Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    24

    Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    I have to make a decision: shoot 4x5 color film (positive or negative), send it out for processing, scan and convert to B&W -OR- shoot B&W film, develop myself and scan. I'm presently doing the former. I do like the adjustments I can make to the scans with Lightroom.

    Is there a clear quality advantage to the latter? The only advantage I can see is that B&W film is cheaper than color.

  2. #2
    Kirk Gittings's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Albuquerque, Nuevo Mexico
    Posts
    8,566

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    There is no particular advantage to shooting b&w for scanning. One may prefer the "look" of scanned b&w over converted color film. B&W requires more discipline in some ways because you must make appropriate filter choices in the field and the tonal relationships are basically locked in. I believe there is something valuable to be learned from mastering filtering for b&w, which allows one to previsualize final prints better even if you return to color conversion.
    Thanks,
    Kirk

    "When did photography become a desk job?" Kirk Gittings 2009

    KIRK GITTINGS
    WEBSITE

    LIGHT+SPACE+STRUCTURE (blog)

  3. #3
    Gary Beasley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Roswell, Ga.
    Posts
    290

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    You can distort the color of the shot before converting to black and white to emulate the effect of filtering, or with more delicate adjustments, different kinds of Black and white film. Maybe not as good as shooting monochrome from the outset but it does give you options to play with.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    4,672

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyuhas View Post
    I have to make a decision: shoot 4x5 color film (positive or negative), send it out for processing, scan and convert to B&W -OR- shoot B&W film, develop myself and scan. I'm presently doing the former. I do like the adjustments I can make to the scans with Lightroom.

    Is there a clear quality advantage to the latter? The only advantage I can see is that B&W film is cheaper than color.
    One definite advantage is that B&W film is generally sharper (higher resolution) than color film of the same ASA.

    Sandy King

  5. #5
    Resident Heretic
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Location
    USA, North Carolina
    Posts
    2,951

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by sanking View Post
    One definite advantage is that B&W film is sharper than color film of the same ASA.
    What Sandy said. The better sharpness is due in part to the far fewer layers in B&W film.

    In my experience, B&W film also exhibits less graininess than color negative film of the same ISO rating. In the past I've been using 5x4 Tri-X processed in XTOL 1:3. I found it has about the same graininess as 160PortaVC, which is a stop slower. I'm currently (finally!) making the transition to TMY-2 which I expect will have even less graininess than Tri-X. Initial testing looks very promising.

    Bruce Watson

  6. #6

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    I just had ~ 70 sheets of Ilford Delta 100-Pro processed in Dave Woods' reversal chemistry in order to furnish a B&W transparency (http://www.dr5.com/). The silver is removed in this process making it ideal for scanning. Compared to RVP-50 (my standard E6 film), I find this gives me almost an additional 1.3 stops in shadow detail, and on the lightbox, the Delta-100 is sharper than RVP-50.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    147

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyuhas View Post
    I have to make a decision: shoot 4x5 color film (positive or negative), send it out for processing, scan and convert to B&W -OR- shoot B&W film, develop myself and scan. I'm presently doing the former. I do like the adjustments I can make to the scans with Lightroom.

    Is there a clear quality advantage to the latter? The only advantage I can see is that B&W film is cheaper than color.
    The limited captured stops of colour transparency film rules it out as a viable source for quality B&W. Also, Lightroom isn't an adequate tool to make the best of your images for print.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Petaluma, CA
    Posts
    1,851

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    Quote Originally Posted by dyuhas View Post
    I have to make a decision: shoot 4x5 color film (positive or negative), send it out for processing, scan and convert to B&W -OR- shoot B&W film, develop myself and scan. I'm presently doing the former. I do like the adjustments I can make to the scans with Lightroom.

    Is there a clear quality advantage to the latter? The only advantage I can see is that B&W film is cheaper than color.
    B&W film has a much higher range than color. Sharper also, as others have mentioned. However, you must be making tiny scans to be using Lightroom. You could also try a better scan....

    Lenny
    EigerStudios.com

  9. #9

    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Posts
    132

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    I have come to regret shooting on B&W film in the past. I **love** the control that Lightroom gives me in mixing color channlels from my scanned color images.

    It gives me much more control than I ever had in the field over relative brightness values of different components of an image, such as bringing up - or pushing down - a darker green on a sign, versus a lighter, more yellowish green of foilage.

    I used mostly color negative film for the past 10 years and am happy that I made the switch from B&W film. Also, after shooting and being happy with 6x7 for many years, I don't find grain an issue with 4x5. It is a bit more of a challange to manage and control a color negative scan, but worth the effort in my mind.

    I shot B&W film exclusively for 20 years, until 1998. I loved that at the time. There is a classic Tri-X look and feel, and a classic feel to TMX/TMY. I guess it depends on how much of a purist you are, and whether you want to take advantage of new tools available, like Lightroom.

    I am physically challanged, so making images is a very difficult process for me. I like to be able to "interpret" images on the computer, by working with Lightroom to create an image that expresses my intentended interpretation of a scene.

  10. #10

    Re: Convert color to B&W vs shooting B&W?

    The great yellow father no longer makes photo paper,and i don't know of anybody makeing anything like panalure,that never was that good because it was rc.

Similar Threads

  1. Why Convert Color to B&W?
    By Michael Heald in forum Style & Technique
    Replies: 50
    Last Post: 15-Mar-2008, 07:25
  2. C-41 B&W or colour and convert?
    By Ben R in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 16-Jul-2007, 18:48
  3. Sooo what 5x7 B&W film are You shooting??
    By John Kasaian in forum Darkroom: Film, Processing & Printing
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 26-Apr-2007, 13:39

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •