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i wonder why fuji never made a x-pro-monochrome...
Old 01-29-2017   #1
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i wonder why fuji never made a x-pro-monochrome...

fuji made so many models based on the one 16mb sensor and now the 24mb...
i would have thought that of all the manufacturers fuji would have taken the leap/chance on a solo b&w camera...just imagine an expro monochrome?!
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Old 01-29-2017   #2
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Perhaps like politics, lobbyist for B&W Plugins & Presets paid off Fuji so they could sell their product.

I don't shoot digital but I'd think editing software is really good now. Is b&w better straight out of a sensor or through conversion?
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Old 01-29-2017   #3
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Would not be surprised if they did this at some point, some kinda limited edition. They've been probably most responsive maker listening hopes and wishes of customers. And it would fit well their retro looking models too.

Bayer vs. Xtrans question would be irrelevant with such a model. It would be more of a generic Sony sensor turned monochrome?
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Old 01-29-2017   #4
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They claimed that they investigated the idea and found no real IQ benefit over their own sensor. I also just think it's expensive to do and they're not interested in being so niche. Fuji will tell to use Acros mode I would bet. I'll keep using actual Acros.
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Old 01-29-2017   #5
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I would imagine a few in the engineering and marketing dept were game but the accountants probably cut them off at shareholder pass.
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Old 01-29-2017   #6
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I agree. They came out with a UV camera....and I would think a mono version would outsell a UV model 20/1. And I question any claim that a true mono version offers no benefit....Leica proved that false
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Old 01-29-2017   #7
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Is it credible that they could offer a sensor swap for anyone wanting mono?
Is that physically possible?
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Old 01-29-2017   #8
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Too niche for a company which has to compete in the consumer realm. Monochrome is the realm of boutique companies.
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Old 01-29-2017   #9
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Interesting question Joe. Actually, my X100 is "permanently" set to monochrome and sometimes with filters, that's the way I use it. For colour, I use other gear. So what I've "created" for myself a kind of poor person's Monochrome. I've had all kinds of fun with it and take it just about everywhere. Regards. Tony
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Old 01-29-2017   #10
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Arguably, the entire X line is so good for B/W that they already have.
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Old 01-29-2017   #11
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Would only make sense if it would produce images that were obviously better than what you can get now. Demonstrably, obviously better to untrained eyes.
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Old 01-29-2017   #12
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Considering Fuji has roughly a 1% market share, I doubt they want to to put R&D money into niche models that won't sell. Leica can get away with charging $7500 for the Monochrom because their customers are used to paying those premiums, but a B&W-only Fuji over $2k would probably flop.

Either way, I've gotten great black & white results from off-the-shelf X-trans sensors, especially once you disable the aggressive noise reduction. I actually prefer converting to B&W in post - having the colour data available gives you so much more control over contrast and tones. I doubt the modest resolution gain from a true monochrome sensor would be worth losing that!
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Old 01-29-2017   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jsrockit View Post
Too niche for a company which has to compete in the consumer realm. Monochrome is the realm of boutique companies.
Nonsense. They made a UV camera that would have 1% the interest of mono
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Old 01-29-2017   #14
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Originally Posted by Faintandfuzzy View Post
Nonsense. They made a UV camera that would have 1% the interest of mono
If anything, a UV-IR model makes more sense from a marketing perspective. They're the only ones that sell a full-spectrum large-sensor camera new out of the box - any other camera requires expensive aftermarket conversion. There are tons of scientific and industrial applications for full-spectrum, so I see that doing well.
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Old 01-29-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faintandfuzzy View Post
Nonsense. They made a UV camera that would have 1% the interest of mono
UV cameras have many applications in forensic photography. Bigger market than a monochrome camera.

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Old 01-29-2017   #16
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There was an interview when one of the managers said they studied it as a possible product but decided to offer the ACROS bw mode instead. To be honest, that acros film sim is damn good...
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Old 01-29-2017   #17
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i understand the acros is very good but i'd have to buy another camera to get it.
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Old 01-29-2017   #18
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It never seems to occur to me to shoot digital B&W. I want to give my film Leicas something to do! So I carry an M9 and a film M in my bag.
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Old 01-29-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i understand the acros is very good but i'd have to buy another camera to get it.
I feel your pain. I'm still on an x-t1 and I really really want that acros.
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Old 01-29-2017   #20
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A monochrome camera would have two advantages: a little more detail and better high ISO. But it would also have no highlight recovery. I believe the Acros simulation is generally better, for most purposes and most photographers. It offers highlight recovery (in Raw in Lightroom) and built-in filter options (red & yellow). I doubt I would buy a dedicated monochrome camera.
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Old 01-29-2017   #21
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I'm not sure why Monochrom is nessesesary. I've had and have some cameras with so-so bw SOOC and some with great SOOC BW, but none of them are Monochrom. I was looking at Fuji 16MP BW and it was good, IMO, without Monochrom version.
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Old 01-29-2017   #22
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A better question is why Leica thought they should. :/
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Old 01-30-2017   #23
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A better question is why Leica thought they should. :/
This......................^^^^^^^^^
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Old 01-30-2017   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
They claimed that they investigated the idea and found no real IQ benefit over their own sensor.
And I would believe them. The Leica Monochromes only make sense for sensors with low max. ISO. Fuji seems to be engineering, not marketing driven.
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Old 01-30-2017   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Faintandfuzzy View Post
Nonsense. They made a UV camera that would have 1% the interest of mono
While I don't think what I said was nonsense, you do bring up a good point.
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Old 01-30-2017   #26
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They could introduce fixed lens model with different coatings for mono-sensor. Like Voigtländer SC vs MC lenses.

Am not so worried abt niche argument. Different niches are where camera makers make money these days. Pro market like it used to be have almost disappeared, and mass market gone phone cameras. All that's left is enthusiast market with appetite for niche of their preference.
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Old 01-30-2017   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SaveKodak View Post
They claimed that they investigated the idea and found no real IQ benefit over their own sensor. I also just think it's expensive to do and they're not interested in being so niche. Fuji will tell to use Acros mode I would bet. I'll keep using actual Acros.
if they said it it isn't true.

http://www.red.com/learn/red-101/col...camera-sensors

http://www.azooptics.com/Article.aspx?ArticleID=1122
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Old 01-30-2017   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by back alley View Post
i understand the acros is very good but i'd have to buy another camera to get it.

And you're expecting to get a free Fuji Monochrome if they make such a thing?

On a more serious note Joe any Fuji stuff I see in the digital black and white thread always impresses me but like you I would like to see it happen ... a dedicated camera. I lusted after a Leica MM for two years and turned myself inside out over the price but never did it thankfully and once the Nik software became a free download from google I tried Silver Effex and really liked it. That effectively killed off the remaining Monochrom lust.

A monochrom XPRO2 would interest me depending on price.
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Old 01-31-2017   #29
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And I would believe them. The Leica Monochromes only make sense for sensors with low max. ISO. Fuji seems to be engineering, not marketing driven.

In my view the Monochrome 262 is the very best platform for B&W work. But I am unable to see how maximum ISO differences are relevant to B&W rendering.

Maximum ISO for the Monochrome is 256,000 which is only one stop lower than the X-Pro 2's maximum of 512,000.

ISO increases are achieved using in-camera electronic and, or digital multiplication.

When one does what the meter suggests, increasing the ISO parameter always decreases sensor exposure when the shutter is open compared to the maximum possible exposure (which would be at base ISO). As ISO increases the decrease in signal (due to under exposure) is more significant than the increase in noise.

At maximum ISO all contemporary cameras resort to digital multiplication of the of the raw file numbers (data numbers) to increase brightness. At the highest ISO values all brands automatically apply some type of high-pass filtering in-camera to average noise (even for raw files).

In my opinion the Monochrome 246 has the best B&W image rendering because it is engineered for monochrome rendering. When one considers Leica's optical engineering expertise, manufacturing standards and use of high quality materials in to the mix, the Monochrome 246 would be difficult to beat.
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Old 01-31-2017   #30
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And you're expecting to get a free Fuji Monochrome if they make such a thing?

On a more serious note Joe any Fuji stuff I see in the digital black and white thread always impresses me but like you I would like to see it happen ... a dedicated camera. I lusted after a Leica MM for two years and turned myself inside out over the price but never did it thankfully and once the Nik software became a free download from google I tried Silver Effex and really liked it. That effectively killed off the remaining Monochrom lust.

A monochrom XPRO2 would interest me depending on price.
not expecting anything for free ...but buying a new camera for some software upgrade (acros) is hard to reason for me...
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Old 01-31-2017   #31
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Whitney View Post
Interesting question Joe. Actually, my X100 is "permanently" set to monochrome and sometimes with filters, that's the way I use it. For colour, I use other gear. So what I've "created" for myself a kind of poor person's Monochrome. I've had all kinds of fun with it and take it just about everywhere. Regards. Tony
I have done the same thing with my X100S and X-E1, Tony, but still shoot only in RAW. I only print and display mono images so the VF gives me an idea of what is possible. I would love to at least try a Monochrom but even renting is more than I want to pay. Maybe I will win the lottery some day....
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Old 01-31-2017   #32
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Re: UV/IR model. Making that change is relatively straightforward; companies like Kolari Vision offer it as an aftermarket service. In contrast, the color filter array seems to be more tightly integrated into the sensor itself. So, a monochrome camera requires spec'ing a whole new sensor rather than just slightly modifying the manufacturing process.

Re: benefits of monochrome sensor. To me, it comes down to the character of the noise, which is always an issue at high ISO but can also be an issue at low ISO with significant processing (such as is almost always the case with high dynamic range scenes, aka bright daylight). Let's simplify things and assume that "noise" means that an arbitrary sensel incorrectly reports a value of 255 rather than the tone of the actual scene. When the image is derived from interpolated values from neighboring sensels, this means that at least three other pixels are affected in a Bayer filter, with more than that likely in an X-Trans filter, but no other pixels are affected in a monochrome camera. At this level, then, a 24 megapixel Bayer camera could be meaningfully compared to a 6 megapixel monochrome camera. For some applications, this is not a meaningful advantage; for others, it makes all the difference.

In brief: monochrom sensors yield images that have finer details and smoother fields than color sensors of comparable technology and at the same image resolution and pixel pitch.

Why hasn't Fuji offered a monochrome camera? Well, I'd guess it is because the trade-offs are difficult to understand, and forcing consumers to choose between products without clear differentiators is a recipe for marketing failure. Offering a monochrome camera is tantamount to admitting that the color camera's B&W images are inferior, which they are even if they remain excellent, but which never sounds good to a prospective customer. Moreover, a monochrome camera sacrifices the possibility of correcting lateral chromatic aberrations in software, not to mention emulating the color responses of different filmstocks. So there are engineering, finance, marketing, and customer satisfaction concerns.

Leica and Phase can get away with it because they are already far enough up the ladder of diminishing returns that customers are expected to understand the hardships they'll endure to achieve the other benefits of those systems. Fuji is far more mass-market and therefore needs to be more pragmatic in its designs -- although both the dwindling/upmarket-trending dedicated camera market and the GFX system might open doors here.

At least, that's my $0.02.

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Old 01-31-2017   #33
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not expecting anything for free ...but buying a new camera for some software upgrade (acros) is hard to reason for me...
It isn't just software though, ACROS needs the faster processor in the newer cameras to work. The way it handles noise is totally different and apparently unable to run on the earlier processors. That is also why ACROS in post isn't the same thing as ACROS in camera. It is more than just a tone curve.

More about ACROS:
http://fujifilm-x.com/x-stories/the-...ulation-acros/
https://jonasraskphotography.com/201...2/acros-again/

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Old 01-31-2017   #34
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I agree. They came out with a UV camera....and I would think a mono version would outsell a UV model 20/1. And I question any claim that a true mono version offers no benefit....Leica proved that false
Leica weren't using an XTrans sensor though.

I assume if they've said that they've investigated it, then they've probably given it a try
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Old 01-31-2017   #35
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Regarding highlight recovery: how about a monochrome camera with a checkerboard pattern of ND (full spectrum) filters, let's say ND2 on 1/2 the pixels? The RAW processing would be easy, almost trivial. The resolution, noise characteristics, and most importantly the dynamic range would be dramatically better than any color sensor converted to monochrome.

The lack of imagination, ingenuity, innovation is astonishing. The manufacturers keep building 1000's of essentially the same camera.

The technology would be more likely to appear in a cell phone camera than an enthusiast camera the way the market has been heading (and probably explains the sales and usage figures).

From what I can tell Fuji didn't even bother to make a dedicated monochrome film when they released "monochrome" Instax-- just left out the color from the re-hashed regular film.
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Old 01-31-2017   #36
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Regarding highlight recovery: how about a monochrome camera with a checkerboard pattern of ND (full spectrum) filters, let's say ND2 on 1/2 the pixels? The RAW processing would be easy, almost trivial. The resolution, noise characteristics, and most importantly the dynamic range would be dramatically better than any color sensor converted to monochrome.
I think you can so something similar with the Sigma Merrill sensor. Top layer if full spectrum, and converts to very high quality monochrome in full resolution. Next two layers are at a lower exposure (about a stop each) and can be used as part of a monochrome conversion. I believe this is essentially what Iridient Developer does with the Foveon Monochrome XDR raw process option.

The other option for this would be a monochrome version of Fuji's older SuperCCD or EXR sensors. With the last versions of the EXR (with same sized pixels) you could choose between double the resolution or greater DR.

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Old 02-01-2017   #37
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...
Re: benefits of monochrome sensor. To me, it comes down to the character of the noise, which is always an issue at high ISO but can also be an issue at low ISO with significant processing (such as is almost always the case with high dynamic range scenes, aka bright daylight). Let's simplify things and assume that "noise" means that an arbitrary sensel incorrectly reports a value of 255 rather than the tone of the actual scene. ...
Jon
This is an excellent definition of noise: the difference between true, but unknown, value for a parameter estimate. In this case the parameter estimate is a number in the raw file representing the total charge accumulated by a sensel.
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Old 02-01-2017   #38
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In my view the Monochrome 262 is the very best platform for B&W work. But I am unable to see how maximum ISO differences are relevant to B&W rendering.

Maximum ISO for the Monochrome is 256,000 which is only one stop lower than the X-Pro 2's maximum of 512,000.
Technically/Theoretically you are right, sure.

Compared to the same sensor with thin de-mosaic filter, a monochrome sensor theoretically gives you (1) about 20% more resolution and (2) ~2 stops more iso. I remember some early 262 tests that systematically compared noise and resolution to the 240, and showed that in practice, the 262 makes you gain a single stop to get to comparable noise and resolution at high ISO (>= 1600 ASA).

Both (1) and (2) were more useful with the "Ur Monochrome" due to the sensor limitations of the M9. Now, with >= 24 MPixel, and > 100k ISO, yes there will be improvement, and the owner will get bragging rights on places like RFF, but how useful is it really in practice compared to what you loose ? I'm not talking dollars, but the ability with a color sensor to change filtering in post or generate filtered in-camera B+W JPG files (as I do both with my 240 and X100s). Of course making that trade-off is an individual decision, but I wouldn't. The Fuji marketing department seems to agree with me.

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Old 02-02-2017   #39
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Technically/Theoretically you are right, sure.

Compared to the same sensor with thin de-mosaic filter, a monochrome sensor theoretically gives you (1) about 20% more resolution and (2) ~2 stops more iso. I remember some early 262 tests that systematically compared noise and resolution to the 240, and showed that in practice, the 262 makes you gain a single stop to get to comparable noise and resolution at high ISO (>= 1600 ASA).
Roland.
Statistical analyses of unrendered raw file data shows the 262's signal-to-noise ratio is about a stop better at ISO 800 and above.[1] It also shows below ISO 800 the 262's SNR is about a stop lower than the Type 240 .

Here's similar data comparing total noise levels of the two sensors before ISO amplification or digitization.

If the absence of a color-filter array was solely responsible for signal-to-noise differences, the M262 would be better at base ISO as well.

A camera's maximum possible ISO parameter setting means very little. When ISO is set that high, brands mathematically filter raw data in-camera to average noise. In my view maximum ISO is a basically a marketing tool.

What counts are the analog dynamic range as base ISO and the relative shadow region image quality at ISOs of 800 to 1600.

The raw file signal-to-noise ratio determines the maximum dynamic range.

At ISO 1600, a shadow region with a three stops under exposure compared to the brightest highlight region(s) in the frame would require an ISO equivalent to 128,000 to be rendered with the same brightness.

The signal-to-noise ratios for the M240 and MM262 are excellent and similar.


[1] Dynamic range is directly proportional to the datas' signal-to-noise ratio.
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Old 02-02-2017   #40
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You guys lost me at the technical stuff. I'm more interested in what the picture looks like than how the camera works. You can get really bogged down in this minutiae. Most people, most of the time are really fine with the mono images they get from their regular sensors.
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