G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

Started Jul 18, 2010 | Discussions
CloudyBay43
CloudyBay43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

I have been doing some experiments here, after not being quite satisified with what the B&W jpg (in-camera) gave me. I wanted to bounce this off the forum, and get some views on it, particularly for the following :

1. How do you convert in b&w, ie, what tool do you use ?
2. Do you process off raw or off the rgb ?
3. Do you prefer to do special noise processing before b&w conversion ?
4. When do you sharpen - before or after b&w conversion ?

5. Do you like to add some 'sepia tint' to the images or you prefer more 'traditional, cold' look

And finally .. Are there people who think that these (G11/S90) cameras are so good when b&w converted, that they prefer to use them as b&w 'film' cameras ?

On my side .. i use SEP, with carefully tuned presets, slightly on the warmer side, but far from sepia, very 'holga like', ie more contrast than not, but avoiding the holga vignette, grain as of recent .. Only after raws are processed, sharpening during raw processing, no 'extra' denoise, very little grain ..

Saw what the people with Leicas get out (M9, X1, M8) .. rather impressive .. have the feeling that we can get there or almost there, somehow, with very careful b&w processing of the few images which shine in color at first place ..

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Robert Hoffman
Robert Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 2,730
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

CloudyBay43 wrote:

I have been doing some experiments here, after not being quite satisified with what the B&W jpg (in-camera) gave me. I wanted to bounce this off the forum, and get some views on it, particularly for the following :

1. How do you convert in b&w, ie, what tool do you use ?

Channel Mixer in PS. Set to Monochrome and adjust the sliders to taste.

2. Do you process off raw or off the rgb ?

Process after converting to jpeg or tiff.

3. Do you prefer to do special noise processing before b&w conversion ?

I always de-noise after conversion.

4. When do you sharpen - before or after b&w conversion ?

After conversion and noise-removal.

5. Do you like to add some 'sepia tint' to the images or you prefer more 'traditional, cold' look

I use the Color Balance tool in PS, which will mimic selenium, platinum, sepia tones.

And finally .. Are there people who think that these (G11/S90) cameras are so good when b&w converted, that they prefer to use them as b&w 'film' cameras ?

I don't own either, but will say that, after over 40 years of shooting film, digital will give you

all the choices you need in a more efficient package(ever made a platinum print?).

On my side .. i use SEP, with carefully tuned presets, slightly on the warmer side, but far from sepia, very 'holga like', ie more contrast than not, but avoiding the holga vignette, grain as of recent .. Only after raws are processed, sharpening during raw processing, no 'extra' denoise, very little grain ..

Processing digital images is a personal thing: one size does not fit all. It sounds like you know exactly what kind of "look" you are seeking.

Saw what the people with Leicas get out (M9, X1, M8) .. rather impressive .. have the feeling that we can get there or almost there, somehow, with very careful b&w processing of the few images which shine in color at first place ..

It's definitely possible. A good image file and technique is all you need.

Rob

'Don't sneak up on it - surround it'

Digart Veteran Member • Posts: 3,702
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

CloudyBay43 wrote:

I have been doing some experiments here, after not being quite satisified with what the B&W jpg (in-camera) gave me. I wanted to bounce this off the forum, and get some views on it, particularly for the following :

1. How do you convert in b&w, ie, what tool do you use ?

SEP, from Jpeg color files

2. Do you process off raw or off the rgb ?

Jpeg Color (RGB)

3. Do you prefer to do special noise processing before b&w conversion ?

Yes

4. When do you sharpen - before or after b&w conversion ?

After

5. Do you like to add some 'sepia tint' to the images or you prefer more 'traditional, cold' look

Add some sepia tone most of the time.

And finally .. Are there people who think that these (G11/S90) cameras are so good when b&w converted, that they prefer to use them as b&w 'film' cameras ?

I guess a very small percentage do.

On my side .. i use SEP, with carefully tuned presets, slightly on the warmer side, but far from sepia, very 'holga like', ie more contrast than not, but avoiding the holga vignette, grain as of recent .. Only after raws are processed, sharpening during raw processing, no 'extra' denoise, very little grain ..

Sounds great!

Saw what the people with Leicas get out (M9, X1, M8) .. rather impressive .. have the feeling that we can get there or almost there, somehow, with very careful b&w processing of the few images which shine in color at first place ..

I concur, especially if you take into consideration the cost difference between a Leica and Canon gear.

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Digart

JEPH Contributing Member • Posts: 780
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

CloudyBay43 wrote:

Saw what the people with Leicas get out (M9, X1, M8) .. rather impressive .. have the feeling that we can get there or almost there, somehow, with very careful b&w processing of the few images which shine in color at first place ..

Slightly OT, but there's that "Dynamic B&W" process setting on the LX3-and I'm sure something similar on the DLux.

That would be a neat conversion to emulate when that particular look is wanted.

(Leaving aside the issue of whether the DLux is a Leica or not.)

Have you thought of trying Silver Efex?

CloudyBay43
OP CloudyBay43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

Jeph, that is what i use - Silver Efex Pro ..

Digart, Robert.

I quite agree with your comments, what is interesting so far is how you guys denoise after raw and then sharpen in b&w .. I tested hours on end whether to process in Noiseware, or to leave it all to Aperture .. Same applies for the sharpening.

In the end achieved best results when denoise and sharpen are done in (the raw conversion stage) Aperture, and in the b&w conversion - only channel mixing, some contrast and some grain are applied.

I strongly believe by now that this is Aperture specific, and not necessarily the right workflow
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Karsten Sedal
Karsten Sedal Forum Member • Posts: 68
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

S90 raw processed with DPP

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Karsten Sedal

CloudyBay43
OP CloudyBay43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

Karsten, impressive !

Why couldn't i get anything very good from raw in DPP ..
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Saint Yves Contributing Member • Posts: 592
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

I usually do everything in the raw conversion tool . I haved used DPP , but I now prefer LR3 which allows to work on luninosity by color and also to make local adjustments.

Robert Hoffman
Robert Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 2,730
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

CloudyBay43 wrote:

Jeph, that is what i use - Silver Efex Pro ..

Digart, Robert.

I quite agree with your comments, what is interesting so far is how you guys denoise after raw and then sharpen in b&w .. I tested hours on end whether to process in Noiseware, or to leave it all to Aperture .. Same applies for the sharpening.

I have several noise-removal tools that are superior to my raw converter, so I like to do that after conversion. I also do a lot of layer-masking/layers work, which can only be performed during the finishing stages in PS.

My rule of thumb has always been to sharpen last, since it is strongly affected by final image size.

Rob
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CloudyBay43
OP CloudyBay43 Senior Member • Posts: 1,216
Re: G11 / S90 B&W Conversion

Robert, i know what you are saying .. I myself chose Noiseware Pro at the time with some very good results, until i got my G11 and took this twilight street picture with a lot of tar and dark facades and all. I was trying everything in vein to not have artifacts and 'rectangular' pixels after denoise of the jpg in Noiseware, but wasn't getting very far, until Aperture 3 came along .. This is the first time when i had this difficult picture processed with the default Aperture noise handling, with virtually all detail preserved and resulting fine and minimal luma grain in the output - in place of the blotchy chroma pixelization before.

Since, i have not used Noiseware at all - same great high iso / shadow processing i also have with the L1 raws, even with the LC1 raws .. it must be something in the demosaic algorithm they've put in
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 CloudyBay43's gear list:CloudyBay43's gear list
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