Maurik Holtrop , Sep 21, 2006; 01:41 p.m.
I am not sure about Photoshop CS2, I use CS. For the CS version of photoshop I know you can get a plugin for Nikon NEF from Nikon. I would assume that this plugin uses the same conversion algorithms as PP. You don't get the same fine control over the conversion process as you get with the Adobe RAW plugin.
I tried out Capture NX and for some operations I like the program better than Photoshop. For other operations, especially working with multiple layers, I would still prefer Photoshop. You may consider these programs complementary.
I found that the conversion from NEF to TIFF is different rather than "better" in Capture. Taking the same raw file, you will not get identical TIFF files with these applications. You need to do some fine tuning of one or the other to get the results to be the same. I don't think this is really a problem. If you want the results to be the same "as you would have gotten had you taken the photo as jpg", then I would use Nikon Capture NX, since it mirrors the settings on your camera better.
Hope this helps.