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Thread: Using Nikon Capture NX 2

  1. #1
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Using Nikon Capture NX 2

    I never got on with Photoshop (elements) and nearly always use Nikon Capture, which is very intuitive and avoids the struggle to fully control layers.

    Is there anyone else out there who also uses it and would value a discussion of its finer points?

    NB its use is not confined to Nikon or .nef images; I find I can do far better edits of previous camera output including Panasonic FZ7 and Canon 350D, the latter after doing as neutral as possible conversion from .CR2 to .tif in PSE4. Once in NX, images can be saved as .nef which then keeps all the working 'live' like .psd, but with files a fraction of the size. That is because .nef keeps a record of the operations, not the full content of each 'step' or layer except in a temporary cache.

    My images are at pbase.com/crisscross all D80 are processed in NX, the older ones I am gradually re-editing, so 'recent' galleries use mostly re-edits.

    Oh and further deviance - I use a mac (MacBook pro 2.4 GH 15") and use one or two progs that are mac only.

  2. #2
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Hello mate,

    I use CaptureNX 1.3 occasionally just to use the Upoint adjustments and sometimes the D-Lighting. I also use the D80 but I tend to stick to Photoshop (CS3) for RAW conversion and further editing. I'd like to hear about your workflow in CaptureNX just in case I'm missing something.

    Mark

  3. #3
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Firstly, I would say that some programs are pure workflow whilst others do a lot more in terms of image editing and this needs to be born in mind. Equally not all encompass Raw converters, which for me is crucial.

    For workflow together with its very useful control points for adjustments, I have used NX and now NX2. NX2 being slightly more intuitive and fixes some glitches that were apparent in NX. As I have a Nikon camera, I do find that the results seem to be more pleasing and very accurate renditions as opposed to some other programs in terms of finished product, probably because it is designed around the Nikon camera system in particular.

    Second choice from the programs I have used is Capture One Pro, which if it were not for NX2 it would be my favourite workflow.

    I have also used PS CS2 and find that in terms of image editing and flexibility it is very good, and is probably the most universally accepted image editing suite.

    Aperture unfortunately comes in fourth, regrettably there were still basic glitches up until the recent v2.1.1 and to be honest I haven't really used it in this latest release, due to previous dissatisfaction.

    There are a lot of other workflow and editing programs out there, but I am sure others can comment on these?

  4. #4
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Chelseablue View Post
    Hello mate,

    I use CaptureNX 1.3 occasionally just to use the Upoint adjustments and sometimes the D-Lighting. I also use the D80 but I tend to stick to Photoshop (CS3) for RAW conversion and further editing. I'd like to hear about your workflow in CaptureNX just in case I'm missing something.

    Mark
    NX2 has significant improvements from 1.3, principally upgrading the selection and masking functions and also very useful, now incorporating a pretty good 'heal brush'.

    The workflow goes from Nikon Transfer which autostarts preview in View NX. The View NX 'F' full size preview I find good for 1st weed out. View has aditional good features (a) it stores latest edit full size and printable for occasional (1 in 4000?) .nef that gets corrupted (b) print function including 'index' for printing 2-16 small pics onto a page.

    NX2 workflow default start is in 'Quickfix' (but that belies its quality) which sorts exposure correction, shadow (good), highlight problems (less good), saturation, contrast. On an image that has cross-section of colours that may be all that is needed; 10 secs then save. There is also a luminosity histogram which can quickly adjust basic contrast characteristics and, on non-nef origin, correct exposure as in a 'levels' operation.

    You can backtrack to 'Camera' which tweaks for recent cameras and also Colour temp and 'Dust-off' on the raw image.

    You can then progress to editing using 'adjustments' for editing in all cases either for the whole image or for a selection. The selection modes are all the 1.3 stuff, but instead of the limited and sometimes dodgy 'U-point' type allows all functions to work on the selection. Also a 'smart' control point that is a sort of cross between U-point and 'magic wand', so rather clever not only allowing correction of a light source, but the area of photo tinted by the source. Even better, after making settings on a trial area, you can add and subtract by 'brush' with live output and/or toggle to show areas masked or tinted.

    By far my favourite is LCH for landscape work, followed by tweak in Colour Balance. The LCH is also excellent for non-nef as it does not introduce 'unlikely' colour effects as curve operations might, yet the 'Colour lightness' part allows curve type correction of controlled colour ranges.

    NX progresses from low-res preview (what put me off PSE) to Full Size + quality in background, so no nasty surprises later.

    You do need a modern computer (core2duo) ; it was far too slow on my previous PowerBook or Pentium with 2.4x nominal speed, but more importantly the processor it was designed to use shows the effect of edits and LCH toggles instantly.

    Have been using for 2 months and happy to field detail questions (or be corrected).

  5. #5
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Ok, now I've spent the last few hours getting to grips with NX as it was a present a while ago and I've always been too lazy (too busy?) Yeah, I quite like it, but I've got so used to using photoshop I've become a bit blinkered.

    Mark

  6. #6

    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Hi Mark.

    I have PS CS3 Extended and Capture NX2. As a Nikon user, bot work fine and, if I'm honest, I feel CS3 offers a greater variety of creative options to manipulate images. It is, I understand, the current industry standard. When I use film and scanned the negatives / convert them to TIFF, CS3 is the best option.

    However, I find NX2 an absolute joy to work with. The new layout and layering options suit the way I work perfectly. Mind you, I'm one of those photographers that likes to get it as right as possible 'in-camera' so I don't have to spend much time processing. My favourite tools are Active D-Lighting, Colour-Point and Gradients.

    The only drawback I've found is when I use it on my missus' Mac. It works very quickly on my PC but, for some reason, it seems pedestrian on a Mac.

    A definite highly-recommended from me - but only for Nikon (NEF) Raw file users.

    All the best. Paul.

  7. #7
    The Blue Boy's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    'ello again mate,

    I've recently upgraded to NX2 and for the life of me I don't know why. I use CS3. The only thing I ever used CNX for was upoints. But the irony is; I've just recently discovered the Nik plugins for PS, Color FX Pro most noteably. The best B&W conversion (apart from film) that I've been looking for for ages.

    Mark
    Last edited by The Blue Boy; 5th November 2008 at 08:17 PM.

  8. #8
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Quote Originally Posted by The Analog Kid View Post

    However, I find NX2 an absolute joy to work with. The new layout and layering options suit the way I work perfectly. Mind you, I'm one of those photographers that likes to get it as right as possible 'in-camera' so I don't have to spend much time processing. My favourite tools are Active D-Lighting, Colour-Point and Gradients.

    The only drawback I've found is when I use it on my missus' Mac. It works very quickly on my PC but, for some reason, it seems pedestrian on a Mac.

    A definite highly-recommended from me - but only for Nikon (NEF) Raw file users.

    All the best. Paul.
    Hi Paul

    thanks for bringing up D-Lighting - this is something I have ignored imagining that the 'quick fix' did it. However I have just been having an e-seminar on skin tones from someone who is a bit of a specialist in childrens portraits and realised how far I need to go on my grandchildren from 'candid' to 'portrait'.

    For that, I find the dedicated D-lighting is as much better than the quick fix is as, eg, LCH (my favourite) on saturation...and like LCH includes a fine tune on saturation (colour boost) to compensate for losses from luminosity adjustment.

    One of the problems of NX2 seems to be that there are so many ways of skinning the cat, it takes a while to choose the best.

    On the PC/mac business - you must have a core2duo mac as NX is written for it. My 2.4GH MacBook pro seems fine, no doubt a desktop twin would be even better, but many people are tempted by the cheaper iMacs and they may not have the umph, which one has your missus got?

    Lastly I had a Canon 350D for a year and find I can get far better results by converting the .CR2 to tiff with absolute minimum adjustment in the conversion stage* and proceeding in NX2 than I used to get from either DPP or PSE4. Admittedly CS3 could alter the equation, but not convinced enough to shell out. NX2 is also excellent for earlier cameras, Pana FZ7 .jpgs and sometimes for Coolpix E4500, but 4MP is a bit thin to work on.

    * if you have "GraphicConverter" on the mac, it reads CR2 with no adjustment and is superb for photo browsing, weeding oldies and library re-arranging being able to use multiple windows concurrently (exact analog of the finder) and reading nef as well as CR2. If you haven't, its well worth the 40 or whatever, I originally had it bundled and have only upgraded. Its 'unskew' is also unbeatable. Tho I use View NX for 1st stage weed & PSE4 for conversion of old CR2 as DPP won't convert on OS10.5.

    Chris (own galleries at pbase.com/crisscross)
    Last edited by crisscross; 25th November 2008 at 07:25 AM.

  9. #9
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Tried efex on a few more pics and still feel (a) that the NIK logo starts unravelling the huge effort Nikon (and us mac users) made to obtain a distraction-free interface (b) the filters do not seem to work as though the programmers precisely matched the NEF information set-up in the way the NX2 progs have and make it such a powerful editor; worst disaster is that the sensor dust previously removed immediately starts creeping back again and has to be hand cleaned.
    Last edited by McQ; 10th January 2009 at 05:12 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    I have now started a gallery http://www.pbase.com/crisscross/nx2 giving an illustrated introduction to the workflow of this software, as I think it deserves to be used far more.

    CinC users: do send me PM asking any specific queries either here or as guest on pbase (leaving email) and/or request for dealing with any specific range of picture category (which I will do an addendum on if I can)

    Chris
    Last edited by McQ; 10th January 2009 at 05:12 PM.

  11. #11

    Re: Using Nikon Capture NX 2

    Just got Nikon Capture Nx2 and love it.
    Got a good deal on it for $119
    from cameta.com

    Nikon Capture NX2 Software

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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Quote Originally Posted by crisscross View Post
    I have now started a gallery http://www.pbase.com/crisscross/nx2 giving an illustrated introduction to the workflow of this software, as I think it deserves to be used far more.Chris
    This looks very good Chris. I am working with the trial version of NX2, and being an absolute beginner I am having lots of problems. I will go through your gallery and see if it helps me out.

    Could you (or anyone else) recommend any other books or tutorials that would be good for a novice.

    I will want some editing software in the future, but I do not have experience with any of them, so I want to study a bit before making a choice.

  13. #13
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    I did a google for "NX2 tutorial video" and these look promising (but I have not watched them);

    Orton Effect using NX2

    Using Nikon Capture NX2 as a JPEG (or TIFF) Editor (youtube)

    Capture NX2 Tutorial: High Key Portrait (youtube)

    Once you are in youtube, the 'Related Videos' and 'More from' panels are useful to find more.

    Good luck,

  14. #14

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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I did a google for "NX2 tutorial video" and these look promising (but I have not watched them);

    Orton Effect using NX2

    Using Nikon Capture NX2 as a JPEG (or TIFF) Editor (youtube)

    Capture NX2 Tutorial: High Key Portrait (youtube)

    Once you are in youtube, the 'Related Videos' and 'More from' panels are useful to find more.

    Good luck,
    Thanks Dave:

    I've checked them out. The first and third are by the same person. For me they are very hard to follow. Very fast, no verbal instructions, and even when using the recommended HD view, they are still too hard for me to make out what he is doing. It's probably just me but I like the Before better than the After on both clips.

    The middle link is excellent, and I will do a search for more of his tutorials. Visuals are clear and the commentary is very helpful. I can follow along and may or may not be able to duplicate what he's doing. Up till now though, like you said in one of your posts, I see the tutorials and they look easy, but when I try it does not seem to work the same way. I'll keep playing with it while I have the trial though.

    I've also been reading tutorials on Adobe Lightroom. It looks good, but I suppose if I really want to get into this I should take a look at Photoshop. I think I will end up taking some classes at the local college. Adobe would win out in that case, because the college offers all kinds of classes in both Lightroom and Photoshop, but I have not seen any mention of NX.

    Well, back to the books. Have a good weekend.

  15. #15
    crisscross's Avatar
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    Re: Nikon Capture NX 2

    Quote Originally Posted by ScoutR View Post
    This looks very good Chris. I am working with the trial version of NX2, and being an absolute beginner I am having lots of problems. I will go through your gallery and see if it helps me out.

    Could you (or anyone else) recommend any other books or tutorials that would be good for a novice.

    I will want some editing software in the future, but I do not have experience with any of them, so I want to study a bit before making a choice.
    I hope you will have found the 'standard reference' ie Jason O'dell from my gallery intro. There may be some of the old NX1 still tutorials there somewhere on the Nikon site. The later videos are worse than useless.

    Sorry guys I do not now participate in this site regularly and must change my email so you can send questions direct; you already can via Pbase.

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