I would assume that you are shooting on MF, hence the FOV comment. If this was shot on film, then the reason #1 looks better is self-evident. If you want B/W from film, shoot B/W film, rather than converting from colour. If it was digital, then your B/W conversion needs a lot more work. The image has lost a lot of "pop" and contrast in the process, when it needed to gain it, if anything.
It is a good strong picture, and I like the textures, light and composition. I think it could be very good in B/W, with the right "development".
I generally refrain from dramatic image manipulation in post. Just my personal style and beliefs.
I like the first one better.
On an emotional level, for me the first one demonstrates youth and vitality with the bulging biceps and musculature of the trunk and limbs, while the older one connotes a bit more sadness and age, with a bit of wisdom.
Yes, its 6x9 cm, shot with a Mamiya Universal 50 mm lens on Kodak negative film (not sure right now if it was NC or VC). Basically I have a wide angle picture of a tree in mind which I partly managed to realize here, but I'm surely not yet there.
I myself am not very happy with the B/W conversion and I also am ambiguous about the colored one,
because of the heavy postprod. I did a lot of experimentation in post (I'm a newbie there), like using b/w conversion
layers in luminance mode, doubled layers in soft light mode and such.
I see it as an intermediate result and thought some feedback could help me here.
The b/w conversion is not as I wanted it, but the closest I could go to for now.
So - my personal favourite here also is the colored one, though I'll give a b/w conversion another try, just as an exercise.
I do not yet own the filters I want to have for true b/w, because I'll most likely go for a Cokin system and a big diameter -
my 250 mm lens had 72 mm filter diameter.
Thanks for all the input so far.
I'll work more on it, and I'm sure I'll make more images of tree trunks - its an
inner image I have had for quite some time now and its not yet realized as I wish.
I am also not yet content with the way how sharpness / unsharpness is realized here.