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Thread: M9 and B&W?

  1. #51
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Okay, one more. This was as easy as it gets in C1 -- I took the original DNG, applied the B&W yellow filter effect and converted the file as shot, every other setting zeroed to normal default -- IOW I didn't do anything in C1 other than apply the effect. Frankly, I think it's as good as anything I've seen yet...

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    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    That's what I did on the other one
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  3. #53
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    That's what I did on the other one
    LOLOL! Well we do work similarly! But I did not have that DNG...
    Jack
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  4. #54
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Marc:

    IMHO: 1st choice, M8 sans IR cut filter over lens; second choice, M7 with TriX + your X5
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  5. #55
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    LOLOL! Well we do work similarly! But I did not have that DNG...
    I loaded those up I thought
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I come from a 4x5 zone system black and white background learned in the 1970's - 1980's through Fred Picker. When I converted my work to digital in the mid 90's I started by exposing with the same methods as film using a zone VI converted Pentax 1 degree spot meter. Instead of exposing for the blacks Fred's method was to meter the highest value white and place it on zone Vlll. This exposure method worked well for me and I did the conversions using The Imaging Factory, Covert to B+W Pro and nowC1 and Photoshop RAW. It seems to me that this gives you the flexibility of working with each specific image or set of images to best shift the zone scale as needed without depending on a specific profile. I use the DMR for B+W because I find the CCD sensor provides a good dynamic range and with Leica glass. I would think the M9 should perform well with the CCD sensor given the correct zone system exposure method. Trying to convert image files taken with an internal meter may be close but not optimum for photographers looking for perfection.

  7. #57
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    I loaded those up I thought
    Only the tiff I think...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  8. #58
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I can load the DNG. Need to find it first. Have files everywhere today
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Workshop Member glenerrolrd's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Okay, one more. This was as easy as it gets in C1 -- I took the original DNG, applied the B&W yellow filter effect and converted the file as shot, every other setting zeroed to normal default -- IOW I didn't do anything in C1 other than apply the effect. Frankly, I think it's as good as anything I've seen yet...

    Thats it ! The lack of a decent profile seems to be killing the M9 files in LR.

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    Marc:

    IMHO: 1st choice, M8 sans IR cut filter over lens; second choice, M7 with TriX + your X5
    Not giving up!

    Have some actions coming.

    Have a shoot on Friday.

    Will report back.

    We'll see.

    -Marc

  11. #61
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by glenerrolrd View Post
    Thats it ! The lack of a decent profile seems to be killing the M9 files in LR.
    I agree Roger. IMO this last conversion is as good as any other DSLR, but still a notch behind the M8. That camera does special B&W -- the classic case of a f***-up turning out to be a feature
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  12. #62
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I would check my review on further processing the M9 has a touch more saturation than the P30 for example by 10 points in C1 and this maybe affecting the conversion to B&W

    Jack I will take that DNG and use the yellow filter after I desaturate it 10 points . Let me find it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Not sure it did but worth a try
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Guys,
    I know this sounds stupid, but all of these b/w conversions looked really bad to me, and then I calibrated my screen (MacBook Pro, LED backlight) with my i1 and BAM! They look great!

    I know you're all working on freshly calibrated monitors, so this just points out how stupid I was.

    -Brad

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Jack 0562 DNG is up
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    This is Silver Efex with radically different contrast and structure adjustments. And a perhaps too heavy boost of the shadows. Too dreamy-surreal?

    The plug-in is, however, obscenely flexible.

    Just one quibble: I do wish that the film types they modeled had all been developed to a constant gamma. That way, the choice of "look" would truly reflect a given film's "look", rather than that of a film-developer-gamma combo. Any thoughts?

  17. #67
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post




    Maybe I missed it -- is the DNG file for this image available for us to access?

  18. #68
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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  19. #69
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I think I like this
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    You obviously went out looking for hellish lighting. And found it. I'm just now playing with the DNG and I gotta say, the sharpness and rendering is spectacular. I'm just a dedicated amateur (since age seven), but have always had a sweet spot for 35mm RFs. I learned on my dad's Minolta Autocord, but my first real camera was a Ricoh 500G--Loaded with Kodachrome, of course!

    As for the retouching, thanks. I'm guided, oddly enough, not by Adams or Picker, or Plowden or any of the other photo-craftsmen I admire, but a guy named Steve Hoffman. He's an audio mastering engineer who has a simple goal in his work: Providing what he calls "The Breath of Life." Simple goal. Very tough to achieve.

    He also loves him some Leicas.

  21. #71
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Don't have to look to far for the worst light around just walk out the door after 7 am and it is a blazing fire. I rejoice when I see 15 cloudy days a year. I kid you not

    I don't do pretty tests, pick the worst situation that you will face and that is what you want to test for after that everything else is a cake walk. The idea here is your stressing the camera and file to it's limits. Those are the real answers you should be seeking and that is finding the limits so you know what to expect and more important learn what you have in your hands so creatively you get what you are after. Your right it is the worst damn light you may ever run across and good to know how to fix it
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    That's why I'm forever grateful for having grown up in Pittsburgh. Moody overcast skies about 80-percent of the year. Textured, silvery overcast, and smooth open shade. I can see why Gene Smith stayed two years to finish a three-week assignment.

    That and he was bat-**** crazy.

  23. #73
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    ROTFLMAO . I grew up in Jersey and overcast was nice.


    Seriously ask any Pro on this forum what there job really is. Most likely number 1 answer. Solve problems and this light is just one of them. Now i would have done something completely different if these young ladies was the real job and what I was supposed to be shooting. Basically a grab and go here

    BTW that was a 90mm Summarit at F4
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I'm imagining a scrim, a fill, and a cheesy pickup line.

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    And here's my version from the DNG. And, once again, wow! Im gonna have so sell blood to afford it... but this has all the markings of "the last camera I'll buy."

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    This is a version I did in CS4 camera raw B+W conversion.....brought out some exposure in the woman at left while still retaining detail in the flesh mid tones in the woman on the right. Basic B+W conversion playing slightly with greens and blues. I think this would be much better with a profiled M9 camera.

  27. #77
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Cindy you should have 4.8.3 version
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I could not get the dng to open in C1. I'm not sure why, but C1 would not recognize it. I made this attempt in CameraRaw and CS4.

  29. #79
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Cindy you should have 4.8.3 version

    Yes, I know. I had a complete crash yesterday and had to restore from a backup. I am trying to coast along for a while before I make any more updates. I had a complete lockup of Photoshop.

  30. #80
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Just for fun after the correct adjustments in C1 for color I than used the Yellow filter style on these. Hard light in all of them
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Problem Solved!

    I knew I could count on you folks. What a great forum ... thanks to Guy and Jack.

    Many thanks to Riccis ... per his recommendation, the Ascough Actions arrived today, and the very first attempt did the trick. I'll learn to refine it better, and play with different combo's, but a quick two button click got me closer than an entire day messing around with other approaches. WaHoo!

    Color one is basic out of the camera, pic marked "long way there" was the best I could do using other means without spending 1/2 hour doing it, the snappier one is using two actions in the set from Ascough which took 5 seconds. Looks a bit less "digital" and more film like IMO. (I did add some film grain ... maybe a tad to much, but I'll get it right with a little practice).

    Anyone want to buy a mint M8 ...

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    Subscriber Member TRSmith's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    If nothing else this exercise has been a revelation in terms of understanding that everyone has their own idea of what good B&W conversion should be. It seems to be a very personal thing. And in Marc's case, a search to mimic an already established style. It's very cool that digital allows for so many interpretations.

    Strictly in a rhetorical vein I ask how long it will be before the urge to mimic film is behind us. I'm not sure where that desire comes from. Is it nostalgia? Early digital cameras were constantly being compared to film as everyone stood on the verge of switching. But now that the switch has been made, it seems almost counter-productive to be constantly attempting to make the new look old. With all that looking backward aren't we stifling development of the new potential of our era?

    Just a random thought. Congratulations on reclaiming your style with the M9 Marc.

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I agree, it's a fascinating subject... I even downloaded the two girls above, couldn't convert from DNG in Lightzone, so did the initial conversion in Capture One 4, and the B&W conversion afterwards.

    I'm really annoyed that I can't show the result yet, but pbase seems to have had a very nasty crash... still waiting for the recovery.

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Senior Member Brian Mosley's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just for fun after the correct adjustments in C1 for color I than used the Yellow filter style on these. Hard light in all of them
    Nice shots Guy, but as an Oly shooter, the dust bunnies are screaming out at me

    Cheers

    Brian

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by TRSmith View Post
    If nothing else this exercise has been a revelation in terms of understanding that everyone has their own idea of what good B&W conversion should be. It seems to be a very personal thing.
    Excellent observation Tim, and well stated! I realized the same thing late last night after reading all of the responses and seeing all of the differing conversions...


    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Super Moderator Cindy Flood's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    I should have backed-off. That little thumbnail looks so much more contrasty now that it is posted than it did on my screen. I do think that there is a lot to work with in the M9 file.

    Thanks, Guy. I totally spaced out that I had gone back to an earlier version of C1. I had been playing with your files in C1 the day before. After the restore of my system, it was reminding me to upgrade, but I was hesitant to do it till I was sure everything was OK.

  37. #87
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Guy,

    FWIW, again we are in agreement. (I'm so surprised! ) For the minimal effort, doing a straight C1 conversion, balancing color first, then applying the yellow filter effect, then tweaking clarity and global contrast to taste -- all in C1 -- is about as easy as it can get and the result is superb.

    If one needs to add grain, thats another story. And I believe adding grain does two things: One it increase apparent sharpness and two, it stimulates our memory of what B&W should -- or at least used to -- look like...

    Personally, I am liking the new paradigm of "grain-free" or at least "noise limited" imagery...

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by fotografz View Post
    Problem Solved!
    Mark, If I where your client I would like the new convertion better.

  39. #89
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Marc:

    I will add that I actually prefer your "long" conversion above to the 5 second one -- of particular note is the low end detail in the tones of their jeans. I gather you prefer the added contrast in the tonal range just above that, as seen in the telephone pole's wood grain... Clearly it is a case of different strokes, but I am glad you found a solution that works for you!

    Cheers,
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    lol, I think it may have been by design, optimizing the M8 for b/w with the thin IR cover. For the M9, they need to satisfy the masses, who are still shooting color

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post
    I agree Roger. IMO this last conversion is as good as any other DSLR, but still a notch behind the M8. That camera does special B&W -- the classic case of a f***-up turning out to be a feature
    My Photography Blog here

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Guy - you may have a dust bunny on the sensor, check just to the upper R of the first image.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Mancuso View Post
    Just for fun after the correct adjustments in C1 for color I than used the Yellow filter style on these. Hard light in all of them
    My Photography Blog here

  42. #92
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    For me, what it all comes down to is having the choice and how long those choices take.

    With film, we could select the emulsion and control the processing to get what we wanted given any specific subject matter. Tri-X for street grittiness, Portra 160NC for smooth color portraits, and so on. I just wanted that "urban" B&W option, which I was having difficulty getting with these M9 files. It doesn't mean I want it for all the B&W shots ... like portraits.

    BTW, the new conversion I posted above in the size it will be printed (8X10) doesn't exhibit the compression in the darks of a small web jpg. I tend to print B&W on Crane's Museo Silver Rag, which is not a refrigerator white and requires a bit more contrast in the file.

    I also feel it will take a day or two to explore all the options these actions provide ... I always overdo anything new a little bit But the promise is clearly there and just requires tweaking it all to taste.

    However, all taste issues aside, processing speed is of the utmost importance for 80% of my work. The "One Stop Shopping" of Lightroom is the fastest path I know of ... these new actions are one click away, and the file never leaves the Lightroom Library ... which can then be multi-converted to Tiffs for my printer, jpgs for client review, slide shows with music and PDFs that now take the place of proofs.

    For certain shots I will most certainly continue to exercise the option of C1.

    Good discussion, thanks to all who participated and offered their help and suggestions. Great forum. The best on the web IMHO

    -Marc

  43. #93
    Senior Member Peter Klein's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    May an M8 user give a tip? FWIW, I'm not concerned about making my B&W conversions look just like film. I am interested in making them look as beautiful as possible, which may include some characteristics of film.

    You're not going to exactly simulate the tone curve of film, you can only approach it. The sensor just can't handle as many stops as film can.

    I use Picture Window Pro, which has a color to Monochrome conversion a bit like Photoshop's channel mixer, but easier. You can play with various proportions of R to G to B and see the results immediately. I usually add some sort of S-curve as well, but each picture is different.

    Some people add Gaussian noise or grain simulation to their images either by hand or using "actions." I almost never do. My printing process does it for me.

    I print "Black Ink Only" using Paul Roarke's "3MK" process on an Epson R1800. It uses the Shareware QuadTone RIP ($50) to control 3 different print heads that all are filled with the same carbon ink. The dot pattern the printer produces with this method is very fine--you can just detect it if you "smell" the print. At normal viewing distance, it adds a very fine "grain" ambience to the print. It's not exactly like film, but it evokes the feeling you get from a good silver print where the grain is just barely visible, but clearly an organic part of the image.

    I really like this process, except when I get ink all over my hands filling the cartridges. Which isn't all that often, since the process uses far less ink than quadtone or color inks. The ratio of paper white to black dots is what gives you your tones, rather than washing the entire surface with various shades of grey.

    Here's a recent B&W I did:
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/pkl...rop-w.jpg.html

    And here's the color original:
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/pkl...rop-w.jpg.html

    I wish I could show you the B&W print!

  44. #94
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by ampguy View Post
    Guy - you may have a dust bunny on the sensor, check just to the upper R of the first image.
    No question both of them needed a bad cleaning which i did promptly after seeing these.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

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    Subscriber Member mwalker's Avatar
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Klein View Post
    Here's a recent B&W I did:
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/pkl...rop-w.jpg.html

    And here's the color original:
    http://gallery.leica-users.org/v/pkl...rop-w.jpg.html

    I wish I could show you the B&W print!
    Peter, Thats a beautiful conversion
    Mike

    website under construction

  46. #96
    Super Duper
    Senior Member

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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Very nice!

  47. #97
    ddk
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Hi Marc,

    Easy to see why you like the Ascough Actions, its a pretty nice conversion. I'm curious to know if you tried the Silver EFx or not and what you thought of it. I have my own reservations and am interested in yours.

  48. #98
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by ddk View Post
    Hi Marc,

    Easy to see why you like the Ascough Actions, its a pretty nice conversion. I'm curious to know if you tried the Silver EFx or not and what you thought of it. I have my own reservations and am interested in yours.
    My Nik trial time expired, and I'm not plunking down another $200. when I have the less expensive Ascough solution in hand that does the job.

    All this "arm and a leg" ... and "nickel and dime" stuff is adding up


  49. #99
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by Riccis View Post
    Woody:

    If you want to order the actions from his site, just go ahead and you should be ok... I emailed Jeff a heads up that he may get a few inquiries based on my recommendations here and replied everything was cool.

    I look forward to seeing some results posted here...

    Cheers,
    Thanks Riccis

    Will do

    Woody

  50. #100
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    Re: M9 and B&W?

    Riccis

    Done

    I have ordered the actions and look forward to the results

    Best

    Woody

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