« Song Three (OT) | Main | Song Four (OT) »

Saturday, 27 December 2014


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Aside from the form factor of the X-Pro (and I'm patiently waiting for the X-Pro 1 successor to be revealed,) the b&w conversion of the X-Trans is one of the things that attracted me to the X series. Right now it looks like that is the way I will go for digital.

Digital B&W is fun but the filter settings drive me nuts.
Yellow, Red and whatever does not tell me if I am shooting with a Wratten 23, 25 or 29 or whatever? Very used to judging with the view camera, film and wratten filters in the field.
Add in I would love to have a Digital Enlarger - one that would fit in the darkroom like the Durst or Beseler or Omega so I could project 'digital negatives' onto B&W silver based photo paper and develop the prints as I am used to.
A lot of excellent digital work around, just wishing for a bit more control and hybridizing traditional techniques.

Nice photo, Mike. I've been shooting quite a bit of black and white with my Fuji X-100, but always RAW and then converting. I take it you are generating monochrome JPEGs in the camera. This seems to me to give up a lot of extra control, filtration choices, etc. and I'm curious about your rationale. One big choice for me would be how much noise suppression to use when shooting at high ISOs so you don't lose too much detail. Happy New Year. Love the blog.

[I view and edit JPEGs but make the final conversions from the Raw files. --Mike]

Has anyone worked with Capture One for Fuji X series cameras and its RAW files?
I'd love to hear your thoughts on it vs Lightroom / Aperture.

just chiming in to say I really really like this photo. Glad to see you had a fun Christmas party and hope the New Year is equally filled with joy and happiness :)

These Christmas images are great Mike. The Fuji files do convert to B&W quite well. I've been setting my cameras to Fine+Raw B&W with yellow filter and enjoying the results. It often feels like I've returned to my days of using an OM1 film camera.
I hope you print and frame these last few day's photos, they're great!

I have a medium yellow filter clamped on nearly any lens I use on my Monochrom. Its B&W sensor responds very much like panchromatic film, and I get better tonal separation that way.


If you've previously written about this and I've forgotten, my apologies, or if you'd rather not go into it, that's fine, of course, but otherwise, would you mind sharing how you do your conversions to black and white?

"I'm continuing to really like the Fuji X-trans sensor for black-and-white conversions."

I'm really curious about this, Mike. You said pretty much the same thing about the D800 you had; a camera with very different properties. Could it be that your enthusiasm with the camera is making you feel more comfortable with your B&W conversion technique, so that you're able to massage the final image more to your liking?

For my own part, I haven't seen much difference in the conversions I make from various digital cameras—I've been able to integrate conversions from a Kodak SLR/n with a Fujifilm X10 and a Nikon D800e seamlessly within the same portfolio. There are native differences in dynamic range between the cameras, but I haven't experienced any problems matching tonality or "feel" between radically different machines. (I think you know that I'm not talking about "soot and chalk" B&W.)

Please expand if you will—enlighten me.

I wonder, it the B&W conversion looks different from another camera, are the colors different too?
The Fuji sensor does of course have a somewhat larger percentage of green filters in its color array, that might make a difference as those will deliver most of the greyscale info.
NB: for Dan, there does exist a deVere D405 digital enlarger, it does project your greyscale (or color) onto classical photo-paper for development in the usual chemicals.

Question about the Fuji X100s: i have just ordered one, and I am wondering if it allows a monochrome "live view" function? I don't seem to be able to glean this this the online owners manual.

Nice photo. It doesn't look digital.


The X100S does allow one to choose from several different B&W settings, the effects of which are visible in both the viewfinder and resulting .jpg files. However, the RAW files will always be in color (which is, to my mind, the best of both worlds, because it means I can change mind later and also allows me to roll my own B&W conversions.)

Nice shot. I confess to spending an inordinate amount of time trying to identify all the food on the plate.

[I published the menu the other day. --Mike]

The B&W images in the earlier post (same dinner get-together) show you've really nailed it in replicating the film look. On my Mac monitor I'd swear that what I'm seeing is a print from a negative shot on Plus X.

Mike, what a great photo, thanks for posting. There's so much to enjoy; the repeated "ellipse" motif, the intriguing expressions, the endless tonality. Well seen and very well captured!



Fuji is the new Leica. Leica is the new Alpa.

Great tones.

David, you will get monochrome live view when in EVF mode (if a mono film simulation is used), but obviously not in the optical finder. I think this is great, a flip of the lever on the front of the camera can then switch between mono or color views instantly.
I suggest shooting in FINE + RAW. The RAW can be re-developed in camera to give additional film simulations (red filter, yellow filter, Velvia, etc.) if you want to use the JPEGs

Mike, I usually read your blog on arising – somewhere between 3:30 and 6:00 a.m. Eyes half open, I started to write something about B&W versus color, as my mind went from the marvelous Davidson/Caponigro (B&W) exhibit here in L.A., to my love of museums, and to the pleasure I get from seeing good photography, and taking pictures.

The point of this ... horses for courses. Christmas (and Hanukkah) are festivals of light - and good cheer. There is a definite place for Bleak & White - (I grew fat on a diet of Tri-X) but a cheery Christmas dinner with beloved friends & colorful lights & sweaters & packages & decorations? Isn't that almost crying out to be seen in color?

I believe that the two Leopolds invented Kodachrome to better express the view out their laboratory window….. I therefore think that most landscapes are better in color. I believe that happy snaps are better in color, and I believe that family dinners and special occasions are the very definition of happy snaps. I think of Christmas as one of the most colorful and happiest of occasions.

Warmest good wishes

Mike, what a beautiful Christmas day series!
Since I'm very interested in your shooting technique, would you mind sharing the shutter/aperture values and the focus settings you used for this picture and the previous ones?
Happy holidays!

Dear Dan,

Digital color filter settings don't, as a rule, have Wratten equivalents.

For instance, the Wratten series from 21 through 29 all have about the same spectral curve shape, except the short-wavelength cutoff gets ~ 10 nm tighter with each successive filter. For example, the difference between a 25 and a 29 red is that the 25 red goes fully opaque at 580 nm and the 29 at 600 nm. That's why the quasi-infrared effect of the 29 is so much stronger.

In contrast, the red filter in a Bayer array has a much wider response. Even 100%R,0%G,0%B doesn't produce anything like that cutoff.

You can approximate some of this in Photoshop, through complex channel mixing and computations, but they still aren't an exact match. Still, they're closer than what you can get from the camera's software.

But, on the whole, you're best off simply learning to work with a different system. Being unhappy because digital filtration doesn't exactly emulate the Wrattens you're familiar with is a lot like complaining that digital doesn't provide an exact match to Tri-X. Pointless, because dat's da way'tis.

pax / Ctein

The comments to this entry are closed.



Blog powered by Typepad
Member since 06/2007