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What are the advantages, if any, of setting the M9 menu to Black & White instead of just converting the color DNG file to B&W at the time of post-processing in Aperture, Lightroom, or Photoshop etc.?

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What are the advantages, if any, of setting the M9 menu to Black & White instead of just converting the color DNG file to B&W at the time of post-processing in Aperture, Lightroom, or Photoshop etc.?

 

It's easier to think in B/W if you work in B/W. Then dump the JPG's and convert the DNG's.

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It's easier to think in B/W if you work in B/W. Then dump the JPG's and convert the DNG's.

 

Thanks, Brett. A good point. I also was wondering if the B&W image quality would be better using this menu setting.

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Better to make your own post-processing decisions than to have the camera do it IMO...unless you're prone to bad decisions.

The DNG file will give you more information and flexibility.

 

Jeff

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You get a lot more flexibility in post, whether you do your BW conversion in Lightroom, Aperture or Photoshop - or use plug-ins such as AlienSkin Exposure or Nik SilverEfex. Only issue then is how much time you have given the virtually endless options provided by software tools.

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I've been using a M9 for 4 months now. My M9 is my first digital camera after 40 years of Hasselbald and Rolleiflex for B&W and 18 years of Leica M6 (mainly for Color Slides Ekta & Velvia, but B&W as well when travelling "light", I'm not a professional).

All my B&W are done to be printed, usually in pretty large format (between 24*30 cm & 50*60 => 10 to 24 inches). So for me the B&W quality of the M9 where a big issue and I thought that I would probably keep the large format & film processing for my best B&W. I was wrong, with the M9 dng, LR 3.0 beta & Epson 3880 my prints are better than the old ones: the matts are darker, no more dust and more supple to process.

I'm taking the pictures in Dng, color, full def and converting in post-processing. With this approach I can apply the filters at hand during the devellopment (push yellow, orange or red to detail the sky or green to detail the trees), that a dream for a B&W photographer.

With the Grain control of Lightroom, I'm almost at the Tri-X look & feel.

The M9 ISO2500 is better than an Ilford 3200 and with the 35mm 1.4 I can shoot almost everywhere without a tripod (old churches interior at 1/15sec, or candelighed portrait @ 1/8sec).

Definetely, for me the B&W has to be done in PP.

Enjoy your M9.

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I tried shooting in 'DNG +JPG Fine' vintage B&W mode, but when I imported to Lightroom all I saw were the color DNG files. Are you all shooting in the dual mode? Or just B&W as JPG? Or do I need to adjust a LR import option to have both files appear?

 

 

Karen

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Karen, It is normal.

 

DNG is always "color". It's a sort of raw file with the direct values read on the sensor (thus RGB), and you convert it in LR either by using the BW-White button (or one of the LR preset if you want apply a ancien style to your photo) or a manual conversion by killing the saturation of each color (that's the way used to simulate shooting filters) by playing mainly on the Red & Green raw data.

 

DNG will never be B&W.

You can consider that DNG is sort of a numeric negative (that's what DNG stands for Digital NeGative) recording the maximum of data and allowing all the options at the PP. With the exception of the ISO sensitivity which is, in DP, the amplified-gain applied to the signal during the analog to digital conversion of each pixel. Even the WB doesn't change the data. It's just a side-car info tarnsfered alongside with the pixel data to inform the PP of the shooting conditions.

 

JPEG can be more seen as a rendered image (ready to be printed or displayed) with the tonal adjustement already done. My understanding is that je JPEG format is usefull only if you want post or print your picture very fast (jumping the PP phase) or if you want save memory card space or transfer time.

If you take the time of the PP, the final result will always been better if you convert the DNG to JPG in LR than the standard JPG Leica conversion (even if it's a good one).

 

Due to these constraints and strenghs, I've 2 minor regrets regarding the management of DNG & JPEG within the M9:

 

1 - I wish I could save the JPEG & DNG in separate folders rather than twin pictures in the same folder when you record on, dual format (that would make a lot easier the use of the JPEG as a fast:simple format for the quick use) and disregard them when PP.

 

2 - I wish that in the instant mode (use of the M9 as a pocket-camera) I could select a low definition mode.

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1 - I wish I could save the JPEG & DNG in separate folders rather than twin pictures in the same folder when you record on, dual format (that would make a lot easier the use of the JPEG as a fast:simple format for the quick use) and disregard them when PP.

But it's so easy to put them in separate folders before you post-process. In your computer's file browser, sort by file type and then select the jpegs and move them to their own folder.

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Zklatkob,

 

I know that I can easily separate Jpgs and Dng (I’ve been working in the IT industry since 1974).

  • Why are you (Professional Photographers of this forum) taking us, the hobbyists, as dummies?.
  • And why are you defending leica in such an obstinate way ?

 

I use my Leica to take pictures, not to generate PC activity.

  • 80% of my pleasure comes at the shooting. Even when I don’t wear it, I look at the world thru a Leica mind set (light, people behavior, … RF in mind)
  • 80% of the remaining pleasure comes when processing (and LR is almost as pleasing than my old wood enlarger)
  • 80% of the remaining comes from looking at my pictures boxes (always paper)

The Pc’s browsing, file renaming, is just painful useless time lost.

And now (with the new 3.2 beta of LR), as I can import directly from the file of the M9 (sub directory on the SD), without being at the service of my PC, this point is even less consistent.

 

So I’d like:

· That the file management of the M9 works as it is said in the documentation (at least the French one) : 8 caracters names & Upper & lower case) and not 5 caracters Upper & Numbers

· to be able to use the folders as I used the films in the M6 (one for JPG, one for DNG regarding the required process workflow as I had one for B&W and one for color)

Is that too much for a 8000 €uros camera ?,

Any case, I’m not going my camera if these issues aren’t solved.

 

Saying that, I’m not insulting Leica. I’m just giving an example of minor changes that would bring the FW at the same level of quality and conviviality than the rest of their stuff.

Do you believe that the menus, intuitivity or global behavior of the “soft part” of the M9 is at the level of the Lenses, hardware quality ? me not.

 

Cordialement, Benoit

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Calm down! It's just someone trying to be helpful with a simple tip... it's normal on this forum.

 

Anyone tried DNG+JPG basic..?

Cheers

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I was just trying to be helpful. It seemed like the answer to one of your issues. Sorry if I misunderstood.

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Benoit,

 

Your response clearly answered my original question. I now understand that setting the M9 to B&W (or not doing so) will not impact the final image quality of the DNG file that I use to make a B&W print.

I like Brett's suggestion that the B&W setting gives you a B&W image on the camera's LCD that helps you to "think in B&W" and to make immediate camera adjustments if needed.

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