I have tested some of the NikSoftware plugins (Viveza, Silver Effex, Color Efex) and obtained some nice results with them. However, as one can test them just for only two weeks, I had not enough time to see if they really do things that I cannot get with Lightroom 3.4 alone. What seems to me is that with those plugins one can "develop" images faster than with Lightroom, as with few clicks contrast, color saturation, texture, etc. are easily modify with the use of control points. But, the result is that I am duplicating the number of images, as Nik creates a .tif for its work. This seems to be against the philosophy of Lightroom, which I like, where one has a single raw file, and all the resulting images that one eventually creates, are just virtuals and "contained" in the catalog file. I wonder if one can obtain almost the same results as with Nik programs but working, probably much more than with Nik plugins, only within the develop module of Lightroom. I have not tested Dfine and Sharpener Pro, so I wonder if the last improvements in Lightroom with Noise and sharpening make those plugins rather superfluous. Comparing the prices between, for instance, Viveza and the Complete set for Lightroom, it seems more reasonable to buy the set and not just one of them...but....has anyone got the set and used it long enough to say that Nik plugins are really worth to buy? Or they are just an easier way to improve the images without using brushes, graduated filters, etc. with LR?
Thanks for the comments!