Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

Started Sep 10, 2018 | Discussions
skylon Contributing Member • Posts: 602
Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

I've been out of the loop for ~3 years and finally want to get back into shooting semi-professionally. The last go-round I was shooting with a Nikon D700 FX and a D7100 DX. I was editing with Capture NX, which I loved.

Currently, I have the D750 FX alone, and have never upgraded to software that supports it's RAW files. I am getting a D500 DX later this week, and I am looking for software that does all or most of what Capture NX was capable of (I had NX-D briefly, but never got the hang of it.) I am working on a Windows PC. I don't want to use any app that is cloud-based or pay-per-month. Is Photoscape X a good option? Raw Therapee?

As for lenses for the D500. Right now I have the Nikon 16-35mm f4 FX, and the 24-120 f4 FX. I plan on adding the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 (I had an older version of it when I had the D200/D300, and I loved it) for the very wide end. What would be a good option for the longer end up to 200mm (300mm on DX)? The Nikon 2.8 lenses are out of my price range, what are the better not-too-expensive options from Sigma/Tamron? One lens I am looking at is a used Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR. Thoughts?

I shoot as a generalist...I've done a few weddings (hated it), a lot of events/parties, some portrait/fashion work, and a lot of road races/track & field, and some work for online newspapers. So, a mishmash.

If anyone can give me some feedback on a good lens setup and a good photo editing program I'd appreciate it....thanks.

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Just Shoot It.

 skylon's gear list:skylon's gear list
Nikon D750
greenmanphoto Senior Member • Posts: 2,909
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

Skylon,

Welcome back! Good choice with the D500. It's a GREAT camera!

skylon wrote:

I've been out of the loop for ~3 years and finally want to get back into shooting semi-professionally. The last go-round I was shooting with a Nikon D700 FX and a D7100 DX. I was editing with Capture NX, which I loved.

You can still get current versions of Capture NX, as well as NX-D, which would probably work pretty well for you, if you're used to Capture NX. I can't comment too much on this, as I've not done much with it. It didn't seem very stable, and seemed to slow things down, on my iMac the last time I tried it, a few years back.

Currently, I have the D750 FX alone, and have never upgraded to software that supports it's RAW files. I am getting a D500 DX later this week, and I am looking for software that does all or most of what Capture NX was capable of (I had NX-D briefly, but never got the hang of it.) I am working on a Windows PC. I don't want to use any app that is cloud-based or pay-per-month. Is Photoscape X a good option? Raw Therapee?

I have been considering Photo Ninja, and will probably download a free trial again to try it out. I had downloaded a trial before, but made the mistake of doing so in the middle of a busy time for me, and I didn't really give it a try before the 30 days ran out. http://www.picturecode.com

Others like Phase One's Capture One (https://www.phaseone.com/en/Products/Software/Capture-One-Pro/Features.aspx) and DxO PhotoLab (https://www.dxo.com/us/photography/photo-software/dxo-photolab). Both have 30-day free trials, and both have distinct advantages and disadvantages. Up to you as to which are important enough. Another program that's new and gaining some advocates is Luminar, by Skylum. They USED to be Mac-only, but they've since changed that and began offering versions for Windows, as well.

As for lenses for the D500. Right now I have the Nikon 16-35mm f4 FX, and the 24-120 f4 FX. I plan on adding the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 (I had an older version of it when I had the D200/D300, and I loved it) for the very wide end. What would be a good option for the longer end up to 200mm (300mm on DX)? The Nikon 2.8 lenses are out of my price range, what are the better not-too-expensive options from Sigma/Tamron? One lens I am looking at is a used Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR. Thoughts?

I think you'll probably need a mid-range lens, as well, and since you're buying new, get the kit with the 16-80 f2.8-f4. It's a pretty darn good lens, and is well worth the kit price. As a standalone purchase, though, it's overpriced, IMHO. So, definitely consider the kit for that lens.

As for a long telephoto, the Tamron 70-200 G2 is a GREAT lens. I have the G1 version, and I compared it with the Nikon 70-200 f4 at my semi-local camera store. I shot with both inside and outside the store. The store has a ceiling painted a matte black, and the Tamron had an easier time focusing there than the Nikon. It acquired focus quicker and seemed more accurate, as well. I also took them both outside and shot oncoming traffic with both. Again, the Tamron seemed quicker and more accurate. At that time, there was a rebate on the lens, and they were about the same price before the rebate. Add in the rebate, the fact it includes a tripod foot, and is an f2.8 versus an f4, and it was a no-brainer, for me. I've been VERY happy with the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VC, and the new one is even nicer. It's probably not as cheap as a used Nikon f4, but it would be new, have a tripod foot, and be an f2.8 lens.

I shoot as a generalist...I've done a few weddings (hated it), a lot of events/parties, some portrait/fashion work, and a lot of road races/track & field, and some work for online newspapers. So, a mishmash.

If anyone can give me some feedback on a good lens setup and a good photo editing program I'd appreciate it....thanks.

Good luck, and again, welcome to the D500 club!

Sam

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Sam B.
D200, 16-85mm, 35-135mm, Sigma 10-20 f3.5 N8008s, Gitzo 2531, Induro DM-01 ballhead
Certified Texas Master Naturalist
Proud WSSA Member #260!
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 greenmanphoto's gear list:greenmanphoto's gear list
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OP skylon Contributing Member • Posts: 602
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

Thank you, Sam! Capture NX was great (is still great), but the last generation that it worked for editing RAW files was with the D700. I think every Nikon DSLR post that time was no longer handled by Capture NX.

I will DEFINITELY look at the Tamron!

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Just Shoot It.

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Nikon D750
Robert Cohen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,032
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice
1

Look for Capture NX-D on Nikon's web site.  I believe it's current for any Nikon DSLR you'd buy today.

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--Bob

 Robert Cohen's gear list:Robert Cohen's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +4 more
greenmanphoto Senior Member • Posts: 2,909
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

skylon wrote:

Thank you, Sam! Capture NX was great (is still great), but the last generation that it worked for editing RAW files was with the D700. I think every Nikon DSLR post that time was no longer handled by Capture NX.

I will DEFINITELY look at the Tamron!

Skylon,

You're welcome!

As for Capture, as someone else stated, and as I indicated, you would want to look at Capture NX-D, and NOT the older versions of NX, if you opt for Nikon's software. I've heard that Photo Ninja, one of the programs I listed, is regarded as having pretty true color rendition for Nikon NEF files. That's one of the reasons I'm wanting to try it, myself. Others have varying degrees of true rendition to Nikon's own colors, with many saying that Adobe's is one of the worse ones. Not THE worst, by far, but also not the best.

At this point, I use Lightroom Version 6, but am looking for a new program, as well. Photo Ninja, Capture One, and DxO are the top ones on my list.

Sam

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Sam B.
D200, 16-85mm, 35-135mm, Sigma 10-20 f3.5 N8008s, Gitzo 2531, Induro DM-01 ballhead
Certified Texas Master Naturalist
Proud WSSA Member #260!
www.flickr.com/photos/sibeardjr
www.doormouse-editions.com

 greenmanphoto's gear list:greenmanphoto's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon D850 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR +13 more
DaveMC Regular Member • Posts: 186
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

I am returning after many years absence (although I have browsed through fairly regularly and learned a lot) and noticed this thread and thought I have some relevant experience on conversion software I could share.

I too used NX2 but had to find something else when I purchased the D500, I didn't want to apply the hack that was going around a couple of years ago.

What I settled on was using the free Nikon View NX-i and Capture NX-D combination for transferring my photos, initial review and culling, and then performing the raw conversion. (right click on your selected photo in View NX-i to start NX-D using the "open with" menu choice).

Just like NX2, NX-D opens the NEF file ( assuming you will be shooting raw) and applies the camera settings so what you see at first is what you shot. If you like what you see right click and select "convert Files...." and you can save to a Jpeg or Tiff through the dialog box.

You can use NX-D to perform basic adjustments or if you so wish you can set up an "open with application" in "edit preferences" so that on a right click, and selection of "open with" from the menu, your editing software of choice will open up with a TIFF file that NX-D has created with the camera setting, and with any adjustments applied, as the starting point for editing.

You can set up several preferences  that can include NX2 if you wish. Since you will be editing a TIFF file the adjustments are baked in unless your editing software will save it "non-destructively" (in a psd file for example). Using NX2 at this stage you are left with just the finished product that you have saved.

I did not like NX-D at first , I purchased a larger monitor that made things much easier to select menu items, now I quite like it and find this workflow fairly seamless from card reader to finished product. (I do not use NX2 at all now, I ended up purchasing Affinity Photo  that I launch out of NX-D,  and use the NIK plugins).

Hope this helps and good luck finding a solution that works for you.

Dave.

 DaveMC's gear list:DaveMC's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 10-24mm f/3-5-4.5G ED Tamron SP AF 90mm F/2.8 Di Macro Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm F4G ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 80-400mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR +5 more
Rosember Senior Member • Posts: 1,995
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

And lo' and behold what was just announced on NR:
New Version .

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Pentax K20D Pentax Q Pentax K-3 Pentax smc DA* 55mm F1.4 SDM Pentax smc DA 35mm F2.8 Macro Limited +4 more
Robert Cohen Veteran Member • Posts: 4,032
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

Interesting.  Seems as though the software developer for NX-D is re-engineering some of the functionality of the control points used in Nik technology.

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--Bob

 Robert Cohen's gear list:Robert Cohen's gear list
Nikon D300 Nikon D700 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR +4 more
Wahrsager
Wahrsager Senior Member • Posts: 1,580
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

skylon wrote:

I've been out of the loop for ~3 years and finally want to get back into shooting semi-professionally. The last go-round I was shooting with a Nikon D700 FX and a D7100 DX. I was editing with Capture NX, which I loved.

Currently, I have the D750 FX alone, and have never upgraded to software that supports it's RAW files. I am getting a D500 DX later this week, and I am looking for software that does all or most of what Capture NX was capable of (I had NX-D briefly, but never got the hang of it.) I am working on a Windows PC. I don't want to use any app that is cloud-based or pay-per-month. Is Photoscape X a good option? Raw Therapee?

As for lenses for the D500. Right now I have the Nikon 16-35mm f4 FX, and the 24-120 f4 FX. I plan on adding the Sigma 10-20 f3.5 (I had an older version of it when I had the D200/D300, and I loved it) for the very wide end. What would be a good option for the longer end up to 200mm (300mm on DX)? The Nikon 2.8 lenses are out of my price range, what are the better not-too-expensive options from Sigma/Tamron? One lens I am looking at is a used Nikon 70-200mm f4 VR. Thoughts?

I shoot as a generalist...I've done a few weddings (hated it), a lot of events/parties, some portrait/fashion work, and a lot of road races/track & field, and some work for online newspapers. So, a mishmash.

If anyone can give me some feedback on a good lens setup and a good photo editing program I'd appreciate it....thanks.

I've been using Capture One for years and I'm not looking back.

 Wahrsager's gear list:Wahrsager's gear list
Nikon D4S Nikon D500 Nikon D5 Nikon Z6 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 400mm f/2.8E FL ED VR +27 more
mjevans Regular Member • Posts: 473
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

I used Capture NX2 for years and was really upset when Nikon dropped it and especially when it was replaced by a rather flaky NXD which could not read all the edits from NX2. NX2 won't read D500 raw files although there is a hack to edit some of the metadata in a D500 raw to make it editable in NX2.

I played for a while with various open source software and some of it was very good but none of them produced the rendition of NXD. After various improvements in NXD (and now even colour control points in the latest release) I find it very usuable and can do the majority of what I did with NX2.

Recently I've been playing with On1 and I'm liking what I've found. It is a very capable bit of software once you take the time to get to know it (plenty of videos about). It is probably the closest to photoshop in terms of features.

Martin

 mjevans's gear list:mjevans's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS20 Nikon D7200 Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G +12 more
Mike H Contributing Member • Posts: 940
and about time

The change from NX-2 to NX-D was a change for the worst, from a great program to a stripped down only semi useful freebie was not a good idea. The only good thing about it was its "free". As in the cost was hidden in the camera price. I would have much rather paid as much as $100 for an upgraded NX-3.

As it is the only use until now for me was to use NX-D as a converter to TIFF so NEX (D500 Raws)  can be processed in NX-2 then saved as older NEX (D300 era RAW)

A workable but annoying way to deal with corporate stupid or cheapness.

Well Im off to download the new NX-D version and see how useful it really is.

 Mike H's gear list:Mike H's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 55-300mm f/4.5-5.6G ED VR Sigma 10-20mm F3.5 EX DC HSM Nikon AF-Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D ED Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-140mm F3.5-5.6G ED VR +1 more
Tony Beach Forum Pro • Posts: 11,967
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

greenmanphoto wrote:

As for a long telephoto, the Tamron 70-200 G2 is a GREAT lens. I have the G1 version, and I compared it with the Nikon 70-200 f4 at my semi-local camera store. I shot with both inside and outside the store. The store has a ceiling painted a matte black, and the Tamron had an easier time focusing there than the Nikon. It acquired focus quicker and seemed more accurate, as well. I also took them both outside and shot oncoming traffic with both. Again, the Tamron seemed quicker and more accurate. At that time, there was a rebate on the lens, and they were about the same price before the rebate. Add in the rebate, the fact it includes a tripod foot, and is an f2.8 versus an f4, and it was a no-brainer, for me. I've been VERY happy with the Tamron 70-200 f2.8 VC, and the new one is even nicer. It's probably not as cheap as a used Nikon f4, but it would be new, have a tripod foot, and be an f2.8 lens.

I've been reasonably impressed with Tamron lately. However, I recently tried the older version of their 24-70/2.8 VC on my D800 and while its image quality is pretty good the AF was not what I was looking for in that zoom range and I much prefer the AF performance of the old Nikkor 28-70/2.8D even though its image quality (my samples at least) isn't quite as good across the whole frame. From what you are writing the Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC sounds pretty confident, and it's been my experience that AF acquisition and tracking at longer focal lengths is a bit less challenging than what I am after on the mid-range zoom (FX mid-range that is, though I have plans to use it one day on a D500, when I can afford a D500). From samples I've seen of the Tamron 70-200/2.8 VC its bokeh looks pretty nice too, so probably not a bad choice. That said, I have the original version of the Nikkor 70-200/2.8 which I sometimes attach to a TC-14eII, and I find it very satisfactory and also it's not too expensive to get one of those (beware of a lot of sample variation though, and I have had issues with both copies I've owned out at the edges of even the DX frame).

Tony Beach Forum Pro • Posts: 11,967
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

skylon wrote:

I am working on a Windows PC. I don't want to use any app that is cloud-based or pay-per-month.

I consider $10 a month not to be that bad, especially considering how much it used to cost to upgrade Photoshop, and I get Lightroom too even though I never use that program.

visualenvy Regular Member • Posts: 177
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice
1

How deep do you want to dive back in?

My suggestion would be the Tamon 10-24mm (the newer one) and the 150-600mm G2 or 100-400mm. They will get your feet wet and then see if that satisfies you for a while. Other options from there would be 70-200mm or 300mm/500mm PF.

 visualenvy's gear list:visualenvy's gear list
Nikon D40X Nikon D700 Nikon D5200 Sony a6000 Nikon D500 +13 more
stokfoto Forum Member • Posts: 66
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice
1

Tony Beach wrote:

skylon wrote:

I am working on a Windows PC. I don't want to use any app that is cloud-based or pay-per-month.

I consider $10 a month not to be that bad, especially considering how much it used to cost to upgrade Photoshop, and I get Lightroom too even though I never use that program.

Agree. Used to be $800 to $1000 per version. I have had em all. $10 a month with upgrades is a no brainer. I bet everybody here spends a minimum of 10 bucks a month on stupid stuff. Hell, I bet alot spend $5  a day on just coffee.

Tony Beach Forum Pro • Posts: 11,967
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

stokfoto wrote:

Tony Beach wrote:

skylon wrote:

I am working on a Windows PC. I don't want to use any app that is cloud-based or pay-per-month.

I consider $10 a month not to be that bad, especially considering how much it used to cost to upgrade Photoshop, and I get Lightroom too even though I never use that program.

Agree. Used to be $800 to $1000 per version. I have had em all. $10 a month with upgrades is a no brainer. I bet everybody here spends a minimum of 10 bucks a month on stupid stuff. Hell, I bet alot spend $5 a day on just coffee.

What I spend on things like Netflix, Spotify, and my Internet connection (and soon to be reconnecting with cable television for basketball season -- go Warriors) was also a justification in my mind. Yes, pretty stupid stuff at that, and it definitely puts the expense of Photoshop in perspective.

maljo@inreach.com Veteran Member • Posts: 7,745
Get the current version of Capture 1

You'll enjoy it as much as the prior version.

I recently bit the bullet and bought the subscription to Lightroom.  I have 1.3 million images in Lightroom and did not want to switch to other software, but I fully understand the desire to avoid subscriptions.

maljo

 maljo@inreach.com's gear list:maljo@inreach.com's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Nikon D500 Nikon D850
cosmicnode Veteran Member • Posts: 3,968
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

visualenvy wrote:

How deep do you want to dive back in?

My suggestion would be the Tamon 10-24mm (the newer one)

I would also reccomend this. I also use the 24-120 on the D500, good range and mine is sharp. Currently thinking about the new 70-300 the full frame version, instead of the 70-200.

and the 150-600mm G2 or 100-400mm. They will get your feet wet and then see if that satisfies you for a while. Other options from there would be 70-200mm or 300mm/500mm PF.

There are a lot of good options!

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Mike.
"I say we take off and nuke the entire site from orbit, it's the only way to be sure."

 cosmicnode's gear list:cosmicnode's gear list
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dacrema Contributing Member • Posts: 803
Re: Resurrecting My Photography--Lenses and Software Advice

cosmicnode wrote:

Currently thinking about the new 70-300 the full frame version, instead of the 70-200

I have this lens and it works nice on the D500.  Basicely a 105-450 equivalent on the D500. I use it for taking pictures of our dog at play in a field. It is a little short for most wildlife but would be fine at the zoo and it is very light.

 dacrema's gear list:dacrema's gear list
Nikon D500 Nikon Z7 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED Nikon AF-S Micro-Nikkor 105mm F2.8G IF-ED VR Tokina AT-X Pro 11-16mm f/2.8 DX +3 more
Leonard Shepherd
Leonard Shepherd Forum Pro • Posts: 17,617
Re: Software - I suggest starting with NXD
1

Why?

You seem to be starting from nothing.

Its free

For free software it is superb.

It opens RAW files with all in camera settings intact - "pay for" software does not. This can be a much quicker way of working.

When first opened images IMO seem a little sharper in NXD.

The latest NXD can do all I need with about 90% of my images.

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Leonard Shepherd
In lots of ways good photography is much more about how equipment is used rather than the equipment being used.

 Leonard Shepherd's gear list:Leonard Shepherd's gear list
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