Photoshop Elements Adobe RAW versus Nikon NEF plug-in
I have recently purchased Photoshop Elements 4.0. I have been using Nikon Capture and Nikon View up to now. When I open my NEF files in Elements, the colors are noticably duller and less vibrant when compared to how they appear in Nikon View or Capture. I decided to try the Nikon NEF plug-in for Elements, and my images now appear much better when opened with Elements. However, I think I may have lost some functionality in Elements by going to the Nikon NEF plug-in. Does using the Nikon NEF plug-in "hamstring" Elements in some way?
More generally, it seems people prefer to use the Adobe RAW plug-in over the Nikon NEF plug-in. For example, I've noticed a number of threads where people complain about Capture overwriting the Adobe RAW plug-in with the Nikon NEF plug-in when they install Capture on a system with an existing Photoshop installation. Is it better to keep the Adobe RAW plug-in when working with Elements even though the original NEF's appear dull and flat, or is it better to use the Nikon NEF plug-in? Or maybe the preferred way to go is to do all NEF processing with Capture and then save to some other format (like TIFF) for importation into Elements?
I'm really not sure what the optimal solution is for handling NEF's, so I'm hoping to get some good advice from those who have worked with both Photoshop and Capture as to what choice to make. I really like the tons of features you get with Elements, so I would like to make this my default workflow tool, but only if I can start with a NEF that is more color representative of what was actually captured by the camera.
Thanks in advance for the help and advice everyone.
#1. "RE: Photoshop Elements Adobe RAW versus Nikon NEF plug-" | In response to Reply # 0JHJ Registered since 24th Mar 2006Mon 15-May-06 09:40 AM
I use both NC and CS2. The Adobe plug-in opens the Adobe Camera Raw converter and the Nikon plug-in opens the Nikon converter. About the only functionality you lose with the Nikon plug-in is the ACR highlight recovery. I like the NC converter for quicker accurate colors but may use ACR for highlight recovery if needed. For a lot of images and speed I use PS converting with ACR. I can get the colors the same as NC with ACR but it takes a little longer.
If I was going to use Adobe PS (Elements):
Open with the Nikon Plug-in if quick accurate colors and no ACR highlight recovery and speed needed.
For a lot of images I would batch open in NC and save as tif then open in PS.
Open with ACR If needed for highlight recovery(sometimes ACR highlight recovery does a better job than D-Lighting) and/or speed.
I use a windows batch file to either start PS with ACR or with the Nikon plug-in.
#2. "RE: Photoshop Elements Adobe RAW versus Nikon NEF plug-" | In response to Reply # 1capdekD70 Registered since 16th Jan 2005Mon 15-May-06 12:56 PM
Thanks for the insight JJ. I didn't know that the only thing missing by using the Nikon NEF plug-in was highlight recovery. Your workflow makes a lot of practical sense. I very much appreciate the feedback. Thanks again.
#3. "RE: Photoshop Elements Adobe RAW versus Nikon NEF plug-" | In response to Reply # 1JRJohnson Basic MemberWed 17-May-06 06:43 PM
I am trying to figure out work flow and the right product set to use as well. I have been playing with Lightroom Beta for Mac, and getting similar results - ie NEF images are not as bright, less sharp, less color saturation, etc.. compared to Nikon PictureProject (I am waiting to try Capture NX, so I don't have current version of Capture. I don't know anything about plug ins. Where do I look for these? Is there a Nikon Plug in for Lightroom, or not yet since it's a beta version? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.
John in Ohio
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Visit my Nikonians gallery.