Processing B&W

I have PL4 and Nik 2. I enjoy processing B&W images. I find PL4 very limited compared to Silver Efex for B&W. On the downside, I have to change my file format before I can process in Silver Efex. I see many use Filmpack for processing B&W. Presently my workflow is processing in PL4 to get best image quality and then finishing B&W conversion with Silver Efex.
What are some opinions and other B&W workflows out there?
Any suggestions on image manipulation for B&W in PL4?


If you don’t already have it, I would highly recommend FilmPack, which will integrate into PhotoLab.

I use it extensively and it gives stunning results.

Hi Craig.

Same for me as Joanna, I use FilmPack for B&W inside PL unless there is really something I can’t do with that.
Like that I keep trace easily of all work in .dop sidecar file without big intermediate tif file.


Mark - a forum member - has made Presets for all films from Filmpack. They are nice to use: PhotoLab presets for FilmPack 5 film types are now available!

Attached is the link to the current FilmPack presets which I updated after some errors were discovered in some of them.


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Do I have to purchase Filmpack to enable these presets in DXO?

Since they have been made for FilmPack, yes

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As @Joanna indicated you need a license for FilmPack to use them, specificlly FilmPack 5 Elite. Although I’ve never used it, I believe the standard version of FilmPack 5 does not support all the film types and is missing some other features.


Hi Craig,
if you have not decided yet … Since very long I have been processing my images with PS + NIK Filters. And still today with PL4 and the other stuff, SilverEfex always has been my favourite for B&W.

In case you are interested, at present you can get an update for the complete Nik Collection with some discount.

While now you can reedit Tif-files, there are also a couple of recipies added (also to Nik SilverEfex – quite often I use 2 different settings with PS layers and masks to ‘separate’ the subject …). It’s very rare, that I might need to correct the B&W version in PL. Dodge & burn happens in PS (I don’t get my Wacom Tablet to work in PL as I would like – I’m on Windows).
Then, for FineArt printing I make a new copy with all layers reduced, the picture resized to the exact final output and sharpened with Nik OutputSharpener (extra layer in case of different paper …).
have fun, Wolfgang