Should we load RAW files directly into HDR software: Photomatix Pro, HDR Expose 2 or HDR Efex Pro 2 for creating HDR image or should we convert the RAW files into TIFF files before input into the software. The argument for RAW is that the software gets the most original complete information to start with thus should give us a HDR image that contains the most information. However, that may be too much of a good thing.
For us who use Capture NX2 to open our RAW file, we do not even see how the real original RAW file looks like. Nikon has various default setting in the program and what we have set up (Picture Control, D-Lighting, Auto Distortion, Auto Lateral Color Aberration, etc.) in the camera is also directly brought into the program. The RAW file open in Adobe's ACR then gives more of the realistic look of the RAW file.
The following HDR images were created from five shots of five different exposures: +2, +1, 0, -1, -2 taken with my D700 and 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6 ED VR lens at Mosaic Canyon of Death Valley.
May be I should use a better lens next time such as 24-70mm f/2.8 that may give me less chromatic aberration.