More Powerful Lightroom Workflow with Nik Software

If you don’t already know, I’m a big fan of Nik Software and use several of their Photoshop plugins. But did you also know that there are some of those same plugins that are now available for Lightroom? YES!

Now, I don’t have to go to Photoshop to use Silver Efex Pro, Viveza, or Color Efex Pro! That means a more streamlined and expedient workflow for me (or anyone else who wants to use Nik Software with Lightroom)! And from what I heard from PhotoshopWorld, it won’t be too long before Sharpener 3.0 is added to the list of plugins that are Lightroom compatible! That’s killer news!

For more info, be sure to check out Nik Software’s website for all the details and to purchase their great plugins. And don’t forget that if you’re a NAPP member you’re entitled to a discount as well! (Details are available on the NAPP member website.)

The folks at Nik are really great and they are all about photography first, which is awesome for photographers. Although, I may be a little partial because they’re a San Diego company and that’s where my home is.

Nik Software offers a 15-day trial period for all of their plugins so what do you have to lose?! If you’re using Lightroom and not already using Nik’s products be sure to check them out because a faster workflow awaits!


8 thoughts on “More Powerful Lightroom Workflow with Nik Software

  1. Hello Steven,

    I have been contemplating getting Nik Software Complete Software Collection for Photoshop and Lightroom or just Nik Complete Software Collection for Lightroom but was unsure how it would interact with Lightroom. Would you be able to do a more indepth review regarding Nik Software for Lightroom? How it interacts with Lightroom plus how you like the software and what it can do?

    Also, do you know when Nik DFine will be added to the list?

    I am curious about as this is the next software I would like to get but $600 for Photoshop and Lightroom vs $300 for Lightroom makes a big difference in your budget.


    • Nice post, Stephen – thanks!

      Re: Dfine’s availability w/in Lightroom: We’ve announced that ALL the plug-ins will be updated by June, 2009. Viveza, Silver Efex Pro and Color Efex Pro 3.0 have all been updated. Sharpener is next (“real soon now”, trust me!), and that will leave Dfine. They’ve been coming about every 3 weeks. So… hang tight!

      Kevin (from Nik Software)

    • Hi Chris,

      As you may have read already, Kevin from Nik Software already answered
      your question about Sharpener so I’d be on the lookout for the
      Lightroom integration very soon! And it looks like we’ll have DFine
      by June which is also great!

      (Thanks Kevin, for jumping in and helping out!)

      I dig the suggestion for a more in-depth review of how Nik’s plugins
      interact with Lightroom so I’ll get to work on that. I’ve got a great
      idea on how to deliver it too!

      One thing I will say right off the bat is that you can do everything
      with Nik Software from Lightroom that you can with Photoshop. More on
      that to come!

      Until then, keep an eye out for my review… with a little luck I’ll
      have it up by the end of the week.


  2. Hello Stephen,

    It is not true that you can do everything with Nik Software from Lightroom that you can do in Photoshop. You can’t apply the adjustments as a layer, and you can’t paint in the Nik adjustments using a brush to specific parts of your image in Lightroom as you can in Photoshop

    • Very good points and thank you for bringing them up. I should have clarified my post a little better and specified that the tools specific to Nik’s applications are the same as in the version for Photoshop and all of the presets are the same.

      Thanks for pointing that out!

      All the best,


  3. Using the combination of Lightroom 3 (LR) and NIK (Dfine, Viveza, Color Efex, Silver Efex, (HDR), Sharpener) I have to say it is not that easy to use.

    You have to create a copy in LR, switch to NIK from within LR, work on that copy, and on saving in NIK you will be automatically transferred back to LR, while NIK closes! This workflow is not really elegant.
    It prevents you from generating several versions of a photograph in one step. You always have to cycle back to LR. Batch-processing is not possible. Furthermore, you cannot save all the modifications you did to a picture in a file, you have to write down what you did.
    Typically you will produce 5 TIFF files: one for LR, one for Dfine, one for Viveza, one for Color or Silver Efex and finally one for the sharpener.

    Therefore, the combination LR und NIK is for working on one photograph, not on a series. It should be way better to use NIK with Photoshop’s layers, where you can also use the brush tool for all the NIK effects, as “dilcol” pointed out.

    Nevertheless: while the workflow may be tedious to some, NIK filters are excellent for producing stunning results FAST!

  4. Hello Stephen. Buying Nik SW is a must for me. However, I was thinking if I needed to use PS to take my postprocessing to the next level and then add Nik to my tool suite. I’ve only used LR and felt that PS would allow me to raise the bar.

    Do I have any limits with using LR only and not using PS? I do know I can use Nik for either LR or PS.

  5. Hi Ceasar – please see the post by @dilcol above. The only limitations are you can’t do layers and you can’t brush effects in (both LR limitations). I will add that with our plug-ins running in LR, you get to edit multiple images in one session (the plug-ins get “next/previous” arrows) and I think memory efficiency is better (the layers in PS can be monstrously huge).

    Best, Kevin

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