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Old Oct 15, 2005, 2:34 AM   #1
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All...

I just graduated to DSLR from my earlier pany FZ15 camera. I recieved my D50 couple of days back and I am very excited...I had a couple of questions...
1) WHich is the best RAW converter/ Editor that is open source/ free to use for RAW image manipulations?

2) I have a Kit lens (18-55mm), which other lens do you recommend. I am a serious amatuer and want to improve my photoraphy, at the same time I do not have lots of $$$ to spend...I mostly do potraits andd nature photography...
I am also interested in Macro photoraphy...My Panasonic FZ15 was wonderful with 6t for macro...Can I use Nikon 6t macro filter effectively with my current lens...

The kit lens has 52mm whereas my Nikon 6t has 62mm....Will the step up rin

work properly...does anybody have a experience with that?

I have few other questions too...but I guess for now this is it for now...

Thanks for your replies...
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 8:49 AM   #2
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Congratualations on your purchase!!! I'll try to answer some of your questions.

I know you're looking for something free, but I'm not aware of any great free image converters. Corel does have one but I've never used it. Nikon encrypts there NEF files, which may make compatibility an issue with any free programs. Do yourself a favor and get Photoshop Elements 3.0. It costs $99 and incorporates many of the most useful elements from Photoshop. It also recently added support for D50 NEF images.

In terms of lenses, since you shoot wildlife, a telezoom is important. I would avoid teleconverters as they slow your lens considerably (1-3 stops depending on the strength of the converter) and slow AF. You can get a 70-300, (which after the crop factor is a 105-450) from Keh for a little over $100. This will leave a small gap in your lenses (the 85-105) but I don't think you'll miss it too much.

Step up rings will work fine on your lens. Just avoid step down rings.

Good luck!!!
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 9:52 AM   #3
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I have used RawShooter Essentials 2005 for RAW image editing,
however current version doesn't support the encrypted WB of D50:s RAW files
so images have green/violet/red/yellow tint before you set the WB correctly.
Newer non public beta versions do support D50 raw so full compatibility it's just a question of time.
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Old Oct 15, 2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thanks RJ...for your answers...I appreciate it...I am going to place order for 70-300mm today itself...read some reviews too and the lens is not too bad for the price they are offering. The best part is the outer threads are 62mm due to which I can use my previous 62mm filters including Nikon 6t.

About the image manipulation program I am a big fan of GIMP which is open source program....nearly eaquivalent to Photoshop. there are some open source RAW plugins like UFRAW...which very much do the work...but I just wanted to know of there is some other dedicated free RAW software...

Shred...I installed RawShooter Essentials 2005yesterday before posting this thread and I encountered the same White Balance problem as you mentioned...other than that the software seems to be very powerful....you just need to figure out the WB (which is really a pain)...other than that this software does seem to do the work...you were talking about BETA for this...do you have a copy or a link from where I can download it???

Thanks


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Old Oct 15, 2005, 2:17 PM   #5
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I don't have the betaversion as all the the pixmantec "beta test memberships" are already taken.
But in the pixmantec forums someone said that the D50 raw works flawlesly in the beta.
I guess we just have to wait for minor update or RawShooter Essentials 2006 or similar.
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Old Oct 16, 2005, 5:07 AM   #6
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arundp : Try with Biblle Pro V. 4.30 from Biblle Labs. I read than is working well with N D2X and D70. :idea:
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 1:43 PM   #7
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Apparently Picasa 2 (free from Google Extras) has been updated and allows for viewing and editing NEFs. This program is also great for browsing your image library.

-Blake
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Old Oct 17, 2005, 1:47 PM   #8
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Yes that is right...I use picassa to view the NEF files...But the editing options in Picassa are too less...
It treats NEFs the way it treats JPEGs...no difference at all...
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Old Oct 27, 2005, 6:19 PM   #9
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If you have money, there's always Photoshop CS2...since September with the 3.2 ACR update there's been added support for the WB so the "As shot" feature works better than earlier.

Sadly, this is not a free option.
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Old Oct 28, 2005, 11:51 AM   #10
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If one wants to pay for a program then the new RawShooter premium 2006,
which costs 60$, is likely the best RAW editing software out there.

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