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Old Oct 2, 2008, 8:19 AM   #1
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I'm a little confused about the monochrome picture style setting on my XSi. On page 84 of my instruction manual, it talks about applying a "filter effect" while using the monochrome picture style. It mentions different filters and the sample effects.

For example, the manual says that when applying an orange filter: "The blue sky will look slightly darker. The sunset will look more brilliant." There are similar sample effects mentioned for other filters (i.e., yellow, red and green).

My problem: I've tried the different filters and the resulting image is always black and whilte. Am I missing something here?
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 11:43 AM   #2
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It sounds like the effect you're looking for is toning effect rather than filter effect. Filter effect reproduces the effect of a colored filter on B&W film, while toning effect applies a color tint such as sepia.

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Old Oct 2, 2008, 12:17 PM   #3
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requa wrote:
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It sounds like the effect you're looking for is toning effect rather than filter effect. Filter effect reproduces the effect of a colored filter on B&W film, while toning effect applies a color tint such as sepia.
Thank you for the input, but I'm not sure what you mean by reproducing "the effect of a colored filter on B&W film." Wouldn't the resulting picture be either black and white or color, not both? Forgive me, I'm new at this.

The vagueness of the instruction manual certainly does not help. But the statement is fairly clear, I quoted it above, and it's verbatim from the manual and refers to filter effect, not tone. Although instructions regarding tone follow...
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 3:21 PM   #4
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When shooting B&W film it is common to use coloured filters. A red filter to darken skies for example.

The settings in your XSi are designed to mimick those filters. If you have never done any B&W film photography it will all seem a bit mysterious.

You can do the same thing in photoshop, and playing with those filters is probably the best way to get a feeling for how it works.
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Old Oct 2, 2008, 8:44 PM   #5
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peripatetic wrote:
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When shooting B&W film it is common to use coloured filters. A red filter to darken skies for example.

The settings in your XSi are designed to mimick those filters. If you have never done any B&W film photography it will all seem a bit mysterious.

You can do the same thing in photoshop, and playing with those filters is probably the best way to get a feeling for how it works.
So does that mean that even with the filters the photos will still come out black and white?
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Old Oct 3, 2008, 1:49 AM   #6
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Yes.

Different parts of the visible spectrum are converted to BW in different ways. If you filter out red light or yellow light it changes the look of the conversion.

Google is your friend. :-)

http://www.ephotozine.com/article/Us...ck--white-film


But you're not shooting JPG-only are you?

Consider (for learning purposes at least) to shoot in colour and convert to BW in photoshop, then you can apply all the filters afterwards in PS. Once you get a good feel for how they work you can shoot BW in the camera if you really want to shoot JPG instead of RAW.
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Old Oct 4, 2008, 1:13 PM   #7
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Thank you for the advice peripatetic. I think I understand a little better now.

style="BACKGROUND-COLOR: #000000"Yes, I'm shooting in JPEG only right now. I'm not sure I'd even know what to do with RAW images. I do have some experience with Photoshop, but I'm no expert.

I will definitely check out the link you send and take your suggestion about shooting in color, etc.

Thanks again.
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 1:12 AM   #8
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Peripatetic,.. since I have a related question, hopefully you can provide some advise. The XSi Picture Style has settings such as "Sharpness", Contrast, Saturation, and Skin Tone. The last 3 are adjustments of + or - from a "0" setting, and this is standard for contrast, saturation, etc. For Sharpness, the default is a setting of 2 and the range is from 0 to 7. I take it that this is the control for the image processing done in the camera for conversion to jpeg. My question is, what would this be set at for most P&S cameras that don't have such a setting. Is setting this up to 7 going to give me a very sharp image, but would probably look like something you would get out of Photoshop if you used their "Sharpness" filter to 70%?

I guess I'm asking what this setting is really doing in the camera. I know that Canon thinks that Portrait shots should be "Soft" so they set the sharpness to 2 rather than leave it at 3. My understanding is that "Sharpness" only adjusts the pixels at the edges of an image but that this does not improve the image focus.

Back on the last subject of filters, my G7 has a built in ND filter which gives me 3 stops, but the XSi has no ND, but it has a 4 color filters for Monochrome. Why is that. It seems to me that the ND filter is of much more use than the ones in the XSi.
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Old Nov 13, 2008, 3:45 AM   #9
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Honestly I'm not sure, as I haven't used in-camera JPGs for about 4 years now.

I would guess however that a standard P&S is probably the equivalent of about +6 on most settings.

The reason they turn it down for the DSLR is that: If you sharpen too little it's easy to add more, butif you sharpen too much you end up with artifacts that cannot be removed.

ND filters are usually physical devices that restrict the light from getting to the sensor/film in the first place and are most useful where your camera isn't capable of very high shutter speeds.

I think the XSi has a minimum shutter speed of 1/8000 or 1/4000 however, so if you are shooting at ISO100 the light has to be extreme or you have to be shooting with a very big aperture before you will need an ND filter.

I would highly recommend that you at least download a 30-day trial of Adobe Photoshop Lightroom (or Apple Aperture if you are a Mac user and don't like Adobe), and try shooting RAW for a bit.

Lightroom + RAW allows you much greater flexibility in how you process your images, and all the editing is non-destructive, so you are always working from your digital negative.


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