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Subject: "Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2" Previous topic | Next topic
Garys Registered since 22nd Sep 2009Thu 24-Sep-09 12:54 PM
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"Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"


Mesa, US
          

I was talked into purchasing Lightroom 2 and I have just purchased Capture NX2. The question is do I need Lightroom? Can it do anything that Capture cannot do? Should I have purchased PS Elements 6 instead of Lightroom.

Thanks for your help.

----
Gary

Visit MY Nikon Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=13361&ppuser=0

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Thu 24-Sep-09 01:09 PM
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#1. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Odessa, US
          

For me the question is did you need NX2?

For me some of the advantages of Lightroom over NX2 are:

1) Much Much Much faster post processing of images. The load and save times in Capture NX2 are far too long especially compared to the way Lightroom works.
2) Cataloging and keywording of images
3) Combines the browsing and editing into one program. Capture needs View to do this and it's still not very good in my opinion.
4) Ability to easily export images for email, upload to the web (sites like SmugMug, Flicker, etc), creation of HTML for web galleries, etc.
5) Original images files aren't modified by Lightoom since changes are stored in the catalog or sidecar XMP files. This includes JPG and TIFF.

A lot of people say you get the best results from NX2 when processing RAW. I think that's based on the fact that Capture NX2 is Nikon's software. It is the only software that reads all the in-camera settings on RAW images. As far as I know all other RAW processing software can only read the white balance setting.

I have been perfectly happy with the results I get from Lightoom and I get them faster. I switched to Lightroom in November last year and haven't found any need to use Capture NX2 since.

After using Lightroom what made you decide to purchase Capture NX2?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Garys Registered since 22nd Sep 2009Thu 24-Sep-09 01:25 PM
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#2. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 1


Mesa, US
          

I have purchased Lightroom but have not used it as the D90 will not be here until this morning. I will be shooting in RAW and I thought that Capture would be able to make use of everything that the D90 has to offer while Lightroom may not be able too.

So then is this a case of use one or the other but not both?

----
Gary

Visit MY Nikon Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=13361&ppuser=0

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Thu 24-Sep-09 01:37 PM
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#3. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 2


Odessa, US
          

Lightroom and Capture NX2 don't really play well together. You can't open a NEF file from Lightroom using Capture NX2. Lightroom will convert it to a 16-bit TIFF before opening Capture NX2. And if you use NX2 to do the editing you won't be able to see the changes in Lightroom since Lightroom always reads the RAW data and not the changes applied by Capture NX2.

You could use them together (using NX2 to do the post-processing and Lightroom to do the cataloging but you wouldn't see your edits in Lightroom which would kill off it's use as an image viewer. You also wouldn't be able to use things like the SmugMug/Flicker plugins because when you did the export it would be from unchanged RAW data instead of using your edits.

This is one of the reasons I stopped using NX2 (the other was speed). Lightroom did what I needed as far as post-processing and I could see my changes within Lightroom.

There's nothing preventing you from getting the same results in Lightroom that you will from Capture NX2.

Everybody has different needs and wants for post-processing images. I prefer Lightroom because if fits my needs. Is it too late to return the software? They both have free 30 day trials so you could make up your own mind how you want to proceed.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Garys Registered since 22nd Sep 2009Thu 24-Sep-09 01:55 PM
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#4. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 3


Mesa, US
          

Thanks for the advice. I will use both for a couple days and keep the one that fits my purposes the best.

----
Gary

Visit MY Nikon Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=13361&ppuser=0

  

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cliddell Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Oct 2006Thu 24-Sep-09 02:53 PM
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#5. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 4


Pietermaritzburg, ZA
          

Hi Gary,

Bear in mind that if you shoot in RAW then the free Nikon ViewNX already offers quite a few important (and reversable) "editing" tools and you may only need to go to CaptureNX for more comprehensive editing.

In my opinion about the main thing I miss and would like to see in VNX is the ability to crop.

Regards,
Clive Liddell
Pietermaritzburg
South Africa

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Goodie Registered since 10th Jul 2008Thu 24-Sep-09 06:51 PM
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#6. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 1


Bristol, UK
          

>For me the question is did you need NX2?
>
>For me some of the advantages of Lightroom over NX2 are:
>

I feel the need to address some of the following points:

>1) Much Much Much faster post processing of images. The load
>and save times in Capture NX2 are far too long especially
>compared to the way Lightroom works.

No argument here. Capture NX is comparatively slow. It takes about 5 seconds longer to open a file in CNX on my machine compared with LR2. Personally, I don't find that a problem. I don't see a noticeable difference in editing times.

>2) Cataloging and keywording of images

CNX can do this too either on single or multiple files.

>3) Combines the browsing and editing into one program.
>Capture needs View to do this and it's still not very good in
>my opinion.

CNX also has a browser built in

>4) Ability to easily export images for email, upload to the
>web (sites like SmugMug, Flicker, etc), creation of HTML for
>web galleries, etc.

I do this all the time. I don't see LR is any easier than CNX

>5) Original images files aren't modified by Lightoom since
>changes are stored in the catalog or sidecar XMP files. This
>includes JPG and TIFF.

CNX does modify the original file but all edits are stored and displayed so you can still go back to any stage in the editing and change it again. The original picture data remains unchanged throughout so going back to the out-of-camera image is a single mouse click away.

>
>A lot of people say you get the best results from NX2 when
>processing RAW. I think that's based on the fact that Capture
>NX2 is Nikon's software. It is the only software that reads
>all the in-camera settings on RAW images. As far as I know
>all other RAW processing software can only read the white
>balance setting.

Actually even CS4 doesn't read the WB from a NEF file. Nikon has moved all of that type of information into a part of the EXIF data that isn't read by 3rd party software.

>
>I have been perfectly happy with the results I get from
>Lightoom and I get them faster. I switched to Lightroom in
>November last year and haven't found any need to use Capture
>NX2 since.
>
>After using Lightroom what made you decide to purchase Capture
>NX2?

I find the methodology used by Nik software in CNX is more logical than Adobe. This applies to LR, Elements and CS4 - all of which I have. There are some things that Adobe does better but the number of times I find I want to do those things is small. CNX is my preferred editing software but that is a purely personal choice.

--------
Regards
Steve G

My Nikonians gallery

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Thu 24-Sep-09 08:26 PM
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#7. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 6


Odessa, US
          

>No argument here. Capture NX is comparatively slow. It takes
>about 5 seconds longer to open a file in CNX on my machine
>compared with LR2. Personally, I don't find that a problem. I
>don't see a noticeable difference in editing times.

CNX took 25 seconds to load an image on my 2.4Ghz Quad with 4GB RAM and 10,000 RPM Western Digital Raptor. Save times were around 30 seconds. That was pretty much state of the art when I built the computer. Lightroom takes less than a second to move from 1 image to the next while in the develop module using the CTRL-Right Arrow. I can do quick touchups on at least 3-4 images in the time I used to wait for CNX to load a single image.

>CNX can do this too either on single or multiple files. (Cataloging and keywording of images)

But it's primitive at best when compared to Lightroom. At least in my opinion.

>CNX also has a browser built in

Yes it does but it's not as polished or as easy to use as Lightroom. Lightroom lets me look at all the photos in the current folder AND subfolders. I can look at one day of a trip or the whole trip. I can view all the images I took with my D3 or the images my wife took with her D40x. I can view all the images together chronologically. I can look at all the images taken with a certain camera&lens. I can even distinguish by camera serial number so if my wife and I were both shooting D40x I can tell hers from mine. I can even CTRL-Click multiple folders and view files from all of them as if they were a single folder.

>I do this all the time (exporting to email and web). I don't see LR is any easier than CNX

From within Capture NX? I think it will send email but I've never seen any ability to upload to SmugMug or Flicker or any other photosharing site and I used it for a while before switching to Lightroom. In Lightroom I select images, right click and select Export. I select the SmugMug Plugin, create a gallery and hit upload. I can resize, add copyright watermark, everything from within the plug in. When it's done it starts up Smugmug.com and shows me the gallery.

>CNX does modify the original file but all edits are stored and
>displayed so you can still go back to any stage in the editing
>and change it again. The original picture data remains
>unchanged throughout so going back to the out-of-camera image
>is a single mouse click away.

But it DOES modify the original file on disk. With Lightroom there is no chance of the file being corrupted during a save file operation. Lightroom also allows me to go back to any stage during the editing including snapshots and virtual copies. But the original NEF, JPG or TIFF is NEVER saved to or modified in anyway by Lightroom.

>Actually even CS4 doesn't read the WB from a NEF file. Nikon
>has moved all of that type of information into a part of the
>EXIF data that isn't read by 3rd party software.

As I recall the Adobe Camera Raw Plug-in does read the WB info. To my knowledge that's the only way for Photoshop to read a RAW file is through ACR. I may be mistaken but it's what I have read and in my limited experience with Photoshop, seen.

>I find the methodology used by Nik software in CNX is more
>logical than Adobe. This applies to LR, Elements and CS4 - all
>of which I have. There are some things that Adobe does better
>but the number of times I find I want to do those things is
>small. CNX is my preferred editing software but that is a
>purely personal choice.

This is stricly a matter of preference so I have nothing to say on it.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Garys Registered since 22nd Sep 2009Thu 24-Sep-09 08:58 PM
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#8. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 6


Mesa, US
          

Goodie:

Thanks for the input it is a great help.

Gary

----
Gary

Visit MY Nikon Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=13361&ppuser=0

  

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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 25-Sep-09 07:05 AM
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#9. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 6


San Jose, US
          

NX2 does not modify the original file on disk. All steps are non distructive and are saved as a list which is saved within the RAW file. I have CS4 Extended and am an advanced Photoshop user, but I prefer NX2 for all my RAW processing. There is no doubt in my mind that NX2 is easier to learn, more intuitive, and gives great results. That is why I made it my main RAW tool. You you may get to the same point if you are skiled in LR, but NX2 opens your file and applies all the as shot camera settings to the RAW file does automatic color aberation correction and lens distortion correction. It does automatic masks and fully integrates with Nik Color Effects Pro 3.0. All these are extra steps in LR. So you may save time in downloading your LR file, but you will spend more time processing it. I generally spend less than 5 minutes doing a complete process 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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Garys Registered since 22nd Sep 2009Fri 25-Sep-09 11:59 AM
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#10. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 9


Mesa, US
          

Robsb:

Thanks for the response. NX2 will be here today.

----
Gary

Visit MY Nikon Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=13361&ppuser=0

  

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tomhob Registered since 10th Jan 2009Fri 25-Sep-09 01:39 PM
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#11. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 10
Fri 25-Sep-09 01:43 PM by tomhob

Fort Davis, US
          

I am not a pro. I have both. I started with LR and like it. But I later bought NX2 and it is now my basic RAW processing software. Sometimes I like a feature in LR, then I convert it to a TIFF and take it to LR2. I have a tutorial by Jason on NX2 and a video tutorial that Bob recommended (I'm away from home and forget the name) and both are superb. Hopefully Bob will read this and give you the names of both.

I think you will like features in both. However, as I'm getting deeper and deeper into NX2, I'm using LR2 less and less. I also have CS3 and never really use it except to play around with it sometimes.


Tom

  

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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 25-Sep-09 07:05 PM
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#12. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 11


San Jose, US
          

Tom I think you are referring to the Vincent Versace video on 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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tomhob Registered since 10th Jan 2009Fri 25-Sep-09 10:29 PM
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#13. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 12


Fort Davis, US
          

Yes,Bob.

And your recommendation was great; I started on the videos before I left home a couple of weeks ago. Very explicit and easy to follow. I will go through them again again I'm sure.

Tom

  

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Dark Messiah Silver Member Nikonian since 27th Feb 2009Sun 27-Sep-09 08:28 PM
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#14. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 13


Wymondham, UK
          

I used LR for about 2 years with a Samsung GX-10 and it was a superb piece of software.

Unfortunately now that I own a D700,I just can't achieve the same image results with LR. CNX just seems to get the image (in NEF) right every time. I have tried lots of different presets in LR but to no avail.

So for me it is CNX for NEF files. It is annoying (for me) since I love LR, but the image results are more important.

I read on the web that lots of other D700 users find the same results as me.

  

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TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Mon 05-Oct-09 02:36 AM
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#27. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 9


Apex, US
          

>NX2 does not modify the original file on disk. All steps are non distructive and are saved as a list which is saved within the RAW file.

Rob,
NX2 does in fact write to the original file. As you said, the steps are non-destructive. However, the nef file is most definitely rewritten with both the instruction set and the updated embedded preview jpg.

Danny
A Nikonian in North Carolina

  

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TiggerGTO Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006Mon 05-Oct-09 02:50 AM
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#29. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 6


Apex, US
          

>>2) Cataloging and keywording of images

>CNX can do this too either on single or multiple files.

>>3) Combines the browsing and editing into one program.
>>Capture needs View to do this and it's still not very good in
>>my opinion.

>CNX also has a browser built in

First, NX2 can edit keywords. It does not have any features comparable to the cataloging available in Lightroom 2. Cataloging involves saving the metadata in a database so that you can easily find pictures anywhere in your collection based on keyword searches. NX2 can not do this.

Second, like Andy, I find NX2's browser to be lacking which is why I use PhotoMechanic as my front end for NX2. As I have said in the past, if it wasn't for PhotoMechanic, I probably would have ditched NX2 for a long time. I stick with NX2 because as an editor for Nikon NEF files, I find it the easiest application for me to get the results I want from my images. I also find it to be quite aggravating to use because of the slow performance and various defects that have not been fixed, especially the lack of stability on 64-bit Windows.

Danny
A Nikonian in North Carolina

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 30-Sep-09 02:26 PM
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#15. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 1


Colorado Springs, US
          

Andrew,
While some (and I mean only some) of your points are valid, all of them are pointless when you take into consideration one thing!

Capture NX2, a Nikon Software Product, will ALWAYS read the RAW file better than ANY other third party software program out there - always!

As long as Nikon keeps its RAW format propitiatory, nobody will EVER be as good as Nikon Software in converting RAW file into images - never.

Ok now that we have that out of the way, I see that you shoot Raw with your D3 - why? If you use Lightroom (ACR) as your converter you are throwing away data? Nobody mentioned the lens correcting features of NX2 like chromatic aberration and lens distortion- are you throwing that away as well?

I don't mean to be a jerk, but you have bought a $5,000 camera and you are using $2,000 glass and your trashing your RAW file, why? On top of that you are recommending that someone else does the same?

Gary is new here and it looks he is new to photography, don't you think you should give the guy have a chance to succeed with the tools available to him?

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 30-Sep-09 03:08 PM
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#16. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 15


Odessa, US
          

I am NOT "trashing" my RAW file. It's only settings that are lost NOT image data.

I can reapply settings. I may have to do it in a different way than in Capture NX but those settings (contrast, sharpening, hue, noise reduction, exposure compensation, white balance, etc) are there. No, CA and lens distortion aren't there. That hasn't been a problem for me in my shooting. Even if it were there are other options to NX2.

I (and many others) prefer the workflow of Lightroom. In my opinion it simply blows the clunky interface of NX2 away.

I think Gary should have the chance to succeed with the tools available to him. And he should know what those choices are AND why he should be considering them. NX2 is *not* the only tool and depending on needs and wants it may not even be the best tool.

I am glad you are happy with your choice. I used NX2 for two years before switching to Lightroom. I am happy with my switch and I will continue to suggest it to people.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 30-Sep-09 04:49 PM
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#17. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 16


Colorado Springs, US
          

It is a well know and well discussed fat that ACR cannot get all the highlight or shadow details out of a RAW file the same way NX2 can.

That what I meant by trashing. It's just data that ACR can't see?

Also, as things change in the Nikon world so does NX2. It's keeping up with these little nuances.

I agree that workflow is a choice and for you to have the ability to create all the additional setting is good. And yes, I know that a lot of folks like the LR workflow - but a lot of that can (IMO) be contributed to the fact that Abode has been around forever and NX is only on version 2. People get comfortable with a process and most of us (me included) are resistant to change.

My point was not to offend, but bring to light that fact no matter what we all chose, NX (from a pure technical standpoint) will always be a better converter. I never meant to imply that you could get the same results from LR, Photoshop or any other application for that fact.

But today - I am not as smart as my camera nor am I as smart as Nikon/Nik - so starting there only seems logical to me.

I will also through this on the table: Even though I am using Photo Mechanic for ingesting & tagging, I am struggling with finding catalog program that will get along with other. There is a huge need for a good catalog that will read in RAW JPEG's (and a few other settings) - but to date I have yet to find one for the PC.

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 30-Sep-09 06:40 PM
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#18. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 17


Odessa, US
          

>It is a well know and well discussed fat that ACR cannot get
>all the highlight or shadow details out of a RAW file the same
>way NX2 can.

I don't know where you have read that but it's never been a problem for me. I have recovered cloud detail from many images where the sky was pegged out at 100% on the histogram.

>Also, as things change in the Nikon world so does NX2. It's
>keeping up with these little nuances.

ACR seems to do a good job of this as well. Whenever NX2 comes out with a new version to support new cameras ACR & Lightroom are both updated as well.

>the fact that Abode has been
>around forever and NX is only on version 2. People get
>comfortable with a process and most of us (me included) are
>resistant to change.

Actually I have never really used Photoshop, just Lightroom. Lightroom is pretty new too and is also only on version 2. It was a tough decision to leave NX2 for LR2. For one thing it meant spending $299 on new software. In the end it came down to which is faster & easier to use. LR2 wins that for me, hands down. I have been able to get more pictures organized and uploaded to share with family then I ever could with NX2. LR2 lets me turn 1700 images into a few hundred keepers in a much easier and quicker way than NX2 or View NX ever could for me. The Smugmug, Facebook and Flickr plugins allow me to create albums on-line with a few clicks of the mouse.

>bring to light that fact no
>matter what we all chose, NX (from a pure technical
>standpoint) will always be a better converter.

I think a statement like that is purely subjective since you have to define what "better" means. I am sure every company that does RAW conversion thinks there's is the best. And different photographers have different opinions based on their desired output just like they do with photographic film, paper and even chemical processes.

>I never meant
>to imply that you could get the same results from LR,
>Photoshop or any other application for that fact.

When you say I am trashing my RAW images by not using NX2 it implies exactly that. My personal feeling is that I get better results in less time than with NX2.

>But today - I am not as smart as my camera nor am I as smart
>as Nikon/Nik - so starting there only seems logical to me.

I did start there, using NX2 for a couple of years. Then I got Lighroom and have never looked back. I haven't had ANY need to use NX2 since learning Lightroom.

>I will also through this on the table: Even though I am using
>Photo Mechanic for ingesting & tagging, I am struggling
>with finding catalog program that will get along with other.
>There is a huge need for a good catalog that will read in RAW
>JPEG's (and a few other settings) - but to date I have yet to
>find one for the PC.

Exactly. If NX2 played nice with Lightroom or some other cataloging program I might have been able to find room for it in my workflow. But they don't play well together and probably never will.

Lightroom does it all for me - Ingesting, tagging, editing, displaying and web albums. Your mileage and others will certainly vary.

In the end it's all about choice. You have made yours and I have made mine. They are different and isn't it great that we have the choice to make?

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 02-Oct-09 06:34 AM
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#22. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 18
Fri 02-Oct-09 06:35 AM by robsb

San Jose, US
          

Andy We are all entitled to use the post processor that we prefer, but as stated here, when you buy any second generation camera be it Nikon, Canon or whatever,the company supplied RAW processor is always going to process your RAW file correctly. So when you pay all the money for the new tools in camera, you essentially toss that away when you use Adobe products as your RAW processor. Any Adobe product i,e, Photoshop, LR, PSE7 all have the same issue. They cannot read any of the camera settings. Yes all the RAW data is there and yes you can apply approximations of Nikon's Picture Controls even if you can't read them, but what you can't do is properly process any data in the RAW file that has been manipulated by Nikon with a proprietary algorithm. For example if you use ADL and shoot RAW, only NX2 will process it properly because Nikon makes the following changes to the data that ACR can't read. It lowers the exposure by a specific amount, it then MOVES highlight and shadow data in a way that cannot be read by other RAW processors. So if you set ADL in camera, you will get an incorrect and uncorrectable result in ACR, where it will be properly be processed in NX2. Also as I stated earlier, NX2 reads and applies all the camera settings and lets you adjust them in post. It also applies automatic color aberration correction and will do auto defish of Nikon Fisheye lenses. ACR can't do any of that automatically. So yes many people choose to use LR because they like the work flow, and they use the color control approximations to improve the look of the image as shot, but all of this is inexact, requires more processing on your part just to get where we NX2 users start. So in summary I agree you should use what you like, but you pay a price whether you realize it or not. I am saying this as a long time user of Photoshop and an advanced user at that, but I realized NX2 gave me quicker and better results so that is what I now use and keep CS4 Extended for special stuff. There is a reason that the majority of users in this forum use 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 09-Nov-09 10:52 AM
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#88. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 15


Canton, US
          

I know this is an older post, but I have to commment. No, you're not being a jerk here, but you are misunderstanding a bit. If you use non-Nikon software, you are not throwing away any image data, nor are you "trashing" your RAW file in some way.

Before declaring that "nobody will EVER be as good as Nikon Software in converting RAW file into images - never," you need to clearly define what you mean by "as good as." LOTS of photographers use non-Nikon software, and their work doesn't suffer a bit from it. In fact, some may even produce better work because that non-Nikon software allows them more flexibility and creative options. NX isn't the only program that offers CA and lens distortion correction, either.

The proof is always in the final image, not the process we use to get there. To say that NX always does a better job just ain't so. I realize that this is a Nikon-oriented site, so there will naturally be a higher percentage of Nikon enthusiasts here who will swear by Nikon software. But if you look at the larger world of photographers, I think you'll find that more professionals use programs like Capture One, Lightroom, ACR or Aperture for their RAW conversion and image management. There's a good reason for that, and it isn't because they are somehow losing the capabilities of their gear.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Beemer2 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Dec 2006Wed 30-Sep-09 07:05 PM
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#19. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Scotland, UK
          

>I was talked into purchasing Lightroom 2 and I have just
>purchased Capture NX2. The question is do I need Lightroom?
>Can it do anything that Capture cannot do? Should I have
>purchased PS Elements 6 instead of Lightroom.
>
>Thanks for your help.
>
Gary,

After reading the whole thread I feel that since you have both programs you should be able to quite quickly determine for your self their relative merits.

For the record I am biased towards Lightroom 2.5

regards,

Ian

If only Mozart had had a camera

  

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Garys Registered since 22nd Sep 2009Thu 01-Oct-09 02:45 AM
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#20. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 19


Mesa, US
          

Ian:

You are right, I have tried both with the same images and I am leaning towards making Lightroom 2.5 my first choice. I am still using both but I will make my selection by next week.

----
Gary

Visit MY Nikon Gallery: http://images.nikonians.org/galleries/showgallery.php?cat=13361&ppuser=0

  

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Aviatorbumm Registered since 28th Dec 2005Thu 01-Oct-09 02:46 AM
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#21. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Naperville, US
          

Hi Gary,

I use NX2 and am generally pleased with it. There are some things I don't like...as well, there are features offered in LR2 which are hard turn away from. But, in the end, I prefer NX2 if for no other reason but for the 'U' point editing technology which I believe is the way of the future.

There are Nik 'U' Point plug-in's for LR2 and Photoshop but I feel the interface is quite awkward under those two platforms.

With all that said, I am hoping that NX2 becomes NX3 sooner than later. I think that Nik is on to something here and the next generation of this software will push out way ahead of the competition.

Also, I use Nik Color Efex Pro 3.0 which really is an outstanding set of filters for NX2. I don't know how I ever got along without them!

All these software options are available for you to try as free downloads including LR2, NX2 and Color Efex Pro 3.0 plug-in's for NX2 as well as LR and Photoshop. You can also try other Nik plug-ins like Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, etc.

If you poke around the internet, you'll find a lot of sites that offer free tips on editing under all platforms. This info can be useful during your trial periods.

Good luck in your decision!

Regards,

Mike

My Pbase Favorites

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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jimmotta Registered since 06th Sep 2009Sun 04-Oct-09 04:25 PM
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#23. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 21
Sun 04-Oct-09 04:28 PM by jimmotta

Lake Placid, US
          

I started using LR about a year ago. I already had a workflow down and I was pretty happy about how I had my images cataloged and backed up, all from within LR.

I was bored one day and decided to download the demo of NX2 and see how it worked compared to LR, and if I could find a use for it.

Long story short, I haven't used LR in over 2 months. NX2 is just that much better! The images are exactly how I shot them with all the camera setting applied, not a guess based on the ACR converter. The exposure/contrast/colors are truer and give me a better starting point that requires less post processing than the same images in LR. Between NX2, Photo mechanic, View NX and Transfer, I can do everything I could do in LR, faster and with alot less hassle and waiting.

I actually just uninstalled LR last week.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Aviatorbumm Registered since 28th Dec 2005Sun 04-Oct-09 05:23 PM
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#24. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 23


Naperville, US
          

Jim,

Try Color Efex Pro 3 filters for NX2. You won't believe it!

It's expensive, but just about worth the price just for the Tonal Contrast filter (especially for landscapes!). You can upload the trial here:

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

This is the Complete Edition which will get you all 52 filters plus the plug-in's for LR and PS (if you are so inclined).

There are other less expensive options as well.

Regards,

Mike


My Pbase Favorites

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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Skytalker Silver Member Nikonian since 15th Mar 2008Sun 04-Oct-09 06:08 PM
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#25. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 24
Sun 04-Oct-09 06:10 PM by Skytalker

Bereldange, LU
          

File transfer will allow an one setup of copyright info to be embeded in the files to be tranfered.

File management can be easily done using View NX. Some basics like sharpening exposure, altering Wb, resize etc., are supported as well.

Capture NX, although sometimes a pain 'cause it's slow, is the best to perform basic and advanced operations on NEF files. Quality wise the result are going to be better than with LR2 or ACR (CS4). If you are a pixel peeper you will notice that for sure.

Capture NX allows layering and masking, a lot more which comes with practice and it's totally non destructive, you can rebuild the original file just deactivating your processing.

Color EFEX pro 3 can be implemented as well and with it a new set of options are available.

For me it worked better than LR2 this is why I have chosen CNX2.

If you want image manipulation then CS4 might be more suitable. The best results I had using CNX2 to creat a tiff file RAW->TIFF) and then importing it and processing it with CS4.

However, at the end of the day it is the result which counts. And if you are happy with other than CNX then simply go for it.

Jan (a Nikonian in Luxembourg)
---------------------------------------

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein.

Visit:
My Portfolio|| My Nikonians Gallery|| My Fickr Gallery|| My Blog|| My Facebook||

  

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Hutch Basic MemberMon 05-Oct-09 02:19 AM
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#26. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 25


Guelph, CA
          

Lightroom 2 is an Image Database Management System that can do some file manipulation. The database management is where Lightroom really shines especially if you have tens of thousands of images. Where NX2 is an image processor that can do file storage and its file storage is vastly inferior to the true databases that programs like Lightroom and Aperture provide. Some don't require that and thats fine and some do.

Richard H

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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mobius32 Silver Member Nikonian since 07th Jul 2009Mon 05-Oct-09 02:36 AM
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#28. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

>I was talked into purchasing Lightroom 2 and I have just
>purchased Capture NX2. The question is do I need Lightroom?
>Can it do anything that Capture cannot do? Should I have
>purchased PS Elements 6 instead of Lightroom.
>
>Thanks for your help.
>
Gary,

I purchased a D90 a few months (my initial foray into the DSLR/SLR world). I read some reviews of Capture NX 2 regarding its speed (or lack of it), but bought it anyway. I then purchased Color Efex Pro 3. As a novice, I find NX2 extremely easy to use and fun. I've never used Photoshop so I've no emotional nor financial investment in it (and I've heard that the Photoshop learning curve for CSx can be steep); but if you are starting out, I think you'll find NX2 quite useful. I guess I've also made the decision, at this point, to keep things under control, i.e. resist the impulse to buy that one-more-thing that's going to be all-I-need to take the-best-photos-I-can ... so, one day I might give PS a try ... but right now, NX2/Color Efex are more than adequate ... it definitely can be confusing trying to comprehend the subtleties b/n the various post-processing programs, so I'm staying with a simple setup for the foreseeable future. I suppose some "pros" might feel NX2 isn't enough for them, but I'm -- I'm not going to say "not at that level" -- not in that mental space.

Visit http://alankarma.com/

  

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lighterside Silver Member Nikonian since 03rd Apr 2008Fri 09-Oct-09 01:24 AM
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#30. "RE: question re: use of Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 28


Jerrabomberra, AU
          

This post has been an interesting read.

For those of you who are happily using CNX2, I was wondering what software and workflow process(es) you use to manage your image library?

.. Brian

Patience is a virtue!

  

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Aviatorbumm Registered since 28th Dec 2005Fri 09-Oct-09 06:33 AM
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#31. "RE: question re: use of Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 30


Naperville, US
          

Hi Brian,

I use the Nikon "full monty" at this point including Nikon Transfer, View NX and, of course NX2. Nikon Transfer is really pretty good at ingesting. The interface is straight forward, quick and easy to use. I employ the auto-backup option and save my files to two different drives one of which serves as an untouched backup which I'll dump every now and then.

After the ingestion is complete, View NX opens automatically showing the files in the primary ingest folder. I review the files and use the color coding to identify the discards and keepers for edit. I then dump the discards and edit the keepers in NX2. Once the edit is done, I'll rate the picture, add the final XMP/IPTC data, save the file to the appropriate folder on my drive and discard the ingest folder at some point when I'm through all the pics.

I tried Expressions Media for cataloging (which is really what I was after when I tried it), viewing, sorting, etc, but just never got to where I felt comfortable with the functionality of that program. I had a lot of little weird glitchy things happening which scared me.

I also tried Photo Mechanic and despite the high marks so many others give this program, just coudn't see all that much difference between it and View NX in my work flow and decided to just stick with View NX for now....in fact, there are things I actually like about View NX better. But, then, I don't have to wade through thousands of "shoot" pics often or quickly....so, who knows, perhaps I'm missing something.

For what it's worth, that's how I do it....

Regards,

Mike

My Pbase Favorites

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberFri 09-Oct-09 03:50 PM
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#32. "RE: question re: use of Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 30
Fri 09-Oct-09 03:51 PM by csgaraglino

Colorado Springs, US
          

I spent a year (plus) fiddling with Lightroom - 10,000+ images cataloged. Also I should mention that I have been using Photoshop since version 2 commercially - yes, way back then...

I will also say that I still use Photoshop CS4 for work (Graphic Designing).

BUT - After fighting LR to get good images from RAW I gave up! I open the trial copy of NX and have not looked back since.

So to answer your question, First, I shoot RAW and only RAW so my workflow starts with Photo Mechanic. I did use LR to export ALL my meta data to XMP side car files and used Photo Mechanic to read the XMP files so that I did not lose any of that work I had put into LR. This worked flawlessly!

Photo Mechanic:
From the time the card is inserted into the reader - everything except editing is done with Photo Mechanic.

And I mean everything; ingesting, backup (two different drives), tagging, viewing, key-wording, emailing, generic cropping, FTPing, sending to a dozen different online services (Flickr, PhotoShelter, etc.) - absolutely everything. There are little gems throughout PM that really make this process the fastest on the market today.

If I am in a super need for speed, I can shoot 800 images (sports event, wedding, etc.), view the images right on the card (all of them), update the IPTC data from a default file, send one or two to NX2, make a couple of tweaks and email (or send online) them in less than 60 seconds. Yes, under 60 seconds!

Now, with that said - it does not exactly catalog. HOWEVER (and this is a big however that a lot of folks don’t know) I can open a contact sheet of a top level directory and ask for all the sub directories and I have done this successfully with over 1,500 images on my Windows Vista 64. And it does really good for that many images. I can start viewing images within a second or so. And I can search, on any of the IPTC data and find the images I need and perform tasks on these images. For example, I pull up the Find Panel, uncheck all, click on Keywords, type in my search phrase, click find and in about a second it will “select” all the matching images. I then change the View By option to view only selected. That’s it… It is that simple. And yes, I can also filter on ratings and color class.

From Photo mechanics I can open in NX@ (now), make my edits and save, and PM see the changes - even to meta data.

I do have some minor needs for a few cataloging features (collections specifically), but right now they don't out way the power & workflow speed of Photo Mechanic brings to the table. I even opened LR again the other day and tried to get LR to play nice - thinking that it may have matured? Nope - it hasn't and it's nasty inability to play nice just frustrated me even more. So I have now removed it! It's really a shame, it's a great cataloging program - it just sucks at editing RAW!

For the time being I am using the Category IPTC field as a sotto collection tag and I am happy for now.

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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hrbaan Registered since 29th Oct 2005Mon 12-Oct-09 08:23 PM
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#33. "RE: question re: use of Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 30


Kockengen, NL
          

Another vote for PhotoMechanic: all image file handling, except editing, is performed with it.

Cheers,


Hayo Baan – Photography
e-mail: info@hayobaan.nl
Web: http://www.hayobaan.nl

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberTue 13-Oct-09 02:39 AM
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#34. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Colorado Springs, US
          

I have been asked a couple of time about the FIND (Searching) in Photo Mechanic. I created a video in a new post and it can be found here:

http://www.nikonians.org/forums/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=196&topic_id=60554&mesg_id=60554&page=

Enjoy

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Tue 13-Oct-09 11:59 PM
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#35. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 34
Wed 14-Oct-09 12:01 AM by Screenguy

Boca Raton, US
          

Chris.... your comments are well taken. IMO, also, I have found PP with NX2 to produce better imgs. in most cases. However on occasion LR2 does give some better rendition of skin tones. I use both. As soon as I am more proficient with NX2 I will be using it exclusively.

But I have a few questions about transferring. Have you found any detriment or file information loss using Nikon transfer for taking the NEFs from the camera or card to the program? Or do you just drag your imgs (NEFs) into PM?

And now I am curious if, I take a NEF (14 bit) from LR2 to NX2 to edit if, there is any file loss?

Do you know if transferring a catalog from LR2 to PM would retain the keywords and editing, or would those side car files be lossed?

Thanks for any input.

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 14-Oct-09 05:08 AM
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#37. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 35


Colorado Springs, US
          

Actually, I have only tried Nikon Transfer once?
I use Photo Mechanic only - from card to laptop to server to backup drive.

I will proof (high level pass) all the images right on the card.
The obvious junk gets deleted, right from the card.

I then use PM's Ingest feature to rename, tag with IPTC data including keywords, copy to my laptop and a backup copy to my server (BU also has updated IPTC data), and to create the proper directory structure.

So at this point I have an exact duplicate of what the camera put on the card on my laptop ready for editing.

I shoot 14 bit as well, and this is a subjective statement, BUT - Nikon created the Nikon RAW format and NX2 only has to worry about Nikon RAW files. ACR on the other hand is reading many different formats none of which they have full discloser to the proprietary RAW algorithms. With that said, I don't see any logical way that ACR can read a Nikon RAW file completely much less better than Nikon's supported editor! It's just that simple!

So, if you take out the photographers emotions and personal experience with 3rd party software and just look at the technology, well the answer becomes clear.

Now my personal experience is that NX2 reads the highlights & shadows much better than ACR.

What kills me is that most everyone (and I think this is a fair assumption) if not all that do not use NX2 has to CONVERT the RAW to another format to properly edit the file? Even if you pull the RAW file into Photoshop with ACR (or from NX2 for that fact), you still have to save it in a format other than RAW? So why do photographers feel that it is ok to settle for throwing any data away?

It is a compromise - you ether have to get out of your comfort zone (with a specific piece of software) or toss away some data. Now some will argue that their experience with a specific software application out weights the data loss - while that can be true (NX2 is not as mature as CS4) that has to be measured at the individual photographers level.

As far as transferring from LR to PM, yes, I was ably to retain 12 months of work in LR by using the side car files and having PM read them. Once I exported all LR data and once I had PM read all the data, I closed LR and didn't jump back & forth. I just stuck with PM and - no regrets!

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 14-Oct-09 01:55 PM
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#38. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 37


Odessa, US
          

>What kills me is that most everyone (and I think this is a
>fair assumption) if not all that do not use NX2 has to CONVERT
>the RAW to another format to properly edit the file? Even if
>you pull the RAW file into Photoshop with ACR (or from NX2 for
>that fact), you still have to save it in a format other than
>RAW? So why do photographers feel that it is ok to settle for
>throwing any data away?

This statement is incorrect. No conversion takes place and the file is not saved in a new format. ACR&Lightroom read the *same* RAW data that NX2 does. The only thing they don't see is the camera settings with the exception of white balance.

When I make changes they are applied against the original 14-bit RAW data, just like NX2. The main difference is that I never have to overwrite the original NEF file to save the edits into it. The edits are stored either in a sidecar file or in the catalog (or both). The original NEF is never modified. This is why Lightroom is so much faster. It doesn't have to save out the whole NEF when you are done, just the 1-2K of edit instructions.

So ACR/Lightroom and NX2 may do things differently but they are both working against the exact same RAW data.

>It is a compromise - you ether have to get out of your comfort
>zone (with a specific piece of software) or toss away some
>data.

Why do people keep insisting that ACR&Lightroom throw away data?. This is SIMPLY NOT TRUE. I may be missing things like automatic CA correction and lens distortion correction but those are SETTINGS, not DATA.

Certainly there can be some discussion about how the RAW data is used, whether ACR does it better or worse than NX2 but I don't see how anyone can claim that data is lost or discarded or "trashed".

I have access to all 14 bits of the RAW data and can do all the same highlight recovery, exposure compensation, etc that can be done in NX2.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Aviatorbumm Registered since 28th Dec 2005Wed 14-Oct-09 02:15 PM
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#39. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 38


Naperville, US
          

Hi Andrew,

I do know that LR does not import in-camera ADL settings, which, sometimes can be a useful tool. I also believe that the Picture Control functions are dropped as well as any custom curves the user may have set up in-camera (not absolutely certain about these).

Also, LR does not read any edits that are made and stored in .NEF file format so if you have a lot of files in that format and switch to LR you have to go back and re-edit your pictures....but perhaps there is a work-around to this which I am not aware of.

Anyway, not that these are killer issues....LR sure has some sweet features and I was close to taking the plunge myself

Regards,

Mike


My Pbase Favorites

My Nikonians Gallery

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 14-Oct-09 02:29 PM
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#40. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 39


Odessa, US
          

As I said. Lightroom doesn't see most of the in-camera settings. This is not a drawback for me. All it sees is the RAW data and the white balance setting. ADL and picture control are settings.

No, LR doesn't see the edits made by NX2. NX2 can't see the edits made by Lightroom. That's to be expected since they are competing products.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Wed 14-Oct-09 03:30 PM
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#41. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 40


Boca Raton, US
          

>As I said. Lightroom doesn't see most of the in-camera
>settings. This is not a drawback for me. All it sees is the
>RAW data and the white balance setting. ADL and picture
>control are settings.
>
>No, LR doesn't see the edits made by NX2. NX2 can't see the
>edits made by Lightroom. That's to be expected since they are
>competing products.
>
>
AndyMac.... please advise me, if I take an image stored in my LR catalog, drag and drop into NX2, will I loose any of the NEF data? Is there anyway to keep any edits in either NX2 or LR when going back and forth? I like both for certain things, i.e. skin tones by LR, but would like to keep any editing.

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 14-Oct-09 03:36 PM
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#42. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 41


Odessa, US
          

If you attempt to transfer from LR2 into NX, Lightroom will convert the NEF file into a 16-bit TIFF before the transfer. In this case you WILL lose data.

If you open the image directly from NX2 without going from LR2 you will be seeing the original NEF image.

If you do edits in LR2 and then open the NEF in NX2 you will NOT see the edits from Lightroom. If you do edits in NX2 and open the NEF in Lightroom you will NOT see the edits from NX2.

Lightroom only reads the RAW data and the white balance settings from the NEF so it would never see any changes saved by NX2.

And since Lightroom doesn't write the edit changes into the NEF file like NX2 does NX2 wouldn't be able to see any changes made by Lightroom.

So, the two do not play well together at all.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Wed 14-Oct-09 04:29 PM
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#44. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 42


Boca Raton, US
          

AndyMac... ok, I understand what you wrote, but I don't understand why. If NX2 writes changes to the image, then opening that image in LR, CS4 or even PM should show the changes. Are you saying, all programs make proprietary changes and no other programs can read the last changes?

>If you attempt to transfer from LR2 into NX, Lightroom will
>convert the NEF file into a 16-bit TIFF before the transfer.
>In this case you WILL lose data.
>
>If you open the image directly from NX2 without going from LR2
>you will be seeing the original NEF image.
>
>If you do edits in LR2 and then open the NEF in NX2 you will
>NOT see the edits from Lightroom. If you do edits in NX2 and
>open the NEF in Lightroom you will NOT see the edits from
>NX2.
>
>Lightroom only reads the RAW data and the white balance
>settings from the NEF so it would never see any changes saved
>by NX2.
>
>And since Lightroom doesn't write the edit changes into the
>NEF file like NX2 does NX2 wouldn't be able to see any changes
>made by Lightroom.
>
>So, the two do not play well together at all.

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 14-Oct-09 04:47 PM
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#45. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 44


Colorado Springs, US
          

Screenguy,

No, that is not the case. Again ACR & LR can (or will) ONLY read the original RAW instructions and WB (no in camera settings) - currently that is it.

The difference is that both these application write their edits in proprietary formats. One packs them into the RAW while the other puts them in a sidecar file. There are pros & cons to these methods that go beyond the scope of this thread.

As far as seeing the changes - well if you remember form a couple of recent posts, the RAW file is just a "package". The sensor data is part of that package and sits in it's own container. Also part of that package is a JPEG rendition of the algorithmic sensor data. This is what you see in the LCD on the back of your camera and what PM reads. If you watch LR when you open a new file it actually reads the image for a brief second before it goes back to the RAW version. The simple reason is because ACR/LR does not know how to reproduce that exact JPEG view of from the RAW because it can't read the proprietary Nikon instructions packed into the RAW file! (Now we have come full circle)

Photo Mechanic doesn't care about those instructions because it is not an editor - so it shows you the embedded JPEG. If you edit the RAW file from NX2, NX2 updates the embedded JPEG and PM see that once again. If you edit the RAW in LR, I don't believe LR updates the embedded JPEG and PM (and others) will read only the last update image.

I hope this makes sense.

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 14-Oct-09 05:25 PM
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#46. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 44


Odessa, US
          

"Are you saying, all programs make proprietary changes and no other programs can read the last changes? "

That is exactly what I am saying. The changes that NX2 makes are not made to the actual RAW data. They are a set of instructions that are saved in the file. The same goes for Lightroom. The changes that are made are not applied to the actual data in the file. They are a set of instructions of what was done to the make the currently displayed image.

The difference is that NX2 stores these instructions in the NEF file and Lightroom stores them separately, either in the Lightroom Catalog or in a .XMP sidecar file.

When each of these programs opens the image they look at the original raw data, then apply each of the edits that are in the list-like a "recipe". Then the altered image is displayed on your screen.

Think of it this way. NX2 describes it's changes to the data in Spanish and Lightroom describes it's changes in Japanese. Neither understands what the other is saying even if they are saying the same thing.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 14-Oct-09 04:26 PM
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#43. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 38


Colorado Springs, US
          

> This statement is incorrect. No conversion takes place and the file is not saved in a new format. ACR&Lightroom read the *same* RAW data that NX2 does. The only thing they don't see is the camera settings with the exception of white balance.

Actually they ALL are RAW converters - every stinking one of them! If I am not mistaken, a RAW file is not even an image, it is a container of algorithms and instructions. That said all, even NX2 has to convert the RAW file to an image for any program to edit it.

> So ACR/Lightroom and NX2 may do things differently but they are both working against the exact same RAW data.

The difference is that NX2 packs all the edits back into the actual RAW file for editing later, while ACR & LR have to save the edits (work) as a different file format (JPEG, TIFF, PSD) or a side car file floating around on the hard drive somewhere - leaving the collaboration with the RAW in a separate file is problematic at best (IMHO). Also, if you ever want to revert, roll back a few steps or even just "look" at the original, you would have to go back to the original RAW file - reopen it, rebuild the specific edits to the point we want, blah, blah.. (Not so fast anymore) When working in the RAW format, you open your working file, take out or adjust the step you want and your done...

Look, there are pros & cons to both - and folks like both, that why they are both around.

>Why do people keep insisting that ACR&Lightroom throw away data?

It's not that ACR & LR actually "throw" away the data - it's well known that ACR & LR can not read the RAW 100% - Nikon will not let them - thus, by the simple practice of using ACR or LR you are in essence throwing away data that NX2 is reading. (Especially in the highlights & shadows - where it counts the most)

> I have access to all 14 bits of the RAW data...

Actually if I am not mistaken, the RAW file format contains enough algorithmic data to create a 14 bit image, the RAW still has to be converted the actual "first". Please let's not forget the basis here a RAW file is NOT an actual image - it's just a set of instructions of what to do with one of three different colors seen at a specific spot on the sensor - nothing more.

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 14-Oct-09 05:59 PM
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#47. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 43


Odessa, US
          

>Actually they ALL are RAW converters - every stinking one of
>them! If I am not mistaken, a RAW file is not even an image,
>it is a container of algorithms and instructions.

Not quite. A RAW image stores how much light was received at each individual pixel in the sensor. There is no color information at this point, just a measurement of light. In the case of a NEF file the camera settings are also stored but in a separate area, the EXIF header. So a RAW file doesn't contain any algorithms and coming straight from the camera doesn't contain any instructions either. All it has is the RAW sensor data (light measurements only) and the in-camera settings.

>That said
>all, even NX2 has to convert the RAW file to an image for any
>program to edit it.

But it's not "converting" the RAW file. It's reading it, applying it's particular algorithm to the data, applying the in-camera settings, applying any stored edit instructions (from the file for NX2, from the sidecare for Lightroom) and then displaying it.

This is where the algorithm comes in. It's in the program (or camera) that's reading the RAW data to create RGB values. I don't know what the algorithm for demosaicing the RAW light values into RGB is for NX2 or Lightroom. Maybe they are the same. Maybe they aren't. The camera settings don't matter since ACR&Lightroom both ignore them. But both programs have to change the "raw" light values into RGB to create an image we can work with.

Saying the image is converted is like saying a JPG is converted when it's decompressed to display an image.

>The difference is that NX2 packs all the edits back into the
>actual RAW file for editing later, while ACR & LR have to
>save the edits (work) as a different file format (JPEG, TIFF,
>PSD) or a side car file floating around on the hard drive
>somewhere - leaving the collaboration with the RAW in a
>separate file is problematic at best (IMHO).

It took me a while but I like the Lightroom way better. I never have to worry about my NEF files being corrupted by a save process. They are the originals from the camera-never modified in any way. If there's a glitch in the software or my computer hiccups it doesn't matter.

>Also, if you ever
>want to revert, roll back a few steps or even just
>"look" at the original, you would have to go back to
>the original RAW file - reopen it, rebuild the specific edits
>to the point we want, blah, blah.. (Not so fast anymore) When
>working in the RAW format, you open your working file, take
>out or adjust the step you want and your done...

HAVE YOU EVER USED LIGHTROOM???? It works the same way! I can rewind to any point. I can take snapshots. I can undo all the changes completely.

>It's not that ACR & LR actually "throw" away the
>data - it's well known that ACR & LR can not read the RAW
>100% - Nikon will not let them - thus, by the simple practice
>of using ACR or LR you are in essence throwing away data that
>NX2 is reading. (Especially in the highlights & shadows -
>where it counts the most)

ONLY THE SETTINGS!! Things like sharpening, contrast, hue and picture controls. These are settings-NOT DATA. Sharpening is not data. Hue is not data. Contrast is not data. They are settings. Lightroom won't read those settings. But there is nothing that prevents me from applying them myself.

In any case the raw data used is EXACTLY THE SAME. The demosaicing may be different. The application of edits&settings may be different. BUT THE BASE DATA USED IS IDENTICAL.

>Actually if I am not mistaken, the RAW file format contains
>enough algorithmic data to create a 14 bit image, the RAW
>still has to be converted the actual "first". Please
>let's not forget the basis here a RAW file is NOT an actual
>image - it's just a set of instructions of what to do with one
>of three different colors seen at a specific spot on the
>sensor - nothing more.

You are mistaken. A RAW image contains NO color information. The RAW data is just the amount of light that hit the sensor. There is no color information. In the case of 14-bit RAW those values are from 1-16384. On a 12MP sensor there are 12 million of them. There are no algorithms stored in the RAW file.

The algorithms are in NX2, or ACR, or Capture One, or Bibble. There's even one in the camera that's used to create JPG files and the preview image. It is up to each of these programs to look at the amount of light that hit each sensor, map it to the Bayer filters and change to RGB so an image can be displayed.


Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberWed 14-Oct-09 06:32 PM
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#48. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 47


Colorado Springs, US
          

I think we are kind of saying the same thing?

"When a digital camera makes an exposure the imaging chip (whether it's CCD or CMOS) records the amount of light that has hit each pixel, or photo site. This is recorded as a voltage level. The camera's analog to digital circuitry now changes this analog voltage signal into a digital representation. Depending on the camera's circuitry either 12 or 14 bits of data are recorded. Incidentally, if the camera records 12 bits of data then each pixel can handle 4,096 brightness levels (2^12), and if 14 bit then it can record 16,384 different brightness levels (2^14). (To my knowledge no current imaging chip records a true 16 bits worth of data)."

http://www.luminous-landscape.com

Ok, BUT - is I am not totally clear here, but the sensor pixels are colored (so to speak)? There are Red, Blue & Green pixels recording data and Green has double the amount of pixels as red & blue. So if the sensor records the brightness of a Green Pixel, doesn't it record that the brightness value it recorded was from a green pixel in the RAW file?

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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AndyMac Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Dec 2003Wed 14-Oct-09 06:41 PM
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#49. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 48


Odessa, US
          

I am guessing here but from a software point of view it doesn't make sense to store known values in every file.

There's no need to store it in the file since the demosaicing process should know what to do with the data and storing the value "Green", "Red", "Blue" would just waste space in the file. It would take at least two bits if you stored it as a 00b=Green, 01b=Red, 10b=Blue

Storing those extra two bits would change a 21MB chunk of RAW data into a 24MB chunk for a 12MP image, wasting 3MB per image.

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 2006Thu 15-Oct-09 08:19 AM
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#50. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 49


San Jose, US
          

This thread is full of misinformation, so let me state some facts. The camera sensor just captures photons and the photon level is impacted by the Bayer filter that limits the wavelength of photons that hit a collection point. Once the sensor has captured all the data this data is read and tabulated by photo site by the in camera electronics to produce a NEF which may be further processed to a JPEG if that is the way you set it up. But since we are talking RAW, the RAW file has this tabulated sensor data that RAW processors either in camera or on your computer read and process to produce the RGB colored image you see. What colors you get will depend on the algorithms used to process that data. As you would expect camera manufacturers have no problem producing their exact algorithm as is used by their cameras.

Now if that was all there was in the file we all might be close when we post process, but it is more complicated than that. Not only is the RAW data stored, but Nikon also stores all of the camera settings as a list to be applied to the RAW data to produce the exact image you saw on your camera screen.This includes not only WB but all camera settings including the picture control you used.

Depending on your Nikon camera, there may be additional effects that are applied to the RAW data, for example, ADL which changes the location of some photon data and manipulates it using a proprietary algorithm, so that only NX2 can process an ADL setting properly.

So a RAW file contains more than just sensor data; the rest of the settings are data also, but no RAW processor other than NX2 can read them. That is why when you process a NEF in NX2 you will not see the changes in LR or PS ACR, nor will the edit steps made in LR or PS ACR be seen by NX2 as this data is stored in locations not accessed by these programs.

So that said, if you use my view that all the information in the NEF is data, then you are throwing away data in the sense that you are not using it. The data stays in the RAW file. If you convert the file to a TIFF or JPEG you truly throw away some data.

Now for re-editing a file. Yes you can unwind a file in PS or LR, but in NX2 you don't unwind the file you just go in and adjust, replace or remove a particular step, no unwinding involved.

So if you don't mind that fact that you can't see the as shot camera settings, and you are happy with all the extra work you have to do to get the image to match as opened NX2 files, then by all means us LR or PS, but understand that you are not using all of the data that is available in the NEF.

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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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Thu 15-Oct-09 12:18 PM
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#51. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 50


Boca Raton, US
          

Bob....thanks for the clarity. What is the answer? How do you catalog your NEFs, whether using NX, LR, CS4 or whatever? Then, view with keywords, or to modify later? Are you keeping everything in the Nikon browser? And, maybe you know, I read some time ago, not to use Nikon Transfer as it may alter some of the in camera settings, do you know of this? Thanks.

  

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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 16-Oct-09 03:46 AM
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#54. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 51


San Jose, US
          

Screen Guy I am not shooting thousands of images a week like some pros are. Over the years I have used various tools to catalog and store my images. First it was with Adobe Bridge, but when I moved to NX2 I now use transfer, ViewNX and NX2. If you ask Nikon transfer to rename your files or add other data on ingest, yes it will rewrite your file, but I never have had any issues. When I move images from the CF card to my computer, I select a directory on my computer, where I store all my initial images and these folders usually have a name that tells me when I took the pictures and of what e.g. Kevin's First Birthday. I also have a copy of the NEF stored on an external drive. So I always have two copies of my Original File to start. The off board copy never gets touched. When Transfer is done it automatically opens View NX and there I look at the images at at least 200 % and rank them. I may also add tag data here or in NX2. When I see an image I like, I open it in NX2, do a batch to add my own data to the EXIF data, like my name and copyright info, and then process the file. I save the final NEF to a new set of folders which are processed images and these folders are sorted by topic like landscape, people, Macro, etc. If I am going to do further work in PS CS$ extended (doing that less and less except for signatures), I move a 16 bit TIFF file to PS do what I need and also save that TIFF to the same folder as the NEF. I then convert to profile and make an 8 bit JPEG which I upload to Nikonians and other on line storage sites. If I want to review my images I usually use either View NX or NX2 for NEF's and Adobe Bridge for JPEGS.

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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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Fri 16-Oct-09 12:03 PM
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#56. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 54


Boca Raton, US
          

robsb.... I appreciate the detailed information. Do you know if there is any advantage to using Nikon Transfer, since I had noted somewhere that using that it would change the files (why I do not know). Thanks.

  

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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 16-Oct-09 06:04 PM
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#57. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 56


San Jose, US
          

As I tried to explain above Nikon Transfer will only rewite the file if you ask it to add or change data which it writes directly to the NEF. When you use something like Adobe Bridge that added information is added to a sidecar file not the NEF. I personally have never liked the idea of sidecars as you have to move it with the image file. I think there is more chance to lose data that way than by using Nikon Transfer. I believe Photomechanic also adds data to the NEF. I would not worry about Transfer, as I have never had a problem with the software messing up any of my files.

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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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Fri 16-Oct-09 06:09 PM
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#58. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 57


Boca Raton, US
          

Got it. Thanks.

  

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Mynty Registered since 14th Oct 2006Mon 19-Oct-09 07:41 AM
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#63. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 54


Temecula, US
          

It is great to read how you get your pictures from the camera to the computer in the way described. I too use ViewNX and am learning NX2. It would be great to join a webinar to actually watch what you are doing and ask questions. Would be so informative and helpful to take your post and learn how to do it in reality for myself.

Maybe you could do a gotomeeting training session? I'd pay a few dollars!

Thanks for the really helpful advice!

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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 2006Tue 20-Oct-09 05:57 AM
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#64. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 63


San Jose, US
          

Robert I am not doing anything magical or difficult that would be worth a few dollars to watch. Whether you use a PC or Mac, the concept of folders is the same. I think the key is to decide how you would like to categorize your images e.g. how we set up galleries here. Once you have general categories set, then it is easy to set up folders to store your transferred images before you work on them. Mine are stored under a simple heading of "Nikon Transfer" and I name a new folder for each set of transfers. I then look at and rate them in View NX in the same folders. Once I import into NX2 I save the finished files under another group of folders called "Processed Images". It is here that I have set up categories like Family, Wildlife, Landscape, etc. Where I place the finished work. Even standard windows will allow you to search folders.

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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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Tue 20-Oct-09 12:42 PM
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#65. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 64


Boca Raton, US
          

With reference to all what has been discussed here....

Some of you may want to read this article, of a workflow of a well known photographer...

www.joemcnally.com/blog/2009/10/20/the-mcnally-workflow/

  

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Aviatorbumm Registered since 28th Dec 2005Tue 20-Oct-09 04:23 PM
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#66. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 65


Naperville, US
          

A click on the video is critical to truly understanding the feelings of the author (and my feelings too!!!)



My Pbase Favorites

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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 2006Wed 21-Oct-09 06:26 AM
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#67. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 65


San Jose, US
          

I have the utmost respect forf McNalley, but must admit i was surprised that he was using NX2, essentially for the same reasons I am. His explanation pretty much tracks with my views on this subject. Bottom line you can make post processing very complicated or very easy- your choice, but I will always pick easy. The main goal is get it as good as you can in camera and post will be a breeze. Automation helps, and batching some processes does help, but i still like to work on my pictures one at a time and make them as good as i can.

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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csgaraglino Silver Member Charter MemberThu 15-Oct-09 04:04 PM
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#52. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 50


Colorado Springs, US
          

Exactly!

---
Regards,
Chris Sgaraglino
Outdoor Studios Photography || on Flickr || on Google+

  

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pdekman Gold Member Winner in The Nikonians 10th Anniversary Photo Contest Awarded as a regular contributor who offers in-depth knowledge to members who are interested in building efficient work flows. Nikonian since 17th Nov 2005Thu 15-Oct-09 07:26 PM
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#53. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 50


Swisher, US
          

>This thread is full of misinformation, so let me state some
>facts.

I agree. This (recurring) subject always sparks debate and I think a lot of it is due to our collective use of terminology and perceptions thereof. I think a couple of good diagrams of the demosaicing process and some careful definitions of what a RAW file is and how it becomes a rendered image would be a great addition to our Nikonians wiki. Getting newcomers to understand how the raw sensor data is converted into a viewable image would strip away a lot of misunderstandings as well as assist them in choosing tools that work best for their purposes. Has anyone run across articles or diagrams that might be in the public domain for use?

>Depending on your Nikon camera, there may be additional
>effects that are applied to the RAW data, for example, ADL
>which changes the location of some photon data and manipulates
>it using a proprietary algorithm, so that only NX2 can process
>an ADL setting properly.

OK, time for one of those clear definitions. Are you stating that in-camera ADL actually modifies the Bayer array values, ie. the sensor information, or that ADL writes some additional in-camera settings for Nikon's algorithm to utilize? I've been under the impression that all raw convertors have access to the unmodified sensor information - would this be an exception to that rule?

>So that said, if you use my view that all the information in
>the NEF is data, then you are throwing away data in the sense
>that you are not using it.

I think merging all those different pieces into the term 'data'and then stating that 3rd party convertors discard raw data is too strong. The impression that gives is that sensor information is being lost which I don't believe is accurate.

>So if you don't mind that fact that you can't see the as shot
>camera settings, and you are happy with all the extra work you
>have to do to get the image to match as opened NX2 files...

This is a matter of personal workflow - no right or wrong - and could be argued endlessly. I leave my in-camera settings to neutral to optimize my histogram and am happier for it. Why futz with all those menu settings in-between shots? My conversion software applies adaptive defaults based on camera type and ISO settings upon import. I can also make updates to additional settings for 100's of images at a time with a single click. I'd claim this to be less work overall.

I think all the modern raw convertors are providing high quality results, with the remaining differences being personal taste. Pick the one that works for you but choose it based on a good understanding of what it is and what it is not.

Paul

Paul
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 16-Oct-09 04:06 AM
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#55. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 53
Fri 16-Oct-09 04:08 AM by robsb

San Jose, US
          

>>This thread is full of misinformation, so let me state
>some
>>facts.
>
>I agree. This (recurring) subject always sparks debate and I
>think a lot of it is due to our collective use of terminology
>and perceptions thereof. I think a couple of good diagrams of
>the demonising process and some careful definitions of what a
>RAW file is and how it becomes a rendered image would be a
>great addition to our Nikonians wiki. Getting newcomers to
>understand how the raw sensor data is converted into a
>viewable image would strip away a lot of misunderstandings as
>well as assist them in choosing tools that work best for their
>purposes. Has anyone run across articles or diagrams that
>might be in the public domain for use?

RSB Comment: I think there is an explanation on Nikon's site. My sources are all copyrighted books.
>
>>Depending on your Nikon camera, there may be additional
>>effects that are applied to the RAW data, for example,
>ADL
>>which changes the location of some photon data and
>manipulates
>>it using a proprietary algorithm, so that only NX2 can
>process
>>an ADL setting properly.
>
>OK, time for one of those clear definitions. Are you stating
>that in-camera ADL actually modifies the Bayer array values,
>ie. the sensor information, or that ADL writes some additional
>in-camera settings for Nikon's algorithm to utilize? I've
>been under the impression that all raw converters have access
>to the unmodified sensor information - would this be an
>exception to that rule?

RSB Comment: What I understand is this when you use ADL it is the only camera setting that actually impacts the final RAW data. First Nikon lowers the exposure (something you could guess at in PS and reset the exposure), but it also takes the data from the high and low end of the spectrum and MOVES it in the RAW data using a proprietary algorithm. So the tabulated photo site data has now been changed in a way that other RAW processors cannot process and in fact may make worse. So the general guidance is if you are not using NX2 don't set ADL in camera.
>
>>So that said, if you use my view that all the information
>in
>>the NEF is data, then you are throwing away data in the
>sense
>>that you are not using it.
>
>I think merging all those different pieces into the term
>'data' and then stating that 3rd party converters discard raw
>data is too strong. The impression that gives is that sensor
>information is being lost which I don't believe is accurate.

RSB Comment: Note I never said that. I never said the sensor data was lost, in fact I said it was still in the NEF, along with the other data. What I did say is since camera settings, ADL manipulations, etc are all data, even though they are steps to be applied to the RAW sensor data (which is actually processed photo site data) and that they remain in the NEF, if you can't see it or use it then that data is lost to you and if you convert from NEF it is truly lost.
>
>>So if you don't mind that fact that you can't see the as
>shot
>>camera settings, and you are happy with all the extra work
>you
>>have to do to get the image to match as opened NX2
>files...
>
>This is a matter of personal workflow - no right or wrong -
>and could be argued endlessly. I leave my in-camera settings
>to neutral to optimize my histogram and am happier for it.
>Why futz with all those menu settings in-between shots? My
>conversion software applies adaptive defaults based on camera
>type and ISO settings upon import. I can also make updates to
>additional settings for 100's of images at a time with a
>single click. I'd claim this to be less work overall.

RSB Comment. I also never said what ever work flow you want to use is wrong. But LR and PS are not the only programs that can Batch. I do Batch sometimes, but since I tend to work on my images one at a time, and use white and black points, I would have to be careful to not set those points if I wanted to batch. So doing general adjustments like WB, Picture Controls, exposure would all work as a batch, just like any batch process that you set up for a certain type of look. It is when you do local adjustments, which really uses masks, that you would not batch that step as the mask would probably be different from image to image and I am sure you are not doing batch processing of masked images unless they were identical.
>
>I think all the modern raw converters are providing high
>quality results, with the remaining differences being personal
>taste. Pick the one that works for you but choose it based on
>a good understanding of what it is and what it is not.

RSB Comment: I agree with that statement, except for personal taste being the only criteria. I would venture to say, despite my years of using Adobe products that most people using Adobe have to much invested to make the switch, plus they are turned off by the NX2 interface. I have come to the conclusion that I can get better results in less time with NX2 and that is why I use it, not because I don't understand the power of CS4 because I do.
>
>Paul
>

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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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Tue 13-Oct-09 11:59 PM
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#36. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 34
Wed 14-Oct-09 12:00 AM by Screenguy

Boca Raton, US
          

Chris.... your comments are well taken. IMO, also, I have found PP with NX2 to produce better imgs. in most cases. However on occasion LR2 does give some better rendition of skin tones. I use both. As soon as I am more proficient with NX2 I will be using it exclusively.

But I have a few questions about transferring. Have you found any detriment or file information loss using Nikon transfer for taking the NEFs from the camera or card to the program? Or do you just drag your imgs (NEFs) into PM?

And now I am curious if, I take a NEF (14 bit) from LR2 to NX2 to edit if, there is any file loss?

Do you know if transferring a catalog from LR2 to PM would retain the keywords and editing, or would those side car files be lossed?

Thanks for any input.

  

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ForensicMedicine Registered since 30th Aug 2009Fri 16-Oct-09 07:21 PM
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#59. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


US
          

Just read this entire topic, and I'm exhausted!!!

I am working with a free trial of Capture NX2, and have been using the entire Nikon workflow.....and in general, as most likely with any of the aforementioned products, would be equally overwhelmed, initially. Yesterday, I was told by a fellow Nikonian to switch to LR, as in his opinion, it rocks, hence my search which took me here....

I think I will go ahead an purchase Capture NX2 at this point, and make a gallant effort to become somewhat effective using it, and if, as many have stated here, it "works" for me, then I will stick with it.

As a relative novice in the whole post processing arena, and as an amateur photographer, I have to keep reminding myself to pick a road, and just go down it for a while (equipment-wise and software-wise), and to focus more on taking pictures and less on equipment and software, and needing the next best whatever.....

I have been finding that I become overwhelmed at the thought of trying to edit my pictures, and so I simply put it off, and stop shooting. I have a bunch of night shots I took in late August that I just continue to avoid editing, as I feel so incompetent, at this early stage. (One good aspect of this overload however, for me, is that I have become more determined to take fewer pictures, but more thoughtful pictures, as if I were back shooting film)....

While exhausted from reading this topic, I really appreciate the fact that so many here take so much of their time, to put forth their personal opinions, for those of us less experienced...

I think what I have taken away from this is that "there is more than one way to skin a cat"...........and for that, I am thankful....it stops the indecision process, and hopefully lets me get on with the taking pictures and learning process.

Thank you, all!

_________
Nathan

"I like photographers — you don't ask questions." Ronald Reagan. (To White House News Photographers Assn 18 May 83)

"The best indices of a person's character are (a) how they treat people who can't do them any good, and (b) how they treat people who can't fight back"

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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cliddell Silver Member Nikonian since 10th Oct 2006Fri 16-Oct-09 08:06 PM
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#60. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 59


Pietermaritzburg, ZA
          

Hi Nathan,

Yes I am also content to come back from an outing with possibly only 15 or 16 images, but they would be images thoughtfully taken and all fairly well focussed and exposed - I have never treated digital as a licence to use "machine gun" technique and consequently the low number of images are easily handled in any software, I use ViewNX and NX2.

Regards,
Clive Liddell
Pietermaritzburg
South Africa

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Fri 16-Oct-09 08:20 PM
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#61. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 59


Boca Raton, US
          

Nathan.... I know what you mean.... even today, I am switching back and forth between programs. It is a fluid learning process. You will get proficient with more use and come to your own decisions. Keep shooting NEFs as you can always turn them into JPEGs however, my rule is to do the best you can when you shoot. I came from years of shooting film and had to get it right on every shot (everything manual, ugh!). Now, I wouldn't go back, but with WB or mistakes the PP is a great save. My digital experience is building, a lot of these Nikonians have much more digital and technical background than me, so keep reading and asking questions. Good luck.

  

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ljk73 Registered since 09th Apr 2009Sun 18-Oct-09 01:17 AM
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#62. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 61


US
          

This thread has been an experience! I read it in entirety because I don't use post processing software and I'm looking for information about why to use it, best software, and best practices. This thread has been extremely informative and at times amusing. I appreciate the detailed responses by all. It's complex information that is being disseminated.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Visit my Photo Galleries at http://www.ljk-images.com or my blog at http://ljkimages.wordpress.com. Feel free to leave comments.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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chrisings Registered since 08th Oct 2009Thu 29-Oct-09 02:36 PM
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#68. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 62


US
          

Great stuff here! I am also struggling with NX2 verses LR2 and have some points and questions.

Just as back ground;
For the time being I am mostly shooting fast moving, sometimes low light, High School Marching Band events. Unfortunately this requires the “machine gun” method of shooting, often bracketing rapid fire shots to get a few decent results. Hence I find myself downloading hundreds of exposures (many of them unusable).

I have found the work flow in LR2 to be a relatively quick process. Out of curiosity I downloaded the free trial of Capture NX2 last week. I must admit that I do see a difference. While it is slower, and, of course, I am just learning how to use it, it does appear to handle NEF files with better results.

What, if any, downsides are there to using both? Not together, but separately? In other words if I shoot a marching event and know I will have 800 images, many unusable, download, file and edit in LR.

If, when precious time always, I get out and do some calmer, more thought out shooting, use NX2 and the “Nikon” workflow?
I realize this might not be the most economic answer but as others have stated I spent $1500 for a D300 what’s 10% of that purchase for a software program?

Final question, has anyone used Picture Code Photo Ninja with NX?

www.mrlew.com

Thanks for listening,
Chris

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Thu 29-Oct-09 10:52 PM
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#69. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 68


Boca Raton, US
          

Yes, there is no downside to using both. Yes, LR2 (or soon to be LR3) is quicker. Yes, NX2 is more comprehensive. As you suggested, use when you want. As noted in this lengthly discussion, keep your original NEFs and draw down from them, so as not to lose the original information, and save back as you edit. I have many other programs and plug-ins. And what hasn't even been discussed in this thread.... I even find different examples when printing from each though I use the same file. But, I like NX2 and someday it will get faster (not by the design of the hardware, it has to come from Nik/Nikon). Just try them and which ever feels right go for it. As example, I like the big body feel (D3) instead of the D700, so use to the vertical shutter release and such. Hope this helps you some.


>Great stuff here! I am also struggling with NX2 verses LR2
>and have some points and questions.
>
>Just as back ground;
>For the time being I am mostly shooting fast moving, sometimes
>low light, High School Marching Band events. Unfortunately
>this requires the “machine gun” method of shooting, often
>bracketing rapid fire shots to get a few decent results. Hence
>I find myself downloading hundreds of exposures (many of them
>unusable).
>
>I have found the work flow in LR2 to be a relatively quick
>process. Out of curiosity I downloaded the free trial of
>Capture NX2 last week. I must admit that I do see a
>difference. While it is slower, and, of course, I am just
>learning how to use it, it does appear to handle NEF files
>with better results.
>
>What, if any, downsides are there to using both? Not together,
>but separately? In other words if I shoot a marching event and
>know I will have 800 images, many unusable, download, file and
>edit in LR.
>
>If, when precious time always, I get out and do some calmer,
>more thought out shooting, use NX2 and the “Nikon” workflow?
>I realize this might not be the most economic answer but as
>others have stated I spent $1500 for a D300 what’s 10% of that
>purchase for a software program?
>
>Final question, has anyone used Picture Code Photo Ninja with
>NX?
>
>www.mrlew.com
>
>Thanks for listening,
>Chris
>

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sun 01-Nov-09 07:41 PM
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#70. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0
Sun 01-Nov-09 08:03 PM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Gary:

Here is my two cents worth. The short of it is that I like them all – some more than others .

I just got Photoshop CS4 Extended (Student Edition.) I have PSE7, which is 90-95% of CS4. However, it does not process 16-bit files. Lately, with many of the plug-ins, I began to see a difference between 8-bit and 16-bit color depth. Therefore, I did not hesitate.

This is my work flow: LR 2 → NX2 → LR2→ CS4 → LR2.

It seems a bit complicated, but it is not. I will explain what each does in further detail. I keep two mirror libraries: RAW and TIFF. The RAW Library is my digital negative one and the TIFF one is the one with the processed files. If I have to start again, I still have the original photo, in the RAW library. LR is my main program or base. From LR, I call the others.

Lightroom: I bring in the photos into the RAW library. I use LR as my cataloging or library program. From LR, I select the photos that I’ll keep. The selection process in LR is head and shoulders and much quicker than NX2 or Bridge (CS4 library program.) After selecting and renaming the photos, I then go to NX2, in the same library.

Capture NX 2: I use this program as my NEF (RAW) converter, which is still the best for Nikon NEF, imho. I also perform some basic PP. The main reason is that I flatten the layers in CS4; otherwise I end up with huge size files of 150 MB+, if I don’t. If I have to start the process again, it is better to have made some modifications instead of starting from scratch. When I finish, I save the photos in 16-bit TIFF, send it to the TIFF mirror library, and go back to LR2

Photoshop CS4: With the TIFF files imported into LR2, I finish PP here. However, I have a whole set of Photoshop/Lightroom plug-ins like the Nik Software suite and AS Bokeh. Because of it, I call CS4 from LR2 to use the plug-ins. It is much easier to use layers in Photoshop than to apply them individually from LR. You can see the effects of all the plug-ins and not one at a time. When I finish PP in CS4, I flatten the layers and save the changes in the original file. Otherwise, I end up with a number of edited copies, which becomes unmanageable, imho.

Lightroom:I finish my PP in LR and export the files to the WEB or my Photo site.

I downloaded LR3 Beta 1 and there is virtually no difference between the RAW conversion from NX2 and LR3, imho. However, what’s the difference? I still have to use TIFF files for the Plug-ins.

Best Regards,

Hektor

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Wed 04-Nov-09 04:32 PM
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#74. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 70


Canton, US
          

Wow, this is an old thread that still has some life to it!!

At the risk of fueling an "us vs. them" argument, I'll say that IMO there is no reason to use NX if you use Lightroom. Nada.

Lightroom's main genius is that it has an incredible amount of power under the hood, while its exterior is elegantly simple.

In spite of all the theoretical discussion about Nikon software doing a better job on Nikon files, I have seen zero evidence that NX will produce better results than Lightroom. Lightroom's power is that it is indeed a jack of all trades, but it is also very good at each of them. The only reason to use NX over Lightroom is if you want your NEFs to look like Nikon's in-camera JPEGS right out of the box, since it reads the camera settings. To me, that just begs the question of why shoot RAW to begin with?

Another way to look at it is that since LR is not tied to Nikon's default settings, your files are more of a blank slate to make them look the way *you* want rather than what the camera tells you they should look like.

I've mentioned this in other threads; adding the NiK plug-ins to LR gives you even more processing power and the convenience of the u-point interface. For other image editing tasks that require layers or other advanced techniques, I find that Elements is more than what I need. I rarely if ever have to fire up my full version of Photoshop.

The ability if LR to manage, process and output your files in the same package is a huge advantage, especially since it does all those things exceedingly well. NX, on the other hand, is more of a specialized product designed to do one thing well, which is process individual Nikon RAW images. It does do that rather well, but it doesn't really do it any better than Lightroom. Differently, maybe, but not better.

IMHO Nikon would do well to open up NX to the DNG standard and allow it to be used with other than Nikon cameras... and also improve its workflow characteristics. (I also strongly believe that Nikon should offer DNG as an option in their cameras, like Leica and Pentax already do, to me it's just nuts that a camera company would require each of their their cameras to use a proprietary "film" that requires dozens of different "developers" within each program to process. But that's a soapbox for another day... )

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Wed 04-Nov-09 06:02 PM
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#75. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 74
Wed 04-Nov-09 08:30 PM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Steve:

Thanks for your response.

Let me start by saying that I consider LR the best program that I have ever used and not for post processing, but the best one, period. Therefore, I’m in Lightroom’s corner. However, there was a difference between the NEF photos converted by NX and LR and the difference was appreciable, when you compare the same photo in NX and LR. It was not only me. I asked several people in my household, “which photo do you like better, this or this one.” They had no idea what program was what and they all selected, without hesitation, the ones converted with Capture NX over Lightroom even with the Camera Vivid Beta 2 profiles.

I had NX 1 before getting LR1 because all the problems I had with NX – I got fed up with it.

NX2 is basically the LR2 “Develop Module” and they both do the same things. The problem with NX is its slowness, bad UI, and stability – sometimes, it quits working or freezes. However, LR is much more than just the “Develop Module.”

There is another problem. I have the Nik software suite of programs for Lightroom/Photoshop, but they need JPEG or TIFF files. Therefore, what is the difference if I convert the files using ACR in LR or NX, if I have to save them in TIFF format? Therefore, I have basically used NX as a RAW converter and LR for everything else.

I have downloaded LR3 Beta and to my surprise there is no difference between the two, if anything, the LR3 rendition might be slightly better. This is no happenstance. In the introduction video to LR3 the thing that was highlighted was the better camera profiles in LR3 over LR2. In addition, many weeks ago, it was announced (I do not remember when and where) that Nikon and Adobe are cooperating and integrating much closer than before.

Last night, I did a comparison between LR2 photos that uses the new version of ACR or ACR 5.5 and NX, again. The difference, imho, is very small. The biggest problem is that LR2 does not have all the camera profiles, including Camera Vivid Beta 2, for the D5000 (I have them for the D700.) On the other hand, LR3 does for both the D5K and D700 – figure that one. Regardless, I’m in the process of rethinking my workflow, because if I do not have to use NX, I won’t. For example, I just uninstalled View NX and Nikon Transfer from my computer, even though they are free. In addition, if I stop using NX, I will bring in the photos into LR in DNG format and not NEF. However, when I call CS4 from LR, I will do it in TIFF format. In other words, I still have to convert the selected photos from NEF or DNG into TIFF format. Otherwise, I end up with “edited copies” of the same files in different formats – very confusing.

Best Regards,

Hektor

PS: I was trying PSD format in CS4 and the Nik Software suite + AS Bokeh seems to handle that format. If so, I might quit using NX and just got to DNG and PSD instead of NEF and TIFF - I'm still analyzing it. One issue I have to work on are the files sizes. If I do not flatten the layers in CS4, I ended up with a file, for example, of 350 MB in TIFF or > than a 1/3 of a GB - that is crazy. However, the combo of LR and CS4 is very powerful, imho.

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Thu 05-Nov-09 12:25 AM
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#76. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 75


Canton, US
          

Hi Hektor,

I guess my point is that I have never seen where NX does a "better" job of converting RAW files. It may look more what people expect "Nikon files" to look like right out of the box, but LR can and does produce quality just as good. If the canned camera profiles don't give you what you expect right off the bat, just play with the very powerful tools that LR has and then save it as a preset. Quite honestly, I think that those who complain that LR can't give as good quality simply haven't learned to use all the features of LR effectively.

The NiK plugins automatically create a TIF file from the RAW file before working on it, you don't have to do that manually. That's a plus/minus thing -- a plus because it doesn't touch the RAW file at all, but a minus because it creates an extra file to deal with. *HOWEVER* that extra file isn't really a big deal because LR also automatically keeps it in the catalog along with the original... you can even stack it with the RAW file as another version of it. I don't find that an issue whatsoever.

I'm a great believer in the KISS principle... for me, the simpler, the better. Maybe that's because I'm simple minded. But I seriously find Lightroom to be fantastic at all levels, and it just keeps getting better with each upgrade. The NiK plug-ins are some very nice icing on the cake.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Thu 05-Nov-09 12:50 AM
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#77. "Hektor and Steve"
In response to Reply # 76


Boca Raton, US
          

Do you guys work for Adobe, LR?

Really, I do not know what you are trying to gain, but it's ridiculous to say that LR produces a better image because others do not know how the program works.

Is your display calibrated, how often? Are you in sRGB or Pro Photo, do you use ADL, or DX2 settings for skin tones? Maybe you don't know how NX really works? Maybe you just prefer the reds produced in LR compared to NX with your monitor.

However, if you want the closest to your image without losing all 14 bit of information, or see what you had set or told the camera to shoot, then you will be ahead in NX, hands down.

For what its worth, I catalog all my images in LR, and actually find NX easier than LR to develop in certain instances.

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Thu 05-Nov-09 01:59 AM
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#78. "RE: Hektor and Steve"
In response to Reply # 77


Canton, US
          

I don't work for Adobe any more than you work for Nikon's software division.

I didn't say LR produces a better image, I said it does just as good as NX. There's no hands-down about it, but apparently you prefer the way NX works, that's fine. I realize many people feel that having the RAW converter exactly reproduce the in-camera settings means it is better, but that isn't the only measure of capability.

I leave all my camera settings at neutral anyway. It makes life much easier, especially since LR is so good at creating virtually any "look" that I want after the fact. Creating and using presets makes it a joy to use. You can even make your Nikon files look as if they were shot on a <gasp> Canon if you want to..

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Thu 05-Nov-09 05:20 AM
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#79. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 76


US
          

Hi Steve:

We have to agree to disagree on this point. Until, recently, NX was a better NEF converter, imho, and I spent a lot of time in this area. Trust me on this point. If I can get away from NX, I would in a nano-second. Now, with LR 2.5 and ACR 5.5, the difference is miniscule. Therefore, I’m in the process of doing just that – bidding farewell to NX.

I do not like to stack the photos. However, I do not mind keeping two mirror libraries: RAW and TIFF or PSD. I prefer using Nik Software in CS4 through layers, which I would like to keep instead of flattening the files. Obviously, I’m doing something wrong, because I’m getting files of 350 MB, in PSD, and 70 MB, and even 35 MB and they are in 16-bit color depth or I think they are. I went to the file folder and the properties of the file indicate 70 MB, but in LR the file size is 35 MB. Up to 70 MB, in 16-bit PSD, I do not mind, if I’m able to keep the layers. Beyond that, I have to do something like compressing the files or “zipping” them, but I have to experiment one thing at a time. If everything fails, I will flatten the layers before saving the files.

Best Regards,

Hektor

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Thu 05-Nov-09 10:33 AM
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#80. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 79


Canton, US
          

There's no problem with disagreeing, Hektor, that's what forum discussions are about, comparing ideas.

What it boils down to is what someone's definition of "better" is. If it is converting the RAW file so that it looks like Nikon's own tone curves on your monitor, then yes, I agree that NX is "hands down" better than earlier versions of Lightroom. But is that "better" in the sense that it is superior? It all depends on what your expectations are. To me, all that matters is how it looks in the finished print, and there are a LOT of other variables to consider between the as-captured file and the printed image.

I did extensive comparing between NX1 and LR1 when I had both on my computer. I also thought that NX did a "better" job until I learned how to better use the more subtle tools in LR. Now, with the even better capability of LR 2.x there is even less reason to have two RAW converters in my workflow. Adding the NiK plug-ins to LR completely removes any advantage that NX had, IMO.

Re stacking files, you can choose to stack or not, that is not a problem. Either way, Lightroom will manage all the files in the library, and will treat the TIF created by the plug-in just as if it were a NEF or DNG. I'm not organized enough to keep parallel mirrored sets of files; it's quite simple to just let Lightroom manage them all in the same library and folder structure.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Thu 05-Nov-09 12:28 PM
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#81. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 80


Boca Raton, US
          

I'd like to clarify a point I had made in comment prior, it's that you will not loose any of the information from the original NEF, in LR you do. Frankly, I wish I could do everything in one program, essentially LR would be great. Again, its in the eye of the beholder. I also like NX for camera information, focus points, ADL. Look, I do not care which program one uses, they are both good, and yes, I think its great that we all can compare ideas. But, its not that we do not know how to use LR, as Hektor mentioned. It's what we gain from each for each particular photo or project, and not the least, what we learn from each other herein. Thanks to you and Hektor for your input and contribution.



  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Thu 05-Nov-09 06:19 PM
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#82. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 81


Canton, US
          

No problem, Screenguy.

Personally, while I think that features like showing the focus points are fun to play with, they do not contribute anything to improving an image. What other information do you think is lost from the NEF when using LR? LR doesn't remove any image data from the original file.

As to ADL, that is not that big of a deal. Its effect is rather subtle, and can easily be duplicated by exposing for the highlights and careful use of curves or the shadows/highlights sliders in LR. The targeted adjustment tool in LR also works quite well for this.

The point about not using LR effectively is that it is quite simple on the surface, but it actually has a lot more capability than meets the eye. Just like anything else, the more you learn about it, the more things you can do with it that you didn't think were possible.

I'm looking forward to seeing what new goodies will be in LR3 when it gets out of beta!

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sat 07-Nov-09 03:02 AM
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#83. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 82
Sat 07-Nov-09 03:15 AM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Steve:

Sorry for no answering before, but I was very busy.

Capture NX is a very powerful program that does everything than LR does. Like everything else, it has advantages and disadvantages. The focus points are very important when evaluating a photo or post-processing it – you know exactly where you focused. In addition ADL is nice but, I agree with you that is not that critical. A very big plus for NX, imho, is that it has layers and LR does not.

A lot of the adjustments are written basically as layers that can be deactivated, activated or deleted. For example, Nik Color Efex Pro comes in basically as a layer and you have all the sliders to adjust it. You can deactivate it, to see if you like it better without it or not. The color control points, the cropping, etc, are also in layers. In other words, you can activate or deactivate each individual layer to see the overall effect on the photo. They are like the layers in CS4. However, the most important thing, imho, is that if you use a camera like the D300 or D700, after you run the RAW conversion, 90% of the time it is right on and there is little post processing to be done. I do it, most of the time, not because I need to, but feel that I have to. What? No post-processing? Unheard of!

The problem with NX, imho, is its UI, slowness, and instability. I simply could never get used to the UI, but it is not the worst thing. I’m getting mesmerized by the little wheel turning or churning – ~ 10 seconds – every time I move a slider or do anything. These types of adjustments in LR are almost instantaneous. The following is the latest from NX.

I’m working on how to make the PSD files smaller coming out of CS4 while keeping the layers. I decided to start afresh in the LR2 Test folder, by deleting the photos and converting the NEF photos into DNG. LR will not allow you allow you to bring in the photos if the same ones are already in the library. Therefore, I used NX to rename them and was able to import them in DNG format. I converted 5 of them into PSD and called CS4 form LR – both programs froze.

When I activated “Task Manager” to close the programs, the first thing I saw that the CPU – both cores – were running at 100% capacity. I closed CS4 and LR, and still the CPU was running at 85% capacity. I looked in the “Applications” tab and no program was active. I then went to the “Processes Tab” and sure enough there was Capture NX 2 running in the background and using 80% of both cores. I could not reopen the NX, so I closed it through the Task Manager.

I have no idea what happened, but I believe it is not the first time. It could be that it got hanged up with the “Nikon Message Center” – which I deactivated or just that it did not close properly, for whatever reason.

Lately, my PC has been degrading in performance, many times. I know that there is program running in the background, but could never find it. This could be very bad, for obvious reasons. I run Norton Virus Scan several time and Iolo System Mechanic every day. I even went into “msconfig” to deactivate many of the processes that I felt were not crucial – I spent a lot of time trying to figure what was happening and it could have been NX running in the background – a “trusted program.” This is the proverbial straw!

I was going to wait until NX 3 came out to evaluate Viveza 2. Now, I will evaluate Viveza 2, in December, regardless if NX 3 comes out or not, which I do not think it will. I believe that the next version will be NX2s .

Best Regards,

Hektor

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Sat 07-Nov-09 11:23 AM
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#84. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 83


Canton, US
          

Hello Hektor,

Yes, having layers is a nice feature, but what I've found is that with the NiK plug-ins and the u-point thing, I have very little if any need for that added complexity. The easy history feature and the ability to make virtual copies on the fly in LR do the same thing. You can make as many virtual copies as you want in various stages of processing and compare them all together side by side on the screen, which is a great way to compare different versions of an image. For those rare images where using layers is absolutely necessary, I just export the file as a TIF and open it in Elements 6.

The slowness, instability and clunky interface of the NX series is a huge concern, IMHO. It could have the best features in the world, but having to wait for the program to churn every time you make a small adjustment is a deal-killer. If there is no joy in using the program, what's the point to it? It's my view that post processing is part of the fun creative process, and should never be a chore.

The thing regarding NX being "right on" with the initial conversion is great, but that still begs the question, if I want my RAW files to look just like the JPEG the camera would have created, why even bother with shooting RAW to begin with?

I'm also eager to see how Viveza 2 works. Here's a simple example of how I used Viveza 1 from within LR to adjust a "problem" image. You can see in the top photo that the blooms at the top are too much in shadow. Using a control point in that area I was able to bring up the brightness of just those tones without affecting any other parts of the image, even the green leaves in the same area. Yes, this can also be done in NX, but the point is that using the plug-in from LR was very quick and simple, no need to juggle different RAW converters around.

(This actually could have been done with LR itself with the targeted adjustment tool, but the u-point method is more accurate, imo.)









Best regards,

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sat 07-Nov-09 08:11 PM
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#85. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 84
Sat 07-Nov-09 08:15 PM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi Steve:

Nice photos, btw.

I have both NX and LR and I see the advantages and disadvantages of both programs. The “layers” in NX are far better than the layers in CS4, imho, because they just do not double, triple, quintuple, sextuple, etc the size of the files. I got one PSD file, after including all 6 layers to be, 510 MB or ½ GB. I know that storage is cheap, but at this rate, I won’t have enough 2 TB disk drives for all the photos and backups. I have no choice but to flatten the layers and opt for 8-bit color depth, unless I really need the 16-bit depth.

For better or worse, I have made the commitment to LR and CS4. That is DNG and PSD files, from now on. In other words, NX is out of the loop.

I have been working in a major reorganization of my workflow to fully integrate LR and CS4. I just created 2 new catalogues in LR: “Photoshop” (LR & CS4 photos) and D-Lux 4. There might be others like Personal, etc, in the future. I will stack the photos (2 deep only,) at least for now, in the "Photoshop" catalogue: one with the DNG file and the other with the PSD files processed by CS4. Let’s see what happens.

I agree about the TAT tools and use them extensively to get what I did not get the first two times around. In other words, I start with LR and DNG (or until now, NX) → CS4 and PSD → and finish with LR and PSD (or the third time or final go around.) I also use the adjustment brush – it is very powerful – the third time around.

I would not look into a Nik software upgrade if it wasn’t for Viveza; it is the Nik program that I use the most primarily for general and more subtle adjustments. The Adjustment Brush is for what I did not get with Viveza.

The cropping in LR is the one I like the best. Now, I will use it right off the bat and not wait until the end, like before. The Gradient Tool is nice, too.

CS4: I’m up and running with it primarily because of the plugins and elemental knowledge of some of the selection tools. However, that program is so complicated and the learning curve… However, mine is a lifetime project and I do not have to learn CS4 in one year or less – I have ten years or more to do so – little by little. I have LR! On the plus side, I have lifted my boundaries; there is virtually nothing that I cannot do with CS4. What about CS5 in six months? I do not think so. What’s the difference if I do not know how to use CS4 properly? Yes, maybe CS6, if everything goes according to plans .

Best Regards,

Hektor

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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TCnBham Registered since 10th May 2009Sun 01-Nov-09 09:08 PM
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#71. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 0


Birmingham, US
          

All of this makes my head hurt!

Let me ask a simple minded question, because when it comes to all this, I am simple minded. I have both programs...NX2 and LR 2.5. I have found NX2 to be "better" in processing the RAW files (14bit) out of the card. However, I still prefer LR for database management. Is there any inherent fault in tweaking the image (90% of it) in NX2, keeping that file intact, then exporting to LR as a 16 bit TIFF file? Though I'm sure I'm "losing" some data, the TIFF file then "looks" the same on my monitor. That's what I'm doing now, and just wondering if there is some valid reason not to do this because I am simply storing and cataloging in LR, other than when I print, and I have found LR print results excellent with my Epson 2200.

Terry Crain

I think a photography class should be a requirement in all educational programs because it makes you see the world rather than just look at it.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sun 01-Nov-09 09:40 PM
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#72. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 71


US
          

Hi Terry:

No, there is nothing that you are doing wrong, imho. This is precisely what I’m doing except calling, from LR 2.5, CS4 for the plug-ins. In LR, I can call the Nik programs (Viveza, Dfine, Sharpener, Color Efex Pro, and Silver Efex) one at a time. I found out, that when you use more than one, the results are sometimes unpredictable. In CS4, each plug-in is a layer; therefore you can see the cumulative effect of using more than one plug-in and modify and/or apply the changes in CS4, before saving the files.

OK. There is another reason for me getting Photoshop CS4. As an old programmer, I like the CS4 interface the best. In addition, it is a digital Post Processor that has complete control over the photo - it is a fantastic toy, for me. The problem is the long learning curve. However, I should have gotten this program a long time ago. It would have prevented me from getting too much photo equipment and would have been cheaper in the long run. I’m having a ball learning it and could not care less if Nikon or anyone else comes out with something new. However, this is very personal and subjective.

Best Regards,

Hektor

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Sun 01-Nov-09 10:29 PM
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#73. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 72
Sun 01-Nov-09 10:41 PM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi:

There is another powerful reason for Photoshop CS4. A lot of people say just stick with LR, NX, or both. These programs do everything that CS4 does, but better and faster. They are right, but they already know Photoshop, which is the mother of all the Post Processing programs. As a newbie to Digital post-processing, I really did not understand properly what all the tools were doing and the principles behind them. Once you know Photoshop, you have a much better understanding of digital post-processing.

As an old programmer, I compare CS4 more to an Assembler level language (it is a much higher level than assembler, but it will do for illustrative purposes.) I programmed in third and fourth generation programming languages, but I did program in IBM and PDP-11 Assembler (a second generation language with machine language being the first.) You cannot become a very good programmer without knowing assembler first. The same principle applies to Photoshop CS4, imho.

Best Regards,

Hektor

PS: I'm working and learning CS4 and the above comment just popped into my head.

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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ice6418 Registered since 09th Nov 2009Mon 09-Nov-09 03:45 AM
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#86. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 73


US
          

I've been using the Lightroom family of products for quite some time now and all I can say is that if you enjoy EXACTLY what you see on your LCD screen after you shoot your images stick with NX2. Otherwise go with Lightroom.

I wrestled with why my images seemed to lose saturation, contrast and be a totally different hue/tint when I would import them into an Adobe program. Then I discovered that what Lightroom does, is that when you import your photos, it first has them shown as how they'd look on your LCD screen and then since it doesn't recognize any of the settings (Color Mode/Saturation/Hue)on-board the camera, you'll see the image you are looking at "jump" from how the image preview look to how the basic RAW file looks without all the other settings you set on the camera. I'm explaining this terribly, but those who use any Adobe post-processing products know what I'm talking about.

IMO, none of the color settings on my D80 look right, so the fact that Lightroom just gives me a "digital negative" is wonderful. I can get the EXACT hue and saturation for reds, blues and greens. Like someone said above, what's the point of shooting in RAW if you don't have control over each and every aspect of the picture?

This very discussion brings up something that has bothered me ever since I went from shooting film to shooting digital. Will we ever have any standard color profiles? Obviously photography is going to be an extremely varied medium, but I loved being able to pop in a roll of Provia 100F and know what to expect color and contrast wise. Now whenever I go out, my LCD screen is just used to make sure that I got the exposure right and nothing else. I ignore all color and contrast fields until I get home and look at how they look in Lightroom. Any thoughts?

  

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smb_ohio Registered since 18th Mar 2006Mon 09-Nov-09 10:28 AM
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#87. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 86


Canton, US
          

This is exactly why I leave all my camera settings in the neutral positions, and I don't even use the LCD to judge colors. Not all "canned" settings in the camera menus are appropriate for all subjects. To me, it's much easier to tweak an image in Lightroom, save the settings as a preset, then apply that preset to a group of images shot under the same conditions.

Re standard profiles, I suppose you can look at different profiles the same way as different films. Again, using the preset method, find a look you like and apply it to all images as you import them into Lightroom. Then you can use that as a basis for additional adjustments.

The beauty of RAW, of course, is that you aren't stuck with anything no matter what program you use. You have complete flexibility to change things over and over without affecting the original data.

Steve

A Nikonian in northeastern Ohio

http://stephen-bishop.com

  

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Aviatorbumm Registered since 28th Dec 2005Mon 09-Nov-09 05:10 PM
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#89. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 86


Naperville, US
          

>if you enjoy EXACTLY what you see on your LCD screen after you shoot your images stick with NX2.

What you see on your LCD is a JPEG thumbnail image not what a RAW image would look like in any converter (NX2, LR, etc).

>Will we ever have any standard color profiles?

Nikon has addressed this by establishing standard profiles both in your camera menu and in NX2. So, you can shoot with a D80 or a D3 and edit your NEF's from the same starting point (Standard, Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, etc). This standardization does not, however, cross boundries between software platforms.

Regards,

Mike


My Pbase Favorites

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cwspald Silver Member Nikonian since 29th Nov 2007Mon 09-Nov-09 06:51 PM
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#90. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 89


Williamsburg, US
          

>Nikon has addressed this by establishing standard profiles
>both in your camera menu and in NX2. So, you can shoot with a
>D80 or a D3 and edit your NEF's from the same starting point
>(Standard, Neutral, Portrait, Landscape, etc). This
>standardization does not, however, cross boundries between
>software platforms.
>

I use the Nikon Camera Calibration presets found in LR 2.5 and Camera Raw 5.5 in my workflow and like the color rendition results very much.

I saw a video interview of Adobe's Thomas Knoll, a few years ago, where he explained that these presets for Nikon and Canon were developed by shooting test targets with Nikon and Canon cameras and then adjusting the preset variables so that there was a good visual match to the camera manufacturer's raw converters.

Prior to that, I used Capture NX for raw converstion and was pleased with the color rendition. However, the clunkiness of the program was such that I gave it up. I tried to create a set of Photoshop tone and color adjustments to duplicate the Capture NX "look". I was close but fell short. When the beta camera specific presets were introduced, my comparison tests with C. NX were a lot closer and I have used them ever since.



  

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Screenguy Silver Member Nikonian since 16th May 2008Mon 09-Nov-09 07:09 PM
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#92. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 90


Boca Raton, US
          

A couple of weeks I ordered and received the x-rite ColorChecker Passport. I am amazed at the difference it produces, and can be set in LR.

The included software in the package works as a stand alone or you can create a custom profile for the pictures using the ColorChecker inside of LR.


Link where I purchased:
www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/651253-REG/X_Rite_MSCCPP_ColorChecker_Passport.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

This picture without calibration, Auto WB in D3, original file was a NEF:


This picture calibrated to ColorChecker (within LR):

Attachment #1, (jpg file)
Attachment #2, (jpg file)

  

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Ramesses Registered since 29th Mar 2007Mon 09-Nov-09 07:09 PM
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#91. "RE: Lightroom 2 and Capture NX2"
In response to Reply # 89
Mon 09-Nov-09 07:30 PM by Ramesses

US
          

Hi:

Everyone is talking about how the photos “jump” from the JPEG previews, LCD, or initial rendition to the ones in RAW, in LR. Of course I’ve seen that, but it was never what I went by. I always compared the initial NEF conversion as rendered in NX as opposed to LR and the difference was substantial in favor of NX. I spent weeks trying, with all the presets and searching the internet for suggestions, to make LR look like NX. However, until recently, I had no luck.

LR 3 might be a different story. I do not think that the new version comes with any new tools, but just tweaks to the old ones. I believe that the major difference is in the background processing. The photos from LR 3 look a tiny bit better than in NX, imho. This led me to compare the photos in LR 2 converted with ACR 5.5 (same converter used in LR 3) with NX again, and the differences are minimal, imho. Since I always wanted to move to LR and now with CS4, my decision was not that difficult.

Here are my photos of Venice Beach done with NX as the RAW converter with NEF and TIFF files:

http://www.hektorsphotos.com/Souther-California/Los-Angeles/Venice-Beach/9922879_jjTXb/1/693825311_TtkhL

And the first few using LR as the RAW converter with DNG and PSD files:

http://www.hektorsphotos.com/Souther-California/Los-Angeles/Venice-Beach-Photoshop/10244605_Xyqvy/1/707835364_Aj7TX

There are differences but, imho, are due to the fact that not two of the same photos are processed exactly the same.


Best Regards,

Hektor

A Nikonian in Kemet

My Blog: Hektors Blog
My Photo Album: Hektors Photos

  

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