Why DNG vs NEF

Started Jan 3, 2011 | Discussions thread
Robin Casady
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Re: Robin, I have gone back for better Noise processing in LR v3.3
In reply to Hawaii-geek, Jan 5, 2011

I use Lightroom 3 with NEFs. It is easy. No need to go through the step of converting and deleting. Exporting as JPEG or PSD is just as easy as it would be for DNG. I do fewer steps and I retain more options.

If the Nik/Nikon contract expired and a competent software company took over NX2, I'd be able to use it. You would not have that option.

Hawaii-geek wrote:
Robin,

I will say this.

When Lightroom "improved" it's Noise handeling (NR) in LR v3.3 ... I am guessing a stop better on the D700.

  • I did go back a Re-process a few of my DNG files that was over iso1600.

But, below ... it would have been a waste of time ... it was pretty clean already.

for me, it's so fast and easy to export out a JPG at any RES. in Lightroom ... I only keep DNG/PSD files.
Like a negative. You just never know.

and I am total confident that DNG has anything I would use , to re-process the file ... if I had to. ... which is rare. but, happens.

HG

Robin Casady wrote:

If you are just shooting jobs and will never go back to them in the future, I can see the point, but in that case, why keep the DNG?

If you are shooting images you may use in the future, having the NEF increases your options. As I said, you don't know what the future will bring. There maybe significant advances in conversion software by other than Adobe. The DNG spec may get radically modified and new software not handle the old format.

I've gone back to old images as I've learned more, and as converters have improved.

Hawaii-geek wrote:
NEF's, keeping something you never use

This is interesting ... because I have never felt the need to get any information from a NEF that I did not have in a DNG.

and then, if the image is really important to me ... I would have probably worked it in a PSD file. So, I also have another copy there too.

When I really think about it ... how many times have you gone back on a RAW file.

  • and do you really believe the DIFFERANCE between a DNG file and NEF will be a deal breaker???

Some client will say ... Hmmm , did you process that RAW from a NEF? , it looks like you lost some bits of data.

imho, I think it is enough that I am "already" saving my RAW data at 14-bits. and going out to PS CS5 in 16-bit ProPhoto color space (native to LR)

any bits of data that I lose from a NEF to DNG conversion ... I probably have not missed , and certainly did not notice.

Any BIG changes that I "really" notice ... happens AFTER the RAW conversion to DNG ... in LR or CS5. Maybe that's just me.

For me, IF, you are saving your RAW files at "16-bit" , you probably plan on doing some CHANGES ... and those changes are what is important to you.

and you (me actually) might not even be concerned with what is "real" or perfectly real (but, it helps, as a starting point only).

You just need to get it in there FAST , with a FAST workflow ... and have it Malleable , so you can shape it to your vision.

I am a "Shoot To The Right" RAW shooter ... so, my OOC JPGs is not what I end up with.

HG

Robin Casady wrote:

The networking aspect of DNG is interesting if you have a work group, or personally work with several computers.

Trashing the NEFs seems incredibly foolish to me. You are burning bridges. Unless you have no interest in archiving images, I can't see why you would trash the NEFs. You are just limiting your future options. Who knows what will happen in the future. Best to keep all options open.

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