Nik Software Silver Efex Pro

Photoshop plug-in Silver Efex Pro efficiently produces great black-and-white effects.

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now
Nik Software Silver Efex Pro
  • Nik Software Silver Efex Pro
  • Nik Software Silver Efex Pro
  • Nik Software Silver Efex Pro

Pros

  • Can create top-notch black-and-white images; innovative selective control system; highly responsive

Cons

  • Preset column tricky to navigate

Bottom Line

Silver Efex Pro runs responsively, even as a Smart Filter. It also works on 8- and 16-bit images in both RGB and CMYK. Overall it produces great black-and-white effects that are fiddly to create in Photoshop alone.

Would you buy this?

Silver Efex Pro efficiently produces great black-and-white effects that are fiddly to create in Photoshop alone.

The plug-in ships with a set of presets to use as a starting point.

Like the rest of the application, these include both pure digital and faux-film effects. Though Silver Efex offers film-type effects — including mimicking real-world black-and-white films — it doesn’t penalize you if you’re not a film buff. The preset column shows a thumbnail preview of your image with the effect, which is a great timesaver and encourages experimentation, but is fiddly, owing to its overly long slider.

Set opposite the presets are the manual controls, which kick off with Brightness, Contrast and Structure (graininess) sliders. There are panels for colour filters, film types and stylizations. The Film Types panel offers popular films from Kodak’s ISO 32 Panatomic X to Ilford’s Delta 3200 Pro, while Stylizing covers toning, vignettes and burnt edges. Below these are a loupe and a useful 11-point, black-to-white scale that allows you to see which areas of your image have the same brightness using a zebra pattern.

You can alter images manually with Nik’s U-point Control Points. These are points that you pin onto the image that affect the brightness, contrast and graininess of the surrounding areas. Using sliders attached to each point, you control each setting and the radius of its effect. In the photo above, we used control points to bring out the top of the hose and the shower nozzle, as they were too dark after our effect was created.

Silver Efex Pro runs responsively, even as a Smart Filter. It also works on 8- and 16-bit images in both RGB and CMYK. If you don’t use it as a Smart Filter, you can also apply its effects with a brush in Photoshop.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?