Open source software for blending images (different exposure or focus stacked)

Dear reader,
Normally i do not blend or stitch images. Recently I use the XT-2 of Fujifilm. This camera has several bracketing options. Now I want to learn and blend images to get the best exposed or completely focused images (i normally take images of landscapes and woodland).
Hugin has a steap learning curve. And Darktable (i use mainly) has only a function called HDR what I do not like (the results i mean). Recently I also started to use GIMP, mainly for printing the images whit gutenprint.
Is there some other more easy to use linux based open source software for blending images on exposure or focus. Or has somebody a good instruction for Hugin.
Many thanks up front.

The magnificent @patdavid has tried the focus stacking:

Frankly, the HDR function of darktable doesn’t work well for me. There are several plugins to try and deal with this, but really, you should try Luminance HDR or HDRMerge for HDR merging.

Hugin can also give you an HDR file, but if you want HDR, I find the other two programs listed to be better. Hugin will give you really good exposure blending, which blends your bracketed shots into one LDR tif file. I like the exposure blending, as it usually yields a fairly natural looking image.

Another option is to pull your bracketed shots into GIMP as layers, then use luminosity masks to manually blend your images together. Again, @patdavid has you covered:


I assume that because your “focus” (hah!) is landscape photography, you’ll bracket Exposure more often than Focus. Since you’re already familiar with darktable, you might find that the simple exposure fusion functionality of the exposure module may be quite convenient and may meet your needs.

Hi Heviiguy. The XT-2 has " focus braketing" too. Thats e real good instrument to get the whole end image in perfect focus. The only problem is like I wrote is to have a program that can blend the images with different focus settings (so not different exposure settings). I did used de exposure fusion but not to my liking.

Hi heviiguy,
I do use GND filters when i am in the field. So mostly the exposure of the images wil be OK :)) Sometimes in Darktable I do some corrections whit an extra filter.

Enfuse can do focus stacking, not just exposure fusion. See:

I’ll look into that. Thanks. Is their also a GUI for Enfuse?

See: Enfuse - Wiki. Check to see whether the app in question uses the latest enfuse.

Digikam has a helper module that does both exposure as well as focus stacking, using enfuse and align-image-stack as back-ends. It works very simple and allows you to set some options for the resulting LDR file before saving.


Thanks for the info. I will test this option. Greetings

I tried this but apparently it only wants to do exposure blending/hdr. There is no option to tell it to do focus stacking.

Isn’t focus stacking just done by setting the “High-Contrast Contribution” to 1.0 in the Enfuse settings?

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