Capture NX 2 with Lightroom ? Cataloging Combo
I have been using the Adobe Lightroom cataloging software since its version 2. I like the way the software works. I have had a few problems but have found help in correcting them. I have just begun using Capture NX 2 and am now trying to learn the software in order to do a better and easier job of postprocessing. I read in one of my books on Capture NX 2 that this combination of software applications for post processing makes the job more difficult. Does anyone have any input or experience on using these programs in the same workflow? I want to know before I make a big mistake by combining them.
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#1. "RE: Capture NX 2 with Lightroom ? Cataloging Combo" | In response to Reply # 0nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Fri 07-Jun-13 03:04 PM
The big problem is that your raw file edits will not be reflected in Lightroom. That makes things very confusing.
You can try to solve that by outputting a high quality JPG or TIF file from CNX2 and then maybe stacking them. But that adds complexity, a sister file to keep up to date when you re-edit the raw file, and is relatively very wasteful of disk space. Nikon's strategy is the most efficient way of storing high resolution images associated with a raw file (avoiding the need for un-compressed TIF or PSD files)
For these reasons, I think most people come to the conclusion that Lightroom works best when it is editing and cataloging. As your book suggests.
I use an app called iMatch for my cataloging, along with CNX2 for my editing. I use Photomechanic for front end browsing before the catalog ingest, and also for some other work. Both iMatch and Photomechanic look to the embedded up to date JPG in the raw file, rather than re-rendering from raw.
I've looked at most major revisions of Lightroom but I can never get past the problems with dealing with my old archives, which are very extensive. That regardless of the merits of switching, which I find a complex subject because basically iMatch and Photomechanic as a browser works well enough for me. And iMatch appears to be very close to a very long awaited new release.
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#2. "RE: Capture NX 2 with Lightroom ? Cataloging Combo" | In response to Reply # 1jacruzat Registered since 20th Aug 2012Fri 07-Jun-13 04:33 PM
Thank you for your response. I can tell that you are a real photographer who has a large number of photographs to maintain. I am a retired hobbyist, trying to assemble a very large number of family photos accumulated over the years so that my family will remember their relatives. I am now shooting with a Nikon J1 so that I can carry it around with me to be able to take pictures "whenever". Since I can shoot both jpeg and raw, I was going to continue to do that. However, I do not have any family members or close associates with whom I can discuss my thoughts about photographic "how-tos". That is one of the main reasons I decided to join the Nikonians. I have had some formal training in Photoshop, but recently decided to try Capture NX 2, since the output is excellent and much easier to generate. I also like to process raw as an important learning experience. I wanted to know if pre-processing the raw output and then importing (ingesting) the resulting "jpeg" photos into an entirely new and separate Lightroom catalog would work. Now that I am writing this reply I can understand that the NEF files with the adjustment lists would never be a part of the Lightroom catalog and would remain in the original folder on the hard drive. However, I believe there would be a connection to the original folder if the jpeg output would also be stored in the same folder. Please forgive me while I think out loud. I am hoping that this rambling does make some sense.
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#3. "RE: Capture NX 2 with Lightroom ? Cataloging Combo" | In response to Reply # 2nrothschild Registered since 25th Jul 2004Fri 07-Jun-13 05:27 PM
No forgiveness necessary. This is an extremely complex subject that spans raw rendering and cataloging.
If you store the raw and the JPG in the same folder, then you can easily "stack" them, putting your finished image on top.
I think you were originally asking something along the lines of why does your book suggest that staying in Lightroom is easier, or better. I tried to explain that, but I did not want to imply that using CNX2 would necessarily be unworkable. It just depends how simple and streamlined you want to keep things.
One of the nice things about Lightroom is that it is so integrated that it saves a lot of catalog maintenance work.
For example, one of the problems I have when cataloging with iMatch is that when I render working copies of images (always outside of iMatch), I have to do some sort of work to get those new versions "synchronized" to the master raw image, in terms of categories and ratings.
I segregate my various copies of images in different folders, never in the same folder as my raw files. It has to do with the number of raw images I have, and the desire to segregate my "selects" and then my working copies.
And partly because Capture actually updates raw images, I like to edit a separate copy. That way if the edited file is somehow corrupted I have the hopefully pristine original to fall back on, and then various backup strategies.
I'm a little anal about backups and the subject of data corruption, mainly because of the sheer number and terabytes of images I have and the difficulty of vetting the image files.
I would approach this in two ways:
1. If the workflow of a Capture/Lightroom strategy works for you, then don't let a book talk you out of it
2. On the other hand, a pure Lightroom strategy will always be the simplest strategy. So then you have to ask yourself what, exactly, does Capture NX2 do for you that Lightroom does not?
In some ways Capture is simpler than Lightroom. Mainly because a NEF, rendered straight out of camera, will look essentially identical to a JPG created by the camera. And that allows you to make use of picture controls and other shooting options that LightRoom and all other raw rendering apps will ignore.
And some people like the stock out of camera look of Nikon rendering, where it takes some research effort to get something fairly similar out of a Lightroom preset.
So you are balancing the basic speed and simplicity of Nikon rendering (assuming you prefer it to stock LR rendering) against the additional effort that might be required on the LR cataloging end. Including work you do down the road, such as rendering new versions of the original images and getting them cataloged properly.
I would think that it is worth the time to learn to get equally good results from LR. That is a one time expenditure of time, verses the constant expenditure of time spent integrating a separate raw rendering app.
(you seem to imply you too like the Nikon look better, or haven't learned how best to make LR emulate that look. You may find answers to that in the LR forum here, because it is a very frequent topic of discussion)
Personally I would not want to have separate catalogs for the originals and the various working copies. The point of a catalog app is to bring all that together. But like everything else here, much is personal taste and your preferred work flow.
But you can solve that by stacking, and I am told that it is possible to stack across folders by using collections. I've just never had an LR eval alive long enough to play with that. Just suggesting it as a point of research on your end.
Another issue is the dependence on a raw rendering software vendor. If you use LR, you are forever beholden to Adobe, and their upgrade policies. Same with Nikon, of course. Pick your poison .
The same is true of a catalog app, at least to some extent, although most or the bulk of the cataloging effort can be preserved in the image .XMP files if you configure things correctly.
Whatever you do, try to make a final decision as soon as possible. Many, like me, are so buried in prior years work that it is very difficult to change.
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