It depends on what you consider "best". HDR in Lr produces a DNG file that is significantly reduced in disk size than the 32 bit file produced in Ps. However, I find that Ps can sometimes produce images with better ghost reduction and I also find the images sharper. I try the Lr HDR first, but if I find the results unsatisfactory I use Ps. I always tone map in Lr.
Wolf Eilers wrote:
I find that Ps can sometimes produce images with better ghost reduction and I also find the images sharper.
Deghosting will be different since LR offers three-levels (Low, Medium, High) and PS has only one setting (Remove Ghosts). Theoretically LR should do a better job since you can select only the amount of Deghost required, which you can see it in the overlay view.
They should be identical in sharpness if the same amount of Sharpening has been applied to both. It can be confusing as to what is applied pre and post HDR processing. LR Edit In> Merge To HDR Pro applies the Sharpening settings to the bracketed image files inside PS. If you apply additional Sharpening to the PS HDR2 TIFF in LR then it will appear sharper than using LR Photo Merge> HDR. This might help to clear up any confusion.
These are the settings applied to the bracketed image files prior to merge and then the settings assigned to the processed HDR file inside LR after merge.
LR CC 2015 & 6 Merge to HDR
Pre-HDR Processing to Bracketed Image Files: None applied. (linear DNG files are created and merged)
Post-HDR Processing: White Balance, Sharpening & Noise Reduction Settings, Lens Profile settings, Remove Chromatic Aberration setting, and Camera Calibration settings from the highlighted bracketed image file are assigned to the HDR DNG file inside LR.
LR Edit In> Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop
Pre-HDR Processing to Bracketed Image Files: White Balance, Sharpening, Lens Profile settings, Remove Chromatic Aberration setting, and Camera Calibration settings are applied.
Post-HDR Processing: Fixed Sharpening settings (25, 1.0, 25, 0) and ‘As Shot’ WB setting are assigned to the returned 32 bit HDR TIFF file inside LR.
Thanks a lot for the replies.
I don't know so much about HDR files.
Is there any loss of quality with 16 bit floating point files?
I think that 32 bit floating point files can accommodate more EV stops ... what is the difference between 16 and 32 bit floating point files with respect to EV stops which they can accommodate?
According to Eric Chan, Adobe Engineering this is not a limitation:
I've did comparison tests of LR HDR and PS HDR2 32 bit TIFFs and saw no visible artifacts or banding. They do look slightly different, but I wouldn't say one was better than the other. Try both and compare the results.
Thanks a lot for the link.
I just had a chance to go back and check LR CC 2015.3 Edit In> Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop with PS 2015.3. The behavior has changed slightly from what I posted in my reply #2 above.
LR CC/6 Edit In> Merge to HDR Pro in Photoshop CC 2015.3
Pre-HDR Processing to Bracketed Image Files: White Balance, Sharpening, Noise Reduction, Lens Profile settings, Remove Chromatic Aberration setting, and Camera Calibration settings are applied.
Post-HDR Processing: ‘As Shot’ WB setting are assigned to the returned 32 bit HDR TIFF file inside LR.
Noise Reduction is now being applied in LR to the bracketed image files sent to PS, and the returned 32 bit TIFF has no additional Sharpening applied in LR. This is important as I discovered that adding even a small amount of Color Noise Reduction in LR to the PS HDR2 32 bit TIFF lowers saturation of red colored objects. There should be no need to apply additional NR, so not a real issue.
I am also seeing a similar issue with the LR HDR DNG file using default Color NR 25 setting. It's more subtle, but could cause issues with images that have very saturated red areas. I found a Color NR setting of 2 (two) was sufficient to remove all color noise in the shadow areas and caused no reduction in red saturation. This may explain why some people have been getting "lackluster" results with PS HDR Pro and LR Merge to HDR.