About generating HDR panoramas with RAW files and bracketing  

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on-situ
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About generating HDR panoramas with RAW files and bracketing

by on-situ » Mon Mar 31, 2014 4:46 pm

hello
I begin to work with this great software : amazing results for the moment !
But :) , for sure, i have a question
I try to generate HDR panorama using raw files and bracketing, with a nikon 800.
For each position, i have 3 raw files and i've also 3 jpg files; i generate 2 HDR panoramas : the first with the raw, the second with the jpg
i've the feeling that the two results are the same in term of dynamic... i believe that the dynamic will be more important with the raw files, because, there are many "expositions" you can use in one raw file. Tell me if i make a mistake, but that means that for one position, juste 3 exposures for 3 raw files in fact ?
Tell me if i'm not clear, or if i should precise.
Thanks in advance

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klausesser
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Re: About generating HDR panoramas with RAW files and bracke

by klausesser » Mon Mar 31, 2014 6:13 pm

on-situ wrote:hello
I begin to work with this great software : amazing results for the moment !
But :) , for sure, i have a question
I try to generate HDR panorama using raw files and bracketing, with a nikon 800.
For each position, i have 3 raw files and i've also 3 jpg files; i generate 2 HDR panoramas : the first with the raw, the second with the jpg
i've the feeling that the two results are the same in term of dynamic... i believe that the dynamic will be more important with the raw files, because, there are many "expositions" you can use in one raw file. Tell me if i make a mistake, but that means that for one position, juste 3 exposures for 3 raw files in fact ?
Tell me if i'm not clear, or if i should precise.
Thanks in advance



Hi - and welcome to the forum!

The D800/E doesen´t provide more than 1 EV-step when you shoot bracketed. That´s too few. You better shoud use at least 5 shots then to achieve what Canon does with 3 shots of 2 EV-steps in between.

In practise it´s no real advantage to shoot RAWs when you use bracketing- aside from some cases - where it anyway is preferable to shoot 7 or 9 brackets of 1 EV-step.

I solved the issue of 1EV-sstep by using a PromoteControl device which takes over the controlling of the camera via an USB cable - this way you can use bracketing with 2EV-steps and most of the time 3 brackets of 2EV is the optimal way.

When you shoot into s sunset or sunrise you might find that using 12 or 16 brackets of 1EV is preferable - that depends on the scene you find.
I suggest to use Photomatix for processing the brackets to HDR and to use tonemapping om them BEFORE importing the processed shots to APG.

The advantage: the adjustments in Photomatix are more sophisticated and provide better controllable results - and APG runs MUCH faster stitching ONE image per position instead or 3 or more images on layers per position.

I also suggest to use Lightroom for processing RAWs instead of straight importing them to a stitcher. Lightroom can process RAWs very good using the Photoshop RAW plugin.

best, Klaus

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on-situ
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Re: About generating HDR panoramas with RAW files and bracke

by on-situ » Tue Apr 01, 2014 9:18 am

thank you Klaus for your fast answer and your precious advices
if i good understand, APG is not able to interpret the different exposures in a RAW file...
it is not possible for me to re-take the pictures

tell me if i'm in the wrong way, but the best solution is to generate for exemple 3 or 4 JPG (with different exposures) with a RAW ? and after having 10 pictures for one position and use APG for getting an HDR with more dynamic ?

thanks again

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klausesser
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Re: About generating HDR panoramas with RAW files and bracke

by klausesser » Tue Apr 01, 2014 2:24 pm

on-situ wrote:thank you Klaus for your fast answer and your precious advices
if i good understand, APG is not able to interpret the different exposures in a RAW file...
it is not possible for me to re-take the pictures


No, no: APG definitely IS able to interprete the different exposures in a RAW file. But i prefer the way i described.

Doing it only in APG in my eyes is too much kind of try-and-error. But it surely works in the end.

on-situ wrote:tell me if i'm in the wrong way, but the best solution is to generate for exemple 3 or 4 JPG (with different exposures) with a RAW ? and after having 10 pictures for one position and use APG for getting an HDR with more dynamic ?


There is no "best" way globally. There are several ways basing on personal preferences.

I suggest to import the bracketed series into Photomatix, have it made to HDR and use tonemapping. The results you can save as TIFF/8bit or TIFF16bit or as JPGs whatever you like.

The advantage of doing it this way:
1) you have more refined settings for the tonemapping in Photomatix (or Oloneo or other dedicated HDR-processors.
2) you have ONE image per position in the end - which makes it much easier for APG to stitch.
3) you don´t need that much RAM and processor-/graphic speed for the stitch - because you don´t need
to process and stitch THAT much shots in APG.

So the whole process od stitching and editing is easier.

After all it´s kind of matter of taste which way to go. I tried them all very intensely - and decided the one i described works best for me.

Klaus

PS: when i use RAWs i prefer to use PhaseOne´s CaptureOne for processing the RAWs to TIFFs first before i import the TIFFs into Photomatix for making HDR/Tonemapping.

APG or PTGui also can take RAWs straight. But i realized that processing them first in a dedicated RAW processor is preferable.

The advantage is superb quality. Tge disadvantage is: you have some more steps to do.

Surely it´s more comfortable to use only ONE application for doing it all. But my goal is not to have it comfortable . . =D :cool:

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Nanard
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Re: About generating HDR panoramas with RAW files and bracke

by Nanard » Wed Apr 02, 2014 3:09 pm

klausesser wrote:I suggest to import the bracketed series into Photomatix, have it made to HDR and use tonemapping. The results you can save as TIFF/8bit or TIFF16bit or as JPGs whatever you like.

Klaus, what about :
import bracketed series into Photomatix, create HDR (no tonemapping) , stitch in APG , and finally tonemap in Photomatix .
Did you try that already ?
Bernard


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