Nik Collection really useful?

I use PL for a number of years now and I’ m very satisfied with it! I do not use any Adobe products for a number of years now (and I don’ t want to). I do upgrade every year, without any second thoughts. So, hopefully this month to PL5 ?
What I never bought was the Nik Collection. I used this collection when it was still from Viveza, but never since (so long time ago). Not on my computer anymore.
I’ ve been asking around for experiences with this Nik Software and they are mixed; from " you can do everything just as well inside PL" / “support is dreadfull” and “should be integrated like Filmpack…now it’ s too cumbersome”, to: " fantastic" / “no way to get those Silver Efex results with PL alone” .
When I buy this Nik Collection, my main reason (maybe only reason), is Silver Efex. Cannot buy that separately, so for me Nik Collection can be pretty expensive.
What’ your opinion? How’ s your experience with Nik Collection (especially Silver Efex Pro)? Is it just to make things more simple/fast…for people who do not like post processing?
I’ m really curious what your opinion is. All comments are welcome!
Thank you.

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Nik Collection is not sold in pieces. You may have read my recommendation about Silver Efex “no way to get Silver Efex BW results with FilmPack”.

It’s true. I own Nik Collection and only use Silver Efex as none of the other plugins create better results for me than PhotoLab 4 and it’s more trouble to process in them.

  • For HDR and panorama I use Affinity Photo.
  • Perspective Efex cannot correct perspective any better than ViewPoint as ViewPoint corrects perspective perfectly.
  • Sharpener Pro. The built-in sharpening with Lens Sharpness (PhotoLab) and Fine Contrast (FilmPack Elite) is more than enough sharpening for me, I don’t like oversharpened, there are people who do get something out of Sharpener Pro. My images are already cut-glass sharp after Lens Sharpness at 0.65 and Fine Contrast at 20.

Color Efex does create very credible historic film emulations beyond what FilmPack can do. Whether more accurate film stock emulations is important to you, is a personal choice. Generally I’m not trying to recreate a historic film stock – I use the FilmPack corrections to achieve colours I like which communicates my vision.

Nik Collection is still worth it for Silver Efex. My main purpose with keeping up with Nik updates (I’ve paid for two if not three), was to help subsidise DxO and with the intention of paying for one or two updates over five years which would be substantial. The first DxO release was a bit of an anticlimax (rebranded Google versions), just pay again (I paid for mine in the day). I expected DxO to bill us less often and make more substantial improvements when they did.

I’m not at all happy that Nik v4 cuts off Photoshop CS6, Capture One, Lightroom 5 & 6, has compatibility issues still with Affinity Photo. Hence I have not upgraded to Nik v4. Cutting off compatibility just because DxO developers can is not a feature but makes DxO software less valuable to me. I cherish an open ecosystem with wide compatibility.

I’d complain about the System Requirements as well but Nik v4 squeaked in with Mojave 10.14 and Windows 8.1 compatibility to match Photolab 4. I’d be surprised if there’s any technical reason that Nik v4 couldn’t have supported High Sierra 10.13. Based on release date, PhotoLab 4 and Nik v4 should still have supported High Sierra. The decision not to meant they could not run on my 17-inch MacBook Pro.

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Thank you very much Alec. I’ ve read your comments on DPR as well. Very useful. As you know I’ m (also) mainly interested in Silver Efex. I’ve made some B/W presets in PL, but Silver Efex could be of help anyway. The best thing to do is ofcourse give it a (free) trial. I’ ll do that. I’ m on a 2019 27" iMac (most complete available then), and I use Affinity Photo as well (well, maybe for 5 or 10% of my images…HDR/pano/other things PL cannot do). PL4 (Elite) , is my most important “instrument” by far.
Thank you again!


I’ve written a lot about Silver Efex Pro (SEP)
Search results for 'silver efex user:wolfgang' - DxO Forums

SEP is my favourite tool for B&W.

While some effects can be accomplished within PL4 Elite + FP5 Elite, I prefer SEP’s interface where you have the ‘necessary’ settings at hand. In combination with a layer based pixel editor and masks you have all possibilities you need without loosing track.
Personally, I don’t like to save my (final) work in a virtual copy, which is relying on PL’s vulnerable database or the dop-file.
In PL/FP you also can start with presets and/or have to remember what kind of filter and how to use it. And depending on what edits you have done already – you are still working on the raw-file – PL can get tedious / tough to react. – Well, having used NIK software long before it was acquired by Google, I’m biased.

I don’t think the changes in SEP3 (Nik4 Collection) are worth it over the former SEP2 (Nik3 Collection).
Try yourself to find out. :slight_smile:


Thank you Wolfgang. I’ll check out your earlier posts. You say some effects may be accomplished with PL. So, some are not(?). As I said before, I use Affinity also. Is it possible to save Silver Efex self made presets (adjusted), inside Silver Efex alone, or is there a way to save these inside PL as well?

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In Windows they are saved in c:\Users\xxxxx\AppData\Local\DxO\Silver Efex Pro 2/3\UserPresets, for Mac OS I don’t know (Library …?). – I use versions 2 and 3.

When you start SEP2/3 from PhotoLab or AffinityPhoto, it acts more or less as standalone version,
from where you can use your custom presets. – I checked with SEP2 (for SEP3 I have none yet).

  • starting from PL you can save the rendered tiff-file with a ‘fall back option’ (for that very filter)
  • starting from AP you save the result as layer