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tx_photo Registered since 06th Jul 2007Fri 02-Jan-09 07:24 PM
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"Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"


US
          

I have read many of the posts on why NX2 over LR2, but I wanted to consolidate them under one post.

It appears that most prefer the raw rendering of NX2 over LR2, but why? How close can you get with LR? I got the trial version of LR and love the cataloging capability. I like the ability to flag photos and then delete the rejected ones.

I have PSE 6.0 (came with my Wacom tablet), CS2, NX1(came with my d300), and trial versions of LR2 and NX2.

I saw a great video on LR at http://kelbytraining.com with
Matt Kloskowski. There is a Capture NX video there too from Vicent Versace. I have seen bits and pieces.

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sat 03-Jan-09 04:00 AM
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#1. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0


San Jose, US
          

You will find LR fans and NX2 fans here.It boils down to:

Do you want to be able to adjust every camera function from your Nikon in post processing? Do you want the EXACT colors that Nikon intended? Do you want to spend an hour or so learning how to use the Sw to get good results or do you want to spend more time doing so? If the answer to these questions is YES then I think the choice is NX2. If you don't think any of this is important than LR is for you.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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ArleneR Registered since 15th Aug 2006Sat 03-Jan-09 04:41 AM
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#2. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 1


Santa Clara, US
          

I just spent several days sorting, cataloging and keywording over 13,000 pix on my hard drive (yes, they're now backed up to an external drive). I don't know how I would have managed this in Bridge.

I also have the trial NX2, and I do like the results of the RAW conversion better, but I'm learning to compensate for the difference using LR2 import presets.

I've been using LR since the first beta, and have read all of Scott Kelby's books, so I'm comfortable with the workflow. The first time I opened NX2 was like the first time I opened PS (5?) - totally overwhelmed. (Geez, where do I start?)

Yes, LR2 doesn't read all the camera settings (except WB) like NX2, but that's why I shoot in RAW anyway.

Arlene
There is no spoon

  

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mpb Registered since 23rd Dec 2007Sat 03-Jan-09 09:37 AM
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#3. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 2


MT
          


I setup trial versions of both to understand the pros and cons

NX2 does read all the info from the NEFs, while LR does not.

Having said that, the software quality of NX is poor. i had multiple crashes, and at times if refused to opens NEFs and JPEGs that are perfectly fine.

LR works great, and in v2.2 they added inbuilt presets to apply to the imported NEFs which will put back the settings you had in-camera.

then again, the reason to shoot RAW is so that you have full control on adjusting the settings in post processing, so the fact that the camera settings are not fully read by LR does not put me off as much as NX2 crashing on me so much and refusing to read my files!


Mark
Nikonian from Malta

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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mrbillyho Registered since 22nd Sep 2007Sat 03-Jan-09 04:10 PM
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#4. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          


I have never had Capture NX2 crash since going to 4 gigs of Ram. I love Capture NX2, but I will be honest and tell you the more and more I use Lightroom the more and more I'm slowly pushing NX2 to the side.

If you need to work with large batches of pictures, like weddings, sport events and working with Hundreds of photos at a time. Well then you just can't beat Lightroom.



  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Sat 03-Jan-09 07:42 PM
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#5. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 3


Clemmons, US
          

Just to be clear, Mark.

The new color calibration profiles in LR 2.x don't "put back the settings you had in camera". They simply attempt to emulate the basic settings of those camera presets.

I think they do a good job of that. I have been using LR and NX since v1 of each. But once I make a custom Picture Control in my D90 that isn't in the Adobe Labs work.

Want to make sure we all have a correct understanding of what Adobe is doing.

SW engineering wise, I have to agree that Adobe takes the prize compared to Nikon. But why can't Adobe do automatic chromatic aberration correction like Nikon can? Neither is perfect...sometimes not even very good. But overall they are very useful tools for different workflows and preferences.

Best Regards,
Michael

  

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mpb Registered since 23rd Dec 2007Sun 04-Jan-09 04:14 PM
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#8. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 5


MT
          


Michael - agreed and apologies if i wasnt too clear.

the presets in LR emulate what the camera settings do. they do not read that info from the NEF, which is also why any in-camera edits also wont show up in LR or other adobe software.


Mark
Nikonian from Malta

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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hwithall Registered since 07th Apr 2007Sat 24-Jan-09 11:43 PM
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#42. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

i am sold on lr2. i finally got fed up with nx2 crashing and not reading good files. the lr presets are great and are as close as can be.
besides, you shoot in raw so you are in control of the settings applied to your pictures.

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sun 04-Jan-09 02:45 AM
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#6. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 04-Jan-09 02:53 AM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi TX:

That is a very easy question for me – I like and use both. They have advantages and disadvantages, but when you combine both, what’s CS4? The following is my workflow, which will explain better the advantages of using both:

1. I have two mirror libraries: Capture NX 2 (NX) and Lightroom 2 (LR.)

2. I import the photos into the NX library appropriate folder. NX is still the better RAW converter (I only shoot in NEF.)

3. I select the photos in LR from the NX Library, which has the NEF files:

a. Use the Medium contrast curve from the “Tone Curve” Section.
b. Change the Camera Calibration profile to Camera Vivid Beta 2. This is the closest to NX, which allows me to better view and select the photos.
c. LR Library module is years ahead of both NX and View NX. LR also has the “Quick Develop Section” that allows to increase or decrease, like the exposure compensation, by 1/3 or a full EV. This is great in selecting the photos.

4. Once the photos are selected and renamed, I go to NX in the NX library (NEF files.)

5. I start the Post Processing (PP) with NX. It has many features but the main is the control points that are local area control or layers in CS.

6. I can call from NX the many filters that I got with NIK Efex Pro, which also uses u-point technology and is integrated into NX.

7. When I finish, I save the photos in TIF and load them into the mirror folder in the LR library.

8. I finish PP with LR, in the LR library with the TIF files. LR has the Paint Brush, a fantastic but more localized local control. I can also call Noise Ninja from LR.

9. I export the TIF photos to SmugMug (My Website) using an uploading preset.

10. I print from LR if I need to.

11. I also use the Slideshow in LR. However, with my Website Slideshow, I have not used in some time.

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sun 04-Jan-09 07:53 AM
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#7. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 6


San Jose, US
          

Since NX2 also has a development environment and can make += 2EV changes why are you not starting in NX2? You can edit EXIF data, rate photos and save all that stuff right inside the NEF not in side cars/ I do all my work in NX2 and if I need to do some special stuff like blend 2 photos or do panos for example I move 1 16 bit TIFF to CS4, but otherwise all my work including using NIK filters is done in NX2.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sun 04-Jan-09 05:17 PM
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#9. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

Hi Bob:

Thanks for your response.

I do start PP in NX; however, I select and rename the photos in the Library Module of LR. Any changes I make in LR are to be able select the pictures better, but they are invisible to NX.

I have two mirror libraries: NX library (NEF files) and the LR library (TIFF) files. For example, let’s say the photos from The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA):

1. Capture NX > Locations > Museums > LACMA. In the LACMA folder I have the NEF files.
2. Lightroom > Locations > Museums > LACMA. In the LACMA folders I have the TIFF files.

To start the selection I have to import the NEF files into Lightroom, in order to see them, in the Capture NX Library. I make changes to the files in order to select them better. With LR 2 and the new Camera Profiles, the photos are very close to NX RAW conversion, but NX is better. As I said, changes I make in LR, to the NEF files in Capture NX library, are invisible to NX. Once I select and rename the photos, in the Capture NX library, I start the PP in NX. When I finish the PP in NX, I send them to the Lightroom > Locations > Museums > LACMA folder in TIFF format.

Both NX and LR have their advantages. For example the Control Points in NX are great, but they affect a localized, but more general area. Lightroom has the Paint Brush tool, which is fantastic – it is more localized than the control points in NX. For example, you can select a person’s face by painting it. To paint is very simple, because you select the fill out option that automatically fills the face you are trying to paint. The area selected can be seen in red. Then you control that area with exposure, brightness, saturation, vibrance, etc.

There is an added advantage in using both. The more controls points you apply in NX, the more it degrades the PC performance and the same is true with Paint Brush in LR. However, by converting the photos into TIFF and sending them to LR, you start new, so to speak.

I love the combo of NX2 and LR2. Even though it seems complicated, the opposite is true. It is very fast and extremely easy. I can finish a shoot of 500 photos in less than four hours. Most of the time is expended in the selection process, though.

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Sun 04-Jan-09 06:56 PM
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#10. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 9


San Jose, US
          

We do similar things. I start in NX2 save all my NEF files in a NX2 folder then move a TIFF to CS4 where I do whatever I need add copyright signature and save that file. I then create a JPEG version for the web and save that off in a folder for Nikonian uploads. I download my images using Nikon Transfer and store the RAw NEF on two separate drives. All my Processed images are stores on yet another drive and everynight they are automatically saved to an external drive as a copy. I am sure you are aware that you can use the paint brush in NX2 to also select areas to adjust or apply an effect. You are correct that the more points you add the more performance hit you take. In that way it is similar for photoshop because as you try to work in non distructive ways you wind up adding many layers and masks that increase file size. CS4 seems to be improved in performance. I used to only use NX to process the RAW conversions, but since NX2 I pretty much do everything in NX2 and get quicker results. I also like the idea that other programs can read the rating I apply in NX2 and that everything including changes to EXIf data are stored within the NEF and that NX2 seems to have a better version control than Photoshop for storing multiple versions in the same file.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Mon 05-Jan-09 01:41 AM
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#11. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 10
Mon 05-Jan-09 02:00 AM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Bob:

Yes, we do the same thing except that you use CS4 (which I heard is excellent) and I use LR (same ACR than CS4 – same family.) Before getting Nik Effex Pro 3, I was using LR maybe for 60% of PP, but now about 10% in the Develop Module (100% of the time in the Library Module where I select the photos.) When the photos come to LR (TIFF)from NX, they are almost done except for some minor adjustments.

NX2 is far superior to NX1 – no comparison. However, Nik Effex made it. It is fantastic. The polarizer filter is great with all the controls like rotating the filter, exposure, etc. The same thing with the Graduated filters – just great. I also use the Indian Summer filter, the Tonal Contrast, the Film Effects (I like the Fuji Velvia 100, Ektachrome E100 G, for more grainy photos the Afga Optima 400, etc) There are so many filters and the controls!!!

I am aware of the paintbrush in NX, but the one with LR is much better and easier to use. On the other hand, the graduated filter in LR, imho, is a bit screwy and not that easy to use. In contrast, the Graduated filter in Nik Efex is great. In other words, they both have advantages over the other.

The main control for NX and NEF files is WB. However, since I use Auto WB with the D300, I barely correct the Auto settings. The few times I tried to get my hands on it, the only thing I accomplished was to screw it up – end result, x for delete.

The other thing for NX, which is a tremendous improvement, is the control points in the same step and that have been duplicated – when you readjust one, it readjust all of the control points in the same step.

I love the user interface in LR. I have been around computers and software a lot of years and LR, imho, has the best user interface not just for photos, but all of them. However, NX with Nik Efex is out of this world. Therefore, I use the best of both worlds.

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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tx_photo Registered since 06th Jul 2007Mon 05-Jan-09 03:13 AM
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#12. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 11


US
          

Great information. I am still not clear on how you can get LR to actually represent the colors the way the Nikon intended. Does LR not read NEF's correctly? If that is the case, how do I do that in LR.

I wasn't aware of the rating on NX2. Can I select P for Pick and X for reject like I do in Lightroom?

For those of you that use both, how do you use them?

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 05-Jan-09 03:45 AM
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#13. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 12
Mon 05-Jan-09 03:48 AM by robsb

San Jose, US
          

Actually you can set the color codes which I think you are talking about to match Photoshop exactly or you can use the more extensive color code set that NX2 has. The star ratings can be read by other SW like Photo Mechanic. All of this stuff gets embedded in the EXIF data in the NEF file. As far as representing the colors like Nikon intended; "representing" is the word, because although Adobe has come up with presets, they cannot read the Nikon data and therefore it is an attempt by them to fix a criticism that their ACR processed files looked like #### next to the NX2 versions. The only software that will read all the settings and controls and actually let you adjust them is NX2. This is the same for any manufactures camera and SW and their proprietary RAW files. A few months ago Ken Rockwell was trying to make the argument for shooting JPEG against RAW. He made the statement that with the latest cameras if you used anything other than the manufacturers SW you were throwing away the capabilities that you had paid dearly for and were downgrading your camera in effect to an earlier version. But rather than a good argument to shoot JPEG ( which does have some advantages for some people) he really made the argument why you should use your manufactures SW to process RAW files in this case NX2. When NX first came out I only used it for RAW processing moving a 16 bit TIFF to Photoshop to finish my file. But when NX2 came out it was so much more powerful that I started doing all my processing except for special stuff in NX2. I just added NIK Color Efex Pro filters to my NX2 SW and now it is even more powerful.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Mon 05-Jan-09 04:15 AM
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#15. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 12


US
          

Hi TX:

Yes, LR simulates the NX 2 raw conversion, but you have to go to the “Camera Calibration” section and change the profile to: Camera Vivid Beta 2. However, they are not as good as with NX2, but pretty close. The best thing to do is to download the 30-day trial version of LR2:

http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/

and NX2 60-day trial:

http://support.nikontech.com/cgi-bin/nikonusa.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=61

Keep in mind that we are also talking about Nik Efex Pro 3, which is sold separately. Below is the 15-day trial download:

https://www.niksoftware.com/site/

I believe that you can download the Nik Efex Pro 2 free and then upgrade to Pro 3, but I did not go that route. They also have a scaled down version, which is ~ $80, but it lacks some major filters like the “Film Effects” that I use a lot. It simulates the different type of films.

Everything adds up. Nikon NX2 ($180) + LR2 ($300) + Nik Efex Pro 3 ($180) = $660. Most of us got one at a time. For example, NX1 = $99 + $110 upgrade to NX2; LR1 = $99 + $99 upgrade to LR2; Nik Efex Pro 3 = $179. However, I did it in the space of over two years.

Which one to get is very hard to advice. LR is head and shoulders over NX in the Library Module – this where you will select your photos. NX and View NX are not that good and time consuming. NX is superior in the RAW conversion and about the same in Post Processing. However, NX without Nik Efex is not the same and LR might be the better option. Nik Efex integrates into NX and it is fantastic because of the filters. It uses the same U-Point technology as NX. With Nik Efex, NX might be the better option. However, the photo selection? LR is a pleasure to work with - it is fun! NX is more like a chore! That is whay I have both!

If the above was not enough, the rumors are that NX3 is around the corner with a better user interface. However, it is just a rumor and I do not how much validity to give it.

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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RYnikon Silver Member Nikonian since 14th Oct 2003Thu 22-Jan-09 10:04 PM
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#37. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 15


Pittsford, US
          

>I believe that you can download the Nik Efex Pro 2 free and
>then upgrade to Pro 3
>
>Ramesses
>

Do you know where that free download of Nik Efex 2 can be located?
Thanks,

Robb
Photography: technically fine art!

  

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percussion Registered since 20th Dec 2008Thu 22-Jan-09 10:24 PM
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#38. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 37


US
          

reading thru the point of view here, i have couple of questions - i have NX2 as well as LR

If i use NX2 primarily for post-processing, and i import into LR for cataloging purposes, if i open the pictures in LR, assume none of the original settings will be over-written in NX2 - ie., NX2 will still have the original "as shot" values?

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 05-Jan-09 03:57 AM
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#14. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 11


San Jose, US
          

I adjust many more things than WB. I often change the picture control used. Of course I have set the controls that automatically adjust for vignetting and lens color aberration. I adjust black and white points and adjust highlights and shadows and sometimes exposure. I turn off sharpening when I start and add my own capture and output sharpening. I also make use of the control points as need for localized changes. Now that I have the NIK filters I sometimes apply them as well. I do a final crop then I then save that file move a 16 bit TIFF and go to Photoshop usually just for copyright signature and prep for web.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Mon 05-Jan-09 04:29 AM
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#16. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 14
Mon 05-Jan-09 04:31 AM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Bob:

I do the same, but I do not want to write a dissertation. As I said, I’m a happy camper with both. I remember the days with NX1. Actually, I do not want to remember. When I upgraded from D40 to the D300, it became a nightmare.

Tomorrow is D-Day: The D700 is due to be delivered. UPS called (a recording) to remind me that such package was due to be delivered, tomorrow between 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM. Someone should be at home, because the package requires a signature. Like I did not know – it arrived in Vernon (South of LA) at 12:14 PM, form Philadelphia. However, 8-7 at home!!! Wait until they call me to do something at the UPS office! When you can make it in? Between 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM and make sure that someone is at the office when I show up!

If I did not know the delivery time in my area: 10:00 AM – 11:30 AM & 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM. I would be really upset. 8-7! I have a life outside of waiting for a brown truck.

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 05-Jan-09 05:39 AM
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#17. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 16


San Jose, US
          

Did you ever call B&H back to ask for a break on shipping because of their screw up?

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Mon 05-Jan-09 06:49 AM
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#18. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 17
Mon 05-Jan-09 07:04 AM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Bob:

No I did not. However, they offered me a refund on the shipping which came to $5.50, but I declined it. It is not the money that I was upset about, but the wrong information that they gave me. The D700 came with free shipping. I upgraded to 3 day select for $5.50. I would have upgraded to two day air for about $20.00 if I knew the right delivery date. Besides the $5.50, they did nothing. The $5.50 refund would not have made me happy.

They sent me an email after they shipped the camera with an estimated delivery date 1 January 2009. That is an incredible mistake, which makes them look like morons. Somehow, the IS department forgot to update UPS holiday schedule. It was no longer an internal problem – it got outside, into the public. In my days as a programmer, that is such a serious mistake, that we would have been sleeping in the hallways in order to resolve it, ASAP, and maybe heads might have rolled: "You forgot to update the UPS (our main shipper) holiday schedule? Who forgot?" And no controls? From my perspective, that is a Mickey Mouse operation. In other words, they are cutting down expenses. Their Customer Service Reps are not as competent as they used to be. Probalbly a new staff at 1/2 the price.

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Tue 06-Jan-09 06:30 AM
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#19. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 18


San Jose, US
          

I must bemore of a skinflint than you, as I would have accepted the $5.50!

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Wed 07-Jan-09 06:43 PM
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#20. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 19
Wed 07-Jan-09 06:45 PM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Bob:

The $5.50 confuses the issue and lets them off the hook. I can get a coffee and breakfast bagel (ham, cheese and egg) for $5.50; I can afford that. Nevertheless, I got the D700, Monday morning, and it seems to be OK. However, it is not noise free; there is noise, but not as much as with the D300. I have shot inside with it, but not outside, yet. I hope to have the time, tomorrow before registering it.

I was not too thrilled with the photos with the 14-24 and 35mm, my most trusted lenses. I found out that the D700 back-focused, but I fine tuned it to -3. I did not have the same problem with the D300. In addition, the D300 was sharper, I thought. Therefore, I run the same tests with the D300, before I returned the D700. OK. The D300 also, to my surprise, “back-focused” to the tune of -2. In addition, the D700 is sharper and better. However, the doubt is gone, I guess. I have a feeling it is problem with my vision.

The thing I love about the D700 is the focusing. It is so easy with the arrows and confirmation dot. WOW!!!

The following is my link to my first photos with the D700 of my pride and joy: my study room. I know it ain’t much, but I love it. I spent most of my time there when at home. I’m still not too crazy about the photos, but there were several problems. I had the camera set to Vivid VI and the pictures came out too yellow – same with the D300 (I had to correct it by setting the WB in LR.) I forgot that I took the D300 out of Vivid. However, they are not that sharp, me thinks. I have to take the camera for serious workout, tomorrow.

http://www.hektorsphotos.com/gallery/7022061_midYJ#449874517_9A99u

Best Regards,

Ramesses

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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akrabat Registered since 03rd Jun 2007Fri 09-Jan-09 06:55 PM
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#21. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0


GB
          

>I have read many of the posts on why NX2 over LR2, but I
>wanted to consolidate them under one post.
>
>It appears that most prefer the raw rendering of NX2 over LR2,
>but why? How close can you get with LR? I got the trial
>version of LR and love the cataloging capability. I like the
>ability to flag photos and then delete the rejected ones.
>

A little late to the party on this one, sorry :)

I've just bought CNX2 after trialling both LR 2.2 and CNX2. The main thing for me was that local adjustments in NX with selection and colour control points are so much more intuitive than the selection brush in Lightroom. Similarly, setting black, neutral and white control points are a very intuitive system for sorting colour casts and increasing contrast.

As CNX doesn't have anything like the LR's library module, I'm going to be trialling Expression Media next, as everyone can get it for the upgrade price :)


Regards,

Rob...

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Fri 09-Jan-09 08:59 PM
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#22. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 21


Clemmons, US
          

Hi Rob,
I agree with your comments on the intuitive and straightforward nature of localized edits in CNX2. I have Expression Media and have been muddling along trying to catalog all my old images. It's such a project. But it's good for going forward that way. I hope you like it and find it useful for you.

You could even use it to ingest the files initially. See my other post for my strong caution about Transfer.

I'm trying to keep unmodified NEFs on offline media as a deep archive in case I find a new raw processor that needs them in the future. This is still an exciting and evolving field.

--Michael

  

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tx_photo Registered since 06th Jul 2007Mon 19-Jan-09 01:13 AM
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#23. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 22


US
          

Thanks to everyone for your responses. I ended up buying CNX2. It tends to be a bit slow. Still debating getting LR to manage my folders. It's $99 with academic discount.

  

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Cookies35 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2007Mon 19-Jan-09 06:16 PM
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#26. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Cexapture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 23


NL
          

I ended up buying
>CNX2. It tends to be a bit slow. Still debating getting LR
>to manage my folders. It's $99 with academic discount.


Oops! When I was browsing through all the posts I didn't see this one until after I'd posted mine! Most of it won't be relevant any more, now that you've taken the plunge. However, I do recommend you get NX2, together with Ben Long’s book, and learn to use NX2 before you add Lightroom to your arsenal. NX2 has primitive cataloging features which I think would be plenty to get you by for quite a long while, so you're only learning one program at a time. Since they're both based on such radically different architecture, I think you'd be more successful learning one in a good bit of depth before picking up the other one. My opinion, anyway.

In the meantime, if NX2 is driving you crazy with its lack of speed, and if you're made of money, you might want to consider Photo Mechanic for initial culling, rating, sorting, etc. It's super fast, and it works really well with NX2. It's also a library program too. Not Lightroom-calibre library capabilities, but still, one truly wonderful little program.

I hope you love Capture NX2 as much as many of us do!

-- LaDonna

_________________________________
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

  

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Cookies35 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2007Mon 19-Jan-09 06:06 PM
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#25. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 21
Wed 21-Jan-09 04:09 PM by Cookies35

NL
          

>I've just bought CNX2 after trialling both LR 2.2 and CNX2. ...
>As CNX doesn't have anything like the LR's library module, I'm
>going to be trialling Expression Media next ...


I highly recommend you check out Photo Mechanic. It's cataloging capabilities aren´t (yet) in the same league as Lightroom, which can do so much more, but for managing your pix and keeping track of your folders, it's seriously hard to beat. For the tasks you've mentioned so far, it even out-paces Lightroom in my opinion! It's blazingly fast, just shy of plug-n-play in its simplicity, and works seamlessly with NX2.

My 2¢!

-- LaDonna

_________________________________
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Fri 23-Jan-09 06:36 PM
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#40. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 25


Canton, US
          

The significant advantage of LR over that approach is that you only have one program to work with. PM may work seamlessly with NX2, but you still have to juggle two interfaces. Lightroom is very capable, intuitive, consistent and convenient.

The only weakness it has, imo, is that the slideshow module is rather useless since you can't export self-running executables with a soundtrack.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Cookies35 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2007Mon 19-Jan-09 05:56 PM
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#24. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed 21-Jan-09 03:13 PM by Cookies35

NL
          

Hi CG!

I'm going to try out an Ultra Oversimplication here. Here's how I see things:

Photoshop Elements consists of two programs: a digital image editor (the "Editor") and a media manager (the "Organizer"). Adobe has been making digital image editors loooong before almost anybody had a digital camera, on account of digital photographs aren't the only digital images out there to be edited. So Adobe became the Absolute King of Digital Image Processing, and built their program (Photoshop) so that it would also handle digital photographs. One of the reasons Photoshop CS is so hard to learn to use is that it isn't built for photographs, it's built for any digital image (meaning it has to be far more powerful than you'd ever need for merely processing photographs). Digital photographers also need a program to help keep track of their photo's, so Adobe created Adobe Bridge (don't quibble with my timeline here; I'm just trying to make a point) which works as a sister program sort-of-inside-Photoshop and sort-of-beside-Photoshop, to do just that. There you have it: a digital imaging sledgehammer (Photoshop) which will also process your photographs, with a little keeping-track-of-my-pix program hanging off the side if what you're REALLY into is photographs.

Then Adobe realized that the number of serious newbie digital photographers was growing faster than the price of a digital SLR could drop, and they created a streamlined version of Photoshop, paired it with a consumer-oriented version of Bridge, and put it together in a program they named Photoshop Elements. Since Elements is a STREAMLINED version of Photoshop, and NOT a "baby" version of Photoshop as it's often mistaken for, it's still really overweight in the digital image processing department. Far too much image processing muscle for your money, if you're a very amateur photographer. The media-manager half of the program is pretty good, but to use it you have to put up with the rest of Elements. Bummer.

So Adobe got wise, and creates Lightroom. It's a MEDIA MANAGEMENT PROGRAM, which also does a bit of image editing on the side. EXACTLY what most photographers need, 98% of the time! In the ideal world, our photographs don't need but so much editing when we import them (and certainly not stuff like taking stuff out of photographs or moving things around; a decent photographer tries as much as possible to get things in the right place before taking the shot, not afterwards on the computer!!!), but they A-L-W-A-Y-S need organizing, keeping track of, and the ability to be found. So Lightroom (particularly the first version of Lightroom) was a powerhouse management program which also did a decent bit of editing (for a management program). Photographers went wild!!!! Here was exactly what they needed!!!!!

Except, of course, since Lightroom did go so far as including the editing features, photographers were disappointed that the editing features weren't very good. So Adobe fixed it: Super heavyweight library program with some really good basic (read: what most photographers need 98% of the time) editing features, and a link to take you straight into Elements or Photoshop for the other 2% of the time.

So what's wrong with that?

Only this: All these programs deal with digital files, which have to be read and interpreted before you put them into an actual image. They take the data of "processed" JPEG's from all the different camera's, and tries to render an image as close to the image would have looked if it were opened in a digital processing program made by the same folks who made the camera. Sometimes they're more successful than others.

Which brings us to the "why chase the "Nikon look" discussion, which at some point I'll look up and link you to. If you care that your pictures come out of your editing program looking like they did when they were in your camera, this is a big deal. You can either use an image processing program created by your camera manufacturer, and be done; or, you can use a third-party program such as Photoshop or Lightroom and spend hours and hours of work and get "close", for that particular photograph, and hope that the "fix" you've discovered for that particular pic works pretty well for other pix as well, because you really don't feel like going through this one pic at a time ... or you can use a third party program such as Lightroom, decide that life is short, money is tight, and you'll live with whatever your third-party program spits out. It may not be precisely what you thought you'd get, but hey, Life is a Box of Chocolates...

That's the LaDonna's Oversimplified Guide to Adobe Image Processing Software, part I.

Part II comes if you shoot RAW. Anyone shooting RAW is doing so O-N-L-Y in order to gain final control and final say over what their pix look like. They are somewhat less likely to choose option 3 above (the Box of Chocolates approach). So Adobe created another program, called Adobe Camera Raw, in order to read the RAW files coming from the various cameras and convert it into something Adobe programs can process, trying to be as faithful to what it would have looked like in the camera manufacturer's own software as possible. So if you open a Nikon NEF file in Elements you don't end up in the Editor at all! You end up either not being able to open the NEF, or seeing the NEF opened in the intermediary program ACR, where you can choose to fiddle with it or not, and then finish the process of opening it in Elements. Or Photoshop, or Lightroom, whichever Adobe program you're trying to open your Nikon NEF in.

Adobe Camera Raw is neither editor nor media management program: it's a "RAW converter." It's only job is to open RAW files, let you adjust the raw data, and kick the result upstairs into Elements, Lightroom, or Photoshop. How "good" a program ACR is depends on your answer to the infamous "Box of Chocolates" question. How close does ACR render a Nikon NEF, when compared to what the photograph would have looked like if you opened it in one of Nikon's own software programs?

To see how well a job it does for a given camera, check out dpreview's "software" page in their review of your camera. Here’s the one for the D300. If you scroll down a little bit you'll see a color patch. Scroll down a little further and you'll see five choices to click on and see what that same set of numerical data (which is what a RAW file is when it gets fed from the camera to the software program) looks like when rendered by five different programs.


  • JPEG Standard: I don't know what that means, but let's assume it means what a JPEG straight out of the camera looks like when opened as a JPEG in Nikon's Picture Perfect, or whatever came with your camera.

  • RAW (meaning NEF) opened in Nikon's View NX;

  • RAW opened in Capture NX;

  • RAW opened in Adobe Camera Raw; and

  • RAW opened in Bibble.


I'll let you do this hands-on interactive experiment yourself. Whatever you conclude, I hope it is that you're never going to get the "Nikon Look" by importing a Nikon RAW file into an Adobe product, not in a year of Sundays. I certainly do not know which combination of settings will do THAT to "fix" the blues and simultaneously "fix" the yellows (or even subsequently "fix" the yellows, with the caveat that it can't "un-fix" the reds!!! Somewhat like thinking your way through a Rubik's cube), not to mention to get that particular "fix" on the purples. You might get close, but then again, don't you have a life you need to get on with?

And then there are the so-called "plug-ins" and other settings patches that people will concoct in order to "solve" this problem. How well they succeed, in my opinion, depends on your answer to the above question, and how likely you are to decide that "Box of Chocolates" is fine by you, just as long as the photograph ends up looking nice in the end.

I don't say this just based on discovering this little color chart test, by the way. I only discovered this color chart a couple weeks ago, but have been trying to "fix" certain photographs in various programs for months now (long story; but suffice it to say that regardless of which program you use, if the pic you start with is junk you're gonna have a lot of work on your hands). The worst, I've found, is reds of any kind. Forget about getting them "right." Just try to get them to "look nice." The second worse, but far more fatal, problem is people. One set of adjustments will make one of your graduation shots look fabulous! And when you try to copy the adjustments, the readjustment on the other graduates look truly awful. If you aren't starting from some kind of predictable "neutral," you can forget trying to "fix" one graduate so that she doesn't look like a red-faced drunk, "fix" another one so that she doesn't look like a ghost, and "fix" the third so that she doesn't look green and her hair doesn't look like a lemon being electrified. Heaven help you if all three girls are in the same shot. Then, you're on your own.

No, for me it's a Nikon camera, shoot RAW, use custom white balance and (from now on!!!) a grey card, and edit in Capture NX2. Each of those steps is an investment in itself; last thing I need is a war with ACR to try to preserve as much as I can of the color etc. that I worked so hard to get "right" in the first place.

So, in terms of editing, I've covered the Adobe's. Now on to Capture NX.

Capture NX is an editing program. It isn't a media management program!!! And unlike Photoshop, it doesn't even have a "sister" library program (along the lines of Adobe Bridge). No, it isn't nearly as good at the whole label/rate/group/create-subsets/mass-meta-data-manipulation/recall thing as Lightroom, on account of it's an EDITING PROGRAM!!!!

In my opinion, Capture NX was a HECK of a lot better at the little bit of media management it did on the side than Lightroom was (particularly for a Nikon user) at its little bit of correcting and optimizing photographs, particularly for those shooting in RAW. Meanwhile, both NX and Lightroom have been updated. As far as I can tell so far, Lightroom's editing qualities have been vastly improved, while NX's media management powers haven't been. So Lightroom2 is less inferior to NX2 as an editing program than NX2 is inferior to a media management program.

Which is by now (the extent to which Lightroom surpasses NX2 in media management tasks) can't be measured in common units of measurement. Lightroom is simply THAT GOOD at media management. NX has never measured up to that standard, and still doesn't. And so far it seems, Nikon doesn't care. Because Nikon concentrated on building an editing program, which IMHO, for a Nikon user, is second to absolutely NONE.

And IMHO, if you're shooting JPEG's NX2 is still superior to Lightroom for editing purposes even for a non-Nikon user(!). It's truly an amazing photo editing program, the kind of program I think Adobe would have created if they had created the original Photoshop AFTER dSLR's started at $500 rather than after.

In comparing NX2 to Lightroom, IMHO, you're comparing apples and oranges. The real comparison would be to compare NX2 to Photoshop. In that case, I believe NX2 would win hands down. I mean there's a reason Adobe came up with Elements and later came up with Lightroom: for a photographer, Photoshop really is like having only one car, a 52-passenger long-distance luxury bus. That's how much it costs, that's how it handles, and my goodness, if it were the only thing in your garage it would drive you crazy. If your neighbor showed up with a little Corvette or an SUV you'd go bonkers. Sure you could (eventually) learn how to operate it so well that you could even "just" take it out for a spin to the local shop, but is it really worth all that (expense, learning curve, mammoth workflow) just so that you have access to a vehicle when it's time to pile all the relatives in for the cross-country trip to the family reunion?

The answer is one only you can discover. Finding the answer begins, of course, with (a) how much you can afford to spend, including (b) whether you can afford to have, and take time to learn, Photoshop as an additional program on your computer; and (c) just how often you'd like to be able to drive the entire clan to the family reunion.

For most photographers, once they think it through, they realize that Photoshop just isn't worth it, particularly now that there are such awesome alternatives (which didn't exist a short few years ago).

But then if don't need Photoshop you have to realize that no one program can replace it. If you choose for the easier and more color-faithful NX2 you give up a lot on the media management side. And if you choose Elements or Lightroom, you lose on the Nikon-color-fidelity side.

That's why, in my opinion, people end up keeping more than one program on their computers: one as their primary editor and another as their primary media manager. The better the two can take over each others task for the little stuff, the better. The better they can take over each other's tasks for the little stuff, and then READ, RESPECT, PRESERVE, and BUILD UPON EACH OTHER'S WORK, so much better still.

I wouldn't recommend ANY newbie starting any of these programs at the same time as starting another one. I'm not the type to suggest downloading all the trial versions, trying them all, and deciding based on your experience. A newbie isn't just learning how to operate the program but at the same time learning the skill which the program enables you to do. I wouldn't try to learn how to manage my pix in two different programs at the same time, and I CERTAINLY wouldn't try to learn image editing in two different programs at the same time. But once you have a pretty good basic grasp of either skill, it's great to get the one you don't have and start to learn that one, bringing your skills with you.

[An analogy: I'd never give my math students a Casio and a TI calculator on the first day of class and have them use both for a month and decide which they like better. Firstly I think they'd spend too much time trying to remember how to do a particular skill on one calculator vs the other when what I really need is for the "how" of that skill NOT to be a thinking-level decision after day two. What I really need is for the "how-to" bit to be in muscle memory at least by the end of day five, so that their brain power can be used to learn math.

In addition, at the end of the month they'd most likely choose the one which was easier to come to terms with first, regardless of how much "better" that one was for what they needed in the long run, and certainly regardless of the fact that it would only have taken an extra two weeks of practice with the purportedly "less user friendly" one to come to the same level of proficiency. Not to mention that the piece that is "more user friendly" to a beginner is not necessarily "more user friendly" after you've got a couple months of experience under your belt ... c.f. the "D40 vs D80 for a beginner" question.]

My conclusion? You'll need a media manager in the long run, no doubt about it. You may or may not want "Nikon-look" fidelity from your photographs. If the "Nikon-look" is important to you then I'd start with Capture NX2, Ben Long's book, and get going. When you'd like a little more help with media management than NX2 provides (if you're truly a newbie you'd be suprised how soon that moment won’t come), at that point decide whether you want Lightroom or some simpler (like Photo Mechanic, not the powerhouse that Lightroom is but nonetheless far more faithful with your Nikon files, and in addition, it's s-u-p-e-r-f-a-s-t!!!).

If, on the other hand, you don't care too much about punctilious color fidelity, but really really DO care about the ease at which you can label, tag, keyword, categorize, organize, and later FIND your pix, then I'd highly recommend starting with Lightroom, together with whichever book Lightroom fans tell you is the Go-To book for people starting out with Lightroom for the first time.

(I learned Lightroom using Scott Kelby's book, but I tell you from the bottom of my heart if I didn't already know what I was doing!!!! I wouldn't have understood a thing. I've found that books which claim to be accessible to genuine beginners are a dime a dozen. Books which actually are accessible, not to mention useful, for genuine beginners, are almost non-existent. But at some point surely there will be one for Lightroom as well! Whatever you do, in my opinion, don't try to learn a powerful program without a book; you'll spin your wheels for months, sometimes without even knowing it. That's a real shame.)

And then, if you start with Lightroom but have progressed to the point where you want "more," decide whether you want to add Elements to your arsenal (particularly for those moments when you do want to combine text with photography in creative ways for example, or remove things from your pix; check out this thread to see just how powerful that feature can be!), or perhaps NX2 (because you really would like to be able, on occasion, to get the photograph you thought you took, and not merely something in the neighborhood after funneling it through who knows how many "adjustments"). In the even longer run, you might just end up with all three! because sometimes, with enough money, RAM, and hard disk space, you really can have it all.

Hope this helps!

-- LaDonna

_________________________________
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Mon 19-Jan-09 07:26 PM
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#27. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 24


Clemmons, US
          

Amazingly long post.

Some very brief comments:
-- If you want to really dig deep and understand raw file processing using Adobe technologies, I'd recommend looking at an Adobe Camera Raw book. Specifically, I greatly enjoyed the Real World Camera Raw (CS2 and CS3 versions). That's how I started in raw processing. Jeff Schewe has updated it again for ACR in Photoshop CS4. It's the same raw conversion technology, software routines, algorithms, etc as Lightroom. I agree that Lightroom books don't spend enough time on the core technology and philosophy of raw conversion.

-- Photomechanic is most certainly *not* a "library" program. Perhaps the previous poster is a Mac user and can use the Spotlight feature, or whatever it's called, in the Mac Finder. PC users don't get anything like that.

Camera Bits makes PM and they clearly state at this URL (http://camerabits.com/site/brochure.html) that "Photo Mechanic is a photo "browser" designed with speed and ease of use in mind. You can call it a "photo editor" as well. But unlike other photo editing programs that are designed to work with one photo at a time in order to edit its pixels, Photo Mechanic is designed to work with groups of photos together in order to manage them. Professional photo editors who handle lots of photos daily, often under deadline, understand this distinction. Their job involves selecting photos, not selecting pixels."

-- you can see similar discussions on their forum posts. There is discussion of catalog features at some unspecified date in the not-near-future.

PM isn't a "library" which I take to mean a digital asset manager (a.k.a., catalog application).

Best Regards,
Michael

  

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Ferguson Silver Member Nikonian since 19th Aug 2004Tue 20-Jan-09 11:48 PM
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#28. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 27


Cape Coral, US
          

>Amazingly long post.
>
>Some very brief comments:
>-- If you want to really dig deep and understand raw file
>processing using Adobe technologies, I'd recommend looking at
>an Adobe Camera Raw book. Specifically, I greatly enjoyed the
>Real World Camera Raw (CS2 and CS3 versions).

I'll enthusiastically second that -- I've read the CS and CS3 versions and they give you a great understanding of the "why" of Raw and how aspects of ACR (or whatever raw converter) are fundamentally different from a post-conversion editor (e.g. like Photoshop itself). It's a good explanation even if you decide to use NX or another converter.

  

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tx_photo Registered since 06th Jul 2007Wed 21-Jan-09 02:32 AM
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#29. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 28


US
          

I appreciate all the thoughts on this. I bought NX2 and I am quite frustrated with it. I took a training course on LR2 on kelbytraining and learned it rather rapidly. The arguments here about the quality of going with a Nikon were very compelling. So, now I am thinking of using Capture NX for processing first and then debating about my library program. LR2 is only $99 so it's more cost effective for me than getting PhotoMechanic (photo browser). I get the adjustments in both NX2 and LR2. The photos just take so much longer to load in NX2. It seems slow. Keywording is a real pain( see other post).

  

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sfbroome Registered since 28th Sep 2006Wed 21-Jan-09 12:03 PM
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#30. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 29


Orlando, US
          

I have LR2, NX2 and CS3, but , until recently, had spent little time learning to use NX2. NX came with my D300, and I later upgraded it. Then, after I bought Jason O'Dell's excellent eBook, I fell in love with NX2's raw conversion, color control points, LCH editor, etc., but I still prefer LR2 for organizing, rating, slide shows, and especially printing. Thanks to Jason's tips, I now can use all 3 as follows:

1. In NX2, set LR2 as the "open with application" in Preferences.

2. For the workflow, I import my images (usually all RAW) from my card into LR2, adding any naming, EXIF, etc. Then, from LR2, right click on an image, select "show in finder". Right click on the image file and select "open in NX2." Your original, unedited NEF is now in NX2 for whatever you wish to do there. When finished, select FILE>Open with.. and NX2 will create a TIFF, open LR2 if not already open, and send you straight to LR2's import dialog. I then can rename, etc, and import. I place it in the same folder as my original import. Now I have a converted TIFF reflecting my NX@ settings next to my original NEF in LR2. From here, I can of course do whatever else I want in LR, including going to and from CS3.

This has worked great for me, while keeping everything in one library. Again, I thank Jason for pointing this out.

  

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Cookies35 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Apr 2007Wed 21-Jan-09 04:03 PM
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#31. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 27


NL
          

>Amazingly long post.
Yeah, I'm like that. Often. Definitely one of my weaknesses!


>-- If you want to really dig deep and understand raw file
>processing using Adobe technologies, I'd recommend looking at
>an Adobe Camera Raw book...

My point wasn't that in order to get the "Nikon-look" out of Adobe software you need to gain a deeper understanding of RAW file processing. A deeper understanding of anything will help you do most anything better, with less trouble, and perhaps even with more delight. But understanding RAW conversion better still doesn't turn Adobe software into Nikon software, or make Adobe colors any closer to Nikon's intentions. You can get better/faster at "correcting" the difference, but my point is that what a photographer really needs to do first is decide how much the difference really matters in their situation. And if it does, I still wouldn't recommend gaining a better understanding of RAW conversion as the first step; I'd still recommend the first step be to buy Nikon software for your editing purposes.


>-- Photomechanic is most certainly *not* a "library" program.
Point taken. I shouldn't have used a word which is so ill defined and ill understood, particularly in an oversimplification (which by definition is already going to be cutting corners for sake of simplicity).

In looking into the matter to find out what word I could use in the distinction I'm trying to make, I came across "media manager," which is one of the ways Adobe describes Lightroom. It's not the word Camera Bits uses to describe Photo Mechanic, but I think it's a good description of what Photo Mechanic is and does: manage media files. As you've said, Photo Mechanic is sooo much more powerful than your garden variety "image browser" that calling PM an "image browser" feels to me like calling those things lining the coast of Newport, Rhode Island "cottages." I know that's what they're called, but in the interest of effective communication, I decided to go with something more meaty. "Media manager" feels about right. I've edited my post accordingly, so as not to mislead people. Thanks for the heads up!

(Interestingly, you won't find the word "library" anywhere on Adobe's Lightroom page. Evidently it isn't a clear enough word for even Adobe to use when trying to describe what Lightroom does. I certainly shouldn't use it to describe Photo Mechanic.)

I was responding to the OP's professing to "love the cataloging capability. I like the ability to flag photos and then delete the rejected ones." I don't know if the OP meant "I love the cataloging capability; it really lets me flag photos and delete the rejects so easily ..." or whether she meant "I love the cataloging capability; in addition I also like being able to flag photos and then delete the rejects ..."

My response assumed that she meant the former, in other words, that she wants a "cataloging" program in her workflow so that she can "flag photos and delete rejects." That's surely just the tip of the iceberg with respect to what Lightroom can do, but it's also what I love most about it (I suspect this is on account of my being a relative beginner myself). That ease of finding the best, flagging the worst, and deleting the rejects is also what I miss most now (I didn't buy it after the trial ended).

Technically, I guess, that's called "culling" (?), and it's what I think a lot of newbies seize first when they buy a good media management program. It might be the reason it's so difficult to explain to newbies the difference between "tag" and "catalog" in Photoshop Elements. It was almost a year before the light went on for me, and I found myself needing to delete most of my catalogs and turn them into tags and quite a few tags and turn them into catalogs. It takes a while to get the hang of the difference between tag and catalog, between describe and organize.

True newbie's just don't have all that complicated a life to be needing catalogs. (Huge generalization on my part, but in an Clearly Admitted Oversimplification, it'll do for me.) But we DO have a great need (greater than the more experienced????) to cull our pix as quickly and efficiently as possible! Photo Mechanic will let you do that, easily, and most importantly, FAST. In this age of Photoshop, NX2, Creator, you name it, it's mind-blowing that any program that good and that flexible can be so darned FAST!!!!

No, Photo Mechanic is not Lightroom (in particular, now that I understand catalogs better and realize I'd like to have some, I miss that feature in PM). But at the same time it doesn't have Lightroom's price tag, Lightroom's system requirements, Lightroom's (relative) sluggishness (relative to Photo Mechanic, I mean), and for me the most important part, it sits side by side with NX2 on my computer in peace. They respect each other. They play nicely. It'll even make a really lovely on-line album. AND, it makes it easier (compared to NX2 that's much easier) to find the good ones, flag the bag ones, and delete the rejects. Or save the rejects "just in case," but get them out of my line of sight. Newbie heaven!!!!

I've only discovered it recently, but for a newbie, I do recommend it as a budget-level alternative to Lightroom, provided you already have a really good photo editor – along the lines of NX2 – which is the context in which I introduced it here.

-- LaDonna

_________________________________
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing

  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Wed 21-Jan-09 06:10 PM
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#32. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 31


Clemmons, US
          

Photomechanic is a fantastic front-end to a Capture NX/NX 2 centered workflow. I own it and use it as such.

The Catalog or Database functionality has to come from somewhere else. For that I use Expression Media 2 (at the moment).

PM is very fast by comparison since it uses the embedded JPEG preview in the NEF (if you pick the right settings). And it's well color managed unlike View NX or the browser inside Capture NX/NX2. Nikon take note, that's very poor!

But it's still just a front end. You can't use it after the fact to help you find photos by searching for keywords.

Lightroom does have an internal database. It's Library Module is "catalog-driven" (".....Lightroom takes an extended view beyond the local disk — it can work with offline files because it is catalog-driven. Importing photographs to Lightroom is the method by which new images are added to its catalog." -- from URL: http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshoplightroom/faq/).

On the PC platform (what I use) PM is a robust and feature-rich front-end. But that's where it ends. Mac users can leverage some other OS features for more goodness from what I have read.

If PM to Capture NX 2 to pixel editor of choice (Photoshop, Elements, Gimp, PaintShop Pro, whatever) meets the workflow needs of a user then I think that's fantastic and enthusiastically support that.

View NX can be a good zero-cost alternative front-end for some users. Not everyone can reap the $89 value in PM.

I use PM (keyword here) --> CNX2 --> PSCS3 Ext (in rare cases, usually noise reduction or major cloning) --> Qimage for printing --> EM2 for cataloging. I *do* need to do more work on how to get these apps to flow better from one to the other. That is one thing I enjoy when using Lightroom even though that isn't perfectly smooth going from module to module either.

Just wanted to expand on the workflow ideas you put forth. We both agree on much here.

Respectfully Yours,
Michael

  

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fastbike Registered since 02nd Oct 2004Thu 22-Jan-09 12:10 PM
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#36. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 31


Granbury, US
          

For background, I have been using ViewNX for browsing, general keywording and NX2 for conversion. I typically don't often need pixel level editing.

I am working towards LR or NX2 for conversion (depending on what I want), w/ LR for catalog/keyword, etc and Paint Shop Pro x2 for pixel level.

What I do particularly like about LR is the ability to use collections. I have a fairly organized file system, but the ability to put a photo into various collections w/o making a copy is a real plus for me.

I'm still a bit torn. I really like NX2 and am getting better w/ its tools, but I do think the local adjustments in LR are a bit easier to apply than fiddling w/ control points/brush in NX2. May just be my inexperience w/ this type of edit.

"Many look, few see". The Tao of Rau

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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The Smokester Registered since 19th Dec 2008Thu 22-Jan-09 03:06 AM
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#33. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 24


US
          

LaDonna, I have read a number of your posts regarding color renditions and am begining to see, through your examples, what you mean. Right now I am only using LR, so am not able to yet do direct color comparison between LR and NX myself. You say:

"...To see how well a job it does for a given camera, check out dpreview's "software" page in their review of your camera. Here's the one for the D300. If you scroll down a little bit you'll see a color patch. Scroll down a little further and you'll see five choices to click on and see what that same set of numerical data (which is what a RAW file is when it gets fed from the camera to the software program) looks like when rendered by five different programs..."

Okay. When I do this I see that the Nikon jpeg directly from the camera is very close to the rendering from both Nikon's RAW ViewNX converter and RAW Capture NX. The other two (Adobe ACR and Bibble Pro) are different from the first three and from each other.

My naive questions are:

Which rendering(s) is (are) closest to the original GretagMacbeth ColorChecker chart? (I presume the answer is the Nikon rendition but just checking.)

What improvements have the recent Adobe (ACR 5) profile updates made?

Is it fundamentally impossible (in practice or in principle) for a 3rd (non-Nikon) party to produce an accurate profile from a Nikon DSLR and has it yet been done?

Is there a current thread or 3rd-party reference that I can read more about this?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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rwboyerjr Registered since 23rd Jul 2006Thu 22-Jan-09 03:32 AM
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#34. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 33
Thu 22-Jan-09 03:34 AM by rwboyerjr

US
          

This is something that a lot of people really struggle with and for some reason need a bunch of external validation in words, images, etc.

There is some not so carefully controlled experiments but at least they are from the same exact files here:

http://photo.rwboyer.com/2008/08/adobe-lightroom2-and-dng-camera-profiles/

If you are new to the whole deal I hope this might give you a bit more info.

Here is some other stuff regarding the NX/NX2 magic or not:

http://photo.rwboyer.com/2008/12/aperture-lightroom-capture-nx2-and-nikon-shooters/
http://photo.rwboyer.com/2008/12/aperture-2-and-nef-raw-recipies/

Otherwise just search NEF on the site. Lots-o-words, lots-o-####, If I can remember that far back I think that I actually give a couple of NEF downloads that you can load into ViewNX/CaptureNX/NX2/LR2/Whatever and see for yourself.

Ps. Beware images on the web that do not allow you to download an NEF and also beware of embedded NEF changes that only Nikon software will read and process.

  

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The Smokester Registered since 19th Dec 2008Thu 22-Jan-09 05:56 AM
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#35. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 34


US
          

rwboyerjr, Thank you for the links. I read them with great interest.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Fri 23-Jan-09 06:47 AM
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#39. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 24


San Jose, US
          

La Donna well said! When I moved to Digital from a F3HP, I had had years of photography and darkroom experience. I started with a Coolpix 950 and decided that I was going to make myself as expert as I could using Photoshop starting with CS2. I devoured everything I could read, graduating to the harder books as I went and became an advanced user. I also moved to an Olympus PS camera going from 2 MP to 6 MP, but I missed my F3 functionality, although it was still in my possession, but not being used. So I decided to buy a D200. I loved it because I could use all my old lenses and it was a "real camera". Shortly after I decided to make the move to an Adobe suite, as I wanted to do some video as well as stills, and got the CS3 Production premium suite and realized other than Photoshop i had bought a large learning curve, but I continued to use my hard earned skills to turn out the best images I could often jumping into LAB space and doing other tricks I learned from Dan Margulis' books. Then I decided to try NX, at first I was just using it as my RAW processor and would move a TIFF to Photoshop to work on it once I did simple conversions. Then NX2 came out and I upgraded. While using that I realized that in most cases I had no need to go to CS3, now CS4, except to add key copyright signature and sometimes for special work like HDR or Panos or blending multiple photos. So I started to do more and more in NX2 to the point that it is my main processing tool now, giving me quick and easy results that are superior to what I can get out of Photoshop except for those special cases. I am puzzled why people would buy new expensive cameras with special features and then essentially throw away all that added capability by using SW that can't see the camera setting or the results of using these new controls.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Fri 23-Jan-09 06:44 PM
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#41. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 24


Canton, US
          

I guess I'm not really sure what the "Nikon Look" really is. The color differences are subtle, at best. But if that look is truly important, then I would wonder why shoot RAW to begin with if all we are doing is converting the file to look like the camera would have done; with the exception of some minor tweaks for WB and levels.

OTOH, with a program like Lightroom it is relatively easy to create any number of "looks" and save them as presets to be applied to single or multiple images.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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rhom Registered since 06th Aug 2008Mon 26-Jan-09 02:13 AM
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#43. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 41


Sacramento, US
          

Hi Everyone,

I have been reading this thread with great interest. I am a relative PP software novice that has been learning LR via Kelby's book. I thought that I liked LR a lot. Today, I got around to loading and playing with the 60 day NX 2 trial that came with my D700. Wow! the NEF conversion is terrific, just as many of you have mentioned. I'm not sure that I would make any adjustments >90% of the time. It certainly has got me thinking that NX 2 should be in my future workflow.

I have been converting my previous RAW files to DNG format within LR (S. Kelby advocates this conversion). If you don't mind my asking, here are two (probably very naive) questions: 1) Is it a good idea to convert NEFs to DNG for permanent storage? 2) Given that NX 2 cannot handle DNG files, should I be concerned about the ability to view my NEFs years from now?


Thank you for your comments.

Best,

Rick

Nikon user for 40 years.
F-Ftn, F3, F4S, F90, F100, D5100, D700

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 05:57 AM
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#44. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 43


San Jose, US
          

I have CS4 Extended and NX2. Adobe's whole idea is that they are going to be the ones still standing many years down the road and therefore everyone should convert to their DNG standard. Well everyone is not on board for if they were this "standard" would be used in everyones SW. Now as i understand it the original NEF is embedded in the DNG, but since I don't use DNG I can't comment on its final size, but my guess is it will be larger. Nikon swears they will support NEF for ever. So now ask yourself who are you betting on to be here in 50 years? So even though I am well versed in Photoshop and consider myself an advanced user, I use NX2 for all my RAW processing, for as you can see you get wonderful results. I see no need to convert to DNG at all. I nevere open a NEF in Photoshop, because their ACR processor just is not as good as NX2 and this is not a knock on Adobe, but no 3rd party RAW processor is going to do as good a job as Nikons Sw because they don't have the key to the secret algorithms that process the Nikon codes in the RAW file and have to approximate it.So with a modern Nikon Camera like a D700 or a D300, you pay for advanced features that leave code steps in a NEF RAW file that 3rd parties can't read, and may even wind up giving you a worse file because of it. An example is Active D lighting. Only Nikon can process the changes caused by that in camera selection. So when I have done all I can do to a file in NX2, if I need any of the special tools in Photoshop to work on it further (an event that is becoming less and less frequent), I move a 16 bit TIFF to Photoshop from NX2 and finish my work on that. I like NX2 for many reasons over Adobe. First the results are more accurate (see the DPReview on 3rd party SW vs NX2) and that alone should make you decide to make NX2 your RAw processor of choice. Second all the changes are stored within the NEF file including any versions, no funky side cars. Third it is a lot easier to use and although I can do wonders in Adobe, it will take more skill and training and time than doing it in NX2.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 09:42 AM
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#45. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 44


Canton, US
          

Obviously if one is going to use NX or NX2 then they should leave the files in the Nikon format. However, if you standardize on Lightroom, then converting to DNG is a good idea IMO. Regardless of what we think about Nikon's longevity, NEF is still a proprietary format, while DNG is open-sourced. IOW, even if Adobe isn't around in 50 years, the DNG format will be. It's also consistent from camera to camera, unlike proprietary RAW formats.

Active D Lighting is merely a spin on using the shadows/highlights sliders in LR/ACR; with the exception that Nikon does their version in-camera. I'm not saying they are exactly the same, but in practice they give the same kind of results.

With DNG you have a choice of using a sidecar or having edits embedded within the main file. You also have a choice of whether or not you want the original NEF embedded within. I choose not to do so since I keep the orginals archived on DVD anyway.

Actually, at least two companies (Pentax and Leica) make cameras that natively shoot in DNG format. Quite frankly I wish that Nikon did as well.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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The Smokester Registered since 19th Dec 2008Mon 26-Jan-09 03:53 PM
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#46. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 45


US
          

Can someone please explain why NX2 is essential for interpreting RAW files shot with Active D Lighting (ADL)?

Reading Thom Hogan's explanation of ADL, it appears that ADL simply compensates exposure (by -1/3 or -2/3) in a predictable way depending on a Low, Normal or High setting. It compensates flash, too, only differently but predictably.

Does anyone use ADL? Doesn't it give up too much control over your image? How is this useful in other than a "Hail Mary" sort of way?

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 10:17 PM
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#50. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 46


San Jose, US
          

Since you read Tom's book you know he said that Nikon uses a proprietary algorithm to apply the corrections required to properly apply the ADL. It is not done in a way that other 3rd party RAW processors can see, and he also states that they may even mess up the image. This is because it is not just an adjustment of exposure but also moving the values for highlights and shadows in the RAW file tables. He also states that RAW shooters should probably forgo ADL except for extreme cases. So no it is not essential, but if you use it in RAW you better use NX2 to process it.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

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camera"

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The Smokester Registered since 19th Dec 2008Mon 26-Jan-09 11:57 PM
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#53. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 50


US
          

robsb says "Since you read Tom's book you know he said that Nikon uses a proprietary algorithm to apply the corrections required to properly apply the ADL. It is not done in a way that other 3rd party RAW processors can see, and he also states that they may even mess up the image. This is because it is not just an adjustment of exposure but also moving the values for highlights and shadows in the RAW file tables. He also states that RAW shooters should probably forgo ADL except for extreme cases. So no it is not essential, but if you use it in RAW you better use NX2 to process it."

Yes. Thank you for pointing that out. Thom Hogan says there is a non-linear transformation applied at the dark and bright extremes.

Here are some other relevant snippets from his eBook: "...If you use it on a low contrast scene, the function will still tend to overexpose and reshuffle the data values, which is probably less than useful. Active D-Light is really only useful for scenes that are near or slightly exceed the camera's dynamic range..." Because of this, his advice is to use ADL "sparingly" and turn it on for high contrast scenes and when shooting other than RAW.

Later, Thom says: "...Personally, I'd say you're better off--even Capture NX2 users--to simply make sure that your exposure doesn't have channel blowout rather than use Active D-Lighting."

So, when I asked "How is this useful in other than a "Hail Mary" sort of way?" it is in the full context of what Thom's eBook on the D700 says. If facing a high contrast scene do you switch on ADL or do you go to manual and work through the proper exposure based on (perhaps) spot metering and/or previous experience? Or bracket (spray and pray)?

If ADL is not really a useful feature in practice then it hardly translates into an advantage for using NX2. However, I don't have the experience myself, yet, to know if ADL is actually useful. Hence my question.

So, does anyone routinely use Active D-Lighting? How effective is it? Does anyone think they have saved a shot in practice using ADL? Is it an advantage over traditional spot metering and/or bracketing in either quality or efficiency? Inquiring minds want to know.

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 02:02 AM
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#57. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 53


San Jose, US
          

Even in the d700 manual Nikon clearly states that ADL should only be used in high contrast situations, and not normally left on. I don't use it, but mentioned it in my response as an example where not knowing the Nikon camera settings or how they apply algorithms to their data table can cause problems in other RAW processors. There have been images posted in the d700 forum that show it working quite well when used properly.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

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camera"

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 10:23 PM
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#51. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 45


San Jose, US
          

Shadows and highlights is similar to D lighting, but as you point out only ADL is done in camera. While D lighting is similar to the shadows/highlights slider, it is not the same. How Nikon decides to adjust the highlights and shadows and where they put the changed values in the table of values is unknown to Adobe, so they can't give you exactly the same results. Thanks for the info on Pentax and Leica shooting DNG, I did not know that, but DNG while a standard promoted by Adobe is still not a universal standard used by all manufacturers.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 10:23 PM
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#52. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 45


San Jose, US
          

Shadows and highlights is similar to D lighting, but as you point out only ADL is done in camera. While D lighting is similar to the shadows/highlights slider, it is not the same. How Nikon decides to adjust the highlights and shadows and where they put the changed values in the table of values is unknown to Adobe, so they can't give you exactly the same results. Thanks for the info on Pentax and Leica shooting DNG, I did not know that, but DNG while a standard promoted by Adobe is still not a universal standard used by all manufacturers.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 04:09 PM
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#47. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 44


Clemmons, US
          

Hi Bob,
Do you have a link to the DPreview.com comparison of 3rd party software to Nikon Capture NX 2? I'd love to read that and see their findings. Thank you very much. I'm not having luck searching for it myself, at the moment.

Much Appreciated,
Michael

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 10:10 PM
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#48. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 47


San Jose, US
          

The Sw review starts here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond700/page16.asp

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Mon 26-Jan-09 10:10 PM
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#49. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 47


San Jose, US
          

The Sw review starts here:

http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/nikond700/page16.asp

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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The Smokester Registered since 19th Dec 2008Tue 27-Jan-09 12:03 AM
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#54. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 49
Tue 27-Jan-09 12:05 AM by The Smokester

US
          

It should be pointed out that the dpReview D700 article comparing the renderings from the various software was written in October 2008 before the most recent Adobe profiles were availble.

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 12:03 AM
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#55. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 49


Clemmons, US
          

Thanks Bob,
Although I would say that's a brief aside about raw conversion software as a very minor part of the D700 review, not a software review. Furthermore, DPreview talks about how much of the difference can be undone based on application selections. And finally that ACR work was done in 4.6 beta not the 5.x releases of today.

Just so you and the thread readers understand, I get super results from NX 2 in almost all my images. And I think I'm fast with it. I've spent enough time and money on learning it and getting training so I darn well better. Being able to completely "finish" a file in NX 2 without a trip to Photoshop saves time, online disk space, archive storage, and backup storage (as well as backup time). Less is truly more!

But the front to back workflow can be very cumbersome. And the proprietary and almost randomly changing NEF file format from camera body to camera body makes advanced keywording (like hierarchical keywords) and other metadata editing difficult or impossible depending on the goal. Simply because the risk of damaging the file is too great and third-party applications (like catalog apps) won't take that risk. But I insist that all data objects be self-describing with all their data and metadata in the same object.

That is one big advantage to DNG. Although not a de jure standard (yet), the file format is completely open and well documented. Multiple browsers or catalog applications can see the preview and read or modify the metadata without risk. NEFs are proprietary, closed, and subject to format change at Nikon's whim. Those present challenges to all of us.

As I mentioned before, today it's the workflow aspects of a NEF-centric workflow that are repeatedly tripping me up and causing hassle.

Thank you again for directing me to the short discussion of converters in the larger D700 camera review.

Best Regards,
Michael

  

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The Smokester Registered since 19th Dec 2008Tue 27-Jan-09 12:15 AM
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#56. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 55


US
          

...>But the front to back workflow can be very cumbersome. And
>the proprietary and almost randomly changing NEF file format
>from camera body to camera body makes advanced keywording
>(like hierarchical keywords) and other metadata editing
>difficult or impossible depending on the goal. Simply because
>the risk of damaging the file is too great and third-party
>applications (like catalog apps) won't take that risk. But I
>insist that all data objects be self-describing with all their
>data and metadata in the same object.
...

Yes. Exactly the point. NX2 has some very tempting features on the surface. For one thing, it can recognize Nikon lenses (all of mine so far) and automatically take out vignetting. (Of course, one can quickly make a preset in LR2 that, once made, can work "forever more".) But, with NX2, one gives up a lot in the workflow area.

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 02:15 AM
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#58. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 55


San Jose, US
          

Michael I am not saying that NX2 should be the only tool in your toolbox. If that were so I wouln't own CS4 Extended. What I am saying is it should be your front end RAW processor, and that many will find it meets all their post processing needs. As Nikon adds cameras to the NEF format they do not make major changes to the format, it is mostly updating features through nikon tags. Many people like LR for its overall management of their photos, some people add separate browsers or photo management Sw to meet their work flow needs. But what most of us are saying is if you want the very best image out of your Nikon then process RAW files in NX2. If you need to do something that NX2 can't do then move a 16 bit file after you finished RAW processing over to your pixel editor of choice. The fact that Adobe now has new profiles is an attempt on their part to close the gap between NX2 and their programs because people were complaning about the results. No matter how much they try, whiile they may make the differences small they willl never make it exact and you will always start with a file where only the WB was read from the RAW file. But if you can live with that, then your choices for a RAW processor are wider.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 03:48 AM
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#59. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 58


Clemmons, US
          

Hi Bob,
I'm trying to have my cake and eat it too. Capture NX2 does almost everything I want in a raw converter (and even a 'normal' editing ) program.

Photomechanic is a blistering fast browser, keyworder, and comparison tool. I think it beats Bridge or Lightroom on performance.

Capture NX 2 is quirky and has some user interface irritations but you can actually edit quickly (except when using noise reduction) and get excellent results with a small amount of practice and the help of fellow Nikonians. Large volume workflows are an exception to this and the workflow chokes some on many images.

Photoshop CS3 (in my case) is more powerful than I can handle right now but I've got it. So I'll used it only as needed.

Then things get sticky. I had to buy Qimage to liberate me from NX 2's miserable printing features. But the output is eye popping so I may have been forced into a "good" thing after all.

It's the cataloging that breaks down. The proprietary NEF format is tough. And keywording in the Nikon apps is tedious and inflexible. Expression Media 2 seems to be about the most NX 2 and Photomechanic friendly of the litter. feature for feature more capable than the Lightroom database, by far.

Printing and cataloging are the breakdowns for me. I could spend my way out of the printing issue. Technology (file formats) is kicking my backside on the cataloging issue.

Still wrestling with the workflow. I'm much happier doing the editing than organizing.

I'm with you in that I prefer to get it right in camera and not have to fuss as much on the back end of things. You're right, the workflow aspects of Lightroom are the usual selling points. Hope other members are getting value from this discussion.

--Michael

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 09:36 AM
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#60. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 58


Canton, US
          

I understand that approach, but what I've found is that the workflow aspects outweigh the advantages that NX2 might give me in terms of getting the absolute best from my RAW files. Not that I'm not interested in getting the best results, but I've found that Lightroom is indeed capable of fantastic results as a standalone image editor, even without its vast cataloging and sorting capabilities. To me the value of a single interface to handle the "cradle to grave" aspects of workflow is something that is very important.

So, in theory, NX/NX2 may yield the best possible results from individual files, but quite honestly I haven't seen how it gives better results then Lighroom, unless we define "better" as being the most like Nikon's in-camera processing. Like all software, it's how you use it.

I'm not knocking NX2, just saying that workflow can be a very important thing even if you don't shoot hundreds of images a day. IMO, anything that makes the photographic process easier, from the camera to the final print, enhances creativity.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 04:40 PM
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#61. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 60


San Jose, US
          

Stephen that is why i have been saying that people have to decide what is more important to them, and go with the editor that meets those needs. No one is saying you don't get great results with the Adobe products, but we are saying you get better results with NX2. But if better is not as important as a preceived work flow advantage you see in LR then I understand your choice. I honestly don't see a problem in my workflow by making NX2 my front end, as for me the best image is the most important thing.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 08:04 PM
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#65. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 61


Canton, US
          

Rob,

I guess that is my point. I really haven't seen where NX gives better results. It all depends on how you define "better." If "better" means closest to a Nikon jpeg right out of the camera, then perhaps that is true, but it is a subjective judgement. But if better means sharper, better tonality and dynamic range, etc, then I'd have to say that both programs are pretty much equal in that regard. They just have different approaches to achieve the same thing.

NX does have some nice tricks like the U-Point stuff that can come in handy at times, but LR also has some unique tricks of its own.

But as you say, if you feel you get best results with a particular program, then that is the one you should use. With software, truly no one size fits all.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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rhom Registered since 06th Aug 2008Tue 27-Jan-09 04:47 PM
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#62. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 60


Sacramento, US
          

Again, please excuse my naive questions about LR vs NX 2, I am new to PPing.

Wouldn't I get the best of both worlds by opening and PP'ing my NEFs in NX 2 and then saving my final images as TIFFs, and then importing them into LR? Then, I could catalog, keyword, search, etc. using LR's terrific Library capabilities.

True, this might not be convenient if I wanted to later edit one of these TIFFs some more (because it will be in LR). And the size of TIFF files is huge, but I would intend to only save my keepers in LR anyway, so this will lessen my storage requirements (but storage is pretty inexpensive).

I am probably missing something here. Thanks for your comments!

Rick

Nikon user for 40 years.
F-Ftn, F3, F4S, F90, F100, D5100, D700

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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michael1778 Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jan 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 06:16 PM
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#63. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 62
Tue 27-Jan-09 06:20 PM by michael1778

Clemmons, US
          

I don't think you are missing very much if anything. You likely have made some unwritten cost-benefit comparisons in your head.

Storage may seem inexpensive until you begin to manage it. It takes time to copy, time to move, time to backup (again and again and again), more time to archive. How will you offsite your images for disaster recovery? For some of us that will be ok. I'm not sure how that will play for me.

Those are a sample of the trade-offs. There are more feature rich DAM applications out there so if I went the "TIFF/PSD for everything I keep" route I'd use IDimager or Expression Media 2. And how would I catalog my D90 videos in LR? They may add that in LR3.

Now let's see how this applies to me. I'm doing this math for the first time so let's see what we get. I really don't know.....

I keep from 2000 to 4000 images a year for the past 3 years. These days I use a D90 at 12MP per NEF. A 16-bit TIFF (uncompressed for maximum compatibility with all applications) of each would be:

(1.2e+07) * (48 bits per pixel) = 5.76e+08 bits per TIFF

8 bits per byte (8 bit / byte) converts to 7.2e+07 bytes each

then 1024^2 factor to get to Megabytes and we are at 68.blah-blah MB each. Let's call that 70MB each to account for the infrequent but monstrous 720p video I shoot from time to time.

4000 images at 70MB each is 280GB per year. Try archiving that to optical disk on a regular basis. No, I won't trust only one type of media for my images. I may have 3 copies on various hard drives locally or regionally (not including the offsite mirror disks a few hundred miles away at a friends server), but I also will insist on optical copies (DVD-R today BD-R hopefully in a year). Those I can deep archive locally and at my mother's house 600+ miles away in a totally different compass direction from my remote archive at the friend's server)

Even for the modest annual disk costs for this run rate, the optical or tape requirement and the desire to use immediate offsite archive over the wire start to get clogged up on those bug TIFFs. Time to move data locally, time to synchronize hard drives, time to move data over the slow wires we have in the US, and time to burn optical disks as the year goes on. Hmmmm, that looks as challenging as I had feared.

In reality I would likely only TIFF a minority fraction of my NEFs but this is a worst case scenario for my use pattern. Everyone's mileage will be different. You could be very happy with the workflow you propose. If so, please enjoy and feel good about it!

Best Regards,
Michael

  

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robsb Platinum Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his expertise in CNX2 and his always amicable and continuous efforts to help members Laureate Ribbon awarded for winning in the Best of Nikonians 2013 images Photo Contest Nikonian since 23rd Aug 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 07:27 PM
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#64. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 62


San Jose, US
          

While I don't use LR, I do move my completed NEF's to Photoshop as 16 bit TIFF's to add my copyright signature and once in awhile do some additional processing in special situations. I keep a copy of that TIFF file with the signature on a separate layer. I then make my jpeg for the web from that file. So I have many duplicates of my files, as when i download my NEF's to my computer I store the original on 2 separate hard drives. I then process the RAW files and save the finished RAW on one drive then back up all the images to yet another external hard drive each night. So already I have 3 originals, and 2 copies of the processed files, all NEF's. The TIFFs are also saved to both drives as well as the JPEG's. That is a lot of storage and not too efficient, but it does give me cover.

Bob Baldassano
My Nikonians Gallery

"Nikonians membership - My most important photographic investment, after the
camera"

Retirement is a gift of time - Don't waste it!

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Tue 27-Jan-09 08:17 PM
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#66. "RE: Lightroom 2 vs Capture NX 2"
In response to Reply # 62


Canton, US
          

Rick,

One of the advantages of a RAW workflow is that you don't have to convert images to huge TIF files. Your original RAW files are your archives. Then you only convert/export the images you want to do something with, be it print, send to email, whatever.

While LR will edit and manage your TIF files, it really shines with RAW files because it uses all the data from the camera sensor with no translation step in between.

If you really want the best of both worlds, I'd recommend using LR as your front-end program for cataloging and editing your images because it is so intuitive, quick and powerful; and then if there are some that you feel would give you better results with NX, just edit those individual files in that program.

I actually have NX installed for that purpose, but quite frankly I haven't found the need to go beyond what LR can do with some occasional tweaking in Photoshop Elements.



Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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