FYI: re Photomatix processing and Lightroom with RAFs

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by johnagon, Aug 27, 2013.

  1. johnagon

    johnagon New to FujiXspot

    Apr 21, 2013
    I'm shooting triplets for HDR with my X-E1 then processing both singles and batch in Photomatix. I noticed some results didn't seem consistent although the results are good. I found out if you use the export tool (plug-in) within Lightroom to process an HDR file the RAF will be processed by LR then run through Photomatix. If you open Photomatix and and pick "load bracketed photos" then drag or select the photos to go into this box, the RAF will be processed by dcdraw (open source) and then run through Photomatix. I did a few comparison tests and using the same Photomatix preset, the results were indeed different. Both looked good but had different curves even after going through same preset. I'll post a blog entry and reference it here if I can understand more about this.

    Last point for now; it appears that you can't batch process with Photomatix and use the LR export function. If true, then batch will always be using dcdraw. I'm currently awaiting a response from Photomatix to be sure this is true. In any case, both processing yields good results; I slightly prefer dcdraw result after limited testing. (Iridient Developer raw processor is built on dcdraw.)

    If this is also part of your workflow and have more to add please share.

  2. RFPhotog

    RFPhotog FujiXspot Rookie

    Aug 9, 2014
    Oshawa, ON Canada
    Robert Fisher
    What you're experiencing is true. You're better off - and HDRSoft, the makers of Photomatix, admit this, to do your RAW conversion outside of PM then feed the converted TIFFs into it.

    Doing the above, you can then use the batch function in PM. It's an extra step but the results are better.

    The problem with using PM/dcraw to do the RAW conversion is that you have no control over the process. If you have a WB issue, for example, you can't fix it before the images go into the HDR cooker and it becomes 'cooked in' and often exacerbated in the HDR process. Yes, PM has slider to adjust some ofnthese things but you're better off doing it before running the images through PM.