Night BW shot using old LX7

Hi All,

At the end of the year we headed out to try the new tram model that’s being introduced in Zürich. I took my small LX7, and put it in black-and-white mode, shooting raw.
I know that getting the ‘in-camera look’ is not the purpose of shooting raw; however, I cannot replicate the the amount of details (or, at least, perceived sharpness) the JPG preview in the raw file (despite being only 1920x1080) displays (check out the ‘Auzelg’ destination indication on the tram, the Yamaha sign on the right, or the shop displays and signs on the left). Any help would be much appreciated. I use darktable, but you’re welcome to post versions processed using any of our tools and toys.

These files are licensed Creative Commons, By-Attribution, Share-Alike.P1050600.RW2 (10.6 MB)


Grüzie, @kofa,

I am in the middle of totally recompling my main computer, so I have not been able to work as much as I had intended on your photo.

Here is a swift intermediary attempt, where I concentrated on Auzelg and Yamaha.:

P1050600.RW2.xmp (12.6 KB)

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Schweden

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The camera has done a great job with the JPG.

I can see the challenge with this and I’m looking forward to see how other more experienced users manage this image.

P1050600.RW2.xmp (10.4 KB)


P1050600.RW2.xmp (14.2 KB)

1 Like (16.0 KB) RawTherapee 5.8-2757-ga6341bc5e

That camera did a mighty fine job indeed :wink:


Yeah I don’t think I can beat the OOC JPEG but here’s my attempt in darktable 3.4…

P1050600.RW2.xmp (9.9 KB)


Very nice image and an excellent Play Raw! Thanks for sharing @kofa. Here is an attempt with RawTherapee 5.8.
P1050600.jpg.out.pp3 (12.7 KB)


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Thanks, everyone! You’ve all done way better than I have, despite having spent quite a bit of time on this image. I look forward to checking out all the sidecars and learn from you.


@kofa I own a very old predecessor to your LX7: the LX3.
Its noise levels are horrible! But darktable’s denoise (profiled) seems very good at handling that amount of noise.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Schweden

Here’s my attempt with Photoflow:

P1050600.jpg.pfi (31.5 KB)

I cheated a bit: The Yamaha sign is blurry on the red channel, so if you use mostly the green for the BW conversion, you get a nice clear sign. Unfortunately, the number 11 on the tram is white on a green background so it disappears. I masked the tram out and used the red channel for the tram and the green channel everywhere else.


Cheating? Absolutely not! Any trick that would result in a better image must be fully permitted!

I downloaded your jpg, loaded it as a sidecar file, and discovered I need a cube file. The message that appears saying that when you open the file doesn’t stay open long enough for me to get the name of the cube file. I have a lot of them from recommended sites and may have the file needed, but since I don’t know exactly which one it is, would you mind posting that?

@Underexposed: LOL I asked him a while ago. Just checked and he uses one from the same collection as back then.

ON1 LUTs (“free”) -> Black & White LUTs (you do need to leave an e-mail address and country)

The one used above is the BW3

Thanks, and a tip o’ the hat.

P1050600 P1050600.RW2color.xmp (20.1 KB)

P1050600.RW2.xmp (14.6 KB) P1050600_01


One thing I have determined is filmic turns the number sign, top, front of bus, to all white. Yet, playing around with all the settings brought no improvement. @aurelienpierre What could explain that?

Uploading: P1050600.jpg…

P1050600.jpg.out.pp3 (11.6 KB)

1 Like

Thanks – but you did blow out much of the highlights (not that they are important), and lost the number 11 on the tram, too (and the tram is the subject). The colour version by @age is very close to the original scene.

@kofa I am still concentrating on bringing out the text.
How about ths attempt, trying to look like having been printed onto a warm tone paper?

Untitled_1.1.2.jpg.xmp (3.0 KB)

PS: And if you do not like the tone I picked, just change it in darktable’s color balance module.

Have fun!
Claes in Lund, Sweden

1 Like