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Author Topic: A look at Nik HDR Efex Pro 2  (Read 1730 times)
keith_cooper
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« on: December 18, 2012, 01:10:48 PM »
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Some time ago I had a good look at Nik HDR Efex and have made use of it for several large prints, particularly B&W night scenes with sharply lit parts of buildings.

I've just written up a review of some aspects of the newest version HDR Efex Pro 2, which as well as being faster and easier to find your way around, seems to have reigned in some of the more egregious (to me ;-) ) excesses of many HDR creation programs, with many of the default and preset settings looking decidedly more natural (my world lack halos around buildings ;-) )

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/plugins/hdr-efex-pro2.html

Hope it's of some interest, particularly for people who might share my preferences for images that don't wildly assault the eyes :-) :-)
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Peterretep
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« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2012, 04:33:48 PM »
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Good review Keith. Short question as I don't want to hijack your thread but how close does the image in the output screen match the delivered HDR? I'm asking because I'm having a hard time with the program not matching those two views since I bought it late September.

Thanks

Peter
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2012, 02:57:47 AM »
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I've not noticed this when using the plugin with CS5 (on a Mac), but now you mention it...

... a quick check suggests that the numbers are closer when I have prophoto as a PS working space and have it selected in ACR, than when all is set to sRGB. When doing my night time images for B&W I always tend to work in ProPhoto before B&W conversion

It's a small effect (within the bounds of seeing what I'm looking for ;-) ) but suggests that it may be colour management related. I've not got the chance to test this accurately for a bit, but have you tried looking at the effect you see with different combinations of image and and working space (that's if you're using PS - I don't have aperture or lightroom)
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Peterretep
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« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2012, 08:08:24 PM »
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Thanks for the reply Keith.

I always work in Prophoto RGB in PS. Just recently upgraded from CS5 to CS6 on a year old iMac. I've never tried the plugin with a different color space. I'll do that to see if it makes a difference. The way I try to work with it is to convert the raw files to tiffs using Canon DPP. Having the Tiffs open in PS I then go to the plugin. Not with too much luck though. I really don't understand what could be the problem with my system and the plugin. Nik says they are looking into it but no help yet in finding a cause or solution after a few months.

Peter
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keith_cooper
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« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2012, 04:11:03 AM »
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I came across a similar but more visible issue with the old version of DxO FilmPack, which was very obviously colour management related.

I'd also look at how your monitor profiles are created, since Photoshop and the plugin may not be handling the display in quite the same way. The fact that Nik have not fixed it suggests that it might be an uncommon issue and maybe difficult to consistently replicate?  They do bring out minor revisions/fixes quite often.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2012, 12:29:09 PM »
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I'd also look at how your monitor profiles are created, since Photoshop and the plugin may not be handling the display in quite the same way.

They should both be handing this correctly and identically. If not, someone's found a bug I suspect.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2013, 09:31:53 AM »
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If there's a difference between the previewed output and the final rendered result; and I seem to recall tis being an issue when I reviewed an earlier version of the software, then I'd suggest it's a difference between a non-rendered preview and the fully rendered image.  This is also a problem in Photomatix.
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Peterretep
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« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2013, 12:04:55 PM »
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I also have Photomatix Pro and have no problem with the final output matching the previewed one.

Nik has chosen to ignore me it seems, no return of my email from 1/13/13. I would think a respectable company would either help their customer with a problem they are having with their product or reimburse them for the cost of the product. Neither from Nik for me. The $89 isn't much at all to be out but lousy customer service like I've received really bothers me.

Peter
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