Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

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Gewitty
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Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby Gewitty » Wed May 11, 2016 12:58 pm

I'm trying out XnView for converting Nikon NEF RAW files, prior to post processing with GIMP.

Everything seems to work fine, but I'm not certain about what I see when I load a NEF image. Am I seeing (and able to work on) the actual RAW image, or am I looking at the embedded JPG? If it's the JPG I'm seeing, then how can I get to the RAW image for processing?

If anyone can clarify those points, I'd be grateful.

lincal
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 5:33 pm

Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby lincal » Thu May 12, 2016 8:06 pm

Hi,
What you see is the embedded JPEG.
There is no way to see the RAW, as far as it is not a view-able bitmap file unless it is converted. This is the reason why there are RAW converters, and each of them give it's own conversion with the implemented rules. Furthermore, when you open the RAW file in Gimp, you probably don't see the same image than in XnViewMP, because the embedded JPEG is the RAW file converted by the camera itself.

Gewitty
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Joined: Wed May 11, 2016 12:48 pm

Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby Gewitty » Thu May 12, 2016 9:07 pm

Thanks for clarifying that, it's what I suspected.

XnView is still a pretty awesome and very useful app, as it enables the extraction and editing of the hi-res JPGs embedded in the RAW files. I already use RawTherapee and GIMP for managing RAW files, so XnView is another great addition to the toolbox.

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toyotadesigner
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Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby toyotadesigner » Fri May 13, 2016 5:36 pm

You can use Fast Raw Viewer (OS X) to preview Raw files at blazing speed.

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Gewitty
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Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby Gewitty » Fri May 13, 2016 5:51 pm

Unfortunately, Fast Raw Viewer only works on OS X and Windows, I'm a dedicated Linux user for many years now, so only tend to use Open Source apps.

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toyotadesigner
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Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby toyotadesigner » Fri May 13, 2016 5:58 pm

My apologies, I didn't know you are using Linux.

For Linux you can use DCRaw. Half size, JPEG output. Pretty fast on a modern machine.

hobbyists discuss new camera features
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lincal
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Joined: Thu May 12, 2016 5:33 pm

Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby lincal » Fri May 13, 2016 6:04 pm

toyotadesigner wrote:You can use Fast Raw Viewer (OS X) to preview Raw files at blazing speed.

If it's just a viewer, I do not see it as a worthy solution. Actually, it has it's own RAW converter, witch will no be the same than the RAW converter you will use for the development, that you will need anyway to get the final, usable, photo. In my experience, based on the use of several different RAW converters, the argument of seeing the real histogram is wrong, because it will also be calculated after RAW conversion and, trust me, RAW converters are not equal in this domain, especially if you have under or over-exposed photos!
At the end of the day, the only efficient method is to open the RAW files in your RAW converter ;)

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XnTriq
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Re: Nikon NEF files - What am I seeing?

Postby XnTriq » Sat May 14, 2016 4:00 am

FYI:

XnViewMP (Help » About » Credits) wrote:RAW function is based on dcraw from Dave Coffin - http://www.cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw/

m.Th. (RAW conversion in Viewer) wrote:
eet wrote:Great software and super fast - thanks!
Frequently use image viewers to make quick corrections and conversion of RAW files that do not warrant editing in a
more complete software - But, I am unable to figure out how to disable the automatic image correction applied to the RAW files when I enter the viewer to do editing.. I am opening an NEF file and it is automatically converted to RGB/8bit as well and the color balance and exposure are being automatically 'enhanced' for me.
Don't want that.

Please let me know if there are some options available.

(Using Linux Mint 14 KDE, 64bit)


Do you know that the thumbnail of the RAW file (the one which you see in the XnView's thumbnails, previews etc.) is different from the actual RAW image?


This isn't a problem with the XnView and/or dcraw (the raw engine behind XnViewMP) but with the way in which .NEF thumbnails are built by your camera which isn't an accurate representation of the RAW data. See here:

http://forums.adobe.com/message/4990383

...but if you want to work only with RAW embedded thumbnails (in fact, I do) go to Tools | Settings | View and choose for 'Camera RAW' setting the 'Embedded preview'

xnview (RAW support) wrote:
greenkoopa wrote:Back when I was working only with jpegs, I unchecked Settings>Thumbnail>Use embedded thumbnail to avoid the black horizontal bars. I think this now has the effect of preventing the raw file's preview image from being used to generate the thumbnail.

Yes, right. The RAW will be loaded and not embedded jpeg

As for Settings>View>Camera RAW. Setting this to embedded preview does't help. It behaves just like it was set to half size. And the half or full size raw image isn't the same as the output from ImageMagick or the Sony RAW Driver. How is it generated?

It's only for viewing not thumbnail



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