Buy Now. $ | $ Including all the 7 Plugins & DxO PhotoLab 2 (Essential) Nik Collection 2's Silver Efex Pro is the ultimate black-and-white plugin with. Nik Collection 2 by DxO is a powerful suite of plugins offering an impressive Silver Efex Pro: Black & white darkroom styles for superb monochrome images. Silver Efex Pro 2 32 & 64 Bit Edition - The Power of Black and White After 2 years thinking about buying this software (only because of the price) I was given it.
Improvements in the software itself aren't revolutionary, but you now get support for high-resolution displays, bit operating systems, and some new preset recipes. The price has increased, though—when Nik was owned by Google, the Collection was a free download. It's not one big piece of software, but rather a suite of distinct plug-ins, which work with a workflow application as a host.
Adobe Lightroom Classic For most photographers, that's Lightroom or Capture One, and be happy to know that the Nik Collection works fine as an external editor for either application. It omits some of the more advanced features found in the Elite edition the company sells at retail, but is a serviceable workflow application for customers who don't currently use one. The real bones of the Collection are the standalone plug-in applications. Each application is geared to a very specific purpose, and we'll break them down one by one.
The toolkit offers a mix of artistic filter effects and tools to accomplish more technical tasks, including noise reduction and sharpening.
The image which follows, and others in this review, were processed using the Nik Collection. All of the applications have been updated for compatibility with bit operating systems. On my laptop, macOS doesn't yell at me about potential issues with future operating systems when launching the software, as it did with the bit edition released by Google.
DxO outlines the full system requirements here. They aren't strenuous, so if you have a workstation that's capable of processing digital image files, you should be set.
There's a trial download available too, in case you're concerned your system isn't powerful enough, or you just want to give the software a test drive.
The other updates are modest. The applications that support preset recipes have some new ones. DxO PhotoLab was obviously absent from the Google suite, but isn't a standout. If you're happy with your current Adobe or Capture One workflow, stick with it.
From here on out, I'll talk about using the software with Adobe, but mechanics aside, the experience is similar with Photo Lab or Capture One as your launcher. Raw Support? But the applications that are actually compelling don't. You'll need to round-trip rendered files from your host application to the plug-in, and for the best quality that means rendering a bit TIF for editing.
The process is pretty simple—all of the DxO apps are listed as external editors from the develop module in Lightroom, although I did have to manually add HDR Efex Pro to the list myself. But it's not as simple as just making adjustments within the nondestructive confines of your workflow application. It also eats up space on your storage drive, and it means you'll have to keep track of multiple versions of a single image. It's not a true non-destructive approach. Once you've gotten the image to where you like it, you need to save it back out as a standard image file.
You can't take a Silver Efex black-and-white conversion that you made years ago, load it back in the software, and make a few tweaks, like you can with a Raw image in Lightroom. Of course, the software can't load a Raw format image, so your original files remain untouched. Overall, the process is just a little more cumbersome than working with an image directly in Lightroom. Is the hassle worth it?
It may be, if you fall in love with what the software does. The Creative Side If you're thinking about buying the Nik Collection, it's probably for one of the creative applications. You get Analog Efex for unique toy camera, motion, and other filters; Color Efex has a number of filter looks, both color and black-and-white; while Silver Efex is able to mimic the look and feel of many classic emulsions, including Kodak Tri-X and Ilford Delta.
Analog Efex Pro is a virtual Swiss Army knife of film and motion effects, which can be used to build presets, which are called Cameras in the app. There are a number of preset options, broken down into categories like Motion, Toy Camera, and Wet Plate. It's easy to browse through these galleries and apply different looks to your photos with a single click, and you can then customize aspects to suit your liking. If you're adding a grainy, dusty look with Classic Camera 7, it's easy to switch to a more extreme scratched look by selecting a different swatch from the Dust and Lint panel.
But I find myself not liking the Dust and Lint options for this image. I think I'd rather add texture with a Photo Plate, a digital tool that mimics the look of 19th century wet plate photography. A quick trip to the Camera Kit allows you to enable the Photo Plate option. You can see the end results above. It's not all grain and faded film looks. Analog Efex also has has some interesting motion blur options, with drag-and-drop control over the locus and direction of the blur via Nik's U Point system.
There are multi-lens filters for Andy Warhol-style split images, simulated light leaks and lens distortion, film strip frames, double exposure options, and basic tone, curve, and level adjustments.
When you're happy with your image, it's a matter of hitting Save to commit the changes to the hard drive. Once you've done this, you can't go back—you'll need to open up a fresh copy of the picture to step through any changes. You can, however, save your own Presets, if you find that you have a specific look you like. This is true for all of the creative applications in the Nik Collection, not just Analog Efex. It offers up a laundry list of options, ranging from emulation of some color film types similar to what Silver Efex does for black-and-white stocks and processes—think cross-processing and bleach bypass—to the more extreme filters that blur the lines between photography and fine art, like the solarization effect shown below.
The filter list is extensive, and the software allows you to stack as many filters onto one image as you want. It's easy to toggle the effects of any with a simple checkbox, so you can play with combinations and save your own preset—they're called Recipes.
It's the ability to stack the filters together that gives some appeal to Color Efex Pro. Some of its functions, like adding a graduated neutral density filter, grain, or split-tone effects, are almost certainly included in your Raw converter. Likewise, if you just want to give images a film-like look, there are dozens of preset packs available for Lightroom and Capture One.
For about the same price as the Nik Collection, Really Nice Image All Films 4 gives you tons of film looks that can be applied with a single click from within your workflow application—no round-tripping required. But you may find the Recipes you can create to be worth it. With HDR Efex Pro 2, the treatment can be applied as a Smart Filter and then theoretically re-edited, however, we found this aspect very prone to crashing. The Preset Library offers a starting point, with the controls on the right allowing you to tailor the appearance of the image and create your own presets for future use.
By default, when you open an image in Adobe Photoshop after Nik Collection is installed, a box appears with each package listed and ready for use. Helpfully, you can edit the presets and save your own. Once the option to create a Control Point has been selected, you just need to click on the image in the area you want to adjust. This point needs to be selected carefully, however, as the adjustment will only be applied to areas that match the selection.
If you click on the blue of a sky, for example, only the blues will be adjusted, and any clouds will remain unaffected. The parameters available for control varies depending upon the plug-in in use. With Silver Efex Pro 2, for instance, there are sliding controls to adjust the brightness, contrast, structure, whites, blacks, fine structure and selective colourisation. Helpfully, the Control Points can be moved, duplicated and edited.
In some cases, there are arrows that can be selected to reveal more controls. Most of these are easy-to-use siding controls with boxes to allow numerical changes if you prefer. Crucially, the preview image refreshes quickly to show the impact of any adjustments for easy comparison.
Jun 28, - Silver Efex Pro 2 is a plugin that converts color photos to black and white. In Google bought out Nik Software to acquire Snapseed, a photo Google dropped the price of the Nik Collection to $ and then, after. Jul 6, - Nik Software has just released a new version of their killer HDR software . Some Samples of Images Tonemapped with HDR Efex Pro 2 In fact, Nik has always had a rather strange pricing for most people outside USA. Jun 5, - Take a look at what we cooked up with the software, starting with the image Promotional pricing ($59 upgrade, $99 new) available through June 30 Silver Efex Pro 2 plug-in with Dark Selenium preset from the new En.
We chose good-quality spreadsheet software, with a solid mix of paid-for and free products. We looked at compatibility, versatility, features and available support to determine which spreadsheets deserved a spot on our lineup. On this site you will find articles related to spreadsheets as well as reviews of spreadsheet software. Best Spreadsheet Software for Businesses Microsoft Excel is our choice for the best spreadsheet software for businesses because of its versatility and functionality.
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With its free, easy accessibility and simple usage, Google Sheets is attractive to all kinds of users. Like the rest of the suite's productivity applications, it has a focus on easy collaboration and a simple, user-friendly interface. Read more here Compatibility Compatibility with Microsoft Excel files is key for any spreadsheet software, simply because so many people use that program to create spreadsheets.
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