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05-02-2021, 10:50 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Simply put, monochrome sensors = you get 4x the resolution, and the full quantum efficiency of every pixel.
In the colour version - RGGB filters take 4 pixels to give a colour pixel. So a 36megapixel colour sensor is effectively a 9megapixel colour image.
In a mono camera, since there is no coloured filter array, all the light gets through - so better low light performance.
This reply explains the benefits of a true B & W sensor better than anything I have came across. Thank you for clarifying what I could not...

05-02-2021, 03:56 PM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Simply put, monochrome sensors = you get 4x the resolution, and the full quantum efficiency of every pixel.
In the colour version - RGGB filters take 4 pixels to give a colour pixel. So a 36megapixel colour sensor is effectively a 9megapixel colour image.
In a mono camera, since there is no coloured filter array, all the light gets through - so better low light performance.
So then would it not be advantageous to take the photo in color then using post to remove the color? Would that use all the pixels and the color is just removed by changing the tone and intensity of the color?
05-03-2021, 02:52 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
Hence using, if possible, the pixel shift mode as it negates the Bayer filter.
This !


Pixel shift gets you alomost where a pure B/W sensor would. Although in terms of number of pixels, IMHO & AFAIK it would be very diffucult to match a B/W sensor as each coloured bucket/well that makes one pixel on the normal sensor would contribute to an 3+ pixels on the pure B/W sensor which would typically lead to 3X+ more pixels on the B/W.


OTOH if on the B/W sensor the number of pixels is made equal to the one on the colour but the size of each bucket is increased, then the DR would be significantly higher and noise significantly less, and ISO 6 would be possible :-P. Would be a boon for Astro - Imagine putting the cam on tracker, click 4 long exposure images with R/G/B filters (not the at same time, doh) on the lens and one without. The same would work wonders for still life / architecture / documentation or any time of photography where nothing moves in the frame (including light) . Oh, when you are at it, make the sensor full spectrum, we'll put the filter that we want on the glass, thank you.


In any case - not going to happen unless the Leica tribe moves over to Pentax and demand for it (by putting cash on the table first) ;-)

---------- Post added 3rd May 2021 at 11:55 ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Simply put, monochrome sensors = you get 4x the resolution, and the full quantum efficiency of every pixel.
In the colour version - RGGB filters take 4 pixels to give a colour pixel. So a 36megapixel colour sensor is effectively a 9megapixel colour image.
In a mono camera, since there is no coloured filter array, all the light gets through - so better low light performance.
Exacta-mo !
05-04-2021, 12:31 AM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
Simply put, monochrome sensors = you get 4x the resolution, and the full quantum efficiency of every pixel.
In the colour version - RGGB filters take 4 pixels to give a colour pixel. So a 36megapixel colour sensor is effectively a 9megapixel colour image.
In a mono camera, since there is no coloured filter array, all the light gets through - so better low light performance.
Thanks, pretty straightforward and I didn't think about it at all ;/

I've since come across this "Monochroming" a colour sensor and colour photography with the Monochrom | Wild Dog Design

any good source for RAW-based comparison of results from current BW-sensors with "standard" ones?

05-04-2021, 12:44 AM   #20
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If you look for samples it's clear how much detail a monochrome sensor captures. Admittedly Leica has decent glass which helps but the files can be pixel perfect.
05-04-2021, 05:33 AM   #21
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photos-by-Chas Quote
So then would it not be advantageous to take the photo in color then using post to remove the color? Would that use all the pixels and the color is just removed by changing the tone and intensity of the color?
If you have a Bayer colour sensor, then that's your only option. The challenge is knowing the relative sensitivity of the RBBG pixels. Some software does this automatically.
Shooting in true monochrome, you get more photons in less time, but there is a quantum efficiency curve - so the middle visible wavelengths around green tend to be brighter. In colour, you've got this PLUS the Bayer filters which each have different transmission characteristics.

Give it a try and see what you get.
05-04-2021, 05:09 PM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by chriswill Quote
Thanks, pretty straightforward and I didn't think about it at all ;/

I've since come across this "Monochroming" a colour sensor and colour photography with the Monochrom | Wild Dog Design

any good source for RAW-based comparison of results from current BW-sensors with "standard" ones?
Looking at that video and reading the comment that "if done skillfully, it doesnít damage the sensor" I think there is a small number of people willing to try it. It appears they are using a piece of plastic to remove the Bayer color sensor layer but also leaving several scratches behind, possibly damage to the sensor's pixels?


QuoteOriginally posted by ProfessorBuzz Quote
If you have a Bayer colour sensor, then that's your only option. The challenge is knowing the relative sensitivity of the RBBG pixels. Some software does this automatically.
Shooting in true monochrome, you get more photons in less time, but there is a quantum efficiency curve - so the middle visible wavelengths around green tend to be brighter. In colour, you've got this PLUS the Bayer filters which each have different transmission characteristics.

Give it a try and see what you get.
I did a rather amateurish experiment today and now understand Professor Buzz's comment about the loss of pixels when using the B/W setting in camera. However the procedure of taking the photo in color and decoloring in post gave better results.

I took a few photos, RAW files, with my Kx and K70, with settings for B/W in camera and in natural setting for color. Opening in Camera RAW with PSE, I desaturated the color photo and compared it with the B/W. The desaturated color photo had crisper and finer lines and appeared to be in better focus.

I am by no measure a professional, nor do I have much expertise in PSE. However, my self experiment indicates the best and least expensive way to get good monochrome photos with a DSLR, shoot in color and desaturate in post.
6 Days Ago   #23
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With a Bayer sensor the resolution is the same in colour and bw, sooc or otherwise. Of course developing from raw files allows more sophisticated demosaicing and sharpening so processed raws may look a bit sharper. Bw and colour will be the same though.

6 Days Ago   #24
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I have little knowledge of Black and white sensors but Professorbuzz' comments make sense to me as described.

I do have a question though and maybe its just my lack of understanding but lets say you did have a camera with a black and white sensor vs somethibg like the k-1 where you convert it.. will you actually SEE much of a difference on a monitor... Im under the impression that our monitors are biased towards color display... would you not lose most of the benefits of the black and white sensor on the display?

Just curious really.
AL
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photos-by-Chas Quote
Looking at that video and reading the comment that "if done skillfully, it doesnít damage the sensor" I think there is a small number of people willing to try it. It appears they are using a piece of plastic to remove the Bayer color sensor layer but also leaving several scratches behind, possibly damage to the sensor's pixels?
so still, trying to understand how the filter really works: wouldn't it be possible to have it mechanically lifted (mirror style) or sliding on and off the sensor? I mean I would not want to carry a BW-only camera with me but having true two-in-one could justify the higher price.
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QuoteOriginally posted by brewmaster15 Quote
I have little knowledge of Black and white sensors but Professorbuzz' comments make sense to me as described.

I do have a question though and maybe its just my lack of understanding but lets say you did have a camera with a black and white sensor vs somethibg like the k-1 where you convert it.. will you actually SEE much of a difference on a monitor... Im under the impression that our monitors are biased towards color display... would you not lose most of the benefits of the black and white sensor on the display?

Just curious really.
AL
Technically, you have both in almost/probably every DSLR. If a camera has a setting for monochrome or B/W shooting, you can take either. However, by using the color and then desaturating the color in post you will benefit from using all the pixels in the sensor because as ProfessorBuzz explained, the color sensitive pixels are turned off for the B/W photo. Using all the pixels gives better resolution to the photograph. And, btw, it is not only the K1 that has the ability to take B/W photos, I can get them with my Kx's and K70 but I now will get them by removing the color from the color ones.


QuoteOriginally posted by chriswill Quote
so still, trying to understand how the filter really works: wouldn't it be possible to have it mechanically lifted (mirror style) or sliding on and off the sensor? I mean I would not want to carry a BW-only camera with me but having true two-in-one could justify the higher price.
The layer on the sensor that provides the color is a very thin and very delicate structure (at least that is what I understand) and would be difficult to remove and replace repeatedly. Therefore, it is much easier to take a photo in color and change it to B/W in post processing, you will have a better photograph by doing that. Also you do not have to carry around two different cameras, you already have the opportunity to get B&W photos from any and all photos you take.
6 Days Ago   #27
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I suspect the difference in the quality of a photograph taken on a camera with a genuine monochrome sensor and one that was converted in the post production process wouldn't fully reveal themselves until actual prints of the photographs were done. B & W prints have a lot more punch when viewed in person.
6 Days Ago   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Kendra59 Quote
I suspect the difference in the quality of a photograph taken on a camera with a genuine monochrome sensor and one that was converted in the post production process wouldn't fully reveal themselves until actual prints of the photographs were done. B & W prints have a lot more punch when viewed in person.
By removing the color in post, the image file has all the same information except the color. The post can help punch up the contrast, sharpening, clarity and many other aspects making the B/W photo have the look the photographer is wanting. If you haven't tried it, please do so, I would like to read your conclusions. I have done it many times and the result is quite good, in my opinion.
5 Days Ago   #29
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A few years ago I thought about this and wrote up one solution in this thread:Re-purposing the K20D (but not as a bookend) - PentaxForums.com

I have since passed the K20D camera to a friend and now shoot B&W film in order to get the results the OP is proposing. I can purchase and commercially develop a lot of film for the several thousand dollars a monochrome only digital camera will cost me and truly get that B&W film look.
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QuoteOriginally posted by Photos-by-Chas Quote
If a camera has a setting for monochrome or B/W shooting, you can take either. However, by using the color and then desaturating the color in post you will benefit from using all the pixels in the sensor because as ProfessorBuzz explained, the color sensitive pixels are turned off for the B/W photo. Using all the pixels gives better resolution to the photograph
You got this the wrong way around or am I misreading your?

A monochrome sensor of the same MP (as stated in marketing) will have almost four times the resolution of a colour sensor. There are no colour pixels in a sensor, tricks are played to filter the light and this process of seeing colour leads to a loss of resolution.

A black and white photo made with a colour sensor camera will have exactly the same resolution as the colour photo.

One downside to monochrome sensor is that you have to use real colour filters to the the effects you can achieve in post with a colour sensor.
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