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Nikon NEF RAW Images and Adobe Camera RAW

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#1 Luis V.

Luis V.

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Posted 03 January 2007 - 05:41 PM

A common issue / question that comes up with regards to RAW images is how to get Photoshop to recognize the RAW images. Particularly if it is a newer body. Below two common causes of the problem and the solutions. Dave Whiteley was kind enough to mention we should post these comments and anchor them so itís easy to find them. I summerized Dave's comments below...Thanks Dave!

Make Sure you have the appropriate Adobe Camera RAW (ACR) plug-in installed

If you buy a new camera you usually need to install the latest plug-in because the camera manufacturers keep changing the RAW encryption with every new camera they produce. This is common and it happens with all camera manufacturers. The version that comes with the original Adobe software is usually out of date for the latest cameras when you get it. The latest ACR version is a free download and you can get it at the link listed below:


Make sure to click on either the Macintosh or Windows name under the "Supported Cameras" bar for the appropriate download. The instructions for installing the ACR Update are on the bottom of the second page that comes up when you click on the Macintosh or Windows name. The installation basically involves the removal, renaming or moving of the old RAW converter file. The location and name of the of the file is given to you in the instructions. You then copy the new file into the specified directory/folder and your done.

Please note that Adobe stops supporting older versions of their software after a certain amount of time. This means that new versions of the RAW converters are stopped for the older versions of Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Photoshop Elements. In other words, if your camera is brand new but your version of Photoshop is an older version, you may not be able to get RAW support for it. Which cameras are supported by each version of ACR is listed on the link provided above.

Nikon Processing software replaces the RAW conversion file and you cannot get the full ACR functionality.

This is another common issue. If you install any Nikon processing software after already having Adobe software installed the Nikon software puts Nikon's own NEF/RAW converter in the Adobe plug-ins folder. This is an issue because it overrides, but does not replace, the Adobe ACR file. The result is that you do not get full conversion functionality. Nikonís software does not prompt you when replacing the file. If you want to use the Adobe Camera Raw Converter you need to either remove the Nikon plug-in or rename it to disable it. To do that, you do not need to uninstall the Nikon software, merely remove the plug-in from the appropriate directory. Once you've done that you will be OK.

Thanks again to Dave for the foresight to post this info and anchor it.

Edit: D. Whiteley 15th Feb 07:-

In response to a member that still could not get the RAW Converter to work after downloading the latest Adobe Camera RAW Converter George Dingwall posted the following solution that cured his problem:-

"Corrupt preferences can cause all sorts of problems, and they are not deleted if you uninstall and re-install.

To return Elements to the default preferences, do the following.

As soon as you double click on the Elements icon, hold down CTRL + ALT + SHIFT all at the same time. You will get a small dialog asking if you want to reset the preferences. Click OK to reset. Elements will then continue to load normally. You would need to re-enter any specific preferences you had previously edited."
Luis V.Nikon D800/D2X/D200/D100Nikon 17-35mm f/2.8 AFS | 24-70mm f/2.8 AFS | 70-200mm f/2.8 AFS VR-II | 200-400mm f/4 AFS | 50mm f/1.4D | 85mm f/1.4D | 105mm f/2.8 Macro

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