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Suggestions for better monochrome

Discussion in 'X100F, X100T, X100S, X100, and X70' started by kevistopheles, Jul 12, 2018 at 2:59 AM.

  1. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    I've got a nice custom setting or two for color that I feel really works well but I am having a heck of time getting BW out of the X100 that I really like. I can make lovely BW using an app like Tonality or Silver Efex Pro but I'd like to get good BW without converting elsewhere (that's kinda the point really). I've gotten pretty close a few times but I'm still not quite there. I've tried the settings that worked well on my X-P1 and X10 and they're good but honestly worked better on the X-P1 and X10.

    What are some of your favorite custom settings for BW? Or some tips and tricks for getting the most out of your X100's for BW?
     
    Alfred Eyesenstadt and Bill W like this.
  2. kiwitracks

    kiwitracks Premium Member

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    Which model are you talking about? One of the newer ones with Acros or the original X100?
     
  3. LJClark

    LJClark Premium Member

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    I'm perfectly fine with Silver Efex Pro. If I'm going to be doing post processing a run through Silver Efex is no big deal. When all I shot was 35mm B&W I spent a heck of a lot more time per shot in the darkroom.

    Another thing to consider is that one B&W setting (or film) doesn't fit all situations. My degree was in photojournalism and we had a large number of photographers shooting a lot of different film -- I was the student on work-study who ran the photo lab so I got to see it all, from soup to prints. The film simulations in Silver Efex are impressive. I recognize the Ilford setups from the work of those folks who used to shoot Ilford film. The differences between Panatomic-X, Plus-X, and Tri-X are pretty much as I remember them. Back in the day we'd use the same film for most of our work, but would also use different emulsions for special assignments.
     
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  4. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    Original X100 so no Acros for me :(
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 7:03 AM
  5. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    I've been using Silver Efex and Tonality CC for years but I'd like to get better BW SOOC than I'm getting. I can do it with my Sony as well as my Fuji X10 (and X-P1 before that) so I figure I've gotta be able to do it with the X100 or at least get closer than I am now. Call it my little obsession. If I can't get there from here it's not the end of the world.

    FWIW I think Silver Efex is good but the latest release by DXO hasn't done much other than make it 64 bit. It's a step in the right direction but the UI and tools are getting long in the tooth. I prefer Tonality CC myself because it gives you much greater levels of control and IMHO the results are much better.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2018 at 7:02 AM
  6. Narsuitus

    Narsuitus Premium Member

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    Is Tonality available for the PC or only the Mac?
     
  7. lawsofphysics

    lawsofphysics Premium Member

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    I use LR CC and can get close to Silver Efex Pro. I find optimizing monochrome rendering with LR CC is very different than optimizing color rendering.

    I prefer Silver Efex Pro because the dodge and burn tools are virtual equivalents to what I did many in ancient times making prints from TR-X in the darkroom.

    I don't think you will ever achieve the B&W rendering you want without using a fast, easy solution. Diverse and flexible rendering tools exist for a reason.
     
  8. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    Tonality is MacOS only but Skyluym's Luminar uses the same BW engine and it's available for MacOS and Windows. Skylum is likely sun setting Tonality soon anyway. I've been thinking of upgrading since they announced Luminar was getting a DAM and any license holders get a free upgrade. I've been using their tools for years and have always thought they were top notch.
     
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  9. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    I agree, tools like Tonality, Silver Efex, True Grain etc. will always give the best results. I have all of those tools (and then some) and I've processed many thousands of photos using them. What I'm trying to get at is how to get the best black and white straight out of camera. I don't mean BETTER than using dedicated black and white tools simply the best the camera is capable of. Case in point is my X10. My X- E1 and X-P1 were very very good (although not quite as good as the X10) and the X100 has flashes of it but mostly not. It's got wonderful color but the black and white, not so much. I've seen gorgeous black and white produced by the X100 so I'm sure I can improve what I'm getting.

    That said, it may not be possible to get where I want to go without resorting to using another tool and if that's so that's fine as well. I had an Olympus E-M10 for a while and I liked that camera quite a bit but I never did get decent SOOC black and white out of that thing. There was a lot to like about that camera (especially with the 14mm lens attached) but SOOC black and white wasn't one of them.
     
  10. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    @Narsuitus I should mention that currently Tonality has a few more in terms of features for B&W (like micro-structure) than Luminar, but I've seen Skylum continue to add features to Luminar since it was released and almost no development has gone into Tonality other than minor upgrades so the hand writing is on the wall.
     
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  11. DaveW19904

    DaveW19904 Premium Member

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    I always liked the Lightroom BW#3, minus the grain and upping the exposure some. They recently added BW Punch and I like that pretty much SOOL (Straight out of lightroom :} )
     
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  12. kevistopheles

    kevistopheles Analog

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    I think the consensus so far is the best route to B&W is to use another tool.

    Speaking of other tools. Has anyone using the Mac OS tried Please login or register to view links? I ask because they have an add-in that is for specifically processing Fuji RAF files and it includes Acros and Classic Chrome simulations.

    Please login or register to view links
     
  13. mnhoj

    mnhoj Premium Member

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    Funny, I had forgotten that I had Picktorial and the X-Pack.
    Here are a few renderings from it and my X100F. Just the profile change.

    Picktorial's standard profile.
    standard.jpg
    Acros + R
    acros + R.jpg
    Velvia
    velvia.jpg
     
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