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Silver Efex vs. Macphun Tonality #1
Joe's picture
by Joe
August 3, 2014 - 2:39am

Hi Guys, 

I have just seen some video about the new Macphun Tonality. I am thinking if that is a nice additional plugin knowing that I have already SilverEfex… any thinking on your side already?

Have a nice day,


Charles Putnam's picture
by Charles Putnam
August 3, 2014 - 4:59pm

I haven’t tried Tonality, but I’ve used both Silver Efex and Perfect B&W (part of Perfect Suite 8.5 from onOne).  Silver Efex seems to be a lot faster, and produces decent results quicker.  Perfect B&W is good, but I keep going back to Silver Efex.

Florian Cortese's picture
by Florian Cortese
August 3, 2014 - 8:18pm

SEP is the best and more powerful of all of the B&W apps, IMO.

Florian Cortese

Joe's picture
by Joe
August 4, 2014 - 10:41am

thanks Florian and Charles for the comments. I have downloaded Tonality for a few tests.

For now, I have a mix feeling:

  • I like the concept of layer but…. the brush are a pain… there is no auto detect implemented to simplify the selection of specific zones 
  • The amount of options to customize the rendition is impressive and allow great flexibility
  • Nik Templates seems for now to fit my style better. I find quicker a template that is closer to what I have in mind
  • On my tests, I have quickly a lot of noise or hallows appearing. I have the feeling that it requires to push more on the cursors in Nik to have such artefacts

I will continue more tests during the week  - it can be due to my way to push the image and not due to the tool :) let’s see :)

Florian Cortese's picture
by Florian Cortese
August 5, 2014 - 6:04am

Joe, I’m not sure what you mean by “pushing more on the cursors…to have such artifacts.” Is that a look that you are purposely creating?  When I use SEP, I go through the presets on the lefthand side and select one that I think is close to the look I am after, tweak some of the cursors but mainly rely on control points to fine tune the image to my liking.  Anyway, god luck with your exploration between the two programs.  I still think SEP is the best B&W app out there.


Florian Cortese

Joe's picture
by Joe
August 5, 2014 - 8:02am


Sorry if my answer is confused… What I try to explain is that when I move cursor like contrast, I have the impression that noise is appearing quicker with Tonality than with SEP. It can be due to the scale of the cursor but I am generating more easily such problem with Tonality than with SEP.

Not sure if it makes more sense like that :)


Kevin La Rue's picture
by Kevin La Rue
October 18, 2014 - 8:17am

Hi Joe - was just browsing the site and saw your comment.  Full disclosure: I work for Macphun, the makers of Tonality.  One of the main design goals for the software was to help creatives easily get a more dramatic black and white result. So, it may be that the sliders are a little more biased towards that objective.  Fortunately, there are a couple of tips that will compensate for sure:

  • try using Smart Contrast and see if you get better results for your image
  • if you start with one of the 150+ presets, and hover over the one you choose, you’ll see an preset opacity slider that lets  you dial down the intensity of the effect really directly. You can do this for each layer as well
  • there is an overall image opacity slider which takes the sum total of all adjustments you’ve made and dials them down - good for the final polish

Re: the question of Silver Efex Pro vs. Tonality, having worked at Nik for nearly 7 years and of course being a big fan of SEP, I can say that for me personally I can get more interesting and creative results faster with Tonality. Being able to run as a standalone (when I get into that ”black and white creative editing mode”), open RAW files and use layers/blending modes to name a few features gives me some great results.  Hope you give it a whirl again!

Cheers, Kevin (from Macphun)

Kevin La Rue, Skylum

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