5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 6, 2009 9:18 AM by XEyedBear

    Processing Nikon Scan 4.0.2 NEF files in PSE 7 Raw Editor

      I own a Nikon Coolscan 5000 ED. The scan software Nikon Scan 4.0.2 can produce "raw" files with NEF extension. On the web I found some remarks concerning this file type stating that the scanner NEF is not really a raw file. A scanned pixel has already 3 color values, so there is no need for demosaicizing. It is stated that in fact the NEF file is a type of TIFF file instead.

      Anyhow, importing this scanner NEF file in the PSE7 Adobe Camera Raw Editor seems to impose no problems. After editing the image can be saved including the editing parameters, so the original image may be restored or changed by repeated editing. By choosing "Done" the editing info is saved in a XMP file additional to the NEF file. You also may Save As DNG file containing the editing parameters together with the image data in a single file. The processed file may also be loaded into the Editor Workspace directly for additional fine tuning.

      My question comes down to: is this is a viable solution for real raw processing of the scanned images. The scanner NEF file is not exactly raw, so I'm not sure whether or not the ACR Editor (or converter) handles the image data correctly. Does the ACR Editor know that the scanner NEF file is already demosaicized? And is the additional metadata (like colorspace) correctly interpreted?

      Do you have experience with or knowledge about the quality of this type of workflow, please let me know. Any comments are welcome!


      PS I also posted this subject in the forum: Photoshop Elements Technical Issuses and got the suggestion to try this forum. I'm using the Windows platform.
        • 1. Re: Processing Nikon Scan 4.0.2 NEF files in PSE 7 Raw Editor
          Thomas Knoll Level 2
          A scanner NEF is actually a TIFF file for all practical purposes. The Camera Raw plug-in is just using its normal TIFF processing logic on the file.
          • 2. Re: Processing Nikon Scan 4.0.2 NEF files in PSE 7 Raw Editor
            Ann Shelbourne Level 1

            I use ACR as my first step with ALL my scanned images and it is a wonderful way to work because your edits are entirely non-destructive and you can re-open the files in ACR and change the parameters as often as you like.

            ACR 5.2 works with Nikon's scanned NEFs, TIFFs and with JPEGs.
            • 3. Re: Processing Nikon Scan 4.0.2 NEF files in PSE 7 Raw Editor
              Level 1
              Thanks Thomas and Ann for your valuable info.

              I understand that the output color data of a scanner is not really Raw. Contrary to camera's, scanners are reading linear RGB data so there is no need to convert or demosaice the data. May I conclude that the Nikon's proprietary "Raw" NEF format comes down to TIFF with embedded reversible editing parameters that can only be used in the Nikon Scan (editing) software?

              Consequently, when importing the Nikon NEF's in ACR5.2 the embedded parameters are lost (possibly because ACR is not supporting the Nikon Scanner "Raw" format). So there is no advantage in using the NEF format and outputting in TIFF should be just fine.

              Anyhow, I prefer using ACR as a start instead of the standard editor because of its fine and reversible editing tools. But how do I import TIFF's in ACR? When opening a TIFF in the PSE7 Editor, this file type is opened in the normal Editor. How do I switch to the ACR? Is it possible to save the ACR reversible editing parameters embedded in the same TIFF file or as accompanying XMP file ("Done") or should I "Save As" a DNG file.

              And above all, can I be sure that the Color Management defined in Nikon Scan (sRGB, Gamma) is maintained while processing the file in ACR?
              • 4. Re: Processing Nikon Scan 4.0.2 NEF files in PSE 7 Raw Editor
                Ann Shelbourne Level 1
                Unfortunately you are using the "Photoshop Elements" version of ACR and a lot of tools which are available in the CS4 version of ACR 5.2 are not available in Elements.

                Being able to open Tiffs in ACR may be one of the tools missing in Elements but, as I have never used Elements, I don't know for certain.
                • 5. Re: Processing Nikon Scan 4.0.2 NEF files in PSE 7 Raw Editor
                  I experienced a similar challenge last night,  but when using CS4. I found that I was able to open a TIFF in ACR by using the 'open as...' option in the file menu in CS4. In the resulting 'Open As' dialog box there is a drop down 'Open As' option which presents many choices. One of them is Camera Raw.<br /><br />If you have the <File><Open As...> option in Elements 7, this might solve your problem.<br /><br />Just be aware that I quite new to all this, so I may be talking utter Dubya.