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Nik HDR Efex Pro 2 and Pentax K-5 compatibility issues?

[UPDATE: Issue solved – Nik Software Support analyzed the file and fond the mistake. I had set Lightroom to do automatic tone adjustments on import which changed the exposure of the files. I thought HDR Efex would ignore that, but it turns out it doesn’t. Still think HDR Efex should have a dialog to adjust for theat…]

If you’re a user of Nik Software’s HDR Efex Pro plugin I’m sure you’ve seen that version 2 is out, and from everything I’ve seen so far the upgrade is a no-brainer – I literally couldn’t pull out my credit card fast enough ;)

Unfortunately I have only been able to use it with single images so far. I shot a series of 5 images, 2 stops apart, but the export from Lightroom into HDR Efex looked weird:

Basically, it misreads the EXIFs and swaps the second and third image of the series. For comparison, here’s the original files in Lightroom with the exposure info:

Image exposure is f2.8 with 1/750, 1/180, 1/45, 1/10 and 1/3, which should be just fine. Pentax K-5 with firmware 1.13, set up for 5 shots two stops apart. Any idea where the problem is?

I’ve contacted Nik support on Twitter, and they’ve been very responsive. I remember that the old version used to have a dialog where you could manually add the exposure steps if it xouldn’t read it properly, but it seems you can’t manually make that appear.

Here’s what version 2 says:

Unfortunately there’s no way to fix the ‘error’.

I’d be very happy for a solution, be it on Nik’s or Pentax’s side. Maybe someone reading this can help… I’m uploading the original DMG files on DropBox so you can check for yourself. I’ve also tried manually importing the DNGs into HDR Efex Pro 2, and doing the same from exported JPGs. Same result.

Here are the source files: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6fc353c2be7yhzu/K5_wrongHDR.zip

And, to leave on a happy note, here are two HDRs that I did this week (from single files), one artistic, one more realistic:

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  1. Hi – I’m with Nik Software and I know you’re in touch with our EU support team. Still, I thought it would be helpful to share some of our observations here. Product management and our engineering lead have looked at your files and the comments below represent their consensus.

    We think the issue is that the image exposures are adjusted somehow before they are merged in HDR Efex Pro 2. Based on the samples, it looks like you might have Lightroom doing some automatic processing or there are adjustments being made to the camera raw settings before sending it to our software. We were unable to reproduce any kind of problem specifically with Pentax K5 image files.

    The solution could be to reset the LR settings for all exposures to default, and start all over again. Or, you could create virtual copies in LR to preserve the tweaks you made. Another tip we recommend is to Synchronize the White Balance temps before sending them into HDR, as we have noticed that cameras auto shoot different white balances for exposures, and that this can effect an HDR image and the various tones throughout.

    If there continue to be issues after you’ve investigated this further, please continue to work with our EU support team since they are closest to the engineers in Lübeck.

    Thanks, Kevin