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Author Topic: Nik replacement  (Read 1934 times)

Chairman Bill

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Nik replacement
« on: August 11, 2017, 11:08:13 AM »

The Nik Suite has been left to wither on the vine since Google bought it. I do wonder why they bothered. Anyway, though I love it, particularly Color Efex, Viveza and Silver Efex, it's getting a bit long in the tooth now and I imagine there are better alternatives out there. The big question is, which one will give something similar to what I get now, only better? I use Capture One (having given up on Aperture a while back) and have no desire to get into Photoshop. I'm open to Capture One being able to do all I want, but the ease of Nik's software is way beyond pretty much anything else I've used, and I want that intuitive approach. Macphun's Luminar looks pretty good, as does ON1, but before downloading trial versions I thought I'd get some informed suggestions from here. Thoughts?

rdonson

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2017, 12:19:42 PM »

I have Affinity Photo, MacPhun Luminar, Creative Kit, Topaz and Aurora HDR.  That said I mostly find myself using two plugins from MacPhun's Creative Kit.  Intensify and Tonality.  I generally call these from Lightroom although sometimes from Photoshop as well.

My understanding is that a number of the original members of Nik made their way to MacPhun.     
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MattBurt

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2017, 12:43:54 PM »

Topaz looks pretty similar but I have never used it. I still get good use from Nik so I'll keep with it until it stops working. Affinity has been improving and I'm trying to replace Photoshop with it, learning as I go. It's going pretty well so far but I don't often need to edit that heavily so it's slow because I'm not practicing all the time. I only would use Affinity or Photoshop for "heavy lifting" edits like layer masks/composites or removing objects. Everything else I need to do regularly is easy in Lightroom and that is where I do probably 90% of my edits.
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kikashi

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2017, 02:27:10 PM »

FWIW, I've tried Tonality but I didn't find it anything like as easy to use, or to produce as good results, as SFX Pro.

Jeremy
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2017, 12:59:02 PM »

I have Affinity Photo, MacPhun Luminar, Creative Kit, Topaz and Aurora HDR.  That said I mostly find myself using two plugins from MacPhun's Creative Kit.  Intensify and Tonality.  I generally call these from Lightroom although sometimes from Photoshop as well.

My understanding is that a number of the original members of Nik made their way to MacPhun.   
Looks like MacPhun Luminar is only for MacOS (as the name implies).  I've been suing Affinity Photo rather than Photoshop these days if only to thumb my nose at Adobe.
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drmike

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2017, 04:43:04 PM »

And you find Affinity to satisfactory? I use Photoshop and don't resent the cost but I'm very aware that I only use a tiny proportion of its features and if Affinity could offer those then I'd probably migrate. I believe Nik works with it and I use Nik a lot as they do things better than I can :)
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budjames

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2017, 06:13:22 PM »

Since switching to Capture One Pro from Lightroom after I replaced my Canon pro DSLRs with Fuji X cameras, I found that I have not missed NIK or other plugins that I used with LR.

The U-Point technology of the NIK suite was very impressive and a leap ahead. Unfortunately, like other tech companies purchased by Google, Google takes what they need and then let the company and their products die a slow death. It's a shame.

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BartvanderWolf

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2017, 07:10:23 PM »

And you find Affinity to satisfactory?

On many levels, yes, and on some levels even better. And running cost should be the least of your worries.

Quote
I use Photoshop and don't resent the cost but I'm very aware that I only use a tiny proportion of its features and if Affinity could offer those then I'd probably migrate. I believe Nik works with it and I use Nik a lot as they do things better than I can :)

Affinity Photo seems to be compatible with many Photoshop plugins that work on a layer without requiring resizing (Google NIK, Topaz, NeatImage, etc.). I'd have to test with Plugins that use File>Automate ..., but those often have their own additional stand-alone functionality as well. I expect an updated version of Affinity Photo (1.6) later this month. or thereabouts.

Cheers,
Bart
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Simon Garrett

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #8 on: August 13, 2017, 02:41:14 AM »

The Nik Suite has been left to wither on the vine since Google bought it.

Not quite.  They've abandoned it now, but there were more than half a dozen releases (including new features) after Google bought Nik. 

I do wonder why they bothered.

They bought Nik (the company) for Snapseed. 

Anyway, though I love it, particularly Color Efex, Viveza and Silver Efex, it's getting a bit long in the tooth now and I imagine there are better alternatives out there. The big question is, which one will give something similar to what I get now, only better? I use Capture One (having given up on Aperture a while back) and have no desire to get into Photoshop. I'm open to Capture One being able to do all I want, but the ease of Nik's software is way beyond pretty much anything else I've used, and I want that intuitive approach. Macphun's Luminar looks pretty good, as does ON1, but before downloading trial versions I thought I'd get some informed suggestions from here. Thoughts?
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luxborealis

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2017, 01:57:05 PM »

What have I been missing?

I've been using LR all these years for B&W and have found that it does everything I need to produce B&Ws of higher quality than anything I could do with gelatin silver prints. Having successfully worked in B&W for 40 years - with 4x5, the Zone system and revised Zone system, graded and multi-grade fibre prints and now digital, pigment inks, etc. - I'm wondering what a plugin could offer? Is/was Nik Silver Effex really superior to a deep knowledge of B&W and LR?
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kikashi

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #10 on: August 13, 2017, 02:10:22 PM »

What have I been missing?

I've been using LR all these years for B&W and have found that it does everything I need to produce B&Ws of higher quality than anything I could do with gelatin silver prints. Having successfully worked in B&W for 40 years - with 4x5, the Zone system and revised Zone system, graded and multi-grade fibre prints and now digital, pigment inks, etc. - I'm wondering what a plugin could offer? Is/was Nik Silver Effex really superior to a deep knowledge of B&W and LR?

I was very happy with LR's conversions and was highly sceptical that SFX could do a better job. Then I tried it and was enormously impressed. I even paid for it.

Whether it's superior to deep knowledge, I can't say. But it's certainly worth a try, Terry, particularly as it's now free.

Jeremy
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john beardsworth

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2017, 02:19:46 PM »

I'm wondering what a plugin could offer? Is/was Nik Silver Effex really superior to a deep knowledge of B&W and LR?

Not really, though SFX is very focussed on the B&W task and its features are well-designed. It's more that a different tool can lead you to make different and interesting creative choices.
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JimAscher

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2017, 02:39:32 PM »

Looks like MacPhun Luminar is only for MacOS (as the name implies).  I've been suing Affinity Photo rather than Photoshop these days if only to thumb my nose at Adobe.

Alan:  I had to chuckle over your apparent "suing" of Adobe.  Let us all know if you win your case!  Regards, Jim
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Alan Goldhammer

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Re: Nik replacement
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2017, 03:24:15 PM »

Alan:  I had to chuckle over your apparent "suing" of Adobe.  Let us all know if you win your case!  Regards, Jim
Only if you are my lawyer will that happen.  Sometimes my fingers get to litigious and 'using' becomes 'suing.'
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