.NEF format Nikon Super Coolscan 5000

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by dave henri, Nov 14, 2006.

  1. Ok, I'm a Canon shooter but I have a Nikon Super Coolscan 5000 to scan my 35 mm
    slides that I still love to shoot.

    Please forgive me if this has been answered already, but I haven't been able to
    find it in my searches.

    The options for file saving are Tiff and .NEF, forgetting the others. I want to
    save the scans in a RAW format so I can have some control over the image. So
    far I've been using Tiff, but that is not a raw format. Photoshop CS2 Bridge
    will not recognize the .Nef format. Is the .Nef format a Raw file from the
    5000? Is there a raw reader (doesn't have to be Photoshop) that will allow me
    to edit the raw file, similar to Adobe Raw, for these .Nef files. Does Nikon
    have a Raw file editor for these formats? So far I've been only successful with
    Nikon Scan, but that sortware is limited wrt Adobe Raw (i.e. no exposure control).

    And why is this so weird? Why would Nikon have a default file type that seems
    to be unrecognizable to almost every type of software that I have? I am not
    familiar to Nikon formats so maybe I am missing something obvious? Please advise.

    And thank you.

    Dave Henri
  2. The NEF file (from a digital camera) has shooting information/data: shutter speed, ISO setting, meter used, and more. From a 'slide' in NEF format, none of the shotting data would be a part of the NEF file.

    If you have Photoshop CS2, you may download a recent (N80 format) program that will allow Photoshop CS2 to edit a 'NEF' file.

    You may consider just going with .TIFF files, and edit as you wish using Photoshop CS2.
  3. What kind of control would you expect to gain by using NEF files from a scanner?
  4. I have a Coolscan IV and have often wondered what the point of an .NEF file is....
  5. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Moderator

    You are indeed better off saving it in a standard and open format such as TIFF.
  6. Thanks all, but my question is still, is a .Neff file a Raw image file and is there a raw image editor that can utilize this format?

    What purpose does Nikon even have a .Neff format if no one seems to be able to use it?

    Bob Atkins maybe you have some info here?

    Thanks again,

    Dave Henri
  7. Nikon makes Nikon Capture software: it will 'edit' NEF files, but like I stated before, not much information will be recorded on a scanned image from a negative or a slide. The 'RAW' file in a Canon digital body and the 'NEF' file in a Nikon digital body are pretty much the same: you can get shooting data off the image, or correct the color temperature, and other "fixes."

    Nikon makes engineering decisions based on what they think is needed on the marketplace.....
  8. Saving a scan made in Nikonscan in NEF format is simply a way to capture as much information as possible in the scan and process it later in Nikonscan. Basically, you can use the same tools that you would use in real time, only later. Unfortunately, Nikonscan NEF files cannot be processed and opened anything other than Nikonscan. You are better off, IMO, to scan to a 16 bit TIFF file, in the ball park, and make tuning adjustments in Photoshop.
  9. NEF is as close to RAW as the scanner will give you, if you set the color space in Nikon Scan 4 to "Raw scanner output".<p>Why use NEF? If you use Nikon Capture NX, the default file type is NEF. In the NEF format, you can make as many changes as you want, and save the file as NEF. All your changes are recorded. If you want to, you can open up that NEF file in Capture NX, and undo any level, in any order, at any time. If you undo all your changes, you're back to your original file. This ability to completely record and undo all changes to a NEF file is its' biggest strength, when you use Capture NX.<p>If you make changes to a JPEG or TIFF file, that file is altered for good. You can't get back to your starting point again. Thus, when you edit with TIFF, most people make a copy of the file, and work with the copy.
  10. In addition to the PS plug-in, Nikon's NX and Nikon Capture and Picture
    Windows 4.X.X and IrfanView and Nikon's Simple Viewer can view/edit/handle
    NEF files.

    There may be other products as well, but I have some familiarity with the
    ones mentioned above.

    As to whether scanning into NEF format is a good thing, well, you'll decide
    that for yourself, but Dr Lai gave you the best reasoning for doing so.

    It's often the case that some Workflow&Product combination essential for
    some due to high volumes and constraints of time and preference
    are less critical for others.

    Some of us process low(er) volumes of images and have fewer or
    even no time constraints. Efficiencies (of scale or economy) are not
    necessarily the top priority for all of us. Not all of us need "industrial strength"
  11. NEF format from the scanner is not the same as NEF format from a digital camera. You can only process the NEF file from the scanner with Nikonscan. I have a Nikon 9000 and use Nikonscan, but have not used the NEF format. I guess it would be good to have this file if you want the ability to reprocess in the future with unmodified data.

    It can be considered RAW since it has not been processed, but it contains data for all three colors at each pixel location. RAW files from a digital camera only contain data for one color at each pixel location - the RAW converter in this case calculates the other two colors.
  12. Thank you all for your comments. Robert Martin thank you. I found that by saving a file with the .NEF format and then double clicking on it opens the file up in Nikon Scan for editing. So it seems that this .NEF format is Nikon's version of camera raw. The Nikon Scan software includes a curves modifier, which I found can be used to adjust exposure, shadows, brightness and contrast as the sliders in Adobe Camera Raw (p52, Real World Camera Raw with Photoshop CS by Bruce Fraser). So I guess that's the answer to my question.

    I read somewhere in the Nikon package for the scanner that the Photoshop plug in will not work woth the .NEF formats of the scanner, and yes, they are different from the .NEF formats used in the digital cameras.

    Thanks again everyone.
  13. The Nikon Scan .NEF files can only be opened and edited in Nikon's software.
    Nikon Scan NEF is very different from the NEF ( Nikon's raw format) for their DSLR

    Adobe (etc.) could write a version of ACR or Lighteroom to deal with Nikon Scan NEF
    formet files butthey don't really see much point in it, which is why no one has boithered
    coding for it.

    Your best bet is to scan as 16 per channel bit mode TIFFs and then edit from there. I think
    lasersoft's SilverFAst Ai6 scanning software is better than Nikon's or Vuescan's but that is
    really just personal preference from my experience with all three. But it isn't cheap.
    SilverFast AI6 will let you scan in 16 bit per channel mode ,do extensive editing, and will
    allow you to choose a better color space for scanning like Chrome 100 from http://
  14. Thanks again. To follow up, I'm going to try and see if the Adobe DNG converter will read the NEF format of the scanner. If it does and I can save it as a DNG file, I will be able to open it in Adobe Camera Raw.

    I'll post and let everyone know the results.
  15. As far as I know, scanner.NEF files can only be processed in NikonScan and Picture Project.
    Capture NX and Capture 4.x will read and process scanner.NEF files but will not resave
    them. At best they will allow you to tweak then export in TIFF or JPG. Althought I have
    discoverd that even this does not work without bugs if an LS9000 has been used to scan
    6x7. I think there is just way too much data for NX, and it's still too buggy.

    Picture Project will actually read, process, resave and export scanner.NEF files! It also
    correctly reports the embeded scanner data! I even have some scanner.NEF as large as
    512MB, and PP handles them with ease. Btw, NEF for NEF, Picture Project will generate
    EXACTLY the same result as NX, it just lacks all the tweaking tools.

    -- Barry
  16. Niknon's raw formats are caleld NEF. But Nikon Scan's NEF is unique. Neither Adone
    Camera Raw or Lightroom or the Adobe DNG converter or any other RAW converter that
    I'm aware of, are set up to read the NikonScan NEF format, so for that you need Nikon Scan
    which should have come with your scanner.

    A better way to work would be to scan in 16 bit per channel mode and set the color sp[ace
    in Nikon scan to Wide RGB (I'm workign from memory here) and then when you open the
    TIFF in Photoshop assign a color space . My favorite free color space for scanning is Ekta
    Space PS 5 from http://www.josephholmes.com/propages/AvailableProducts.html

    (it's number 6 under purchase)

    You 'll now be getting as much color information without clipping as there is in your
    transparency. Do read http://www.josephholmes.com/propages/AboutRGBSpaces.html for
    a much more in depth discussion of this.

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