Blurry raw images

I am using RawTherapee 5.8 on a Windows 10 machine. I recently took a number of photos for a project in NEF (Nikon raw) format. When I started reviewing them in RT, I was getting concerned as they appeared blurry. After finding them all like that, I opened one of them just using the Windows default Photos program and was relieved to find that the image had the expected sharpness. Same for the rest of the images and they opened sharp in other programs as well. The issue is not present when opening JPEG images in RT.

There was a recent thread on this topic:
RAW preview in Editor window is blurry

but I’m not sure I understand the discussion there for one simple reason - I have been using RT fairly extensively with NEF images and have not previously encountered this issue so a “that’s just the way it is with RT” type of explanation would not seem to apply. A major criterion when selecting images in the browser is their sharpness and that’s hard to do when they all appear blurry.

I don’t recall changing any RT preferences but if I accidently did that to cause this change in the program, which preference would it be? In another thread I came across a suggestion to check the Pseudo-HDPI mode in the Appearance preference but that made no difference.

Thank you.

It’s not all that clear to me where you see these blurred images:

  • Are you talking about being in the file browser and looking at the thumbnails and if so: Just the thumbnail view or screen sized (via the f shortcut key) and/or full sized (shft-f shortcut) as well?

  • Or is this blurriness (also?) visible when opening a RAW in edit mode, be it scaled down to screen size or full sized?

  • The filmstrip?

You mention opening one in the Windows default Photos program: Does that program handle RAWs or does it show the embedded jpeg?

Maybe you are willing to share one of the RAWs from that photo project so we can have a look?

EDIT: Just thought about this one: Have you changed the demosaicing method by any chance (prefs->performance->preview demosaic method). Default is: As in PP3

This is my thought as well. The embedded JPEG is usually sharpened, so it’s an unfair comparison to the editor window of RawTherapee.
@pixelman As you can read in the thread you linked, there is very little we can do to get a ‘better’ preview from within RawTherapee, unless we increase preview processing time to add an arbitrary amount of sharpening.

It’s when opening a raw image in edit mode, scaled to “fit whole image in screen.” This translates to viewing the image at about 20%. Such a reduction usually makes slightly blurry images look sharper but that’s not the case here.

I don’t know what Windows’ Photos program does. But Affinity Photo matches what it shows, i.e. sharper than RT.

I can’t share photos from that project as it involves portraits of people. I’ll try to make up a new image to illustrate the issue.

No, the demosaic method is still at default.


If you’ve read and understood the thread you already linked to, it should be clear that this is inherent to the way the preview is scaled and rendered. This is not handled by RawTherapee. Alternative means through GTK are not available. Like I said, the only alternative is to resort to applying an arbitrary amount of sharpening to the preview by default.


With the added info given in your last reply it isn’t needed to shoot and upload a RAW file. What you are experiencing is what is described in the thread you linked to and what Roel confirms.