The stellar luminosity function derived from the sample of stars within 5.2-20 pc is the nearby luminosity function. The luminosity function obtained from deep low spatial resolution surveys to distances of typically 100-200 pc is the photometric luminosity function. We obtain and tabulate a best estimate of the parent distribution from which Malmquist-corrected photometric luminosity functions are sampled. This is presently the most accurate and precise available estimate of the true distribution of stars with absolute magnitude for Mν < 16.5, as derived from low-resolution surveys. Using rigorous statistical analysis, we find that the hypothesis that the nearby and photometric luminosity functions estimate the same parent luminosity function can be discarded with 99% confidence or better for Mν > 13, Mbol > 10.