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Thread: Black and White and GX 100

  1. #1
    Steve R
    Guest

    Black and White and GX 100

    Hello folks!
    Thanks for offering this great new forum. I have been lurking on the old DPReview Ricoh forum and other forums for awhile and would like to start participating. This year I purchased a GX100 primarily for the purpose of shooting black and white in a rangefinder style. I am a previous film rangefinder user (Leica and Minolta CLE) but also use SLRs when needed.

    My favorite field of view is 40mm (35mm equiv) left from my CLE days I guess. I also was a big fan of the old 1970's compact rangefinders like the Olympus 35RC. So, I have purchased a 40mm CV finder from Stephen Gandy to use with the GX100, and have approximated the 40 mm FOV and stored it as one of "my settings" on the camera.

    I have read Sean Reid's review of the GX100 on his site (thanks for such a great site, Sean!). I am an admirer of this groups BW photographs, especially Mitch Alland, Sean, and Jack. Forgive me if this is off topic, but I am new to BW digital conversion and would be most grateful if you could share what techniques/settings you prefer for this purpose. I am familiar with the basic different techniques (channel mixer, etc.) but I am more interested in hearing your specific workflow as I admire your photographs. I use PS CS3 and Lightroom, though I am just learning Lightroom. I am also intrigued by Lightzone based upon my experienced in ye olde darkroom days. Any info you can share will be most appreciated. Or, if you can point me to other places/posts where you have already discussed this that would also be great!

    Thanks!
    Steve Rosenblum
    Ann Arbor

  2. #2
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Hi Steve,

    Thanks for the comments on the site. I normally process my RAW files in C1 using the JFI profiles and modulating the white balance and other "color" changes that lay under them. For the various Ricoh files I can't yet use C1, alas, so I start with a channel mixer conversion (usually about 30-40-30) and then tweak from there in PS.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  3. #3
    Steve R
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    I have just discovered and read Sean Reid's article on his workflow using JFI profiles, which was helpful. Thanks, Sean! I should say that I use a Macintosh computer, so I don't think Breezebrowser is an option, though I think I can get Capture One for the Mac. I would still be grateful to hear others BW workflows or be directed to them.

    Thanks!
    Steve Rosenblum
    Ann Arbor

  4. #4
    wbrandsma
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Hi Steve,
    I use the combo of Lightroom and Lightzone. Lightroom is mostly used for organizing my images while I use Lightzone for the B&W conversion. I mostly work with RAW files from the GX100. In Photoshop you have the dodge and burn tools, but in Lightzone you can dodge and burn with multiple zonemappers. To select a particular area of your image you draw a vectorbased region (is like a mask in Photoshop but much easier to adjust later on ). After you draw your region you can adjust the inner region to abandon hard edges in the regional adjustments. Here is an example where I used 9 zonemappers to create the tonality I wanted in this image.


    And the final image.

    I also would love to hear from Mitch as well how he converts his images.

  5. #5
    wbrandsma
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Besides that I save a B&W jpeg and color raw file while shooting. That way you've got a clue of your outcome. because the LCD is then B&W. By the way I think the B&W jpegs are often very good and only need some additional sharpening and a little bit more contrast.

  6. #6
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Quote Originally Posted by wbrandsma View Post
    Besides that I save a B&W jpeg and color raw file while shooting. That way you've got a clue of your outcome. because the LCD is then B&W. By the way I think the B&W jpegs are often very good and only need some additional sharpening and a little bit more contrast.
    That's how I work also. It also gives me an initial set of BW JPEGs for initial editing, organizing, etc. I like to see BW pictures in BW all the way through.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  7. #7
    Sean_Reid
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
    I have just discovered and read Sean Reid's article on his workflow using JFI profiles, which was helpful. Thanks, Sean! I should say that I use a Macintosh computer, so I don't think Breezebrowser is an option, though I think I can get Capture One for the Mac. I would still be grateful to hear others BW workflows or be directed to them.

    Thanks!
    Steve Rosenblum
    Ann Arbor
    Fortunately, I imagine there are some good alternatives to BB Pro but when I switch my laptop to a Macbook Pro (waiting for the 17" models to go to LED) I'm going to run BB Pro as a Windows program on the Mac because I love it and am so used to it.

    You can definitely get C1 for the Mac but the program, unfortunately, doesn't support very many small sensor cameras. C1 doesn't provide "generalized" support, they only support a camera after they've done extensive color testing and optimization based on at least two different samples of the same model. I almost got them to support the Digilux 2.

    My primary camera is the M8 and that is well-supported in C1. Ditto for the R-D1. The program supports a few of the Canon G small sensor cameras and I'm not sure which other ones.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  8. #8
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    In another thread Wouter, whose fine pictures look like he doesn't need lessons! — asked me to state how I do my post-processing. Like Wouter I use Lightroom as a contact sheet or light table, looking at the RAW files in colour, with a bit of sharpening (25) and some increase in contrast. Sometimes I convert the pictures to B&W in Lightroom, but only to see how they look: I do the actual conversion and all the post-processing in LightZone.

    In doing the conversion in LightZone I usually place the point in the yellow section of the colour wheel, towards and top and right of the yellow section; but in high ISO pictures (800 and and 1600) I've put the point into the blue section which reduces grain a bit. I have not been doing any chroma noise reduction, but am experimenting with this for high ISOs.

    I tend to be very aggressive with sharpening and often apply the sharpening tool, which is USM, twice at 20/50/0 to bring out mid-tone contrast; but for some pictures this is clearly too much and creates problems with high-contrast edges, in which case I only do it once, or apply this double sharpening to only a part of the pictures. As I find GX100 files quite soft I often also apply the sharpening tool a third time at 100/5.0/20, which also sharpens the grain; but often I have to pull back on the 5.0, which is very radical, to 2.5 or 1.5. Alternatively, I pull transparency/opacity slider to 50% or 25%.

    In setting the tones my first move is to add a Tone Mapper with Hard Light or Mutiply to get a rich gradation. But I then add more Tone Mappers lightening the pictures, as well as doing selective dodging and burning. To control highlights I often add Relight with a selection of the high tones.

    Of course all this could be done in Photoshop but I find it much easier to work in LightZone. Also, I save a good number of LightZone Styles and apply them to pictures that have a similar look to the picture that the Style came from. I then edit the selections in the various tool to get them in the right place for the second picture; and add or subtract tools as required to get the picture to look like I want it to.

    Here is on of the pictures from the other thread, in this case one of the few JPGs that I have processed, as it was shot when I had very little space left on my 2GB card; and below my signature is a link to a slide show of 20 GX100 pictures.




    —Mitch/Huahin
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/1026877...89594785/show/

  9. #9
    Steve R
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.

    Mitch- I love the look of these photos (and the photos themselves!). Is there a way for me to view EXIF info on these photos on Flick'r? Also, besides trial and error, what do you think is the best way to learn Ligntzone? Any good tutorials out there that you know of?

    I envy you your choice of subject matter in Asia and France. Here in Ann Arbor we have descended into the gray of winter which will persist until May. I am planning on a visit to Thailand in March for a few weeks to visit my son who is teaching in Chiang Mai. We will spend a few days in Bangkok, then 5 days in Chiang Mai, then to Viet Nam for awhile. I will have the GX100 with me and I am really looking forward to the trip.

    Thanks, again!

    Steve Rosenblum
    Ann Arbor, Michigan

  10. #10
    Chris
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Thank you very much for this great thread and for sharing your workflow and your experience. It's very interesting although I don´t have the same programmes. Lightzone sounds really interesting but I'm afraid, I can't buy it at the moment. Maybe later on...

    Best regards,
    Chris
    http://flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

  11. #11
    Mitch Alland
    Guest

    Re: Black and White and GX 100

    Quote Originally Posted by Steve R View Post
    ...Is there a way for me to view EXIF info on these photos on Flick'r? Also, besides trial and error, what do you think is the best way to learn Ligntzone? Any good tutorials out there that you know of?...
    Steve, when you click on a picture in flickr it takes you to another page where you can click on "More properties", which gives you the EXIF information. I haven't looked on the LightZone for a long time, but I think that there are some tutorials there.

    —Mitch/Huahin
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/

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