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Thread: Problem with Irfanview 64-bit 4.42 for NEF processing

  1. #1
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    Default Problem with Irfanview 64-bit 4.42 for NEF processing

    For a couple of years I've been using Irfanview 64-bit 4.42 (now with Windows 10) to process my .jpg image files (from Nikon D700). I want to use it to process NEF files and have tried to do this but it's not working.

    I'm not certain whether I need a specific NEF plug-in or whether RAW covers NEF. If I need NEF, where should I download it from?

    Also, I noticed today there is now 64-bit 4.44. Should I download this? If so, will this be in the form of an update or do I need to first uninstall 4,42 and then install 4.44?

    In addition, I read today that Irfanview "cannot process NEF but merely processes the embedded jpg. So all in all I need a little help in order to move forward. I'm sorry, my level of ability and knowledge is very low. I've been able to use Irfanview for what I've wanted to do so far but beyond that I know very little.

  2. #2
    Moderator Bhikkhu Pesala's Avatar
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    NEF is just one of a bewildering range of RAW formats, with a wide range of variants, some of which will open in IrfanView, while others will not. If it does open them, it does not provide the level of control that a proper RAW studio would offer. I was able to open a NEF image for the D700 from this webpage.

    There is a setting in IrfanView to open the JPG preview image if it is embedded, which is obviously much smaller and faster to load than the full sized NEF image. If using IrfanView as an image viewer then this is the best option.

    If you want to use RAW formats for professional image processing, your camera probably came with some suitable software for the task. Opening RAW images in IrfanView has no advantages that I know of over loading the JPG images produced by your camera. RAW images are 16-bits per pixel or 48-bit, while JPG is only 8-bits per pixel or 24-bit; i.e. RAW images have greater colour depth.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/A-Co...es-And-Raw-Pr/

    https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/4145...obe-photoshop/

    You should download and install IrfanView 4.44 32-bit and 64-bit and its plugins for each to update the software to the latest version. IrfanView is updated only once or twice a year.
    Last edited by Bhikkhu Pesala; 16.04.2017 at 05:07 PM.

  3. #3
    Multiple User Jacal's Avatar
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    I have tried a Nikon D700 sample - 14bit compressed (Lossless) - from raw.pixls.us and IrfanView 4.44 has no problem displaying the embedded jpeg image (default behaviour) or rendering the actual raw image (if set so). But, as Bhikkhu Pesala said, there is really no point in using it for this. You need a raw editor.

    Raw photos contain what the sensor has captured, this is much more data than can be stored in a jpeg file, in wider (12- or 14-bit) colour spaces, which gives you advanced editing possibilities. You can, for instance, pull more detail out of shadows and/or highlights, getting decent results even from slightly under/overexposed shots. You can manipulate colours and contrast in ways, that are impossible, when you edit a jpeg file. (See Pesala's links.)

    The first steps can be a little confusing, though. So I also recommend you starting with Nikon's program - Capture NX-D, I believe - and the decent set of basic adjustments it offers. You will learn how to produce images, that you will like better than out-of-the camera jpegs.

    After that, I would try some of the fine open-source raw editors, available for Windows.

    LightZone is quite user friendly, using a dozen of well designed tools in combination with hand-drawn regions and luminosity and colour masks for local editing, so most of the time there is no need for further retouching in an external raster editor. LightZone is my favourite, I'm using it, whenever possible. It lacks, for instance, tools for chromatic aberration and lens distortion corrections. These are under development and might be finished some day. The included Help is good and there are video tutorials available, plus a kind user forum.

    RawTherapee, in combination with the manual, provides a range of tools, from basic to very advanced ones, offering many ways of doing similar things, with very precise controls. I'm using it for "problematic" photos, that require, for instance, advanced noise reduction, highlight reconstruction, perspective corrections etc. While LightZone is using a single algorithm for rendering - demosaicing - the raw data, RawTherapee offers a dozen to choose from. The default settings are well thought though, so one can start with the basics and learn step by step. RawTherapee has no local editing, for these it can seend 16-bit tiffs to an external editor like Gimp 2.9x.

    IrfanView can be set to send images to ten different external editors, and I must admit, I am using almost all of them. But for a start, one or two should be enough. Enjoy!
    Last edited by Jacal; 17.04.2017 at 11:43 AM.

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