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andrea-i

can't find a good B&W workflow with my M8

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Hello! I'm having the worst time trying to shoot B&W with my M8.
I know this camera is capable of great black and white photos, but whenever I see the colors popping up on lightroom, I start questioning if I should keep them in color. 
One of the very few things I miss from my x-pro, was leaving home setting the camera to B&W jpeg only, with a nice and contrasty preset and just leave it at that.
The rich jpegs of the x-pro are good enough for small to medium prints and that felt right, just a pure black and white shooting experience.

Back to my beloved M8, if I set the camera to shoot jpeg only I get a mere 2MB file, and it feels like wasting a shot to be honest.
jpeg + dng makes the camera quite slow, I don't care for the display preview, and lightroom still shows previews in color before the conversion.

Of course this is not a matter of professional photography, if I have to do a job and that job needs a B&W image then the problem is solved. This issue affects my own personal shooting experience when I want to just shoot B&W.
I just watched a video of a photographer using a monochrom M, and the first thing he said was: if I know the file has colors, I become tempted to choose, and I don't like that.
I feel exactly the same way, and I'm sure other people must feel the same too.
So I was just curious, what's your personal workflow to shooting B&W with your leica M8?

 

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You can assign your preferred B&W profile when importing new pictures in LR, so you never have to see the colors and "get tempted". 😉

And you have always the possibility switch to colors later, if you are curious.

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I shoot RAW (DNG) only and post-process in Capture One. Now most on this NG use Lightroom but the post-processing is similar, I'd surmise. If you're using Capture One, look at any of the tutorial (videos) that are accessible from the Capture One website and pay attention to the details pertaining to translating color images into a "black and white" space. And at this point, not knowing what you mean by "black and white" makes it difficult to move forward.

Honestly, when I want "black and white" photos, I use black and white film, scan to 16 bit greyscale and then use any good software for post-processing.

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Don't set the camera to JPG small.  Set the camera to JPG maximum size and B&W. The JPEGs out of the M8 in black-and-white are excellent and should be about 8MB.

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vor einer Stunde schrieb andrea-i:

...

Ever tested Silver Efex?
One gets offered different possibilities how a black and white photo could be developed.
Most of it is overkill and unusable, but maybe two to four settings are interesting.
Try to reproduce these image effects without Silver Efex, then one learns to drag the controls of the used image editing program to the better direction.

"JPG fine" is good for a first look to see how the M8 interprets the black and white photo.
But the amount of data supplied is too small for larger image editing especially with cropping and perspective corrections.
Even with 10.6MB DNGs one gets sometimes to a limit of processing.
Then for the M8 remains only the factory mode "RAW + JPG fine" with full uncompressed 21.2 MB.
m8raw2dng
But taking pictures in this factory mode is slow and cumbersome because it was not designed for consumers.
Also the later image processing requires more time for additional work steps.
I use it only for landscape shots with a lot of time and patience.

 

Edited by mnutzer

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My jpegs at fine quality are between 2 and 4 megs, definitely not even close to 8MB, sadly.

I knew about the secret raw mode, but I'm fine with the dng quality, I'd just want that with an option to ditch colors in camera : )

Silver Efex is a nice plugin, it's dedicated to B&W and offers great control, but it doesn't solve the issue of being able to peek at the colors eheh.

As for importing with a lightroom preset, it shows the previews in color before I get to import them as black and white, but it's the best workflow I have so far.

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11 minutes ago, andrea-i said:

As for importing with a lightroom preset, it shows the previews in color before I get to import them as black and white, but it's the best workflow I have so far.

Hold a sheet of paper over the import window in LR. 😂

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Just now, evikne said:

Hold a sheet of paper over the import window in LR. 😂

ahahah, actually! I got what I wanted, no piece of paper needed! 
Lightroom as an option to hide the previews while importing, and even though it doesn't let you pick a develop setting in this mode, it does let you apply an import preset.

I think I might write a little tool that discards the pngs colors in the memory card 😂

 

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