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Nik Collection now free, and not likely to ever be updated.....

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by mcasan, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
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  2. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    As has been noted elsewhere, Macphun's Creative Kit is the successor to the Nik plugins, and is actively supported (and is frequently on sale). I use and enjoy Intensify, but I don't have any use for the other plugins.
     
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  3. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Indeed the main Nik designers left when Google took over. They started Macphun and you can see the evolution from the Nik plugins. The Creative Kit apps and Aurora HDR can be plugins to Aperture, LR and PS. They can also be extensions to Photos.
     
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  4. D7k1

    D7k1 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    690
    Nov 18, 2013
    On1 software is also a very good stand-a-lone or plugin suite substitue. I downloaded the Nik and compared it to On1 and I greatly prefer On1 (I'm just a user no interest in On1 Company). I tested the B&W and up-sizing (On1 use the Genuine Fractals engine) against the Nik plugins and I think On1 did a better job. I try and keep to only LR and PS but On1 does have some very useful stuff and for those adverse to subscriptions is does run stand-a-lone. That being said and if you don't mind Tiff files, FREE is a very good price.
     
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  5. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    291
    Mar 18, 2015
    I have one of the free outdated versions that always come up for On1 Perfect effects, but did get the Nik suite (why not for free). I can definitely see myself using the Denoise Plugin. I feel that for other effects I tend to use them less and less the more proficient I get at Lightroom.
     
  6. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    I also try to use Lightroom for as much post-processing as possible, with Photoshop as needed for retouching and other edits that Lightroom can't do. The two areas where I find that plugins provide significantly better results that Lightroom are noise reduction and clarity. Maybe one day Adobe will update to a new RAW engine (Process 2012 is four years old, after all) and I will be able to do everything in Lightroom, but in the meantime I use:
    • Macphun Intensify Pro for better control of clarity (aka "structure") in photos where the texture of surfaces is important. There are similar apps like Topaz Clarity that might do just as good a job, but I haven't tried any of them.
    • Imagenomic Noiseware for noise reduction on high-ISO images (generally ISO 1600 and higher). I have used several other noise reduction plugins and standalone apps, and own a couple, but I keep coming back to Noiseware.
     
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  7. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    Looks good, if you use a Mac. ;)
     
  8. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I like Imagenomic's Portraiture plug in as well.
     
  9. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 Veteran

    291
    Mar 18, 2015
    Yes, Tonal Contrast is the pretty much the only thing I use plugins for. Will have to see if I prefer Nik over the On1 but from the quick look I've had it might be Nik.
     
  10. RichardB

    RichardB Snapshooter

    442
    Nov 19, 2012
    Maryland, US
    Richard
    I'm looking forward to trying Nik, now that it's free. For the past few years, I have used the Topaz suite, and I like it. You can start with one product rather than buying the whole suite as Nik required.
     
  11. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Too bad that development stopped. I've been really enjoying them and google did well by its users when they took over Nik (free updates for a while after the take over for those of us that paid full price to Nik) I guess they weren't able to do the same for the developers. Loss of brainshare in a take over of a tech company can easily mean the death of a product.
     
  12. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    819
    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Ron
    Maybe Macphun should put out Winphun?
     
  13. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    They've talked about releasing their products on Windows as well. After using the the Nik products, I have a hard time justifying spending money on the MacPhun tools though, even if they are slightly better. The Nik tools just work so well, that I can't justify spending money on a product that does basically the same thing.

    The one MacPhun product I did buy was Snapheal Pro, as it was March's "App of the Month", where I got it for $20 instead of $60. It's a more powerful version of the clone/fix brush in LR, and Nik didn't have anything like it. For $20, I figured why not.
     
  14. heedpantsnow

    heedpantsnow Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jul 24, 2011
    I'm okay if they don't update Nik. It runs fine on W10, I use dropbox to sync all my custom presets. Supports tiff, which means it's camera-agnostic. I love it and will use it for a looooong time!
     
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  15. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Or.....you could get a Mac. Then you could Mac OS and Win10. :biggrin:
     
  16. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Regular

    179
    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Angus
    I'd love to be told I'm wrong or crazy here, but Macphun as a company just feels sleazy to deal with.

    What happened to me was I got an email from Macphun with a free gift of a month's membership to Skillshare. I decided to sign up (why wouldn't I?) but decided not to continue when Skillshare asked for my credit card details during signup. A few days later, I started getting advertising emails from Skillshare. I was annoyed at this, but what really got on my gears was that the unsubscribe link in their email was dead. Eventually I tweeted out to both companies, got an email address to email to unsubscribe from Skillshare. I'm not happy that they now have my email, but at least I'm not getting biweekly advertising from them.

    I purchased AuroraHDR Pro a few months ago (which is how I got the Skillshare "gift"), and got a free months membership to The Arcanum (which I believe I have to be accepted into in order to redeem), but they're now offering 3 month Skillshare memberships with purchase of AuroraHDR Pro instead. I haven't verified this, but I'd assume Skillshare ask for a credit card on signup upon redemption of these too. My problem is, these companies have a reputation of getting revenue from people who forget to cancel within the trial period. If you really stand behind your product, why can't you offer the trial without asking for credit card details (like SquareSpace) instead?

    The other problem I have is this. I purchased AuroraHDR Pro. I don't merge that many HDR shots, but I do use the Photos Extension a fair bit. Apple officially only support Photos extensions for apps purchased from within the Mac App Store, and thus the AuroraHDR Pro (and Creative Kit) extension(s) could stop working at any time with an update to OS X or Photos.

    What is MacPhun more likely to do then, offer redemption codes for versions of their apps from the Mac App Store? Or recommend people use the full apps instead?
     
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  17. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    Ian
    Haha, it's funny you mention that. Just last week, I bought their Snapheal Pro app, which is basically a more powerful version of the clone/heal brush in LR. When viewing their "creative kit", the price for Snapheal Pro was shown as $50, yet it was their "App of the Month", and "on sale" for only $20. I though, hey that's not bad and it would make my workflow a bit easier when I need to remove more challenging items that LR can't deal with, and it's only $20.

    So I bought it, and I checked their website yesterday (April 1, a new month) to see what the App of the Month would be, only to see that the price of Snapheal Pro, when purchased alone was $20, the same price as when it was "on sale" as the App of the Month.

    While I likely would have bought it anyway, and it's only $20, I don't see why they would label it as being "on sale" for $20 in March, only to continue selling it for $20 in April once the sale expired.

    Fortunately, I don't need any more of their apps. The Nik collection works just fine for my needs, and its as WAAY cheaper than what MacPhun wants for essentially the same products. I've thought about AuroraHDR Pro, but the HDR functions within LR6, coupled with some of the Nik plug-ins have quelled that thought.
     
  18. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Regular

    179
    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Angus
    I'd be willing to give them a pass on that, as from memory I swear I saw it on their website for the same deal (I'm in Australia, so pricing's a bit of a mess) and it's not there any more. Could be timezone differences, CDN replication delays or anything, as long as it's gone within a few days I think it's fine.

    But there within lies another problem, is it going to be replaced by anything else? Why should I have to wait to evaluate whether or not I'm getting the best deal on their software?

    Also, I just did a quick estimate, buying the Creative Kit apps individually from the Mac App Store comes to about $150, buying direct from Macphun is advertised at $187.99 instead of $489 (which it has in red text crossed out). Why is there such a difference?

    I really don't know if their "deals" are an oversight or if they're being deliberately confusing.
     
  19. Drdul

    Drdul Mu-43 Regular

    104
    May 16, 2015
    Vancouver, BC
    Richard
    A couple of years ago when Macphun released Intensify I bought it in the MAS. It's a good app. I generally avoid plugins as I find I can accomplish within Lightroom what most plugins do, but Intensify actually does more than I can do in LR so I have a use for it.

    After I bought the MAS version of Intensify, I noticed that Macphun had an offer on their website to upgrade from the MAS version to Intensify Pro at a very good price, and because I wanted the plugin functionality and couple of extra features of the Pro version, I upgraded. During the upgrade process I made the mistake of giving Macphun a real email address. It didn't take long before I was receiving several emails a day, not just from Macphun but from all sorts of other photography-related businesses. I didn't recall agreeing to let Macphun sell my email address to anyone and everyone, but I'm sure that buried away in the Terms of Service or something was a clause to that effect.

    So I wrote to Macphun and told them I wasn't impressed. They claimed they hadn't sold my email address, but the thing was, because I own my own domain I was able to create a unique email address: macphun@***.com. I had only given that email address to Macphun, so how did all these other companies get it? I asked Macphun to take me off their email distribution list, which to their credit they did, but I continued to get email from other companies. So I added a filter on my account that automatically deletes any emails to macphun@***.com and the problem was solved.

    TL;DR: The lesson for anyone planning to buy from Macphun is to use a disposable email address (if you don't own your own domain where you can create unique email addresses, use a service like Melt Mail or Mailinator).
     
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  20. Angus Gibbins

    Angus Gibbins Mu-43 Regular

    179
    Dec 6, 2015
    Brisbane, Australia
    Angus
    I don't get masses of email from third parties but your story doesn't feel me with hope.

    I own my own domain, but I also have an email address that's independent of that that I prefer to use (businesses that I own come and go, generally I prefer to have a permanent, all purpose email address, also, what happens if you ever need to retrieve a login or password for that email address?).

    I don't really feel great about purchasing any more software from them at this point.