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Author Topic: What is the best B&W conversion standalone or plug  (Read 12100 times)
hassiman
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« on: December 05, 2007, 09:53:31 PM »
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Hi,

I have seen Fred Miranda's plugin for B&W conversion with CS2/3 ... I was just wondering what you folks think is the best B&W conversion plug-in or standalone?
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mikeseb
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« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2007, 11:21:36 PM »
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Hi,

I have seen Fred Miranda's plugin for B&W conversion with CS2/3 ... I was just wondering what you folks think is the best B&W conversion plug-in or standalone?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158568\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've used Alien Skin Exposure with good results, though i don't like having to round-trip from Lightroom into it.

Lightroom does a very fine job of B&W conversion IMO. I just about always click "Auto Tone" under the grayscale dialogs; it does a good job of balancing the various color tones in the grayscale mix.
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kaelaria
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« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2007, 12:35:16 AM »
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I've used every B&W plugin under the sun, and am in love with the manual control Lightroom now gives - i never use plugins anymore.
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KeithR
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« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2007, 08:20:27 AM »
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Hi,

I have seen Fred Miranda's plugin for B&W conversion with CS2/3 ... I was just wondering what you folks think is the best B&W conversion plug-in or standalone?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158568\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Since LR came out, I have used nothing else to make my B&W conversion. So easy to do!
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picnic
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« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2007, 08:29:28 AM »
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Since LR came out, I have used nothing else to make my B&W conversion. So easy to do!
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I would say that too--and I have several plugins for PS---plus the b/w adjustment layer in CS3--and several very good actions.    I've also demoed the Alien Skin pluging--prior to using LR.

I have a very strong preference for the technique of Martin Evening in LR (which can be duplicated in ACR, but easier, at least for me, in LR).
[a href=\"http://lightroom-news.com/2007/08/24/tips-for-better-black-and-white-conversions/]http://lightroom-news.com/2007/08/24/tips-...te-conversions/[/url]

I use, primarily, his technique of using the HSL panel (setting all saturation on it to 0--and I made a preset to set all those sliders to 0-- using the luminosity panel to adjust tones and then going back to the basic panel to adjust temp/tone, etc.  Sometimes, since I like toned monos, I do use the split toning, but often go into PS to add a fill (color) layer--and perhaps other 'tweaks'.

Diane
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GregW
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« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2007, 10:18:28 AM »
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Since switching to Lightroom I haven't needed to use Photoshop plugins (Alien Skin) for black and white conversions.

I find the High Drama method described by Angela Drury in the Lightroom Adventure book (Mikel Aaland) an excellent starting point for many of my images.  After reducing the 'Saturation' to zero in Basic it uses the camera calibration controls.
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Carl Harsch
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« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2007, 11:18:35 AM »
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I'm very pleased with the CS3 b/w adjustment layer and/or channels.
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picnic
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« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2007, 01:32:38 PM »
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Since switching to Lightroom I haven't needed to use Photoshop plugins (Alien Skin) for black and white conversions.

I find the High Drama method described by Angela Drury in the Lightroom Adventure book (Mikel Aaland) an excellent starting point for many of my images.  After reducing the 'Saturation' to zero in Basic it uses the camera calibration controls.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158698\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Thanks  Greg for reminding me of that.  I have that book and had completely forgotten to go back to that book to try some of those methods.  

Diane
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laughfta
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« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2007, 04:48:50 PM »
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I have a very strong preference for the technique of Martin Evening in LR (which can be duplicated in ACR, but easier, at least for me, in LR).
http://lightroom-news.com/2007/08/24/tips-...te-conversions/

I use, primarily, his technique of using the HSL panel (setting all saturation on it to 0--and I made a preset to set all those sliders to 0-- using the luminosity panel to adjust tones and then going back to the basic panel to adjust temp/tone, etc.  Sometimes, since I like toned monos, I do use the split toning, but often go into PS to add a fill (color) layer--and perhaps other 'tweaks'.

Diane
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158666\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

One problem I have with working on the color-based sliders in the HSL panel is that I am making adjustments to all pixels throughout the image that are selected by that color slider. If I work on channels in PS,  I can affect precisely what pixels I would like to affect, and in a more precise way. Also, working with channels one can avoid haloes that sometimes occur around objects when using the HSL panel.

That said, I always try the HSL panel first-- I love the ease with which I can get  very nice results, and sometimes it just doesn't need to get complicated.
I'm curious about the difference in introducing noise in the image, as well. It would seem that a color selection vs. a channel selection would limit your ability to control noise in the image, but I suppose the answer is "it depends".


Gloria
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2007, 08:12:20 PM »
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The very best (IMHO) and easiest to use plugin --- at least for those of us that spent years in the wet darkroom and used color filters on our cameras to change color relationships --- is no longer available.

It is (or was) Convert To B&W Pro, and it is so much easier and more flexible than anything else I've looked at. I'm glad I got mine before they quit.  
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Morris Taub
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« Reply #10 on: December 07, 2007, 05:14:37 AM »
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I was wondering if the very cool b&w features of LightRoom are also available in Photoshop CS3...anyone know?

Right now I'm using CS and will upgrade to CS3 soon...I use Photoshop for my graphic design work and also my photographic needs, but I've been thinking about adding LightRoom...

I really liked that Martin Evening HSL tutorial...

thanks

M
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KeithR
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« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2007, 09:48:20 AM »
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I have both CS3 & LR and doing B&W conversion in Camera Raw in CS3 is the same as LR since they have the same controls. The B&W in CS3 outside of ACR does not have the same controls that is available within ACR. Since you can now use Tiffs and Jpegs within ACR, I would not recommend doing B&W outside of ACR.


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I was wondering if the very cool b&w features of LightRoom are also available in Photoshop CS3...anyone know?

Right now I'm using CS and will upgrade to CS3 soon...I use Photoshop for my graphic design work and also my photographic needs, but I've been thinking about adding LightRoom...

I really liked that Martin Evening HSL tutorial...

thanks

M
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158894\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
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plugsnpixels
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« Reply #12 on: December 07, 2007, 06:40:18 PM »
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There's a whole list of third-party BW conversion options at the top of the web page here, with more related info in issue 6 of the ezine here.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2007, 08:21:45 PM »
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Lightroom and ACR  (latest versions) should satisfy most users, and plugins really offer little advantage.
Advanced users will also be loading channels as layers where masks and curves can be applied to each component layer.
Before conversion the tonal seperation should be corrected. First convert from RAW into a colour space that differentiates shadow tones, and that's not sRGB, ARGB or ProPhotoRGB. Try eci RGB V2, or one of the JHolmes spaces. If you are stuck with a poor space , try duplicating colour image, convert duplicate to L*a*b* space, dump colour channels, convert L8 channel to greyscale, then to RSB, drag it over the original stack and blend in Luminosity mode.
Make sure colour image is fully colour corrected before conversion.
HTH
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mike Arst
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« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2007, 07:11:00 AM »
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It is (or was) Convert To B&W Pro, and it is so much easier and more flexible than anything else I've looked at. I'm glad I got mine before they quit.   :(
That is a shame. I went to see if the site is still up and running. It is, though with the author's statement about why he's leaving the business. He writes that he'll leave the site up as long as it's feasible for him to do so. There are a few plug-ins still available for download -- they appear to be free now -- and Convert to Black And White Pro is one of them. The author recommends making sure you have a backup copy once you've downloaded it...
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sniper
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« Reply #15 on: December 09, 2007, 09:27:36 AM »
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Mike where did you try them from, the version I downloaded still asks for a serial.  Wayne
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Morris Taub
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« Reply #16 on: December 09, 2007, 12:03:16 PM »
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I have both CS3 & LR and doing B&W conversion in Camera Raw in CS3 is the same as LR since they have the same controls. The B&W in CS3 outside of ACR does not have the same controls that is available within ACR. Since you can now use Tiffs and Jpegs within ACR, I would not recommend doing B&W outside of ACR.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=158942\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Keith...thanks for the info on these two programs...

M
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Morris Taub
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« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2007, 12:05:13 PM »
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That is a shame. I went to see if the site is still up and running. It is, though with the author's statement about why he's leaving the business. He writes that he'll leave the site up as long as it's feasible for him to do so. There are a few plug-ins still available for download -- they appear to be free now -- and Convert to Black And White Pro is one of them. The author recommends making sure you have a backup copy once you've downloaded it...
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=159430\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Mike, me too...i downloaded the plugin to see how it works and it offers a 30 day free trial while asking for a serial number past that time frame...

nonetheless, i'll be upgrading to CS3 in a few months and will probably just do conversions via ACR...see how they print...if not happy, look for something else...

M
« Last Edit: December 09, 2007, 12:07:00 PM by momo2 » Logged

Mike Arst
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« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2007, 02:31:22 PM »
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Mike where did you try them from, the version I downloaded still asks for a serial.  Wayne
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=159457\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
My error, sorry. I hadn't yet tried the plug-in at the point that I posted the message. I must have missed some obvious detail on the site. I'm sure that if I run the plug-in I'll get the same prompt you did (I downloaded it from www.theimagingfactory.com). Well, strange -- I wonder why he bothers having the programs available for download at all...
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laughfta
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« Reply #19 on: December 09, 2007, 05:44:31 PM »
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I use the Curvemeister plug-in for my b/w conversions. While supporting PS soft-proofing, it allows me to preview  my image in any channel of the 4 supported color spaces (Lab,cmyk,rgb,hsb), create a mask (if needed) from any channel of these color spaces  and adjust the curve using any of those spaces. This is an amazing amount of flexibility--as far as I know not offered in any other program.
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