Capture NX2 has Captured my NEF's

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kenneth_smith|7, Oct 31, 2013.

  1. I am using the Capture NX2 trial, and have noticed that changes in Capture to my NEF's are now frozen (Captured) and no longer allow changes back in View where they came from, even though these are both Nikon Software. Saving the NEF anywhere is still stuck with that alien looking Capture ganglion affixed to it, and once the trial is over I have nothing flexible, except a TIFF. which I'll apparently have to save.
    Question: Is there a way to unstick this thing and make a workable NEF again in View?
    Thank You
  2. Capture NX2 can do things to those files that the much simpler View NX2, as a crude editor, can't do. But are you confusing files edited/updated with Capture NX2 with the NEF file type simply being associated (for now) with Capture NX2 on your computer? You can change which program is associated with a given file type at will. Uninstalling Capture NX2 when the time comes will disassociate that program with the NEF file type - but files that you've updated with Capture will still remain mysterious to View. You can, though, re-open already-edited files in Capture, and revert them to their original state, and save them.

    Or, more appropriately, just replace the Capture-edited files from one of your other backups (you do keep more than one backup on more than one storage device, right?).

    But reading between the lines, I'm thinking maybe you're really talking about the file type association setting in the operating system.
  3. As far as file settings go I shoot Raw, start with View because I am comparing the editors, then open in Capture to play around. And yes it's a remarkable editor. I save as NEF, or make a duplicate and save that as a TIFF.
    The file association is checked for all in Capture NEF, TIFF, JPEG. Is there a reason to leave it with just one? Am I misunderstanding this filing part?
    The problem was, if I saved the Capture edited NEF, when I opened it back in View it was locked out of Views editing abilities. True that I probably don't need them if I keep Capture, which I probably will, but they are non-editable if I don't . These few are new and no back up workflow has begun with them. My work is not important enough to have immediate backups running.
    I will make a TIFF of all these just in case I don't purchase Capture for awhile. I take it you can't unlock the original NEF without now using Capture.
  4. I take it you can't unlock the original NEF without now using Capture.​
    The problem is, you don't have an original file any more, Capture has added things that View apparently can't interpret. Possibly you could open the file in Capture, and select the 'original' version and then save that, but of course you would lose all any edits that you may have made. View really isn't much of an editor, it's more of an interpreter, and it seems it needs the camera original to work with.
  5. You should have saved the NEF as a new file name if you wanted to make sure you didn't lose the original file. However, you could use just about any other image editing program that understands NEF and you will find the original image!
    Picasa is an option if you want something cheap. Lightroom is a better option.
    Your issue here is that Capture adds things to the NEF that View _does_ interpret. Curt is wrong about View not understanding the format.
    Capture apparently works by storing a list of its image adjustments (e.g. crop and exposure adjustments) somewhere in the NEF file and updating the embedded preview. It doesn't actually rewrite the raw pixel data. When View opens the file, it reads all of these adjustments and present the image as represented by the Capture NX adjustments.

    Most non-Nikon software will be blind to the area of the NEF where Capture stores the list of image adjustments and will render an image based on the original unadjusted NEF. (Until the non-Nikon software renders its own preview based on the raw data, it might display the modified preview, but you will usually see this only for a moment.)
  6. If you save NEF files that have changes and you still want to be able to show them in VIEW NX2 , tthen you need to set the opstion "Embed Preview"to "thumbnail & Preview"

    Please check that in your preferences ( if you stil can..) .

    Ref : Capture NX2 Manual Chapter 7 , preferences page 41 .
    If you do not have that manual , you can download it from Nikon from the support & downloads pages ( for EUrope that is) :
  7. When View opens the file, it reads all of these adjustments and present the image as represented by the Capture NX adjustments.​
    This is not what happens - else ViewNX2 would be able to export a CaptureNX edited NEF file to JPEG or TIFF - and it can't. The reason why ViewNX2 can show the edited CNX version perfectly fine is because CaptureNX2 embeds high quality full size JPEG previews inside the NEF file (which also explains the increase in file size). ViewNX2 shows this preview instead.
    So, Kenneth, at this point there's 2 decent choices:
    1. Buy CaptureNX2; nothing lost and if you like the program, it can work really well (*).
    2. Extract the JPEG previews from the NEF files, and have good quality JPEG files with your edits; there are several (free) tools which can do this, such as Exiftool (see here: ).
    As Tom said, the NEF files will remain useable in all other RAW editors out there, as they'll happily ignore the additional info that CNX2 stores, plus all of them regenerate their own thumbnails so they'll also show the "original" file again.
    (*) I'm a satisfied user of CaptureNX2, and have used it for years now. Yet, there is things that cause me to currently move to a different program: there is a complete lack of development surrounding CNX2, apart from adding support for new camera models, and I find it increasingly hard to fit in a workflow that supports a (large-ish) library of photos. ViewNX2/CaptureNX2 basically offer nothing to effectively manage large quantities of photos, and you stay stuck with a folder-based structure. If you're fine with that, it makes a terrific pair. But I found I really need a library with keyword searches; programs as Lightroom or CaptureOne do this better.
    Just for your consideration ;-)
  8. As a follow up to Wouter's observation on CNX2 as folder-based and updates focused to add support for new camera models, I've noticed this too and wondered if that will change near or long term with Nikon and/or in a partnership with a software developer. Of course it's more profitable for Nikon to focus on making/assembling digital cameras from which the small but large production volume copies make the most profit as opposed to the high end advanced amateur professional cameras, which, when you add it up, makes it not a big draw for Nikon to invest in software support for the high end cameras.
  9. Many thanks gentlemen for your help. If I could impose one other consideration, as I am not requiring an extensive filing library such as Light Room offers, and have been impressed enough with Capture to purchase, are there any other weaknesses to CNX2 that would require aditional plug in's?
  10. Kenneth, I use Capture NX2 and View NX2 for my NEF images from my D 300s, D 700 and D 610. I use View NX2 as a browser. I do all of my editing and saving in Capture NX2. I then can view the saved images, edited NEFs, Tiffs, Jpegs, in View NX2. I have never experienced any of the issues you have described. I use the win 7 64 bit versions of the products on my two win 7 64 bit pcs. Make sure you have downloaded the latest versions of both programs especially if your NEFs are from a D 610. That means ver 2.8.1 for View NX2 and ver 2.4.4 for Capture NX2.
    I have a set of Nik plug ins that I use with Capture NX2, especially Color Efex Pro. I do not consider these to be mandatory, but they are nice to have. I am using Nik Color efex Pro with ver 2.4.4 of Capture NX2. It might might be the latest version, however of Color efex pro.
    If you use Lightroom, I would definitely get a set of Nik plug ins in that with the plug ins you get Control Points that come built in with Capture NX2. I consider Nik Vivesa to be a must have for Lightroom. I do not know if NIK still sells Color Efex Pro for new owners of Capture NX2. It is a great plug in for both products, Lightroom and Capture NX2.
    Although I have both Lightroom and Capture NX2 on my pcs, I use Capture NX2 99% of the time.
    Joe Smith
  11. +1 for Wouter's comments, which expand considerably on what I said earlier. As for Capture NX2 plug-ins, etc., bear in mind that this is not a pixel editor. You may not need one, but I use Photoshop for that. Elements would probably work for most people if it is even required. I agree that Nik's Color Efex Pro is very useful, especially if you are only working in Capture NX2. Last year Nik did release a 64-bit native version of Color Efex Pro 3.0 for Capture NX 2.3. The current version of Color Efex for Photoshop is release 4. These versions may have changed again and it may take a call to Nik to verify how to acquire it because they have been quiet on the web about this one.
  12. Interesting that you use CNX2 99% of the time. That says to me that Lightroom is the library king, but the Nik fortified Capture is the editor.
    The saved NEF by the way is viewable in View, but not open to edits. You would probably ask, why edit there, but that's mote at this point. I'll probably buy the CNX2 license, or as others have pointed out, any software will give me back an original NEF.
    By the way saving the original in CNX2 still disallows editing in View. I should have saved the original first to another name, or simply made a duplicate, duh... and worked on that.
    I'm a little slow. Still Win XP and PS7. Only went digital in 2013. Developing some 8x10 negs later today. Weird fun. What's all this Pure Photography talk about anyway?
    Thanks Joe
  13. Curt, 64 bits!! Yikes, I think that would freeze my machine. I save the NEF at 16, but if I want all my PhotoShop edits I have to make it 8, then back to 16.
    I imagine I'm probably way behind with my grasp of all this, but from where I am now CNX2, showing all the edit changes at once which I prefer, runs a bit slow. How can you process 32 or 64 with less than a super charged computer?
  14. 32/64 is a reference to the operating system architecture. Most newer machines run on 64-bit processors, and software designed to take advantage of it runs much faster - especially when doing certain kinds of math-intensive things like image rendering a la Capture NX2.

    So you can have a 32-bit architecture chewing on an 8-bit JPG or 16-bit TIF, or you can have a 64-bit system doing the same, if you have software versions that will take advantage of that extra processing power.
  15. O.k. got it. I'm a 32 bit machine working with a remaining 60 GB out of 117 hard drive.
    I've never had slow operation until CNX2 showed up, and honestly, it's not that bad.
    Not too interested in pouring more money into this right now. I make modest corrections and don't keep a large library on the hard drive.
    Anyone care to explain why Nik's Color Efex Pro is useful?
  16. Anyone care to explain why Nik's Color Efex Pro is useful?​
    You will get numerous opinions on this one. Color Efex Pro has about two-dozen effects applied as filters, of which I find at least four that are really useful: Pro Contrast, Tonal Contrast, Vignetting,and White Neutralizer. All can be applied with more effort by tweaking curves or burning (if available) in the basic programs, but the first two work using sliders to control Highlight / Mid-Tone / Shadow areas that are difficult to do separately with curves, and Pro Contrast has a "Dynamic" Contrast slider (unfortunately only in the Photoshop version) that helps prevent blowing out bright colors. The names are pretty self-explanatory except perhaps Tonal Contrast, which does several things but most important to me is is the ability to add apparent sharpness by adding 'structure' to areas lacking it.
  17. "I make modest corrections and don't keep a large library on the hard drive. Anyone care to explain why Nik's Color Efex Pro is useful?"​
    It isn't useful unless you can devote some time learning to use it. I found Nik software less intuitive to use than Lightroom. I downloaded the Nik collection earlier this year but didn't set aside enough time to learn to use it properly. Only after the trial period expired did I find some video tutorials that illustrated how to get the best results from Nik.
    Personally I'm not a big fan of Nikon software. It feels like a kludge. I resisted Lightroom for as long as possible but LR4 persuaded me. LR5 is even better, particularly the heal/clone brush. It's far more intuitive, works with raw files other than just Nikon's, and I prefer the results over what I got with Capture. Since I use more than one brand of digital cameras I find Lightroom helps to get more consistent results within projects or themes taken with more than one camera type. And it will work with Nik if I decide to try it again.
  18. Kenneth! XP Pro? You have to get a new pc no matter what software you decide to learn how to use. You need lots of RAM, at least 8 GB and 12 GB is better. Do a search to see what the minimum specs are these days for a raw editor pc for photography.
    You can still buy Color Efex Pro ver 3.0 for Nikon Capture NX2. Nikonusa sells it. It has 52 filters. The ones I use the most are: Brilliance/warmth(this one can be used to change the color of a sky among other things. ) ; Graduated Filters, like graduated neutral density filter, to balance out the light and dark areas in the image; Classical soft focus, to help with facial skin wrinkles and blemishes in portraits; Darken/Lighten center; Contrast only; and Colorize.
    I use Capture NX2 the most because I am fully versed with how to use it. Lightroom is a great product. If I had started with it and mastered it, I would be using it the most. The point is to pick one and master it and know what it can do and not do. For me Lightroom is much easier to use than Photoshop. There is no right or wrong answer as each person's brain works differently; Some will understand and grasp one program better than another.
    Joe Smith
  19. Ah Joe, more stuff ?!! I'll have to limp along with my 4 GB. This is a Windows partition on my iMac, ( did it to keep PS 7 ) so the machine does pretty good. True CNX2 might be a strain, but I'm pretty new to digital so I haven't felt like investing too much yet. I put most of my money into gasoline and black and white film. Although I'm surely digging this D7000.
    If I may wander into aesthetics a bit, I find the digital experience flies by a little too fast to be property imbued with mystery. Then the edit mania becomes overly ocular seeking substance.
    But that could be the martini talking...
  20. I've always found DxO Optics Pro 8 does everything I want from my NEFs.
    Talking of Martinis, I've always wondered why the study of lenses and the thing you have behind the bar containing your fav tipple have the same name?
  21. Kenneth, just curious by why not use CaptureNX2 on MacOS X instead? It ought to be a bit quicker that way? (unless it's a very old MacOS X?). I've used CaptureNX2 for ~5 years on a Vista 32-bits system with 4GB of RAM, and it worked fine with 12MP files; I also tested a D800 NEF on it, and it ran pretty smooth. Sure, CaptureNX2 likes to have more hardware available (as any piece of software) but it really isn't mandatory.
    As for additional plugins, I never had any for CaptureNX2. Considered Color Efex (which practically is the only plugin in existence for CNX2), but I found it too expensive for what it delivers - basically effects you can get done with the original program (be it a bit more work), or filters that I'd have anyway in Photoshop/Photoshop Elements/Paintshop Pro (pixel editors, which remain useful alongside CNX2). As it is, CNX2 for me worked for 95% of the edits, and the remaining 5% would still see some Photoshop. I do not expect this to be any different for any RAW editor - so personally, I never saw the point of adding filters and effects to the RAW editor as it's firmly in the realm of the pixel editor.
  22. Question: Is there a way to unstick this thing and make a workable NEF again in View?​
    Yes (at least in principle). I just took a D300 NEF, opened it in Capture (NX1, old version), changed the Picture Control to Monochrome, and saved a copy of the file as 'captured.NEF'. I then opened it in ViewNX (recent version) and (as expected) it was no longer possible to (e.g.) change the Picture Control back to normal, or export to jpeg. I then looked at the Exif data from the original and 'captured' files in ExifTool:
    One obvious difference was in the 'Software' tag. In the original file, this was 'Ver.1.10' (presumably the camera firmware). In the 'captured' file it was 'Capture NX 1.3.5 W'. As an experiment I used ExifTool to change the tag back to its original value using a command like this:
    exiftool -Software=Ver.1.10 captured.NEF​
    This gave me an error message:

    Warning: [minor] Nikon Capture Data improperly terminated - captured.NEF​
    but the file was successfully updated. When I then re-opened the modified file in ViewNX, I could once again change the Picture Control settings and export to jpeg, etc.

    It goes without saying that you should only ever try this on a copy of a NEF you have already backed up elsewhere! The modified file is now a non-standard NEF that may behave unpredictably, and there may be perfectly good reasons why Nikon normally blocks VNX edits after saving in CNX.
  23. Wouter, I'm very cheap so when I got the Mac and saw it had Boot Camp which allows for partitioned hard drives I decided to use it to hold my PhotoShop for Windows 7. Why buy another damn PS when I haven't really learned this one said I to me.
    I'll most likely purchase Capture and use it judiciously, with no need for the NIK. I used to shoot a lot of chromes so I still tend to get it in the shot or not at all, not to be snobby, but there's a serious overkill going on out there in pictureland. But each to his own, no troll here. True be told, I'm stunned by todays photographers, but it usually lacks the depth of a Friedlander or an Eggleston.
    Richard, Astounding work, damn I wish you lived next door. I'll copy this and try and fathom the rocket science when my head clears a little. Thanks for the help.

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