Tonality Pro… A Five Minute Review

Walking With Giants #12a

There’s a new black & white conversion tool doing the rounds; it’s called Tonality Pro and produced by Macphun Software. I’ve downloaded the trial version to see what all the fuss is about.

And the fuss is pretty much deserved! It’s a very nice, simple to use piece of software a little in the vein of Niksoft’s Silver Efex Pro2 but with more whistles and bells. It can be used as a stand alone program or as a plug-in for Photoshop, Elements, Lightroom and Aperture. The workspace provides details of the image you’re working on in the top left of the screen i.e. ISO settings, lens, aperture and shutter speed.

The image is converted to an “average” mono one leaving you free to tweak everything using the various settings: Tone, Clarity & Structure, Colour Filters with the ability to tweak both luminance and saturation, Tone Curve, Split Toning with eight presets and the facility to tweak highlights and shadows, Glow, Lens Blur, Texture Overlay, Vignette, Grain, Image Frames and Opacity.

There is the facility to use Layers (HURRAH!) and there’s a nice collection of Presets: Basic, Architecture, Portrait, Dramatic, Outdoor, Street, Vintage, Film Emulation, Toning and HDR. There is the option to select Favourites or User Presets.

Using the old adage “manuals are for wimps” approach, I’ve dived straight into using the software. The image above is the result of tinkering for a few minutes. I chose to use film emulation because I like to make my images look as if they are made using film. Theres 8 Ilford emulsions, 6 from Kodak, 2 Fuji and 2 Agfa. I picked a Fuji one because the image was made using my X-Pro1; it was a good choice.

I’ve increased the exposure and contrast a little, dropped the highlights and boosted the shadows and reduced the black point slightly. When I was satisfied I added a little structure, a tad of  glow, a little lens blur and a subtle vignette.

I’m very pleased with the outcome but clearly I’ll need to find out what all the various sliders do. Macphun have produced a number of training videos so I guess that this evening will be taken up watching YouTube!

First impressions are good to very good. It helped having working knowledge of Silver Efex Pro2.

I’ll process one or two more images later this week to see how Tonality Pro copes with landscapes and street.

Pros:

  • Quite easy to use based on first impressions;
  • Good value for money – £41.99 for the Pro version and £13.99  for the non-Pro;
  • Good choice of presets;

Cons:

  • Based on this very quick conversion I can’t see anything I don’t like. It is V1.0.0 (build 741) so I’m guessing that there will be updates in due course as the software becomes more popular.

Camera details: Fujifilm X-Pro1 with Fujinon 35mm ƒ1.4 lens, 1/250 sec @ ƒ10; no filters

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