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04-29-2016, 12:58 AM   #1
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Monochrome conversion

Just wondered, has anyone been crazy enough to get their K-5 sensor converted to monochrome?

B&W Conversion

04-29-2016, 02:55 AM   #2
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I think there were some that got IR and full spectrum conversions. Don't think I ever read about a BW conversion, though. Hope someone chimes in
04-29-2016, 04:43 AM   #3
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K5's are cheap now.. Someone have a crack :P
04-29-2016, 03:41 PM   #4
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Not sure if I understand correctly but, aside from it not being suitable for many subjects, would pixel shift give the same benefits for BW as this kind of BW conversion?

04-29-2016, 06:12 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Not sure if I understand correctly but, aside from it not being suitable for many subjects, would pixel shift give the same benefits for BW as this kind of BW conversion?
What's pixel shift?

My curiosity in all of this is my fascination with the Leica Monochrome digital camera that costs a bomb! However, I follow a couple of people on flickr who use it, and the results speak for themselves, in the right hands it produces some really nice high quality images.
I then started reading a little about it, why it's monochrome etc, and that lead me to other avenues whereby ppl 'say' they get a nicer higher quality picture from their cameras if the sensor is converted to monochrome etc.

I don't know about that... hence the purpose of this thread, I just wanted to see if anyone here has had their K-5 converted and what they felt about it.

If it's true, that a b&w sensor is in theory (and practice) capable of producing better b&w images natively rather than post processing, I find it odd that in 2016 there are absolutely no other digital cameras to buy with that kind of sensor other than the difficult Leica Monochrome.
I know plenty of people who prefer b&w, indeed a few rolliflex friends who print b&w etc.
04-29-2016, 07:07 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Not sure if I understand correctly but, aside from it not being suitable for many subjects, would pixel shift give the same benefits for BW as this kind of BW conversion?
I have wondered the same thing. In theory, a monochrome tuning of PS should provide results similar in quality to the Leica Monochrom.


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04-30-2016, 10:24 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
I have wondered the same thing. In theory, a monochrome tuning of PS should provide results similar in quality to the Leica Monochrom.
But does it? You don't gain any resolution by switching to BW. But wouldn't a true monochrome sensor with the same pixel density of a bayer array sensor have higher resolution, because the software wouldn't have to blend together RGB?
It seems like pretty much all imaging software opens the photo as a regular RGB photo, and then shift each pixel into a BW spectrum; and not that it would open each of the R G and B "sub-pixels" as its own BW pixel.

I think this is what an above post was talking about, when connecting it to Pixel shift
QuoteOriginally posted by victormeldrew Quote
Not sure if I understand correctly but, aside from it not being suitable for many subjects, would pixel shift give the same benefits for BW as this kind of BW conversion?
04-30-2016, 11:15 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
But does it? You don't gain any resolution by switching to BW.
Resolution is not the issue that pixel shift addresses. What it gives you is the full output of all 4 "sensels", effectively walking around the data loss due to the Bayer processing. This resulting in higher detail capture and more natural tonal transitions overall. A straight monochrome conversion from a merged pixel shift image is able to take advantage of that, but even better would be to leverage the four images for greater bit depth while retaining the color channel information to allow optical filter and film-type emulation. That is what the Leica Monochrom does.


Steve

05-04-2016, 09:38 AM   #9
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I know someone who had a camera de-colored at this place and the results is cool. Shaving off the RGB filter has MANY advantages most people forgot about completely. Color filters cost light, the monochrome camera is more than 1-stop faster with less per pixel noise compared to the RGB version - the same was true during Kodak DCS camera days when the same camera was available monochrome or RGB sensor. Pixel shift requires still objects and a combination of several images (space, computing power). With a monochrome camera you have single shot full respsonse for each image, but greay scale only. The really nice thing is that you can use filters to block off light colors and go from UV (need a UV lens) to near IR and all pixels have the same response. Taking out IR filter glass is a small step this conversion is great if you know what are getting.
05-04-2016, 12:32 PM   #10
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True, and I'd definitely like a second monochrome-only body, if money were no object.

But where the subject is suitable, pixel shift would give RGB (therefore full greyscale if converted) for every pixel which is the main benefit of monochrome conversion as I understand it. It also has the added benefit of being able to take a colour picture if you want. Also, although those 100% crops surely show a visible difference, I've never noticed a problem with my monochrome images before looking at those. Problems with subject, composition, lighting, mood...sure...but not pixels.
05-04-2016, 01:05 PM   #11
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I just don't understand if there seems to be a general consensus that having a monochrome only shooting camera has advantages, then why is it not more widely employed in the digital camera world? I mean, there is like a billion lenses on offer to buy, loads of choice and models of cameras, why no monochrome specific ones? Why is it only the Leica who have one, or you take your existing colour camera and get it modded by what seems to be just one company that can do it? It strikes me that there is a significant market for it, I mean there are thousands of black and white shooters out there.
05-04-2016, 02:03 PM   #12
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I guess it's quite a commitment to purchase/convert something that is only capable of monochrome, when colour cameras also make perfectly good monochrome images. As much as there are many monochrome photographers, there are probably nowhere near as many purely-monochrome photographers.
05-04-2016, 02:35 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
...then why is it not more widely employed in the digital camera world?
Blame it on the market. It has been tried a couple of times before Leica's Monochrom, but with no success. One of the reasons might by that excellent B&W films are still available and images from that medium compete nicely against even Leica's sensor and are superior to what can be accomplished with conversion from RGB digital.


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05-04-2016, 02:55 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Why is it only the Leica who have one, or you take your existing colour camera and get it modded by what seems to be just one company that can do it? It strikes me that there is a significant market for it, I mean there are thousands of black and white shooters out there.
Because Leica has a special tradition closely linked to powerful BW imagery, and they can sell a camera at an incredibly high cost and still sell enough of them.
05-04-2016, 08:35 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
If it's true, that a b&w sensor is in theory (and practice) capable of producing better b&w images natively rather than post processing, I find it odd that in 2016 there are absolutely no other digital cameras to buy with that kind of sensor other than the difficult Leica Monochrome.
Not strictly a B&W sensor, and not available to the general public, but the 645Z IR model is definitely a unique and interesting camera. PENTAX 645Z IR | RICOH IMAGING
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