Merrill B & W, Part 2

Started 8 months ago | Discussions thread
Veijo Vilva
OP Veijo Vilva Regular Member • Posts: 389
Re: Merrill B & W, Part 2

Baumgartner wrote:

Veijo Vilva wrote:

It is not so much sharpness per se as the ability to differentiate between minor shade differences. I looked at your fern image and I think it might look a little bit different if you have the X3F file. export a color version with SPP, convert that into B&W with some other program and inspect at 100% – whether it will look different or better as a 12X18 print is another matter.

Here is another example of the difference between SPP B&W and SPP Color -> B&W:

Note the lack of texture all over the image and the invisibility of dust on the picture frame.

This may be a somewhat extreme example but serves to make the point. NB. the color version and the B&W version thereof exaggerate the texture, the reality in my eyes is somewhere halfway between those and the SPP B&W version, SPP color tends to "hyper reality".

Nothing new actually. There were dozens of threads regarding lower micro contrast of the monochrome mode. And we are not restricted to B&W. Just blend the softer B&W image over the color image in Photoshop (luminance blend mode) and you have the best of both worlds if needed. (Portraits)
Or use Iridient developer or Kalpanika for less micro contrast in color images.

Yeah, nothing new, per se. However, for me, the problem is the lack of micro contrast in the Merrill SPP B&W conversions. Why bother to use SPP at all when I can get roughly equal results with SOOC JPEG color mixing – or shoot with, e.g., my Fujifilm X-E1, which has a much wider use envelope and a selection of lenses from very soft to reasonably sharp.

For me, the raison d'etre of the DPx Merrills is just their high micro contrast – under appropriate circumstances. They are a special tool just like, e.g., my Nikon 1 V1 with a 1934 un-coated Leitz Elmar 90/4 or my X-E1 with a 1938 front-cell focusing Schneider-Kreuznach Radionar 50/2.9 or either one with a 1915 Vest Pocket Kodak Meniscus Achromat, horses for courses.

Under some other than my present circumstances I'd get a 4 x 5" with a Cooke Portrait PS945 Lens for portraits  (samples on flickr), now the VPK Meniscus will have to do:

An old shot with the Meniscus on an EOS350D

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