15 Replies Latest reply on Sep 2, 2012 12:40 PM by DSalk

    Will not read D800 NEF files


      Lightroom will not read Nikon D800 NEF files.  I have updated lightroom twice,  first to 4.1 and second to 4.2 and in neither case would the files import.  I have read several forum entries that say these files are compatible with Lightroom and/or to update Lightroom.  Anyone have an answer?  This is getting really aggravating!

        • 1. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
          Hal P Anderson Ninja

          LR 4.1 imports D800 NEFs. What error message are you getting?


          If the message is that the images cannot be read, you should make sure you have write permission for the folders to which you are copying/moving the photos. That's the destination directory.



          • 2. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
            DSalk Newcomer

            The first reSonse I get is a screen with gray boxes for each of the NEF files that says "preview not available".  Clicking on Import results in a screen whith  a numerical list of the files (e.g. NEF 1) and a msg. that says files cannot be imported.

            • 3. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
              RikkFlohr Rockstar

              Did you have Nikon's Capture NX software installed? Did you view the files there before you attempted to go to Lightroom?


              I remember a bug from the 4.1 RC days where there was a problem with an older version of Capture NX that caused this. Uninstalling the old version of Viewer NX seems to be key. This thread might help: http://nikonrumors.com/forum/topic.php?id=5700

              • 4. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                Hal P Anderson Ninja

                "files cannot be imported". Is that the exact message?


                To cure the problem of no previews, you might try importing from a card reader instead of the camera.






                Good guess. I'd forgotten that one.




                Message was edited by: Hal P Anderson

                • 5. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                  DSalk Newcomer

                  I do not have Nikon Capture installed.  I do have Nikon Transfer and View (version 2.3.0) installed.  I use Transfer to download from camera and I used View before trying to import into Lightroom.

                  • 6. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                    DSalk Newcomer

                    I have the same problem whether I download from the camera with either a card reader or via USB from the camera.

                    • 7. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                      Lee Jay Champion

                      Nikon Transfer is the problem.  You need a later version or, better, you need to never use it.

                      • 8. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                        ssprengel Mythic

                        Nikon has said that Nikon Transfer is obsolete and is stripping the raw files of the metadata needed by Adobe to recognize the files.  Those files are lost to Adobe processing unless you have a pre-Nikon-Transfer copy of them.

                        • 9. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                          DSalk Newcomer

                          Gentlemen:  Thanks for your responses.  I have some news for you.  I just tried downloading the files from the camera not using either Nikon Transfer or View.  I downloaded from the camera via USB (no card reader on my laptop) using the Windows photo download process.  I opened these files directly into  Lightroom and they displayed!  I still didn't get any previews but there was no msg. that previews were not available, just empty gray boxes.  This may be because I didn't wait long enough for them to be generated.  I noticed that it took quite awhile for the imported images to be displayed.  The D800 FX files are a lot larger than my D300 DX files.  Any way, the problem appears to be with one of the Nikon programs.  I guess I'll try the Nikon tech support next.  At least I can retrieve my NEF files.  Maybe this will help other folks who may have the same problem.

                          • 10. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                            ssprengel Mythic

                            Nikon Transfer is obsolete and should not be used.  The Transfer option of an up-to-date ViewNX2 should be ok.  I would hesitate to use something that tries to be very consumer friendly like Windows Photo Transfer in case it is extracting JPG previews from the NEFs instead of actually transferring the NEF files, unchanged, but if you can determine they are really raw files, not just JPGs or JPGs renamed to NEF, then it’s probably ok—the NEFs will be much larger than the JPGs so that’s a way to tell.  I think you should test with a few photos, waiting long enough to make sure you do actually get previews rendered in LR’s Import area.


                            Personally I just use Windows Explorer and copy the files from my card in a card-reader to my local hard-drive then do an LR Add Import from there.  I use a codec-pack that allows Windows Explorer to let me see the JPG-previews that are embedded into the raw files so I am not copying blind.

                            • 11. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                              DSalk Newcomer

                              thanks for the info.  I didn't know there was a jpg inside the NEF file.  Where

                              can I find a codec to show the jpg?

                              • 12. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                                ssprengel Mythic

                                I use the Fast Picture Viewer Codec Pack that costs $15 for a single computer license.  It got it a few years ago because while Canon provided a codec for their CR2 files for Windows 7 and Vista it was only a 32-bit codec and I used 64-bit Windows.   I believe Canon has since released a 64-bit codec for their RAW files, but the FPV codec pack also shows thumbnails and previews for PSDs and TIFs and other files, and so I’d rather just have one Codec that works for Canon and Nikon and PS files instead of having to find one for each type of file and not having some covered.


                                You do not need the Fast Picture Viewer, just the Codec Pack:



                                • 14. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                                  DSalk Newcomer

                                  Again, thanks for the info.  I checked out the web site.  this program sounds like a free program I have used in the past.  I think it is called Irfan View.  I quit using it for some reason I don't recall.

                                  • 15. Re: Will not read D800 NEF files
                                    DSalk Newcomer

                                    Thanks for the info.  I downloaded the program and will give it a try.  I noted that the posting date was 6 Aug 2012 so it should be up to date with the new camera file formats.