Lucis Pro Review

Here is a short little review for Lucis Pro 6.0 plugin for Photoshop. If you have seen my other reviews, you will know that I am short and sweet. I don’t drone on about things to make myself sounds smart about arcane features and that sort of nonsense.

In short:

  • A big thumbs up
  • Super easy to use and almost no learning curve
  • Create HDR-like stunning photos out of a single photo using only this software
  • A high price point keeps competitors out of the market (a good thing)

If you do want some more details, I did write a very thorough Lucis Pro Tutorial that shows exactly how the product works. Some of the information below is also in my tutorial, but I have just copied and pasted for consistency sake!

My simple review is that I like it, and I use it. I’m a super-busy dude and I don’t use software that I don’t like. People send me all kinds of stuff because this site gets so much traffic — I try most of it, and I don’t even bother writing a review if it is bad. If I like it, I write about it… And those of you that know me in real life and watch me work know that I use this stuff! 🙂

Before we get started, we should talk about price point. You should note that this a premium-priced product (but the nice lady Barbara that started the company will give you an extra 15% off if you use the Lucis Pro coupon code “STUCKINCUSTOMS” at the end of checkout). To me, the price point is a good thing. Lucis Pro 6.0 (you can click there to visit their site) really does some unique things, and because of its high price point, it keeps many people out of the market. If you want your images to pop more than your competitors, then it is certainly a nice way to go. Another way to look at it is to consider the cost of a good lens which could run you over $1,000, and it would probably not be as flexible as this software!

Now here is one thing that some people don’t like. When you order it, they ship you a dongle. What’s a dongle? It’s a small USB dongle that you have to have in your computer whenever you are running the plugin. This really bothers some people… but it does not bother me because I really only edit photos on one computer. If you use multiple computers, you can always get a second dongle. The company claims that this helps fight piracy, but this is a questionable claim. That point is neither here nor there, since the dongle doesn’t really bother me. Oh, also, you don’t need any special drivers… just stick it in a spare USB slot.

You may note there is another cheaper product called “LucisArt 3”. This product I recommend in my HDR Tutorial. Although, really, Lucis Pro 6.0 is a better product. I use it about 80% of the time and use LucisArt 3 about 20% of the time.

The program is extremely simple to use. There are only a few sliders. I do highly recommend that you learn to split channels, and this is described in the Lucis Pro Tutorial above.

Anyway, to make a short review shorter – a big thumbs up from yours truly! 🙂

Here are a few images that I made using the program!

The Edge of Iceland at Sunset (by Stuck in Customs)

This is an Avout (by Stuck in Customs)

The Warm Curios Inside (by Stuck in Customs)

The Gestalt of Coming and Going

I was able to hack the D3X into a flux capacitor to time travel to 1958

  • This program is amazing. I noticed at last look though, that she doesn’t ship outside of the USA for Lucis Pro. I would like to be able to use the program on 16bit tiff files and I think I read I would need the Pro version. I used the older version of the program for a little bit on my laptop that has vista and it was very cool to see. I really love the way it plays within portraits. Perhaps if I sweet talk her, she’ll be up for sending it to Canada?

    I am trying my hardest to make this more than just a hobby and become a career. I love the price point for this factor. I’m one of those people that debate and don’t know if its worth it because of the cost. [and the shipping thing]. If I took the leep, I’d have the ability to learn and adapt with it as well. It’s exciting software. I swear I was watching CSI the other night and ther was a quick flash to some scene and I told my girlfriend – that was totally LucisArt processed! she looked at me weird but I knew it! Maybe it wasn’t but it was exciting.

    You write up awesome reviews and are amazingly helpful.
    I love that you don’t try and keep thing from everyone and you don’t have that mentality of ‘if I tell people, they’ll do it too and I won’t be so unique.’ I love to share and try and help out others as well.


  • Thanks for the review. It has been a great help. Any idea if you could get the folks from Lucis Pro to send it to Singapore?

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  • A.Smith

    The link to the Lucis Pro 6.0 tutorial in this review does not seem to be correct.

    I did find it eventually at:

  • Wups! I will fix that up right now… sorry about that!

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  • Aubrey Williams

    Your work is stunning! I do agree with you that Lucis Pro 6 is amazing, The price is more than Photoshop and Photomatix combined and while it can save time, I don’t see where it’s worth paying hundreds of dollars. The USB thing scares me. What if I lose it or it breaks? That’s a terrible inconvenience for such an amazing product. If the vendor can remove the USB requirement, I would certainly consider purchasing it.

    If one has got the bucks to blow, I say get it!

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  • Sledgy

    If only I had 4gig of RAM on my laptop….. looks like im sticking to Lucis Art 3 and thinking very seriously about some computer upgrades

  • I’m very curious why you’d sometimes use LucisArt3, if Lucis Pro 6 is better, overall. What’s the advantage of 3?

  • sledgy

    Am I reading this right? 4GB RAM for that program?? Damn. I’d need a computer upgrade just to run it. My laptop maxes out at 2.5 gig

  • I currently used Lucis Art ED, its does a good job to produce outstanding HDR images. The new Lucis Pro 6 features and benefits are not convincing me to upgrade.
    The price and dongle usage is a major factor even with the small discount. I don’t see how a dongle can make a difference in software privacy. I do marvel on how it makes some images more appealing and artistic. But again, I do not see how the upgrade is any better.

  • dbltapp

    Software in general is overpriced (that’s why bill gates is the world’s richest person), but this outdoes even microsoft in the “gouge the user” arena.

  • Jeff Mandell

    I’m a little confused on the required memory issue. Photoshop presently allows approximately 3GB of Ram in Mac 10.6 (Snow Leopard). How can a plug-in require (or use) more than the memory allocated to the host application?
    Also, can anyone compare the results using Lucis to those of using HDR the harder way (multiple exposures, blended with Photomatrix, or whatever other software someone chooses)?

  • It is hard to tell if Lucis Pro 6 is worth its very high price. As a matter of principle, I avoid paying this much for software that doesn’t do me the courtesy of offering a demo or trial period.

  • Hi Trey

    As the person properly introducing HDR to me I am eternally grateful to you. I want to share some knowledge I recently acquired during a course in scientific image analysis and processing (which is what Lucis Pro was made for in the beginning I think). The algorithm that Lucis uses appears quite similar to that of localized equalization (if not identical). It so happens that another company that produce plugins for scientific image processing has made a similar plugin as part of their Fovea Pro 4 package. The package itself is quite expensive and a lot of the plugins have no relevance for photographers but the cool thing is that this exact plugin is available for free from their webpage (beating the Lucis pricetag with some lengths).

    The plugin only takes care of the detail slider part of Lucis but in that part it offers a lot of flexibility. You can change the amount of local contrast as well as which contrast levels to boost. Furthermore it is possible to reduce the amount of enhanced noise and blend with the original image.

    If you are still using Lucis for some of your work I think you should check it out (and if you are in for some hardcore algorithms for specialized transformations and “de-blurring”, take a look at the full suite)

    Keep up the good work…

  • Hey Trey – did you know that Lucis have announced they are dropping Mac from 2011? Us Mac folk need an alternative 🙁

  • Lori

    Thanks for the review – I was thinking of buying it and it is big bucks. Used your code to get $70.00 off. Heres hoping for some fanastic photos …

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  • Everett Heller

    I love this app. Tony Sweet introduced me to it and I have been using it extensively since then. I have spoken with Barbara several times including once I found out that she was not upgrading the product to 64 bit for Mac. I love this product so much that I am keeping CS4 on my computer, but I am not sure when Lion will force 32 bit apps to go away. This is definitely a big part of my HDR workflow and I am trying to figure out how I can get the same effects in the future without it.

  • Dear Trey, I’m a film guy trying to switch to digital. I bought a Canon 5d mark II. Now, I need a good computer. What would you recommend pc or mac book pro? Do I need a 1gb graphics card? Thanks for your time, jimmy padilla, 505-463-4744.

  • Anonymous

    This review is absolutely baseless and the “Another way to look at it is to consider the cost of a good lens which could run you over $1,000, and it would probably not be as flexible as this software!” is downright illogical

  • I’m just getting started, but as far as Lucis Pro goes, you say it’s cool, but I have no idea what it does. Yes, your sample pictures are spectacular, but what did they look like BEFORE Lucis? How much of that spectacularity is in the original and how much was added by Lucis? Can we see some before and after samples?

  • You might want to check out the full tutorial linked above:

  • karen1nicola

    save your money and spend it learning how to use photoshop properly – these “lucis” effects can all be done in photoshop if you but invest the time to learn its features. and no, this wont save you time either, for once you know what you are doing, you can save your procedures as actions, which goes back to my point about learning how to use photoshops plethora of functions.

  • Leo

    Karen what do you recommend to do in PS to achieve the same results as Lucis?

  • petervandever

    Exactly…… but you have any good tutorials on it?

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