Nikon D850 Monochrome

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by kevin_beretta, Oct 16, 2020.

  1. Hi all,

    I was wondering if anyone had experience with a XNiteNikonD850M-FS: Nikon D850 Monochrome or an XNiteNikonD850M: Nikon D850 Monochrome per chance.

    I am extremely intrigued as I got the tinker with an M10 Leica the other day and I really like the B&W thing. I know I can shoot B&W with a standard D850 but with a bunch of the unnecessary stuff removed from the sensor it gets quite a bit better.

    They are not cheap. It's a dream at this point (but sadly, that can escalate quickly...) so I'm looking for someone who's actually used one.

  2. No, I haven't; I'm just one of those Leica (M9 based 1st version) guys.
    • Monochrome files are further away from "presentable SOOC JPEG" than their color counterparts! You'll have to tweak each of them.
    • Is SLR the right thing to buy? - Joy of composing through your red or orange filter... Are you after the "lets get home & see what I got"-kick? If not a mono-MILC with contrast on one and exposure on the other wheel and PP done on its EVF could be more fun, especially with working eye detection AF. - Did Nikon get there with their latest releases? Occasionally shooting a Canon SLR I'd say: Eye AF should buy more low light performance than mono conversion.
    OTOH: If you think "shooting a mono would be fun", you are probably right.
  3. Well, by experience it is possible to visualize how a particular filter will look, black and white photography was done for a long time before the advent of electronic viewfinders. And the back LCD gives a confirmation of the camera's rendering of the scene.
  4. The same company is happy to sell you a Z7 Mono too.....;)

    Does the M10 sensor have microlenses?
  5. That whole website is full of camera goodies I've never seen anywhere else... time to sit down with a mug of coffee and do some reading. Still, that D850M is stuck in my brain ....
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  6. I bet that generates some amazing results under the right circumstances, but $5700 for a monochrome DSLR that needs software tricks to use the files seems like a big, big commitment. Are the advantages over doing a bw conversion of regular raw files enough to be worth it? A regular D850 generates a heck of a lot of image data to work with, and so does a Z7. Adorama is selling refurb Z7s for $2050.
  7. Ha, makes the D810A seem a bit tame now don't it..?
    kevin_beretta likes this.
  8. If only it was as simple as opening the door at step 567 in the D850 sensor fab plant and lifting out 20 'unfinished' chips.... ie just before the CFA is applied....:cool:
  9. In a mono sensor, is a pixel's luminance derived by the number of photons or the 'energy' of those photons.?

    ie a blue photon has more inherent energy than a red is 'brighter'?

    What is never divulged is the actual sensor response either before or after you rip off the CFA etc.

    So, just like in the first days of panchromatic B/W film, who knows what tone which colour comes out at?!!
  10. Silicon photodiodes are quite sensitive to red and near-infrared, so a sensor stripped of the CFA would likely have quite a stronger sensitivity to red and NIR light than the human eye. (Also the sensitivity to UV is higher, but typical lenses don't transmit much UV, so maybe it is not as big a problem.) This then should be corrected by using the appropriate filter to come up with a pleasing B&W rendering. I would assume that in the Leica Monochrom, Leica would have put an appropriate filter in place of the CFA?
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2020
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  11. Purpose built astro cameras often use "naked" sensors, sometimes without even a cover glass. Sensitivity to NIR is very high. I can see having a "Tri-X" filter and "Panatomic-X" filter to correct!
    mike_halliwell likes this.
  12. Unless they've put a UV/IR cut in there or their lenses are super apochromats, there's going to be an IR ghost image out of register with the (human) visible image.

    Is it just like panchromatic B/W film? More photons AND higher eV* make for more silver salt conversion? So bright red produces the same final tone as dark blue?

    *Edit. Shorter wavelength / higher frequency.
  13. To me, the ability to filter the monochrome result during conversion from a colour capture would well outweigh any 'improvement' in image quality from having someone rip the RGGB filter array off the sensor. And pay them handsomely for the priviledge.

    Sometimes you just don't want a pre-determined flat spectral response. So what you gonna do? Carry a bagful of filters around and mess about screwing them on the lens while the picture evaporates? When the camera was already pre-fitted with every one of those filters at the factory? That makes little sense.

    I've posted these before, but they're entirely relevant here.
    Full colour capture:
    B&W conversion variations:
    Those are crude and obvious examples, but the result can be as subtle as you like, and not just in the discrete steps that a Y2(K), O or #25 filter can give you.

    Plus a high-res camera like the D850 introduces such tiny CFA artefacts that you really have to scrutinise the image at a pixel-peeping level to notice their presence. While the visual impact of a change in spectral response is much more obvious.
  14. One of those is not like the rest.....:D
  15. ... and sometimes you do!

    Although it's a bit unusual, Multi-Spectral-Imaging relies on it!

    ... and yes a BIG bag of narrowband filters (£££) or a bunch of narrowband LED lights is needed (£)

    Having said that, just having 3 little LED torches, about 3W each, of R, G and B is quite fun and educational to demo. 3 colour theory.
  16. You heard about those things called filters? They offer all the tonal control needed.
    The improvement is in image resolution, of course. If you do not need that, do not get a camera or camera conversion that provides that.
    These modifications are about that: more resolution. At the cost of restriction to monochromatic and extra processing. The thing that we might want to modify the colour response in a monochromatic image is something else entirely. Red herring, through a blue filter. Has nothing to do with the reason these cameras exist or whether they are worth what they cost.
  17. Yup, Strawberrys look really weird lit with a Blue led torch!

    .... and not much better with a Green one.

    Mind you, the Channels and channel-mixer in PShop has a similar effect, but of course with a mono (converted) sensor, you're getting a full readout from EVERY pixel.

    If you took a full-res mono picture through the 3 standard process filters and recombined them, would it be any better than one from the un-modded sensor?

    It should be....:cool:
  18. It would be, though perhaps in a somewhat limited colour space.
  19. That doesn't sound to me like someone that's overly concerned with "more resolution. At the cost of restriction to monochromatic and extra processing." Or any of the other supposed advantages of a filterless sensor.

    More resolution? So, er, how come a standard Bayer array D850, or any other off-the-shelf digital camera without an AA filter, can be shown to resolve detail right up to the theoretical Nyquist limit of its photosite spacing?
    Sony's pixel-shift technology will do that without the hassle of swapping tri-colour filters.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2020

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