Extracting NEF from DNG - a question for computer gurus!

ZapoTeX

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Hi All,

I'm learning how to use Adobe LightRoom, mostly because ViewNX was making me want to stop taking photos. LightRoom is another World! I love photography again!

I understand that, in order to store the files, you have three options:

1) Develop, export, keep the TIFF (or JPEG) and delete everything else: not ideal, I'd like to keep the raw
2) Keep the NEF (with the photo data) and the LRCAT (with all the cropping, white balance adjusting, etc... that you did on the photo): this sounds good, but you have to keep two files! And I'm not sure how things work when you move them. If I move everything to a new computer, how do I tell LR that the LRCAT corresponds to a given folder of NEF files?
3) Convert everything to DNG: this would be awesome. All the raw data and the editing history in a single file, that I can move around as much as I want. But I have two questions about DNG:

a) The proprietary Nikon data (focus point, picture control, etc...) are preserved in the DNG file, but Adobe LR can't read them. Is this correct? I'm surprised that there is no plugin to read them from LR! There's an LR plugin for everything!
b) I'm surprised that, unless you select "embed original raw file", it is impossible to extract the NEF from the DNG. After all we are talking about a set of 12 million pixel, with a set of three 12-bit (or 14-bit if you choose so) numbers in each pixel. No matter the compression, as long as both NEF and DNG are lossless (and I badly hope they are) it should be a simple matter to go from one to the other and viceversa. Why isn't it possible?

Thanks everyone and sorry for my blabber!

ZT
 
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ZapoTeX

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Oops... Sorry, I found the answer to point 2). You click on the question mark and choose "Find missing folder". I guess I'm going to choose that option: NEF + Catalog. Anyone who converts to DNG has comments to share? Thanks a lot!
 

Rephargotohp

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The reason is, File size, When you convert NEF to regular DNG it changes the file structure so that it can no longer be read as a NEF, However you can embed the original NEF within that file if you choose. However it more than doubles the file size, for example a 10MB NEF or DNG becomes a 21.2MB DNG if the NEF is embedded
 

Rephargotohp

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Remember also that the LRCAT is one large file, Not a sidecar file like an XMP. In fact if you want to use a RAW file with light room adjustments in say Photoshop ACR, in order to see the LR adjustments AS A RAW file, you would also have to write an XMP sidecar. Which is an advantage of a DNG file, that info would be embedded in the DNG and Carry over to ACR ( wow, enough acronyms for ya?)
 
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Hi Rephargotohp, thanks a lot for the clarification! The workflow is a lot clearer now.

I still don't get exactly how a DNG is different from a RAW in terms of image encoding. Unless DNG is slightly lossy, recovering the information and converting it to NEF format should be possible, even if the NEF was not embedded.

Thanks again!
 

Rephargotohp

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Well, I "May" be a good photographer but I make for a really crappy engineer so I really couldn't tell you why.

It is possible but someone would have to build that converter since it's not commercially available. The only reason I know it is possible is that I know a gentleman built a Leica M9 DNG converter to NEF for his workflow and all RAWs are based around a Tiff format, so if you got the brain power (which I obviously don't) I think you could have at it.

Say hi to Milan, was there a few years back and had a fantastic time :)
 
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Hi Rephargotohp,

thanks again for your further answer! All clear now! I'd love to make something like that, but I'm afraid it's far beyond my amateur programming skills :)

By the way: do you know where to get that converter? I think Leica DNGs are not that different from Adobe DNGs and it might very well work!

Thanks again! I'll say hi to Milan! :)
 

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[/url] 19 by peteraziz07, on Flickr[/IMG]
 

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