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  • A Monochrom(e) Oly?

    I'm inspired by Steve's (Ricoh) interest in pure mono, a camera with a sensor minus an RGB filter, like the Leica Monochrom.

    Here's a mono of mine but taken in colour originally. I'd like to understand how a pure mono image would differ



    Ian
    Founder and editor of:
    Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
    Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
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  • #2
    Graham

    We often repeat the mistakes we most enjoy...

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    • #3
      Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

      Do all you mono guys still mourn the passing of black and white television and long for its re-introduction? I bet the licence wouldn't be any cheaper these days.

      Ron

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      • #4
        Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

        Originally posted by Olybirder View Post
        Do all you mono guys still mourn the passing of black and white television and long for its re-introduction?
        Yes, they long for 405 lines on an ex WD radar tube - none of the new fangled 625. The real aficionados want the Baird mechanical system back!

        Jim

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        • #5
          Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

          Alright, you have had your 425 lines of fun...

          This is a serious question. What is the appeal of a pure mono digital imaging workflow?

          Ian
          Founder and editor of:
          Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
          Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
          Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
          Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

          Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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          • #6
            Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

            Originally posted by Ian View Post
            Alright, you have had your 425 lines of fun...

            This is a serious question. What is the appeal of a pure mono digital imaging workflow?

            Ian
            This is a serious subject, and I'll be along with my 4d shortly. In the mean time I post some examples of u4/3 compared to Bayer equipped FF, and B&W film:

            U4/3
            by -Steve Ricoh-

            M240
            Time to reflect by -Steve Ricoh-

            Tri-X 400
            Liverpool by -Steve Ricoh-
            Steve

            on flickr

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            • #7
              Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

              Steve - can you tell us the photo info please?

              Ian
              Founder and editor of:
              Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
              Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
              Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
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              Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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              • #8
                Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                Originally posted by Ian View Post
                Steve - can you tell us the photo info please?

                Ian
                I'll try my best, what info would you like me to provide?
                Steve

                on flickr

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                • #9
                  Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                  This feels slightly surreal as I am viewing them all on a colour monitor which will be different from the next.

                  When I was at Art School and shot and processed in Black and White you could see the subtle differences in film, paper and skill and expertise (especially the lack of these in my work but there were some great photographers there). But if that were scanned and output on a colour device then those subtleties would have gone.
                  Peter (Art Frames)

                  You can see some of my things on Flickr

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                  • #10
                    Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                    Originally posted by Ian View Post
                    ............... I'd like to understand how a pure mono image would differ ...

                    Technically, there should be a small improvement in definition and tonal shading. The trouble with using a camera with a Beyer array for mono work is that various compromises are made in the algorithms that produce a colour image.



                    The Beyer array effectively contains a series of monochrome sensor cells, some of which are red filtered, some blue, and some green. Clever mathematics is then used to approximate the brightness and colour for each of the individual pixels in the final image, by combining information from each square block of four sensor cells that make up the Beyer pattern.



                    While this works very well in regions where the brightness varies smoothly across the four separate pixels, errors can and do occur when there are large differences between adjacent pixels. The mathematical process, known as 'de-mosaicing', then causes distortions known as 'edge artefacts'. Once data from different pixels have been mixed together, they cannot be separated again, if the colour is not wanted.



                    Thus, if the end use is to be a monochrome image, all this combining and mixing of information from four pixels can be eliminated. Removing the Beyer filter array yields a final image that accurately reproduces the full resolution of the sensor.


                    I illustrate the principles of using a Beyer array to create a colour image in this article on my website : http://home.btconnect.com/mike.flemming/usingraw.htm
                    Last edited by MikeOxon; 31st July 2018, 06:46 PM. Reason: typos
                    Mike
                    visit my Natural History Photos website:
                    http://www.botanicdesign.co.uk/Natur...story/home.htm

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                    • #11
                      Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                      Originally posted by Ricoh View Post
                      I'll try my best, what info would you like me to provide?
                      Um, some shooting info about the shots you posted? There is no exif data in them.

                      Ian
                      Founder and editor of:
                      Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                      Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                      Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
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                      Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
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                      • #12
                        Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                        Thanks Mike - I should have been clearer (I know all the technical stuff ) - what is the perception in the quality of a mono image that a mono sensor camera adds?

                        Surely it's very subjective?

                        Ian

                        Originally posted by MikeOxon View Post
                        Technically, there should be a small improvement in definition and tonal shading. The trouble with using a camera with a Beyer array for mono work is that various compromises are made in the algorithms that produce a colour image.



                        The Beyer array effectively contains a series of monochrome sensor cells, some of which are red filtered, some blue, and some green. Clever mathematics is then used to approximate the brightness and colour for each of the individual pixels in the final image, by combining information from each square block of four sensor cells that make up the Beyer pattern.



                        While this works very well in regions where the brightness varies smoothly across the four separate pixels, errors can and do occur when there are large differences between adjacent pixels. The mathematical process, known as 'de-mosaicing', then causes distortions known as 'edge artefacts'. Once data from different pixels have been mixed together, they cannot be separated again, if the colour is not wanted.



                        Thus, if the end use is to be a monochrome image, all this combining and mixing of information from four pixels can be eliminated. Removing the Beyer filter array yields a final image that accurately reproduces the full resolution of the sensor.


                        I illustrate the principles of using a Beyer array to create a colour image in this article on my website : http://home.btconnect.com/mike.flemming/usingraw.htm
                        Founder and editor of:
                        Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                        Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                        Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                        Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                        Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                        Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                        Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                        NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                          Picture 1: GM5 15mm f/1.7 shot f4.5, ISO 200

                          Picture 2: M240 35mm f/2 shot at f11, ISO 400

                          Picture 3: M6 35mm f/2 (can't remember the shooting aperture, obviously no EXIF with film) Tri-X ISO 400

                          The following articles may be of interest to some reading this.
                          https://www.ultrasomething.com/2015/...d-sensibility/

                          https://www.ultrasomething.com/2015/...d-sensibility/

                          I've looked at many photographs produced by the Monochrome 246. Difficult to compare directly with a BFA 'colour' sensor, eg would need identical shooting conditions, lens etc. However I believe the tonal range of the monochrome approaches that of film, and both are superior to the BFA output. The digital Monochrome also has a superior performance at higher ISO settings, but some may see the need for colour filters at capture time something of a hindrance. Film is king however due to the non linear transfer function, approaching an S shape. Unless crack-handed it's difficult to blow the highlights and the DR is phenomenal of course.
                          Steve

                          on flickr

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                          • #14
                            Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                            Short of a Leica Monochrome, I think the closest you'll get with digital to pure mono is the Sigma Quattro. It has an additional mono only layer plus the other Fovean layering for colour.

                            Then there are some recent camera phones that have multiple sensors & lenses, at least one camera having one of these sensors as mono only.
                            Paul
                            E-M1ii, Pen-F and too many lenses
                            flickr
                            Portfolio Site
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                            • #15
                              Re: A Monochrom(e) Oly?

                              I have tried a Leica Monochrom 246 briefly, but I didn't really know what I was doing and only had the camera for a few minutes. The few shots I took were recorded as JPEGs, not RAW - though of course, are RAWs so important with purely mono data?

                              Without wanting to be self-congratulatory, I'm particularly pleased with my shot in this thread taken of a provincial Thai elder. It was taken using an E-M1 (Mark 1) fitted with a Leica Nocticron 42.5mm f/1.2 shot at f/1.2.

                              I think the mono conversion works really well. What I really would like to know is how the Leica Monochrom would differ given this scenario and provided with an appropriately similar lens.

                              Ian
                              Founder and editor of:
                              Olympus UK E-System User Group (http://e-group.uk.net)
                              Four Thirds User (http://fourthirds-user.com)
                              Digital Photography Now (http://dpnow.com)
                              Olympus camera, lens, and accessory hire (http://e-group.uk.net/hire)

                              Twitter: www.twitter.com/ian_burley
                              Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/dpnow/
                              Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/ianburley/
                              NEW: My personal BLOG ianburley.com
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