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  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Converting NEF to DNG

    So I recently bought Scott Kelby's Lightroom 2 for photographers book because I felt I wasn't using Lightroom to its full potential.

    In it he recommends converting RAW files to DNG files because they are 20% smaller in file size and also preserve metadata in the actual file with no need for a side car file like you need with NEF.

    I just wondered if any one on the forum does this aswell? Does it effect image quality? Colour? Because if it doesn't then I would much rather do convert on import.

    BTW the book is very good, it is literally a text book. Takes me back to school days. I have only just touched on the develop module but its a real eye opener, I recommend it.
    Nikon D90 | 18-105mm VR | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon 35mm 1.8G | SB-600/900 | Crumpler Backpack & Shoulderbag

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  2. #2
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    I tried it but no longer bother. You have the NEF files anyway and they aren't or shouldn't be going anywhere so why have another set of the images as DNG then a third set as jpeg or TIFF?
    Now that Lightroom 2.3 is put and many of the Nikon RAW compatibility issues have been overcome with the advent of camera profiles I just import the .NEFs then export the files I want to Flickr straight from Lightroom using Jeffrey Friedls excellent uploader. I never even save the jpegs on my hard drive unless I want to print or use them locally.
    I also have the book. I really like Scott Kelby's books (and his blog) but his sense of humour is not suitable for everybody.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Try a search (if it lets you search 3-letter words), this has been talked about several times here.

    K1W1, when you convert the file you don't keep the .NEF. Only 1 file, the Digital Negative.

    I convert all my files, for the two reasons stated in the original post. IQ does not change.

    Another LR2 book I would recommend would be Martin Evening's "The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 2 Book - The Complete Guide for Photographers".
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

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  4. #4
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    I agree KIWI his sense of humor in a word is awful! But at least he tries! Just have to look past the bad jokes and see that infact he knows what hes talking about. Its made me realise that alot of the features like surveying and comparing photos then flagging them are features I won't use and are for professionals.

    I think I will keep converting to DNG if it doesnt effect image quality as it will allow me more photos before I have to upgrade my HD/ ext HD.

    I did not know about the plug in that uploads straight from Lightroom to Flickr though that sounds ideal as I have alot of jpegs just lying around and its getting a bit messy.
    Nikon D90 | 18-105mm VR | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon 35mm 1.8G | SB-600/900 | Crumpler Backpack & Shoulderbag

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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by craigyc View Post
    I did not know about the plug in that uploads straight from Lightroom to Flickr
    Link here.
    Up until recently it's been free. Now is sort of donationware but for US$15.00 it's worth every cent.
    You just highlight the files you want to upload in the library module then click the export button and export to Flickr exactly as you would to your hard drive.. You can select what metadata and Flickr tabs you want, what privacy and copyright levels you want which one of your sets you want to add the images to, custom photo names and even if you want the images automatically posted to a particular group you belong to. It makes things so easy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Visual Reality
    K1W1, when you convert the file you don't keep the .NEF. Only 1 file, the Digital Negative.
    I do realise that but I just can't bring myself to delete what is the original. There is and will only be one original and despite what Adobe and others say a DNG file is not it.
    That's me and I ain't going to change.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    391
    craigy, I bought the same book and started the same process and I did notice one small thing that I don't really like about dng. When I go cruise through my image folder for something (my wife and kids do this all the time) at least with .nef there is a jpg that they can thumbnail, with dng, they get nothing. So unless I am willing to use bridge or lightroom every single time I want to find an image, you are pretty much screwed.

    But I haven't been using the dng technique long enough to really see advantage/disadvantage in other terms.
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  7. #7
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    I never actually had thumbnails for my .NEF files in explorer either so I dont really miss them (i'm using vista 64) I don't know if that makes a difference. Another excellent tip from the book is the file naming sequence you can set up when you import photos. So far that has been invaluable.
    Nikon D90 | 18-105mm VR | Sigma 10-20mm | Nikon 35mm 1.8G | SB-600/900 | Crumpler Backpack & Shoulderbag

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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    Link here.
    ...


    I do realise that but I just can't bring myself to delete what is the original. There is and will only be one original and despite what Adobe and others say a DNG file is not it.
    That's me and I ain't going to change.
    Agreed - first thing I do after transferring a card is copy the NEF's to a DVD - only after verifying the DVD do I format the card and start working on the files... never really felt the need to convert to yet another format - NEF has been around long enough now to be sure that there will always be some software out there to read them for at least as long as I will be worried about it.
    D300 | MB-D10

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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by K1W1 View Post
    I do realise that but I just can't bring myself to delete what is the original. There is and will only be one original and despite what Adobe and others say a DNG file is not it.
    That's me and I ain't going to change.
    I understand your thinking, but what about the cameras that take raw photos in Digital Negative as their native format?
    Nikon D300 | Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 | Nikkor AF-S 70-300mm VR | Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D | SB-600 | Lowepro Voyager C | Lowepro Slingshot 300 AW

    For Sale:
    Nikkor AF 35mm f/2 D - Like New (FX compatible)

    Wish List
    Nikkor AF-S 17-55 f/2.8
    Nikkor AF-S 70-200 f/4 VRII
    Tokina AF 11-16 f/2.8
    SB-900 (2)
    Umbrellas
    New Tripod

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    748
    Cameras which store their files in DNG format also store all the relevant settings and additional image data (additional to the raw image itself) in the format.

    But i could only imagine a NEF to DNG conversion will leave you with the raw (no pun intended!) RAW file, stripped of all the in camera settings and i doubt would include things like D-Lighting data. And then NX products as they do not support DNG wouldn't be able to be used to adjust/alter Nikon specific settings that they are capable of with NEF files. I may be wrong about DNG not including all the Nikon camera settings from the NEF but I do know no Adobe products support D-Lighting or the likes to be able to even do anything with the data.
    Cameras: Nikon D300, Panasonic Lumix G2, LX3 & FZ20
    Nikkor Lenses: 24-70mm f2.8 - 70-300mm VRII f4.5-5.6 - 50mm f1.4 G - 35mm f1.8 G - 50mm f1.8 - 18-200mm VR f3.5-5.6
    Other Lenses: Tokina: 11-16mm f2.8, Sigma: 17-70mm f2.8-4.5 Macro, Lumix: 14-42mm f3.5-5.6 & 20mm f1.7
    Other: Nikon SB 600, Vivitar 1/2/4 Close-up Lens, Cokin Graduated ND Filter and more...
    Computers/Software: MacBookPro 2.8ghz, Dell Latitude D630, Lexar CF UDMA FW800 Reader, Nikon Capture NX 1+2, Adobe Lightroom 1+2+3

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