Verdict: 4.5 stars DxO Nik Collection 4 is the latest version of an evergreen plug-in suite that’s as good today as ever. There are improvements, but the new look for Silver Efex Pro and Viveza put them a little out of step with the rest.
Silver Efex Pro
Software plug-in for creating authentic-looking black and white film looks, and part of the DxO Nik Collection. Silver Efex Pro can replicate the look of classic black and white materials and darkroom effects. It also offers 'control points' for localised dodging and burning.
Verdict: 4.5 stars For fans of black and white photography, Silver Efex Pro is just superb. Version 3 improves the Control Point masking, but moves the sliders to the sidebar, which isn’t necessarily an improvement.
The best Nik Collection plug ins are so deep you might never completely get to the bottom of what they do. Here’s a series of tips and ideas for Color Efex Pro, Silver Efex Pro, HDR Efex Pro, Analog Efex Pro and Viveza.
Silver Efex Pro is one of the best-known plug ins in the Nik Collection and widely regarded as the premier tools for fans of black and white photography. There are lots of really good ways to create black and white images in all sorts of software, but even now Silver Efex Pro has a magic […]
I admit that Silver Efex Pro, part of the Nik Collection, is my favourite black and white conversion plug-in, but I like to keep an open mind, and I thought it was about time I took a look at some others. I have reviewed Topaz B&W Effects in the past, but it’s been a while […]
The Zone System was invented by legendary landscape photographer Ansel Adams. He hit upon the idea of splitting the full range of tones in a black and white image into eleven distinct brightness zones, which he then went on to define very carefully. I’m paraphrasing this from the Wikipedia entry: Zone 0: Maximum black, no […]
You can use Silver Efex Pro perfectly effectively by choosing a preset and then modifying the settings as necessary using the tools panel. What you may not realise is that Silver Efex Pro simulates specific film types very closely. In fact, you can choose your film manually in the Film Types panel. And if that’s […]
Silver Efex Pro comes with a large range of varied and powerful black and white presets, and one of my favourites is the Silver Efex Pro Film Noir effect. This does every bad thing we’re told to avoid with our high-quality digital images! It reduces the sharpness of the picture, adds a hefty dose of […]
Successful black and white photography sometimes gets its power from strong contrasts and graphic shapes, and sometimes it relies on subtlety and control. Silver Efex Pro, now taken over by DxO in the Nik Collection, can do both. In principle, you should be able to do all these things in Photoshop, but in practice I […]
The Structure tool is one of Silver Efex Pro‘s secret weapons. It helps to give black and white images that indefinable ‘bite’ that we’re always trying to recapture with our digital images. You can think of the Silver Efex Pro Structure control it as a kind of ‘coarse sharpening’, which acts over a slightly larger […]