Clarification needed--does Nik 3 work with PL3?

Advertising for NIk 3 update only mentions Photoshop and Lightroom.

Does it work with Photolab 3? Is the upgrade worth it for non-Adobe users?


Yes, it certainly does - if your PhotoLab 3 is up-to-date. Strange that the release notes only mention PhotoLab as an afterthought, and not PhotoLab 3 in particular.

The compatibility is similarly suggested at the bottom of these pages:

Is it worth it for non-Adobe users? I think we must each decide for ourselves. I suppose it’s especially compelling if you don’t already have ViewPoint and FilmPack. Like all software, it also has certain problems and limitations that affect how much I use it. Even though I have the whole Photo Suite, I use the Nik Collection sometimes and would rather have it than not.

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You can use the Nik Collection 3 non-destructively (except for Perspective Efex) from within ProtoLab 3. Here is the link with instructions. Perspective Efex is a renamed version of the Viewpoint 3 standalone program but without the license to activate the Viewpoint palette in PhotoLab.



What is the reason Perspective Efex is not non-destructively? It is in PL so why not in Nik?
Basicly these plug-ins are stand-alone programs. You can open them from everywhere if the host program has a function like “open with” or from the command-line. Problems with other programs arise when they can’t read the ouput of the Nik3 files.


Excellent info and links. Thanks so much.

Just what I needed. Thanks. Off to upgrade!

This was EXACTLY my question for months! :open_mouth:
That could be an important DxO marketing improvement: I bought DxO Photolab 3 to stay out of the Adobe-world…

What I am looking for really is a replacement for my Nikon Capture NX2 software … zombieware for years since NIK was sold… That means that I am also looking for the U-POINT technology in the first place … which was the centerpiece of NX2.

Should I now buy Nik Collection 3 and be as close as I can get to my trusted zombieware ?

Hi, AH …

You say you already own PL3 - but you don’t say whether it’s the Elite version, with integrated View Point & FilmPack … but, I will assume so for now.

The Nik Collection includes a group of tools - some of which are duplicated within PL (such as Perspective adjustments, Noise reduction, Body+Lens-specific sharpening, B&W conversions, etc); with the benefit that you don’t need to export to the Nik tool to use these features and you thereby retain a complete and uncomplicated non-destructive workflow (by keeping everything within PL).

Given that, the one Nik tool that I don’t find is replicated within PL is Color Efex Pro (CEP) … That’s the only Nik tool that I regularly use (an occasional other is Silver Efex Pro - - all others I consider to be redundant) … For me, tho, it’s worthwhile owning the Nik Collection just for CEP alone.

Note: If you are using CEP then there’s a simple means of maintaining a non-destructive workflow between it and PL (albeit, with some minor manual steps) that does not involve using the new, but cumbersome, “loaded TIFF” method. See here for details.

Hope that helps …

Regards, John M

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For clarity: I wouldn’t say that the functionality of many of the Nik Collection tools is “duplicated” or “replicated” in PhotoLab. The tasks are similar (remove noise, sharpen, emulate color and black-and-white films, perform local adjustments using U-Point Technology), yet are approached differently (especially if you’re working with RAW). For instance, Dfine’s noise reduction is very different from the noise reduction available in PhotoLab. Nik and FilmPack film emulations are different and come with different toolsets. The exception is the new Perspective Efex in Nik 3, which is functionally identical to DxO ViewPoint 3.

Hello Greg. Could you tell us more about the differences between Dfine and noise-cancelling PL?

Dfine 2 in Nik reduces noise in ways that are different from PhotoLab. It can do it either globally or locally using control points or color filters:

In PhotoLab, you have two global methods of noise reduction: a quick method that works with any file and PRIME which is usually better, is applied intelligently - that is, only where the software detects noise, and only works with RAW because of how early it is applied in the rendering process:

I find that there are certain fixed-noise patterns that Dfine 2 is uniquely capable of handling. For most noise, I prefer using PRIME with RAW files. With PRIME, you also have options to reduce/remove moiré and mazing artifacts.

There are tutorials available online if you need a closer look at how these tools work.


Thank you Egregius.