Here is a short little video for those of you wanting to develop your own presets for NEF files in Aperture 3 that are closer to the way Capture NX2 renders your RAW files. I will continue to work on the cameras that I do not own as I get a decent sampling of images. So far a couple of people have sent me files - but a lot of people have requested presets. I am in need of additional samples for the D700, D300s, D3s, and D3x. If you have a lower end camera like a D5000 I need those as well. I have a couple but not really enough range to nail it.
This screencast is about color - not all of the colors just two. They are to give you some ideas not a formula. The secret is starting at the right hue and/or using the range slider to make your preset applicable to all your NEF files - not just one. The real issue comes in on some Nikon camera RAW files that render greens so yellow and yellows so green that they do not separate. The other real issue is depending on the original tone - things that are the same hue in NX2 are different hues in Aperture - for the most part this can be overcome. The culprit in Aperture 3 seems to be the hue boost slider in RAW fine tuning - it makes some things way worse like the blues while making other things better. Some cameras the default is all the way up (not good - this causes the yellow/green merging issue) while other cameras the default is in the middle.
In addition to color there are various brightness and contrast issues that vary wildly from camera to camera. If you are interested in dealing with those as well I will post another screencast. Let me know. By and large if you get the hues corrected the various renderings are a matter of matching the contrast curve and saturation. Last but not least the sharpening in NX2 is more aggressive for each Picture Control except for Portrait and Neutral. You can deal with these via definition and edge sharpening.
One note while you are watching this - Hue is what we are fixing in this video NOT saturation. Hue is the actual color. The saturation differences usually go away when I fix the overall brightness, contrast, and saturation. If there are specific color groups that are relatively more or less saturated I deal with them after the global adjustments. If you are new to looking at color you can sometimes get "tricked" into thinking a color is different just because of more or less saturation or even brightness - technically the "color" is different but the hue is the same - the hue is the biggest issue with NEF's the other stuff is no big deal.