How to set Nikon Z6 to show B&W in the viewfinder while saving color RAW images

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by iKokomo, May 6, 2021.

  1. I am about to do a "Noir" inspired photoshoot and I was wondering if it was possible to make the viewfinder/LCD screen display in Black and White while still saving the RAW files in Color?

    It would be easier to compose and "get in the mood" if the image I see through the viewfinder is in B&W. I can edit the RAW image later.

    If that is not possible, is it possible to have the camera itself display a B&W image after I take it (but still keep the color RAW)?

    It still is preferable (especially with the amazing EVF) to see it in B&W.

  2. Set Picture Control to Monochrome
  3. You need to read up on how RAW works.
  4. Gee!
    What would that guy have done back in the film days? When all viewfinders were in full colour. No matter what film you had loaded.
  5. I suppose you could have put a small circle of that greeny filter material that supposedly gives a monochrome simulation effect to judge just such appearance in the optical VF window.

    I'm sure someone here can name it for me....:)
  6. The square of Kodak 'monochrome viewing filter' that I bought 50 years ago was more brown in colour.... and didn't work. It was just like looking through a deep sepia filter. Which is exactly what it was, I suppose.
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  7. That was the reason why I didn't shoot much in B&W.
  8. Having grown up when B&W film was the norm, and colour film an expensive luxury, I quickly learned to 'see' in black & white.

    Conversely, it took quite some time for me to grow to like colour pictures, and even longer to use colour effectively. I'm still getting the hang of it! :oops:
  9. I would be surprised if the Z6 can't be set to display B&W in the EVF.
  10. Yes of course.
    Custom Settings: d9 ON
    OP just lacks the elementary knowledge of RAW and may benefit from a little self study.
  11. True, but only IF Picture Control has been set to MC monochrome too....;)

  12. I dont normally shoot in Monochrome but most of the time the first thig I will do is a quick B&W convert to see if I like it or not, I keep a higher ratio of B&W than I do Color.
    Erik-Christensen likes this.
  13. Does setting MC monochrome in Picture Control 'just' desaturate the standard JPEG or make a mono JPEG from the brightness values straight off the sensor, ie the RAW data?

    The flexibility of Photoshop's process of Image/Adjustments/Black and White is awesome. I allows full control over which colours become which tones.
  14. The monochrome picture control has different filter options so you can imitate the effects of coloured optical filters (it is implemented in firmware / software).
  15. But still not as powerful or flexible as the monochrome conversion tool in PS.
  16. Which monochrome conversion tool are you speaking of? There is a number of different ways to convert an image to monochrome in Photoshop and none of them are called "monochrome conversion tool" as far as I know. You can convert by simply switching to grayscale (Image / Mode / Grayscale), there is Image / Adjustments / Desaturate, Image / Adjustments / Channel mixer, Image / Adjustments / Black & White, and probably I am missing some. However, I never liked using PS to create monochrome images because of the number of options has made it harder to find optimal settings that work across images for me without twiddling with the settings.

    In the Black & White conversion tool of PS, there are six colours and corresponding sliders. Since the image is in RGB, where do they document exactly what operation each slider does to the RGB values? It appearas that there is some kind of selection of the image going on based on the color values in the image so that each slider in practice only affects a part of the image. How are these regions exactly defined? PS seems to use complex undocumented algorithms for a lot of things rather than something that is easy to understand such as "multiply RGB values by filter coefficients and apply tone curve according to contrast and brightness settings" which is more or less what I would like to have. I understand that some people like to work on parts of the image to make selective adjustments to each part but I prefer global adjustments for black and white conversion, something where predictable results are easy to achieve without a lot of individual tweaking of each image. What does "Auto" do in PS's B&W conversion tool? Where can I find the underlying mathematical formulas?

    My favorite way of converting to black and white was with Capture NX2 where the black and white conversion had a single color wheel along with contrast and brightness settings and I knew exactly the workflow to create the conversions that I wanted and it was very convenient to use. I've not been able to replicate the results with other tools after Capture NX2 was not updaed to work with the files from other cameras. As a result I do a lot less black and white now. Going to Nik collection to do the same is just too time-consuming. However, I know many people who like to do black and white to use Nik tools for it.
    Last edited: May 11, 2021
    Hector Javkin likes this.
  17. When I run the Nik filters from within Photoshop, the conversion to black and white doesn't seem particularly time consuming, even on my nine-year-old PC. I may be missing something.
    Erik-Christensen likes this.
  18. I don't have a working version right now installed (since DXO purchased Nik the old license didn't carry over) but when I was using Nik from LR, it first converted the image to TIFF and then opened up the image with the Nik tool finally after I was done with it, it had to be saved and then I would return to LR. This took easily 20-30 seconds per image on my computer back then (5-7 years ago) and then I would want to do the same conversion operation to 1000 images, overall it was not something that I would consider trivially quick. I am happy if it happens in 1 second per image.

    I have used Nik also from PS but that also seemed to take in the tens of seconds to complete. Maybe I was doing something wrong? With Capture NX2 the BW conversion was basically instantaneous since it didn't have to write it to a file immediately and then I could make adjustments to the edits in any order. I can't do that so easily with the Nik plugins as part of LR ir PS workflow. Though my computer now is faster I have been unsure if I want to purchase Nik again from DXO since there is no upgrade pricing available for old Nik customers (understandable since google made the Nik collection free but I had already purchased it). Nice devaluation of someone's purchase.
  19. AFAIK, any colour conversion to monochrome (within photography) is entirely subjective to taste, but also entirely repeatable.

    It's been a while since I did many of these but I saved the PS conversion slider 'selection' and made a preset.... which can be used any time, including making a 'smart' action key for a one press conversion.

Share This Page