Newbie query: Transfer, View NX, and Capture NX2

Jan 13, 2008
Ohio- Southwestern
This is a basic query about the use of Nikon Transfer, View Nx, and Capture NX2, either together or individually.

I have not gotten at all into the post-processing game, other than to use the free Picasa program on the wife's laptop. Am now wanting to expand into programs that will let me do more image editing, so recently put Nikon Transfer and View NX onto my desktop, through the free CD supplied with the D300. I also recently purchased Capture NX2, and have installed that as well.

My questions are very basic, and do not even know if this is the right forum to ask them on, but here goes. Is Transfer and View NX necessary to use when you have Capture NX installed? Advantages and disadvantages of using Transfer and View NX? Can I use Capture NX2 by itself without these other two?

Lastly, View NX will not open. Transfer opens, as does NX2. Any ideas what may have gone wrong? The installation went smoothly, no issues, so have no idea why two programs open but one does not. Thanks in advance for any help....obviously I need it!

Jan 25, 2006
Encinitas CA

I use this combination as my primary workflow, with the addition of Qimage at the end to do my printing. This works well for me, though professionals who shoot and process large volumes of images complain it is awkward and slow. But it is fine for my needs and produces great results.

I have no idea why View NX isn't working for you. In fact, I have Transfer set up so that after completing the transfer, it opens the destination folder in View NX automagically.

There is another sub-forum for NX where this thread might fit better.

-- Russ
Sep 13, 2007
Northern VA suburb of Washington, DC
Richard, welcome to the Cafe! Sorry that I didn't see your thread earlier and I hope that you have gotten View NX working by now. The only thing that I can imagine about that issue is that maybe a file has become corrupt. Try downloading it from here and reinstalling it.

Just for kicks, also check that same website and the version of your Transfer to ensure that you've got the latest version. If not download and install it also.

Capture NX2 works fine without using Transfer or View NX. However, there are certain capabilities that each program has that neither of the other two programs have. To get the most out of any of them, you will use all of them as the integrated suite for which they were designed to be used. The combined capabilities of the suite are very powerful.

I'll explain a workflow that leverages the capabilities of the three programs. Workflow is the result of personal decisions that are neither right nor wrong, so you might want to do certain things a little differently from how I use the suite.

Loading From Memory Card and Applying Initial Image Management
In one simple step, Transfer will complete three important actions. It will move image files from your memory card to your computer. It will automatically apply basic metadata such as your name, copyright, contact information to every image you make. If the card contains only one kind of image, such as pictures taken at a birthday party, you could apply all but one or two fields of metadata in that initial upload. It will also create and place a backup copy of each file on your computer.

A fourth step that I'm considering adding to my workflow is to tell Transfer to rename the files. If you decide upon a nomenclature that includes maybe your name, the date the photos were made, and a sequence of image numbers, all of that can also be done automatically at the same time your files are transferred from memory card to computer.

Culling Your Images: the First Cut
Many of the operations performed with View NX can also be performed using NX2, but View NX is faster at performing many of them, especially if you are processing NEFs.

Use View NX to rotate the images as needed, move them to various folders as needed, and to review the images. The Image Viewer mode places thumbnails along the top. Select a thumbnail and the image fills up the bottom of the window. Place the cursor over the large image at the bottom (no need to click it) and press the Shift key. It automatically appears at 100% in the area around your cursor. Release the Shift key and it returns to the original size. Move the cursor to another part of the image to see that area at 100% using the Shift key. Very, very cool!

Delete any images on the spot that are not sharp enough or are obviously not keepers for other reasons.

Apply star ratings to the others. I apply 5 stars to the images that I think are probably going to be kept. The others without stars are in the "maybe" category.

Post Processing the Images and the Final Cut
Though View NX has limited post processing capabilities, this is where Capture NX2 shines! Enjoy using the control points and its many powerful features to post process your images. Once you're done, use the delete key to get rid of any images that don't make the final cut.

Final Image Management
Return to View NX for this phase of the workflow, remembering that it does certain things faster than Capture NX2 can do them. View the thumbnails of the images that survived the final cut in Capture NX2 to apply labels and revised star ratings. If you didn't rename the files in the initial upload, you should rename them now. Also apply the last bit of metadata such as keywords, categories and subcategories if you decide to use them. (They can be great for conducting sophisticated searches of your files using third-party programs. The one major weakness of Nikon's trio of programs it its inability to conduct anything other than simple searches using stars or labels.)

Convert NEFs to JPEGs or TIFFs
You probably thought you were done using Capture NX2. Nope. Now that you have applied all the metadata (and possibly renamed the files) in the previous step, you'll use Capture NX2 to convert to JPEGs or TIFFs for use in email, placement on the Internet, and/or printing. (I convert only to JPEGs.) In fact, if you use presets you can batch process the following in one simple step: reduce the resolution and size, convert to JPEG at a predetermined compression, apply a small but necessary amount of sharpening, and place the files in a new folder.

Be sure to poke your nose around the Capture NX forum. There's some really helpful stuff there. If you're a Windows users, especially be sure to check out the new tutorial in the sticky section there to ensure that Capture is working as fast as possible for you.

Hope this helps!
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