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B&W from M8

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Howard-- Love the shot

 

Wilfredo--Yes.. The M8 seems to be opening up possibilities, even beyond those I was getting with film.

 

The attached shot is cropped from a larger file, iso 1250, conversion in Raw Developer, levels and mild contrast changes only. It is perhaps a little different than film files, but is finer "grained" than scanned XP2 shot in the same club, under the same lights, and to my eye, works as well or better than pushed HP5. 35mm summicron V4 @ f/2--still my favorite lens, even with the reduced field of view.

 

Regards,

Norm

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Come on, the JFI Colour Labs arent working (i think they are something like the "Emperiors new cloths") i checked them all, and compared them to the C1 b/w profiles, I showed them here in the Forum and NOBODY could see a difference.

You showed their FILMKIT ,,,, but their B&W TOOLKIT, which is 1 film with endeless filtersettings, works wonderfu!l

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Wilfredo,

 

Although I have been following the digital forum over the past few months with keen interest in the M8, I think this is my first post. Ever!

 

Anyway, these are nice B&W shots that many here would say have a striking resemblance to film. I've decided to modify one of yours, attempting to render it even more film-like. Let me know what you think. Look for increased separation in the shadows.

 

Warm regards,

 

Timothy

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Hofrench,

 

I have also made changes to your picture of the monger. Let me know what you think.

 

Everyone,

 

A lot of you probably already do this, but . . . I think the best way to compare two versions of the same picture is to right-click and select "Open Image in New Tab" (or it's equivalent) for each one. Then you move back and froth between tabs. Unlike scrolling, it allows immediate/real-time viewing/comparision.

 

Warmly,

 

Timothy

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Wilfredo,

 

Beautiful landscape! Again, I took the liberty of playing with it. Especially since I'm working on a low-resolution JPEG, I consider mine more of a quick sketch to show a different concept than anything else.

 

Warmly,

 

Timothy

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Again, some nice shots.

 

I have a suggestion for those trying to get that film look ... huh ... shoot film and it'll look exactly like film : -)

 

Yes, sure, Marc, but what about trying to have your cake and eat it? You know, like all the conveniences of digital plus the quality of the M8 rendering AND the film look?

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Yes, sure, Marc, but what about trying to have your cake and eat it? You know, like all the conveniences of digital plus the quality of the M8 rendering AND the film look?

 

Good luck on that Oliver. Haven't seen one single PRINT that accomplishes that goal yet.

Lots of web simulations on a pixel screen, but IMO no prints yet.

 

Seen some beautiful digital B&W. Love the convenience of digital. It isn't film like to me, so when I want it that way .... I shoot film ...

 

because I don't mind "baking the cake", before having it and eating it too ; -)

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Again, some nice shots.

 

I have a suggestion for those trying to get that film look ... huh ... shoot film and it'll look exactly like film : -)

 

not a bad idea.

I just prefer the digital worflow and convenience when shooting (for example ISO-change from image to image if needed).

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Thank you Bill, Wilfredo, Jørn and al for your comments. I will look into JFI and Alien Skin. In fact, I think I have already tried a demo of Alien Skin. But that's for color conversion to b&w, isn't it? What I'm talking about is straight b&w jpegs from the camera, even with some post-processing in PS.

 

BTW, some have mentioned the «b&w profile in C1». Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is that? Is it a profile that will convert a DNG file to b&w right from the start?

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BTW, some have mentioned the «b&w profile in C1». Forgive my ignorance, but what exactly is that? Is it a profile that will convert a DNG file to b&w right from the start?

 

Yep, it is used like any other icc profile. I don´t know if it comes with C1 LE but i believe so (i use C1 pro). You will find it at the white balance setup. If you are familar with switching profiles take a look at ICC profile>Phase One or ICC profile>Others.

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Olivier - why would you shoot jpegs and not RAW? Or at least shoot both at same time. Memory is way cheaper than what an 8k camera (counting a lens) costs to shoot jpegs. Remember, the RAW file is your negative.

 

I think one thing that's forgotten to a degree here is that the computer is now your darkroom. And if you were never that great in the darkroom...... To me it's all about dodging and burning and making an image come alive as one visualised it in the first place.

Doesn't matter if it's got the resolution of an 8x10 view camera (or the grain of tmax 3200) if it's not "printed" with some degree of sophistication and understanding it won't draw the viewer fully into the experience.

 

I urge everyone to read this article if you haven't already. It's about Magnum photographer Alex Majoli who switiched from M film cameras to Olympus digital 5050-8080s. His work is very much about the finished image and bringing across the drama of that particular moment. Yes, digital may speed up the workflow, but it doesn't eliminate the need to "work" the image.

 

Rob Galbraith DPI: Alex Majoli points and shoots

 

Of course he's shooting jpegs with these but I'm sure if he had the choice he'd shoot both formats. I wonder if he's picked up an M8......

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Timothy,

 

Both ideas work, they are different interpretations, and the fact that so much can be done with a digital file from the M8 shows just how versatile it is. I'm personally not looking for a film look. My point is that the image stamp of the M8 is in a class by itself, and I have come to favor that stamp above film or other digital images -- say from a Canon.

 

The final print is a matter of taste and performance as Adam's would say. The M8 really gives you a lot of room for personal interpretation because the image on the file is so rich, IMHO. One of the things I've discovered is that simple things like dodging and burning are so much more effective on an M8 file than anything I've ever worked with before, even scanned film. I feel like I am in the darkroom again :-)

 

Cheers,

Wifredo+

Benitez-Rivera Photography

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Olivier - why would you shoot jpegs and not RAW? Or at least shoot both at same time. Memory is way cheaper than what an 8k camera (counting a lens) costs to shoot jpegs. Remember, the RAW file is your negative.

 

I think one thing that's forgotten to a degree here is that the computer is now your darkroom. And if you were never that great in the darkroom......

 

I do shoot Raw, almost always. What I am looking for is to shoot b&w straight from the camera, avoiding the color to b&w conversion later. I want to get a b&w jpeg from the camera that I will then adjust in PS, just like when I shoot b&w film, process it, then scan the negatives before retouching. Also, and that's the strange part, if I know I'm shooting color (or rather the camera is) I find it more difficult to «see my subject in b&w». The moment I press the shutter release and I hear the click I like to know that the camera is recording b&w. It helps my imagination, if you will.

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Guest sirvine
I think one thing that's forgotten to a degree here is that the computer is now your darkroom. And if you were never that great in the darkroom...... To me it's all about dodging and burning and making an image come alive as one visualised it in the first place.

 

For me, this is almost as much fun as shooting.

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I would leave the contrast and sharpness set to standard. I find that the more you soften the image, the more "digital" it looks. In my view the image quality of the M8 is different from standard digital, especially with skin tones. I think it is as close to life-like as you can get, without the extra grain/noise you get from film. The shot below was set to ISO 320 (if memory serves me right). It has plenty of texture and doesn't have that plastic digital skin look.

 

If you absolutely want the film look then Alien Skin seems to be the way to go. Personally, I am really excited about the image quality of the M8 as is, I think it is in class by itself, and we are beginning to see the beginning of a new standard, IMHO.

 

Wilfredo

Benitez-Rivera Photography

 

Awesome shot Wilfredo! My M8 is coming soon!!I What B&W settings did you use in CS? Thanks.

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Steve,

 

Thanks for your comments. I mostly leave the camera on DNG and I desasurate the file using the options under the CS Adjustments Menu. I prefer this to Grayscale. I then play with the Levels until I get the tones I'm satisfied with. Sometimes I also use Curves and the Contrast slide. Other than that, I add a tad of color tone using the Color Balance. This method is so simple most people ignore it for more sophisticated and esoteric post processing. I should mention that Dodging and Burning are almost always something I do, depending on need, and also some sharpening. That's basically it. There are other routes one can use for the same results, but this is what I've discovered works best for me. I had to figure this out, mostly on my own.

 

You will enjoy your M8. Don't forget to post pictures. Here's a shot I took on my first outing with the M8. I love what I can do with it, and I'm convinced that what is selling this camera are the pictures posted on the Leica User Forum. This is Leicas best source of advertisement. We should get a commission for posting pictures. I myself caved and bought the camera after seeing pictures posted here.

 

Cheers,

Wilfredo+

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The M8 delivers the black and white goods because it's just that much better in the highlights and (especially) shadows. I think that's because of the 14bpp AD converter; the DMR files are the only ones that are similar (if anything, the M8s have wider latitude than the DMR--which is saying something).

 

As for manipulating for a film-like look, you get another vote from me for Alien Skin Exposure--it does colour and black and white.

 

The ability to mess with toe and shoulder curves--and multiple sized grain per color channel--make that one a very good (if a little expensive) choice.

 

It *is* outstanding though, and I've tried (and love) a lot of other BW techniques.

 

As for *printing* to look like film--Marc--I'm just about to send my first-ever M8 BW files to a place with that digital Durst front end and then hand printed, the old fashioned way with developer, stop baths and fixer, on fiber paper. For a lot of $$ per pop--we'll see if it's better than the Lambda all the way through (which is also a fabulous way to print, IMO).

 

I think if you get the "negative" curves right and the right printing technique, you're going to come very, very close to a fine print from digital.

 

So we'll see

 

PS--I agree on the newest JFI profiles; the C1 BW profiles are better. But, as has been pointed out, the BW kit, with all the filter profiles, is really very, very good.

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i never worked with film...but have worked very hard over the past 5 yrs learning how to work the digital darkroom (PS) using canons 10d, 1dII, idsII...but these files are different...i don't know if it's like film or like digital...i agree with wilfredo that it is unique and the files are like neither...i bought it to be my second camera and the one to take outside...but after a week i realized that these files were to my taste superior, richer, creamier, more life like than even what i was getting out of my fabulous 1dsII...so I sold all the canons so i could start buying leica lenses for this unique gem...i always shoot raw cause i do lots of post work in PS and use lots of filters including nik color efx...and i'm able to make the picture i want to make more easily with these files than with any i've worked with up to now...

 

mike

 

http://www.mikecetta.com

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charlesphoto99,

 

Thanks for the article!

 

Wilfredo,

 

I agree, from what I have heard and seen through this forum, there is so much potential from these M8 RAW files. Something like "flexibility" or "elasticity" is the descriptor I'm grasping for.

 

Everyone,

 

Nevertheless, from what I've seen so far here, very few pictures, especially black and white pictures, have maximized said potential. Don't take this as a personal criticism so much as a challenge. I think Alex Majoli with his images from point and shoots has set the bar in terms presentation. Take away the interestingness of his subjects, and their extended depth of field, and his pictures would still set the bar, again, in terms of presentation. The words "quality", "vision", and "realization" come to mind.

 

So, I agree with charlesphoto99, only I'm making his challenge more explicit.

 

By the way, I can't wait until I have an M8. . . . I would ask what are some creative ways to fund for it, but that would be another subject.

 

Cheers,

 

Timothy

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M8 and B&W - Yes

(from the photo-forum; nobody ever looks there it seems...)

 

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