Nik Silver Efex Pro (Nik Collection 5) vs. FilmPack 6

What are the major differences between these two pieces of software?
Thank you

FilmPack can be used standalone and works on raw files as well as TiFF and Jpegs. It also integrates into DxO PhotoLab. The Nik Collection is eight different modules, each with a specific range of purposes and integrates as filters into PhotoShop but not PhotoLab. The Nik Collection will not recognize or work with raw files.

Most of the Nik Collection modules contain dozens of modifiable filters. to instantly create different "looks’ for you images which can be altered as needed. FilmPack does not contain similar filters but instead has around 100 modifiable color and black and white film types as well as the tools to modify them.

When used within PhotoLab Elite, the added features of FilmPack wil allow you to create anything that is available in the Nik collection, and more, but it requires greater effort since FilmPack does not have filters similar to the Nik Collection to use as a starting point in your edits

I am primarily a PhotoLab Elite user and also have licenses for both FilmPack Elite and the Nik Collection, and use both for a variety of purposes.


For what its worth, the free Google version of the NIK Collection is still able to be downloaded elsewhere and is a great piece of software. There is a big following that still use this version and you can find many image examples on the web. Did I mention it’s free?

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Most of us here are aware of that. Many people are still happily using it. Of course, it doesn’t really address @_Karl’s question.


You didn’t mention whether you are a PhotoLab user, Karl (?)

If so, then there’s actually quite a bit of duplication in end-result functionality in the two products. For example, as a PL user, the only Nik tools relevant to me are;

  • Nik Color Efex … definitely
  • Silver Efex … maybe, if you don’t have Film Pack
  • Analog Efex … maybe, depending on your needs / aims

All else; don’t bother (if you have PL).

Regarding SEP versus FP - - which I understand is your main question;

  • If you’re a PL user then I’d recommend FP … because it integrates very well with PL, and it will handle your B&W needs.

  • If you’re not a PL user then it’s down to your preference between SEP and FP … and you can download evaluation versions to determine that for yourself.


to add my 2 ct

Using NIK since more than 15 years I’m biased, of course … and I still prefer SilverEfexPro for B&W.

BUT, it depends on your software enviroment, your workflow, if you are comfortable with to work on TIFF files etc. … Personally I’ve even added the old version.


SilverEfex is head and shoulders above any of the BW profiles in FilmPack. SilverEfex is also designed around working with BW images so the workflow to create first class BW images is much faster. Here’s a recent set, all processed first in PhotoLab 6 for exposure and then in SilverEfex for tone: SC Kittsee falls to a fit UFC Pama in Drei-Ecke Derby

I’d hate to try to create that many good-looking BW images in FilmPack at a sitting. For what it’s worth, I’m still using SilverEfex 2 from Nik 3. All the issues with Nik 4 and Nik 5 scared me off. I also prefer the Control Points with simple controls on the image and not face all the controls in the sidebar every time. The simple genius of Nik still wins me over. If I wanted an overly complicated interface, I’d use RAWtherapee for free. Don’t fix what isn’t broken.

This is on an M1 Max Mac vis Rosetta. The original images were 45 MP (before cropping) from a Nikon D850 and there are no performance issues.

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Seemed as though Karl was looking for options. I gave him one that you did not mention in your post. Remember, not everyone here uses Photolab which you can see from the other posts in this thread.

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Really great set of images.

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Thanks for your kind words about the soccer photo set.

The original Nik/Google version which is free does not run smoothly on recent versions of macOS. For Windows users, particularly those still running Windows 7 or perhaps even 8, it’s certainly a viable choice. I don’t mind giving DxO the money for even the latest version (although Nik paid upgrades come too often for the improvements made, it should be a two year cycle). What bothers me is that DxO is restricting the integrations and making the software harder to run and manage, and changing the UX for what many including myself consider to be worse. Perhaps Nik 6 or 7 will finally get back on track. I’m open to pay DxO again, when the software is ready. I just don’t want to pay every year to beta-test software which is mostly worse instead of better.

It may be that the magic is gone forever from Nik in the new interface, while cross-application compatibility will continue to be limited and I’ll stay with SilverEfex for another few years and then have to find something new. SilverEfex works on a simple zone system (in SilverEfex 2 one can easily preview how much of which tone levels are in your image), so whatever skills one learns using SilverEfex up to v2 are easily transferred to other dedicated BW tools.

… and the current, revised apps are Intel-only, while the apps with the older gui have been converted to run on Apple Silicon Macs natively. Weird.

I should have asked Karl what operating system he is using because as you pointed out, not all software continues to work on upgraded systems. For now, being a pc user the Google version is still working. I tested the newer version of Nik and didn’t feel it was worth the upgrade. I’ll will wait like you to see what the newer version hold. I really do like your Black and White conversion on the images. Very crisp and highly detailed. Just the perfect amount of contrast.

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You guys are fantastic. I’m thinking I have enough to make a decision but before I do, here is what I have.
Windows 10 & 11 (two machines)
Previously mostly used Lightroom with a final pass through PhotoAI
If I recall, properly, the earlier versions worked very similar to Nikon NX2 & NX Studio (same designer).
I have Silver Efex Pro2 AND FilmPack6.
I do NOT use PhotoLab.

So I guess my question should have been: Will I gain anything by upgrading to Nikxx latest?
Thank you

Agree on the great images!

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The best way to answer that is to run a trial of latest Nik Collection - - but make sure you have a way to revert to your current version, should you decide to stick with that.

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Best practice: Keep the original installer downloads.


My Trial run of Nick Collection 5 was cancelled before I got a chance to truly evaluate it. But I’m back to Silver Efex Pro 2 now. Going to try installation on an alternate computer and then have a look.

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Never disappoints. Please be sure to post your impressions of Nik 5 when you have a chance to compare them side by side.