5 Replies Latest reply on Jul 31, 2008 1:00 PM by Panoholic

    NEF to DNG

    Michael Tissington Level 1
      When converting to DNG does ALL the EXIF data come across?

      I ask this because if I open a NEF file with Capture NX2 I can see details
      about my off-camera flash groups that I have used.

      Lightroom 2 or ACR does not seem to show this which is OK, I'm more
      concerned that If I
      convert to DNG then this information will be brought across in the hope that
      a future version of Lightroom or ACR will display it.
        • 1. Re: NEF to DNG
          Thomas Knoll Level 2
          Yes, all the "extra EXIF" information in the NEF is moved over to the DNG (the entire MakerNote is copied). Even if we cannot currently understand it, it is still there in the DNG if we learn more in the future.
          • 2. Re: NEF to DNG
            Level 1
            From what developers have said here in the past that information should be
            brought over from the NEF to the DNG. Two things may prevent Adobe products
            from showing it.

            1. The data is encrypted and not accessible by Adobe and therefore it isn't
            displayed, though being encrypted doesn't mean Adobe can't bring it over to
            the DNG they just can't do anything else with it.
            2. It isn't encrypted and it is brought over to the DNG Adobe just hasn't
            added what is needed for it to display.

            I have no idea of the Nikon software can read a DNG, if it can try loading a
            converted file and see if it shows it. If not then try something like
            PhotoMe, it shows tons more metadata than Adobe does and it is a free


            If your Mac then you will have to find something like it for the Mac.
            • 3. Re: NEF to DNG
              Michael Tissington Level 1
              Thanks - that's what I wanted to hear :)
              • 4. Re: NEF to DNG
                I've converted NEF files of stars. When I converted it, I found it was noisier.
                I know it has been improved by many updates since I tried this, but I am unsure if it's useful to convert losslessly compressed NEF files to Losslessly compressed DNG. Do two lossless compressions heaped on top of one another not cause problems? I know some Nikon shooter such as Vincent Versace prefers using Nikon Capture NX, but personally I prefer the more intuitive interface in Lightroom and Photoshop, the latter of which I've been using for years.
                I like the archival idea and the fact that the code is out there unlike Nikon's closely guarded proprietary format.
                So do two lossless's = lossless(still)?????
                For bright scenes the file size is slightly smaller, but when I photographed stars, the file became tiny and didn't look so hot. I will try the newer version though to see if it does a better job.

                Any input on this subject will be greatly appreciated.
                • 5. Re: NEF to DNG
                  Panoholic Level 2
                  >Do two lossless compressions heaped on top of one another not cause problems?

                  I guess you are thinking of what happens, when you ZIP a compressed file, like JPEG, MPEG - or a compressed raw. That too does not cause any difference in the data, but the effectivity of the second compression is strongly reduced, even eliminated.

                  In the NEF->DNG conversion case the compressions are not "heaped on top of each other". The native raw data is decompressed, and then it gets compressed again, using an only slightly different method.

                  >For bright scenes the file size is slightly smaller, but when I photographed stars, the file became tiny

                  The size difference is not caused by the (really small) difference in the compression methods. The camera's computing power is much less than that of a modern desktop or laptop, and the camera has to finish fast: at 3-5-8 frames per second there is not much room for optimization. In contrast, when the DNG conversion occurs, there is enough computing power and time to fine tune the compression.

                  >and didn't look so hot

                  Have you compared the ACR result of a NEF and of the DNG? If you did not cause any difference in the conversion by different options or adjustments, then this is the product of your imagination.

                  However, comparing the result of the NX conversion with that of ACR is not of limited value in this respect.