I am not familiar with this application. But I do see that it doesn't have a downloadable version for Capture NX2 (only for Photoshop and Lightroom). So does that suggest that its capability is no better than what Capture NX2 has already?
Can anyone elaborate on its capabilities and advantages?
#1. "RE: Sharpener Pro 3.0" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 19-May-11 12:37 PM by TiggerGTO
Sharpener Pro 3.0 is a Nik plugin. The only Nik plugin that is compatible with Capture NX2 is Color Efex Pro, which is an excellent addition to NX2 by the way. There has been much discussion in the past about the Nik plugins. Many people including me would like more of them to be compatible with NX2, but I'm not holding my breath. I've seen posts saying that it would require significant redesign of the plugins to make them compatible with NX2. Apparently, Nik doesn't consider the investment worthwhile to create NX2 versions of its other plugins. I doubt the other plugins will ever be compatible with Capture until there is an NX3. I am also not holding my breath for that product. It is long overdue, and I've pretty much given up hope that we will ever see it.
Edited to add: I just realized that I never actually answered your question. I bought the Nik Complete package, but that was mainly to get Color Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro and Silver Efex Pro for use with Photoshop. I have not done much with Sharpener Pro, but I have read favorable reviews about it.
#2. "RE: Sharpener Pro 3.0" In response to Reply # 0
Among other things, third-party sharpener products in general give you more granularity over the pre-sharpening and sharpening process. For example, Nik allows you to brush certain sections of your photo, so if you're only interested in sharpening a certain portion of it, you can. It's also a lot more automated, so if you're the kind of post-processor who leaves the work in the hands of the tool, the third-party software can do it a lot more efficiently. CNX2 would force a more global setting and still make you decipher the settings, so this is where automation earns it's keep.
#3. "RE: Sharpener Pro 3.0" In response to Reply # 0 Thu 19-May-11 06:20 PM by mklass
You can use Nik products that are not designed for plug-in's for Capture NX as a Standalone app.
To do so, you need the Lightroom version of the plug-in.
You can then either do a "Save as..." in CNX and save the file as a tif or jpg, then start the Nik plug in and open that file.
Set the "Open With..." CNX preference in the General Tab to open Sharpener Pro. When you the select OPen with in file file menu of CNX, with a file open< it will create a tif automatically and open Sharpener Pro. The changes will be saved in the tif. There is also a nifty little app called "Edit List by DWD" that will allow you to specify up to 10 apps that you can choose from when you "Open with" in CNX.
Of course this system does not save the edits made in the Nik app to the RAW file, as Color Efex edits are when used in CNX. Its main advantage is convenience and not needing LR or Photoshop to run the plug-in.
Also, if you use Photo Mechanic as your image browser, you can set up the LR version of the Nik plug-ins as editing applications, they then will appear in the "Edit Photo with" list and open automatically with the file.
#4. "RE: Sharpener Pro 3.0" In response to Reply # 0
To answer the question about Sharpener vs. NX2's sharpening routines... Sharpener is far superior. The in camera sharpening algorithms are the same ones used in the develop module. They are designed for speed, not quality. NX2 uses unsharp mask and high pass techniques for sharpening. Both are certainly usable but require finesse. Sharpener has better algorithms that give more flexibility more easily. And Sharpener is much better at targeting sharpening to your output and takes some of the guesswork out of it.
#6. "RE: Sharpener Pro 3.0" In response to Reply # 5
Sometimes, but only for output. On those images that I process in nx2 I usually let the default capture sharpening be the default. But I usually export to photoshop anyway for minor things easier done in ps like watermarking so I use sharpener there on the output.
#7. "RE: Sharpener Pro 3.0" In response to Reply # 0 Tue 24-May-11 02:44 PM by walkerr
Colorado Springs, US
Nik Sharpener 3.0 is a bit strange. It works well as an output sharpener since it automates many settings for you that are affected by paper type, size, etc. Photographers who prefer one step sharpening (I don't) might like it. Its capture sharpening module (called presharpening) is fairly weak and while you can use control points and selectively sharpen, it doesn't have good controls for bringing out fine detail in an image. If you try, things get ugly in a hurry. With a few changes of functions in the presharpening module (hopefully in a 4.0), it could be a very complete solution for sharpening. Right now, I don't think it's there yet.
For photographers specifically using NX2, it can simplify output sharpening, but it's an expensive choice for just that feature.