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Getting punchier monochromes SOOC

Posted by Merco_61, 26 March 2024 · 103 views

I have been experimenting with the Picture Control settings to get a closer approximation to my processed monochromes for some months now. It makes it easier to compose the photos in live view when the preview doesn’t look like machine-developed and -printed grey and less grey rather than the snap of an HP-5 emulation… Being able to download a usable monochrome to share on social media doesn’t hurt either.

The settings I have arrived at, for now at least, are:
Quick sharp 0
Sharpening +3
Mid-range sharpening +2
Clarity +1
Contrast +2
Brightness 0
Filter effect to suit the subject, usually Yellow
Toning Off

This gives a much more usable preview than the standard MC Picture Control, at least to my eyes. In a pinch, a .jpg straight out of the camera can now be used if I don’t have my usual software available.
I usually use Photo Ninja to convert the raw data to .tiff, tone map and crop for further processing. I do the rest of the colour work in Color Efex Pro and then do the monochrome conversion, including applying a film emulation, in Silver Efex Pro. For some photos, I use my own tone curve in Photo Ninja to emulate the spectral response of one of the AgfaPan emulsions in Rodinal.

Some examples of how this PictureControl can look:
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They look a bit better than the standard monochrome Picture Control, don't they?

I see them fine, they have contrast.
You have managed to tune well.

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