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Nik's HDR Efex Pro2

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Wasabi Bob, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 All-Pro

    Over the past few months I had the privilege of testing Nik’s new HDR Efex Pro2 software. Since at least 50% of my shooting is done using HDR, I’m always looking for new software to try. It’s been my experience that I tended to favor the software that I first used for doing specific post-processing. While I’ve tried about 6 different HDR packages (including HDR Efex Pro), I always seemed to use Photomatix more often.

    Don’t misunderstand me, Nik’s first attempt at HDR was very good, but it favored preconfigured processing methods, many producing looks that were too surreal for my taste. Attaining a more natural look, which I prefer, was definitely more difficult compared to Photomatix.

    HDR Efex Pro2 is a completely new approach to HDR that now uses the same style GUI and technology used in their other software products. What I especially like is how easy it is to do selective HDR processing on small portions of any photo using their U-Point technology and controls that are now more intuitively named. HDR Efex Pro2 also has seamless integration with their other programs, so there is virtually no learning curve. Photomatix seems to be overly sensitive to specific shades of blue that can easily dominate a photo. In comparison, HDR Efex Pro2 definitely produces an end result that is virtually free of color casting. The end result is also sharper than the previous version.

    I just returned from a trip to Maui and started going through almost 3000 photos I shot. I’ve processed a few using both HDR Efex Pro2 and Photomatix. For the first time I can say that I prefer the HDR Efex Pro 2 to Photomatix, which for me is not a trivial decision. Over the next few days I’ll post a few shots. If you’ve been tempted to try HDR, consider trying HDR Efex Pro 2

    Here’s the link to get more info on HDR Efex Pro2
    HDR Efex Pro 2
    • Like Like x 1
  2. allenrowand

    allenrowand Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 10, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Allen Rowand
    I bought the Ultimate bundle during the 4th of July sale, and downloaded the free upgrade (for anyone who purchased after June 9) yesterday. I reprocessed an image that I made with the old version with version 2 last night, and the new image is greatly improved. Far less artifacts, and I was able to get the image tweaked very quickly. Definitely worth the upgrade in my opinion. Here's the reprocessed version:


    Version 2 provided much more shadow detail in the trees, without having to add too much structure and sharpening. This was made with three images bracketed ±1 ev, handheld.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. slothead

    slothead Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 14, 2012
    Frederick, MD
    My HDR Efex Pro 2 will not open my ORFs. It resorts to Camera Raw (I have as part of Photoshop CS6), and camera raw says it can't open it (it suggests an update from the help menu, but the help menu shows no signs of any update option - I'm sure it's somewhere, just not visible in the Help menu).
  4. newbert

    newbert Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 22, 2012
    Glens Falls, NY
    I agree with your assessment of the results you get from HDR Efex 1. I own it and Photomatix and much prefer using Photomatix for natural-looking results. I tried the trial for HDR Efex Pro 2 for a short time. Unfortunately, like Version 1, it randomly crashes my installation of Photoshop CS6 so I quickly gave up on it.

    Running it as an external editor from Lightroom, though, works fine. Go figure. :confused: 

    Overall, I continue to prefer Photomatix.
  5. dwkdnvr

    dwkdnvr Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Aug 8, 2012
    I'm trying the demo of HDR Efex now (as an LR plugin), and am also running into problems with RAW files from my E-PM1. Regardless of how I select the files (single image, multi-image select or a single stack) HDR Efex will exit unexpectedly when saving the file. It appears that all processing is successful - I can select different pre-sets etc - it just never successfully closes and allows LR to re-import the processed file.
    When using a single JPG from an RX-100 this does not occur - everything works fine with the JPG.

    Is this a known problem? Anyone experienced anything similar?
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