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Nikon Capture NX2 & NEF editing?


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3 replies to this topic

#1
csgaraglino

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I have always used Nikon Capture NX2 and now have a D810 and can't open NEF files finding myself looking for a completely new workflow - blah!

Up until now my (basic) workflow was as follows:

1. Ingest/Import files via Photo Mechanic, including updating IPTC data, basic keywording and external backup.

2. In PM I would find my selects and rate them accordingly.

3. Once I have am image I would like to make edits to, I would open it in Capture NX2.

- At this point NX2 would add in Lens Corrections and Picture Profile information.

4. (If necessary) from Camera Settings: I then make simple tweaks to White Balance, Picture Profile, Noise Reduction.

5. (If necessary) from Quick Fix: I then adjust the Curve, and make changes to Lighting and Saturation

6. Fine Tuning: Now all localized edits would be made.

7. Finalize: Typically I would adjust sharpening for the camera's filter and crop for output.


The reason I stuck with NX2 workflow is:
a) your always editing the RAW image
B) U-Point Technology made small localized edits supper easy
c) EVERYTHING is adjustable at ANYTIME.

If I needed to go back and adjust for WB or pull the highlights I could, even a year or two later - NOTHING is baked in.

I have Lightroom & Photoshop (latest) and Nik Collection installed. And while I am fairly comfortable with editing JPEGs in PS - I have not adopted LR for more than anything other than tethered shooting.

From what I can tell if I open a file in PS - I's forced to make the bulk of my edits that I would have made in Camera Settings & Quick Fix, at the Raw Converter level and then it's baked into the JPEG that is then opened in the native PS editing desktop and all "Fine Tuning" would now have to be preformed on this JPEG.

I do have the Nik Collection installed - but again - all edits are now being done to this baked JPEG and all the RAW data is no longer available?

Also, if I want to go back and make changes to the RAW file I would have to actually start over?

This does not make sense to me?, what am I missing?

What have you done to compensate for Nikon killing the best RAW editor out there?

Are there any other RAW editors that I can use to replace NX2 and closely maintain the workflow that I current have used?

 

Chris Sgaraglino Widow Creek Photography.



#2
Merco_61

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Capture NX-D? Unfortunately no U-point, but most other good things are still there. The UI is awful, but it renders NEFs among the best. You will have a steep curve until you get to know it, but it works.

PictureNinja also works directly on the NEF, mostly.

LR is fully non-destructive editing until export with the edit recipe in the database.

 

In PS, avoid jpg until final export —use .psd instead as repeatedly saving jpgs will produce artifacts. Most ACR settings can be applied in PS as well. Make sure that you work in layers so you can easily abandon edit steps that didn't work the way you wanted them to.



#3
RoyGee

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I'm rather surprised that no-one here mentions ON1 photoRAW - ON1 Photo RAW 2018.5 - Photo Editor and Lightroom Alternative - dedicated to photography, very powerful and relatively simple to use.  Totally compatible with PS and Lightroom.  



#4
Ron

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One slight correction to what Peter said about Lightroom. You can choose to have it save corrections to sidecar files rather than it's internal database.

 

Working RAW files with Photoshop should be similar to using Lightroom... minus the database functions. When you open a RAW file in Photoshop it automatically opens in Adobe Camera Raw. When you complete your RAW adjustments and hit done, it sends the file to Photoshop in it's native format. From there you can do whatever tweaks you wish using Photoshop tools and adjustments before saving your file in a variety of formats. Jpeg is but one option among many. 

 

--Ron