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Shooting in mono, or convert to mono

Discussion in 'Colour or Not' started by peterg22, Aug 27, 2007.

  1. peterg22

    peterg22 Well-Known Member

    Dear fellow mono-ers,

    A recent trip to Prague during which I visited several very interesting photographic exhibitions left me thinking that the only way to capture the mood of this fine city is to shoot it in B&W/mono, on film. The visit to the Kafka exhibition was the deciding factor..

    So now I have a dilemma: I'm hauling my Bronica ETRSi over there at Xmas to do exactly that, but as I also visit several times a year with a digital camera, is it best to shoot in colour and convert to mono on the desktop, or use the camera's (Nikon D200) own in-built mono mode? What do I gain or lose by not doing so?

    FYI I use Irfanview to post-process my images: it does almost everything I need and is free, so no PhotoShop answers please ;)

  2. Woolliscroft

    Woolliscroft Well-Known Member

    With digits it's best to shoot in colour and covert later. That way you keep all your options open. You have a colour image if that turns out to be useful and you also have complete control over the way you do the B&W conversion, rather than just using the camera's set routine. In effect this allows you to mimic the effect of colour filters used with B&W on a film camera, but with more subtle gradations. That said, I too prefer the general look of B&W film.
  3. surf_digby

    surf_digby Well-Known Member

    The questions are:

    Are you happy with the mono images that the D200 takes?

    Do you want to spend the time sat at the computer afterwards doing the conversions?

    I shoot in mono with my D80, using the virtual filters, and I've gotten shots straight out of the camera that I'm supremely happy with. Some of my photographer buddies look upon me with horror when I do this, but meh.

    If you're shooting the city itself, and not things that are moving, there's no reason you can't take colour and mono shots.

    It's also worth noting that shooting directly in black and white (and proper black and white, not desaturated many shades of grey) makes you incredibly cool and attractive to the opposite sex.
  4. Brian

    Brian Venerable Elder

    Basically I agree with the answers. However set your camera to large Jpeg B/W mode and keep a raw file up your sleeve. This way you have all the options left open.

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