... far away from electricity, computers, cameras, raw files, CaptureNX2 and ViewNX2!
WARNING!: This post is one of those long, tedious, endless .... ranting .... convoluted, diatribes of mine.
IN A NUTSHELL: I had trouble with some software I sorted it out in an unusual manner, which caused me grief but life is now good.
In general, I'm a bit of a tech freak.
I try to keep up with the latest news, and take an interest in stuff .. and how stuff works .. etc, etc .. but this one may see me head to the caves to get away from it all(it just does you're head in!).
I have this one raw image file(out of many .. many thousands).
The raw file is a D800E file, and I do my usual processing on it.
I've done this for just over 100K raw files, most of which I still have in my archive.
BUT! .. this one file drove me nuts for the past cupl'a days.
The file was captured on Oct 2 and edited(or more accurately just fooled around with) a day or two later(we were camping).
The image is nothing special, and I just wanted to see if anything could come of it. I wouldn't be mortified if it were lost to the ether.
The file was initially opened in ViewNX2, and basic raw file edits made .. mainly to WB, and maybe set a new Picture Control(but I can't really remember).
After a bit of mucking about I then sent it to CaptureNX2 to see if more involved tweaking could make it stand out(it didn't, but this isn't the point).
In CNX2, the edits I made were:
1. a contrast edit, in the form of a vignette to darken the edges
2. a small contrast edit on the main subject in the form of a Colour Control Point(the main editing method in CNX2)
3. a global colour edit in the form of a LCH tool edit step
4. a USM edit step
5. a slight crop to remove an unwanted section of the image(barely a few mm of trim)
.. and that's where the issue starts.
One long known and annoying aspect of Nikon's older software system was that if you edited an image in CaptureNX2(the more involved software), even tho you could view the image in ViewNX2(the basic software) .. you couldn't do any other process on that raw file in VNX2 any longer.
CNX2 would lock the file from any further process in VNX2 .. even if all you wanted to do was convert the raw file to a tif or jpg.
This limitation is seriously annoying, and to further the annoyance, CNX2 requires a very convoluted batch process for converting multiple raw images into other formats if need be.
VNX2 on the other hand requires 1/100th of the work to do the same.
But in checking out some stuff recently, and ViewNX2 being my main raw/jpg viewing software, on opening the folder with that image it crashed every time I got to the location of that raw file.
That is, VNX2 was fine up until that raw file came into view on the film strip .. then it'd stop working!
I just thought that after all these years, VNX2 was now playing up and needed to be removed .. after such a good run.
Short story long .. (as you'd expect from me! ) .. I had to look into it. This sudden decision to lock up and play dead didn't make sense(from VNX2).
I tracked the problem down to this one image coming into view.
Then, the hard part .. why would this image cause a software lockup in a 'supposed' cohesive software environment. Even tho Nikon had decided on the previously mentioned file lockout limitation(which is just silly) .. I've never had an issue where a file is edited in one Nikon software and then the other Nikon software would lock up as a result of trying to view that file too.
Further, I have 3 other CNX2 edited image files in that folder, and with the problem raw file isolated, VNX2 runs fine through the rest of the images .. no lockups.
From there, the only possible way to solve the issue (and to see if it's going to be an ongoing issue!) was to get that file back into CNX2 and undo the edits.
CNX2 allows this easily, when you open the file and make edits, each edit step is shown in the edit pane.
You select them on and off as you please to see how the file looks with/without each step.(the steps are listed above in order)
Turns out that the final crop step has done something to the file that VNX2 doesn't like .. and thus causes the lockup.
I re edited the file into 10 variations of the edited file with each step enabled and disabled to give me some idea on where CNX2 is failing, and after much mucking about I dwindled the issue down to that final crop edit step. So that the raw file with all the other edits (1-4) enabled and the crop(5) disabled, VNX2 is viewing it fine.
I have edited so many raw files with a crop of some sort, whether minor or major(eg. I sometimes create a 16:9 version of a file for desktop use), so cropping in CNX2 isn't the problem!
I have many thousands of files edited in this way .. never seen this problem before.
So with a bit more testing and researching as to what's going on .. I finally worked it all out that it's not the file itself or the edits on that file, it's the combination of edits that are causing the problem.
I copied those same edits onto other unrelated images as a test(and the images look appropriately ghastly!) .. and the same VNX2 lockup issue happens when I try to view those edited image too.
And to narrow it down even further .. I then removed the crop edit step, and re edit the raw file with another crop edit in CXN2, which is as close as I can get it to the same small edge .. and all is good now!
Moral of the story: While it's easy to blame ViewNX2 as crappy software(for it's inability to read the file).. or CNX2(for it's inability to save a file properly) .. in the end it's neither. Just one of those things that happen .. and then doesn't!
Anyhow, I was close to removing VNX2 from the PC(I will have too at some point if I get a new Nikon camera), but I should'a known better. Over the past umpteen years, I have had one issue with an early version of ViewNX(1) where it didn't like jpg files .. otherwise it's been my most used software by a couple of miles