Jump to content

Shooting B&W with Fuji XT-3 / XT-4


Grégory LEROY

Recommended Posts

How are you operating? Are you shooting monochrome / acros simulations straight into the camera, or do you prefer to shoot F-log for the extra dynamic and then editing it B&W ?

I like the monochrome look, but I thinks there's not enough dynamic (yes I shoot tone -2).

Are you obtaining a good result using F-log and a B&W Lut ?

Do not hesitate to post your personal videos in the comment.

Thank you

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't know anything about those Fuji cameras nor about how they render in their "black & white mode," but it generally gives more control and versatility to shoot color images and then "grade" them into black & white.

 

Merely adjusting the relative brightness of the three color channels can yield a variety of skin tone looks.

 

If you know that you will be finishing in black & white, you don't have to white balance when shooting.  However, if your camera records compressed files, the closer the color balance is to neutral, the more data one has to work with when grading the color images to black & white, and the less likely that one will encounter noise (with proper exposure).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I actually  have an X-T3 and shoot B&W so this is not from the horse's rear end (sorry tupp ,could not resist the joke 😄)

Acros will be great if exposed decently. You are not going to get the same result with a lut. Fuji's secret sauce is especially strong with Acros. 

Even in photography, Acros camera-derived  Jpeg's are not the same as files exported from raw into acros jpegs (que long discussion and people saying otherwise 😆)

I could add a lot of pretentious paragraphs about highlight rolloffs , curves and other technical mumbo jumbo but it just is. The rest is silliness as far as I am concerned

 

Fuji has 4 Acros modes that will satisfy all your requirements although human conceit may make us think that we can do better adjusting sliders  .

Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, josdr said:

Acros will be great if exposed decently. You are not going to get the same result with a lut. Fuji's secret sauce is especially strong with Acros.

I don't know what Acros is, but what I suggested has nothing to do with LUTs.  I never use LUTs unless an untrained client is on set.  I like to have maximum control of the grade (or see to it that the hired color grader has maximum control).

 

 

13 minutes ago, josdr said:

Fuji has 4 Acros modes that will satisfy all your requirements although human conceit may make us think that we can do better adjusting sliders  .

It's not conceit, but experience that tells me it is generally better to leave one's options open.  Acros sounds like it bakes-in a look and one would be mostly stuck with that look as the result would be black & white.

 

Having all three color channels to work with and to adjust separately gives a lot of versatility in the grade to black & white.  After having done it several times, I would never commit to an in-camera conversion to black & white.

Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, tupp said:

I don't know what Acros is, but what I suggested has nothing to do with LUTs.  I never use LUTs unless an untrained client is on set.  I like to have maximum control of the grade (or see to it that the hired color grader has maximum control).

 

 

It's not conceit, but experience that tells me it is generally better to leave one's options open.  Acros sounds like it bakes-in a look and one would be mostly stuck with that look as the result would be black & white.

 

Having all three color channels to work with and to adjust separately gives a lot of versatility in the grade to black & white.  After having done it several times, I would never commit to an in-camera conversion to black & white.

If you had an understanding of the actual camera in question and Fuji's Acros profile along with actual use of the said profile compared to Lut's etc I think you would reconsider. Your advice is sound in a general  manner but it is not applicable in this case.  Acros (with its four variations) is that good. You can dismiss it as a "baked look" but I have not seen anything better in B&W .

Since he wants to use B&W it is the best option in his case. I am currently shooting a short film that includes B&W scenes , and with all the testing we did compared to f-log,  Acros came on top whether shooting with the actors or shooting locations.

He can of course do his own tests and decide for himself but having gone through the proces of shooting acros along with f-log and comparing, I would not bother with f-log. There is a tonality and coherence of the image with Acros that cannot be possibly reproduced with an external LUT.  Fujifilm is the undisputed leader in this.

Please do not construct my words as unduly harsh or dismissive of your well-intended remarks,  since I am not including smilies every three words. 😄  Alas the written word comes across too harsh when trying to make a point

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, josdr said:

If you had an understanding of the actual camera in question and Fuji's Acros profile along with actual use of the said profile compared to Lut's etc I think you would reconsider.

Probably not.  As I said, I don't use LUTs, and the Acros profiles are actually types of LUTs.

 

Nothing beats the eye of a versatile, experienced color grader.  A LUT is limited in regards to what shots it can make look good.  A LUT designed for high key won't work with a low key shot, and vice versa.

 

Also, a single LUT is limited to a single look -- not so with a good color grader.  However, the main advantage that I argue is having all three color channels available when finishing in black & white.

 

 

2 hours ago, josdr said:

You can dismiss it as a "baked look" but I have not seen anything better in B&W .

I am not particularly dismissing Acros as a baked-in look.  I am saying that, in general, it severely limits one's options to commit to recording black & white camera files from a color camera.  It doesn't matter if one records with the Acros profile, with some other internal black & white LUT or with an "inside straight. "

 

 

2 hours ago, josdr said:

Your advice is sound in a general  manner but it is not applicable in this case.

I strongly disagree.

 

Again, by having control of all three color channels in post, one has many more options.  With the Acros profile (or with any other in-camera black & white profile), one is largely stuck with the way it looks.

 

 

2 hours ago, josdr said:

Acros (with its four variations) is that good. You can dismiss it as a "baked look" but I have not seen anything better in B&W .

It might look good in many cases, but so do the results of a good color grader.  A black & white LUT such as Acros can't handle all capture contrast ranges and exposure problems the way a good color grader can with all three color channels available.

 

 

2 hours ago, josdr said:

There is a tonality and coherence of the image with Acros that cannot be possibly reproduced with an external LUT. Fujifilm is the undisputed leader in this.

I dispute that.

 

Again, I am not talking about a LUT.

 

I just looked at some Acros footage, and I have no doubt that a good color grader with access to all three color channels can make the images look just as good (and mostly better) than Acros.

 

Below is a quick and dirty examples of the dramatically different looks possible by having control of all three color channels:

bnw1.jpg.c711083973b04cd9a394b6234b5e2360.jpgbnw2.jpg.e7e416b976025e71741945405b77f50c.jpg

Both images are from the same color photo.  All I did was change the relative intensity of the three color channels (and then adjust the overall contrast accordingly).

 

One sacrifices such control of the look when one records black and  white camera files with a color camera.

 

By the way, here is what the black & white image looks like with a decently even balance between the three color channels:

bnw3.jpg.60c312048cb266437da74bedeab688bc.jpg

Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, tupp said:

Nothing beats the eye of a versatile, experienced color grader.  A LUT is limited in regards to what shots it can make look good.  A LUT designed for high key won't work with a low key shot, and vice versa.

Very true but most aren't experienced colorists. Its why you see so much crappy colored footage out there. People think its best to shoot in LOG or RAW when they'd be better off just using a straight out of camera profile. 

The other plus to shooting in a baked in profile is simply speed. If you choose your exposure and look while shooting you don't have to make those decisions in post which quickens the workflow. Of course if you aren't experienced or quick enough you could end up with a lot of bad shots that aren't really fixable. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Very true but most aren't experienced colorists. Its why you see so much crappy colored footage out there.

Well, it doesn't take much experience to simply bring the contrast into range and to adjust the saturation and color balance to one's liking.

 

A lot of the "crappy" footage that I see is from inexperienced shooter exceeding the limits of the camera profile/LUT.

 

1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

People think its best to shoot in LOG or RAW when they'd be better off just using a straight out of camera profile. 

It usually is best to shoot with the method that will provide the lowest contrast and the most color depth in post, regardless of whether the shooter is experienced or inexperienced (but especially with inexperienced shooters).

 

Also, it doesn't take much to develop a fundamental photographic literacy, and such a basic skill will help one prevail through many varied shooting challenges, more so than just relying on all-in-one profiles/LUTs.

 

 

1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

The other plus to shooting in a baked in profile is simply speed.

With flat or raw files, it takes a negligible amount of time for an inexperienced shooter to simply apply a LUT in post that matches a given camera profile -- we are talking one or two clicks of a mouse.  The shooter will still get the baked-in look with all of the arbitrary side-effects.

 

Furthermore, if the inexperienced shooter was off on exposure or color balance, he/she can recover more information from a flat or raw camera file.

 

 

1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

If you choose your exposure and look while shooting you don't have to make those decisions in post which quickens the workflow.

While shooting, one can likewise just choose the LUT to be used in post -- no post decisions.

 

In addition, the possibility of recovery remains if a flat/raw camera file has exposure/color problems.  The options for recovery are fewer with "baked-in" camera files.

 

 

1 hour ago, thebrothersthre3 said:

Of course if you aren't experienced or quick enough you could end up with a lot of bad shots that aren't really fixable. 

Exactly.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Depends on the camera. Fuji doesn't provide Luts to match there in camera profiles. A big appeal of Fuji is the color and if you are shooting LOG you just don't get the same experience. Even the Eterna lut which they provide doesn't really match the Eterna profile in camera. 

I also don't recommend anyone use F-log as it has weird macroblocking issues that ruins footage regardless of how you expose. 
 

Link to post
Share on other sites

@tuppTo be clear I agree with you, shooting in LOG is usually the best option for the reasons you mentioned. 

Another example where I don't shoot log. Weddings where I am delivering the image to someone else to edit. I just shoot Eterna. It just looks nice off the bat. Usually log is preferred to send to editors but weddings are so dicey. I have no idea who's editing and don't trust them tbh lol. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...