Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2004/09/08

[Author Prev] [Author Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Author Index] [Topic Index] [Home] [Search]

Subject: [Leica] D2 tricks
From: philippe.orlent at (Philippe Orlent)
Date: Wed Sep 8 09:49:33 2004

Hi all,

Having followed the underexposure and the B&W conversion topics, I started
reading a bit more about it on the net.

At first, I did my conversions in PS CS from RGB to greyscale.
Then I was pointed by B.D. towards the conversion option in "actions" + the
unsharp mask step (settings: amount 10 to 15%,radius 65, treshold 0 px)
Later I heard about the Fred Miranda Plugin, that I bought and started
using, too.

IME results got significantly better. Especially after the initial
conversion when playing with the curves to enhance contrasts, and/or to
darken or lighten the image (could also be parts of the image, imitating wet
darkroom techniques). What I also do is "selecting color range" for the
blacks and whites, feathering it to 20 pixels, inverting it and adding 0,5
to 2% of noise (gaussian, NOT monochromatic). This adds a (IME) nice grain
to the image, without the selected zones: the whites and the blacks stay
clean this way.

I never did the channel mixing method, but I suspect the Fred Miranda Plugin
(BW Workflow Pro) is doing that for me.

Now I found something stupidly simple: the RGB to Lab to greyscale method.
Once converted to Lab, playing around with the levels (especially the level
of "Lightness") crisps up the image significantly. A simple conversion to
greyscale turns it into quite good B&W.

So this might be a (very easy) technique to consider in some cases.

I will post an image (D2, lens equivalent of 80mm focal length, diaphragm
wide open, auto exposure with times around 1/6th unpulled or pushed, shot in
RGB RAW mode in (very) low light conditions) + the different conversion
methods shortly, for debate for those whom it might concern.

Greetings from Belgium,
Philippe Orlent