Page 1 of 5 123 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 50

Thread: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Posts
    117

    B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    Hi.

    I've been search for a better process and workflow for B&W film images and I'm not quite finding what I'm looking for. Maybe you can help.

    Here's what I'm doing....I'm shooting 4x5 on Ilford FP4 as well as 35mm FP4 with a Nikon F100. It seems like I need an orange (#15) filter for just about everything. I live in Arizona and there's a LOT of UV light out here!!!

    After I develop the film, I use my Nikon D7200 to scan the negatives. Once I have a digital file, I move them into Affinity Photo for processing.

    I'm really not getting the results I'm hoping for. So, maybe you can offer your processing tips and workflow. I'll give it a try.

    I'm also thinking I need to bite the bullet and move back into Lightroom and Photoshot, but Affinity Photo has the controls, but I'm either using them wrong of the software just can't do it as well as I'd expect. I'd like to chock it up to user error, but the controls and "ability" to manipulate a black and white image" are somewhat limited. I'm thinking that its just how I do things and not so much my software.

    So, very curious to...
    • How you DSLR scan
    • How you process the images in editing software


    Thoughts??

    Thx!

  2. #2
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    Here is what I do.
    Most of the time, I do not use a filter. I shoot Tmax100,D100, Trix (txp)320. I also live in Arizona and have not had an issue with UV light, but typically films are more sensitive to uv, like the old glass plates. If you're worried about it, put a UV filter on the front of the lens, but most lenses are multi-coated and should filter out most UV light. I could be wrong though.

    I meter for darks and expose for darks, develop for highlights (yes, the typical mantra)

    From there I develop as though I was going to print in a darkroom. I don't adjust for scanning

    Then I scan as a linear raw tiff on my V850 using view scan. I do no conversions with scanner

    Bring into PS use colorneg to do the conversion, then from there, I use photoshop to develop the image. When happy with it, I then may take it thru SilverEfx to fine tune it.

    I don't do Dslr scanning, will be moving to drum scanning this year sometime.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    993

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    My process is pretty much the same as Steven's, though I use a very old Epson scanner with Silverfast Ai 8.8. I wet mount my film and scan to a linear raw file for conversion with the ColorPerfect plugin. All post-processing is completed in PS.

  4. #4
    Steven Ruttenberg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    Mesa, AZ
    Posts
    2,488

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    Yeah, I forgot to mention I wet mount using anr glass and betterscanning adjustable holder. I set focus and haven't looked back. I am gonna get a 4x5 target nade of glass and contact print it onto a negative and redo focus. Use it to figure out how to shim if needed for 8x10. I most likely will use V850 to decide if I should drum scan a negative.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    13

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    Adam, what exactly are the results you're hoping for and what you're getting that doesn't match them?

    When digitizing B&W negatives I consider getting the linear source image of utmost importance before any subsequent manipulation. It is relatively easy to get that using a scanner, but comparably difficult with DSLR. A DSLR produces a linear raw file but pretty much any software working with raws automatically applies a profile, and with it a tonal response curve. It makes the picture look pretty but messes up all the shadows and highlights tonality. Although it is possible to interpret a DSLR raw linearly, it is not as straightforward. In the end it is about gamma control which is not difficult using profiles in Photoshop.

  6. #6
    Peter De Smidt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Fond du Lac, WI, USA
    Posts
    7,566

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    Adam asked this same question in another thread. I asked for some examples, but he didn't produce any. In any case, nicilov is right, if you are camera scanning negatives, then you want to change the profile used in the raw processor to 'camera neutral' or similar in Adobe or 'no profile' in Capture 1. Set black and white points, making sure not to clip image information, and adjust a bit to taste, always erring on the side of leaving more information rather than less. Final tweaks are in Photoshop, as it has much better masking and manipulation functions than a raw processor. Once in Photoshop, spot the file. I then use channel mixer to pick the best channel, which is usually the green channel. I keep the file in sRGB, as that's what I'm going to use on the web. Use curve adjustment layers for dodging and burning using layer masks. I usually add a vignette. I tone the image. I like a slight magenta tone to everything but the highlights. I end by tweaking overall tonality with a curve. Save master file. Resize and sharpen for web, changing to 8-bit color at the end.

    Last edited by Peter De Smidt; 10-Mar-2020 at 18:07.
    May tomorrow be a better day.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Posts
    993

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    I've never used a DSLR for scanning film, but would NegativeLabPro help here? I use it for the little bit of color work that I do, but, then again, I'm using scanners.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Oct 2019
    Posts
    13

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    I've used NegativeLabPro quite a bit with B&W negatives (both scanned and DSLR) but my current take is that it doesn't really bring many benefits there.

    Automatic processing of a VueScan raw dng in NLP sometimes does give pleasant results but not in a predictable way. That is, even with all settings off and Linear tone selected, the tonal distribution varies depending on the image content. Sometimes parts of the tonal range get so compressed as to become quite unusable. But this is not how NLP is supposed to be used with B&W.

    The recommended way is to first convert the raw dng to a tiff (e.g. in VueScan) and run that tiff through the NLP's gamma tool before giving it to NLP itself. Then the results are nice and predictable but there are a couple of issues with this approach. First, the gamma tool saves the tiff as a new file with the histogram taking only about 40% of the usable range (for gamma 1.0, linear). For (the required) 16bit files this may not be horrible but this still is a destructive step. Second, after already doing most of the work manually, we end up in the NLP UI where all we can do is to use the same controls already available in Lightroom.

    Maybe it does make sense and I'm missing something, but it seems that just opening the same original tiff in Photoshop and assigning a grey space with a chosen gamma is quicker, easier, less destructive, more flexible, and completely controllable.

    This is not to negate the NLP benefits for color negatives, which are immense. For someone going after a particular look, fast, NLP with B&W may also be a good choice. My priority at this step is a linear (and soft - gamma corrected) source, matching the physical negative's natural tonal distribution as much as possible. Subsequent steps take care of the look.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Collinsville, CT USA
    Posts
    1,617

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    Rough workflow, and I am sure that I am leaving out some steps...

    First use a light box that has extremely even illumination
    Camera a D850
    Lens depends on the size/format of the negative
    Mask out atop the light box any area that is not being photographed
    Pretested to determine the best f/stop to use for each lens
    Expose manually with one setting when stitching digital files together (11x14)
    Exposure determined by histogram in camera, I never use auto exposure
    Always shoot RAW at the highest res setting
    Open in Camera Raw and sometimes tweak a little bit
    Open in Photoshop and desaturate the RGB file to make B&W
    Invert to work with a positive image
    Almost always minor changes with Image>Adjustments>Curve
    Any modifications made in additional layers, new layer for each different modification
    Since my digital negatives are 1:1 with the film sizes, no one color channel is sharper than the others
    Always save the digital file at max res in case in the future will be printing bigger

  10. #10

    Re: B&W digital workflow....what's yours?

    "Any modifications made in additional layers, new layer for each different modification"

    It sounds like you're back in Ps3 territory, circa 1995. I hope you meant to use Curves ADJUSTMENT LAYERS, where you have a built-in mask and you can stack as many as you want.

Similar Threads

  1. Goog Digital Workflow Workshop
    By nodiseos in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 29-Apr-2010, 08:08
  2. good book on digital workflow
    By adrian tyler in forum Digital Processing
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: 5-Jun-2008, 14:01
  3. Scanning and Digital Workflow Workshops
    By Ted Harris in forum Resources
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 14-Feb-2008, 20:04
  4. New Scanning and Digital Workflow Workshop Jan 25 - 27
    By Ted Harris in forum Announcements
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 6-Dec-2007, 11:09
  5. Often Used Digital Imaging Workflow Techniques?
    By Michael Heald in forum Digital Hardware
    Replies: 12
    Last Post: 17-Apr-2006, 11:52

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
  •