RAW photos look different in LR than CaptureNX

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I took some photos of a gorgeous orange sky after sunset the other night and I've been playing around with different software and noticed that they look a lot different depending on what I use to view them. LR and PS show images that have very muted colors compared to what shows in Capture NX or View NX. From what I've read it's because the Nikon software applies in-camera settings to the RAW images unlike the Adobe products. Is that the case?

The funny thing is that the photos display in the Nikon software exactly as the scenes appeared in real life whereas the muted colors of the Adobes don't reflect the actual view that night. Does that mean the photos need artificial enhancement to reflect reality. I would've expected the "true" RAWs to more closely reflect what I saw and the in-camera processing to artificially enhance that. I'm very surprised to see the differences?

LR is my preferred software (at least so far in my very little experience), and when I first imported the photos, they showed exactly like they do in the Nikon software. After a minute or so, they all changed to the Adobe look one-by-one. How do you all deal with this?
 
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Thanks for the explanation tomTom. The bit about Lightroom rendering the embeded jpg first makes total sense. Now I understand why I was seeing what I was seeing.

What stinks is that all this really makes things harder for a newb such as myself. I was really liking Lightroom as a do-it-all photo app as I love it's organizational abilities and seemingly simplistic touch-up controls, but I don't know what to do now. I'm trying to figure out a basic workflow and this has thrown a huge wrench into things. I don't really want multiple copies of my photos everywhere. I had hoped to only have two copies of my photos. The original RAWs edited to my liking and then jpgs for general usage, but this doesn't really sound feasable anymore.
 
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What about DNG files? Aren't they supposed to be equivalent to RAW files? Can I convert my NEFs to DNG straight from the SD card using Capture NX or something and maintain the in-camera settings in the resulting DNG and then import those into LR and do any PP or whatever? Would DNG maintain all the PP benefits of RAW?
 
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What I have begun doing is taking the nef (after backing it up externally), and converting them (batch) in ViewNX. Then I import those files into LR. It's an extra step, but converting to tif in ViewNX saves the in camera settings for further refinement and cataloging in LR.
 
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This workflow makes absolutely no sense to me - three progams for doing all in one and producing out of space actions You described. and btw: The OP did not mention the use of View NX - maybe he knows why! :))
I have to say - it doesn't make much sense to me either. If you like LR for its cataloging and additional refinement, why not import directly with an import preset that mimics the in-camera settings you like?
 
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I have to say - it doesn't make much sense to me either. If you like LR for its cataloging and additional refinement, why not import directly with an import preset that mimics the in-camera settings you like?
yeah, the workflow is definitely not streamlined. Basically, I'm not a huge fan of the way Adobe sharpening looks. I'm sure its because I havent learned how to properly use it, but for now this is working for me. I tend to edit pretty tightly, so by my second cull, I don't usually have a ton of images to work with (I keep all my nefs except the really blown, black, or soft ones). And space is always an issue. I use a pretty enormous external drive for my catalog that consists basically of everything that isn't a current project. I'm about to consolidate that drive into a Drobo (well, around the end of the year).

It would be nice if Nikon would just give us the ability to save to dng, but who knows if that'll ever happen. Meanwhile, I just can't get Adobe to sharpen my images as nicely as the in-camera settings do it. Saving as a tif in ViewNX is my way to save what I get out of my camera for now. I do all my additional image work in LightRoom. I do have Elements 6 for the occasional pixel level work. Usually it gets used for the occasional defish, and that's about it.
 
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cosilver

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Thanks for the explanation tomTom. The bit about Lightroom rendering the embeded jpg first makes total sense. Now I understand why I was seeing what I was seeing.

What stinks is that all this really makes things harder for a newb such as myself. I was really liking Lightroom as a do-it-all photo app as I love it's organizational abilities and seemingly simplistic touch-up controls, but I don't know what to do now. I'm trying to figure out a basic workflow and this has thrown a huge wrench into things. I don't really want multiple copies of my photos everywhere. I had hoped to only have two copies of my photos. The original RAWs edited to my liking and then jpgs for general usage, but this doesn't really sound feasable anymore.
What I do is edit the NEF's in Capture NX. After my edits are done to all my images for that session, I batch convert to jpeg and save the jpegs in the same folder as the NEF files. I then import that folder to Lightroom, so LR now has my jpegs with all the NX edits I made to the NEF files. Once in LR, I can crop, make final adjustments if necessary. I do not have duplicate files anywhere. I only have the NEF and jpeg version of the image.

Like you, I really like the organizational features in LR, and this workflow works very well for me. Also, if cloning or other enhancements are needed (not often) in a jpeg image, I can open PSP X2 from within LR, edit the jpeg in PSP X2, save it and LR will automatically pick up the changes without having to synchronize the folder.
 
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.....snip.......

LR is my preferred software (at least so far in my very little experience), and when I first imported the photos, they showed exactly like they do in the Nikon software. After a minute or so, they all changed to the Adobe look one-by-one. How do you all deal with this?
Check this out. I just downloaded the software and it's gonna' take me a while to digest all of it, but it looks like we Adobe users will now have exactly what we want.
 
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