Nik Software Suite – Now $149

Google recently announced the opportunity to purchase the entire suite of Nik software modules for the bargain price of $149. As a longtime user and fan of Nik Software, I can attest to what a sweet deal this represents.

Nik Logo

This bundle originally cost $500, putting it outside the price range of all but the more serious photographers with deeper pockets. At $149, however, this suite will appeal to a much broader range of photographers. By ways of comparison, HDR Soft, maker of the popular Photomatix HDR processing software, charges $119 for its software – and this only gets you 1/6th of the capabilities of this Nik bundle. Imagenomic software, maker of Noiseware, charges $79 for this module, or 1/2 the price of the entire Nik software bundle price. Topaz, a rapidly growing upstart, offers some quality modules that directly compete with Nik’s software. Topaz, at this time, however, requires you to spend $299 to get access to its full suite of capabilities. And while the $299 suite price appears to be a good deal, I suspect many people will not use all these modules, thus softening Topaz’s value proposition. In light of its competitors’ pricing, Nik’s $149 suite represents one of the best values relative to photo editing software. I would strongly urge people to capitalize on this pricing while it lasts.

Nik Software Suite

Google’s Strategy?

When Google purchased Nik Software, I wondered what it was up to. Was the strategy to eventually compete with Adobe on some front? Apple? Eventually use Nik’s Snapseed software to knock Instagram (now part of Facebook) off its perch? Perhaps Google simply noticed the proliferation of cameras in all forms – point and shoots, DSLRs, mirrorless, smartphones, and tablets – as well as how critical photos were becoming on the social media front, and decided that owning a photo processing software suite could be a crucial aspect of its future.

Unlike Instagram, which is really a social media sharing site for photos, which also happens to provide some rudimentary photo processing actions or presets, Nik Software provides some extremely capable photo editing functionality that rivals Adobe Photoshop family of products and other non-Adobe plug-in competitors. Google’s deep pockets may indeed be able to help Nik, already a leader in the field, advance much further than Nik might have done on its own. And Nik quickly provides Google with photo editing capabilities that meet and, in many cases, exceed those of its competition.

It is no secret that the full-blown version of Photoshop is beyond many people’s budgets and/or needs. Adobe acknowledged this concern by introducing Lightroom and Photoshop Elements, which both borrow heavily from Photoshop’s rich suite of functionality, but also provide easier-to-use interfaces and offer far more attractive pricing. Even Adobe’s Cloud offering, which attempts to offer subscription pricing instead of a huge upfront licensing cost, may still be priced a bit beyond many people’s budgets.

One could imagine that a future version of Google’s Picasa or similar product offering, with some enhancements borrowed from Nik Software and some layering/masking capabilities, might become a very strong competitor to Adobe’s product line, and be all most people would ever need for basic-to-intermediate photo editing purposes. Such an offering would do quite a bit to drive more traffic to Google, strengthen Google+, and serve as an introduction to Nik’s fee-based suite of photo editing tools. And for more serious photographers, one could easily imagine an Adobe Lightroom competitor that included a new interface and some of the capabilities from the various Nik modules, which would serve the same purpose as Lightroom’s popular Preset functionality.


I get the most use from Nik’s Dfine and Sharpener software modules. Every photo I post is run through Nik’s denoising and sharpening process. I have created a variety of actions in Photoshop using both modules based on preset values that work best for me. I have compared these modules to others, including those that come standard in Lightroom and Photoshop, and found that the Nik modules provide very good results for the money.

Next in line is Color Efex, which has a treasure trove of effects and various means to adjust each of them. You can also combine various effects to create very unique looks that would take you hours, if not days, to replicate in Photoshop. If you can’t find the effect you are looking for in Color Efex, you likely haven’t looked hard enough or explored the full capabilities of the sliders! When I am working with black and white images, I rely heavily on Silver Efex, which provides some powerful tools for creating stunning results. And on day one of its release, HDR Efex replaced Photomatix as my HDR software of choice. I haven’t used Viveza quite as much as I have used the other Nik modules, but know some photographers that swear by its rich feature set and easy-to-use capabilities.


If you are looking to improve your post-processing workflow, reduce time spent editing, and maximize the impact of your photos, I suggest taking the Nik Software suite for a test spin. Even if you find that you believe you need only of these modules, you will likely still be ahead of the game financially by purchasing the Nik bundle vs. some of the modules offered by the competition. Once you start using the various Nik Software modules, I suspect you will wonder how you performed your post-processing tasks without them.


  1. 1) David B
    March 27, 2013 at 2:07 am

    I have some of Nik’s software, and probably will buy the $149 bundle myself, but truthfully, the latest versions of Lightrooms noise and sharpening is so sophisticated that it does as good job as other dedicated services……. And many free presets that you can get for Lightroom (just search on the internet) can duplicated most of the effects from Nik/Topaz will a click of a button. Including zillions of B&W presets. So I go to these external services less and less, as I’ve downloaded countless free presets for Lightroom. So if your workflow involves Lightroom, I think these external programs become less and less relevant with each new version of Lightroom

    • 1.1) John Richardson
      March 27, 2013 at 2:47 am

      When I looked in my mail box and found the notice from Nik I was thrilled. The fact that some of us who only bought a few or even one Nik plug-ins were now getting ALL of the plug-ins for free. So, though I had everything for Lightroom and ApertureI did not have Dfine or Sharpener for Photoshop, now I do. For those of you who haven’t looked in your SPAM Mail, I would suggest you do so. If you bought anything prior to the latest bundle date you may have a surprise. So David B look in your spam box!

      Let’s not miss the point (no pun) of U-Point technology coupled with the sliders that is the core of Nik’s plug-ins. This is a powerful feature. Viveza at first glance doesn’t look great, until you get into it and use the control points.

      I might add something about presets. Just an opinion. ANYONE can make presets. Getting FREE presets is nice, but actually I prefer to experiment and make my own, it is simple and though the free-bees give a a starting point, truthfully they are nothing that you could not com up with on you own. Yeah I download free ones but found that some of them were not all that great, I ended up deleting many.

      Was the original package overpriced? Oh yeah it was, I bought the Aperture Lightroom bundle and had to turn around and later buy parts for Photoshop. $149. is the new price (no one has stated there will be a time limit on this) and the Google/Nik Bundle is complete and is used for PS/Bridge/Lightroom and Aperture. No more keys to record and save etc. So lower price, full set, is a great deal considering how useful these plug-ins are. On Google+ I see Google has snagged Brian Matiash away from OnOne also!

      I can only see better things on the horizon with Google’s acquisition of NikSoftware.

      • 1.1.1) Richard D
        March 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

        Thanks for this message, John.

        I own a copy of Viveza 2, so I received that same email you appear to have received…..since I own one Nik plug-in, I now can get the entire set for free.

        I was skeptical, thinking this was perhaps spam and, if I had time, I would check more into it. But it appears as if you and others on this thread received the free upgrade, so now I will attempt to download the rest of the plug-ins.

  2. 2) Ertan
    March 27, 2013 at 2:10 am

    When you think of other good and even free software, Nik products were overpriced in my opinion. You have to use LR, PS or similar software anyway and these have very good low priced or free presets around. And as David says, LR and similar software got sophisticated in many things, diminishing Nik tools’ overall value. 149$ for the bundle is probably the normal price.

  3. March 27, 2013 at 2:30 am

    I already had amazing two plugins : Color Efex Pro 4 and Silver Efex Pros 2
    and upgraded with this offer to the complete package;

    The price for 149$ compared to the value of these tools is crazy;
    I am really happy to have now hte whole palette using LR;


  4. March 27, 2013 at 2:32 am

    > one could easily imagine an Adobe Lightroom competitor that included a new interface and some of the capabilities from the various Nik modules

    That’S what I hope a real LR competitor from Google/Nik !!!

  5. 5) MartinG
    March 27, 2013 at 2:48 am

    Re the strategy – I stopped wondering what Google’s strategy might be some time ago. They just make random purchases, try out a few things, then close them down or abandon and sort of ignore them with no particular reason. (Reader, Chrome, Motorola phones) Some things they do are great, others just odd. I don’t think they have a set of core values or vision they really want to stick to. What will count is how they develop and extend the suite. I am not optimistic about what Google may do next.

    I think bundles like this are only good for those who have few other plug-in options. I have to admit I have bought them. Sometimes the next edition of the software they are designed to work with builds in their own version and include it as part of the next version. This process often makes them much less relevant.

    I will however happily take your advice and take them for a spin. Would you consider writing a how to article about a couple of your favourite modules for us?

  6. 6) Rohan Machado
    March 27, 2013 at 4:35 am

    Google also bought So, they might be offering an online version of Nik’s capabilities. Akin to MS office types online editing.

    Just thinking.

  7. 7) Rohan Machado
    March 27, 2013 at 4:36 am

    Google also bought

    So, they might be offering an online image editing suite with Nik’s capabilities.
    Like how they offer office document tools online in google docs/drive.

    Just thinking.

  8. March 27, 2013 at 5:46 am

    To check on this ‘deal’ when the email hit my in box, I tried to contact Nik/Google to check on the veracity; that is, maybe some form of malware. Just to be clear, other than going to the Nik website, not through an email link.

    The process of trying to contact customer service to check leaves me with a foul taste in my mouth. Contact by email or trying to get a human to call back so far are not successful. Regarding the ‘Phone’ option, the inputs for name, email and phone number for a call back consistently failed, for some unknown not explained reason. I for one will not bother with the offer. Since Nik got swallowed, customer service has turned into a nasty run around, and will likely spill over into tech service.

  9. 9) Shawn Fitzpatrick
    March 27, 2013 at 6:14 am

    Think I’ll keep my coin warm in my pocket for now too. I don’t like customer service at the levels of the likes of Nik NOT responding!!!

  10. 10) Neil
    March 27, 2013 at 6:52 am

    I think many of us are still concerned about the future of Nik’s plugins. Google has a rather capricious side to it and drops things whenever it suits them. And they’re big enough to handle any backlash. They’ve said they’ll continue developing the plugins and I believe them for at least one version. But after that? That’s when the truth will come out.

    Still, one thing I noticed in the article is that you didn’t mention Nik’s closest competitor in functionality: onOne’s Perfect Photo Suite. The biggest things it lacks is in sharpening and noise reduction but it has other functionality that Nik lacks like portrait retouching and frames. They’ve really been raising their game. It’ll be cool to see what happens in a year and see if they offer more than Nikoogle.

  11. 11) Goetz
    March 27, 2013 at 6:59 am

    I bought the NIK offering, but the Mac download link in the email I received does not work. Anyone else having that problem? I contacted customer support, but so far there has been no response…

    • 11.1) Allan Wood
      March 27, 2013 at 7:17 am

      I am sorry you are having that experience. While I have not bought the ‘offer’ so I have no direct knowledge on the link and excecutable, I have read many posts on precisely your problem and decided to give Nik a miss for a while.

      As I noted in my earlier comment, my experience with Nikoogle customer service is bad. A neighbor of mine who works for Google (unfortunately cannot help) told me that customer service is horrible, and not to hold my breath. He also told me that Google is too big to really care, and a bunch of disaffected photographers is not going to concern them. Why does he continue to work for them? It is a job!

      • 11.1.1) Goetz
        March 27, 2013 at 7:23 am

        When I bought the software, I did not download it immediately. When I came back a couple of hours later, the download webpage was timed out and the download link in the email gives me the following error message:

        The provided token has expired.
        Request has expired: 1364287196

        I have received an automatically generated email response from customer service that it takes them 1-2 days to respond. Let’s see whether that will be true (1 day is already gone)…

        • Goetz
          March 28, 2013 at 4:45 am

          They sent me a new download link, which worked. So they kept their promise!

    • March 27, 2013 at 8:58 am

      It did not work for me (Windows) either since the downloaded file not an exe file. The “Free Trial” is also useless; it flashes the screen for inputting your email but disappears as you try to click on the screen. I think Google needs to put in diligent efforts to get these bugs worked out. They just acquired NIK and since NIK is a little drop in their revenue bucket; they probably let it drip. I do not expect any constructive help from them. I also have difficulty in understanding how the NIK plugins fits into their business model and what is their motive to purchase NIK. Perhaps, they want to incorporate some underlying technology for their Droid.

      • 11.2.1) Ajit Menon
        March 27, 2013 at 6:43 pm

        The email link is not working for me either. I sent TWO customer service forms and have not received a reply yet.
        If you can, do post in here if anyone has had success with this.

        • Dvir
          March 27, 2013 at 8:13 pm

          I have Windows worked perfectly on the first try, so not sure what you guys are having a hard time with. I did only try the trial though.

  12. 12) Brian
    March 27, 2013 at 7:22 am

    I found out today that of you had bought 1 or more of the NIK software Plug-ins that you qualify to get the whole set for free.. I know this, because I got an email saying that I had 2 of the NIK Software Plug-ins that I can get the complete set for free.. I called NIK customer service, and they emailed me a link to download the PS CS6 plug -in.. I love it.. Never could afford the $600 price tag, now I have the complete set for free basically..

    • 12.1) Allan Wood
      March 27, 2013 at 8:08 am

      Well, it seems to work for some folks; too capricious. I tried contacting customer service as I noted in an earlier post. The request for a phone call from customer service did not work due to a persistent error message that may be something to do with the format of the phone number. I tried numerous computers and an iPad, plus both my numbers, with multiple ways of formatting the phone number/s. No luck, and after wasting quite a bit of time, I gave up. As for sending in an email from any platform, again, error messages even though I was very careful to enter required info correctly. I do not like being jerked around, and since I already use 4 Nik plugins with CS6, I am not inclined to continue.

  13. March 27, 2013 at 7:27 am

    This price change makes it very tempting. I was teaching about noise reduction in my Advanced Camera Techniques class yesterday and I mentioned Nik software but said it was expensive. For now at least, it is much more affordable priced.

  14. 14) Anders
    March 27, 2013 at 7:54 am

    It is really a shame that this offer does not work with Capture NX2.

    Previous versions of NIK software plugins worked perfectly with Capture NX2.

  15. 15) Mera
    March 27, 2013 at 7:56 am

    I was about to buy Lightroom, is the Nik software complimentary to thar, or more of an alternative?


    • 15.1) Allan Wood
      March 27, 2013 at 8:15 am

      Lightroom is a database, development, printing, exporting to wherever (web included), slideshow, some video etc software, so Nik is not really an alternative. I use Nik plugins with Photoshop CS6, so I am not sure whether these can work as plugins to LR (they may do, others will comment). I also use OnOne Software offerings as plugins to LR4; check their website for a suite at about $100 for LR4 and Aperture.

    • 15.2) Neil
      March 27, 2013 at 8:16 am

      In it’s current form, Nik’s plugins extend the functionality of Lightroom. It can’t replace it right now. What happens is when you use Nik it renders the raw file (if necessary) and lets you either modify the existing file (if not raw) or use a copy of the file. Then you enter a different interface where you do your work and save.

  16. 16) Jay
    March 27, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Call me old fashion, but I still like to have a disc for the software. Downloading is presenting a problem I see with many on this thread. When a disc can be offered, it will be time for me to buy.

    • 16.1) Peter
      March 27, 2013 at 8:48 am

      I agree with you. Give me a CD any time. Simple is best.

      • 16.1.1) Jesse
        March 27, 2013 at 9:24 am

        Discs are no good if your computer doesn’t have a disc drive….

        • Peter
          March 27, 2013 at 9:51 am

          Jesse, you can do better that that.

          • jesse
            March 27, 2013 at 3:58 pm

            Really? I don’t think I can…. My computer doesn’t have a disc drive….

    • 16.2) Dvir
      March 27, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      I agree 100% same for me with books can’t get into these kindles, I like having it physically, something about having it physically makes you feel like you own it.

    • 16.3) ertan
      March 29, 2013 at 3:51 pm

      If your PC can read CD’s, it can write one too. Download and compile a CD, and you’re done :)

  17. March 27, 2013 at 9:12 am

    … interesting discussion thread … I’ve got ColorEfex as a plug in to my Capture NX2 and had already learned that the newer version wasn’t going to be able to be added to it. Have been considering getting the upgrade as a plug in to Photoshop, but glad I waited. Am on a Mac, however, so reading that the d/l to the Mac is a problem, I too will try to restrain myself a bit. Maybe the problem everyone is experiencing is merely a product of too many people jumping in on the offer at one time? Let’s hope so.

    But I will add … I too am VERY leery of Google. Soo … we’ll seeeee …

    Will be watching this thread like a hawk!!

  18. 18) Edward
    March 27, 2013 at 9:14 am

    To get an additional 15% discount, use the code: “DZISER” or “MBP15” at checkout, you will be paying around $126 for the Nik Software package. Enjoy.

  19. 19) Jesse
    March 27, 2013 at 9:21 am

    Why no mention of OnOne Software Perfect Photo suite that also gives you the ability to work with layers through Lightroom, perfect black and white, Perfect focal point (one of my favorites), perfect re size and perfect effects which also goes for $150. But you can also get it for less with coupon codes that are easily found.

    • 19.1) Allan Wood
      March 27, 2013 at 9:39 am

      OK, my comment. OnOne Software has a Spring sale through March 29 or 30, 2013 (check their website). I got Perfect PhotoSuite 7 for Lightroom and Aperture for $100. The suite (all current/latest modules) is more $ for the Photoshop plugin version however, so it depends on the user’s workflow. I use both LR4 and PSCS6, so the LR4 plugin version is a better deal. I downloaded the Mac version (both Mac and PC are between 900 MB and 1GB) and installed with no problems. Unlike what I read for the current Nikoogle fiasco. Close PS (if open), LR and/or Aperture before installing, even if you only purchase the LR-Ap version.

  20. March 27, 2013 at 9:30 am

    By the way, I’ve just combed my emails and … sadly … no mention to little me about any of this from NIK. So, thank you Nasim for the heads up!!

  21. 21) Richard D
    March 27, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I just downloaded the full set file, and it appears to have installed properly. I’ve tried a couple of modules, exporting files from Lightroom, and they seem to work fine.

    One comment: when I first downloaded the free file (I already own a copy of Viveza 2, so I got the “free” offer), the file downloaded with a file extension of “.007_23671_win_full.” I’m not sure why this was, but because of this, I could not double click on the file to have it install. So what I did was to change that extension to “.exe”. Once I did that, it did properly install.

    One thing to note: what I downloaded was a set of plug-ins for free. I guess I don’t know if Nik also has stand-alone programs. I tried running individual Nik EXEs, and while the program loaded, I did not see any place you can import a file. I plan on just using these with Lightroom, anyway, but thought I’d throw this out there. If NIK does offer standalone programs that can be used without Photoshop, Lightroom, or Aperture, I wonder if that’s what the $149 gets you?

  22. 22) Richard D
    March 27, 2013 at 10:20 am

    One other note: when I was going through the install process, it asked me what application I wanted to use these with as plug-ins. I have CS3, LR 4.3, and LR 3.6 installed. Nik only gave me the options of LR 4.3 and LR 3.6. It did not give me the option of CS3. I’m assuming that this is because these Nik plug-ins do not work with that older version of Photoshop, but I’m not sure. Also, I could not highlight both versions of LR so I could use both versions with Nik…..but, it doesn’t matter. I don’t use that older version of LR any more.

  23. 23) Peter
    March 27, 2013 at 11:21 am

    I’m hesitant about installing my free Nik Collection by Google. Why? Here are my reasons:

    1- Generally speaking, if it seems too good to be true, it is.
    2- I have 2 original Nik products and I am extremely happy with them. I was always impressed with Nik as a software company.
    3- Now Nik is part of a larger organization. What will Google do to Nik in the long-term?
    4- I am happy with my workflow configuration. Why take any risks?
    5- Every time you download a piece of software, something gets screwed up. Who needs it?
    6- If I do decide to download it, I am going to wait for several weeks to see what others have experienced on this site and others.

    Comments appreciated.

    • 23.1) Allan Wood
      March 27, 2013 at 11:36 am

      I am with you on all points. Further, my experience with customer service since Nik got swallowed is bad, as mentioned in earlier posts. My experience with Nik support pre-gobbleup was always very good. I suspect google will slowly trash or pick apart the plugins for the algorithms, and just keep the Snapseed toy app, since a cheap item used by hordes makes more money than more expensive plugins used by a much smaller group. I am not holding my breath.

    • 23.2) Richard D
      March 27, 2013 at 11:40 am

      Peter, here are my comments:

      1. You’re probably right about if it seems too good to be true, it is. I’m trying to figure out what if any the “catch” is, and my only thought is that because it’s Google, maybe they’re trying to figure out how people use this software so they can develop some of their own. I am generally wary about Google in this regard. I just don’t want them seeing what I am doing!

      2. I’m not sure if this is a concern, unless there is an update to the software, an update Google made and not Nik. However, it also seems to me that if there is a problem, you can revert back to your old version?

      3. Again, I don’t know if this is much of a concern, at least not for me, because if there is a problem, it would seem that you could go back to the old versions.

      4. Same as 2 and 3.

      5. That’s often the case; however, personally, I’m the type of person who likes playing around with new software and troubleshooting any bugs with it (I am an engineer). But there does reach a point where too much troubleshooting does become a hassle, and you have a point.

      I only have Viveza 2. I unfortunately have not used it that much. But, I did download and install the free Nik Collection because I, too, have long been impressed with what Nik has done; I have thought about purchasing the collection in the past, but it was just too expensive for me…..I do use Lightroom extensively. But, now that it is free, as mentioned, I did install it. The only problem I’ve seen so far is that the downloaded file had a strange file extension which I fixed by changing the file name to an “exe.”

  24. 24) WhiteLight
    March 27, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    All said & done, this is a fantastic offer. nik software pack is definitely worth it..
    I don’t believe (ihope at least) google has done too much to the already existing s/w at the moment, so this should be a good time to pick it up before google goes experimenting on it or even scraps it altogether.

    • 24.1) Peter
      March 27, 2013 at 2:30 pm

      I worked for a VERY VERY large corporation that acquired smaller companies to expand their product line quickly.

      In every case the acquired company changed to some degree, many times just a culture clash. That’s what concerns me about Google acquiring Nik. What will Google do to “optimize” (aka improve) their return on investment? Do you really believe Google will say” “Gee! This is a great group of products and we’re not going to touch them.”

      I’ll wait and see.

  25. 25) David Levin
    March 27, 2013 at 6:06 pm

    Nik Software/Google is giving a free upgrade for the Nik Software Complete Collection for those who are registered owners of the software! I learned about this on The Grid ( ) this afternoon. (Podcast of this afternoon’s broadcast will be on starting tomorrow.)

    Just last week, Nik Software wanted $199 for me to upgrade everything in the Complete Collection. Luckily, I declined on that expensive offer. :-)

  26. 26) Kathleen
    March 27, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    Thank you so much for alerting me to the price reduction on this software!

  27. 27) John
    March 27, 2013 at 7:38 pm

    Thanks for the heads up on this! I’ve looked at Nik before but was put off by the price. I have OnOne and there is some redundancy there but I don’t think anything can replace OnOne’s GenuineFractal or the Portrait Retouch products and I love their Mask and Borders modules. At that price I jumped on the Nik offer for the HDR, ColorEfex, Sharpener and Dfine modules.

  28. 28) Sadanand Pathre
    March 27, 2013 at 9:12 pm

    This comment is only for those who already owned NIK plugins. I have been using NIK plugin since they introduced Color Efex filters . I have all their plugins and use them quite often. Some of you suggested that one can always go back to the original NIK versions if the new bundled module doesn’t work or buggee. However, when you reinstall the original plugins, it asks for the key (or serial #) and validates remotely (via Internet) . I had to do this for my laptop when my hard drive crashed. Now Google has acquired NIK, there is no guarantee that the original plugins would be validated as before. I believe Google would be least interested in addressing this issue. This is just a suggestion. As for me, I am quite satisfied with my original updated versions.

    • 28.1) Richard D
      March 27, 2013 at 9:34 pm

      Good point, Sadanand.

      I only had Viveza 2 which, as mentioned, I rarely used. I just did not have a lot of time to play around with it and learn it. So, I did install the entire upgraded set (for free). I’m hoping to have more time to play around with all modules, but, if not, and if for some reason I lose it, personally, I guess I’m not too worried about it. But for others, this likely is a big issue.

  29. March 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

    It really does seem too good to be true, but considering Google’s financial might and that the development costs had already been sunk by Nik I highly doubt Google is offering this special at any kind of loss, and I certainly wouldn’t shed a tear if Google lost a few shekels.

    I had a few Nik plug-ins already and absolutely LOVE them. I’d wanted to try the Dfine and Sharpener Pro plug-ins, so this total package made a lot of sense. Not only that, but I’m pleased to see that when I installed the suite it was associated not just with Photoshop, but Lightroom, Aperture and Bridge as well, making it a lot more versatile for my needs. Looks like I might be giving Aperture another try after not touching it for quite some time.

  30. 30) Viv
    March 28, 2013 at 7:14 am

    This is exactly what I was waiting for. Nik’s plugins at $149 is a deal. Purchased it right after I read this post. Thanks Bob! :)

  31. March 28, 2013 at 7:55 am

    No luck with the download … keep getting “an error has occurred.” Does anybody know if this suite does work with a Mac?? I kept looking, but didn’t see being asked if the download was for a Mac or PC … I’ve tried two different browsers and two different credit cards … nothing works …

    • 31.1) Peter
      March 28, 2013 at 8:05 am

      The letter offering me a free download had two blue boxes near the bottom of the page:

      the first box was labeled MAC and the other labeled WINDOWS.

    • 31.2) WhiteLight
      March 28, 2013 at 9:18 am

      @ Lois – Yes, i’ve been able to download & install with no issues on a MAC.

  32. March 28, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Thanks, WhiteLight!!

    I think I may have cracked the code. Whether I received the “free” notice email or not is a question, as it seems the emails are coming out in a staggered fashion, and I bought my ColorEfex way back in 2010. Also, I may indeed have received and then deleted the email without looking at it, as I’m not a big fan of Google.


    Anyhow, I clicked on the “trial version” button … which DID give me the option of a Mac or PC version … downloaded away … and it went in slick as a whistle. To both Photoshop versions that I have running on this computer. I’ve been playing all morning, and am a happy camper. I’m assuming if the “free” email ever does show up, I’ll be able to make the trial into a permanent addition as easily. If not, I’ll shell out the $126 … it’s a great bargain.

    So, Bob, thank you very much for letting us know about this … and thanks to everyone for your input.

    Hope my experience will be helpful to anyone else out there who’s pulling their hair out.

    • 32.1) Allan Wood
      March 28, 2013 at 11:33 am

      The notification, broadcast, whatever one likes to call it, and the process of acquiring an offer such as this should NOT be this haphazard, convoluted,and lacking in customer service as many folks (including myself) have reported. I do not like hair pulling or the feeling of being toyed with or experimented on. Is this expected standard operating procedure from the brilliant creative types in google? I have 4 Nik plug ins (which work for me as I need) bought prior to the advent of Nikoogle. So, I shall not bother with offers now, as I have little faith in google. Not that I imagine they care.

  33. 33) Tom
    March 28, 2013 at 11:39 am

    Lots of suspicion on Google, huh. Back in the day when we got 200 spam messages/day our company purchased a Postini spam filtering subscription for all its users. Price was around $10K/year (300 users) and it was worth it. Google bought Postini, and folded its services into the $50/yr/user price we were already paying. Saved us $10K/year. Yes their customer service sucks. So I pay a consulting company $150/hr to help us. We’ve used less than 20 hrs in the last three years.

    I expect service quality to drop with Nikoogle too. But then again, so has the price. All told I think this is a net benefit for users. Will be interesting to see its effect on Picassa.

  34. 34) WhiteLight
    March 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    How much of customer service is anyone going to need for these apps anyway?
    All of Nik Software offerings have been tried & tested and it is known to be a solid product.
    I doubt any one single person will come up with an issue which no one else has.
    Would be quite easy to search GOOGLE (funny how everything leads to the same road) for a solution…
    It is the nature of the game.. customer support can never be guaranteed, however large the company is..

    When you know you have a killer product at a throw away price, you know that your product will sell itself immaterial of the perks you provide, why would anyone want to spend more?
    This is how everything works, though the sugarcoated view that we see around us with promises of exceptional after sales support is just for mental satisfaction & doesn’t really exist in too many places

  35. 35) Peter
    March 28, 2013 at 1:43 pm

    Well, so far, I’m not hearing any “disaster stories” about opting for the free download. No problems emerging even after doing Internet searches.

    At this point, I’m leaning toward downloading it. The comments on this site have been very helpful. Thanks to all including Priscilla (comment 42) who seems to be more concerned about her abs.

    • 35.1) Richard D
      March 28, 2013 at 2:31 pm


      I downloaded the free set yesterday. I stayed up very late last night, this morning, playing around with it. I initially thought I saw a bug, but it was not. I was trying to find the HDR plug-in, and I did not see it in Lightroom when you do a Photo-Edit In. I saw 6 plug-ins, but not one was the HDR plug-in. Actually, 2 of the plug-ins were for Sharpening….one for a presharpener, and one for an output sharpener, so that’s why there were still 6.

      I finally found the HDR plug-in. It’s in File-Export with Preset.

      Other than that, the only comment I’ll make is to confirm what someone else said about having to possibly revert to an older version. I originally only had Viveza 2. After I installed the 6 upgraded plug-ins, the old Viveza 2 went away. I couldn’t even find the executable, even though it was in a different folder than the new version was in. I still do have the install file, along with the software key, but if I were to try to reinstall it, I don’t know what would happen.

      Having said that, I didn’t see any problems with any of the 6 plug-ins last night, although there’s not a lot of testing you can do in perhaps the 4 hours I was playing around with it.

  36. March 28, 2013 at 3:08 pm

    Can’t get the trial bundle to install. Same problem. Tried everything – nothing works. Aggravating. Windows 7, CS6 plus Lightroom.

  37. 37) Clarence
    March 28, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Thank you for the timely posting. I just bought and installed the NikCollection on my Windows 7 PC without any issues. I used the promote code “DZISER” to get 15% off.

  38. 38) Peter
    March 29, 2013 at 7:45 am

    I decided against downloading my “free” copy. All your input helped, and it finally made me do a personal “needs analysis” as opposed to just wanting it:

    – I already have Define2.0 (use rarely), Color Efex Pro 3 (use about 5 procedures), and Viveza is in my Capture NX2 software (use sometimes).

    – Don’t need HDR since I use Photomatix (as a standalone) and like it very much. Like the company ,too.

    – As far as sharpening goes, I have no need for it. Photoshop CS5 provides all I need.

    Lastly, the gut reasons:

    – I feel like I’m getting sucked into something by Google much the same as Adobe does. They try to capture customers by offering interconnected software which I feel limits my flexibility.

    – Also, having gone though the nightmare of Microsoft Vista I have become a firm believer in Murphy’s Law: If something can go wrong it will. So, I avoid doing “non-needed” things that I feel uncomfortable about.

    – Cost for software is not an issue for me.

    – One caveat: If Nik were still a standalone company and offered the same deal, I would have taken it. This Google thing scares me. What are they up to?)

    Conclusion: Since I really don’t NEED the collection, why do it? Purely an individual choice.

    • 38.1) Allan Wood
      March 29, 2013 at 9:42 am

      Thanks for summing up many of my reasons for not going for it. I already have 4 plugins and liked Nik prior to being messed with. Enough!

  39. 39) Stefan
    March 29, 2013 at 9:29 am


    Do you have the same problem?

    When I choose the “Image Border” filter in COLOR Efex Pro 4, I get a completely B&W converted image!

    This happens after I installed the new Nik Collection by Google.


    • 39.1) stefan
      March 30, 2013 at 3:53 am

      OK, without GPU support (preferences menu) it works good on my MacBook Pro! :-)

  40. 40) Alan
    March 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm


    The collection downloaded onto my Windows machine very easily.Preparation for Installation only picked up Lightroom (64 bit)and I had to “tell” it to also use CS3 (32 bit). All I can see in L/R is the HDR Efex Pro 2 and in CS3 I can’t find any reference at all to the NIK Collection. Has anyone else got it to install in CS3 or is the pgm. too old?


    • 40.1) Jason
      March 30, 2013 at 12:38 pm

      Hi Alan,
      From what I have heard CS3 is not supported with the Nik software. I installed it with Lightroom 4 and all are working. The programs can be accessed under the “Photo” tab and then under “Edit IN”, except for the HDR program. All others should be there. The HDR Efex Pro is located under “File” and then under “Export with Preset”.
      Hope that helps.

      • 40.1.1) Alan
        March 30, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        Hi Jason (and Richard D)

        Thank you both so much for that info. I had a quick look on L/R and there they were! Shame about CS3, but hopefully I’ll be able to do all I want on L/R.

        Great people on this group.

        V. best regards to all

    • 40.2) Richard D
      March 30, 2013 at 12:56 pm

      Hi, Alan.

      I’ll confirm what Jason has said about CS3. I had Viveza 2 installed in conjunction with CS3, and it worked. When I installed the new upgrades of all 6 plug-ins, the old Viveza 2 disappeared. I could no longer find the old executable, which was in a different folder than where the new Viveza 2 and other plug-ins were put in, and the Viveza 2 window which popped up whenever I loaded CS3 also disappeared.

      The locations of the new plug-ins in LR as Jason describes them is exactly what I see as well.

      So I guess CS3 is too old and the newer Nik products will not work with it, at least from what I can see.

      I actually rarely used Viveza 2, and never used it with CS3….only with Lightroom, so this isn’t bothering me, but it may affect you.

    • 40.3) Herb
      April 5, 2013 at 1:19 am

      The trial version works fine on CS3 for me. I had to manually put the files into the plugin folder though.

  41. March 31, 2013 at 7:54 am

    Anyone else have extreme performance issues with Color Efex Pro in particular with images over 100 megapixels or so? When I run it on a 200-300MP image it will take hours to DAYS to apply a simple contrast filter. I have an Ivy Bridge Xeon with 32GB RAM and striped SSDs. This machine is not slow, and nothing else on my workstation runs as pathetically slow as Color Efex Pro on my panoramas. A single thread will be busy, but none of the other 7 threads will show any usage, Photoshop will be using 30GB of RAM or so, but disk activity will be negligible. It’s like something is holding the software back or it’s a single threaded app (although Nik and Google swear it’s multi-threaded). It’s practically useless to me for most of my work.

    Also, Color Efex Pro won’t work with 360° images, it won’t treat the edges uniformally and leaves a seam.

  42. 42) Peter
    March 31, 2013 at 12:27 pm

    Do you mean MB instead of MP?

    I just processed 3 panos (3 to 5 images) shot with a D700 (RAW ISO400) and had no problems with Color Efex Pro.
    Final sizes were about 4 MB each.

    I would think if the image were 300 MB I would have a problem.

    • March 31, 2013 at 12:34 pm

      Nope, MP as in megapixels. I often shoot 300+ megapixel panoramas, but anything over 100MP or so will take hours in Color Efex Pro, yet seconds to do a similar contrast adjustment with Lightroom. 500MP to 1GP+, forget it!!! It takes DAYS. Somewhere between 40MP and 100MP it just stalls and does next to nothing for hours, I haven’t found the threshold yet. I thought going from 8GB of RAM to 32GB would help, but it has made no difference with Color Efex Pro. Of course, it helped my stitching software and Photoshop tremendously.

      • 42.1.1) Peter
        March 31, 2013 at 1:43 pm

        Ok, this interesting. When I shoot with my Nikon D700 (11.2 MP) , in Raw, the info I get on one NEF file is: 16.3 MB and 4256×2831 in size

        So, if I combine 6 files the most I’ll get is 97.8 MB (not MP) to work on before I start post-processing. If the file size gets too large as I work on it I reduce it to an 8×10 or 5×7 image which reduces its size. When all done in post processing, if I want a hugh pano that’s when I increase the size and could get a hugh file.

        What am I missing? Are you using a 2 1/4 camera? Taking panos with 25 images? Just curious.

        • Aaron Priest
          March 31, 2013 at 3:32 pm

          Hehehe, some of my panoramas are made of thousands of images (especially with HDR brackets). My spherical panoramas shot at 24mm are about 152MP. That is enough to throw Color Efex Pro into a tizzy. :-P 300+MP rectangular panoramas with a telephoto are impossible to use with Color Efex Pro in what I would call a timely fashion.

          • Peter
            March 31, 2013 at 3:40 pm

            Mama mia, that’s one hell of a pano.

            Ok, now I understand. Thanks.

          • Fulco
            May 15, 2013 at 1:41 am

            What about the seems!?
            started using color efex pro and love everything about it, but now in my finals i get stuck with seems on the edges of my panoramas.

            did you come up with any solution?

            i read one here:

            but that does not sound like a reasonable workflow for many pano’s….

            • Aaron Priest
              May 15, 2013 at 7:38 am

              I don’t use Color Efex Pro for a lot of images now for three reasons, some are minor:

              1) Blacks turn a dark gray very easily losing the punch and clarity. This is most easily seen with the glow filter. If you change the black level afterward in Photoshop or especially Lightroom you can sort of take the dark gray back to black by crushing some details.

              2) I very easily get banding in my skies with certain colors, especially orange/yellow. This is on 16-bit images too! This is one of the worst problems I experience with it and with some images it is so severe that it limits most of the filters from anything but the most subtle of changes, making it rather a waste of time to even use it. I’ve not found a workaround for this.

              3) You will get seams with panoramas. For a 360° you can resize the canvas by 150% in one direction (say left), and then open the panorama as a second file and do the same in the other direction (right). Then copy the right panorama over the left panorama and flatten it. This will give you a longer panorama that is 50% wider with duplicated pixels on each side. Then you can run your filter and crop to the same dimensions you had before and the vertical seam will mostly disappear. You may have to do some minor cloning still. However, this solution will not work on the nadir and zenith of an equirectangular 360° x 180° image, and you’ll still have some significant retouching to do of both the nadir and zenith. If you have a KRPano license, you can drag and drop the file on one of their batch files to convert it to six cube image and retouch the zenith and nadir there, then drag and drop the six sides on another batch file to convert it back to equirectangular. You’ll have to reassign your color space afterward if you are working in anything other than sRGB, but it works well. Tedious workflow, I’ve found nothing better yet. But this works for anything you want to do in Photoshop, not just Nik filters. Someday Photoshop needs to become spherically aware for working in a 3D world on photos. That is an upgrade I’d pay for! I’ve skipped some generations in the past as they offered nothing significant for me. Not looking like we’ll have that choice anymore going forward….

              4) Color Efex Pro is flat out unresponsible, unstable, and unusable on images over somewhere around 100 megapixels. It will stop responding, lock up, or crash. Sometimes if you give it 24+hrs into days it will eventually finish, but I don’t have that sort of time or patience. In my world where time is money it is unusable for panoramas. There very little CPU activity, disk activity, GPU activity, and still plenty of free memory available. It does not seem to be a resource problem, just bugs in the software. The only workaround I have for this is to batch out your filters via a Photoshop action and apply it to all your files before you stitch. This works well, but presents an extra challenge of stitching without seams if you happen to create any vignette type effects. Color Efex Pro simply does not apply it’s filters evenly to the edges of photos, which results in a good look for a single photo but it’s bad news for panorama photographers without 360° awareness. I wish it had a panorama toggle button to resolve this.

              So, for those reasons, Color Efex Pro is unsuitable for many of my images sadly. On the photos it does work for, I really like it. I’m trying a demo of Topaz Labs bundle to see if I have any of the same issues. It’s not a direct replacement of Nik’s software, it doesn’t have control points and other nice things. I’ll probably purchase it regardless as there are some nice things in the package so far. I haven’t had time to test it on large panoramas yet.

              Good luck and happy shooting!

  43. 43) Mike
    March 31, 2013 at 5:28 pm

    “When Google purchased Nik Software, I wondered what it was up to. Was the strategy to eventually compete with Adobe on some front? Apple? Eventually use Nik’s Snapseed software to knock Instagram (now part of Facebook) off its perch? Perhaps Google simply noticed the proliferation of cameras in all forms – point and shoots, DSLRs, mirrorless, smartphones, and tablets – as well as how critical photos were becoming on the social media front, and decided that owning a photo processing software suite could be a crucial aspect of its future.”

    I don’t think Google wanted NIK for any of their products. The exception may be Snapseed, though it will likely change in future iterations or be incorporated into Google+, who knows. Like many acquisitions, Google wanted the talent at NIK to help make future products. It’s not about what NIK has, it’s what they can do for Google now that they are part of the team.

    • 43.1) Peter
      April 1, 2013 at 7:26 am

      Mike, here’s your answer from the NY Times:

      “Google said on Monday that it had acquired Nik Software, a company that makes tools for editing and sharing photos. It is Google’s latest defensive move against Facebook and part of its strategy to become a photo-sharing hub.”

      “Google seems most interested in Nik’s mobile and online tools and how they can improve Google Plus. Google declined to say whether or when it would discontinue any of Nik’s other products, like desktop software for professional photographers.”

      My guess with this offer, now – Google wants to lock in/stabilize the Nik customer base and may well drift away from it… if their original goals (see above) are being met.

      • 43.1.1) Mike
        April 1, 2013 at 8:09 am

        Thanks, that is basically what I said.

  44. April 1, 2013 at 1:35 am

    I was exited, until I looked into HDR Efex Pro 2. It is completely rebuild, the presets are not very hopefull and I can not use my wonderful preset used in HDR Efex Pro. The instruments to make your one HDR-picture during the proces are all different from version 1. I think I keep the first version of HDR Efex Pro. Upgrades are not always better, so it seems.

  45. 45) Grimbot
    April 1, 2013 at 10:53 pm

    So where does one get a NIK manual that shows how to actually learn to use the Nik Software? I bought and purchased it through the link supplied on this website….and there is NO manual whatsoever…which makes this pretty much a useless purchase. I also don’t see anything on the NIK web site.

  46. April 2, 2013 at 4:34 pm

    On the Nik website, click on the ‘Learn’ link. There are many tutorials and video links. I purchased Viveza2, ColorEfex Pro 4, Dfine, SilverEfexPro 2 prior to Nikoogle and downloaded the user manuals. I never use these, so I simply copied them elsewhere and deleted them from the HD. Whatever I need, I use the training and video links on the learn page.

  47. 47) Chris Zeller
    April 3, 2013 at 9:32 am

    Thanks for the tip on the amazing deal. I’ve been waiting to buy this software and finally decided to jump. Be sure to use the cupon code “stuckincustoms” Courtesey of It saved me $20 over the alrerady unbelievable low price!

    Now I have to learn the software. One potential downside I see is that you neeed to edit this in TIF and cannot place atributes to the raw file like you can in Lightroom. Is this true? It seems like this makes your workflow somewhat linear (complete edits in lightroom, then go over to the various NIK modules one at a time). How do you do your workflow? I wish that at least these modules were integrated into one. How do you compare this to Perfectly Clear? I’m currently demoing that plugin.

    • April 4, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      I do an initial edit in Lightroom, and then import the photo into Photoshop 6, where I do additional editing and use the Nik products as plugins.

  48. 48) Poli
    April 6, 2013 at 9:29 am

    I am using the free trial to test it out but the HDR plug in is missing. Is anyone having this problem?

    • 48.1) Richard D
      April 6, 2013 at 9:49 am


      If you’re using Nik with Lightroom, you’ll find the HDR plug-in not in Photo-Edit In, where the other plug-ins are, but rather in File-Export With Preset. This confused me for awhile. Don’t know why this is done. I also have Photomatix HDR, and File-Export with Preset is also where you find that.

      • 48.1.1) Poli
        April 6, 2013 at 10:32 am

        Thank you so much Richard! :) I found it!

  49. 49) Linda Mc
    June 25, 2013 at 3:35 pm

    I purchased the complete package from google, but colour efex pro 2 and hdr efex display my images as black and white, therefore is unusable. Would anyone know why? I run windows 7, photoshop cs6 (64bit). Also silver efex pro 2 displays the images darker than they actually are, which makes that hard to use as well.

  50. July 8, 2013 at 9:39 pm

    I purchased the entire Nick Software package when it went on sale for 149.00, then immediately forgot about it! I just went to look for it on my computer and can’t find it!!!

    Any thoughts/suggestions?


    • July 8, 2013 at 9:48 pm

      You should have gotten an email confirmation with a download link and serial number. You can always email them and see if you have a login as well.

  51. 51) Al E.
    October 28, 2013 at 11:31 am

    For anyone that has Photomania’s problem:
    I’m a long time user of the entire NIK suite, and before Google took over, we could log into our accounts, and retrieve: invoices, original downloads, product keys, etc. apparently, NOT the case any more.

    I can’t find my account, and with the price reduction so low, it looks like Google bought NIK with the intent to kill it. NIK used to be VERY active with it’s customers…seminars, emails, an active community in their website, but, not any more. I don’t see anything good coming from Google’s acquisition up to this point, unless you’re one of those that didn’t already own NIK software. So, buy up, while you can.

    Reference not finding the original email/product key issue…if you own a MAC, no problem finding anything. Use “Spotlight”. It’s the top right icon that looks like a magnifying glass. This Apple feature works great. It’ll search everything on your computer, including footnotes. If it’s on your computer, it’ll find it. If on the other hand, you use a Windows computer, well, can’t help with that, other than to say, I am VERY glad I left Windows behind and moved to MACs, life has been MUCH improved since I did. If Windows is your thing, don’t take offense, it just my opinion. I used DOS/Windows for 20 years; I just found something much better, IMHO.

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