Nik Silver Efex Pro 2 Review
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Windows users, the all-in-one photo editor Luminar 2018 is out now and available for just $69£64 for new users, with big discounts for upgrading users. We rated Luminar as "Highly Recommended". Visit the Luminar web site to try it for free.
Below structure, there are two smaller sliders next to each other which protect the tonality of the image, so it's no surprise that they're called tonality protection. With these, you can lose or retain shadow and highlight detail although only once you've changed the sliders above. Below the first tab there are four more tabs. The second in the line is the selective adjustment tab which uses the U-Point technology to add localised points that you can make adjustments to.
Below the control point tab is the colour filter tab. Clicking on one of the colours will overlay the colour filter to the picture. This filter doesn't add colour, it's the same as using a red filter when taking pictures with black and white film. All it does is add contrast and the same applies here. Clicking on the details drop down will show two more sliders, one for hue and one for strength. Moving the hue slider is a more precise change to the colour filter and we found this more beneficial than the preset colours along the top. The strength slider adds or reduces contrast to the picture.
After we all flocked over to digital and left film for dead, it's started to see a revival in more than one place. Film itself has started to see a comeback and programs such as Silver Efex Pro 2 also boast a film setting. This is located in the fourth tab on the right side of the screen and you can adjust the grain, sensitivity of the grain to a particular colour and also levels and curves, which is pretty useful.
The best bit about this is the drop down box at the top of the tab. At first, because it's listed as neutral, it's easy to assume that there are only a few preset options in there, but opening it up reveals a plethora of film types from old favourites such as Ilford FP4 to less used “specialist” films such as Kodak P3200 T-Max Pro. Hovering your mouse over these film effects will preview them on your picture so you can try them before selecting them. It cuts a corner of having to go back into the menu if you decide you don't want it and I think it's a simple but nice touch. The films are sorted into speed with the designation to the side.
The final tab on the right side is for finishing adjustments. Here you can change the tone, add a vignette, burn the edges and add a frame. There are lots of frames to choose from including more ragged ones to look like an old picture. It would be nice to see some that look like negative frames as well but there should be a frame that you'll like.
At the bottom of the window, there's a loupe for looking at areas of the picture in close up. There are two nice things about the loupe. First there's the tone chart at the bottom. Now, what the chart does is shows you where those tones are in the picture. Click on one of them and that tone will start to flash red lines so you know where it is in the picture.