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theselby

B&W RAW or JPEG + How

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theselby

I've seen several posts about the X10 and it's RAW functionality with many saying it's no better than JPEG. However I'm really getting into B&W photography and I keep reading that shooting in RAW is much much better for B&W...can anyone offer some advice on this?

I have Photoshop but it's CS3 so doesn't have the ability to convert RAF files, I've also got Adobe Lightroom 2 but I find the application hard to use...

Would people also agree that for B&W it's best to use a low ISO...sub 200?

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mattmaber

You realise the RAW will be colour then you have to convert to B&W after?

I would suggest sticking with JPEG for the X10, but if you really have to go for RAW & FINE JPEG.

On my X100 recently Ive been doing that and setting it to B&W Y, hard shadows, medium highlights, no NR.

THen I have the colour RAW to use and the B&W jpeg to use - invariably Im going with the JPEG.

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RogerRabbit

Download Adobe free DNG converter to convert Fuji RAW files too .dng format then open on light room or cs2. This is adobe recommendation.

Also look at Nik Silver Efex pro for black and white conversion it is very very good but I not sure if it work woth Cs2 or Ligthroom 2.

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theselby

Downloading the DNG Convertor now, would you agree that for B&W photography RAW is the way to go? Or is the JPEG quality so good from the X10 it's a waste of time and memory? I saw a professional wedding photographer on here who uses an X100 and Pro-X1 and he just uses JPEG.

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mattmaber

Nik Silver Efex is nice but pretty pricey IMHO.

You could go RAW & JPEG FIne and keep the JPEG just as colour, and the RAWs for future proofing.

Whether its worth it for time & costs (hard drive space etc) is entirely up to you. I flick flack between JPEGS only, or RAWs but imho quality wise the JPEGs from Fuji's X seres cameras are perfectly fine and in some eyes better than anything something out of camera can do.

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RogerRabbit

Only problem with jpg b&w is you never ever have color option later. If you is happy with that jpg black and white will b ok for you.

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mattmaber

hence my suggestion to do RAW & JPEG, its a shame you cant do JPEG & JPEG, because Id totally do colour & bw with that.

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Nettles

Yes, shooting in RAW is a very good way to get the best out of your colour originals, when needed. The more data you have in the file the better. As a compressed format JPEG has less to work with and robust processing will become visibly noticeable, especially in smooth tones.

I'm not a huge fan of RAW and choose to bypass the hype, sticking to what I actually need. But there are specific contexts where it's definitely the way to go -- B&W being one of them. So always shoot RAW+JPEG. You may be happy with an out-of-X10 JPEG but if you want to do significant processing you'll really appreciate all the data in the RAW file. You might be happy with the in-camera B&W conversion results, but you can take the colour original much further than that -- if you have the time to work at at it, and many professionals don't.

I have Topaz B&W Effects running as a plug-in to Lightroom 3 and I've a lot of flexibility to get what I need. Check it out. I can understand why you say Lightroom is hard to use, but if you stick at it, with lots of practice you'll discover how much it can help with with B&W images.

Regarding ISO, yes, if you can, shoot at a low setting for smoother results, like in the fine art approach. However, it's the nature of the impact of B&W that images can be quite gritty, in a documentary kind of way. So process to suit and watch for tonal damage along the way, though in actual prints not all "damage" is in fact noticeable.

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mattmaber

The high ISO B&W JPEGs from the X100 have an amazing 'film grain' quality imho.

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timo

Yes, shooting in RAW is a very good way to get the best out of your colour originals, when needed. The more data you have in the file the better. As a compressed format JPEG has less to work with and robust processing will become visibly noticeable, especially in smooth tones.

That is true. Or it would normally be true. But since none of the raw converters known to humankind (except for in-camera conversion) can extract detail from X-10 raw files to match the jpgs, you have to weigh up your priorities. Personally I shoot colour jpgs in the camera, and convert to b/w in Lightroom from there. But, of course, for all the reasons you imply, you have to get the exposure pretty much right in the first place, if you're going the jpg route. For a lot of b/w-artsy-type shots, ultimate resolution is not a priority, so if that's your thing, go with raw.

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theselby

So would people say generally that Lightroom is the way to go instead of photoshop? Can anyone recommend a good guide?

At the moment I find the entire method it imports, stores and re-saves photos confusing...I know it's just me not understanding it. I'm only interested in RAW and Lightroom (I have version 2) for B&W...only photos I keep in colour are family snaps.

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mattmaber

I think people generally prefer LR (I personally use Aperture) because they do less PP, or it is more generally applied to the image than using PS which is often time consuming or heavy processing.

IE its just a quicker system.

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Nettles

Interesting point, Timo. A few days ago I spent a good few hours trying to get a Fuji RAW file close to the camera's JPEG version (from the X-E1). They are very good indeed, although I've decided the sharpening could be turned down a bit. The histograms show I got pretty close tonally and colour-wise, or close enough for me!

I know that in-camera sharpening happens before compression so sharpening in software will impact compressed data in ways we don't want. Minimal in-camera sharpening is a good approach.

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secondintime

For Lightroom help go to lightroomkillertips.com, tutorials for everything on there, and free presets etc. iTunes have loads of free video podcasts too, by adobe themselves which are superb.

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jorgem_arenas

I make a lot of b&w, but never used raw. Instead, I use to shoot colour jpegs and then process it in Photoshop. The advantage of using Photoshop is in the use of layers: using layers you can adjust luminosity, contras, levels, etc in diferent areas of the image, masking zones in a way very similar to the methods that were used in a darkroom on film photography. Is more complicated that Lightroom , and you lose a good time to give the image you wanted, but I think the results are worth it.

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richardreader

I've only had my X100 for a couple of weeks, so I'm still getting used to it. I currently shooting in RAW but that's mainly because that's the way I work with my Nikon D700 and I like the option to have the photo in colour or b+w. I have Lightroom 4, Photoshop and Silver Efex Pro2. I always process in Lightroom as it catalogues my photos as well as allowing for RAW processing. If converting to b+w I tend to use Silver Efex from within Lightroom, although I sometimes will do a b+w conversion just within Lightroom. I tend to take photos from Lightroom to Photoshop (and then back) only if the photo needs 'extra work'. Bearing in mind that the latest version of Lightroom is only around £100 I feel this is a bargain, and it offers so much more than version 2. Yes, there are loads of video tuorials but I found a good starting point to be Scott Kelby's book, just make sure you get the right edition for your version of Lightroom.

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moracho

why if im shooting B&W mode with the x10, when iam downloading my photos to the lightroom, dont read the photos in BW? is something with the settings? or is just my lightroom that doesnt get the file properly? help thanks ..

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Mklives

Definitely find Adobe RAW is good for B&W, especially for achieving high contrast and attractive exposure/clarity throughout the image.

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dmward

The B&W in camera is the camera processing the raw image to B&W. The raw data in the file you are reading with Lightroom still has the color information. Lightroom is ignoring the camera B&W picture style. It may be that there is no EXIF data telling Lightroom you want it B&W.

Its and easy matter to get Lightroom to apply whatever B&W preset you design to the images as they are imported. There will still be a momentary flash of the color thumbnail while Lightroom applies your B&W preset.

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K1W1_Mk2

Shoot Raw + Jpeg and Lightroom will import the colour RAW file and the black and white jpeg.

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beetwo77

RAW + JPEG. The ability to do B+W conversion based on colour channels gives you a huge amount of flexibility. Silver Efex is awesome. It has a look that can kind of be over used and easily detected but I can't beat it through any other methods I have learnt. If you buy the NIK suite for $149 or whatever it is, I still think its probably the best investment you will ever make in filters.

Color Efex is great for colour work. DFine is pretty good for noise management and the sharperning tools are quite good.

Lightroom is an excellent cataloguing tool and is good for large numbers of quick edits. I am a landscape shooter, I don't shoot events with huge numbers of photos to catalogue and I process almost every shot in photoshop. Therefore I find Adobe Bridge, Camera Raw and Photoshop to be more convenient workflow but I do know a lot of people love lightroom. I also find NIK Suite integrates better with photoshop.

The ability to recover shadows and highlights in raw and adjust noise reduction and sharpening are huge advantages of shooting RAW over JPEG as is the previously mentioned issue of using colour channels to manipulate the B+W conversion. To be honest I always shoot raw + jpeg and I used to be happy with the jpegs but as my processing skills have improved, I almost never post an out of camera jpeg anymore and with Adobe Camera Raw now having profiles to replicate the Fuji film modes, jpeg is history for me.

Good luck, just do what you enjoy.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/9253227@N02/sets/72157634316022225/

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nippa

Don't forget that you can shoot RAW and then convert in camera to a variety of B&W. I sometimes do it just for fun to see the different effects and it's a whole lot easier than running the files through PhotoNinja.

I still love the little X10.

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