Review: Nik Silver Efex Pro 2

Posted by Gary Ramey on May 26th, 2011

Summary: Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 is a Photoshop plugin that is used to convert color images to B/W. Silver Efex Pro 2 now works with the 64-bit version of Photoshop. If you are serious about converting color photos to B/W, Silver Efex Pro 2 won’t disappoint.

Product Description:

The World’s Leading Black and White Software. Discover the beauty of black and white photography with Silver Efex Pro 2, the world’s leading solution for creating stunning images. Silver Efex Pro 2 offers a powerful set of darkroom-inspired features, including the revolutionary U Point technology that enables you to fine-tune your images with precise selective enhancements.

Whether you are a professional or a hobbyist yearning for those days in the darkroom, Silver Efex Pro 2 gives you all the power and control you need to create high quality black and white images. In the past, black and white tools often meant compromising on the quality of the conversion or required a complex and lengthy multi-step process that didn’t ensure predictable results. We set out to create a single workflow solution that provides everything you need for the highest quality results.


Great beginnings

Start with dozens of visual presets as starting points. If you like what you see, you’re done. If you want to go further, use an extensive set of global controls such as brightness, contrast, saturation, structure, film types, toning, and much more to craft your image.


Selective editing and finishing touches

For the ultimate in selective enhancements, look no further than the revolutionary U Point technology for incredibly precise selections and adjustments. You can even use the Zone Map built into the software to help guide your edits. Finally, add a vignette, burn in the edges, or add a natural image border to finish your black and white masterpiece. Experimenting is fast and fun, especially with the ability to compare different editing states with the brand new History Browser.

Review: Photoshop just doesn’t give you enough control over converting color to B/W. Silver Efex Pro 2 allows you to covert an image to B/W and a lot more. You can change brightness, contrast, and structure. You can also apply filters like we used to do for B/W film. For instance, putting a red filter on the camera ensured that the sky would be dark and have greater contrast. Silver Efex Pro has the same kind of filter but it is applied virtually. There are also neutral, orange, green, and blue filters. The strength of these filters can be increased to 200%. To be fair, Photoshop does have similar filters for converting a color image to B/W.

Silver Efex Pro 2 also has selective control via U Point® Technology. Think non-destructive dodging and burning. You can move and delete the points so the changes are not permanent. Silver Efex Pro 2 also has various image borders that mimic film borders and a variety of film grains that can be applied to the image.


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