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Author Topic: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?  (Read 5424 times)

pst

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Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« on: April 22, 2012, 06:51:44 AM »
I've been toying around the Color Efex Pro 4 trial, and kind of like it. There are some filters that I like.. but it's not very cheap package.

Do you find the complete edition worth it? The new lightroom does a good job in noise reduction, do you still use DFine or Viveza? What about the HDR Efex Pro compared to CS6's HDR Pro?

smclaren

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #1 on: April 22, 2012, 07:10:05 AM »
I've been toying around the Color Efex Pro 4 trial, and kind of like it. There are some filters that I like.. but it's not very cheap package.

Do you find the complete edition worth it? The new lightroom does a good job in noise reduction, do you still use DFine or Viveza? What about the HDR Efex Pro compared to CS6's HDR Pro?

I use CS5, but always run my images through define, you will be surprised at how much noise it will take out. Viveza is also a great package.

msdarkroom

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2012, 08:42:49 AM »
The ultimate complete top end edition is worth it IMO.
You can get it much cheaper through NAPP and B&H.

samueljay

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2012, 09:00:45 AM »
The ultimate complete top end edition is worth it IMO.
You can get it much cheaper through NAPP and B&H.
I can't find the complete collection on B&H at all, do you have a link?

I'm planning on picking the whole collection up when I have a spare $500 :) I'd pay that for Silver Effex alone, everything else is a bonus :D
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sanyasi

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #4 on: April 22, 2012, 09:04:47 AM »
If you are going to purchase one or two Nik products, you will be much better off buying the complete package.  It is clear that the pricing is designed to achieve that result. 

I have been using the Nik package for the last two or three years.  I particularly like Silver Efex for black and white conversion, Viveza for color modifications, and Color Effects for the filters, which at first seemed a little gimmicky to me, but as I have learned what many of them do, I have been using the package a lot.  I also use Define.  I am not sure if the HDR program is part of the package.  I am not into HDR, but I experimented with it and it was relatively easy to work with.  I had purchased the package before the HDR program came out.

For context, my base program is Lightroom 4 and I do use Photoshop CS5 (waiting for 6 to be finalized).  I consider myself to be working at expert level in LR and at intermediate level in Photoshop.  I can mask and work with layers in Photoshop and will do so when required, but it is not where I like to spend my time.  Surprisingly, I find basic color and tone adjustments difficult to make in Photoshop and much prefer LR and the Nik products.

If you do buy the package, I highly recommend Nik Software Captured: The Complete Guide to Using Nik Software's Photographic Tools by Tony L. Corbell and Joshua A. Haftel.  It was published in November 2011.  It is the missing manual and is essential reading.  I learned a lot about the programs that wasn't evident from just using them.

RichATL

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #5 on: April 22, 2012, 09:26:39 AM »
If you have PS (of any version since orginal version 5)... you have everything to do what those plugins can do.

Invest your time in learning how to do it with PS, instead of wasting money on shortcuts.

*Note* In all fairness I am an ACE in PS and LR, and know the programs extremely well... so it's easy for me to say, "just do it all in PS"...
But the truth is you are really better off learning how to do it by hand in PS, because that's how you learn to be creative with the program.





kirispupis

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 09:45:36 AM »
Even if you could do everything in the Nik Suite with just PS, it would take you many, many hours to draw the masks that they enable in just a few clicks. Many of their effects also are simply not possible to create with just PS.  Most of the top Photoshop pros I know use their suite.

I use their suite on almost every post processed image and definitely find it to be worth it.  In particular I use Color Efex, Viveza, and DFine on most shots. Sharpener and SilverEfex are also very useful.  My one complaint with them is they do not offer reduced price updates for owners of the complete package as they update individual components.

In terms of price, if you are patient they have deals from time to time.  A good place to look is Ron Martinsen's blog - http://www.ronmartblog.com/.  They usually have nice discounts around December.
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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 10:10:52 AM »
If you have PS (of any version since orginal version 5)... you have everything to do what those plugins can do.

Invest your time in learning how to do it with PS, instead of wasting money on shortcuts.

*Note* In all fairness I am an ACE in PS and LR, and know the programs extremely well... so it's easy for me to say, "just do it all in PS"...
But the truth is you are really better off learning how to do it by hand in PS, because that's how you learn to be creative with the program.

The point of this software is to take hour long projects in PS and move them into 5 minutes.  I've used NIK and believe me, its a very different look than PS and incredibly fast.
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bchernicoff

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2012, 11:09:18 AM »
Re: ColorEfex... the contrast filters are what really sell it. Color Contrast Range, Tonal Contrast, and Pro Contrast are all killer filters and each have their place depending on the image.

Here is a before and after using only the Color Contrast Range filter. Stunning!
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Lance James

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2012, 12:27:03 PM »
Its a great value and will pay for itself in no time.

I have used PS professionally for 15 years and still use the NIK software. Totally fell in love with Silver Efex Pro. Amazing software.

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #10 on: April 22, 2012, 12:36:42 PM »
Definitely agree the with majority here.  The Complete package is worth it.  Don't forget Silver Efex Pro.  Amazing B&W renditions.  It does a fair job of adding back selected color, but I must admit it's not as good as PS.  finally, the HDR system is nice, if you do some HDR. I use it mainly in difficult light situations where I can not get an even horizon transition for my GND filter.  Using the "neutral" default setting and avoiding all of the heavy more artificial looking changes seen in many HDR pictures works for me.  here is an example:
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GDub

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2012, 01:04:14 PM »
I use Define 2 and Silver Efex Pro (SEP 1) as a regular part of my processing routine--and LOVE them both. I mention "version 1" for SEP, however, because SEP 2 does NOT run on my machine--even though my machine (Mac) is well above the system requirements. After the release of SEP 2 there was a LONG thread about the issue on the Nik forum, but apparently the forum has been shut down (someone correct me if there's a new forum site). So my recommendation is to try the fully functioning demos available for download from Nik before you buy and save yourself a possible major frustration.
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scottkinfw

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #12 on: April 22, 2012, 01:05:33 PM »
I like the package, but don't use all features (i.e. I used HDR Efex Pro a couple of times, and Silver Efex pro a couple of times) byt they are all fine products.  I love Define and Sharpener most.  My advice, for what it is worth, if money is an issue (and when is it not?), get the products you want and will use, not the entire package.  Otherwise, get the whole thing and don't sweat it.  Either way, they work nicely with Lightroom 4.

It's all good.

sek


I've been toying around the Color Efex Pro 4 trial, and kind of like it. There are some filters that I like.. but it's not very cheap package.

Do you find the complete edition worth it? The new lightroom does a good job in noise reduction, do you still use DFine or Viveza? What about the HDR Efex Pro compared to CS6's HDR Pro?
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RichATL

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #13 on: April 23, 2012, 05:42:57 PM »
If you have PS (of any version since orginal version 5)... you have everything to do what those plugins can do.

Invest your time in learning how to do it with PS, instead of wasting money on shortcuts.

*Note* In all fairness I am an ACE in PS and LR, and know the programs extremely well... so it's easy for me to say, "just do it all in PS"...
But the truth is you are really better off learning how to do it by hand in PS, because that's how you learn to be creative with the program.

The point of this software is to take hour long projects in PS and move them into 5 minutes.  I've used NIK and believe me, its a very different look than PS and incredibly fast.

I agree that that is the reason most people who buy plugins...
However my point is that, most already have the tools to do EVERYTHING Nik can do.

What do most people do when there is a lengthy process that they use all the time? 
Make actions...and Droplets...  That's all plugin's are... just run through a 3rd party piece of software.

Granted..it takes time to learn how to use the program...and if you want to just mimick what other are doing anyway....then go ahead and waste your money...because you'll never get out of the swamp of mediocrity.

To truly take your work further, takes time and dedication...

Every single process that Nik can do... I can do just as quickly, once I've figured out how I want to do it... After that it's just a matter of making an action to do it for me.
Boom...
$600 saved, and I probably learned something new along the way.

just sayin...






jm345

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Re: Nik Software - is Complete Edition worth the money?
« Reply #14 on: April 23, 2012, 07:29:06 PM »
I was thinking of buying some Nik software, but with the new Photoshop CS6 coming maybe I should wait. Anyone know if the current Nik software will need to be upgraded to work with Photoshop CS6? I would assume so. And if I buy the Nik products now, will they qualify for free upgrades? I don't see any info on their website yet about this.