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Author Topic: Puzzling behaviour of NEF files and photoshop/lightroom  (Read 2427 times)
eskneler
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« on: May 05, 2013, 12:58:40 AM »
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I recently went to a photo trip and downloaded my files using Nikon Transfer and an external HDD in a laptop using Windows 7 Pro. Used 3 cameras. Nikon D700, D3x and D 800. I would transfer every night creating a different folder for every card. When trying to open some NEF pictures (I shoot raw, 12 bit, Lossless compressed) in Photoshop CS5, I got a message saying that the camera model was not supported by installed version of camera raw. ( I have the latests updates for camera raw for LR and PS). This happened on some folders downloaded with the D800, and none with any other camera. Some of the files were opened by PS, and showed at the top of the files a message saying that  those were D800 images. I tried Lightroom 4 with no results. Those pictures seemd to have some bug in their metadata. When I saw the pictures in VIEW NX2 I had no problem. Also they opened well in Capture NX2. I shoot samples of all the memory cards I used with the D800 and they all open with PS and LR. I label my cards with the name of the camera so there are no accidental switches. WOrkflow is Format card, shoot for a day, download with Nikon Tranfer and reformat the card at night for the next day. I did a batch processing with Capture NX2 and transferred the "bad" pictures into tiff, and had no problem doing that. Those now tiff files, were able to be seen in LR and opened in PS for processing.
In summary, shooting D800 with raw images, PS and LR did not recognized some files ( all the pictures actually that were taken that day with that camera) yet in another days pictures originating from the same camera opened without problems in PS and LR. Also those ppictures in the "bad" batch still had no problem with Nikon View nx2 and Capture NX2. I suspect the metadata, Sometimes I get an error from a batch transfer using Nikon Transfer (I also have the latest version). Something that some metadata could not be found etc. What can go on to cause such a confusing pattern?  Appreciate any help. Reserchead extensively the net but no clear reasons why this happens and how to prevent it.'Thanks
Ed Kneler
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 02:01:29 AM »
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Is it the latest version of Nikon Transfer? I remember there was a bug which led Nikon to release an update?
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eskneler
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« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 01:09:22 PM »
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The version Of Nikon Transfer I was using was 1.5.3 which I believe is the latest. When back home I tested all cards I used with the D800 (2 CF and 2 SD) taking pictures and then I was able to see them and open them with LR and PS, so I don't think it was some card corruptioin. However I did that directly from the card without involving Nikon Transfer. Should I be cautious using it? I can always just drag and drop the files into the external backup HDD but Nikon Transfer seems so neat, fast, automatic and looks at all the folders inside a card, that I would like to continue using it (unless it is responsible for muy problem) Any  additional ways of troubleshooting it? I looked at the metadata with Capture NX2 and it seemed the same for the files that PS was able to open and those it would not. Thanks for everbody's ideas.
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eskneler
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« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 01:13:02 PM »
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Also just in case I downloaded into another computer a demo version of PS CS6 and was also unable to open the affected files, with the same warning that the camera model was not supported. I have however shoot pictures with my D800 that open perfectly with my present PS and LR so I dont know what info is PS getting from those files that makes it believe it comes from a non supported camera.
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2013, 01:17:03 AM »
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I really don't know more about Nikon Transfer than what I said, but I seem to recall the problem related to it adding some metadata as part of the import process. Isn't your real test what happens when you import without using it?

I did overlook one point in your initial question. You would not expect Photoshop CS5 to be able to read the D800 raw files. Lightroom 4 or Photoshop CS6 should be fine.
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jaapb
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« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2013, 06:48:13 AM »
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Is it the latest version of Nikon Transfer? I remember there was a bug which led Nikon to release an update?

A few years back there was an issue with autorotate in Nikon Transfer when switched on the portrait oriented files were somehow corrupted. A bit of a techincal writeup and possible solution here.

In summary, shooting D800 with raw images, PS and LR did not recognized some files
Ed, did you manage to convert the affected NEF's into DNG's?

Jaap
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jaapb
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« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 06:59:10 AM »
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Sometimes I get an error from a batch transfer using Nikon Transfer (I also have the latest version). Something that some metadata could not be found etc.

Ed, BTW IMHO you are better off abandoning Nikon Transfer alltogether and just import through LR or (my favourite) ImageIngester

Jaap
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David Eckels
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« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 07:07:29 AM »
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Ed, BTW IMHO you are better off abandoning Nikon Transfer alltogether and just import through LR or (my favourite) ImageIngester

Jaap
I agree with this reply. I just drag and drop the photos from the card into my appropriate target folder on the desk top. You can get a NEF codec to see them if you need it for some crude editing.
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madmanchan
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« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 08:17:01 AM »
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I strongly recommend that you do not use Nikon Transfer to transfer/copy your images.

In particular, if you are using a version of Nikon Transfer that does not directly support your particular camera model (even though in general it supports NEF files), it may corrupt your images.
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eskneler
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« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 10:14:34 AM »
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The latest version of ACR for Photoshop cs5 does have the ability to read D800 files and I do it routinely. Not this batch.
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eskneler
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« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 10:17:12 AM »
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Jaap: no, the Adobe converter which I just downloaded was not able to convert my NEF to DNG. Again, there is something in those files that prevents Adobe products from opening them, while Nikon products open them without problem. The message from the adobe products is that the camera is not supported. Yet with the same camera I take a sample picture and no problem opening them in Adobe PS CS5.
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eskneler
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« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 10:19:32 AM »
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Yes, I recalled getting some error message from Nikon Transfer regarding metadata but usually igoner them as I don't know what to do about them.Huh
Other times I got the same message but the data was OK.
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eskneler
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« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 10:27:09 AM »
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Is that a good program? No bugs? I never had a problem with Nikon Transfer until this trip. It always worked well for me and in subsequent folders there was no problem. Still cannot put my finger as to what happened, or why Nikon products have no problem with the files but Adobe does.
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jaapb
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« Reply #13 on: May 06, 2013, 10:52:20 AM »
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Yes, I recalled getting some error message from Nikon Transfer regarding metadata but usually igoner them as I don't know what to do about them.Huh

Ed,

Is there a way to clear all file settings in CNX2 (not Nikon Transfer or ViewNX), maybe you can ask in the "other raw converters" section of the LuLa forum. Somehow tags/metadata were/was applied to the files during ingestion.
This could provide a route to change them back into a state the files should have been in when they were written on the card by the camera. I haven't used CNX for years but I remember it is able to write tags into the NEF file and conversely may also be able to clear them. Just a thought.
Once you have been able to clear the settings then just maybe ACR/LR will recognise the files as proper D800 NEF's.

Plan B would be to have CNX2 write out the affected NEF's as 16 bit ProPhoto uncompressed TIFF's and use these in ACR/LR. Don't discard the NEF's in the process, they are your negatives so to speak.

Please Note: BACKUP YOUR FILES FIRST before you do anything.

Hope this helps,

Jaap
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 10:55:38 AM by jaapb » Logged
eskneler
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2013, 11:33:42 AM »
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I transferred by files via Capture NX2 to TIFF and then I had no problem opening them up with PS CS5. My XMP files are blank, and those can be written by Capture NX2. However the data like camera, lens, aperture etc, cannot be edited by Capture. I am not sure any editor can modify those parameters.  So my files are safe so to speak, but inTIFF. An interesting fact is that the affected files would not allow themselves to be saved in RAW format which Capture is capable to do, but no problem with TIFF.
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jaapb
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« Reply #15 on: May 06, 2013, 12:25:00 PM »
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I transferred by files via Capture NX2 to TIFF and then I had no problem opening them up with PS CS5. My XMP files are blank, and those can be written by Capture NX2. However the data like camera, lens, aperture etc, cannot be edited by Capture.

Ed,

You don't want to edit data like camera, lens aperture etc and I think it is not even possible. AFAIK CNX XMP support is fairly limited it does write and read labels and ratings to/from XMP
By clearing I mean trying to get rid of the apparent changes applied to the files (rotation, picture styles, etc) by ingesting them through Nikon Transfer, but keeping relevant EXIF data. What you want is to return the files into a state they were in OOC and where ACR/LR can read them.

Just had a quick online look in the CNX2 manual, try the delete button in the Edit list to get rid of settings.

Jaap

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eskneler
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« Reply #16 on: May 06, 2013, 12:44:50 PM »
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I open a "bad " file with Capture NX2 and all the XMp/IPTC fields are empty. I opened a "good" picture file and they were likewise empty. Now I am not sure how to delete the settings as there seem to be none. Can I get more specific instructions on how to clear changes that you mention in yhour response? I have always used PS and I am starting to dabble on Capture so I would appreciate a more detailed advise, if hyou have the time. Thanks profusely for your help
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jaapb
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« Reply #17 on: May 06, 2013, 12:58:16 PM »
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Page 124 mentions "versions" and the ability to choose "original" as to revert to the original state. Just follow the link in my previous post and have a look and give it a try, "versions" is at the top of the Edit List palette. The "original" state may render the NEF readable by ACR/LR.

Quote from CNX2 manual:

Original
The
Original
version is always present within the
Version
menu and provides you with a quick way of
reverting the image to its original state, prior to any changes that were made within Capture NX 2. With NEF
RAW files, the original version will revert all settings to the state as set by the camera at the time of capture
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eskneler
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« Reply #18 on: May 06, 2013, 02:11:55 PM »
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When I get to the Edit list, it says already:  version: original. Since I have not made any changes there is no other "original" to go back to.
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jaapb
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« Reply #19 on: May 06, 2013, 02:54:08 PM »
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Maybe this repair utility by Phil Harvey, the creator of ExifTool, can help you fix your issue. I have no further clues, sorry.
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