And Now For Some Free Efex.

News for Lightroom and Photoshop users. The Nik Collection of photo editing tools, including Viveza, Silver Efex Pro, and so on, is now available for free. It used to cost $500. I suppose this means it is end-of-life, but you may want to add these tools for occasional use.

Top right, select “download now”. Then install.

Note that this is not actually a plugin. It is simply an external app called from within Lightroom by right-clicking and selecting “Edit in…”, and then selecting the effect you like.

If you have sensibly selected “Store Presets with Catalog” in Lightroom, the presents do not appear and you have to add them yourself, like this:

The drawbacks:

  1. You now lose both time and disk space, because when you edit, a new file (usually, a large .TIFF) is created.
  2. You are breaking the “fully reversible edits” paradigm in Lightroom!
  3. You have to learn new software.

In fact, frankly, after a fairly brief inspection I do not yet see a lot that Lightroom cannot do all by itself. No doubt there’s some, but not an awful lot—not that I would use regularly anyway.

But I do like the film types included in SilverFX Pro, for instance, and may just occasionally use these. The fact that this is not an actual plugin is a great thing: if I do not use these apps, they in no way degrade or affect Lightroom. So, I have installed them. You may want to as well, as long as you use them judiciously. Have fun!