A few Questions about TuFuse in PTA

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Joined: Sun Nov 26, 2006 11:53 am
Location: Maine

A few Questions about TuFuse in PTA

Post by WWG » Wed May 12, 2010 8:47 pm

1. I've been using PTA for several years now but I have not used the embedded TuFuse features very much until now. I've recently done a bunch of -2, 0, +2 EV single frame sets of outdoor scenes that technically did not require HDR, the 0 EV histogram is fully contained within the 0 - 255 limits. When I process these sets in PTA/TuFuse (with some additional post-processing) and compare the outputs to the best I can do in processing the 0 EV shot by itself I find that I like the TuFuse merged HDR image much better. The skies are more saturated and the entire scene seems more alive. I think they look more natural. Most of my tests have been shot in my yard and I can look at the scene to compare. I'm not a great pp expert but I am surprised how hard it is to get similar results with a single image.

Have other users noticed this or am I fooling myself and becoming an HDR addict. I wonder if I should be taking most sunny outdoor scenes as bracketed triples? Do others do this routinely?

2. A few months ago I reported that PTA 16 bit blended tiff outputs were not readable by Capture NX2. The solution recommended was to use GIMP to peel off the mask channel. I found that I could also use RawTherapee to read / then write the tiff and it was then readable in C-NX2. I have the same problem with the stack tiff output for HDRs from PTA. I have to first read/write through Rawtherapee. Everything else I have reads the PTA tiffs just fine. In PhotoPerfect the PTA tiffs bring up the mask dialog when loaded, indicating that it is sensing a mask channel in the TIFF. It would be nice to not need this extra step.

3. And lastly, speaking of extra steps... I downloaded the trial version of TuFuse Pro and have been using the dcraw converter with my Nikon NEFs. That's the same converter that RawTherapee uses and it is a good as any, including the Nikon converter in Capture NX2. I was wondering why it hasn't been made it optional in PTA also? That would save some pre-processing steps.

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Post by dsjtecserv » Wed May 12, 2010 9:32 pm

My experience with TuFuse is similar to yours. The additional bracketed images contain much more information about the highlights and shadows, even if those are nominally contained in the middle image. That's information you can work with to make the photo a more complete expression of the scene you want to represent in a picture. Before TuFuse came out I was frequently taking three bracketed shots and manually blending them using luminosity masks. That works, and I still use it to supplement the TuFuse output. But TuFuse makes the basic process of combining the image so much quicker and less laborious, and more controllable. It's now unusual for me to not routinely take three exposures, and I usually use them. That does create strain on storage, both in field and back home, and there's more work involved in finishing a picture, but I generally like results a lot better.


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