Direct IN Camera Black and White

pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
edited November 12, 2004 in Landscapes
I am not sure which thread this belongs in, but I think this information may be of interest to those of us with Canon 20Ds who like to shoot B&W.

The Canon 20D allows several color spaces - sRG and Adobe RGB, as well as direct B&W that can have a neutral tint, a blue tint, or a sepia tint, or a purple tint. You can also shoot the B&W space with the equivalent of several filters - red, orange, yellow, green etc. I am not aware of other DSLRs with this ablity - if anyone knows of others I have overlooked, please correct me.

I am surprised I have not seen any comments about using this abiity of the 20D - most of the B&W shots posted on Dgrin have been created in Photoshop via Channel mixer or any of the various techniques using image editing software. So... while I was in Chattanooga last week for a meeting, and the fog was in, and the weather was heavy overcast, I decided to give the direct B&W ability of the 20D a try. I am VERY impressed - the resolution of the images is quite impressive - the grain/pixels are vastly finer than I ever achieved with Panatomic-X which was a standard fine grain 35mm film.

So - here we go - a blue toned image shot with a Tamron 28-75 Di - this image really shows off the ablity of this lens to show detail --- f4.0 ISO 200 1/2000 75mm focal length
10929939-L.jpg


Here is my first attempt in the sepia tone of the B&W - this is direct - no toning in Photoshop - Tamron 28-75 f4.0 1/2000 ISO 200 28mm focal length
10931640-L.jpg

Here is a neutral version - again - no filters except a red filter software version in the 20D - neutral B&W - Tamron 28-75 Di - f22.0 1/80 ISO 200 28mm focal length
10930264-L.jpg

Here is another sepia version, Tamron 28-75 Di. f5.6 1/1600 ISO 200 75 mm focal length. It was VERY hazy and foggy and yet look at the detail in the distance. Park Point is about 2000 feet higher than the Tennessee river I believe.
10929828-L.jpg


These are grainless images on my 23 inch monitor - I am going to do some more shooting in this mode in the 20D. The images are just tack sharp and virtually grainless. Amazing.

These shots were created in Point Park on Lookout Mountain, site of the Battle above the Clouds for Chattanooga. You can read about it here http://ngeorgia.com/tenn/pointpark.html
http://roadsidegeorgia.com/site/pointpark.html

I am interested in hearing from others who have experience with the direct B&W facility of the 20D or other cameras.
Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin

Comments

  • dugmardugmar Registered Users Posts: 756 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2004
    That last shot is really something.
  • GREAPERGREAPER Registered Users Posts: 3,113 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2004
    My Nikon D100 does not have this option.:(:
  • AndyAndy Registered Users Posts: 50,016 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2004
    it is very cool, i've been experimenting with it also. i do use it, maybe half the time...

    i posted about this back on september 15th ... here in this thread

    this feature could save wedding and event photogs dozens of hours a week!

    nice shot, btw!
  • dkappdkapp Registered Users Posts: 985 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2004
    Great shots Pathfinder! My Panasonic P&S used to do this, and its a feature I miss in the D70. I do get 3 different color spaces and the ability to shoot with custom curves in-camera. There have been several people making curves to reflect different films, or have the ability to hold highlights, get shadow detail etc...but in camera B&W would be great.

    The Tamron lens is amazing. I have two Tamron lenses for my Nikon, and that is one of them. The one that gets the most use is the 17-35 f/2.8-4. Try that lens if your looking for something wide & cheap.

    The D70 is a great camera, but the new Fuji S3 gets my attention with its amazing DR. If its all marketing says it is, it will be my next camera.

    Thanks for posting.

    Dave
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
    edited November 6, 2004
    andy wrote:
    it is very cool, i've been experimenting with it also. i do use it, maybe half the time...

    i posted about this back on september 15th ... here in this thread

    this feature could save wedding and event photogs dozens of hours a week!

    nice shot, btw!


    I somehow missed your post Andy - did not mean to duplicate the information, but I found this so neat I just had to share it. I shot a lot more images than I posted, and they print gorgeous on my Epson printer and B&W is always hard to print. And like dkapp said, that little Tamron 28-75 Di is a jewel. I use a 24-70 L on my 1DMkll, but kept the Tamron for my 20D and really am glad I did. Here is a 100% pixel image from the center of the eagle over the gate that I displayed earlier to show the quality available with the direct B&W.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • cmr164cmr164 Registered Users Posts: 1,542 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2004
    pathfinder wrote:
    I am not sure which thread this belongs in, but I think this information may be of interest to those of us with Canon 20Ds who like to shoot B&W.

    ...

    Here is a neutral version - again - no filters except a red filter software version in the 20D - neutral B&W - Tamron 28-75 Di - f22.0 1/80 ISO 200 28mm focal length


    Here is another sepia version, Tamron 28-75 Di. f5.6 1/1600 ISO 200 75 mm focal length. It was VERY hazy and foggy and yet look at the detail in the distance. Park Point is about 2000 feet higher than the Tennessee river I believe.
    10929828-S.jpg


    These are grainless images on my 23 inch monitor - I am going to do some more shooting in this mode in the 20D. The images are just tack sharp and virtually grainless. Amazing.

    These shots were created in Point Park on Lookout Mountain, site of the Battle above the Clouds for Chattanooga. You can read about it here http://ngeorgia.com/tenn/pointpark.html
    http://roadsidegeorgia.com/site/pointpark.html

    ...
    Switching between foreground and background.
    Charles Richmond IT & Security Consultant
    Operating System Design, Drivers, Software
    Villa Del Rio II, Talamban, Pit-os, Cebu, Ph
  • AndyAndy Registered Users Posts: 50,016 Major grins
    edited November 6, 2004
    oh gosh pf ..
    pathfinder wrote:
    I somehow missed your post Andy - did not mean to duplicate the information, but I found this so neat I just had to share it. I shot a lot more images than I posted, and they print gorgeous on my Epson printer and B&W is always hard to print. And like dkapp said, that little Tamron 28-75 Di is a jewel. I use a 24-70 L on my 1DMkll, but kept the Tamron for my 20D and really am glad I did. Here is a 100% pixel image from the center of the eagle over the gate that I displayed earlier to show the quality available with the direct B&W.

    we should never worry about putting out too much infomation deal.gif ?

    'sides - you added plenty of good examples to your post, very informative thumb.gif
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
    edited November 7, 2004
    cmr164 wrote:
    Switching between foreground and background.

    Very nice, Charles.
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • cmr164cmr164 Registered Users Posts: 1,542 Major grins
    edited November 7, 2004
    pathfinder wrote:
    Very nice, Charles.
    Thanks, now if I could just do as well with my own shots...
    Charles Richmond IT & Security Consultant
    Operating System Design, Drivers, Software
    Villa Del Rio II, Talamban, Pit-os, Cebu, Ph
  • ruttrutt Registered Users Posts: 6,511 Major grins
    edited November 7, 2004
    From what I've been able to find out, it seems that even when you shoot B&W, you can still get color raw. This means that B&W is just a matter of in-camera processing. Other than convinience and workflow advantages, is there any technical advantage to shooting in B&W? Shooting with B&W film does have some technical advantages over shooting in color if you don't care about color. But with this camera, you get the same info from the raw image either way, no?
    If not now, when?
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
    edited November 7, 2004
    rutt wrote:
    From what I've been able to find out, it seems that even when you shoot B&W, you can still get color raw. This means that B&W is just a matter of in-camera processing. Other than convinience and workflow advantages, is there any technical advantage to shooting in B&W? Shooting with B&W film does have some technical advantages over shooting in color if you don't care about color. But with this camera, you get the same info from the raw image either way, no?


    Actually, John, I had not really given the process much thought - but when you shoot in the various color spaces, the RAW data is converted by the in camera software to sRGB or Adobe RGB so I suspect you are right to a point that this image is captured and converted to color by the Bayer algorithms.
    ( It is interesting that one might not use the Bayer algorithms if one was going to B&W since the original image is really three B&W images that are flitered for Red, Green and Blue.)

    But my understanding of the RAW data is that it is captured in PRO Photo RGB as a color space - if my understandng of Bruce Fraser in "Camera Raw with Adobe PS CS" is correct. Hence converting directly from the RAW data in camera should be better than converting from an sRGB or an Adobe RGB color image in Photoshop - but not better than converting to B&W directly in the Raw convertor. I have no experience in converting directly to B&W and bypassing color conversion in Adobe RAW convertor - I need to try that as an alternative I suppose. But it is hard to beat seeing B&W images for review in the LCD of your camera in the field too to aid real time shooting. Back to chimping B&W rolleyes1.gif

    The thing that really impressed me is that it seemed to my eye that the B&W images had vastly less grain/pixellation than color images captured at a similar ISO - maybe less visible color noise is the cause of this? I will email you the full size file of the eagle and let you report back your impression - deal?
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • ruttrutt Registered Users Posts: 6,511 Major grins
    edited November 7, 2004
    pathfinder wrote:
    ( It is interesting that one might not use the Bayer algorithms if one was going to B&W since the original image is really three B&W images that are flitered for Red, Green and Blue.)

    But my understanding of the RAW data is that it is captured in PRO Photo RGB as a color space - if my understandng of Bruce Fraser in "Camera Raw with Adobe PS CS" is correct. Hence converting directly from the RAW data in camera should be better than converting from an sRGB or an Adobe RGB color image in Photoshop - but not better than converting to B&W directly in the Raw convertor.
    It seems the RAW converter will allow you to convert to Pro Photo RGB but not directly to B&W. I think the best possible B&W results would result from converting raw to Pro Photo RGB and then doing a the B&W conversion in PS. The reason I think this is that color->b&w conversion turns out to be quite an arcane science/art. If you allow the camera to do it for you, you lose the chance to apply that art later; the camera no you decides exactly what shade of grey to use for each particular color. Go back and reread our PS assignment on B&W conversion or Dan Margulis' chapter "Friend and Foe in Black and White" and you'll remember just how serious this can be.

    On the other hand, it seems there are a lot of convienience/workflow pluses. It's nice to get the jpegs right away in B&W for posting and selling. But the arguments are similar to the arguments for using jpegs instead of raws in the first place. But in the case of B&W, it's even worse.

    Seeing the B&W in the LDC is nice.

    Now if the camera knew how to trade off color for dynamic range in B&W mode, that would be a big thing!
    If not now, when?
  • pathfinderpathfinder Super Moderators Posts: 14,696 moderator
    edited November 7, 2004
    rutt wrote:
    It seems the RAW converter will allow you to convert to Pro Photo RGB but not directly to B&W. I think the best possible B&W results would result from converting raw to Pro Photo RGB and then doing a the B&W conversion in PS. The reason I think this is that color->b&w conversion turns out to be quite an arcane science/art. If you allow the camera to do it for you, you lose the chance to apply that art later; the camera no you decides exactly what shade of grey to use for each particular color. Go back and reread our PS assignment on B&W conversion or Dan Margulis' chapter "Friend and Foe in Black and White" and you'll remember just how serious this can be.

    On the other hand, it seems there are a lot of convienience/workflow pluses. It's nice to get the jpegs right away in B&W for posting and selling. But the arguments are similar to the arguments for using jpegs instead of raws in the first place. But in the case of B&W, it's even worse.

    Seeing the B&W in the LDC is nice.

    Now if the camera knew how to trade off color for dynamic range in B&W mode, that would be a big thing!

    I rereading Bruce Fraser I think Adobe RAW convertor takes the RAW data and does convert it to ProPHoto RGB as an intermediate step before conversion to your final image file in Adobe RGB or sRGB, so I was incorrect in stating that the sensor used the PRO Photo RGB space. Exactly what Canon does to the data in camera I do not know, but they typically perform some kind of Bayer algorithm conversion. I suspect the details of this are proprietary.
    You are correct that allowing the camera to perform the conversion you give up the ability to set your grey scales as you desire, but since you can apply real time red, yellow,green, or orange filters to the conversion in camera you regain control to an extent, similar to how it was done in camera with film - right?
    Pathfinder - www.pathfinder.smugmug.com

    Moderator of the Technique Forum and Finishing School on Dgrin
  • DVDRDVDR Registered Users Posts: 124 Major grins
    edited November 12, 2004
    dugmar wrote:
    That last shot is really something.
    I agree...very thought provoaking(sp?)...very deep.
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