Loupe preview to prevent adjustment slider lag. The Library module creates a Preview file, which is created using the Bicubic algorithm (same as the Export module), which provides much more accurate interpolation. BTW- The most accurate view in the Library module are the pyramid Zoom settings 1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc. rather than Fit of Fill. This is because a 2nd interpolation is applied to Fit and Fill previews, which may slightly soften the image detail. The 1:1 view is the most accurate, but of little value for most viewing purposes.

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May 27, 2017 1
Community Beginner ,
May 27, 2017

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Thank you. Just to clarify when you say, "setting noise in the image" are you talking about how a high ISO causes noise in the image or is there an actual Lightroom control called "noise in the image"?

My sharpening was much higher than 50. If I were to reduce it to that, the image would be a lot blurrier. Is there an alternative?

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May 27, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 27, 2017

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danielg50178951  wrote

Thank you. Just to clarify when you say, "setting noise in the image" are you talking about how a high ISO causes noise in the image or is there an actual Lightroom control called "noise in the image"?

I'm talking about high ISO settings causing visible noise in the image file when viewed at 1:1 Zoom view.

danielg50178951  wrote

My sharpening was much higher than 50. If I were to reduce it to that, the image would be a lot blurrier. Is there an alternative?

It's important to only adjust the Sharpening settings at 1:1 Zoom view? You cannot judge the image sharpness at reduced size, since that is controlled by the Export module 'Output Sharpening' setting when resizing the image. More here:

Re: Develop module & library module aren't matching

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May 27, 2017 1
New Here ,
Jun 12, 2017

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Im having the same problem since I switched from Canon to Fuji so Im thinking theres something in the way Adobe is reading the x-trans raw files.

In the library module, my low light pictures have really bad banding where there should be soft gradients. In Develop it looks fine. I haven made any adjustments at all.

Its infuriating to the point where I don't want to use Lightroom anymore. I downloaded the trial of Capture One and the pictures look great. Now Im thinking of just switching to Capture One. This is so disappointing because its only a couple of years since I made the switch from Aperture to Lightroom.

The original poster is dead right. Why on earth don't the exported photos look like the one in the develop module? Thats absurd. Will be interested to hear what camera the OP is using.

Im pretty mad cos I just bought into the Fuji system and I love it but now Lightroom is making me regret it.

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Jun 12, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2017

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Can you post one of the raw files to Dropbox? That's the quickest way to determine what's happening. Export to DNG file format and upload the DNG file, which will contain your Develop settings.

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Jun 13, 2017 0
New Here ,
Jun 13, 2017

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Thanks for your response. Sorry, If Im sounding rather angry above. I just spent 4k on camera equipment and Im leaving for vacation today so spotting this issue at the last minute fried my brain a bit. Now Ive explored a bit more and am feeling calmer.

Heres a link to the totally unprocessed dng: Dropbox - DSCF1413.dng

Admittedly it is subtle but there is banding in the gradient of the sky in the library module. As you switch from library to develop you can see the banding disappear. 

Now, Im far from an expert but it seems almost like a bit depth issue or something? And i guess this is a tough image because the gradient in the sky is so perfectly smooth and the dark blues make it hard to keep it that way.

Heres the bit where I calmed down - when I export to jpeg, if I set the quality slider to 100% the jpeg keeps the gradient and loses the banding.

So although its a little frustrating that library isn't showing me a perfect image I am now back to being a fairly happy Lightroom user.

Any thoughts on this issue?

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Jun 13, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2017

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The DNG file has no LR settings applied and I see no banding in the Develop or Library modules at any Zoom setting on my calibrated display. We need to see the DNG Export file with your settings applied to the ARW raw file that cause banding on your display. Also tell us what display model you are using and if it is calibrated with an i1 Display or Spyder device.

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Jun 13, 2017 0
New Here ,
Jun 13, 2017

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Correct, it has no settings applied. This was the .raf straight out of camera and it jumped right out at me on import. Then I simply exported this dng out of Lightroom. If I then re-import the dog back into Lightroom I see the same issue.

Im using a 2010 iMac. Its not calibrated but, and correct me if Im wrong, wouldn't that be irrelevant as the issue seems to be that the develop and library modules treat the process the image differently anyway?

Thats super interesting that you're not seeing any banding. Heres a .psd file with some cropped screen grabs.  Dropbox - developLibrary.psd

The bottom layer is from the develop module, and the top is from the library. As I switch the top layer on & off I can see the image change as banding comes and goes. Its subtle but its there.

Anyway, so long as the develop is fine and I can export jpegs at 100% which are also fine then Im good to go.

Thanks so much for looking into the issue. Im leaving on vacation now. Hopefully, I'll take some good photos!

-A

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Jun 13, 2017 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 13, 2017

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andrewg5381176  wrote

Im using a 2010 iMac. Its not calibrated but, and correct me if Im wrong, wouldn't that be irrelevant as the issue seems to be that the develop and library modules treat the process the image differently anyway?

It shouldn't matter if the display profile assigned to it is fully compatible with LR. I'm guessing it's not or your display's settings are causing the issue. When you use a hardware calibration device it helps you to properly adjust the display controls and settings and then it creates a monitor profile. LR works best with a matrix type, ICC Version 2 profile. You can determine if this is the issue by replacing the currently assigned profile with the sRGB profile as outlined below. You'll need to close and reopen LR to load the sRGB profile and see if the Library and Develop module previews are now the same.

https://www.lightroomqueen.com/articles-page/how-do-i-change-my-monitor-profile-to-check-whether-its...

andrewg5381176  wrote

Thats super interesting that you're not seeing any banding. Heres a .psd file with some cropped screen grabs.  Dropbox - developLibrary.psd

The bottom layer is from the develop module, and the top is from the library. As I switch the top layer on & off I can see the image change as banding comes and goes. Its subtle but its there.

I can see a very subtle banding in the Library image layer.  The Develop and Library modules use the monitor profile differently, so it still could be due to a corrupt or incompatible monitor profile. I suggest trying the above suggested check and see if that resolves the issue.

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Jun 13, 2017 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2018

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Thinking I may be purchasing Capture One. I've heard that LR struggles with Fuji but it really hasn't been an issue until now. I'll keep the Fuji and dump LR before I get rid of my Fuji gear.

My exported images look completely different than the Library and Develop modules. I'm viewing in 1/4 and both Library and Develop views match. The color space is sRGB, exactly the same as the export, yet the export is a much cooler temp and seems a little washed out. W. T. H... This is beyond ridiculous.

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Sep 18, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2018

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What application, specifically, are you viewing the exported file in? Does it support color management? If it doesn't, then there will be an expected difference. How big that difference is depends on the monitor you have.

However, display color management relies on an accurate monitor profile. Are you using a calibrator to make your profiles?

A defective or incorrect monitor profile will only affect color managed applications like Lightroom. Applications without color management do not use the profile anyway.

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Sep 18, 2018 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2018

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Viewing them in Preview.

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Sep 18, 2018 0
New Here ,
Jun 07, 2020

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Hi. I just came across this post and I am having the exact same issue. I just got a new laptop the MS surface book 3.very expensive computer and it screwed my whole workflow up. I downloaded lightroom cc and Photoshop (newest versions as I pay monthly). I have been doing some editing in lightroom and exporting. The colors from the develop model and library model are so different. And my exported photo is the same color as the library model which is not how I edited it. I want to post on social media. Everything I resesrch says I should export it srgb but I called Adobe and the guy said it should be exported in Adobe rgb (1998). I've tried both and neither give me the same color as when I am editing in develop. Ughhhhhh. It's frustrating.  Same thing with ps. I export and it turns a greenish tint. Help

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Jun 07, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 07, 2020

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Two things to try:

 

1) Go to Edit> Prefercences> Performance and set 'Use Graphics Processor' to Off. Do the Develop module and Library module now look the same? If not try 2 below.

2) Assign the sRGB profile to your display as outlined at the below link. Make sure to close and reopen LR after making the change.

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Jun 07, 2020 0
New Here ,
Jan 14, 2020

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I have tried all of the recomendations listed in a number of these posts. I can not find a solution to get my images to show correctly in the Develop module. Through my trials I have found that the deatil preview window in the develop module shows the image correctly. I still can not get the large image in develop preview correctly. I am runnin on a MacBook Pro with a BenQ, callibrated, display. I am currently running Lightroom Classic 9.1. The only place I see the "super" color is in the develop preview. Any insight woudl be appreaciated.

Screen Shot 2020-01-14 at 10.05.40 AM.png

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Jan 14, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 14, 2020

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2020

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"BTW- The most accurate view in the Library module are the pyramid Zoom settings 1:16, 1:8, 1:4, etc. rather than Fit of Fill. This is because a 2nd interpolation is applied to Fit and Fill previews, which may slightly soften the image detail. The 1:1 view is the most accurate, but of little value for most viewing purposes."

 

THIS answered and solved my viewing issue. Drove me crazy until I found THIS solution for viewing my results in a more "faithful" mannor; i.e interpolation during "Fit" and "Fill" in Library! Thank you so very much!

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Jul 27, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 28, 2020

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Adobe has made some changes to the Library previews that can cause artifacts and an over-sharpened appearance in the image at 1:3 and lower Zoom view. Please see the below problem report for more details. I included a download file and procedure at that post to test if your system is affected. Please add any any comments, 'Follow,' and 'Me To' vote at the below post. Thank you.

 

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/library-preview-zoom-interpolation-changed

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