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Thread: Picking a few brains about black and white conversion software please.

  1. #1
    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Picking a few brains about black and white conversion software please.

    Does anyone out there have thoughts to share regarding stand alone black and white conversion software, both recommendations and "don't touch with a large stick" examples.

    I would prefer to hear from people with first hand experience of a particular program and any sample posted in this thread would be a bonus.

    Edited --- Windows OS.
    Last edited by I @ M; 26-02-2016 at 12:59pm.
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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Andrew, perhaps the free CS2 version of PS?

    I seem to recall it having some pretty fancy options for converting to B&W.
    Regards, john

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    ...stand alone black and white conversion software...
    Edited --- Windows OS.
    Quote Originally Posted by John King View Post
    ...the free CS2 version of PS...I seem to recall it having some pretty fancy options for converting to B&W.
    John.
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    Last edited by ameerat42; 26-02-2016 at 4:31pm.
    CC, Image editing OK.

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    LOL, Am.

    What does "stand alone" mean ... ??

    DOS or CMD processor based only?

    No OS needed at all?

    PS2 can be installed stand alone without installing the rest of CS2.
    Last edited by John King; 26-02-2016 at 4:35pm.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    I think he means a program dedicated to B/W conversion, rather like these.

    (Anyway, you nearly had to move over at the pillory, because I was going to mention Pshop as well. Duck - a tomato!)

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Ah. PS plug ins ...

    Never occurred to me that someone would use a stand alone version of what (to me) only exists as a plug in. Live and learn. That's why I frequent fora ... .

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    (I told yer to make space at the pillory)

    Anyway, Andrew should be along by and by. Maybe he can shed light.)
    Last edited by ameerat42; 26-02-2016 at 5:11pm.

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    ^

    Last edited by John King; 26-02-2016 at 5:21pm.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    I think he means a program dedicated to B/W conversion, rather like these.
    Yep, just a program that does B & W conversions without needing a "host" program. Unfortunately, unless I have been misled the perennial Silver Efex isn't a stand alone program.

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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! You might need to be heading to the paint aisle, then.

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    Ausphotography Regular John King's Avatar
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    Geez, Andrew, it appears that Google swallowed Nik s/w back in 2013 ... .

    Maybe one of the other two Am linked to is still around?

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    Ilford FP4 and HP5 have been mu favourites for a while now
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    Ausphotography irregular Mark L's Avatar
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    There was a free version of Dxo FilmPack 3 offered last year. It offers a range of B&W conversions based on what they think could be achieve with the various older films that used to render B&W differently. It works well and gives a range of choices.Some give a almost straight conversion some others give the different texture and noise.
    Don't think it's still available free, but you never know. They may have just left the offer ... http://www.dxo.com/us/filmpack_specialoffer
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    Yep, just a program that does B & W conversions without needing a "host" program. Unfortunately, unless I have been misled the perennial Silver Efex isn't a stand alone program.
    Actually Silver Efex does work stand-alone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ameerat42 View Post
    Hmm! You might need to be heading to the paint aisle, then.
    Yep, looking for a can of chassis black and one of ceiling white.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    Ilford FP4 and HP5 have been mu favourites for a while now
    What more could I expect from you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Mark L View Post
    There was a free version of Dxo FilmPack 3 offered last year. It offers a range of B&W conversions based on what they think could be achieve with the various older films that used to render B&W differently. It works well and gives a range of choices.Some give a almost straight conversion some others give the different texture and noise.
    Don't think it's still available free, but you never know. They may have just left the offer ... http://www.dxo.com/us/filmpack_specialoffer
    Thanks Mark, I had a look and I think the cheap offer expired + I haven't heard first hand from anyone with any experience with that program.

    Quote Originally Posted by davidd View Post
    Actually Silver Efex does work stand-alone.
    Well I'll be!!!
    After some earlier reading ( few daze ago ) I was sure that it was only offered as a plugin.
    Thanks for making me think again David, I did a quick inquiry through their web contact form and lo and behold I received an answer within an hour ( copied below )

    Dear Andrew,

    Thank you for contacting Nik by Google, I hope you are having a good day.


    The Nik Collection by Google, including Silver Efex Pro 2, is designed to be used as plug-ins with a compatible host application, though they can be used as stand alone applications. It is advantageous to use the software with a host application as you benefit from all of the extras they provide, including being able to process all accepted file types. As a stand alone application, the Nik Collection can only process JPEG and TIFF file types, cannot use layers, and other features exclusive to Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom.



    If you have any further questions, simply reply to this email and I'll get back to you as soon as possible.

    Best Regards,
    Mace
    ___________________
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    To learn more about our award winning Nik Collection, please visit www.google.com/nikcollection and click on the Support tab for online lessons, videos, and blog posts on Google+

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I was going to recommend DxO as well.

    They do have a trial offer for the latest(Film Pack 5) if you're interested.

    I tried the Film Pack 3, more so out of curiosity and the fact that it was free as opposed to a need to create B/W or emulated film looking images .. I don't personally care for such trivia.

    But DxO's film pack 3 did work reasonably well, in terms of efficiency and workflow(standalone).

    I had it installed on Win7, but was one of those programs that I didn't transfer over with Win10 .. so I kind'a lost it(in that Win upgrade).
    note: it wasn't due to the WIn 10 upgrade that film pack 3 doesn't activate any more .. it's not connecting to the server to activate.

    Tried to install it again using the free offer activation code again yesterday but it doesn't work.
    That is, the activation code they sent me that did work originally, now no longer allows the program to talk to the server that does the activation!
    (it's stupid really .. they either should just release it properly, or not!!)

    So now my fear of DxO software is that even tho you may have purchase it, if it somehow falls by the wayside in terms of currentness you may never be able to install it again on an updated OS(or even if it's a system refresh of some kind)

    For this reason I avoid such restrictive software.

    If you don't concern yourself about using old, paid for, software on your latest PC .. then I'd recommend to try it(I reckon you may like it).
    If you worry about some restrictive backend operation that doesn't allow you to activate your software due to a NEED to be connected to an external server for this activation process, that the software can no longer connect too! .. I'd say avoid it.
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Just a heads up and WARNING.

    be very weary of trying to either register, or re register DxO's Film Pack 3 free offer.

    AFAIK, the offer finished a long time ago, and it's not on DxO's site as such.
    But there is a site that leads to DxO's webpage if you search for 'Film Pack 3'.

    My advice is to avoid this site completely!
    I don't think visiting the site will harm your PC, but do NOT try to register here.
    There may be a very high probability that the registering process is compromised and any info you supply may be used nefariously.

    Out of curiosity, I tried the registration process again to see what'd happen, and I think a spammer got my email address and used it to send spam across the net.
    I now got a ton of return receipts to emails I never sent .. ie. spam.

    The last thing I used that email addy for was for that registration process ... be warned.

  18. #18
    Moderately Underexposed
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    I downloaded a "trial" of their film pack yesterday direct from their main page AK, entered my email addy and haven't seen anything untoward happen yet ----

  19. #19
    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I @ M View Post
    I downloaded a "trial" of their film pack yesterday direct from their main page AK, entered my email addy and haven't seen anything untoward happen yet ----
    Nah! you shouldn't.

    That'd be version 5.
    They no longer have any links to the free(for all) v3. That offer ended a long time back.

    But if you search for 'Film Pack v3 free offer' or whatever, it may take you to a site where you can seemingly sign up for it ... that's the site to avoid!
    The site did say DxO and no phishing alerts or any other malware issues notifications. So I of course tried to sign up again.
    It doesn't bother me, as the email I used is a disposable one.

    The DxO site to Film Pack 5 is their current offer so you shouldn't have any problems.

    Lettuce know how it works out for 'ya too(if I don't see you before then).

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    The Nik software is now free to download. I got a copy as I wanted to see how the Silver Efex worked as I have heard of many people who use it.

    It wasn't quite as bad as I had imagined. I guess if someone did not want to invest the time to learn how to process then this is will work OK.
    The picture should be in your mind before it's on the sensor.

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