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Processing raw monochrome files

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AdolfoRapaport

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I just got a Leica Q2 mono. I’m comfortable with Lightroom and color files. Just looking for a workflow to process monochrome files.. anybody have anything or point me in the right direction?
 
I don't believe there is anything special that you need to do in Lightroom. If I am right, no colour data is in the Q2 file (samples here) and so you don't have access to the B&W panel to fine tune the colour mapping to B&W tones, and the profile is locked to Adobe Monochrome. So I feel the key to this camera is to be really active about choosing the ideal B&W settings in camera - ie choose the filter effect carefully. So if the scene contains lots of greens, you might set the green filter, or if it contains mainly white faces you might use red or orange.

As an aside, via a search I found one lengthy article which advocated using Dehaze particularly with this camera - in my view it was nonsense!
 
Thanks, i also saw the article using dehaze, my guess is that it works as it affects the mid tones and adjust contrast. I put an S curve in the following photo and it seems to work
 

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Thanks, i also saw the article using dehaze, my guess is that it works as it affects the mid tones and adjust contrast. I put an S curve in the following photo and it seems to work
Very nice photo. I'd enjoy seeing more.
I would assume that LR functions like curves, texture, clarity along with occasional sharpening & NR will be all that you really need. You could also use the brush mask for dodging and burning selected areas.
Does the camera allow you to set up custom settings where the filter is already predetermined? If so, I could envision setting up a couple of them as John suggested and perhaps at times shooting the same scene a couple of times with different filters - analogous to HDR. You could then align and blend in PS.
 
Hi, thanks
Yes you can add effects but those only affect the JPEG combining out of the camera. The raw file does not have those effects. Like shooting vivid color in my Nikon but i only see it in the JPEG. I need to add it into the raw during processing. I have 47megapixal files to work with . I’m going to look into silver Efex pro. Here is another from the same hike
2272A5B9-4D58-4E6E-AEEA-1BD53E373F1C.jpeg
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Seeing the cactus, you must be in my area - Green valley, AZ. Now you made me curious about the RAW from this camera. BTW, I have used silver Efex pro in the past and liked the results.
 
Yes im just north of you in Tucson. These were taken at saguaro national park east. I have shot with a Nikon but I’ve always been drawn to B&W. So sold some gear and bought this camera. Pure B&W no Baer filter so really sharp. Having fun
 
Do those effects include the traditional colour correction glass filters like the red / yellow / green you may have used with b&w film? Or do you use glass filters - in which case, I'd slightly rework my initial answer "I feel the key to this camera is to be really active about choosing the ideal B&W settings in camera glass filter - ie choose the filter effect carefully."
 
I have an orange filter on the lens. You can put those effects in camera but they only affect the JPEG. The raw files need to have those effects put on in post. I’ll play around with other filters when i get some. I started with the orange as reviews of the glass filters on B&W photography said this was the most used filter.
 
Unlike those of us who shoot in colour and then convert to B&W in LR, your capture of monochrome raw files is much closer to the traditional B&W film experience. With colour files, we can decide in LR that this part of the image should renders as a light grey or another colour is rendered dark. While you can improve the picture by dragging a slider or applying a curve, that B&W tonal conversion has already been baked in the raw file.

That means the key is to change your glass filter to suit your subject. Orange is mid way between red and yellow will allow you to render blue skies as quite dark grey tones and lighten up red rock and sandy landscapes, and I'd suggest green might be next as it will allow you to distinguish more tonal contrasts within foliage and other greens. Then red and yellow, maybe not blue ( I'm not a fan of pale skies or making white skin darker and rougher).

See if you can track down a copy of Ansel Adams's The Negative which has a chapter on using filters to fine tune the B&W capture, or his Examples: the Making of 40 Photographs. Also experiment with your in camera filters as the JPEGs will let you see how to use of glass filters proactively - your cactus scene in the different red, orange, yellow, green, blue filter versions would be a great example.

John

(and sorry if you already understand this stuff)
 

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Unlike those of us who shoot in colour and then convert to B&W in LR, your capture of monochrome raw files is much closer to the traditional B&W film experience. With colour files, we can decide in LR that this part of the image should renders as a light grey or another colour is rendered dark. While you can improve the picture by dragging a slider or applying a curve, that B&W tonal conversion has already been baked in the raw file.

That means the key is to change your glass filter to suit your subject. Orange is mid way between red and yellow will allow you to render blue skies as quite dark grey tones and lighten up red rock and sandy landscapes, and I'd suggest green might be next as it will allow you to distinguish more tonal contrasts within foliage and other greens. Then red and yellow, maybe not blue ( I'm not a fan of pale skies or making white skin darker and rougher).

See if you can track down a copy of Ansel Adams's The Negative which has a chapter on using filters to fine tune the B&W capture, or his Examples: the Making of 40 Photographs. Also experiment with your in camera filters as the JPEGs will let you see how to use of glass filters proactively - your cactus scene in the different red, orange, yellow, green, blue filter versions would be a great example.

John

(and sorry if you already understand this stuff)
John,
Thank you very much for your help. Shooting in B&W is new to me as in the past i converted color to B&W. What’s funny is that based on my understanding its the opposite the B&W raw file is the light the sensors sees and the color photos we get are converted to color by the bayer filter. So there is no conversion to B&W. So with color the bayer filter converts the B&W sensor info to color then we take the converted color file and convert it back to B&W. Tomato tomato thing lol. It’s how we look at things. Hopefully I didn’t offend you, just thought it was fun looking at how we look at things. I do really appreciate your help, so thank you very much
Adolfo
 
Thanks for those links. Love your photos thanks for sharing them
Adolfo
Thanks. I have no real process. It's kinda like black magic with radial and linear masks. Just punch up areas in the image. Now with LrC 11 there are more options I have not explored.
 
Thanks. I have no real process. It's kinda like black magic with radial and linear masks. Just punch up areas in the image. Now with LrC 11 there are more options I have not explored.
Adolfo has inspired me. And the newest LR opens up a wealth of possibilities. I have just started going back to some of my old Grand Canyon shots (RAWS from ~4 camera generations back) and reprocessing in B&W. The exploration has been fun so far.
 
Yes I always do a few test runs for landscape, especially with places like the GC, etc. Since learning about what I can do in Lightroom I stopped using 3rd party software years ago. I prefer to have fun with it myself.
 
John,
Thank you very much for your help. Shooting in B&W is new to me as in the past i converted color to B&W. What’s funny is that based on my understanding its the opposite the B&W raw file is the light the sensors sees and the color photos we get are converted to color by the bayer filter. So there is no conversion to B&W. So with color the bayer filter converts the B&W sensor info to color then we take the converted color file and convert it back to B&W. Tomato tomato thing lol. It’s how we look at things. Hopefully I didn’t offend you, just thought it was fun looking at how we look at things. I do really appreciate your help, so thank you very much
Adolfo
It's not really about sensors, Adolfo, and information about doing B&W in LR is pretty irrelevant to your Leica Monochrome's monochrome files. The conversion from colour light to B&W pixels is done before the light ever hits the sensor. A red car against a green background may be the same shade of grey in the raw file which arrives in LR, or you may wish the car stands out and therefore you decide to put on the orange filter. Alteratively a green filter lifts the different foliage tones and you might prefer how it balances car and its context, and so on. With a colour photo one is making that creative conversion decision later, in the B&W panel, but with your Leica Monochrome you have to exercise that control over conversion by the coloured glass filters just like they did in the old days of film.
 
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