Still using NIK collection plugins?

Greetings NPNer’s,

For some years I have been usign the NIK plugins; all while the company was bouncing along to Google, etc.

Thru recent Photoshop CC upgrades and a whole new PC/OS I just recently installed, I’ve lost my “free” versions and now stuck in the “Trial has expired” loop. I know there are links to the old versions, but even those now seem to be “Free Trial” and eventual upgrade to their paid for app.

I had only ever used 2 of their plugins; that was the Silver Efex Pro and the Presharpener. Not sure I want to spend a $150 for a b&w converter. Yeah, I can use the PS b&w adjustment… but I liked the wide variety and options available in Silver Efex.

Questions: 1. Are the older, “free” versions of the Nik Collection still out there? and 2. If not NIK, what are you using for B&W conversions?



Lon, not sure what you might be fighting overall as I never went Adobe Cloud. I’m still off line Adobe Custom Suite 5. With that said I have the download Free Nik. I still use fairly often a few items to this day out of the entire collection. If you don’t get updated input from others here to solve the issue let me know thru my normal email address.

I used to be a heavy user of the Nik plugins but now I just use Lightroom and feel I can achieve better results, especially with black and white. I’ll shoot you a message with a link for a webinar I did on black and white in Lightroom, which you could easily apply to camera raw. I recently downloaded the latest Nik plugins just to see if they had improved, and I wasn’t impressed, but I know a lot of people love them!


I only use Nik for Silver Efex which is really nice for b/w IMO… otherwise I don’t really use anything else. I paid for Nik a few months ago and it seems to be working fine.

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Thanks guys for chiming in!

Hey Paul, thanks for the offer. I’m gonna try a few things and see if I can improve my b&w processing skills. I’ll let you know, Thanks!

@David_Kingham , thanks for the note and link. I hope to improve my b&w skills!

And thanks as well @Matt_Payne . I did really like the Silver Efex as it had lots of options and elements to adjust. Guess I’ll just have to decide if I want to bite the bullet on the cost for just one app. We’ll see.

Thanks all!

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Like @David_Kingham, I only use my raw processor any more, in my case Capture One. Like Lightroom, it has a wonderful B&W module that is nicely integrated with the rest of the adjustments. I dropped NIK several years ago and recently dropped all Adobe products since I found less expensive alternatives on Apple machines (Affinity to replace Photoshop, and ApolloOne to replace Bridge)…

Good luck with your efforts.

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Quite a few years ago I used Silver Efex, butI find that I can get the same effects in Photoshop. What I iked most in SE was you could choose starting photos with different texture. That texture was difficult to reproduce in Photoshop. Clarity was similiar but not the same. The new texture slider in Photoshop works great for creating that effect. The other choices of “starting point” photos was mostly differences in contrast and white and dark points, which can also easily be manipulated in Photoshop. So, no, I don’t use SE any more.

I’m still using the Free Google Nik version in the latest Photoshop.

Just caught this thread (thanks for the useful newsletter, David).

I still use Nik, almost exclusively for Silver Efex Pro. I appreciate its versatility and the presets, which allow me to quickly explore and view an image in new ways that may actually improve upon what I initially envisioned.

I have been paying for it, however. Lost access to the free version some time ago (likely during a computer switch), so I had to buy. The problem I have faced on and off over the last couple years is their upgrade pop-up window, which appears momentarily, then disappears behind the editing screen. That effectively freezes everything in PhotoShop (I can’t “back out” or close Nik independently), so I have to Force-Quit PS and lose all my open files. If I’m part-way through a batch of photos, this makes me start it all over. It’s a pain, and I’ve raised the issue with DXO. The pop-ups vanished for a while after I last moaned to them about it—no solutions from their ends—but now they are back, so I’m going through it all over again. I’ll continue to use it, but lordy, it’s annoying.

@Max_Waugh , I had the same problem but I searched and discovered a solution to for it:
There is a file on your computer called NikCollection.cfg which should be located in “C:\ProgramData\DxO\Nik Collection\NikCollection.cfg”
The file is in XML format and you can edit it in notepad. Locate the entry “Checkforupdate” followed by a string with key name=“LastCheck” and a value = [a big number]. The long number is a date in Unix time when Nik last checked for updates and will look something like this ”1660832538”. If you change the first digit of that number, the 1 to be a 2 (from 1660832538 to 2660832538) and then save the file, Nik won’t check for an update until sometime in the year 2054. I think that that’s long enough. :blush:

Back to the NIK Collection. I still use it; I think I have version 2 – the one that was still free. I use Viveza most and especially the “structure” slider which adds a very pleasing mid tone contrast to my images. I’ve tried to figure out a way to get a similar effect using just Photoshop but I haven’t been able to so if anyone knows of a good alternative I’m all ears.

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Tom, thanks. This is very similar to what they had me doing before, though in that case they asked me to replace the whole number string with a specific value (which started with 1). It never worked. We’ll see if changing the first numeral to 2 does the trick.

Tom, just a heads-up that this did not work on my Mac. I’m still getting ambushed by the occasional Nik upgrade “pop-under” (the pop-up that appears and then vanishes behind the editing window, freezing everything). A bummer, but sadly I’ve gotten used to it at this point.