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Can Lightroom Read NEF in-camera settings?

Mike K , Feb 03, 2007; 09:53 p.m.


Since Lightroom version 1 is coming out, and I'd be quite interested to use it for real wedding jobs. I've tried Beta 4 and liked the interface and ease of control. However, there's one problem I couldn't solve. It's whether Lightroom would read the in-camera settings already in the NEF file.

For example, if I set in my D200 the sharpening to be high, saturation high, etc, and I shoot RAW + Jpeg, I'll have 2 files. One "cooked" jpeg, and one NEF file. In Windows Picture Viewer or in photoshop when I open up the jpeg I'll see the jpeg as I've shot it. However, when I open up the NEF with Photoshop (Adobe Raw) or Lightroom, everything look pale and different. I figured it's because the sharpening, saturation, etc, wasn't loaded by those programs. If I open the NEF with Nikon Capture Editor, the photo would look the same as the jpeg, because it understands all the settings.

I shoot in RAW only in a typical wedding job, and I'd like to use Lightroom for editing the photos, but it'd be a waste of time if the in-camera settings are lost (I know that the white-balance can be set to "As-shot", so that doesn't count), and I have to re-do all the adjustments.

Is what I'm experiencing normal? Or is there any way to set the Lightroom so that I can read the settings in the NEF file?

Thank you very much.


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Ellis Vener , Feb 03, 2007; 10:14 p.m.

doubtful that it could use the sharpening setting. number 1 it would have to interpret what Nikon meant by "high sharpening" because #2.) Adobe usesvery different sharpening algorithms than Nikon (or Canon, etc.) do.

You can set up a custom default set of preset parameters for that camera and PsLr v1.0 could apaprently apply those to all D200 images or even ones shot with that specific camera body.

See the short video tutorials Irish photographer Sean McCormack has on his Lightroom blog: http://www.seanmcfoto.com/lightroom/

Adam Maas , Feb 03, 2007; 10:31 p.m.

Only Capture 4 and Capture NX can read those settings.

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:19 a.m.

Adam, not entirely true.

Mike, have a look at ToneUp. It can read NEF files for all Nikons (maybe not for D40 yet) and opens them with the jpg metadata active as well.


It also allows custom curves to be applied especially if you load their 'straight' curve into your camera. It also allows customised curves to be uploaded to the camera and there is an online database of many curves to try.

It also allows images to be edited as well as batch processing to jpg and tif if you know which curve you want to apply to a series of images.

I have a low contrast curve custom curve to produce jpg's uploaded to my D50 which compresses the highlights to reduce them blowing, and ups the shadows at the same time. One hit of the auto levels in Picasa and pretty much how i like it straight from the jpeg. If not I still have the NEF.

All this for $15. Bargain. There also useful forums as well.

Good luck

Darren Below are somw examples

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:21 a.m.


Nef out of camera - no metadata

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:22 a.m.


Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:22 a.m.


Nef out of camera - no metadata with auto levels

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:24 a.m.


Nef out of camera with metadata

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:25 a.m.


NEF to JPG in camera with custom curve (ie last image but straight from camera as jpg with auto levels

Darren Gold - Sydney, Australia , Feb 04, 2007; 09:30 a.m.

For some reason that last one hasn't recompressed very well and doesn't look too good as posted. Looks fine when displayed in image viewer at native res.

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