B&W processing software

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by drd1135, Jan 11, 2015.

  1. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    I'm considering getting some dedicated B&W software. I use PS and PS Elements so no LR stuff. Any suggestions?
  2. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Legend

    Sep 21, 2010
    Not too far from Philly
    you should be able to figure it out...
    My understanding is you can do a lot with PS itself, but I don't have any experience with that. But if you want more, I'm 99% sure you can use Silver Efex Pro with PS alone and I absolutely LOVE Silver Efex Pro. Topaz has a B&W plug in that's pretty well thought of, but I think Silver Efex is sort of the gold standard...

    • Like Like x 1
  3. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    I run my Nik plugins through an old version of Photoshop (CS3).
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Luke

    Luke Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Nov 11, 2011
    Milwaukee, WI USA
    I use SIlver Efex (part of the Nik software suite) as a plug-in with Photoshop Elements. It is the only way I process B & W (almost).
    • Like Like x 1
  5. I used both SEP and Topaz B&W and 9 out of 10 times, its SEP that I choose. That said, Topaz B&W Effects has just as many available options where parameter setting is concerned, and a lot more presets to fiddle with.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Boid

    Boid All-Pro

    Dec 15, 2011
    Bangalore, India
    Another thumbs up for SilverEfex. In fact the whole Niks Suite. I find myself using ColorEfex, Define (for noise control) and SharpenerPro quite often. Viveza is a good tool as well, especially for creating quick edits using luminosity masks, but one can have more precise control in PS, even from a single image (http://goodlight.us/writing/luminositymasks/luminositymasks-1.html).
    • Like Like x 1
  7. The 2 best I have found are Silver Efex Pro 2 (part of the Nik/Google bundle) and if you have a MAC then Tonality Pro is awesome!!!!
    • Like Like x 1
  8. pdh

    pdh Legend

    Jan 2, 2011
    • Like Like x 3
  9. ChangshaNotes

    ChangshaNotes Veteran

    Aug 26, 2012
    Changsha, Hunan, China
  10. Nuskyn

    Nuskyn Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    @Gelderland - the Netherlands
    Here the same... a perfect combination !!
  11. Lightmancer

    Lightmancer Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 13, 2011
    Sunny Frimley
    Bill Palmer
    Topaz Labs here. Very happy.
    • Like Like x 1
  12. bilzmale

    bilzmale Super Moderator Emeritus Subscribing Member

    Jul 17, 2010
    Perth, Western Australia
    Bill Shinnick
    If you have LR you can Google for free presets.

    For PS there are free actions you can Google.

    That said I still favour Silver Efex Pro 2.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. And sometimes I don't even want to bother with plugins. ACR works just fine. Plenty to play with, right there.


    Finished. And, of course, there are also lots of plugins which are for ACR itself.

    • Like Like x 1
  14. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Thanks folks. Topaz B&W effects is $60 vs. $150 for Silver Efex. I may try the free ones first so I can make a better decision as to what I want.
  15. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin Hall of Famer

    Dec 24, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Of course $150 for Silver Efex also buys you the entire Nik software suite. There is also a 15 day free trial for it as well. Assuming that you want to invest the time in processing, a software bundle like this gives you more bang for your buck than a camera upgrade.
  16. drd1135

    drd1135 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Lexington, Virginia
    Thanks. (I have to say that now since "like" is wrong :roll eyes:) I hadn't noticed that in the Google checkout.
  17. Its worth the money for the Nik suite. We all jumped on it, I think, after Google dropped its price from the stratospheric $499 that Nik was charging for it. Up until then, it was (koffkoff) "evaluation copy" for me.
  18. mattia

    mattia Regular

    Dec 20, 2013
    The NIK suite is really excellent value - a suite of great plugins that play very nicely together. Particularly for people like me who do want local adustments but are too lazy to sit there brushing things, it's an ideal package. I prefer using it in Photoshop due to the fact you get a new layer per adjustment/plugin you use..
  19. Woody112704

    Woody112704 Top Veteran

    Nov 7, 2013
    I also have SEP and like it a lot. If I had/liked Mac products I would probably have Macphuns Tonality Pro. That program looks pretty sweet. But here lately since getting OnOne's Perfect Effects Suite I've found myself using their B&W quite a bit. So that's another one to look into if you want to.
  20. RT Panther

    RT Panther All-Pro

    Dec 25, 2012