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E-520 b&w

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  • E-520 b&w

    I want to try black and white photography seriously. Are there any particular tips or settings that are relevant for the E-520?

    Apart from the fact that B&W photography can be exceptionally striking, it looks as though it can help moderate any noise issues (not that this has been a problem in colour for me).

    Maczero

  • #2
    Re: E-520 b&w

    Originally posted by Maczero View Post
    I want to try black and white photography seriously. Are there any particular tips or settings that are relevant for the E-520?

    Apart from the fact that B&W photography can be exceptionally striking, it looks as though it can help moderate any noise issues (not that this has been a problem in colour for me).

    Maczero
    Noise is inherently much less of a problem in mono than colour as much of the noticeable effect of noise is colour-based. Some noise grain can even be beneficial to a mono image as it adds some dimension to the picture and I know many photographers who deliberately add noise to mono images if they feel it will help.

    You could of course use the monotone Picture Mode in your E-520. Better still, use a good editing package, like Photoshop, and use a channels conversion mode to create a finely tuned black and white result from a colour original. Mono is not simply about desaturating a colour image. By altering the levels of the colour channels you can achieve a huge variation in the result. For example, if you have a blue sky in your image, adjusting the blue channel can make the grey tone of the mono version, in the sky, extra dark if you like. You can adjust the mono tone of the green foliage by adjusting green channel, etc.

    I'd also recommend shooting in RAW. This gives you much better control.

    Ian
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    • #3
      Re: E-520 b&w

      Ian

      Thank you for your reply. The reason I wanted to give B&W a serious try is because my 'other' camera is a Ricoh GX200. A bit OT - you ain't seen noise at higher (ISOs 400/800+) until you have seen this camera, but it has a fantastic user interface, which makes up for a lot and gives you a lot of control giving you a chance of working your way to a decent photo. However, one of the strategies for dealing with the noise problem in this camera is to use B&W. I thought, tho' noise hasn't been a real issue for me with the E-520, that any problems would be minimised going B&W and I could start to think in the same way about photos with the Ricoh and the E-520. Plus, there is a real power to a B&W photo, if only I could find it.

      I generally shoot RAW = Large Fine anyway (not good enough to get JPEGs right first time) and mostly use Aperture/SilverEfex for conversion; so the basic tools will suffice. I am experimenting with LZ as well, but frankly haven't got my head around it.

      I wondered whether there was any in camera setting that could help improve the JPEG output (filters better in camera or computer - the latter I would have thought, sharpening and contrast, different from colour or not)? I guess LiveView in monochrome would help visualise the shot. There doesn't seem to be high key/low key tone curve available in B&W; so, I suppose that this has to be done through exposure compensation? I suppose that none of this affects the RAW capture anyway?

      I suspect that these questions merely illuminate my ignorance, but all help gratefully received!

      Maczero

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      • #4
        Re: E-520 b&w

        Drop over to http://www.runboard.com/bthedigitalmonochromeforum

        You will find that most digital monochrome workers favour raw capture...after that the learning curve gets painful!
        chris
        shetland

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        • #5
          Re: E-520 b&w

          Looks like I'm about to become a masochist then! Thanks for the link. I'll check it out.

          Maczero

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          • #6
            Re: E-520 b&w

            Originally posted by Maczero View Post
            I want to try black and white photography seriously. Are there any particular tips or settings that are relevant for the E-520?
            Maczero
            Sorry to resurrect an old thread!

            My tip would be to shoot in RAW+MF/N that way you've got the raw file with all its colour channels to develop your image from, but the mini-JPEG to register your intention when you took the shot and to preview on the LCD of course.

            For B&W JPEG settings I start off with the Orange "filter" selected this gives a compromise between the red and yellow and is less noisy than the red even though I prefer the red filter look. And set the gradation to "Low" this gives a pleasing depth to the darker greys and tends to stop the camera from over-exposing. But these are only the default settings, you can always adjust them according to what you're doing. And don't be afraid of having areas of pure white or black in the image - remember, its not blown out its just fully exposed.
            AlistairJ

            alistairj.smugmug.com

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            • #7
              Re: E-520 b&w

              Thanks. I'll give that a try.

              Sorry I missed this, but I'm on a rather late summer holiday, not with the E-520 but the E-1 because it's monsoon time here in southern India.

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