Nik Software Worth it?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by Empireme, Nov 13, 2011.

  1. Empireme

    Empireme Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 25, 2011
    LA, CA
    Like the post says how many of you photographers feel that Nik Software is worth the price?

    After purchasing LightRoom3, the quality in my photos jumped tremendously as well as helping me organize my pictures. And I would recommend the program to any and everyone out there.

    If you have experience with Nik Software, how are your feelings about them? And I'm also slightly confused by the two versions they have on their website. It seems as if there's a plug-in version and an "ultimate" version.

    Does this software require lightroom or aperture? Is it integrated into the software? And since I own Lightroom, am I safe in assuming that I need to purchase the less expensive plug in version?
  2. dtchan

    dtchan Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 24, 2010
    It is definitely worth it if you like to play around with post processing. It is very easy to use but also it is very deep as well. There is so much you can do with it. I think it as a plugin for Lightroom as well as Photoshop. My current workflow usually pick a preset in Lightroom and then do the finishing touches with the Nik Software.
  3. petach

    petach Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 18, 2011
    Yes, yes, yes and yes. I use silver efex pro 2 as well as snap seed (for iPad)

    If your shootiNg abilities are rubbish, they won't help......but if you have an eye for a shot and take it well, then it can improve an already good shot immeasurably.

    Take a look at posts by Ray S for examples.
  4. drizek

    drizek Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 5, 2011
    Pretty sure all their stuff has 15 day trials. Try them out and see for yourself

    I downloaded silver Efex and got some really great pics out of it. You can do most of the same effects in lightroom with a lot more difficulty, but I guess if you do a lot of processing it is worth it. For my part, I didn't buy it. I bought Lightroom for $60, it's hard to justify paying $100 for a program that only does B&W. I would be much more likely to pay $99 for the entire Nik pack (as a student), but $299 is too rich for me. My pictures aren't good enough to make it worth it.
  5. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    Here in the UK the price of Nik stuff is ridiculous, and personally I'm bored at looking at shots that have obviously been processed using Silver Efex, for me it's becoming the new HDR. *shudder*
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    IMHO, Yes

    You can often wrestle similar results straight out of LR or Aperture and I'm sure you can go even crazier with Photoshop, but getting from point A to point B is sooooo much easier with the Nik stuff that you're more likely to get there more often and, who knows, it may just spur your creativity to get to point C from time to time. You may risk putting timallenphoto to sleep, but there are risks to anything - that's one I can live with. :cool:

  7. Iansky

    Iansky Mu-43 All-Pro

    Dec 26, 2009
    The Cotswolds, UK

    For many years since my days of wet darkrooms I have loved the impact of B&W images and it is always a challenge to make a good photograph just in B&W without the impact from the colour of the scene.

    In the old days, the effects could be similar to today but took a lot of time and effort dodging & burning then toning as needed - today, we have many options to create the same effects electronically and for me top of the list must be Silver Efex Pro2.

    I purchased my updated version very early this year when it was £120 so good value for money (now runs at around £170). This software makes conversions easier and allows me to get the results that I like as well as create the toning / borders that suit my tastes.

    I find it sad that certain people imply they think SFX converted B&W is a current Fad like HDR, it is like any form of final image editing and can be overdone if not used with common sense.

    I get the impression that people who slate it are people who have not tried it or who only shoot in colour, I would suggest they download the free trial, watch the on site video and then experiment - it might just change their thinking.

    B&W is by it's very nature a good base for learning as it helps the photographer think more about tone, texture, shape, subject and composition and steer away from the image relying on colour to draw the eye.

    To summarise, Silver Efex Pro2 is a superb software package and like any other, it must be used with thought - I can only endorse trying and if happy buying rather dismissing out of hand.

    Please look at my blogsite below where my current GF1 posts are all done using SFX2.
    • Like Like x 3
  8. peterbee

    peterbee Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 2, 2011
    Huddersfield, UK
    Real Name:
    Peter Bartlett
    I use earlier versions of both Nik Silver Efex & Nik Color Efex. I've not yet upgraded to the latest versions although I plan to shortly, with the latest version of Silver Efex the priority upgrade.

    Like Ian, I was a black and white worker in the old wet darkroom and I find Silver Efex Pro to be the closest thing there is to the control I had in the darkroom. It is without doubt, the best plug-in I have purchased - worth every penny.

    Color Efex Pro is pretty useful too, especially if you are interested in creative photography. In practice, I've found it more useful to use it selectively and/or mix several layers of different filters to create an effect - I often mix layers of Color Efex Pro filters with layers using the Topaz plug-ins to good effect.

    The Nik plug-ins are not cheap, but you get what you pay for. Nik Silver Efex is by far the best tool for mono conversions if you are interested in black & white, and Nik Color Efex is worth investing in if you are interested in creative post-processing.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. hanzo

    hanzo Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 22, 2010
    Real Name:
    Long answer : YES :biggrin:
    SFX user here. If you want cheap price for SFX, look for it at DSI.
  10. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    I answer to the OP's last question
    Here's a quote from the Nik website
    "The Complete Collection is available in two editions. The Complete Collection Ultimate Edition includes support for every plug-in to work in Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom, and Aperture. The Complete Collection for Lightroom contains all six Nik Software products but works only within Lightroom and Aperture."

    Professional Photographic Tools

    I believe the individually purchased plug-ins work across the board.
  11. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Right, same plug-ins, same price (at least for Aperture and LR - not sure about Photoshop because it integrates differently, as a layer I think???), but you still have to buy the right version for the specific host software and, in the case of LR, the platform as well...

  12. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    Perhaps I should clarify my grumpy, early morning post! Like HDR, often people don't know when to stop with software like SFX which taints the work of the people who use it wisely. I have tried the demo a couple of times but didn't see what it would give me over just using Lightroom, and I still think the price is ridiculous compared to the price of Lightroom for example. I do like Snapseed though, which is priced sensibly.
  13. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    How on earth could it taint the work of people who use it wisely? If used wisely, it should be transparent to the viewer - the only common giveaway is the borders which nobody is required to use. I use them almost always because, well, I like them even though they're a giveaway. But good processing is good processing and bad processing is bad processing regardless of tool used. And both good and bad are in the eye of the beholder anyway. SEP is a fine tool - that's all. It doesn't assure good results anymore than a better hammer assures a straight nail - it just makes it a bit easier to achieve.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. crsnydertx

    crsnydertx Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 31, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Real Name:
    Evidently the folks at Nik have done their economic analysis and have determined their optimum pricing strategy. Would they sell more copies at a lower price? Yes. Would their total revenue and profit be higher? Not necessarily. One person's "ridiculous" is another's "reasonable".
  15. digitalandfilm

    digitalandfilm Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jul 18, 2011
    NIK software is invaluable.. especially Silver EFX 2.
  16. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    Highly recommended! Somewhere here on the site, there is a mu-43 member discount code for 10% (I believe) for the complete package. I think this works out as a good value if you plan to use at least two of their individual programs.

    I would disagree that everything has to be overdone in Nik. There are some very subtle effects like detail extractor and lighten/darken a region, and all of the presets can be dialed down towards the subtle end of the scale. Okay, but I am definitely stuck in very gritty HDR mode right now, so I may not be the best person to ask on this. :biggrin:
    • Like Like x 1
  17. JohnMetsn

    JohnMetsn Mu-43 Veteran least not for me. I always liked Nik's products, but they are not worth the price for me.
  18. timallenphoto

    timallenphoto Mu-43 Veteran

    May 20, 2011
    Kent, England
    Genuinely didn't mean to upset anybody, but failing dismally to word my thoughts well. I'll go and sit on the naughty step.
  19. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    I understood you - there's a whole lot of HDR that I don't like simply because for my personal tastes, it's way over-done...:smile:
  20. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Yes, agreed. And there's plenty of overcooked SEP2 work also - I'm no doubt guilty of my own share of that. But that doesn't mean that the tools are bad - they can both be incredibly useful in the right hands.

    Tim, I get your basic point about how badly this type of thing can be, and sometimes has been used. I feel the same way. I just don't get how that in any way denigrates the work of those who use them well??? That was my only source of confusion and/or disagreement. Apologies if I misunderstood. No need to go hide just because some disagree with you - but I like the term "naughty step"! I'm gonna have to pass that one on to my wife the schoolteacher. :biggrin: