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Color RAW to Monochrome: Advanced Conversion Using B &W Mixer and More

This page is an extended and detailed tutorial on how to convert raw images from a color sensor into monochrome images. See the basic tutorial to get started as simply as possible.

A direct raw conversion as used here means that the raw image is converted to monochrome as part of the raw conversion—not converted to color, then to monochrome. This differs from all the other methods detailed on related pages, which manipulate a color image into monochrome.

A direct raw conversion is appealing because the conversion settings are recorded along with the raw file and there are few if any additional steps needed (retouching and final tweaks aside). Any raw converter that has settings like those of Adobe Camera Raw can be used in a similar manner. Adobe Lightroom users might prefer this approach because of the absence of a layer facility such as found in Adobe Photoshop.

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Diglloyd Making Sharp Images articulates years of best practices and how-to, painstakingly learned over a decade of camera and lens evaluation.

Save yourself those years of trial and error by jump-starting your photographic technical execution when making the image. The best lens or camera is handicapped if the photographer fails to master perfect shot discipline. High-resolution digital cameras are unforgiving of errors, at least if one wants the best possible results.

  • Eases into photographic challenges with an introductory section.
  • Covers aspects of digital sensor technology that relate to getting the best image quality.
  • Technique section discusses every aspect of making a sharp image handheld or on a tripod.
  • Depth of field and how to bypass depth of field limitations via focus stacking.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • MTF, field curvature, focus shift: insight into the limitations of lab tests and why imaging performance is far more complex than it appears.
  • Optical aberrations: what they are, what they look like, and what to do about them.
  • How to test a lens for a “bad sample”.

Intrigued? See Focusing Zeiss DSLR Lenses For Peak Performance, PART ONE: The Challenges, or (one topic of many) field curvature.

Adobe Camera Raw dialog for color image to be converted directly into monochrome

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