Give your digital images the spirit of analog photography and black and white with the updated Nik Collection 2.3, featuring 10 iconic black-and-white films, to dramatically change your photos in 2020.
Right in time for the festive season, and to give a different touch to your photographs, DxO introduces Nik Collection 2.3, a major upgrade to the famous plugin suite for Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements. Compatible with macOS Catalina and the latest versions of Adobe software, Nik Collection 2.3 continues to evolve since DxO reintroduced, and more recently added 42 new pre-sets to the suite, improving support for high-resolution screens in Windows, and ensuring RAW-file compatibility through DxO PhotoLab 2, as I wrote before here at ProVideo Coalition.
Now, DxO introduces 10, new iconic black-and-white films to the Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin, allowing users to explore even more options when it comes to reproducing emulsions from the past, some of them only a memory now. It’s more than just desaturating color images to obtain a black and white digital image, than can, if you so want, become black and white print. With its 48 pre-sets, Silver Efex Pro 2 is the ultimate plugin from the Nik Collection by DxO for achieving striking images. Its unique algorithms and extensive adjustment palette make it possible to create extraordinary photos based on dark room techniques.
It’s almost like working with the real emulsions
Users can adjust luminosity and contrast, highlight whites, add colour filters, and more. In addition, its exclusive range of 28 analog films are modelled after iconic, traditional styles, including Ilford Delta 100 Pro, Kodak Tri-X 400TX, and Fuji Neopan 1600. Its grain adjustment tool makes it possible to make minute changes to grain density and harshness for an even more realistic finish. Finally, with U POINT technology, adjustments can also be applied locally. It’s almost like working with the real films and printing from the negatives in the darkroom, with the difference that now you can always revert the effects, if you want to.
Now, the Nik Collection 2.3 by DxO incorporates 10 new film types that simulate some of the most iconic black-and-white films ever created. It’s time to explore emulsions that in most cases are no longer available to try, and understand how “colorful” black and white can be, with names as Adox Silver Max 21, Agfa Scala 200x, Bergger BRF 400 Plus, Foma 100, Fuji Neopan 400, Ilford Pan 100 and 400, Polaroid 667 and 672, and Rollei 100 Tonal.
A handful of classic films
Each film has been carefully selected for its artistic merits or historical appeal, according to DxO. Adox Silver Max 21 was chosen for its fine grain and ability to produce deep blacks and a wide range of greys, making it the perfect option for portraits. Bergger BRF 400 Plus was picked for its moderate contrast and average grain, which makes it well suited for landscape photos. Foma 100, a classic panchromatic film with a fine grain and high resolution, offers a wide range of greys even in bright light, making it an excellent choice for landscape and studio photography. Finally, Ilford 100 and 400 were tapped for their versatility and sharpness, while Rollei 100 Tonal offers a fine grain and soft contrasts, which are popular among architecture fans.
Rediscover Fuji Neopan 400
Photographers will also enjoy rediscovering Fuji Neopan 400, a film designed for street photography, flash less indoor portraiture, and reporting that was taken off the market in 2014, although one version, Neopan 400CN, a C-41 process chromogenic film which is only sold in the UK. Already present in Nik Collection Silver Efex Pro 2 plugin, the Neopan 100 ACROS emulates the last traditional black and white film produced by Fujifilm, which was discontinued in April 2018, but is now returning, due to users request, with Fujifilm announcing the return to traditional silver halide black and white film with an updated Neopan ACROS 100 II, this Autumn.
Owners of the Nik Collection don’t need to buy the emulsion, they just have to pick the Neopan 100 ACROS emulation option from the list present in Silver Efex Pro. And who knows, maybe DxO will even make an updated version, giving them the Neopan ACROS 100 II with an update to the version of Nik Collection now released, or in a near future.
The suite also features the black-and-white slide film Agfa Scala 200x, a style that was discontinued in 2007 and captures exceptional form and razor-sharp details, as well as the eminently popular Polaroid 667 and 672 films, which stopped being produced in 2008. So this new update really represents a tour down memory lane, showing those who never had the chance to try the real emulsions the variety of options photographers had – and still have – with black & white.
The math behind the emulsions
Dan Hughes was entrusted with designing the finishes. Hughes is a lecturer in photography science at the Rochester Institute of Technology, a former Nik Software trainer, and the creator of the 42 “En Vogue” styles included in the Nik Collection 2 by DxO. To accurately reproduce the grain, contrast, and nuanced greys in these exceptional films, Dan Hughes based his calculations on photos taken under both laboratory and real-life conditions.
To ensure the best possible user experience, the Nik Collection 2.3 by DxO was optimized so it could be fully compatible with macOS Catalina as well as the latest versions of Adobe Lightroom Classic, Photoshop, and Photoshop Elements.
The Nik Collection 2.3 by DxO is now available for download on the DxO website for $149 for the full version and for $79 for the upgrade. Users who purchased Nik Collection 2 by DxO after June 2019 may upgrade their software for free. Nik Collection 2 is a suite of plugins offering an impressive range of creative effects and innovative tools that now includes DxO PhotoLab 2 Essential.