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Author Topic: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?  (Read 15412 times)

drmike

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #20 on: September 22, 2015, 02:34:12 AM »

Don't you find you learn to 'see' in B&W?
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Rob C

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #21 on: September 22, 2015, 10:12:20 AM »

Don't you find you learn to 'see' in B&W?

Do you mean to 'see' a picture at all, or just to see it in terms of black/white?

Not a smart-ass trick question.

Rob C

john beardsworth

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #22 on: September 22, 2015, 10:26:00 AM »

Don't you find you learn to 'see' in B&W?

In which B&W? In the B&W as if you'd used a red lens filter with film, or the B&W after using the green filter, the yellow, the blue etc. IOW, is "learning to see in B&W" anything more than a cliché?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 10:29:11 AM by john beardsworth »
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GrahamBy

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #23 on: September 22, 2015, 11:26:39 AM »

I think one learns to recognise the sort of compositions/scenes that will work in B&W, vs those where removing the colour info will kill them. However personally, there are many times when I want to look at both possibilities before deciding, even if in 80% of cases I go with the B&W.

That's why I don't understand the interest of a mono camera : it's not as though I'm exposing expensive sheet film and really need to visualise the scene in advance in B&W (and I'm not aware that ground glass provided that feature back in the day either). I press the button and decide later, since my card holds 600 raw images (and I'm not a "mitrailleur"). I guess it's conceptually possible that seeing the image in B&W on the LCD would make me notice some mono-specific compositional issue... but even then, I can arrange that via B&W jpeg if I want.
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drmike

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #24 on: September 22, 2015, 02:51:26 PM »

Do you mean to 'see' a picture at all, or just to see it in terms of black/white?

Not a smart-ass trick question.

Rob C

I reality both but the ability to envisage a scene in B&W is a skill I had when shooting film and rediscovered earlier this year. I think that in the day most film shooters could do that.

I also believe that it can help to simplify a scene to B&W to see the underlying compositional elements and see if they are sound as a foundation for a colour image. Not always relevant but it can help.

But this always has the caveat - but what do I know? As I grow older I realise just how little I know about anything.
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drmike

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #25 on: September 22, 2015, 02:53:30 PM »

In which B&W? In the B&W as if you'd used a red lens filter with film, or the B&W after using the green filter, the yellow, the blue etc. IOW, is "learning to see in B&W" anything more than a cliché?

Yes to all of those depending on the result you are hoping for. To envisage the image processed as B&W, teh distill what is before you to shades of grey and tones rather than have the distraction of colour. Maybe it is a cliche, I don't know but I do know that plenty of photographers I know seem to have a hard time doing this.
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rdonson

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #26 on: September 22, 2015, 03:03:47 PM »

More of a statement product, then.

But then what of the current gen mirrorless is best for BW usage? E.g. having an EVF that can be turned to BW might be helpful (for some, for some not).
That's why i was asking as i am a color shooter since a long time and not been exposed much to BW digital.

My Fuji X-T1 enables me to shoot RAW+JPEG *and* have the EVF depict B&W with my favorite Fuji film emulsion.  You can further refine your experience as shown in this link.

https://erohne.wordpress.com/2015/01/05/custom-settings-for-the-fujifilm-x-t1/

Sometimes the JPEG suffices nicely most of the time I use the RAW file and go to Google Silver Efex Pro 2 or MacPhun Tonality Pro to get it just the way I want it.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 04:58:57 PM by rdonson »
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Ron

john beardsworth

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #27 on: September 22, 2015, 03:53:34 PM »

Yes to all of those depending on the result you are hoping for. To envisage the image processed as B&W, teh distill what is before you to shades of grey and tones rather than have the distraction of colour. Maybe it [seeing in B&W] is a cliche, I don't know but I do know that plenty of photographers I know seem to have a hard time doing this.

Perhaps because they really don't need to do so? Will "seeing in B&W", whatever that means, actually change the photo you take? Maybe if you have an EVF that lets you choose the particular B&W filtration, but in general I wonder if the idea isn't way beyond its sell-by date.

Telecaster

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #28 on: September 22, 2015, 04:01:21 PM »

How close is the b&w JPEG to your ultimate b&w image that you derive from the raw image? How do you use the JPEG image to better the b&w raw image?

Sometimes it's close, sometimes just a general approximation. Some cameras allow for finer in-camera b&w profile tweaking than others. But I don't really use the b&w JPEG per se…my aim is to see b&w in the EVF. I spot a potential photo with my eyes, in color of course, and then use the EVF to judge how it might work in monochrome. This is when I'm taking pics with mono in mind.

-Dave-
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Ernst Dinkla

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #29 on: September 23, 2015, 11:33:09 AM »

Just to add the Sigma Merrills are pretty good for B&W capture

For some jobs an Olympus or Pentax + pixel shifting should deliver a similar or better base for B&W images. It is essentially the RGGB Bayer filtering that might reduce B&W resolution/image quality. That said theoretically any sensor based on RGB filtering/sensitivity does not represent the continuous spectral sensitivity of a specific silver halide B&W film, whether Fovean, Bayer or Bayer pixel shift. Not that experts will be able to see that difference in the resulting B&W prints.

Met vriendelijke groet, Ernst

http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm
December 2014 update, 700+ inkjet media white spectral plots
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Rob C

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #30 on: September 23, 2015, 11:45:28 AM »

1.   I reality both but the ability to envisage a scene in B&W is a skill I had when shooting film and rediscovered earlier this year. I think that in the day most film shooters could do that.

I also believe that it can help to simplify a scene to B&W to see the underlying compositional elements and see if they are sound as a foundation for a colour image. Not always relevant but it can help.

2.   But this always has the caveat - but what do I know? As I grow older I realise just how little I know about anything.


Note: Numerals mine.

1.   Indeed, especially if you were doing fashion: mid-green against mid-blue and everything vanished, including the client!

2.   Imagine being a specialist: more and more about less and less until we reach the point you fear! (But you're not there yet - I almost have arrived. ;-)

Rob C

Rob C

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #31 on: September 23, 2015, 04:54:26 PM »

It's fun enough carrying an old (but immaculate!) D200 around, sticking on a Cokin holder and a bit of glass with a delicate smear of Vaseline.

Miss film with larger cameras, but only really interested if somebody is willing to pay a lot of money for the effort. I'm safe: they are not.

Though I have a D700 as well, it seldom sees battle unless I know I'm going to be messing about in the available dark. I find no discomfort with keeping the D200 at no more than ISO 400 and just going along with what it wants to give me. It's not for money, it's for amusement and mental health. Everybody can make that perfect exposure today; even a cellphone gets you there, but it's a little bit hollow just being 'perfect' and more satifying defying the laws of photographic gravity. Non?

Rob C



Morris Taub

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #32 on: September 25, 2015, 01:29:41 AM »

It's fun enough carrying an old (but immaculate!) D200 around, sticking on a Cokin holder and a bit of glass with a delicate smear of Vaseline.

Miss film with larger cameras, but only really interested if somebody is willing to pay a lot of money for the effort. I'm safe: they are not.

Though I have a D700 as well, it seldom sees battle unless I know I'm going to be messing about in the available dark. I find no discomfort with keeping the D200 at no more than ISO 400 and just going along with what it wants to give me. It's not for money, it's for amusement and mental health. Everybody can make that perfect exposure today; even a cellphone gets you there, but it's a little bit hollow just being 'perfect' and more satifying defying the laws of photographic gravity. Non?

Rob C




oui...
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tom b

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #33 on: September 25, 2015, 04:37:05 AM »

One of my favourite B&W processing treatments.

Process your colour image in Photoshop ACR. Then go to Image/Adjustments/B&W.

Cheers,

bokehcambodia

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #34 on: September 27, 2015, 08:20:27 AM »

Thanks for all your comments. This turned out to be an interesting conversation in the end  ;)

Dave Millier

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #35 on: October 19, 2015, 06:15:15 AM »

Late to the party but I wanted to say that this a nice photo. Not one-off Earth shattering, not "inspirational", not photographer-of-the-year but if it were part of a series hanging on the wall in a cafe or restaurant, I'd find it quietly, convincingly satisfying. Some shots just look "right" without striving to be a hero shot and this is one of those.

In fact, it it were one of mine sitting matted on my desk just now, I wouldn't actually care what anyone else thought, I would just be quietly smug, a job well done. 

I know this isn't the over-the-top enthusiasm people traditionally like to dish out on internet forums but here's to the quiet shots...





It's fun enough carrying an old (but immaculate!) D200 around, sticking on a Cokin holder and a bit of glass with a delicate smear of Vaseline.

Miss film with larger cameras, but only really interested if somebody is willing to pay a lot of money for the effort. I'm safe: they are not.

Though I have a D700 as well, it seldom sees battle unless I know I'm going to be messing about in the available dark. I find no discomfort with keeping the D200 at no more than ISO 400 and just going along with what it wants to give me. It's not for money, it's for amusement and mental health. Everybody can make that perfect exposure today; even a cellphone gets you there, but it's a little bit hollow just being 'perfect' and more satifying defying the laws of photographic gravity. Non?

Rob C


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jjj

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #36 on: October 19, 2015, 06:45:08 AM »

As for why someone thinks an 18Mp mono range-finder is worth more than twice a 37Mp DSLR with better DR, or a 50Mp DSLR with marginally less... that's a question for psychology and marketing... but whatever makes the buyer happy, in the end.
It has a Red Dot on it though!
My local cameras shop always told their customers who looked at the "Leica' pocket camera, that the identical Panasonic camera is considerably cheaper. They still sold far more rebadged Pannys pretending to be a Leica than they did the Panasonic original, despite the large premium for the Red Dot on camera.
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jjj

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #37 on: October 19, 2015, 06:49:23 AM »

But this always has the caveat - but what do I know? As I grow older I realise just how little I know about anything.
But you have learnt possibly the most important thing, perspective.
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jjj

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2015, 06:54:01 AM »

Though I have a D700 as well, it seldom sees battle unless I know I'm going to be messing about in the available dark. I find no discomfort with keeping the D200 at no more than ISO 400 and just going along with what it wants to give me. It's not for money, it's for amusement and mental health. Everybody can make that perfect exposure today; even a cellphone gets you there, but it's a little bit hollow just being 'perfect' and more satifying defying the laws of photographic gravity. Non?
I have had several pocket cameras which didn't match the quality of my big cameras, but had a nice rubbish 'quality' of their own.
My iPhones though have always been disappointing as they are not a patch on a proper camera and sadly not interesting in a crappy way either. 
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stamper

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Re: Which camera to choose for B&W digital?
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2015, 07:08:47 AM »

I reality both but the ability to envisage a scene in B&W is a skill I had when shooting film and rediscovered earlier this year. I think that in the day most film shooters could do that.

I also believe that it can help to simplify a scene to B&W to see the underlying compositional elements and see if they are sound as a foundation for a colour image. Not always relevant but it can help.

But this always has the caveat - but what do I know? As I grow older I realise just how little I know about anything.

The problem is that what you "see" is different from what the camera captures. The weakness that all cameras have is that they average out the exposure and tonal values will then be changed?
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