I’ve been swamped with emails and feedback about my new eBook with Tony Sweet, The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro. One common question is “Can I use this with Capture NX2?”
The answer is yes and no. Nik’s HDR Efex Pro won’t open NEF files on its own, and it doesn’t run as a native plug-in to Nikon’s Capture NX2. However, the Lightroom plug-in version of HDR Efex Pro can be used as a stand-alone application, as long as you send it RGB images (TIFF or JPEG). I recommend sending 16-bit TIFFs to HDR Efex Pro, and you can use Capture NX2 or any other RAW converter to do it.
Here are the basic steps for using HDR Efex Pro with a 3rd-party RAW converter.
- Apply generic global RAW conversion settings– set sharpening to “None” or “0” and use these settings in a batch save to TIFF format (16-bit is best).
- Launch the Lightroom version of HDR Efex Pro
- Open the image series in HDR Efex Pro: File–>Open Exposure Series
- Tone-map the image. You can learn everything you need about tone-mapping in The Photographer’s Guide to HDR Efex Pro.
- Save the tone-mapped image as a 16-bit TIFF.
- Open the tone-mapped image in Capture NX2 and save it as a NEF to preserve any further adjustments, like sharpening.
To see how it’s done, watch my instructional video, Nik’s HDR Efex Pro with Nikon’s Capture NX2 on YouTube!