Tone Curves vs Tone Equalizer

Can you do everything with the Tone Curves that you can do with the Tone Equalizer?
And, if Tone Equalizer can do more, what is it?

Tone equaliser can preserve local contrast (in varying amounts depending on the “regularization” slider), so it can compress dynamic range effectively without making the picture look flat. It also works on unbounded data, whereas the tone curve clips at 1 (or at the selected white point).
Normally the tone curve is used to give the initial look of the image, and the tone equaliser to refine it (but of course this is just a hint, you can use the tools as you see fit)



Hello @agriggio
Thank you for the quick and clear answer.
And I assume that Dynamic Range Compression and Log Tone Mapping can also do something that you can’t do with the tone curves alone.

Hi Alberto, thank you for the clarification. A somewhat related questions: what are the differences between Tone Equalizer and Dynamic Range Compression? Regarding Shadows/Highlights that you removed - was this because this tool was fully duplicated by the others?

Yes, they all offer different ways of achieving similar goals. Dynamic range compression uses a global algorithm for tonemapping that essentially reduces the gradients (i.e. differences between bright and dark pixels) without introducing halos. It is very effective at avoiding artifacts but it’s very global and might be hard to target specific effects. The tone equaliser is typically easier to use, especially if you only want to reduce highlights and/or lift shadows a little bit.
Log tone mapping is yet another way of achieving similar results. In retrospect, having three tools doing a similar job might seem a bit redundant, but I think each of them has its use.


Indeed in a recent post, I used all 4 tone mapping tools to achive a specific goal.