Open Nikon Df RAW (.NEF) Files

The Nikon Df RAW files use the extension .NEF. This file stores all data from the camera including raw output from the image sensor. To support the Nikon Df, the program you are using must be updated to read the new camera model and information. Update your image editing or viewing program to a new version (if available) or use a RAW image converter to be able to open and edit your RAW files from you Nikon Df.

Current programs that support the Nikon Df RAW .NEF image file format:

ViewNX2 – Version 2.8.1 is included with the Nikon Df and will open the RAW .NEF files. You can then save the image as a as TIFF or JPEG. You can download ViewNX2 from Nikon.

CaputreNX2 – this program is a professional-level editor from Nikon. It is fully compatible with the Nikon Df RAW (.NEF) file format as of version 2.4.4. The update for CaptureNX2 is available for download 2.4.4 update If you own the old version of Capture NX (version 1) you can buy a discounted upgrade to NX2.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 – Adobe has released version 5.3 of Lightroom which now supports the Nikon Df. The update for Lightroom 5.3 can be downloaded for Windows and Macintosh. Lightroom 4 and earlier will not be updated to support the Df, but you can use the Adobe DNG Converter to converter to .DNG format and then open using Lightroom 4 or earlier.

Adobe Photoshop CS6 and Photoshop CC – These programs use Adobe Camera RAW and version 8.3 now supports the Nikon Df RAW files. If you have a previous version of Photoshop CS5 and earlier you will not be able to use Camera RAW 8.3, but you can use the Adobe DNG converter (see below) and then open the converted .DNG file.

Adobe DNG Converter – Adobe’s Digital Negative Gallery (DNG) format can be opened by a variety of programs. Using this converter, you can convert your Nikon Df .NEF files to Adobe .DNG format, and then open your RAW images in programs that do not support Nikon Df files directly. The Adobe DNG Converter version 8.3 adds Nikon Df support. Download for Windows and Macintosh.

Nikon Transfer – Not recommended! If you have trouble opening the Nikon Df .NEF files using the latest versions the programs that are supposed to have Nikon Df support, you may have used an old version of Nikon Transfer program to copy images from your camera. It is known to corrupt .NEF files and can cause problems opening them. If you have corrupted .NEF files you may be able to use this repair program to fix them.

ExifTool – Using this program you can change EXIF data stored in the RAW fils. Because the Nikon Df shares the same sensor as the Nikon D4, you can modify the camera model to the D4 in the RAW image files. Then if a program supports the D4 it will be able to open the Nikon Df .NEF file. Download ExifTool. First install the ExifTool and then use the command line:
exiftool.exe -model="NIKON D4" *.NEF

If you have any questions, use the comment section below. Let us know if this information helped you.

6 thoughts on “Open Nikon Df RAW (.NEF) Files

  1. I have a problem downloading my b/w images from the Df into Aperture. The thumbnails are b/w but when you click on an image to view in large preview it converts to color! what is that about? Aperture people where not able to help and i can not get a hold of nikon…is it a plug in i am missing? cuz aperture is up to date. Could it be that the Df has a ‘fake’ b/w shooting option? do Nef files retain the color and revert for a reason?
    frustrated and confused

    1. The .NEF is a RAW image, so it has the original information from the camera sensor. The sensor in in the Df reads in read, green and blue, not black and white. The B&W conversion is done using the RGB data, whether it is in camera or in later in your workflow (software). The .NEF also stores your settings, so if you use Nikon software it will apply the settings and default to using a B&W conversion in CaputreNX or ViewNX. Aperture uses its own interpretation of the RAW image data and does not apply all the settings that were stored in the NEF. You will need to do your B&W conversion in Aperture.

  2. I just bought new Nikon Df then i
    Just realised when i want to shoot in Raw files, i went to:
    Menu-shooting menu-image quality-choose (NFE (raw)

    You know what i coundn’t set to shoot in Raw files like what i want and it has pop up massage said: ” This option is not available at current setting or in the camera’s current state”

    So i very disappointed and upset my self that i should have not bought Nikon DF just because the cool looks but useless, if you have any suggestions please respond ASAP

    I really need to shoot in Raw files

  3. Not for the first time, I am disappointed by Nikon and Adobe’s failure to support long-standing customers who do not run the latest software or computers. I have a MacPro running IOS 10.7.5 and Lightroom 4.4. I am retired. I cannot afford to keep updating software and hardware. I have learned from bitter experience not to try to update operating systems with Apple. It makes valued scanners and printers obsolete. So I have to make do with Lightroom 4.4. Nikon have for several years ceased to support my Nikon film scanner so I cannot use it if I upgrade my Apple Mac. Now I find that I cannot import into Lightroom 4.4 the NEF files from my wife’s newly-acquired Df. I tried to persuade her against the Df in the first place as I think it is seriously overpriced for what it offers. I should have tried harder.
    Seriously thinking about giving up with Nikon. They seem to have given up with long committed supports.

  4. When I open the .NEF file or .DNG in Photoshop CC the user interface appears similar to Lightroom with sliding bars on the right hand side. How to switch to normal photoshop, so that I can add layers and make adjustments etc etc?

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