Dedicated B&W Lense?

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by wjastrow, Apr 11, 2010.

  1. wjastrow

    wjastrow TPF Noob!

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    Gang,

    I've recently started to explore the ability of my D300 to shoot in B&W and am absolutely thrilled at the images.

    My question, and I'm ready to hear how very stupid it is, is this: Is there a "dedicated" or just preferred lense for shooting in B&W?

    Thanks in advance.

    Bill
     
  2. Sam6644

    Sam6644 TPF Noob!

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    no
     
  3. gsgary

    gsgary Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Every lens that is made
     
  4. davebmck

    davebmck TPF Noob!

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    No, in fact, you should shoot in color and convert to B&W in PP. You will retain more image information that way.
     
  5. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You need to think in black and white, and then convert in pp , not shoot in camera; your limiting the options and it isn't as good.
     
  6. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Just to play devils advocate here what can change the feel of your black and white images are colored filters.

    Basically let's say you put a red filter over your lens so your camera sees things with a reddish tinge.

    That's going to change how light and dark some images are -- and it's going to do some cool things like increase contrast, and make the sky pop

    (see Using coloured filters with black & white film
    and http://www.bhphotovideo.com/images/images345x345/94381.jpg)

    However if you're shooting digital I think you could probably do the exact same thing in camera or in post...
     
  7. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You can't really achieve the same affect in post. For example: a red filter will reduce the brightness of a blue sky, and make the white clouds stand out more. If you were to take a similar shot without the filter, you risk overexposing the sky, which can't be recovered in post.
     
  8. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Well I think to do it in post production you'd have to take an HDR, modify the histogram to overemphasize red and underemphasize green and blue, then convert to greyscale.

    But that's a ton of work, so go for the filter...:lol::lol:
     
  9. Soocom1

    Soocom1 TPF Noob!

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    Actually, it isn’t a bad question, and there was a book dedicated on the subject about 35 years ago. (Sorry I don’t remember the book title.) But the fact of the matter is that any comparable lens with the widest possible front element is best, with a solid emphasis on speed. (f:1.0-1.8). The reason is that in B&W you are picking up IR and UV light that translates into visible aspects on the print. (see above notes on red filters.) What that translates to, is that in B&W the lens needs to be as high quality as you can possible afford. IR and UV refraction takes a huge back seat to color, and isn’t as obvious in color as one would think. the reality is that B&W is sensitive on both sides, and has a problem with putting them in focus. (Hence the IR position on older lenses). Anyway, the fact of the matter is that with slower B&W film and slower B&W apertures, ISO's etc, the IR side can actually cause a ghosting effect. (keep in mind this is really high end stuff), but when printed, especially on the old Kodak Metallast paper and the latest equivalent, the IR spectrum can show up. To the trained eye, it does make a difference. But if you’re not interested in perusing that level of B&W snobbery, then stick with pp in Photoshop for now until the manufacturers hit a true B&W system on the digital.
     
  10. Vautrin

    Vautrin No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    With digital unfortunately this won't work. Your digital camera has a filter over the sensor so it can't pick up light outside the visible spectrum.

    You could get around this by doing some surgery on your camera but for most digital photographers it's not an option (you can also pay someone to do it for you -- some day when I have the money to spare i'm going to get LifePixel Digital Infrared Photography IR Conversion, Modification & Scratched Sensor Repair to make me one of their cameras)

    I think though if you're really interested in black and white photography you should go get yourself a used film camera. You can get one for cheap -- either from a legitamite broker like KEH, or just a yard sale.

    Seriously, film is AWESOME. And it's actually quite reasonably priced if you develop your own, and roll your own in bulk...

    Check out ilford's SFX film with enhanced red sensitivity, and the rollei enhanced red sensitivity. You can get some sweet pics off that especially with a red filter...
     
  11. djacobox372

    djacobox372 No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    That'll work as long as you carry a tripod with you and don't have anything moving in your frame.
     
  12. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    some of the earlier digital cameras can do infra red work with the proper filter. The times are long and one needs a tripod but it can be done.

    I use a d100 all the time for this type of work.
     

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