The HDR functions works very well with most bracketed images shot on tripod. (PS version is totally fake in comparison - why is it still there?)
Sadly, there are many cases, where manual blending, while very time consuming is far superior only because of some movement in the frame.
For example - movement of trees, cars, people, etc. Blending results in bad artefacts in those areas.
When I bracket I always have a good idea on the role and function of each frame - in the most simple example sky vs foreground.
There should be a way to use a rough "paintbrush" tool in HDR dialogue to mark out or lock out image areas for each specific frame. A tiny bit of noise is always preferable to unnatural ghosting.
Alternatively, you should produce a PSD file with all the masked layers, for further manual tweaking like you would when blending manually.
P.S. My manual blending routine involves editing the shortest exposure file correctly, copying the settings across and matching exposures. Then I simply work with layers in PS to select the best part of each one... The results are very seamless and no need of horrible and expensive grad plastic filters.
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