Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Photomatix - is it the best one ?  (Read 7368 times)
kirkt
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 165


« Reply #20 on: October 21, 2013, 11:12:15 AM »
ReplyReply

One thing to consider that is often overlooked (or at least not explicitly mentioned) in the discussion of the HDR workflow is whether or not you intend to actually need or want to work in full 32bit for post-production prior to rendering an LDR image.  

Oloneo and SNS do not output 32bit files (hopefully I am recalling this correctly - it's been a while since I trialed these applications), so your "HDR" workflow ends in those applications.  In contrast, Photomatix, Expose and PS merge and output 32bit files (in various HDR formats - Expose has always provided their own format (.BEF) in addition to TIFF, HDR and EXR).  Photomatix's batch merge utility is hands down the most flexible and robust.  I have used all of these applications and find that certain ones are more appropriate for a particular task than others.  I use Macs, but ran Oloneo and SNS in WindowsXP (via Parallels) and they worked fine, if you care to go that route.  I find that the Nik tonemapping is way too aggressive and halo prone, and the color shifts are difficult to control - their merge utility is weak.   photoshop's merge to hdr pro, as well as photomatix and expose's merge utilities all have their strengths and weaknesses in their control of ghosting and alignment - try the free trials to see which suits your approach best.

I would suggest Photomatix or Expose3 (in addition to of PS), with the idea that, as with most HDR workflows, you are not trying to produce a "final" image from these applications, but you are trying to get a good tonal range compression with control over white balance, local contrast and saturation with the intention of exporting a 16bit TIFF for further processing in Photoshop, etc.  Recall also that Expose has a Photoshop plug-in version called Float32, if that is more convenient access to their tonemapping than working outside of Photoshop to perform your tone mapping.

FDR Tools is another application that has very powerful HDR tools, but is a bit quirky to use.

It all depends on what you plan to do with the data once you have acquired it.  

Also - Photomatix is in the process of beta release for version 5 - you can download it and test it yourself!
http://www.hdrsoft.com/download/betas/pmp50.php

Here is a list of HDR applications (somewhat current):
http://www.hdrlabs.com/tools/links.html

have fun!

kirk
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 11:18:10 AM by kirkt » Logged
snoleoprd
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 394



WWW
« Reply #21 on: October 21, 2013, 11:13:29 AM »
ReplyReply

Having tried most of them over the years,  I like SNS-HDR pro and Photomatix. Overall I think SNS does a much better job making natural looking images. I found HDR-Efex to be a lot more difficult to get reasonable images and like Bart mentioned I had bigger problems with halos.

Most if not all of them offer trial versions.

Alan
Logged

Alan Smallbone
Orange County, CA
LKaven
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 788


« Reply #22 on: October 23, 2013, 08:17:19 PM »
ReplyReply

The new edition of the HDRI Handbook (2nd Ed) has excellent, comprehensive comparisons that illustrate the differences among several different packages.  Christian Bloch did a great job on this book, and it's well worth getting. 
Logged

nma
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 155


« Reply #23 on: October 23, 2013, 09:31:47 PM »
ReplyReply

The new edition of the HDRI Handbook (2nd Ed) has excellent, comprehensive comparisons that illustrate the differences among several different packages.  Christian Bloch did a great job on this book, and it's well worth getting. 

Highly recommended for the techniques. The software details and programs are often out of date, due to the speed of HDR developments.
This is a must read for the serious photographer, not just for HDR junkies.
Logged
Alan Klein
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 641



WWW
« Reply #24 on: November 10, 2013, 11:33:15 PM »
ReplyReply

I'm only interested in using two or three pictures exposed at different stops and then blending to take the place of a gradient ND filter.  Which would you recommend?
Logged
cortlander
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13


WWW
« Reply #25 on: November 11, 2013, 06:00:51 AM »
ReplyReply

The new edition of the HDRI Handbook (2nd Ed) has excellent, comprehensive comparisons that illustrate the differences among several different packages.  Christian Bloch did a great job on this book, and it's well worth getting. 

An excellent book!
Logged

BartvanderWolf
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 3468


« Reply #26 on: November 11, 2013, 10:53:55 AM »
ReplyReply

I'm only interested in using two or three pictures exposed at different stops and then blending to take the place of a gradient ND filter.  Which would you recommend?

Hi Alan,

SNS-HDR is still the one to be beaten by other offerings, i.e. if you want to get a natural looking image without halo artifacts and lots of possible adjustments (if needed).

Lightroom/ACR can come close if used on 32-bit TIFFs, but not without some remaining issues. Photomatix can produce acceptable output, its exposure fusion produses somewhat more natural looking images. HDR Expose 3 does a nice jub, but it produces halos e.g. most noticeable at the top of white clouds and it cannot handle Chromatic Aberration.

Cheers,
Bart
Logged
cocasana
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 65


« Reply #27 on: November 12, 2013, 05:26:14 AM »
ReplyReply

Nobody even considering 32 bit Photoshop's HDR?
Logged
IcelandAurora
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 54

Driven by a passion for Landscape Photography


WWW
« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2013, 04:46:40 AM »
ReplyReply

My preference for a stand alone tonemapping program is Photomatix, but why not try a different direction and experiment with some luminosity masks?  This is a method for controlling local contrast, developed by Tony Kuyper.  Definitely worth checking out.
Logged

Driven by a passion for landscape photography and Iceland
http://icelandaurora.com/tours/
cortlander
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 13


WWW
« Reply #29 on: November 23, 2013, 09:41:20 AM »
ReplyReply

I have used Photomatix, Photoshop's HDR and NIK's HDR Efex Pro-2. My strong preference is for HDR Efex Pro-2.

Photomatix released a new version - 5. The upgrade is free for those who purchased in the last couple of years. So I upgraded my old Photomatix 4 and have to say was very pleased with the results. So now it is back from HDR Efex Pro-2 to Photomatix 5, for me. I use Mac OS X 10.9
Logged

lanebarden
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 15


« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2013, 12:04:42 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi Francois,

If you prefer natural looking images without all the tone mapping, before you make your decision it would be a good idea to try the Enfuse plug-in for Lightroom. Some people (myself included, and I have Photomatix) who try this never need anything else, ever.

let us know if it works for you,

Lane
Logged
ErikKaffehr
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 7257


WWW
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2013, 12:53:23 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I seldom use need/use HDR, what I found works for me is using Photoshop "Merge to HDR" to create a HDR image but do all tone mapping in Lightroom.

Best regards
Erik


One thing to consider that is often overlooked (or at least not explicitly mentioned) in the discussion of the HDR workflow is whether or not you intend to actually need or want to work in full 32bit for post-production prior to rendering an LDR image.  

Oloneo and SNS do not output 32bit files (hopefully I am recalling this correctly - it's been a while since I trialed these applications), so your "HDR" workflow ends in those applications.  In contrast, Photomatix, Expose and PS merge and output 32bit files (in various HDR formats - Expose has always provided their own format (.BEF) in addition to TIFF, HDR and EXR).  Photomatix's batch merge utility is hands down the most flexible and robust.  I have used all of these applications and find that certain ones are more appropriate for a particular task than others.  I use Macs, but ran Oloneo and SNS in WindowsXP (via Parallels) and they worked fine, if you care to go that route.  I find that the Nik tonemapping is way too aggressive and halo prone, and the color shifts are difficult to control - their merge utility is weak.   photoshop's merge to hdr pro, as well as photomatix and expose's merge utilities all have their strengths and weaknesses in their control of ghosting and alignment - try the free trials to see which suits your approach best.

I would suggest Photomatix or Expose3 (in addition to of PS), with the idea that, as with most HDR workflows, you are not trying to produce a "final" image from these applications, but you are trying to get a good tonal range compression with control over white balance, local contrast and saturation with the intention of exporting a 16bit TIFF for further processing in Photoshop, etc.  Recall also that Expose has a Photoshop plug-in version called Float32, if that is more convenient access to their tonemapping than working outside of Photoshop to perform your tone mapping.

FDR Tools is another application that has very powerful HDR tools, but is a bit quirky to use.

It all depends on what you plan to do with the data once you have acquired it.  

Also - Photomatix is in the process of beta release for version 5 - you can download it and test it yourself!
http://www.hdrsoft.com/download/betas/pmp50.php

Here is a list of HDR applications (somewhat current):
http://www.hdrlabs.com/tools/links.html

have fun!

kirk
Logged

jrsforums
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 722


« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2013, 08:46:04 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi,

I seldom use need/use HDR, what I found works for me is using Photoshop "Merge to HDR" to create a HDR image but do all tone mapping in Lightroom.

Best regards
Erik



...and, if you do not have Photoshop, the Photomatix "Merge to 32 bit" produces similar results...
Logged

John
francois
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 6737


« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2013, 11:41:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Hi Francois,

If you prefer natural looking images without all the tone mapping, before you make your decision it would be a good idea to try the Enfuse plug-in for Lightroom. Some people (myself included, and I have Photomatix) who try this never need anything else, ever.

let us know if it works for you,

Lane

Thanks,
I'm already using Enfuse with Lightroom. I'd say that in general and I agree with you, Enfuse gives more natural results. Sometimes, other programs are simply better. It all depends on the subject. I'm trying the Lumariver HDR application and also got good results but I'd need  a lot more time with this software to really understand who it works and compare with other apps.
Logged

Francois
Pages: « 1 [2]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad