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Photographer
iPro Pictures
Posts: 184
Tempe, Arizona, US


Has anyone used this software? Tell me what you think....

I usually import my Raw files via photoshop first


I shoot on a Nikon D3100
Oct 21 12 11:20 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


CNX2 is my software of choice. Each time that I try to 'follow the herd' and use an 'Adobe only' I find myself re-working the images in CNX2. If I need to tidy up (clone / heal ) an image more than the clone tool in CNX2 will cope with, adding a constant border or digital art changes, then I go into CS5. These were done yesterday only using CNX2 and the Nik ColourEfex CNX2 plugin for the borders:
http://sphotos-d.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/407743_431278060262608_1839881323_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash3/p480x480/527320_556020871079850_1201321036_n.jpg
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-ash4/p480x480/486803_554413231240614_1092780626_n.jpg

Built-in to the software is a slimmed down version of Nik's Viveza and Silver Efex plugins. They lack the structure options and a few other bits in the CNX2 implementation. The 64 bit version is as stable as any other software. The 32 bit version has problems, possibly because the computers I use it on in 32 bit are XP machines limited to 2Gb RAM.
Oct 22 12 01:28 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Paul Richard Wossidlo
Posts: 480
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, US


Matthew Braney wrote:
Has anyone used this software? Tell me what you think....

I usually import my Raw files via photoshop first


I shoot on a Nikon D3100

Are you referring to "ViewNX2" or "CaptureNX2"?

I've used ViewNX2 to copy files off my cards and for basic RAW editing.  It is sort of like having a "Lightroom Lite".  It will handle the basic RAW conversion chores (image adjustment, cropping, IPTC data, image rating, batch conversions) but lacks things like noise reduction and watermarking.  Some folks claim it does the best job (from an image quality standpoint) converting NEF files.

Oct 22 12 05:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gaze at Photography
Posts: 4,371
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, US


The reason I like to start out with Capture NX2 is the fact that the unsharp mask works best to sharpen the image due to the AA filter.  PS masks are good to use secondly, in final post, but I always start with the software made for Nikons....

I use View NX2 to convert multiple files to Tiff from Raw, or to proof jpegs from raw, depending on my needs.
Oct 22 12 06:00 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Don Olson Imagery
Posts: 291
Eugene, Oregon, US


Not seeing anything I can't do quicker or better in Lightroom and PS. If I had to use NX I'd shoot my computer. Show me one professional printer that uses NX.
Oct 22 12 06:09 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Don Olson Imagery wrote:
Not seeing anything I can't do quicker or better in Lightroom and PS. If I had to use NX I'd shoot my computer. Show me one professional printer that uses NX.

Capture or View NX will recognize all the picture control adjustments people make in camera, to tune their camera more to their liking, lessening the workflow once downloaded. No other software will.

Oct 22 12 06:36 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Image Works Photography
Posts: 2,890
Orlando, Florida, US


I also start off on capture nx2 whcih I prefer to adjust wb etc if needed but I always end up on CS5 for final adjustments and tools use.
Oct 22 12 06:45 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gaze at Photography
Posts: 4,371
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina, US


Don Olson Imagery wrote:
Show me one professional printer that uses NX.

I'm not sure what that has to do with anything.

Oct 22 12 06:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ME_
Posts: 3,139
Atlanta, Georgia, US


For most of what I shoot, I use CNX2 to process my raw files, and then put them into PS for any necessary pixel-level retouching.

I shoot bands more than anything else. Bands and concerts have crazy lighting conditions. Because of the time and space issues, it is not possible to meter each shot or even each set. I leave the WB in Auto and then use CNX2 to change it based on a gray point. It does a FAR superior job at this than PS or LR can do.

Plus I like that I can do nothing at all to the raw and it will retain whatever settings I have on the camera. I also like the control point system and the exposure adjustments are much better, to me and my pictures, than LR's is.

That said, CNX2 can be slow, and for batch processing a large number of similarly exposed and metered pictures, LR is better. LR is also a MUCH better content management system.

Make sure you put on whatever CNX2 updates are out there; there was a recent one that made a vast improvement in speed.

And that said, my primary computer is 5-years-old, 32-bit, only 4GB of RAM, and CNX2 is fairly fine on it. I mean I am not waiting and waiting forever for a picture to process.
Oct 22 12 07:39 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
iPro Pictures
Posts: 184
Tempe, Arizona, US


My current workflow is that I go through my images in Bridge CS 5 and do all my developing through camera raw, which is non destructive because it makes xmp files alongside the image files for data.

I then open the images in Photoshop CS 5 and do all my touch ups, then I export via jpeg.

I like to think of Camera Raw as the Darkroom and Photoshop as my retouching station. I shot on film before I even started shooting digital photography, so I like to have that simple mindset and not get hung up on filters and action buttons

And I was referring to Capture NX 2. I've used Lightroom which is great but thought the retouching flexibility was slim on it.
Oct 22 12 08:11 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Don Olson Imagery wrote:
Not seeing anything I can't do quicker or better in Lightroom and PS. If I had to use NX I'd shoot my computer. Show me one professional printer that uses NX.

When I see people demonstrating 'layer this, layer that' in Photoshop I can have difficulty in containing my mirth / laughter when what they are doing can be done quickly with a few control points. Conversely, if another photographer is present at a studio photoshoot of mine they are surprised at how quickly I can produce a 'ready for re-touching file' and at times finished image files during the photoshoot. They look at how quickly I did so and compare it to how long it takes them. Admittedly, part of this is getting things as 'right' as I can' at capture. In conjunction with some pro-Admin software ( Lightblue ) I can get sales web galleries of several hundred images online within a few hours. That includes tidying up a white floor to match a blown white background. If I'm printing onsite then, if wireless, I use ViewNX2 to crop and print from the JPEGs and, if tethered, CNX2 with the raws. I might not be a 'high level professional' but I am an example of someone who uses the software, prints and sells the images.

Yes, there are some things where Photoshop has advantages such as cloning options and replacing backgrounds but there are also things that it is not as good at. Too many people think 'I must use photoshop / LR since that is what professionals use' without actually finding what suits them the best and without realising that there are plenty of professionals out there who will use Capture One or Phocus and then let the retouchers do their bit in Photoshop, if it is required.

Most people would be able to do in Elements what they 'need to do' in Photoshop. I do have CS5 and Elements 5 & 9 in use and all are legally licensed as is my other software. I have elements on my machines which i take 'out and about' with me and CS5 on my home desktop. I'd be intrigued at how many of the photographers who use Photoshop and LR are actually using legal versions.

Oct 22 12 08:22 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Vector One Photography
Posts: 2,690
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, US


I use it to convert my RAW files to Tiff.  Theory is that Adobe is only guessing at the code to convert NEF files while Nikon knows the exact code.  For distortion control, sizing, burn/dodge and other localized things I use CS.
Oct 22 12 08:27 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Matthew Braney wrote:
in Bridge CS 5 and do all my developing through camera raw, which is non destructive because it makes xmp files alongside the image files for data.

In CNX2 each adjustment is listed and individually editable complete with opacity and blending options on many adjustments. Instead of having an external .xmp file the sidecar information is saved in the .NEF file. Also non-destructive. You can save a number of different versions in the same file.

I think that there are 2 reasons why some people think / find CNX2 to be slow:
- they ignore the fact that each time you save it is saving the full image file capacity and that is going to take longer than just saving a small sidecar file
- they have not used it adequately to be familiar enough with it to get up to speed.

Another reason is they are basing it on experiences with slower machines and the 32 bit OS version as opposed to 64 bit OS. It is a heavy resource user and the 64 bit version, along with increased memory availability does make it smoother.

Oct 22 12 08:32 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
iPro Pictures
Posts: 184
Tempe, Arizona, US


Well I already own Photoshop and Bridge, just wondering if the extra $170 is worth buying Nikon NX 2 Capture Software
Oct 22 12 08:37 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


Download the software and use it during the free trial period. Make your own mind up if it suits your way of working and the hardware that you have. However, make sure that you do actually use it, not just dabble with it every so often. With my coming from the opposite direction I regret splashing out on CS5 instead of continuing with Elements for what I was dipping into Adobe for. I even purchased a Colourchecker passport to generate camera / situation specific profiles to use in ACR, such was my expectation of the accuracy of the 'must use Photoshop' mantra.
Oct 22 12 08:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
iPro Pictures
Posts: 184
Tempe, Arizona, US


Downloading the trial now.... going to give it a try smile
Oct 22 12 09:15 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Marty McBride
Posts: 3,132
Owensboro, Kentucky, US


Matthew Braney wrote:
Well I already own Photoshop and Bridge, just wondering if the extra $170 is worth buying Nikon NX 2 Capture Software

If you decide not to purchase it, you may want to consider at least using Nikon View NX to convert your files pre-PS, it offers a lot, and may be all you need!

Oct 22 12 09:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,084
Buena Park, California, US


I have only used Capture NX and View NX software line to convert my RAW files.

1. Capture NX 2 USES your in-camera settings for display.  These settings can be turned off/changed, etc, in Post.

2. I can either Capture or View NX and what I see is what I saw on my camera's LCD panel.  Which means, if I'm not happy with the color WHILE shooting, I can adjust on my camera and expect to see those results on my computer.  For those using other software, there really isn't that much of a point in setting WB or worrying about other parameters since the software is going to ignore them anyhow.
Oct 22 12 09:26 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,084
Buena Park, California, US


Don Olson Imagery wrote:
Not seeing anything I can't do quicker or better in Lightroom and PS. If I had to use NX I'd shoot my computer. Show me one professional printer that uses NX.

Not really relevant.  I used Nikon Capture and View, but I have no intention of printing from either.  I use Photoshop for that.

Oct 22 12 09:29 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
MKPhoto
Posts: 5,665
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Marty McBride wrote:
If you decide not to purchase it, you may want to consider at least using Nikon View NX to convert your files pre-PS, it offers a lot, and may be all you need!

This plus GIMP is a lot of power already.

Oct 22 12 10:07 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Simon Mittag
Posts: 132
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Marty McBride wrote:
Capture or View NX will recognize all the picture control adjustments people make in camera, to tune their camera more to their liking, lessening the workflow once downloaded. No other software will.

This!

Oct 22 12 06:43 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
D M E C K E R T
Posts: 4,786
Las Vegas, Nevada, US


i've always considered it an atrocity. it's slow, wonky, and i hate the colors it produces.

but that's just me.

i like LR and C1.
Oct 22 12 07:54 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,233
Duluth, Georgia, US


If you are not a volume shooter and don't need to do any heavy batch processings, CNX2 can work out perfectly.
Oct 22 12 07:59 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


mshi wrote:
If you are not a volume shooter and don't need to do any heavy batch processings, CNX2 can work out perfectly.

Can you quantify the volumes you mean ? Proms I will find myself working through 400 to 700 or so images without any problem. Operatic performance a few weeks ago I posted nearly 800 images from the 1100 that I took. This weekend I have a 3 evening / 2 day music festival that is likely to be over 1000 images a day. When I have done comparisons by working through a set of event photos and a set of wedding photos using both CNX2 and Adobe I have found there to be minimal timesaving using Adobe and better quality through CNX2. Yes, I do also use batch processing.

As I've implied previously, I know it isn't to everybody's liking, but some people dismiss it without really trying it. I can understand why some people like the Adobe route and I do not have a problem with that. It isn't the route for me despite the trials I have made. Another 'plus' is that if / when I replace my current main camera with a new one I will not have to add £700 to get a new version of CS ( I do not like LR, it does not let me do things my way ).

Oct 23 12 12:35 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,233
Duluth, Georgia, US


photoimager wrote:
Can you quantify the volumes you mean ? Proms I will find myself working through 400 to 700 or so images without any problem. Operatic performance a few weeks ago I posted nearly 800 images from the 1100 that I took. This weekend I have a 3 evening / 2 day music festival that is likely to be over 1000 images a day. When I have done comparisons by working through a set of event photos and a set of wedding photos using both CNX2 and Adobe I have found there to be minimal timesaving using Adobe and better quality through CNX2. Yes, I do also use batch processing.

If you shoot 3500 or more RAW images per shoot, you're a volume shooter. CNX2 can't just help you to handle that kind of load.


As I've implied previously, I know it isn't to everybody's liking, but some people dismiss it without really trying it. I can understand why some people like the Adobe route and I do not have a problem with that. It isn't the route for me despite the trials I have made. Another 'plus' is that if / when I replace my current main camera with a new one I will not have to add £700 to get a new version of CS ( I do not like LR, it does not let me do things my way ).

Both LR/PS and C1Pro are the industry standard because both offer more than just RAW conversion. More importantly Nikon's software support is rather weak.  CNX2 is nice but it is largely adopted by non-professional users.

Oct 23 12 12:59 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
afplcc
Posts: 5,989
Fairfax, Virginia, US


Matthew Braney wrote:
Has anyone used this software? Tell me what you think....

I usually import my Raw files via photoshop first


I shoot on a Nikon D3100

I use NX2 Capture extensively for my edits.  I imagine that if I wasn't retired and doing this fulltime as a business, I'd probably use photoshop.  If I was running a business that relied on my software, I'd want better technical support than what Nikon offers for their software.  But given the learning curve, my amateur status, and that NX2 does almost everything I want, I'm pretty happy with it yet.

Yep, PS is the industry standard.  But by that measure, no-one would ever shoot Sony.  Do what works for you.

Frankly, I think the decision to use it or not is dependent mostly on what you already know.  If you use gimp and are trying to decide between PS and NX2 than you'll probably learn PS quicker.  If you've never used PS or LR, then you may find NX2 to be easier to learn and quicker to grasp.  And ultimately, software is much like a camera:  it doesn't matter what assets and "extras" it has if you never use them.

If you shoot seriously and are looking at software for your photography work/business, than look at what you want the software to do and what platform you'll be running it on.  But if this is just a serious hobby for you, than I'd look more at which software you're likely to pick up quicker and assimilate.  That's my 2 cents anyway.

Ed

Oct 23 12 04:57 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
marknmanna
Posts: 305
Golden City, Missouri, US


Don Olson Imagery wrote:
Not seeing anything I can't do quicker or better in Lightroom and PS. If I had to use NX I'd shoot my computer. Show me one professional printer that uses NX.

Joe McNally likes to use CNX2....Perhaps you've heard of him? :-)

Oct 23 12 05:18 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


mshi wrote:
Both LR/PS and C1Pro are the industry standard because both offer more than just RAW conversion. More importantly Nikon's software support is rather weak.

'Shooting self in foot moment'
- CNX2 does a lot more than just convert raw files ( NOT RAW ), it seems as though you have not really used it
- CNX2 is updated for new camera models before the release date, unlike ACR or Capture One

Oct 23 12 11:01 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
730372
Posts: 1,952
Abbeville, Alabama, US


marknmanna wrote:

Joe McNally likes to use CNX2....Perhaps you've heard of him? :-)

LOL - he's also paid by Nikon to promote their products.

Oct 23 12 11:04 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Gulag
Posts: 1,233
Duluth, Georgia, US


photoimager wrote:

'Shooting self in foot moment'
- CNX2 does a lot more than just convert raw files ( NOT RAW ), it seems as though you have not really used it
- CNX2 is updated for new camera models before the release date, unlike ACR or Capture One

I have used CNX2 since its first version but what really put me off is that I have to open, work, save, close one file at a time. Just like Photoshop, CNX2 is designed for a single file workflow. Since I personally rarely shoot JPEGs for my work, I always work with RAW and need raw converters. At any rate, CNX2 is Nikon's NEF native RAW converter in the first place. When collaborating with others,  you are expected to work with either C1Pro or LR on set.

Oct 23 12 11:17 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
photoimager
Posts: 4,851
Stoke-on-Trent, England, United Kingdom


mshi wrote:
I have used CNX2 since its first version but what really put me off is that I have to open, work, save, close one file at a time. Just like Photoshop, CNX2 is designed for a single file workflow.

Strange, I can easily have double figures of image files open to be worked on, yes each file is saved individually but so is the .xmp sidecar file if you are using ACR so I cannot see any valid point here. If you mean that in LR, Bridge, Capture one you can synchronise settings across files, that still requires the, albeit somewhat smaller, sidecar file to be saved.

mshi wrote:
When collaborating with others,  you are expected to work with either C1Pro or LR on set.

Mmm, first my comments are about my personal preference, not what I do or can use. Second, what about Hasselblad users and their Phocus software ? is that 'not allowed when collaborating with others' ?.

If I'm out for a cycle ride on reasonable roads I like a 54/42 on the front and a 12/28 on the back. Someone else is more likely to like a 52/38 front and 14/32 rear. Neither of us would be wrong if that is what suits us. All along in this thread I have been clear that there is not right or wrong option, just the one that best suits what you are doing at that time. If I'm dealing with files from my Canon camera than I go the Bridge / ACR route. If i'm dealing with NEF files then CNX2 is my choice. The 'problems' you are stating are not problems I experience.

Oct 24 12 03:28 am  Link  Quote 
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