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Thread: Capture NX2 Query

  1. #1
    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Capture NX2 Query

    Having just moved from a Leica R8 plus DMR to a D700 to gain full-frame capabilty with wide angle lenses, I'm reviewing my image processing requirements. I always shoot in RAW at the highest possible quality - 14-bit, uncompressed in the case of the D700.

    When dealing with Leica RAW files I convert them to Tiff in Lightroom before further processing in PhotoShop CS4, if required. However, I'm wondering whether, for D700 files, there would be any advantage in using NX2 instead of Lightroom for the conversion phase. I'd therefore be grateful for comments from D700 users who have used both types of software.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

  2. #2
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    Hi John,
    LR is probably simply a better piece of software from both the programming and usability standpoint.

    But...

    NX2 delivers better performance when it comes to NEF files. The strong points being the ability to recover apparent lost details along with the famous flexibility of the U-points. Not to mention the advantage of working from start with native information -and also some dedicated Nikon lens correction.

    Cons : Ergonomy // Learning curve // Requires a much more powerful computer for optimal performance and usability.

    Once you get the hang of it, it's a terrific entry point for NEF files.

    In one word, after some time working on various softwares i now use NX2 + PS CS4, plus sometimes (barely) the Nik Software add-ons for specific purposes.

    My coupla cents.

  3. #3
    Vertigo2020
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    There are some drawbacks to using LR with Nikon's NEF raw files. LR converts the basic raw file without any in-camera settings. What you will get in NX2 will be the raw file as the camera recorded, ie. sharpening, colors, etc. I have both LR and NX2 and use NX2 most of the time.

    You can also convert your raw files to tiff with Nikon View and then use LR to post process.

  4. #4
    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo2020 View Post
    There are some drawbacks to using LR with Nikon's NEF raw files. LR converts the basic raw file without any in-camera settings. What you will get in NX2 will be the raw file as the camera recorded, ie. sharpening, colors, etc. I have both LR and NX2 and use NX2 most of the time.
    Thanks for this information.

    As I prefer to work from the basic RAW image without any in-camera processing imposed on it, I think I'll continue to use Lightroom. It's what I'm used to doing with images from the Leica DMR and M8. I'd be very loath to give up the Lightroom interface, in any case.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

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    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    Quote Originally Posted by jlancasterd View Post
    Thanks for this information.

    As I prefer to work from the basic RAW image without any in-camera processing imposed on it, I think I'll continue to use Lightroom. It's what I'm used to doing with images from the Leica DMR and M8. I'd be very loath to give up the Lightroom interface, in any case.

    The in-camera settings is not mandatory but just an open option, fully editable and reversible. Useful in some (most when you get used to it) cases without tampering with the file since you can actually save the original NEF with modifications in layer(s) form. In this regard for NEF it's more flexible than any other raw software including LR.

    On the other hand when you're accustomed with specific software interface and features, it's perfectly understandable to stick with it... in my case, using PS since its inception (yes, before its first official realease) i keep paying Adobe over the years when other, cheaper or even free options are available. Did not have this dilemma though with LR vs. NX2 since i've started testing them both at the same period of time.

  6. #6
    Vertigo2020
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    It seems a shame to cripple the capabilities of the D700 to the basic conversion of ACR, but that's a judgment call. IMHO, it takes quite a bit of post processing in LR to get back what was lost in comparison to the NX2 raw file. To each his own...

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    Member jlancasterd's Avatar
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    Quote Originally Posted by Vertigo2020 View Post
    It seems a shame to cripple the capabilities of the D700 to the basic conversion of ACR, but that's a judgment call. IMHO, it takes quite a bit of post processing in LR to get back what was lost in comparison to the NX2 raw file. To each his own...
    OK! - you and Corlan F. have persuaded me to give NX2 a try! I've ordered the software and will run it alongside Lightroom 2 to compare and contrast.
    John L Dobson
    Editor, Ffestiniog Railway Magazine

  8. #8
    Subscriber Member Corlan F.'s Avatar
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    Re: Capture NX2 Query

    Hello John,
    wow, the only purpose here was to elaborate on the respective merits for the sake of discussion... hopefully you'll get the hang of it now...

    As said before NX2 is an avid memory and performance consuming software. One small piece of advice, if you've got a good enough computer you might want to check the Preferences menu and allow for the non-linear operation option.

    By default the adjustments are additive, which means that any ensuing modification to a previous setting temporarily desactivates the following steps -which may prove disconcerting at first, on even a bit upsetting.

    They say this allows for faster workflow with less-than-stellar performing computers...

    One has to keep in mind that the main reason NX2 is slower and requires more computing horsepower is simply because it doesn't work on a rendered side file but on the original RAW -which is much more flexible on the long term but requires more ressources.

    NX2 definitely has limits, but if you're a bit patient and giving it a little perseverance the outcome is gratifying.

    P.S. the U-points are a big plus and should come handy
    Last edited by Corlan F.; 6th August 2009 at 09:22.

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