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Thread: View Nx(picture control utility)

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    View Nx(picture control utility)

    Hi All,
    Well i have another question im sure someone will be able to help..
    Ive been trying to download the adobe camera raw but for some reason i cant seem to do this.
    So have opted to use the software(View nx) that came with the new D700... Well my problem or part i dont understand is how it really works.
    From what i can gather you can do a little bit of playing around in the viewnx part but what is the picture control utility i no how to make adjustments but what is this thing really used for as im unsure how to save the adjustments i made.
    So if anybody has the time and could point me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated.
    I really love taking the photos but this editing part is really driving crazy
    Thanks in advance if anyone could help
    Brad
    NikonD80, NikonD700, Nikon18-70, Nikon70-200 2.8, NikonSB-900,Nikon af-s 50mm f1.4g

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Picture Control Utiltiy is like an add-on/extra piece of software that allows you to adjust and edit the Picture Control enhancements you have automagically in both ViewNX and in your camera.

    I suspect you already know what Picture Controls are, so we'll skip past that section, and get straight into the Utility.

    First of all if you're using ViewNX that is not version 2(ie. ViewNX2!!) update it to version 2.. much better

    You'll notice in VNX, that there are the same type of Picture Controls available on your PC as there are in your camera. Shoot in raw format and you can chop and change which Picture Control type you want for a particular image.
    In PC utility, you can edit the way each Picture Control renders the image.

    eg. for the Standard Picture Control, Nikon have enabled a sharpness setting of 3. I edit that out(all of the sharpness levels for all Picture Controls that is) and set them all to zero. Once the editing is done, you then have the option to save them to your PC.. AND!! also to upload them to your camera too.
    If you shoot in NEF format, this is basically unnecessary .. as you can batch the NEFs with the Picture Control enhancements on the PC anyhow. BUT if you shoot in jpg format, the Picture Control settings will be forever etched into the image and non-reversible. So if you use Vivid Picture Control enhancement on your jpg, the jpg is going to be rendered with a lot of contrast and no amount of contrast reduction will render the image with lower contrast... as it could for a raw file.
    With the standard adjustment controls when adjusting Picture Control variables, you only get the option to vary a few limited numbers/sliders and while for the most part this works ok, using the Picture Control Utility, you can edit the curve instead. This gives you more flexibility in the subtle nature of Picture Controls.

    ALSO!! there are various already made up Picture Controls available for download from the interweb. Many of these Picture Controls attempt to mimic film types, and you can throw them into your list of Picture Controls, and edit the curve as you see fit.


    Finally once you've made an edit to a Picture Control, you simply save the Picture Control (with a different file name) and it's automatically saved into the correct location and will then be available for use later via the Picture Control selection box in ViewNX. But if you want to upload the saved Picture Control directly to the camera, so that it's then used in camera, you need to load a CF card onto the PC, Picture Control Utility recognises this CF card and you upload it to the card.
    Then you load the card into the camera and go through the steps of editing/saving/downloading Picture Controls via the camera itself.

    Note too: I think if you connect the camera directly to the PC as well, you may be able to upload the saved Picture Controls to the camera too. Don't know.. never done it that way, only via the CF card method.

    It's all actually very simple once you press all the buttons to see what they do and how they do it all!
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    OH! also note:

    with the D80, you can also use Picture Controls too. So if you have a favourite image look, you can then use this particular look on your D80 images as well.. but make sure you have ViewNX2 installed, it's a better version of ViewNX.

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    Thanks very much arthurking for taking the time out to give me some direction and will try now to work out how to upgrade to Nx2. i will read over your notes a couple more times and im sure it will become a little clearer soon..
    Cheers just another little one do use the Nx2 as well as the adobe camera raw or just the one as seems a lot of people are using the ACR...
    Thanks again

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    ACR and ViewNX are totally and completely separate pieces of software.

    if you use software like Adobe's Photoshop, I think you need to have ACR installed as the raw file converter. I don't know exactly as I don't use Photoshop.

    ViewNX is Nikon's own basic image editor/raw file converter. The editing abilities are very basic and if it weren't free, the program would be one to give a miss!. but it is free, so it's worth having if you shoot in NEF format.
    With my limited experience with any adobe product, I found it worked well on high quality TIFF files, and there was no real benefit in trying to edit a raw(NEF) file. basically no real quality difference from what I noticed(way back when!!). Adobe's software doesn't really edit the raw file anyhow.. whereas Nikon's software does. This is(my view) actually a good thing, whereas many people seem to believe it's not! They don't seem to like editing their original raw files, but Nikon's method is totally non destructive, and always reversible to the point of as shot in camera. This saves a lot of disk space, as it then gives you a multitude of variations of the same file, all in the one file(if you like that kind of thing). The way i see it. The advantages of using Nikon's software as your converter, far outweight the disadvantages by a mile or three!

    So, as for ACR!! if you don't have any other adobe software.. remove ACR.. or don't install it. It does nothing with any Nikon software. Nikon's software is the 'real' ACR for Nikon's NEF raw files.
    ViewNX is as capable of creating, editing(to a basic degree) and converting raw files as any other software is.. in terms of overall quality.

    in some ways, ViewNX is to Nikon's software what ACR is to adobe's software suite.

    Nikon's real photo editing software is called CaptureNX2.

    I have a CaptureNX2 tutorial in the relevant section so you can see how it works.

    One day, I'll do a quick fire ViewNX tute to show folks how quick, easy and basic it is.

    If you want full featured image editing, you don't want ViewNX!!

    if you use something like Adobe's Photoshop(or Elements) and need a raw converter to get the images into the adobe program, I think ViewNX2 is a lot better than ACR at rendering NEF files, but you need to edit the image in a very basic manner to get it to look almost right.
    *Convert that image into TIFF format, with no compression.
    *Then open that image(or send it too) Photoshop.. or whatever else you use.

    There is an option setting in ViewNX, where you can create a list of "Open With" rightclick selections.
    So you rightclick an image in VNX, and you get a list of programs to open the file with.. easy as!

    If you want to delve into those options, go to: Edit(toolbar)->Options->(in the options page)Open With Application, click the [Add] button and browse to your applications to add them into the list(which is blank by default). As you add applications, the blank white page will list all the apps you've enabled.

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    hey arthurking,
    Thanks again for taking the time out to help me...
    Just finished checking out your tutorial awesome read and is and will help me a lot, your pretty switched on about this matter.
    thanks again

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