I've used mostly Capture then, NX and now NX2 for my raw editing and conversion. I think that Nik and Nikon need to work very hard to keep NX2 competitive. It needs some aignificant performance enhancements It would be great if it would utilize more of the power of multi core machines. It also has some significant stability problems on 64-bit Vista which Nikon just says "so sorry, we don't do 64-bit Vista" in response to problem reports. Other than that I find it one of the easiest wats to get the results I want in post processing.
One more thing... If it weren't for how well PhotoMechanic works with NX2 and provides excellent function where NX2 is lacking, I probably would have ditched NX2 a long time ago for a more complete workflow solution like LR2.
Scott Kelby informs that there is a free script for shooting tethered (Mac or PC) which allows to connect to Lightroom through "auto import" feature, who reads the folder where the pictures of the free scripts go when shooting tethered. This is a very cool feature, so my question is whether or not it is possible to shoot tethered with NX2 and, eventually, if there is a sort of free script or plugin. Thanks for your input.
I'd be very interested to know what your RAW NEF workflow is under Linux (Ubuntu).
In Windoze I use a combination of Photomechanic, Phase One and Photoshop. I'm finding it difficult to replicate this under Linux even though Linux is my OS of choice for most things. In my case Ubuntu - Jaunty Jackalope (9.04 like you).
My current primary RAW converter is Capture NX2. However, I have purchased CS4 but have not installed it yet. Other programs I have, but have not installed yet are Photomatix Pro 3.1, and Silver EFX Pro. Hopefully I'll have some time next week to install these. I want to reformat my main drive on my Dual core quad system and start over again, loading only Microsoft Office and all my photo editing software... nothing else! I'll also be downloading Nik's Color Efex Pro 3.0 once all else is loaded.
For the last couple of years, I used Bibble as I prefer Linux over Windows. I got a MacBook and a trial copy of Capture NX 2 and everything changed. I absolutely love NX 2 for post-processing. I also bought Jason's ebook as a guide and couldn't be happier.
When NX2 first came out I got very excited, bought the software, bought Jason's ebook and spent dozens of hours learning the program. Lovely features, great ideas. However it is a dog on my system (3.4 pentium, lots of memory, tried caching via different hard drives etc etc). The slowness of NX2 really shown up particularly on batch runs. Now use Capture One 4 together with PS for any local changes. Perfect combo.
NX2 long since deleted from my system. Maybe one of these days I will look at it again, but it would have to be a very compelling case.
I think you are responding to a comment I made a few days ago.
As it happens I probably will upgrade my computer shortly anyway and, as a matter of course, I will give NX2 another go, and maybe, the compelling case will be there. Lets see ...
But I have to say that Nik Software have not done themselves any big favours by creating a package that, compared to other RAW converters, not compared to hardware it is run on, is slow. As mentioned I use Phase One RAW software (on a machine that you classify as WAY too slow), I can zip through several hundred pictures quite easily and achieve remarkable results. Granted what I don't get, as compared to NX2, is recognition of Nikon in-camera settings (other than white balance) and local control point technology. Mind you in-camera settings can largely be replicated via Phase One recipes and local control via PS.
But as I say, I will give NX2 another go once I upgrade. Your NX2 book is an inspiration (if it were not for your book I probably would not even bother with NX2). Some of your other advice (e.g. Photomechanic) has really helped me move in the right direction.
I am an enthusiastic user of Capture NX 2 (version 2.1.1) - since the late days of Capture 3/early days of Capture 4. I find it very easy to use (especially after reading Jason's book) and let you really focus on the creative part.
I was never really bothered by its speed but since my new computer (Dual Core 3.3 Ghz, XP SP3, 4Gb DDR2 memory - still not a monster) I don't complain at all. But I must admit I rarely do substantial batch processing - my batch processing is limited to creating JPEG's in sRGB at the end.
In addition I make very occasionally exits to PS for cloning/healing brush for retouch work, perspective distortion repair, etc. But very seldom.
Judging from the majority of CNX users in the responses thus far, it looks like it is Nik's game to lose. I hope they work some of the bugs out of CNX 2.2 and Nikon improves their support for the product.
For me CNX2 was a game changer and represents something of a killer app that would keep me coming back to Nikon (even if I would think of straying for some crazy reason ).
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If only lightroom/photoshop would rendered the raw colours the way that the Nikon software does, it would be the perfect world. However, there are many photographers (I included) who end up using more than one software. Personally, I love the way NX2 renders the colours and white balance of my raw pictures. They are a lot of steps ahead of Adobe, but LR2 and CS4 are much better programs beyond white balance interpretation, Imho. I am so far using LR2 and CS4 for printing, whereas using Photomatix Pro for HDR with both adobes softwares. In order to improve the wb and color rendition, I calibrated my camera using the gretamachbeth color checker card and run the Chromoholics script for photoshop. Now, I have better rendition of colors in my raw pics, but I still think that NX2 is still better than that (there is always a trade off!). I also use NX2 exclusively for my infrared white balance conversion, since it is much better than LR2 and or CS4. In the end, I also use Autopano PRO 2.0 for my panoramas, then, CS4 for adjustments.
If you haven't tried the new camera calibration settings in LR2 and ACR 5, you should. They match the equivalent Nikon Picture Control and older Color Modes quite well. I previously used my own "recipe" to fix issues with color rendition, but no longer do that.
The Adobe preset white balance settings are bit different than the Nikon ones (the "as shot" rendition is pretty much the same since it comes from a Nikon-provided mini-SDK)), but if you want ones that look like the Nikon presets, just shoot a sequence of images at different white balance settings (daylight, cloudy, shady, flash, tungsten, etc.). Open up each image and then save the white balance settings as presets within LR2 or ACR.
Rick, Thanks for the tip! I like a lot of the features/control I have with NX2 but the user interface and time grinding out the pixels to create a view of the changes is mind-numbing. LR2 and the Nik tools give me 90% of what I need and much faster. I will try your suggestion.
>but if you want ones that look like the Nikon presets, just >shoot a sequence of images at different white balance settings >(daylight, cloudy, shady, flash, tungsten, etc.). Open up >each image and then save the white balance settings as presets >within LR2 or ACR.
I am new to this - Do you just check the WB box when you save the preset?
"Old age looks like a pretty bad deal until you consider the alternative."
Capture NX2-latest version. It runs so much faster with my Vista machine than the older XP. With a good processor, such as the i7 and 6G of memory, I have to wait but seconds instead of minutes now for a tweak to take effect.
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Tue 14-Jul-09 08:45 AM | edited Tue 14-Jul-09 08:46 AM by James23p
I use View NX for viewing and NX2 for post processing. I love the simple interface and powerful tools of NX2 and I also have several Nik filter add ons for NX2. Once I went to NX2 I dumped photoshop for me it complicated the obvious and trivilized the momentus.
PS I am surprised to see so many NX2 users I always thought Photoshop ruled. Plus the upgrades to View NX have made it very nice for quick fixes so now I don't even have to go to NX2 all the time.
"Beauty is no quality in things themselves: It exists merely in the mind which contemplates them; and each mind perceives a different beauty." David Hume, Scottish philosopher, 'Of the Standard of Taste' (1757).
Aperture 2.... but I sorely miss the adjustment options of Nikon View which are in keeping with what's in the camera! ie white balance has presets exactly the same as the camera, whereas A2 has only kelvin and tint.
NX2, because of its colour rendition (there really IS the difference between NX2 and PS or Lightroom), but above all, because NX2 can read the in-camera settings with my NEFs. I love the fastness I could work with Lightroom, but because it does not read the in-camera settings, it would be always starting from the scratch with every file. I wish there was a product reading the in-camera settings other than from Nikon manufacturers. Is there one? Other thing I find is that NX2 seems to be a pain as it is running really slow on my laptop. It is jamming all the time, it is "not responding" all the time and other stuff. Although I´ve tried to optimize my computer in many ways, it doesn´t seem to help. What are the recommended components for NX2 to run smoothly? I will be buying new desktop computer soon, so I´d like to know what to go for.
I was a big fan of NX2 but was never happy with how long it took to load and save each image for editing (this on a 2.4Ghz Quad Core w/4GB RAM and a 10,000 RPM Western Digital Raptor Drive). I tried Lightroom last November and haven't had need of NX2 since.
Even if I do have to do a little extra work because the images aren't translated exactly as NX2 would, I still save massive amounts of time not waiting for the load of the image and then the save of the image. I also like that LR2 doesn't touch my original NEF images. All changes are either in the catalog or in an XMP sidecar file. This reduces the chance of corrupting the original image.
>Unfortunately, I just bought a new computer with 64 bit Vista >installed, so right now, I don't have a RAW converter.
What issues are you having with 64 bit windows? I am thinking of buying new machine which would run 64 bit windows so I can get more RAM. does the "usual" software (Capture NX, Photoshop etc.) run on this? Or do you need some special editions?
Sun 14-Feb-10 09:29 PM | edited Sun 14-Feb-10 09:31 PM by laddad
I bought a Windows Vista 64 bit machine and plan to upgrade later to Windows 7. I use DXO and Photoshop CS4. I convert my NEF's via DXO and everythink else on PS CS4. Both work well on this machine. The 64 bit version is supposed to have a 32 bit compatability mode.
But only because I installed it today, from a new CD. The older copy of NX I had got corrupted in some way when I got my D300 and upgraded the soft accordingly. I uninstalled and switched to ACR, but it was a hassle to re-create images according to my own in-camera settings. NX reads them, so I got NX2. And it runs softly (2.2.2 on Windows XP pro).
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I know this is going to tick a few people off, but at some point the industry is going to gave to recognize that Nikon Shooters have an excellent application to edit RAW photos in Capture NX2.
Below is my opinion from using Adobe products for the past 15 years and shooting for 10.
If Adobe would embrace this space and play nice in the sandbox, shooters from all breads of cameras would only benefit form it.
Simply put, because Capture NX2 can read ALL the RAW settings of a Nikon file, it will always be superior to any other converter out there. Just because you know how to use a converter/application better that another doesn't mean that is actually a better converter/application. Think about it, if you take out the emotion and the usability knowledge you have a specific application and just look at the raw conversion process, Nikon is ALWAYS going to convert Nikon properitary raw files better - it's just that simple.
So if Adobe would get off their ego trip and just post the in camera JPEG (that they CAN read), they might actually start helping photographers instead of hindering them.
Power users of Photoshop (And I mean the serious Power Users) are going to get PS to do what they need - no questions - but that still doesn't make it the right tool for editing Nikon RAW files?
I know, I know... LR wants to be an editor as well and that makes the in RAW JPEG kind of useless - but why can't I just turn off the Develop module and have LR be just a cataloging application - now the JPEG makes sense again?
It's a shame that Photo Mechanic, for what ever reason can't seem to get a catalog released - they would put a whooping on LR in a heartbeat!
>I know this is going to tick a few people off, but at some >point the industry is going to gave to recognize that Nikon >Shooters have an excellent application to edit RAW photos in >Capture NX2. > Just a pity everyone seems to complain about it's speed.
>Below is my opinion from using Adobe products for the past 15 >years and shooting for 10. > >If Adobe would embrace this space and play nice in the >sandbox, shooters from all breads of cameras would only >benefit form it. > >Simply put, because Capture NX2 can read ALL the RAW settings >of a Nikon file, it will always be superior to any other >converter out there.
I would prefer Nikon to play nice in the sandbox and make public all their secret bits of the NEF - that way Adobe, PhaseOne, Apple etc could support them better.
After all, Nikon is a HW rather than a SW company, right?
"Old age looks like a pretty bad deal until you consider the alternative."
I generally use NX2 for my NEW files, then convert to TIFF and do heavy-duty/final processing in CS4. CS4/CameraRaw just doesn't seem to handle color, shadows, & highlights very faithfully -- at least not the way I've tried (using the appropriate Camera Profile under Camera Calibration).
So I'm new to a lot of this. Maybe I'm on the wrong forum. Been shooting for decades, new to a quality DSLR.
Have had a D90 for a few months. Having such fun shooting, and such a hard time just viewing my shots, I haven't really started RAW conversions yet, but I'm chomping at the bit.
Adobe PS Elements 7 is horribly slow on my computer (AMD Turion 64 2.1GHz w 4 GB RAM, running Vista 64-bit), and the whole Adobe catalog thing seems so confusing - can't even seem to get pictures to show up in the order they were shot for creating new filenames. I love the automatic ability to add copyright metadata. Can't see NEF thumbnails in Windows, because Nikon doesn't support it, unless I use the 32-bit version of Photo Gallery first and have it take an hour to create thumbnails the 64-bit version can use. FastStone seems pretty quick and a decent basic viewer. Played a little bit with RAW conversions in Adobe Camera Raw that came with PS Elements 7. I see why everybody wants to use RAW.
The discussion is interesting and helpful, but you folks use a lot of code. Where does Nik fit in? At one point, I thought maybe people were saying Nik wrote Nikon's Capture NX2. Then I thought maybe it was an add-on or several add-ons, like Sharpener. And what DxO product are people using? Lens distortion corrections and that sort of thing as an add-on to other programs? Or do they have a RAW converter, too? Where does PhotoMechanic fit?
Could someone outline who all the various software players are that this forum refers to? I gather that Adobe makes Photoshop - now in version CS4, Lightroom - now in version 2, Photoshop Elements, now announced in version 8, and Adobe Camera Raw - now in version 5(?) which comes with the other Abobe products, Nikon makes ViewNX, TransferNX, and Capture NX - now in version 2, etc.
Nobody mentioned Breeze. I just had an architectural photographer tell me that's what he uses all the time, but he's shooting Canon, and Breeze seems biased in that direction, but they make products for Nikon, too. Any good?
>And what DxO product are people using? Lens >distortion corrections and that sort of thing as an add-on to >other programs? Or do they have a RAW converter, too?
I use DXOOpticsPro (Mac), and recommend it if there are DXO modules for the camera/lenses you use (check dxo.com to see). They (DXO) have analyzed many cameras and lenses and have modules specific to them that do many kinds of corrections.
I use the 18-200mm Nikkor that produces complex distortions - it can make the horizon look like a recurve bow - and DXOOpticsPro can correct that (pretty much automatically, it "knows" about the lens). It might be the only thing that really can correct that (someone correct me if I'm wrong). It's very good with chromatic aberrations too. It does all kinds of things (e.g. film emulation, which I sometimes actually use). It does noise reduction but I haven't looked hard at that.
You specify all your corrections/edits and it performs them as part of the raw processing in batch. I use it to up-res - I don't know if it's the best up-reser, but it seems like up-resing during the raw processing (interpolation) stage would produce the best results.
It's a resource hog (I have 2 gig iMac and usually shutdown Photoshop before starting DXOOptics), and the interface is a little strange, but it's invaluable to me.
Although I have NX2, CS3 and Lightroom, I have been using DxO almost exclusively over the past few years. Aside from their quite unique lens/camera corrections, I consider the raw conversion, geometric distortion adjustments, sharpening and noise reduction superior to other software. Their batch processing is excellent.
I have used NX2, CS4 Camera Raw, and Lightroom 2. I like the organization abilities of Lightroom 2 and the ease of making exposure adjustments to multiple files quickly. But really, all of them do a great job. The best program is probably the one you learn to master.
Thanks for the poll question. This is really interesting.
I had been using Capture NX2 exclusively, but since Nikon is being so slow to give us a compatable update for Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro, I have bought LR2 and PS CS4. I do have a desktop PC running XP, but it doesn't look like I can continue with NX2 and upgrade to Windows 7.
Come on Nikon, you surely had time to work on it prior to the release of OS10.6. Now you have 2 systems to work on.
Lightroom 2 & Photoshop CS3. I have Capture NX 2 & like it very much, especially the color rendering of my photos, but since I have been using Vista x64 & now Win 7 x64, LR2 is my tool of choice. Truthfully, however, it would probably win out anyway due due it's file management abilities.
>Lightroom 2 & Photoshop CS3. I have Capture NX 2 & >like it very much, especially the color rendering of my >photos, but since I have been using Vista x64 & now Win 7 >x64, LR2 is my tool of choice. Truthfully, however, it would >probably win out anyway due due it's file management >abilities.
Similiar circumstances to yourself. I like NX but it just won't play nice with other applications, esp CS...and it doesn't database my photographs either.
About four months ago, I finally gritted my teeth and learnt to use LR properly, and I am now comfortable with it. For "special" shots I still use NX, but unless NX 3 plays nice with other applications I won't be upgrading.
I converted from NX v1 to DxO v5 in May 2008 after testing all the big name converters. I am very convinced that DxO gives me the best image that I can get out of a raw converter for my D3, D700 and D200. I am especially pleased to see that DxO released a new version (v6) this month. That shows me that this company is still trying. Most of the improvements are GUI improvements which wasn't important to me. Plus I’m happy that the new version contains a fix that I elevated to their engineering. In version 5, the GPS data in the NEF was not transferred during conversion to DNG…now it does! Go DxO! -Al
I have used Photoshop on a daily basis for twenty years — and use NX2 for all of my RAW conversions. I'm lazy and want my raw converter to read in-camera settings, and most of the time Control Points beat the pants off of layers and masks.
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My D300 came with Capture NX and have since upgraded to NX2. Currently running the latest version. Support for this product for me was a nightmare. Somehow the licensing algorithm got confused after doing an upgrade. The initial support rep hosed my system up so bad that it eventually required re-installing my OS and all my applications. Eventually got it working after threatening to contact Nikon management. It is a hog. I'm still not sure if I like it. Maybe I need to spend more time learning how to use it. It does have some features that work extremely well with NEFs. I especially like the versioning capability. Another glitch I ran into recently was an in-place upgrade from Vista 64 to Windows 7 64, again because the license key was missing. None of the other applications requiring key authorizations had this problem. I never had problems like this when shooting Canon. Nikon hardware is great stuff, but again, my experience with their support staff was inexcusable.
Currently I'm using Light Room 2 but will probably upgrade to LR3. It does so many things in it's five major areas it's hard to ignore. Most of what I shoot is studio still life so often I will shoot tethered to my lap top. I currently use the old Nikon Capture to bring in the image then LR scoops it out and puts it into the database and even backs it up to a second location. I'm a little peeved that one has to buy this capture software from Nikon (Canon includes it with purchase of the camera) and shooting raw Nikon Capture takes 20 seconds to bring in an image. Canon does it in about 8 seconds. It's nerve racking when you've got the client over your shoulder wanting to know where the image is. I understand there is a new image capture (importing) software out there but does it work any faster on a MAC? It seems the PC machines get the software to run faster.I see there's NikonCameraControl2 out there. Does anyone have any experience running this on a mac? Has there been any improvement in stability and speed?
I got a d90, and only now got around to installing the nikon SW.
Boy was I surprised to learn that it costs extra to actually use raw format. OK, I know I must be stupid... but I just sort of assumed that nikon would offer some sort of basic functionality to handle raw images.
>I got a d90, and only now got around to installing the nikon >SW. > >Boy was I surprised to learn that it costs extra to actually >use raw format. OK, I know I must be stupid... but I just >sort of assumed that nikon would offer some sort of basic >functionality to handle raw images.
They do. Download the free Nikon ViewNX. It has basic RAW editing, file conversion, keywording and ratings, XMP/IPTC editing, geotagging gps support, etc.
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