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For those who use the Q2 to create black and white images, what have you found is the way to get the best results in terms of image quality? 

Do you shoot in color then convert to B&W in post processing?  If so, which software program do you prefer? 

I know we already have a Q2 image thread, but if we could see some examples of B&W images made with the Q2 in this thread by way of example, that would be great.  My Q2 is on the way and I want to learn about how to maximize it for black and white imagery, particularly for making exhibit quality B&W prints.  I'm sure many others will be interest in this, too.

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I have a Q rather than a Q2 and most of my images end up as B&W, I shoot in colour then use Lightroom to convert and process. I also print quite a lot and again use LR for that, I do find the printer output is slightly darker than the screen but I know how to address that.

If you do set your camera to shoot in monochrome the DNG file will always save the image in colour.

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I use the Q2 in everything manual and sometimes PP in LR/silver Efex, even silver is a bit too much like this one, shot a few minutes ago (we have heavy storms in Southern France these days).

 

 

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Doesn’t matter what digital camera you have (unless monochrome based), shoot RAW (DNG) color and convert, using the software that you’re most comfortable using and that you’ve learned well. Anyone can learn the techniques; it’s knowing when, where and to what degree to apply those techniques that matters.  In other words, a good eye and good judgment.  Same as in the darkroom days.  Printing isn’t plug and play any more than shooting pics.

FWIW, I started with Lightroom 10 years ago, and it still works well for me, now in conjunction with ImagePrint.

Jeff

Edited by Jeff S
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16 hours ago, Jeff S said:

Doesn’t matter what digital camera you have (unless monochrome based), shoot RAW (DNG) color and convert, using the software that you’re most comfortable using and that you’ve learned well. Anyone can learn the techniques; it’s knowing when, where and to what degree to apply those techniques that matters.  In other words, a good eye and good judgment.  Same as in the darkroom days.  Printing isn’t plug and play any more than shooting pics.

FWIW, I started with Lightroom 10 years ago, and it still works well for me, now in conjunction with ImagePrint.

Jeff

Jeff. Thanks for your comments. I suspect some folks don’t realize how extensive your experience and background are and with Luminous Landscape. I always value your input and perspective. I’ll try ImagePrint now. 

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33 minutes ago, Leica Guy said:

Jeff. Thanks for your comments. I suspect some folks don’t realize how extensive your experience and background are and with Luminous Landscape. I always value your input and perspective. I’ll try ImagePrint now. 

Thanks, but I’m not Jeff Schewe, who is a pioneer in the digital world.  His two books, The Digital Negative, and The Digital Print, are highly recommended for anyone looking for excellent primers. And his videos with the late Michael Reichmann  at the old LULA provide extensive practical guidance on printing.    (Schewe was also one of the early testers and developers for LR and Photoshop and, among other things, co-authored books by Bruce Fraser, another  legend.  Hardly my background. :) )

I recommend IP for anyone looking for print (RIP) software.  Expensive, but well worth it for me (free trial downloads, albeit with IP watermark across print).  It includes excellent custom profiles for virtually all papers and lighting conditions, full time softproofing, and optimal print and print machine settings for many Epson and Canon models.  I use it as an external editor in lieu of the LR print module.

Jeff (not Schewe)

Edited by Jeff S
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We all have our own individual aesthetic taste and this isn't meant as any disrespect to brickftl who is obviously a very talented photographer. But personally, I prefer the naturalism of Kegan's renderings. I really struggle with the digital aesthetic generally, because my own bias is to photography that approaches realism, and digital increasingly tempts us away from that.

I used to use Nik/Silver efex a lot. But I don't much anymore because I'm trying to figure out how to control the aesthetics myself. Not that I'm any good at it, but here it is:

1. Broadly speaking, film exposed for shadows and developed for highlights, and digital tends to do the opposite. Although, as jaap always says: try to fill the camera's histogram.

2. Although digital has significantly expanded dynamic range from 11 zones in Adams's day to ~14-15 today, we have essentially 5-6 to use in post-processing in Camera Raw: exposure, contrast, highlights, shadows, whites, and blacks. Learning to get the mid-gray helps with that. And holding down the option key while moving the slider gives the best control.

3. After trying to "fill the histogram" with those sliders, I'll check in with tone curve/parametrics to stretch out the range before going to Photoshop. Then, in PS I convert to B&W, and use the various color filters there as I would use glass filters on a camera when actually shooting B&W film for the aesthetics I want.

4. But absolutely essential for getting the proper balance and finalizing mid-grey are PS curves and levels. 

what comes out of that process is highly individual, of course. 

 

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18 minutes ago, Jeff S said:

Thanks, but I’m not Jeff Schewe, who is a pioneer in the digital world.  His two books, The Digital Negative, and The Digital Print, are highly recommended for anyone looking for excellent primers. And his videos with the late Michael Reichmann  at the old LULA provide extensive practical guidance on printing.    (Schewe was also one of the early testers and developers for LR and Photoshop and, among other things, co-authored books by Bruce Fraser, another  legend.  Hardly my background. :) )

I recommend IP for anyone looking for print (RIP) software.  Expensive, but well worth it for me (free trial downloads, albeit with IP watermark across print).  It includes excellent custom profiles for virtually all papers and lighting conditions, full time softproofing, and optimal print and print machine settings for many Epson and Canon models.  I use it as an external editor in lieu of the LR print module.

Jeff (not Schewe)

Thanks Jeff. My bad. Obviously. I’ve been a Luminous Landscape watcher / subscriber for many many years and like that Jeff’s articles and interviews. 
Dan

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Most of my photography is in B&W. For what it's worth, I shoot RAW + JPEG with the Q2 but often use one of the camera's two built-in B&W modes for JPEG. A quick look at that file gives me a reasonable indicator of how the image will turn out when converted from RAW using either Lightroom or Silver Effects Pro. I must admit however, that I have been surprised more than once at the overall quality of the images using Leica's two B&W modes. I find these options very useful. 

Edited by trinitygroup
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