Daytripping in France with the E-PL7's B&W filter

fader

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Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
We had the chance to drop into Auray this afternoon, a charming and very old village here in the Morbihan, and one of my favorites. I always shoot RAW and JPEG, but decided to try the "grainy" B&W filter on my EPL7 again. It's kind of hit and miss but it does have a lot of contrast. Certainly it's not trying to compete with the Pen F's monochrome settings, but when resized to smaller images (1100px in this thread) the strong grain effect takes on its own personality.

It's nice sometimes to let the camera do the work and to put more time into developing a story. A compromise on chasing visual perfection for narrative. I enjoyed shooting this way and putting the images together. Enjoy the shots.

I witnessed this fella debark a 100+ year old boat as crew (same vessel as is in the background) and hop onto a 1940s era Peugeot motorbike.

View attachment 744736

Facade detail on the town church. This one is unique, even here in the Catholic stronghold of Brittany because the statue survived the French Revolution. On most of the churches these hollows are bare, as the statues were pulled down, decapitated, and left in the street.
View attachment 744738

An old Citroen 2CV
View attachment 744739

One of the old streets in the Port of Saint-Goustan
View attachment 744742

No shortage of French Navy shirts in Bretagne
View attachment 744743

The bar and the street along the port are named after Ben Franklin, who first set foot on these same streets to ask the French for help during the US Revolutionary War.
View attachment 744746

More evidence of the Franco American connection, downtown Auray.
View attachment 744748

Historic vessels in a historic port. The Port of Saint-Goustan is on the Auray river which flows directly into the Gulf of Morbihan, and on into the Atlantic.
View attachment 744749

The connection to the sea is often full of sorrow. There are often shrines such as this one that served the fishermen who braved the Atlantic here on the edge of the fearsome Gulfe de Gascogne, or the Bay of Biscay to us Yanks. Whether to commemorate the dead or to say a parting prayer before leaving for sea, it's presence is hard to miss.
View attachment 744750

Many artists reside in the area and there are several small galleries on both sides of the river.
View attachment 744751

Aspirations ... ok, probably not with this filter :D
View attachment 744752

Until next time! Thanks for looking
View attachment 744753
 
Last edited:

fader

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
Love the Morbihan region, the small islands in the gulf are fascinating too - lots of burial mounds, tumulii and so on - thank you for sharing...
Indeed it is an interesting place. Visiting a place like Carnac is truly awe inspiring. I'd like to do a solid session there during the blue hour with a compliment of strobes. One of these days!
 

Paul C

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
Messages
105
BLACK AND WHITE - IN CAMERA

Lumix have a great B&W simulation under scene modes in their Bridge Cameras such as the FZ35/38. When the coulours are challenging - such as in mixed flourescent and tungsten lighting which is near impossible to fix - it makes a great option to just drop the colour and concentrate on composition. It comes out with grain and contrast like Tri-X B&W negative film pushed 1 stop ......no bad thing!

Another time when it helps is if the sky is bright and boring - in which case a switch to B&W can render the sky as white "negative space" and help shape the composition to concentrate the eye to other elements.

However the B&W "scene Mode" in the Lumix G cameras seems nowhere near as good as their bridge cameras - which is a pity. Am I missing something?
  • Is this a strength of Olympus over Panasonic?
  • Do I need to create a "custom" scene mode to get the best effect - in which case what menu settings to use?
  • Or is it just impossible to get this right with M4/3 cameras - and thus what I really need is the eye-wateringly expensive Leica M Monochrom (Type 246).

So can I appeal to the friendly M4/3 forum to use its collective experience to recommend the best B&W simulation cameras and in-camera settings.

YES - before you dismiss this - I know you can do this in the editing mode using a colour image; but using B&W simulation allows you to see the image in B&W in the viewfinder - which really helps with composing.
Remember that mid-tone red and mid-tone blue come out the same in B&W. For real control freaks - the aim is to shoot the JPEG in "Scene Mode" and also save a RAW version to work on later if you want.

Best wishes - Paul
 

fader

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Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
  • Is this a strength of Olympus over Panasonic?
I don't think so. I can't speak for Panasonics but will watch for replies as my interest in the GX9 is growing by the day. As far as Olympus goes - the Pen F's monochrome mode and adjustments seem far superior to the rest of the Olympus range - no Leica required IMO if B&W is your forte.

In the O-MD M10, EM5s (I think its the same) and the Pen Lite series, we get 2 modes - B&W and "grainy film". The first mode looks like hitting desaturate in photoshop. There's really not much of a curve to it and and out-of-camera jpegs are dull and flat. I think there are some small adjustments that can be made but I haven't experimented too much. If I have to cook the photo I'd just as soon start in color.

The first few times I used the grainy setting I was seeing them on the 3" screen and thought they looked great on the LCD panel and, like you, I enjoy composing shots while seeing the filter effect in the display. Then I got the images on-screen and thought it looked like complete garbage! It wasn't until I started resizing the images down where the character I saw on the display started to come back.
 
Joined
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Charente Maritime, western France
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Roddy
I shoot B&W in Mono (Photo Style menu), as I also enjoy shooting in live B&W for compositional purposes. I then process to taste for grain and contrast. There is a chance sometimes that a colour photograph may make a good B&W subject, and I am sometimes aware of it when shooting colour, but most times I actually like to see what I am shooting as it appears in B&W. Old habits die hard for some of us I guess. I shot a lot of film in B&W in the 80's and 90's and like the medium much more than some,I suspect. Hope this helps....
 

Paul C

Mu-43 Regular
Joined
Oct 29, 2017
Messages
105

The first few times I used the grainy setting I was seeing them on the 3" screen and thought they looked great on the LCD panel and, like you, I enjoy composing shots while seeing the filter effect in the display. Then I got the images on-screen and thought it looked like complete garbage! It wasn't until I started resizing the images down where the character I saw on the display started to come back.\

I like it !
Fader has it right - the best reason to shoot in B&W is for a print as the final product. Once you start looking at a 7x5 or a 10x8 print, then all the supposed "faults" of M4/3 disappear - the 1 pixel CA that so upsets lens reviewers becomes invisible, the Chroma Noise at 1600 ASA vanishes and what photo paper can print the 10 stops of exposure range of even a first-generation 12MP sensor Lumix G1? Heck - even your old travel zoom compact takes great 6x4 prints!!!

At this point - it makes sense to give my vote for this years best photo book: "In Camera book – perfect photos out-of-camera" Written by Gordon Laing. It celebrates the art of JPEG photography with 100 of his travel images, all presented out-of-camera. No filter, no Photoshop, just pure photography! As with shooting 35mm transparency slide film - if you get the picture right at the time of taking then no further work should be required.

Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

That is the same Gordon Laing who produces those astonishingly detailed 20 page photo-equipment reviews at the "CameraLabs" website. And yes - he does use mirrorless small format cameras!

So keep the ideas coming up for the best "in-camera" settings for B&W - I feel a black and white weekend is near at hand !

best wishes - Paul
 

fader

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
Isn't that just anything above iso 6400? Is it a "feature" now? :biggrin:
Totally different. the filter provides the finest artisanal grain available, using a combination of the earth's magnetic field and solar flare to provide enough entropy to the random grain generator. Above 6400 is just noise :whistling: :p
 

siftu

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Messages
781
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Bay Area, CA
Real Name
siftu
A solid series. I really like that you exclusively used the 45mm. It's quite refreshing to see this different FoV and certainly filled the frame on the boat scene (#8) and the street scene (#4) nicely.
 

fader

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Aug 20, 2016
Messages
871
A solid series. I really like that you exclusively used the 45mm. It's quite refreshing to see this different FoV and certainly filled the frame on the boat scene (#8) and the street scene (#4) nicely.
Thanks @siftu, appreciate the kind words. I've watched a lot of the natgeo photographer interviews on youtube, and several drive home the point about looking for layers - alignment of a strong foreground, middleground, and background elements in an image. This strategy definitely works with the 45mm and at f8-f11 the images are as sharp as you like with no worries about getting enough DOF.

Lovely pics!
Thanks!
 

grcolts

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
376
Location
Texas
Real Name
Gary
We had the chance to drop into Auray this afternoon, a charming and very old village here in the Morbihan, and one of my favorites. I always shoot RAW and JPEG, but decided to try the "grainy" B&W filter on my EPL7 again. It's kind of hit and miss but it does have a lot of contrast. Certainly it's not trying to compete with the Pen F's monochrome settings, but when resized to smaller images (1100px in this thread) the strong grain effect takes on its own personality.

It's nice sometimes to let the camera do the work and to put more time into developing a story. A compromise on chasing visual perfection for narrative. I enjoyed shooting this way and putting the images together. Enjoy the shots.

I witnessed this fella debark a 100+ year old boat as crew (same vessel as is in the background) and hop onto a 1940s era Peugeot motorbike.

View attachment 744736

Facade detail on the town church. This one is unique, even here in the Catholic stronghold of Brittany because the statue survived the French Revolution. On most of the churches these hollows are bare, as the statues were pulled down, decapitated, and left in the street.
View attachment 744738

An old Citroen 2CV
View attachment 744739

One of the old streets in the Port of Saint-Goustan
View attachment 744742

No shortage of French Navy shirts in Bretagne
View attachment 744743

The bar and the street along the port are named after Ben Franklin, who first set foot on these same streets to ask the French for help during the US Revolutionary War.
View attachment 744746

More evidence of the Franco American connection, downtown Auray.
View attachment 744748

Historic vessels in a historic port. The Port of Saint-Goustan is on the Auray river which flows directly into the Gulf of Morbihan, and on into the Atlantic.
View attachment 744749

The connection to the sea is often full of sorrow. There are often shrines such as this one that served the fishermen who braved the Atlantic here on the edge of the fearsome Gulfe de Gascogne, or the Bay of Biscay to us Yanks. Whether to commemorate the dead or to say a parting prayer before leaving for sea, it's presence is hard to miss.
View attachment 744750

Many artists reside in the area and there are several small galleries on both sides of the river.
View attachment 744751

Aspirations ... ok, probably not with this filter :D
View attachment 744752

Until next time! Thanks for looking
View attachment 744753
Good to see your putting the EPL-7 to good use!
Very nice set of images. Thanks for sharing.
GR
 

grcolts

Mu-43 Veteran
Joined
Feb 1, 2010
Messages
376
Location
Texas
Real Name
Gary
BLACK AND WHITE - IN CAMERA

Lumix have a great B&W simulation under scene modes in their Bridge Cameras such as the FZ35/38. When the coulours are challenging - such as in mixed flourescent and tungsten lighting which is near impossible to fix - it makes a great option to just drop the colour and concentrate on composition. It comes out with grain and contrast like Tri-X B&W negative film pushed 1 stop ......no bad thing!

Another time when it helps is if the sky is bright and boring - in which case a switch to B&W can render the sky as white "negative space" and help shape the composition to concentrate the eye to other elements.

However the B&W "scene Mode" in the Lumix G cameras seems nowhere near as good as their bridge cameras - which is a pity. Am I missing something?
  • Is this a strength of Olympus over Panasonic?
  • Do I need to create a "custom" scene mode to get the best effect - in which case what menu settings to use?
  • Or is it just impossible to get this right with M4/3 cameras - and thus what I really need is the eye-wateringly expensive Leica M Monochrom (Type 246).

So can I appeal to the friendly M4/3 forum to use its collective experience to recommend the best B&W simulation cameras and in-camera settings.

YES - before you dismiss this - I know you can do this in the editing mode using a colour image; but using B&W simulation allows you to see the image in B&W in the viewfinder - which really helps with composing.
Remember that mid-tone red and mid-tone blue come out the same in B&W. For real control freaks - the aim is to shoot the JPEG in "Scene Mode" and also save a RAW version to work on later if you want.

Best wishes - Paul
I really have not yet had a chance to see how good the b&w settings are for the Panasonic G9 as I just got it. I did notice it how some new b&w options for shooting images in grayscale. I hope to test them out soon. Maybe someone else using the G9 has used them and can elaborate about the new b&w features.
GR
 
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