Would like help finding best method converting to b/w

Started Apr 13, 2004 | Discussions thread
Luke Kaven Veteran Member • Posts: 5,715
Re: Would like help finding best method converting to b/w

One important issue in B&W rendering is especially important if you are rendering to an 8-bit output device in the end, which is most of the time. There can be only 256 shades of grey in 8 bits, including black and white, so it is absolutely vital that you assign those shades optimally. As a part of that, you would do all of your level and balance adjustments using the RAW data in full 12-bit mode. Recall that you have (at least) 12 bits to work with in each channel, of which at least 10 bits are probably above the noise floor. Use those with curves, channel mixing, level adjustments, or what-have-you to get the best range of tones you can. Only at the end should you do the conversion to greyscale. Once you have something in greyscale, you should pretty much leave it alone.

Also, there are a lot of people who are into doing 12-bit B&W (4096 shades) and getting fantastic results on Epson printers. I'm just learning this, so I can't give you the links that everyone knows. But I'm looking forward to learning more about it.

I played with your posted photo a bit in Photoshop, and found some good renderings by doing a level adjustment first to normalize the range of tones. Then I used the channel mixer on monochrome settings to dial in some RGB filter settings. I could email you the result if you'd like, which is one way where there are myriad variations you might favor yourself. [Write me at telos123@hotmail.com and I'll mail the JPG.]

Luke

Texantransplant wrote:

I would like to hear how people convert thier images to b/w to get
the best results.
Here is my attempt. Feel free to take color image and apply your
own settings.

Thanks

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