DPR Forum

Welcome to the Friendly Aisles!
DPRF is a spin-off of dpreview. We are a photography forum with people from all over the world freely sharing their knowledge and love of photography. Everybody is welcome, from beginners to the experienced professional. From smartphone to Medium Format.

DPRF is a community for everybody, every brand and every sensor format. Digital and film.
Enjoy this modern, easy to use software. Look also at our Reviews & Gallery!

Which must have in addition to Photoshop CS2



I would be interested to hear from you, what kind of additionall software you would recommend in addtion to Photoshop CS2.

I am thinking about software that makes your life easier/faster(workflow) and/or which is able to do things better than PS CS2. i.e. correction of vignetting/light fall off, contrast, distortion etc.

Thanks in advance
... I forgot to mention, that I am also interested in any recommendations for software when scanning slides.

I have a Nikon Super Coolscan 4000 and the Nikon Software with it. Maybe there is some better scanning software out there, which gives either easier the same results or even better results...
Hi Dirk,
I have a Targa AMD 64 Athlon 3500 computer with a 300GB hard drive and 19" flat screen which I bought as a package from Lidl supermarket amazingly enough. Although I had checked the Targa website before buying, it was very much a shot in the dark. So far I am very pleased with it. The screen seems to me to be very good. It was about £200 which is good value for a 19" with 16ms response.

I use a Minolta Dimage Scan Elite 5400 for my 35mm slides and negatives. It seems pretty good once you get used to the software. It is slow ish when you use ICE which I find invaluable but I understand that all are although I have no experience of other models. The current model is the Konica Minolta Dimage Scan 5400 II which is probably still better.

I have recently downloaded Picasa2 which is a free download from Google. It is a photo manager and it allows you to make various changes to your pictures very simply without overriding the original. When you first start it, it scans your computer for all the pictures and loads them into Picasa. I haven't experimented with it to a large degree yet but initial feelings are that it is very good and it is free! You don't really need any specialized knowledge to use it.

Hope that's of some help,
I forgot to mention that the files from scanning a 35mm colour slide at 5400 with ICE seem to be in the region of 203MB.
Sorry if this should be in the other thread.
I found Noise Ninja to be very useful.
It's unique in the way that one can preserve the detail to a satisfactory degree. Of course any global noise reduction scheme is bound to have negative effect on the detail, so it's really a matter of tradeoff. When use it very carefully, I found it to be satisfactory.

From the point of view of signal processing, you have better chance distinguishing the noise from the desired information when you have large amount of data. This holds true even when the esolution is finer than the noise. So I'd suggest always scanning at the maximum resolution, do the noise reduction, and then size down to a level that suits your need. Same token, one may want to consider not doing noise reduction at all when the detail subject contains few pixel counts (model far away from you or grass, for ex&le). Better live with that. Best place to apply noise reduction is basically trivial places, like sky, etc. When comes to close-up model, though, things become tricky. Matter of taste I guess. Some people just like the "plastic skin" effect that many DC and badly applied noise reduction will give you.
PSCS2 does all the specific functions you mentioned Dirk ... and a lot more. Not much you can't do with that program. It's deeper than you can possibly imagine.
I occasionally use Noise Ninja. There's a PT Lens CS2 plug-in for correcting lens distortion but I haven't really used it.

Adobe Camera Raw has vignetting and CA correction, as well as some very basic noise reduction. Also there's an ACR calibrating script available that will fine-tune the underlying parameters to the specific sensor in your DSLR s&le - it requires the GretagMacbeth 24-patch ColorChecker (about $60/70). It made a somewhat noticeable difference I liked, but it's not like I was destitute without it.

In general I don't do much manipulation other than ACR exposure, brightness, shadow, contrast, saturation and brightness curve. If badly backlit and needs it, I use a fringe-removing action (http://www.shaystephens.com/ca.asp).
I should've mentioned I use Thumbs Plus Pro to do my image management and organization. I also print and create my core gallery pages (which I then modify) from it. You may want to check it out. It has full support for CR2 files.

Hi Dirk,

I wholeheartedly recommend several plugins from NikMultimedia.com. DFINE, CEP Filter Set, and Sharpener Pro. I would suggest you go to their website where you can get detailed information, and perhaps download the user manuals, on these products. The Filter Set comes in three "sizes", depending on the number of filters you want. These are not just static type filters. On graduated filters, for ex&le, in addition to controling the opacity, you can position the transition line anywhere up, down, or at any angle. They are really great. I personally find DFINE an essential part of my tools, as is their sharpener plugin. The only downside of NikMultimedia's plugins is they are not cheap.

Fred Miranda also offers several excellent plugins that are very reasonable. FredMiranda.com

And lastly Extensis has a two excellent plugins, one called intellihance and the other is called PixlScale which lets you blow files up significantly with little loss.

Some of these plugins overlap in functionality, so its a matter of taste and price. I do believe that a sharpener plugin is essential though as they allow selective sharpening (application of Unsharp Mask) to various parts of the image in varying strength.

My favorites are the NikMultimedia ones, even though they are pricy. IMHO, they are tremendously flexible, have superb user interfaces, and excellent documention. But I would look at all of them.

Good Luck. If you want I can send you copies of the manuals for any of the above as I have tried them all.