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Lightroom filter presets, accurate?

koribrus

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I fear this might sound ignorant, but is there a better set of b&w filter presets than the stock ones that come from lightroom?

My experience is they do not render a given image correctly. Specifically, what I expect is increasing darkening of blue sky as I shift from yellow to orange to red. Usually, I experience the opposite with the progression to red becoming increasingly overexposed and white.

Yes, I can go ahead and adjust the color sliders independently, and I do so. I'm asking if there are better presets that more accurately mirror what one would actually get by physically employing a coloured filter on camera.

The one click head start would be nice.
 
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Yep, they're backwards. Why don't you just make your own?
 

Zenon

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I's like to know as well. There are so many out there. I have Topaz B&W but I rarely use it. I'm still using PS because I like this one which have been using since about 2007. You also get to choose from hundreds of film types. I have not really tried to work within LR using the B&W.

Convert to black and white with our Photoshop plugin
 
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As a general observation, be very careful about claims of film types. OK, deep down I regard them as a marketing trick and question why people want to believe they are applying a film look for a film that they have never even used! But remember that any B&W film can appear very different depending on how it is developed - the choice of developer, even its dilution, processing method etc. Plus you have the coloured lens filters and other variables. And to cap it all, there's the choice of paper. I'd only believe a film type setting if it said something life Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal 1+29 dilution, 10 secs per minute agitation, 20C, printed on Record Rapid grade 5. And none of them say that.

Likewise, there are different strengths of coloured lens filters - see just one manufacturer's range of filters.
I'm asking if there are better presets that more accurately mirror what one would actually get by physically employing a coloured filter on camera.

So the answer is really no. Make your own presets, but first learn to use the B&W panel's targeted adjustment tool.

John
 

koribrus

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As a general observation, be very careful about claims of film types. OK, deep down I regard them as a marketing trick and question why people want to believe they are applying a film look for a film that they have never even used! But remember that any B&W film can appear very different depending on how it is developed - the choice of developer, even its dilution, processing method etc. Plus you have the coloured lens filters and other variables. And to cap it all, there's the choice of paper. I'd only believe a film type setting if it said something life Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal 1+29 dilution, 10 secs per minute agitation, 20C, printed on Record Rapid grade 5. And none of them say that.

Likewise, there are different strengths of coloured lens filters - see just one manufacturer's range of filters.


So the answer is really no. Make your own presets, but first learn to use the B&W panel's targeted adjustment tool.

John

That's about where I'm landing, and what I do. It's nice having something to bounce off in the process though.
 

koribrus

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As a general observation, be very careful about claims of film types. OK, deep down I regard them as a marketing trick and question why people want to believe they are applying a film look for a film that they have never even used! But remember that any B&W film can appear very different depending on how it is developed - the choice of developer, even its dilution, processing method etc. Plus you have the coloured lens filters and other variables. And to cap it all, there's the choice of paper. I'd only believe a film type setting if it said something life Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal 1+29 dilution, 10 secs per minute agitation, 20C, printed on Record Rapid grade 5. And none of them say that.

Likewise, there are different strengths of coloured lens filters - see just one manufacturer's range of filters.


So the answer is really no. Make your own presets, but first learn to use the B&W panel's targeted adjustment tool.

John
I totally agree on film types. I have the vsco suite and sometimes its really accurate, and sometimes not.

But with the filter presets, there should be a degree of mathematics involved based on the color. I'd go so far as to say that its exactly mathematical based on the tone of the applied filter. The fact lightroom completely botches this is bizarre at best.
 
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Zenon

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As a general observation, be very careful about claims of film types. OK, deep down I regard them as a marketing trick and question why people want to believe they are applying a film look for a film that they have never even used! But remember that any B&W film can appear very different depending on how it is developed - the choice of developer, even its dilution, processing method etc. Plus you have the coloured lens filters and other variables. And to cap it all, there's the choice of paper. I'd only believe a film type setting if it said something life Ilford HP5+ developed in Rodinal 1+29 dilution, 10 secs per minute agitation, 20C, printed on Record Rapid grade 5. And none of them say that.

Likewise, there are different strengths of coloured lens filters - see just one manufacturer's range of filters.


So the answer is really no. Make your own presets, but first learn to use the B&W panel's targeted adjustment tool.

John

I does offers film types but I only use one as I just use the other tools to get the look I want. There was not much out there to choose from in 2006. I like the other features it offers and once I adopted it has been hard to give up.
 

Zenon

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As for the actual filters I had several B+W ones when I shot with my 4 by 5 field camera. Using actual filters is in it's pure form but I'll never go back to that or those days.
 

koribrus

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That was just one of the 3 books I've done on B&W ;)

I wouldn't say that I advocate one technique, more like applying principles that haven't really changed much since Ansel Adams wrote about his methods. In software terms, I'm a huge fan of the targeted adjustment tool which is in LR's B&W panel and also in PS's B&W adjustment layer. So I would recommend looking at the image and saying which areas or features I want lighter or darker, and dragging the TAT up or down. The TAT's beauty is that you keep your eyes on the picture and on its changing appearance, rather than the old way of looking at the image and then having to look at the sliders.

I am also a fan of Silver Efex, which I launch via PS. So starting in LR, it's Edit as Smart Object in PS, then apply Silver Efex in PS. Why via PS as a smart object? It's because this method keeps your SFX work editable, letting you go back and fine tune your work. Otherwise, SFX's edits are just baked into a flat TIF file. As an aside, its coloured lens filter method is better than LR's - red, yellow etc and with percentage strengths. I don't believe SFX does better B&W than LR - it's more like playing the same song on a different instrument, you'll make different creative choices, maybe better, maybe not.

For difficult images I might use two B&W adjustment layers in PS. I used to own a few exotic graduated filters for B&W film, my favourite being a green to red which could act as a green filter (lightening foliage) and a red filter on the sky. Two masked B&W adjustment layers can replicate this ability to fine tune the B&W conversion to different parts of the image.

The principles are image-specific, ie looking at the photo and deciding what it needs, not whacking on one preset after another, not believing developers who tell you you're applying Tmax or Ilford PanF :).

Sadly the second edition of the Advanced B&W is out of print, but its timing was very lucky and it had a bunch of firsts which I was very proud about - showing SFX, smart objects for B&W, PS's B&W adjustment layers, Snapseed. So it was ahead of its time and is still up-to-date - apart from mobile. You may be able to find it, and I think it was even translated into Korean ;)

John
 

Zenon

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Read all of Ansel's books and I apply his principles to digital except you basically expose for highlights instead of shadows. I'm not sure if I tried Silver Efex but I know it is popular.

I have a quite a few other B&W presets besides LR which I mostly used for event shooting. Since this thread started I have been messing around a bit with LR's B&W panel. Maybe I'll make a few of my own.

I have a process I don't mind sharing that I discovered one day by accident. I'm sure it was already being used before I stumbled on it. I kept looking for ways to get more punch out of my B&W shots. I use Photomatix Pro to make a fake HRD and then I convert to B&W using Power Retouche. Again I had had Photomatix forever and there are more options these days including PS to make fake HDR's. It brings out interesting detail and often I can't repeat it
 
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