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Using NX2 before other apps (Photoshop, etc)?

Discussion in 'Nikon Capture and View NX' started by Hotplate, Mar 17, 2009.

  1. Hotplate


    Oct 23, 2007
    Austin, TX
    I did a couple of searches and found some things along this topic, but I didn't get a clear consensus on what might be a typical way of using NX2 before moving into Photoshop.

    For those of you who do use this combination for post, would you mind sharing your workflow? I'm been using Capture NX for a couple of years now and know how to do most of what I need with it, but I'm trying to incorporate Photoshop with some of the Nik plugins at this time. I shoot all RAW, fyi.

    I guess the only options for saving out of NX after making some adjustments are as a .tif, .jpg or NEF. What I typically do is zero out shaprening, set back and white points, etc. and then save as a .tif for use in Photoshop. Is the .tif format my best option for highest quality?
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 17, 2009
  2. NateS


    Oct 11, 2007
    I do most all of my stuff in NX2. Of course any white balance and exposure adjustments, then I adjust my curves, levels, contrast, etc.. Then using color control points, I'll improve on the sky or dull grass and such, etc.... If there is something I want to do that's beyond the scopes of NX2 then I'll take it into another program like PS but that doesn't happen very often. On a recent shoot I had one out of an entire set that I had to go farther than NX2 and that was just for selective coloring and a slight vignette....both of which I could have done in NX2 if I had taken the time.
  3. Hotplate


    Oct 23, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Thanks Nate.. I'm making use of Silver Efex Pro, Color Efex Pro 3, etc. so I have to move into PS to use these filters. If not using these filters, then I can do most of what I need in NX2, but I like what these filters do.
  4. PaloAlto


    Nov 19, 2008
    Palo Alto, CA
    In addition to the raw conversion, what I like the most about NX2 is its u-point technology - so much easier than making masks. So I use NX2 for all the changes where I can avoid doing a mask in PS.

    - except - for noise reduction and sharpening.

    If you're using NIK plugins for PS then you might also want NIK's dfine. It'll give you u-point and far better controls for noise and sharpening than available in NX2.
  5. Within NX2 by using Selection Control Points and the other tools, such as the Brush, Gradient, etc., you can directly target and apply any adjustment, including NR and Sharpening. I like Dfine, and use it in PS, but you can do almost all of that within NX2 as well. I also find that by using the NR within NX2 I have much more control, and I am working on the data as close to the original as I can. I do agree with you regarding masking versus u-point technology, this is what sold me on NX in the first place.

    Now, as to workflow. I discovered, quite by accident, a rather nice "feature" of taking an image from NX2 into PS. If you just use the method of opening directly from NX into PS, a TIFF is created behind the scenes and then automatically opens in PS. If, however, you save a TIFF yourself, then use Bridge to open the TIFF, you can have it open in ACR, which gives the benefit of things like fill, recovery, clarity and vibrance. So now when I have an image that I want to fine-tune in PS, I add the step of saving a TIFF out of NX2, then opening that in ACR.

    If you already own Color Efex and such for PS, you might want to check with NIK and see if you qualify for the versions for NX2 as well. Color Efex Pro works great within NX2.

  6. Hotplate


    Oct 23, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Thank you guys for commenting. I'e been using NX2 for a while and it does indeed do most of what I would need. But I do like what the Nik plugins offer and they are not all available for NX2 (yet). I know you can similate some of the things in the plugins using NX2, but I like how quickly the plugins work for getting you there.

    Bill.. I'll see how that works with opening an image from NX into Photoshop. I tend to just do some basic things in NX and then save as tif for Photoshop. I like opening the RAW intially in NX since it does the auto-CA removal and I have prests to zero out shapening, etc.
  7. Just ordered NX2. I will be looking at the advice of others. Thanks
  8. Hey Cody,

    You probably know this already, but just in case... Set the "open with" application in CNX2 to Photoshop. Then you can easily continue your work on any individual shot you have been adjusting in CNX2 in PS by just selecting it from the file menu.

    When I have more than an image or two I want to run through PS, I create a subfolder "for PS" and save the Tif images there.

    I too, find CNX2 works great for the vast majority of my work. I end up using PS CS3 for cloning most often, and secondly to create a decent Vignette effect. I have the full suite of Nik Color Efex Pro, and like them a lot, but haven't found satisfying vignette.

    It would be great if there were more third party filters for CNX2, but even so, there will never be the diversity and quality of filters, actions,etc that there are for PS. I am glad I have both.
  9. Hotplate


    Oct 23, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the replies guys- I've been way busy at work and out shooting. Keith, I'll need to look at using the "open wth" option from NX2 into PS. I typically just save tifs to a folder that I intend to go into PS with and then close NX and work with PS. My Mac Pro is maxed on RAM and all, but it's an early G5 dual, so it's starting to show is age in the speed department.

    Thanks for the input. I do believe that there's talk of Nik coming out with more filters for NX, so it might be that eventually we could do most things with NX. Would be nice to have it all in one, but I don't think anything will replace PS entirely.
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