Nik Collection or Filmpack

I have installed the trial version and having experimented with the extra contrast sliders I understand what you mean!


Plus one here, after only 6 months of PL+FP+VP experience.
I gave Nik a try, but didn’t find enough time to have a good look at it. Integration with PhotoLab is primitive, making it too distracting for me to use. I was mainly interested in SilverEfex but found FilmPack good enough for B&W and I don’t do B&W too often. Maybe I was too quick to drop the Nik.

IMHO, some FilmPack tools should be included in PhotoLab, the first two of the following being a must for me:

  • Fine contrast
  • Creative Vignetting
  • Blur
  • Grain
  • Luminosity Mask for Local Adjustments
  • Instant Watermarking, but this one seems to be included in PL7 Elite, although it’s still in FP palette (?).

Creative Vignetting, Blur, and Grain are on a basic level, but still useful. Use Fine Contrast for portraits and to bring out the details in highlights or shadows e.g. in landscapes and nature photography – for some photos the three sliders can make a real difference.

I use FP presets and renderings for experiments and learning, perhaps to “steal” some ideas, not that often for exports (yet).

I don’t use Frame, Texture, or Light Leak, which look quite primitive, like some misplaced plastic. Maybe some find them useful, but for this kind of work there are far better tools around. I don’t use the FP Filter tool too much because I don’t like it for color, while for B&W got used to work with Channel Mixer and some FP renderings.


Completely agree with my predecessors.
I use FilmPack’s fine contrast (advanced settings by tones) for each image: I like the subtle rendering they give.
When converting an image to B&W, I often start with a B&W film simulation and then add a colour filter (to lighten skin tones or darken the sky). This gives me a better result than with the channel mixer.


Yes, the extra fine contrast sliders that FP activates in PL are invaluable.


I too have NIK 6 and use it occasionally for certain types of portraits, CEFX. You are correct that FP 7 has eclipsed SEFX. I used to hold that SEFX was the best B&W program around, but lately I find that there is nothing in SEFX that can’t at least be replicated in FP 7.

I’m Not going to get into the " Which program should have the useful bits that the other programs have." debate, I see both sides. Why you guys want what you want, and also why DxO does what they do. I just buy and enjoy the software and don’t worry about it any further.

While Nik has unique features, the one reason to not use it is, that one needs to convert images from RAW to preferably 16bit TIFF (or JPEG, but one wouldn’t want to do that) and break the RAW workflow, all while flooding the drive with gigantic files.

FilmPack adds fine contrast sliders to PhotoLab…and these sliders are worth the greater part of FP licensing costs.

I do use Nik every now and then, but usually for about three of the hundreds of features. You wouldn’t want to have to buy a Peterbilt for getting your daily bottle of milk from the grocery store around the corner.


Interesting. You can’t combine several FP Filter settings (unless you go through intermediate file(s), not for me), while using Channel Mixer you can fine-tune the filter in more “dimensions” (OK, mostly only 2-3 channels being important, but still…). At least on the surface, you have more freedom using Channel Mixer than Filter. Why do you get better results using ‘Filter’ alone?

BTW, what about making HSL tool work in B&W? It seems it (currently) doesn’t.

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Good question, for which you will not find good answer here. Too private, I think.

Not having installed the FP app at the moment, I did this simple proof of concept in PL:

From left to right

  • original image
  • desaturated with HSL
  • increased luminance of the roses red/pink hues
  • decreased luminance of yellows and greens (subtle, possibly hard to see)
  • resaturated the rose and shifted its colour

All of the above was done with the HSL tool exclusively. It doesn’t work though, if you used e.g. a B&W rendering to start with.

Try the above with the FP app. I suppose that it’ll work as in PL.

As for Nik vs. FP, I’d still prefer FP over Nik (if I was forced to choose one), but currently, I’m using neither of them and do everything in PhotoLab that I don’t do in Lightroom. Clicking through Nik and FP presets is not so interesting imo.

True, & on top of that you get the luminosity mask in the local adjustments tab, I use it a lot as it’s possible to combine it with the brush &/or eraser. + more FX possibilities. I got PL7 with the Filmpack & Viewpoint, all great tools.

indeed, I keep forgetting about it because luminosity mask serves my needs better in many cases - If I can’t do what I want in Lightroom that is. Lightroom is currently reworking its LA toolset, and I’m not feeling at home with it yet.

Maybe because I was already using colour filters with filmpack before DxO added the channel mixer. Also, I miss the orange channel in the channel mixer. In Lightroom, this was the one I found most useful for skin tones.

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I meant using PL with FP license.
It seems that the processing pipeline looks like …-> Channel Mixer → Rendering → HSL->… . So if you switch to B&W renderings, the HSL will not work (“you can’t saturate grey”). If HSL was before the Rendering in the pipeline, we would have better control over creating “digital color filter” for B&W.

Plus one here. Now I understand your point. So we can use some Orange Filter plus some Channel Mixer settings, but it would be better to have everything in one place.

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Thanks for the helpful response.

Yes, that is why I wrote

HSL is not really meant for B&W, but it can be used instead of other tools like e.g. renderings or FP presets.

Proper B&W conversion is not simply achieved by desaturating all colours, but the sensitivities of B&W in respect to colour ranges and filtering can be approximated with the HSL tool.

You are probably correct. Too subjective.

A little example of why I love using FilmPack. Same image -

In colour…

In B&W…

Just printed the B&W to A2 size

And, no, the B&W is far from a straight desaturation

Ive have suite bought from v1.2 and ive investigated the then free given essential version against elite suite. Essential was nice for it’s lensmodule but frustrating in denosing and contrast/tone control. (i was used to Silkypix’s Panasonic labeled developer which was great in color and toning.)
The presets who named the Filmpack are fun but i almost never use them.
Yes for searching for a certain look or taste which i didn’t know i liked it until i see the preset. I used NIK’s monochrome/b&w mostly for my b&w output.

The extra tools you get i use every image.

But does it change my perspective of making a image?
I do not think enough in front of a certain scene benefits of a FP preset.
I just try to take a image as good as it can be done in the circumstances.
And see afterwards how to deal with imperfections.

Nikcollection, well if you are very used to use it? Then pureraw and nikcollection could be also a option. ( i am not, i just dip my big toe in that collection.)

Ive you can affort it buy the suite elite version. The future update of PL7 to v8 will take over the earlier bought FP and VP so that’s nice.

‘software aquisition syndrome’ - yep, I got that too :slight_smile: