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Thread: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Anybody converted a Z7 (or 6 or any other FF mirrorless) to full on monochrome? Not full spectrum or IR -- I've been there and done that and have no interest in going that direction again. So any full monochrome conversions?
    Jack
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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Not sure this is what you're looking for, but here's my 2 cents:

    I had my Sony converted and I like it a lot, but all you really gain, that I can notice via pixel peeping, is light sensitivity. A lot like nearly 1.5 stops. This is due to the BFA being removed. I have taken identical pics, using a tripod mounted lens, and found that I could get to the same place, with a converted to B/W, from a color picture. However, what the monochrome camera does is force you to think in B/W. I look at it as having B/W film loaded in that camera.

    That's it,

    Joel

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Thank you Joel, that's great feedback. I have read that monochrome converted cameras deliver more detail due to removal of the Bayer filter and each pixel getting to count for itself. Did you find that true for yours? I understand the light sensitivity increase for sure.
    Jack
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    Senior Member JoelM's Avatar
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack View Post
    Thank you Joel, that's great feedback. I have read that monochrome converted cameras deliver more detail due to removal of the Bayer filter and each pixel getting to count for itself. Did you find that true for yours? I understand the light sensitivity increase for sure.
    Hi Jack,

    I suppose that there is a tad more detail, but for sure you did not have to work as hard for it compared to a color removed BFA exposure. A bit of added sharpening would make up for it, at least in my experience. Again, the greatest advantages were the added light sensitivity and the limit that the camera imposes. It is cool that I have a separate kit with colored filters and all and I enjoy that for sure. I think the conversion cost $700ish and would recommend it if you like the advantages I stated. If not, it will be an easy camera to sell for sure. I know on other forums there are more opinions and a past member here has a ton more experience than I do.

    At the time, I went with the A7r due to the A7rii being expensive at the time. Now, I would go with the A7rii since it can be had cheaply. But honestly, I find the 36mp, even though non BSI sensor, and lack of IBIS is a wonderful addition to my too many cameras. I think you would be happy with either a Z6 or Z7.

    Again, hth,

    Joel
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    I've seen posts of pretty bad artifacts from UV/IR/FS converted Z cameras. Not sure if that would apply to a debayer conversion, but something to look into as well.

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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Hi Jack. Re converting a FF mirrorless camera from Bayer to a monochrome sensor (ie just removing the CFA), I had a Sony A7 converted to monochrome by Daniel Morrison of Monochromeimaging.com in 2018. Daniel did a great job and communication with him before, during and after was excellent. I thought the conversion price was very reasonable too. Vivek has also had one or more of his Sony cameras converted by Daniel. I don't know if Daniel has converted any Nikon Z mirrorless cameras yet, but if you are interested, I think it would be worthwhile for you to get in touch with him.

    Gary

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Great info, thanks Gary! I will definitely reach out to him before I do anything. A converted Z7 should theoretically take on the Leica M10 mono at a fraction of the price.
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Jack, you might try contacting Dan Llewellyn at MaxMax to see whether he has any plans to convert the Z7. He did the monochrome D850 that Lloyd Chambers reported on recently:

    https://diglloyd.com/autoTopic.html?...rome#BlogPosts

    I've seen the full-size versions of Lloyd's posted D850M files. At least to my eye, the difference compared to software conversion of Bayer-filtered color captures is obvious. As it happens, and very unfortunately since I prefer monochrome to color for my work, I'm not happy with the tonal rendering of any of the monochrome-only digital cameras, though that's certainly a matter of personal taste. The D850M seems to me to be just like the others in that respect. But the fidelity of detail recording in high-megapixel monochrome cameras like the D850M is breathtaking.
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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Converting a Z7 to monochrome?

    Quote Originally Posted by Oren Grad View Post
    As it happens, and very unfortunately since I prefer monochrome to color for my work, I'm not happy with the tonal rendering of any of the monochrome-only digital cameras, though that's certainly a matter of personal taste.
    Oren, I had this same reaction initially, and for me this search is all about the tonal scale and not so much the increased resolution. I got pretty close with a full-spectrum converted Sony using a cut filter and special output curve in post, but overall it was not a satisfying process, especially since the on-cam review was not really close to the final product I was seeking. I then set up one of my normal D810 bodies as dedicated monochrome though through the jpeg menu with some tweaks. End of day I was most pleased with this since the on-cam review was quite close and I could add filtration in post that actually rendered a very similar effect to what they would have on B&W film. But while the tonal curve was close, it was never quite right; whites still opened a bit too quickly and blacks weren't long enough. Which brings me back to why I'm asking about the newer cameras and the conversion to dedicated mono. Worst case, I will set an un-altered Z cam up similar to what I did with the D810 -- for now that seems to perhaps be the best digital mono solution for me...
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

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

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