New HDR Panorama feature

I haven't been able to make this work... yet!

I produce lots of 3 image panoramas from images produces from 24mm TSE II lens (Three shifts of the lens which normally merge perfectly with "merge to panorama")

Many images I shoot would be vertical shifts of architectural interiors, and a bracketed HDR Panorama would be great.

I haven't been able to make this work with any existing images - I get this message... "Unable to detect HDR exposure bracket size. Merge to non-HDR panorama instead?"

All I can think of is that the method I use for bracketing isn't correct for this feature... I normally make 3 same exposures (shift up, middle, down) then change exposure and do same again.

In the Adobe instructional video <Merge to HDR Panorama in Adobe Camera Raw - YouTube> I can see that each image has been bracketed before moving on to the next shift... is this the secret?

BTW I reordered and re numbered images so that they appear to be sequentially bracketed - that didn't work either - perhaps a slight pixel mis-match is the problem???

I am about to do an interiors job today and will try bracketing as per video... but would like a comment from someone in Adobe who might know?

Peter

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New HDR Panorama feature

I haven't been able to make this work... yet!

I produce lots of 3 image panoramas from images produces from 24mm TSE II lens (Three shifts of the lens which normally merge perfectly with "merge to panorama")

Many images I shoot would be vertical shifts of architectural interiors, and a bracketed HDR Panorama would be great.

I haven't been able to make this work with any existing images - I get this message... "Unable to detect HDR exposure bracket size. Merge to non-HDR panorama instead?"

All I can think of is that the method I use for bracketing isn't correct for this feature... I normally make 3 same exposures (shift up, middle, down) then change exposure and do same again.

In the Adobe instructional video <Merge to HDR Panorama in Adobe Camera Raw - YouTube> I can see that each image has been bracketed before moving on to the next shift... is this the secret?

BTW I reordered and re numbered images so that they appear to be sequentially bracketed - that didn't work either - perhaps a slight pixel mis-match is the problem???

I am about to do an interiors job today and will try bracketing as per video... but would like a comment from someone in Adobe who might know?

Peter

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32 Replies

Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Correct Answer by gary_sc
Adobe Community Professional, Oct 18, 2018

Hi P Moloney & James,

When I say two stops apart, I mean from each shot to the next. That is -2, 0 +2. A total of four stops. Unfortunately while LR and ACR can create an HDR from lower stops, it does balk on HDR-Panos where the stops are less than 2 stops between shots.

Yeah, strange, but that's the way it works (and doesn't work).

Here's the deal: I've been doing HDR for about 12 years and I've made all of the mistakes that just about anyone can make. With that in mind, one of the things that I've always strived for was creating the view so that it looked like what your eye saw, not the limitations of the camera, nor the harsh over-saturated view that was so common some 12 years ago. I look at those and it makes my teeth hurt.

Here's an extra tip: if you are talking jpg images, you do need -2, 0, +2. But, if you are taking raw images, than all you really need is -2, +2. That's it.

and here's a bit of extra information: bunches of years ago I did a test: I took the following stops: -2, -1.5, -1, -.5, 0, +.5, +1, +1.5, +2 and I ran them together in three different ways:

-2, -1.5, -1, -.5, 0, +.5, +1, +1.5, +2

-2, -1, 0, +1, +2

-2, 0, +2

I had the EXACT same settings for each test. At the end there was no discernible difference between any of the settings. Why is this so? It's simple really, Think about a pano. When you shoot a pano with a 50mm lens (think of that 50mm lens as a jpg image), you may need three shots to cover the full range of the image including 1/4 overlap of the image. You could have 1/2 or even 3/4 overlap but it would make NO DIFFERENCE to the final panoramic image. If now you take a 25mm lens (think of this as a raw image), you will probably only need two images to capture the same panoramic image because it's capturing a wider amount of the view. This is just as a raw image captures a greater range of the image's view because most raw images are anywhere from 12-14 bit image as opposed to jpeg's 8 bit image limitation.

Let me know if this makes sense or not and if this helps you solve the problems you've had.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 17, 2018

Yes, it is MUCH MUCH better to take your three shot then move- repeat.

Also, be sure each shot is two stops between shots.

Let it us know if this works

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

It didn't for me. I am getting the same message. I was taking each shot with a 3 frame 2 stop bracket. If I just to a regular HDR with one bracketed image, no problem, but as soon as I add a second bracketed image, it's a no go. Too bad, I was looking forward to trying this new feature.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 17, 2018

Hi James,

just out out of curiosity, what is your process?

You state that you take three shots for each image at two stops each but when you do your panorama actions, how much overlap do you maintain? I try for about 1/3 - 1/4 of each image overlaps the previous image. Also, if you‘re doing a beach area over looking water it’s almost impossible for any application to stitch things together when there’s nothing to link the images together.

Dies this help?

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary,

Did a job (before your post) and bracketed then shifted though only in 2/3 stop increments - and it didn't work!

Tomorrow I'll try 1 & 2 stop but I think thats far too much for what I need!Screen Shot 2018-10-17 at 15.07.42.png

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary. Today was the first time I’ve tried this Pano HDR function, just so you know. I have however shot lots of pano’s and HDR prior. I just set my camera into bracketing mode, s shots and 2 stops. I was hand holding, and the subject was at least 100 yards away, so I overlapped a lot. Hard to be precise without a tripod. The thing is, that what I got from the error message wasn’t that there wasn’t enough info to stitch, but that the program couldn’t figure out the bracketing stops. I tried it again, using the same image sequence, but this time just the properly exposed shots and the 2 under shots, just leaving out the 2 over shots and it worked fine. Go figure. I have no doubt it will eventually work out. Thanks for the response

Jim

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

So... another job today!

Today I bracketed in stops (-1 0 +1) That's two stops between lightest & darkest!

Didn't work....    "Error unable to merge selected images"

Tried with various number of brackets... Didn't work

And.. Just in case there is any doubt about the merging side of things there is a screen shot of a fully merged but not bracketed shot!

Come on Adobe please explain how this should work - and why it doesn't for me?Screen Shot 2018-10-18 at 14.20.50.pngScreen Shot 2018-10-18 at 14.17.32.pngScreen Shot 2018-10-18 at 14.19.04.png

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Correct Answer by gary_sc
Adobe Community Professional, Oct 18, 2018

Hi P Moloney & James,

When I say two stops apart, I mean from each shot to the next. That is -2, 0 +2. A total of four stops. Unfortunately while LR and ACR can create an HDR from lower stops, it does balk on HDR-Panos where the stops are less than 2 stops between shots.

Yeah, strange, but that's the way it works (and doesn't work).

Here's the deal: I've been doing HDR for about 12 years and I've made all of the mistakes that just about anyone can make. With that in mind, one of the things that I've always strived for was creating the view so that it looked like what your eye saw, not the limitations of the camera, nor the harsh over-saturated view that was so common some 12 years ago. I look at those and it makes my teeth hurt.

Here's an extra tip: if you are talking jpg images, you do need -2, 0, +2. But, if you are taking raw images, than all you really need is -2, +2. That's it.

and here's a bit of extra information: bunches of years ago I did a test: I took the following stops: -2, -1.5, -1, -.5, 0, +.5, +1, +1.5, +2 and I ran them together in three different ways:

-2, -1.5, -1, -.5, 0, +.5, +1, +1.5, +2

-2, -1, 0, +1, +2

-2, 0, +2

I had the EXACT same settings for each test. At the end there was no discernible difference between any of the settings. Why is this so? It's simple really, Think about a pano. When you shoot a pano with a 50mm lens (think of that 50mm lens as a jpg image), you may need three shots to cover the full range of the image including 1/4 overlap of the image. You could have 1/2 or even 3/4 overlap but it would make NO DIFFERENCE to the final panoramic image. If now you take a 25mm lens (think of this as a raw image), you will probably only need two images to capture the same panoramic image because it's capturing a wider amount of the view. This is just as a raw image captures a greater range of the image's view because most raw images are anywhere from 12-14 bit image as opposed to jpeg's 8 bit image limitation.

Let me know if this makes sense or not and if this helps you solve the problems you've had.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary,

Thanks for this - a great deal of information here. I will indeed try the +2 0 -2 option tomorrow along with a trial of +2 -2 and I'll report back.

I note that none of the information you have supplied seems to be available anywhere else.

Until tomorrow!

Peter

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 18, 2018

Hi P Moloney,

Thanks!

If this does all work for you I'll probably write an extended version of this information for a blog for Adobe. It's out there but it would be a lot easier for me if I was just able to point people to it rather than having to write it all out over and over.

Although this article has NOTHING to do with your issue, if you click on the "Follow" link I believe you'll be notified when the blog gets posted (please give me a week or two, I'm pretty busy right now). Also, if you click on the Helpful star, I'll be able to find this thread more easily and can announce it here for you.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary,

Did a job today which should have been perfect for HDR Panorama and essentially didn't work ( I have lots of images)

From the screen grabs you will see how close I got... first of all it only seems to work if the brackets are all matching exposures (not the case with regular raw panorama)

However while I got the correct dialog box HDR Panorama ignored 1 of the 3 stitches while Panorama stitched all 3 perfectly! See samples attached. Head Wreck - and honestly I doubt this is worth the effort!

Screen Shot 2018-10-19 at 17.19.58.pngLo-Res_6701-1684.jpgScreen Shot 2018-10-19 at 17.20.49.png

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 19, 2018

Gosh, I'm not sure what's taking place.

To be sure I understand, in the top and middle image above you separately created the HDR images and then you processed them as a panorama. In the bottom image you tried to do both at the same time.

As a curiosity test I took some images that I did some 3 years ago when one could ONLY assemble for HDR then process the Panorama and did them again by running both processes at once and got the following.

hdr-pano_sample.jpg

This is a combination of seven different shots, or 14 images (in pairs of -2 & +2). Took some time but it got the image just fine.

So I guess my next question is what kind of camera (and I'm assuming you are shooting raw). Are you converting your raw images into DNGs? (FWIW, I do and I'm just trying to find areas of difference.)

Thanks for your patience

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary,

Thank you for taking time with this too!

My three images were ...

First the screen shot is of simply 3 raw CR2 images (not bracketed) stitched as a panorama and output as (preview) of .dng

Second is the resulting adjusted .dng processed as TIFF and resized as 1200px JPEG (lo-res version of my supplied to client image)

Third image is what happened when I attempted to stitch 6 images (two brackets of each image 1/40th & 1/320th sec.) and the dialog shows that 2 (frames) have been stitched but for some reason two "couldn't be" ("2 of 6 images be merged")

During this shoot - many images were successfully merged to HDR OR Panorama but not HDR Panorama - all others (bracketed) got the "Unable to detect HDR exposure bracket size. Merge to non-HDR panorama instead?" message!

Peter

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 19, 2018

Hi Peter,

Was mulling on this today, did some thinking (yeah dangerous).

You are using CR2 images, you've a Canon. I used to have a Canon 30D now I have the 7Dm2. The one thing I do when I ingest the images into my computer (via a card reader) is to convert them into DNG but I seriously doubt that that's an issue.

When one is using the Bracketing feature in Canon cameras, you can typically take three shots and they can be anywhere from 1/3 to two stops apart. Setting the shutter speed to high, one can point the camera, press the shutter and likity-split you have your three bracketed shots. [The 7Dm2 can be set to take 2, 3, 5, or 7 bracketed shots and they can be split from 1/3 to 3 or 4 stops apart.]

But my question here is how do you take the photos: manually? Using the camera's bracketing capabilities? How?

Thanks

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary,

I'm a totally manual shooter (Started off using 4x5)....

So I shoot manually on the Canon 5DsR, my shutter speed dial is set to 1/3 stops (Ektachrome is hard to shake off) and yesterdays exposures were 6 clicks apart = 2 stops.

If I figure how to set auto bracket I will try that, but for my normal work (day to day and non HDR) I would normally only shoot -2/3 0 +2/3 aiming to (just) expose to the right!

For me anything to do with HDR is just an easy means to avoiding to have to separately expose for windows for example -  and panoramas are what can be (very) easily done with a 24mm shift lens.

Peter

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Gary UPDATE!

Got it to work with 3 CR2 images!

Figured out AEB and set ± 2.3 stops

This is a feature I will use every now & then but it would save a huge amount of work in the right circumstances.

Would like to see algorithm refined to work on less of a bracket... perhaps next version!

I'll post further when I use it for real on a paying job!

Thanks again

Peter

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 19, 2018

It's odd what going on here. I've had some issue with the feature, but it was more due to the number of different views. It stitched a normal pano with the large number, but not with the HDR combined. Gary thinks I had too much overlap, which might have been the case. Will have to try more, but the feature does seem very finicky right now. Hopefully it can be improved.

Just out of curiosity, do you have another camera that you could try it on? just wondering if it might be something with that particular Canon's metadata.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 19, 2018

Are you using a tripod head to allow for

What is the No Parallex Point?

What is the No Parallex Point? - YouTube

I use a Nodal Ninja Head holding camera in a vertical position using this feature. These images have to many close and far away points for each image to line up. Whats video to understand.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

I have the same issue in Lightroom cc classic trying to Photo Merge to create an HDR panorama.

I have 12 canon raw images taken with a 30D. I used AEB to take 4 sets of 3 images with 2 stops between each image. I was in Aperture priority mode - so ISO 100 and aperture f8 remain constant - and the only variable was shutter speed. I have named the files 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2 etc where x.1 is the darkest image, x.2 is the normal image and x.3 is the lightest image for each set.

I cannot create an HDR panorama with all 4 sets.

I can create an HDR panorama with the first 3 sets.

I can also create an HDR panorama with sets 3 and 4 ! (and sets 2 & 3 but NOT 2, 3 & 4)

I have checked the shutter speeds of each image within each set and they are definitely 2 stops apart.

However, because aperture  priority was used the shutter speeds used for each set varies. For the darkest images the shutter speeds the camera selected were

1.1 1/1000th

2.1 1/1600th

3.1 1/1000th

4.1 1/800th

So I would take a (wild) guess that Adobe are not only checking the stops between images in a set, they are also checking the stops between sets, with some degree of acceptance, which will allow the sets 1, 2 and 3 to be merged and sets 3 & 4 to be merged, but will not allow selections which include sets 2 & 4 because 1/1600 to 1/800 is deemed to great a spread ?

On the other hand I could be talking a load of nonsense 🙂

Would be interested if any body else using Aperture priority (or I guess Shutter priority) has had the same issue.

Would be even more interesting if anybody shooting with manual mode (so all image sets will see the same set of shutter speeds) has been unable to create an HDR Panorama using this photo merge feature.

Thanks

DaveM

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Dave,

I'm just working on a job I shot earlier today...

Two of the images are HDR Panoramas, I shot these using AEB on manual with a 5DsR

3 exposure only -2 0 +2 (this seems to be the only way I can make this work - but it does work)

As it happens the exposures were 0.8sec 1/5 and 1/20

I really don't know how ACR knows what exposure is used other than metadata / exif, but unless you have a two stop gap it won't work!

Thats as much as I know - thanks to gary_sc!!!

Peter

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Peter

So how many sets of 3 exposures are in each panorama ? And to be clear do all sets in each panorama have the same shutter speeds of 0.8 1/5 and 1/20th - with constant aperture and ISO across all shots ? If so, that kind of agrees with my thoughts for it to work.

I guess this can be achieved if light is constant across a panorama - ie room with no windows just constant artificial lighting (or not a problem for windows to be blown out) or a landscape with the sun directly behind you (or a very cloudy day) ?

I had assumed that Adobe must be using metadata/exif as its the only(?) source of info, unless they are doing some subjective analysis of each individual image to work out the overall brightness/darkness and back engineering the relative exposure between shots in a set - which just seems far too complicated given metadata/exif is available 🙂 

I will try and do a bit more testing tomorrow to see if I can prove/disprove what does/doesn't work - will let you know if i can get less than 2 stops to work on the 30D (old technology!).

Thanks

DaveM

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Dave,

I should have explained better, have a look back at some of my earlier posts and you will see exactly what I do...

I shoot 3 sets of 3 bracketed exposures - the only "odd" thing is that I always shoot with a shift lens, in the attached example shown from today it's up, middle & down (BTW not all of the 9 exposures are shown on left) This seems to work and anything less than 2 stops doesn't

I feel it must be exif data, and that's a change because previously I would often shoot 0 ± 0.3 ±0.6 to merge unequal exposures to panorama and this mostly worked!

HDR Panorama 2018-10-24.png

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Peter

Well having done a lot of test shots today, all I can say is that whatever the problem is, its mental 🙂

As a headline - with the 30D I can merge HDR Panorama with shots taken down to +/- 1 AEB with no issues, but below that it gets problematic.

If anybody out there is interested -

Canon 30D in manual mode, with manual focus on a 24-105 L set at 24mm and stabiliser off, ISO set at 100 for all shots, f4 set for all shots. 3 shots (normal, dark, light) taken for each set using AEB and 3 sets used to merge (9 shots in total for each HDR Panorama) - using Bridge  to take each group of 9 shots into ACR from where select merge to HDR Panorama. All shots RAW and yes I have tried converting some to DNG - it makes no difference.

For AEB set to plus +/- 2, +/- 1.6, +/- 1.3 and +/- 1 there is no problem with the merge.

However for AEB set to +/- 0.6 and +/- 0.3 trying to merge the 9 shots results in ACR throwing out the "Unable to detect HDR exposure bracket size...." message. This is despite each set of 3 images having exactly the same shutter speeds - normal shot 1/80th, dark shot 1/100th, light shot 1/60th for +/- 0.3 and normal shot 1/80th, dark shot 1/125th, light shot 1/50th for +/- 0.6.

What is even more strange is that for AEB +/- 0.3 and AEB +/- 0.6 the merge to HDR Panorama is happy to merge just set 1 & 2, its happy to merge set 2 & 3, its even happy with set 1 & 3 ! - but you can't merge all 3 sets. Very annoying.....

So given the above (plus the fact that googling around I can find no documented restriction) that there is no minimum AEB in practice - with just two sets it will merge to HDR Panorama with AEB +/- 0.3. Its when the number of sets is more than 2 that ACR starts to exhibit strange behaviour, particularly if the AEB is quite low ?

I also did some sets where the AEB between shots in a set is constant at +/- 2, but varied the exposure of each set so that for instance the normal shot is 1/100th for the first set, 1/50th for the second set and 1/25th for the third set - so a 1 stop change between sets. ACR accepted them for merge to HDR Panorama with no issue - although the change was always in the same direction. Will try some more tests tomorrow fluctuating the change between sets more randomly - which more closely mirrors my 4 set pano mentioned in my original post.

Don't know if the ACPs (Gary and Chuck) are still looking at this - some words of wisdom are needed (perhaps from the ACR developers?)

Cheers

DaveM

P.S. I have also found out after standing outside in the cold to take a lot of shots, that for the purposes of testing the bracketing detection you can just take 3 sets of 3 shots of a blank wall indoors (don't even both to move the camera) with AEB set and it will produce exactly the same outcomes when trying to merge to HDR Panorama. Passes "HDR exposure detection" test at +/- 1 and above, but stinks with AEB +/- 0.3 and 0.6. Obviously the process chokes further down the line because it can't find any points to line the shots up, but hey ho, it beats standing around in the cold 🙂

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 25, 2018

HI Dave,

Yes I have been watching this thread but I've been in the middle of several projects that are sucking the life out of me. So give me a bit longer and I can get back to this thread.

But one quick question: you state: "For AEB set to plus +/- 2, +/- 1.6, +/- 1.3 and +/- 1 there is no problem with the merge"

I'm not all that sure I understand why you are dealing with 1.6 or 1.3 at all. In general, if you are using 3 shots, all you need are -2, 0, and +2. For ACR all you need is -2 & +2. However, it can be good to keep all three if you need to move over to other software products (such as Photomatix) that do need all three. There are times when I've been in dark churches and I need 4 shots but with the 7Dm2 and the AEB I can take 2, 3, 5, or 7 shots. So I take 5 (or 7) and just toss the images that are too bright or too dark (depending on the scene). It's much faster and easier to do that than switch to Manual mode.

FWIW, my previous camera was the 30D so I know it VERY well. Several years ago I moved up to the 7Dm2. (Not a subtle change, that was a major change.)

Sorry, gotta go.

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Hi Gary

Re 1.6 and 1.3 etc

I used every AEB setting I could on the 30D for completeness of testing - particularly as Peter could only get it to work with an AEB greater than +/- 2. I just wanted to see if I had issues at any point below +/- 2. Which I did...at below +/- 1

Out in the real world I virtually always use AEB +/- 2 to get as much range as I can.

To perhaps be clearer on what I did - Set camera to manual, manual focus, ISO 100 and F4. Mounted on tripod on a ball head

First test -

Step 1. Set AEB to +/- 2

Step 2. Take first set of three images

Step 3. Move camera to the right leaving overlap with previous images

Step 4. Take second set of three images

Step 5. Move camera to the right leaving overlap with previous images

Step 6. Take third set of three images

Step 7. Move 9 shots to mac, open in bridge, select all 9 images and "Open in Camera Raw", select all 9 images and "Merge to HDR Panorama"

Second test -

Step 1. Set AEB to +/- 1.6

repeat steps 2 to 7

and so on down to AEB +/- 0.3

Hope that makes more sense ?

Very interested in your comment that ACR only needs the +/- shots and can manage without the "0" shot....let me go try.

Well, Well, Well - thats put the proverbial cat amongst the pigeons.  Need to do more testing but...

Excluding the "0" image from the selection to merge to HDR Panorama seems to allow ACR to pass the bracket size test and progress to merging. Not only for the +/- 0.3 set of images I took yesterday, but also for the original problem HDR pano mentioned in my original post of 24th October.

Not sure that makes any more sense of the logic used to determine the bracket size though - still think theres a bug in there somewhere.

I have never seen anybody create an HDR without the "0" shot, using AEB its just natural to use all three images ? In googling around on this problem I watched a number of "youtubes" on the new feature and they all used all 3 images - including Julieanne Kost 🙂

Doesn't excluding the "0" shot have an impact on the final HDR - its missing a lot of the "middle" information ? Need to have a play.

Hmmmm...but good shout that man!

DaveM

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Re: New HDR Panorama feature

Adobe Community Professional, Oct 26, 2018

Hi Dave,

Real quick because I gotta run but you said:

"Very interested in your comment that ACR only needs the +/- shots and can manage without the "0" shot....let me go try."

and:

"I have never seen anybody create an HDR without the "0" shot, using AEB its just natural to use all three images ? In googling around on this problem I watched a number of "youtubes" on the new feature and they all used all 3 images - including Julieanne Kost 🙂

Doesn't excluding the "0" shot have an impact on the final HDR - its missing a lot of the "middle" information ? Need to have a play."

If you read back you'll see I compare the light range is similar to taking a panorama with different lenses. It all has to do with the amount of data you are collecting. If you can collect more data per shot, you need fewer shots.

For a panorama, you need overlap but that also depends on the lens you are using. If you are using a 70mm lens you will need more shots than if you are using a 28mm lens to get the same spread.

Now with HDR, rather than the width of the shots, we're dealing with the full range of light within each shot. So a raw image simply has a lot more data than a jpg.

IF you are dealing with an 8 bit image, you need more shots than if you are dealing with a 12 bit image.

Ten years ago there were no raw cameras in most amateur (or even professional) hands, although some cameras did provide tif images.

Thus, you do need all three (-2, 0, +2) if you are shooting jpg but you only "need" two (-2, +2) if you are shooting raw. [Again, there are situations where they dynamic range of the scene requires more shots so just keep that in the back of your mind]

I just about always shoot all three (-2, 0, +2) because if I do not like the results from ACR or LR, OR if there is a ghosting object in the shot, I can then go over to Photomatix which does much better at deghosting and also has more tools to play around with to fine-tune the image. But for fast and efficient HDR, ACR and LR does a great job. Also FWIW, you can always try all three within ACR or LR and then also try just two and see if either has a look that you like better. Remember, it's all about what YOU like to see in your images.

But again, shooting less than two stops apart (e.g., 1.6, 1, 0.3, whatever) is a waste of time and hard drive storage.

Oh, one last comment: if you shoot 2, 3, or 20 proto-HDR images, the final size of the HDR image will essentially be the same.

HTH

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