Nik v3 - Two disappointments

I just upgraded to v3. After playing around some minutes on my Mac I ask myself:

• why does it still not read DNGs?
• and why is Viveza still not retina optimized?


The Nik plugins have never been “RAW aware”. They can only handle raster files.

Maybe I am spoiled with RAW support from MacOS.
But missing retina support is a pity. :man_shrugging:t3:

It’s not a matter of RAW support by the OS. The Nik plugins are programs aimed at editing raster image files (TIFF, JPEG…). From the beginning, they have not been designed to handle RAW files mainly because what they are doing cannot be done by RAW processing software. RAW processing and raster image editing are 2 different ways of handling images. They share some capabilities but they are doing very different things and serve different aims.

If DPL or Lightroom or Capture One could do all what a raster editor can do, we wouldn’t need Photoshop or Affinity Photo or specific plugins to complement these RAW processing applications. Unfortunately, there are some technical limitations preventing a single application from responding to this wish.

Isn’t it that a raw converter exists out off a conversion part and an editing part? The conversion part creates a rgb raster image, further editing is done on that raster image. As far as I know the conversion tools are wb and exposure compensation. Maybe PL ads raw noise to it.
I think the question is more must a converter transform more direction to an image manipulating program?



Don’t forget the parametric nature of the RAW converters. Each time (well, almost) you change a setting in the RAW converter, the image must be computed again. Of course, the preview that is displayed and present in memory is a raster image on which operations similar to those available in PS or equivalent can be performed. However, many of these operations are destructive (not reversible). This is a problem for the RAW conversion part. If the operations that have to be redone when a RAW conversion parameter is modified are too numerous or need too much CPU or memory resources, this always lead to a performance problem.

So no, the preview generated by the RAW converter is not an editing context similar to the context of a raster image directly loaded in a raster image editor. Therefore, the number of raster editing operations available in a RAW converter is necessarily limited. This may evolve if CPUs become more powerful but currently, no software vendor would be fool enough to provide software that can only run on expensive high-end systems. Even the highly priced Capture One, which was created by a company selling high-end photographic hardware has its limits. We are talking here about mainstream software. It’s not that other solutions do not exist but the computer and the software used by people like Andreas Gursky are not tools that we can afford.

To me parametric means the program keeps track of the used tools and the used parameters for that tool. Editing is done on the actual raster image. Saving is done by writing those parameters to disk, belonging to an image and program. As far as I know there’re only a few tools that work on the raw data: wb, exposure compensation and for PL raw noise reduction. One can see the difference in PL by loading a jpg or tif. Except for the exposure correction which is possible on jpg too.
Every operation on an image is destructive. What counts is if the editing is saved like in a parametric editor.
I had to google for Andreas Gursky. For the sizes he uses he might make use of special camera’s but I don’t think he is using special software much different from ps.


Yes, he is. Special computing system, special software, a dedicated graphic designer and a dedicated company in Düsseldorf for printing his images. Nobody else can, apparently. Anyone looking at these prints immediately understands why all this is needed. This also explains the basic price of each of these prints : about 500 000 € .Some reached 4 000 000 USD.

I understood he’s famous for his big prints. Of course one can’t make them on simple printers etc. But the essence of digital editing doesn’t change.
A few years ago I was on an exhibition in Amsterdam: the ruins of Detroit. Two French photographers with images of several meters on dibond. Wonderfull, even on short distance. If you’re interested: They work with technical cameras.


Certainly. But when handling images having such a high definition, you need huge amounts of memory and a processing power that are far beyond the possibilities of mainstream hardware.and software. I can’t imagine DPL, Lightroom or C1 processing such huge RAW files. By the way, I’m not sure that Gursky is working with RAW files.

No, macOS’s image API provides access to RAWs with theire own RAW processor. Photos, Preview, Quicklook or Pixelmator use the API’s raw converter. You can also specify in Affinity to use the system converter. So Nik could just use the system APIs and would also support more file formats. :wink: