BetterPhoto.com - Become a better photographer today!
EMAIL:
PASSWORD:
remember me:     
     


BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: New Questions

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.

 
Photography Question 
Lucinda A. Smithhart

member since: 5/12/2004
 

Black and White with a Digital Camera


I am currently planning on upgrading my camera from a Canon APS SLR to the Canon Digital Rebel SLR (fits in my price range around $1000). I love taking black and white pictures as a hobby, and I wanted to know what the quality of black and white photography with digital would be once they are processed. I have had numerous problems with the camera that I have now because APS makes black and white film but is developed on color paper.

5/12/2004 9:00:07 AM

 
Gregory LaGrange
BetterPhoto Member
gregorylagrange.org

member since: 11/11/2003
  Are you having somebody else do the prints or are you doing them yourself? I've done black and white digital, and they looked fine with adjustments with contrast. Somebody else has tried it and said they kept getting a blue tint. So if you do it yourself, you may have to make some adjustments. If you get a tint, you may be able to fix it by going to gray scale, then going back to rgb mode, then take out whatever color is coming through, and then print gray scale. It may take some experimenting to get it exactly how you want it.

5/12/2004 10:03:44 AM

 
Dave Cross

member since: 4/8/2004
 
 
 
Hi Lucinda. There are a number of issues involved when you want to produce black and white prints from digital, which is essentially a colour medium. I assume that you want to replicate the effect of black and white film rather than just having a monochrome image. B/W film responds to different colours of light in different ways and simply greyscaling or de-saturating your colour image just won't look right. This differing colour response of mono film is why using strongly coloured filters has such a profound effect on the appearance of mono photographs.

Have a look at this Photoshop bolt-on, it works well for me.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/shopping/BW

Once you have your mono image, you will want to print it ... nightmare ... modern photo labs and inkjet printers are simply not designed to produce real "black." They always have some colour cast (as you've noticed getting your B/W prints done). When you find a way of getting a really good black on a digital print, let us know :-) I cheat by adding a deliberate colour cast (like sepia) giving the "antique" look, It's not perfect, but at least it looks like you intended. Have a look at my shot of Bruges (in Belgium), it actually looks better printed on my cheap-and-cheerful inkjet, but you get the idea. Let us all know how you get on. Cheers.

5/14/2004 9:09:28 AM

 
Dave Cross

member since: 4/8/2004
 
 
  Bruges - The Venice of The North
Bruges - The Venice of The North
D-60, Sigma 17-35 @ 17mm. 1/250 @ f11 & ISO200. Corrected for perspective and processed to B&W using Fred Miranda's BWpro plug in.
© Dave Cross
Canon EOS Digital ...
 
 
Hi Lucinda
There are a number of issues involved when you want to produce black and white prints from digital which is essentially a colour medium.

I assume that you want to replicate the effect of black and white film rather than just having a monochrome image.

B&W film responds to different colours of light in different ways and simply greyscaling or de-saturating your colour image just won't look right. This differing colour response of mono film is why using strongly coloured filters has such a profound effect on the appearance of mono photographs.

Have a look at this Photoshop bolt-on, it works well for me.
http://www.fredmiranda.com/shopping/BW

Once you have you mono image you will want to print it... nightmare... modern photo labs and inkjet printers are simply not designed to produce real 'black' it's always got some colour cast (as you've noticed getting your B&W prints done). When you find a way of getting a really good black on a digital print, let us know :-)

I cheat by adding a deliberate colour cast (like sepia) giving the 'antique' look, it's not perfect, but at least it looks like you intended.

Have a look at my shot of Bruges (in Belgium), it actually looks better printed on my cheap-and-cheerful inkjet, but you get the idea.

Let us all know how you get on.

Cheers
Dave C.

5/14/2004 9:18:37 AM

 
Susan Sande

member since: 3/1/2004
  B&W photos taken with my digital FujiFilm S7000 and printed at my local Costco come out looking like "genuine" B&W from an SLR. No color cast. I've tried processing the digital at other places and I haven't been happy with the results. If anyone wants me to find out the brand of the particular processing machine I could.

5/18/2004 7:48:28 AM

 
Michael Kaplan

member since: 5/27/2003
  There are some inkjet printers that are better than others for B&W printing. The Epson 2200 is one of those printers. It acutally has 2 different blacks that allow for better looking prints.

Also, I have read that some printers can be switched to actually only print with the black ink if you have your printer driver set for a certain type of paper and a certain resolution print setting. This I think would get rid of the color cast.

I would check out some printer specific forums on the net like at DPReview. Ask around any you will find out how and which are better.
Michael Kaplan
Canon EOS-10D
http://www.pbase.com/mkaplan

5/18/2004 4:53:04 PM

 

To participate in the Forum, become a BetterPhoto member or Sign In.
 

Copyright 1996-2014 BetterPhoto.com, Inc. All Rights Reserved.