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M Monochrom, filters and Silver Efex Pro 2

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63 replies to this topic

#1 ymc226

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 11:55

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A question for the lucky owners who already have their M Monochrom.

I'm going through my B&W filter inventory to see if I need to add but would like to know if it is better to shoot with the yellow or red filter or just process in SEP2 using no filter?

I believe it would be easier to add rather then remove contrast in post processing but please give me your opinions on the pros and cons of either method.

#2 jaapv

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 16:10

As you cannot adjust color channels, the only way to influence the tonal response of the camera is a filter, just like in film days.
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#3 ymc226

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 17:22

As you cannot adjust color channels, the only way to influence the tonal response of the camera is a filter, just like in film days.



Thanks Jaapv.

I guess the contrast sliders on SEP2 are useless but I assume that since Leica provides the software, other functions such as exposure/brightness, either local or generalized effects still are possible.

That means I need filters for all of the lenses I would use the Monochrom with.

#4 pico

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 17:48

I'm going through my B&W filter inventory to see if I need to add but would like to know if it is better to shoot with the yellow or red filter [...]


It is not really a question of either/or but to know when to use which. In my experience a red filter is just horrible. Too much contrast, and focus is degraded. And don't forget a blue filter for those circumstances that are largely shadow, no sky. Experiment to learn and be happy!

#5 SpiritShooter

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 17:50

Contrast, brightness, exposure, clarity, sharpening all work. And, you can do all or the normal local adjustments you would do in LR or Photoshop.

Imagine if you had scanned a b/w film negative and proceeded to work on it in Photoshop. Pretty much the same process.

For reference:
A yellow or, more dramatically, orange or red, filter will enhance the contrast between clouds and sky by darkening the blue sky. A deep green filter will also darken the sky, and additionally lighten green foliage, making it stand out against the sky. A blue filter mimics the effect of older orthochromatic film, or even older film sensitive only to blue light, rendering blue as light and red and green as dark, showing blue skies as overcast with no contrast between sky and clouds, darkening blond hair, making blue eyes nearly white and red lips nearly black.

Not sure why a red filter is "horrible". I have used red and even dark red to increase contrast for certain images and results. In fact, if you look at the images on my website, the majority of the film images were shot with either light red or red filtration. The digital conversions were almost all done with varying levels of orange or red filtration.

Edited by SpiritShooter, 31 August 2012 - 18:02.

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#6 johnbuckley

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 18:50

I've been experimenting with yellow and orange filters, and may not have a sophisticated enough viewpoint, but the orange filter sure did seem to work well on a very bright mid-afternoon. Nothng I shot was overexposed, and did I mention it was bright?

#7 ymc226

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 18:55

Contrast, brightness, exposure, clarity, sharpening all work. And, you can do all or the normal local adjustments you would do in LR or Photoshop.

Imagine if you had scanned a b/w film negative and proceeded to work on it in Photoshop. Pretty much the same process.


I don't have any experience with scanning, only film and just into digital. If I understand Jaapv correctly, there is not much that can be done tonally with contrast with Monochrom DNGs but you seem to state that contrast can be changed to a certain extent. I hope this is true. Thus, my understanding is that most of the tone adjustment should be done with optical filters but some degree of final adjustment can be done with LR or SEP2.

#8 jaapv

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 19:43

Tonal response is not the same as contrast. Tonal response determines the shade of gray (relatively) that is assigned to a specific color. Contrast is the amount of difference between the shades of gray. The latter can be controlled in postprocessing, the former not.
i.e if a specific green object has been assigned a shade of grey and a specific red object is rendered the same shade of gray, no amount of contrast enhancing will differentiate the objects. However, if you use a green or red filter, the green and the red object will have different grey shades, and now you can boost the contrast between the two.
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#9 SpiritShooter

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 20:22

Tonal response is not the same as contrast. Tonal response determines the shade of gray (relatively) that is assigned to a specific color. Contrast is the amount of difference between the shades of gray. The latter can be controlled in postprocessing, the former not.
i.e if a specific green object has been assigned a shade of grey and a specific red object is rendered the same shade of gray, no amount of contrast enhancing will differentiate the objects. However, if you use a green or red filter, the green and the red object will have different grey shades, and now you can boost the contrast between the two.


Exactly,

And, by using careful post production selections one can in fact isolate individual elements within the image and vary the "shade of gray". Guess it depends on how much post production wizardry one wishes to engage in.

#10 ymc226

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Posted 31 August 2012 - 20:47

Tonal response is not the same as contrast. Tonal response determines the shade of gray (relatively) that is assigned to a specific color. Contrast is the amount of difference between the shades of gray. The latter can be controlled in postprocessing, the former not.
i.e if a specific green object has been assigned a shade of grey and a specific red object is rendered the same shade of gray, no amount of contrast enhancing will differentiate the objects. However, if you use a green or red filter, the green and the red object will have different grey shades, and now you can boost the contrast between the two.


Thanks for the clarification. That makes more sense.

#11 chris_tribble

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 18:46

excuse my ignorance here - but are we saying that with the MM we'll have to use coloured filters to achieve certain effects, and that this can't be done with something like Silver Efex? I can understand the need for ND filters with fast lenses given the shift to ISO 320 base, but wouldn't relish going back to colour filters in order to enhance skies etc.

Grateful for any comments from those with practical MM experience.

Thanks.

#12 C_R

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 19:24

Still waiting for my MM. But Sean Reid showed nicely the effect of different filters with MM. For example, you will never get the effect of a yellow-green filter on foliage with SFEX. Impossible.

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#13 pico

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 19:30

excuse my ignorance here - but are we saying that with the MM we'll have to use coloured filters to achieve certain effects, and that this can't be done with something like Silver Efex?


To manipulate color rendering you must use color filters, just as in B&W film.

What other effects are you considering?

#14 lct

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 20:02

excuse my ignorance here - but are we saying that with the MM we'll have to use coloured filters to achieve certain effects, and that this can't be done with something like Silver Efex? I can understand the need for ND filters with fast lenses given the shift to ISO 320 base, but wouldn't relish going back to colour filters in order to enhance skies etc.
Grateful for any comments from those with practical MM experience.

No comment from me sorry as i will not purchase the MM for this very reason. I feel much more comfortable with the digital filters of Silver Efex so M10 perhaps but MM is a no no. My feeling is that most of those who're claiming that they will use optical colored filters might well end up using no filter at all or a couple of yellow ones just in case. But i may be wrong of course. :rolleyes: :D

#15 pedaes

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 20:07

Interesting to speculate which would make the best final print -MM with one guess at which filter to use or M9 and all the options to try in post-processing. Discuss.

#16 pop

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 20:12

one guess at which filter to use or M9


If you have to guess, you'd better use the M9, unless you are willing to learn. There are, however, people who don't have to guess.
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#17 pedaes

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Posted 01 September 2012 - 21:24

If you have to guess, you'd better use the M9, unless you are willing to learn. There are, however, people who don't have to guess.


Ah - the man who's judgement is not a guess. Think I know him..
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#18 chris_tribble

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 08:29

Ah - the man who's judgement is not a guess. Think I know him..


:D

#19 ymc226

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 16:07

Another question for filter users, specifically the darker orange and red filters. These usually specify 2 and 3 extra stops of exposure respectively by the manufacturer.

For MM or B&W film M users of the M6 TTL, M7 or MP, does TTL metering more or less accurately increase exposure by the predicted amount when the camera is set to aperture priority? If not, how much "corrected" underexposure is there present for the orange and red filter respectively?

#20 esquire53

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Posted 02 September 2012 - 16:20

for the film ones, yes, it does.
MM I assume it will be the different for red filter, from what I read so far





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