"So are you telling me that Capture NX2 has separate D-Lighting, and Active D-Lighting features. One which can be used if you did not have Active D-Lighting on, and another to adjust your Active D-Lighting results afterwards?"
No, no, no, no ,no.
What I'm saying is, D Lighting and Active D Lighting are two completely different things. Damn Nikon for using names that are confusingly alike. The word "active" is the key in ADL. One thing I agree with Ken Rockwell on is the idiotic use of that name, "Active D Lighting". It's really adaptive dynamic range and that would be a better name for it.
In Capture NX, you can adjust DL and ADL true. However, ADL can only be adjusted in the RAW specific settings. It also looks quite different than DL when applied to the image. DL on the other hand is available for any image. In fact that first pic was taken in JPG, the second one may have been as well but I was not yet shooting RAW when I took that first pic last summer. The adjustments for DL are much more flexible. Just like the other features in the adjustments dialog, you can select "faster" or "better quality". Always select better quality.
Learn this; D Lighting and Active D Lighting are two completely different things. Because of Nikons naming, people do not understand how to use them and apply them correctly. DL, as well as other adjustments in Capture NX and in Nikon camera bodies, is a powerful tool. This is why I like newer tech in my cameras so much. I've learned how to take advantage of these tools. I'm not saying that makes me better. On the contrary, it makes me a little weird lol. I am very good at taking advantage of what these caeras have to offer. It's why I feel like I'm missing something on simpler models like a D40.
It's bewildering at 1st but once you get it, it's simple and Capture NX can actually be fun to use. I hated PP when I used photoshop and other PP programs. I actually like what I can do in Capture NX and enjoy PP in it.