I reviewed the newly revived Nik Collection in June. It was nice to have the collection back, after Google bought it and then let it sit idle. Now it's been sold to DXO, and it's compatible with the latest PC and Mac operating systems.
The collection has been freshened up with a new release from DXO, which has now added 10 new iconic black and white films to the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin, giving some fresh tools for photographers interested in black and white images. As our readers know, creating digital black and white photos is much more than just desaturating colors. With its 48 presets, Silver Efex Pro 2 can create some striking images. Using its unique algorithms and extensive adjustment palette, photographers can adjust luminosity and contrast, highlight whites, add color filters, and more. In addition, its exclusive range of 28 analog films are modeled after iconic, traditional styles, including Ilford Delta 100 Pro, Kodak Tri-X 400TX, and Fuji Neopan 1600. Its grain adjustment tool makes it possible to make minute changes to grain density and harshness for an even more realistic finish. Finally, with U POINT technology, adjustments can also be applied locally.
Additionally, the Nik Collection 2.3 adds 10 new film types that simulate some of the most popular black and white films ever created, including Adox Silver Max 21, Agfa Scala 200x, Bergger BRF 400 Plus, Foma 100, Fuji Neopan 400, Ilford Pan 100 and 400, Polaroid 667 and 672, and Rollei 100 Tonal.
Along with all that, the update offers 42 new presets.
I tried the updated Nik Collection and had excellent results, which I expected.
The presets were very powerful, and you can adjust the parameters of each preset to your own taste, which is how these filters should work. In each case I started with a color 16 bit TIF file, and the final result was a high quality 16 bit RGB when I returned to Photoshop. I was also able to use filters that gave me a very nice vintage sepia.
The added B&W effects were a layer on top of my color original, making it easy to try again or export into any format I wanted.
This latest version of the Nik Collection 2.3 has been optimized to make it fully compatible with macOS Catalina as well as the latest versions of Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements.
The Nik Collection 2.3 by DxO (PC and Mac) is now available for download on the DxO website for $149 for the full version and for $79 for the upgrade. Users who purchased Nik Collection 2 by DxO after June 2019 may upgrade their software for free.
If you don't have the Nik Collection yet, it's probably worth a look, especially at the reduced holiday price. This latest upgrade is mostly of interest to photographers who do black and white imaging.
What I Like:
- Very high quality output
- Control over the image without being stuck with a preset
- Complete set has pro-level sharpening, color, and HDR tools
What Could Be Better:
- I don't find the HDR tools best in class, but they are certainly serviceable.