How is Nik Silver Efex Pro better than Lightroom for B&W

Irenaeus

Regular
Apr 2, 2011
8
I'm sold on the pictures I've seen processed with Silver Efex in B/W; my question amplifies this one. I do have Photoshop cs5 and Lightroom 3 (though I've not yet installed them on my new refurbished Mac Pro.) is the extra cost worth it to buy the Complete Edition for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightrom over the one for LR & A ony?
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
I have the complete edition but I hate using PS. So if your in LR, your good to go. If your a real PS user you may want to do that version.
I have never opened any Nik stuff in PS as It's not in my workflow.
If you do the LR version and want to upgrade to the PS version, I think Nik will let you pay the difference.
 

Irenaeus

Regular
Apr 2, 2011
8
Thanks, Streetshooter, that answers my question perfectly. I'll go with the LR version. All the best ~ and a thankful Thanksgiving to us all!
 

Luckypenguin

Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
123
Brisbane, Australia
Nic
I was under the impression that once you had purchased the Nik Software you could re-download and re-register it if you decide to switch between Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture.
 

pictor

All-Pro
Jul 14, 2010
124
Don, would you say it's the quality of the output from SEP, or the ease of use, or the quality BECAUSE it's so easy to use? ($200 is a lot of money for me right now, so I'm on the fence).
I was contemplating the purchase of SEP, too, but finally I did not buy it. I have downloaded many free presets for Lightroom by Michael W. Gray which simulate films instead and have never missed SEP or any other comparable program.
 

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
103
Western NC
I'm sold on the pictures I've seen processed with Silver Efex in B/W; my question amplifies this one. I do have Photoshop cs5 and Lightroom 3 (though I've not yet installed them on my new refurbished Mac Pro.) is the extra cost worth it to buy the Complete Edition for Photoshop, Aperture and Lightrom over the one for LR & A ony?
The major benefit I've seen with the full version for PS is even after you've finished your editing you can go back and make changes to your edits. With the lower cost version you're working with a "flattened" Tiff file and once you've saved and left the plugin you can't go back to redo the edits you have made.

Of course your master has not been touched.
 

Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
103
Western NC
Duane, surely you jest. I never knew that. Please explain a little more...
Thanks..
Happy Tday Don!

I don't have PS but I've watched some of Nik's videos and if I remember they start out in PS with a smart layer. Then launch the Nik plugin in the smart layer ? I think. Then when they come back PS the Nik edits are still separated and can be readjusted as long as the PS file is not flattened.
 

Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Duane, thanks, I'll try that reluctantly as it means I have to be nice to PS. Twill not be an easy task for me.
Happy Tday back at ya bro'.
 

snake

Veteran
Oct 4, 2011
43
It's probably already been coveredn, but SEF uses algorithms to draw skies, preserve shadows, and preserve highlights all in the same photo. That's what makes it amazing because LR can not go as far as it to do two extremes at the same time, decouples from other factors, then shape the noise into a pleasing grain. Sometimes I come up with the same thing, or near it in LR, but the fact remains that I can't save pics in LR like I can in SFX.
 
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Duane Pandorf

Top Veteran
Apr 25, 2011
103
Western NC
Can one or more of you explain what is meant by "flat"?
"Flattten" is a PS thing. Whatever edits you've done on a PS file are always there to make changes later when the file is saved in the native PS file. When you save the file in another format like JPG or Tiff or PNG all those edits and history are "flattened" as the term is used. The PS files "layers" are always there in the file for future editing if needed. That's why the PS files are normally very large. In fact in PS, there's a menu choice to Flatten the image or to compress all those layers into the image. Hope this makes sense.

I was just using the flatten term for those that use PS in understanding the difference btwn working with Nik out of LR and PS.
 
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Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
Duane, I hate PS sooo much but never thought about doing layers for Nic.
Now it's making sense. Too clearly I must say.
I guess I have to rethink the PS thing.
Thanks...
 

wt21

Hall of Famer
Aug 15, 2010
123
It's probably already been coveredn, but SEF uses algorithms to draw skies, preserve shadows, and preserve highlights all in the same photo. That's what makes it amazing because LR can not go as far as it to do two extremes at the same time, decouples from other factors, then shape the noise into a pleasing grain. Sometimes I come up with the same thing, or near it in LR, but the fact remains that I can't save pics in LR like I can in SFX.
I haven't heard about this before, but this was part of my question -- is SEP doing something different from LR, or is it just short-cutting tasks. Thanks for the tip.
 

snake

Veteran
Oct 4, 2011
43
SEP is absolutely doing something different. The biggest difference is being able to redraw skies when LR lets them go all white, such as in overcast conditions. All the while still allowing one to tailor shadows fairly independently and so on.

Here are examples (the first ones were as far as I could go in LR without compromising other qualities of the photo):







 
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Streetshooter

Administrator Emeritus
Jul 12, 2010
123
Philly, Pa
In snakes 1st example, the sky between the bridge trusses could be darkened also. You can really fine tune an image to your liking.
You couldn't do that in LR.....
 
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Pelao

All-Pro
Jul 11, 2010
123
Ontario, Canada
Stephen
In snakes 1st example, the sky between the bridge trusses could be darkened also. You can really fine tune an image to your liking.
You couldn't do that in LR.....
I think you can do this in LR, but as Amin noted, not nearly as easily or efficiently. the NIK stuff is not inexpensive, but I do believe it's great value. Like all software, it takes a little time and effort to gain full value. As a starting point, consider how important your images are to you, especially in finished form. I think you have to be reasonably serious about what you want to achieve with your photography in order for the required effort to be worthwhile.

If you print, I feel products like NIK are worthwhile.

Of course, as others have noted, try a trial version. Invest a few hours in a couple of photographs and see what that does for you.
 

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