The other day a buddy of mine asked me what I used to convert my images to black and white on my iPhone and iPad. My response was either Instagram or Photoshop Express. The question got me thinking though, "I wonder if there are any GOOD black and white conversion Apps" so I went searching. I tried out literally 20+ B&W Apps before I found MonoPhix, but I couldn't be happier with this App. On my Macbook Pro and in Photoshop, I have found that the best software for specific tasks like black and white conversion is software that is specifically designed to do that task and little else. The same is true on the iOS platform, and with MonoPhix. MonoPhix is designed for little else than black and white/sepia conversion. Sure there is an exposure slider but it's not my first choice because there are Apps designed to do just that.
Black and White done the right way
When I convert color images to black and white I want to control my shadows and highlights. I want to be able to create contrast and avoid bland flat looking images. MonoPhix allows me to do that. With the Light and Dark shade intensity sliders I can simulate a tone curve similar to Photoshop on my computer. Each slider does what it sounds like. The light slider will increase or decrease the highlights and the dark slider will increase or decrease the shadows areas. This is nice, but they take it a step further. Under the processing tab you are able to adjust the total black and white conversion as if it's a separate layer! Fade your newly converted black and white with your background "layer" to create a vintage look.
Color adjustment for sepia is superb with this App. Not only are there default tabs for B&W, Sepia, and Antique, but you can also adjust and apply Red, Green, and Blue to each image to obtain the desired tint. The really makes for precise colored effects and tons of possibilities when doing sepia, or other colored effects to black and white images.
Another optional slider within one of the tabs is Noise/Grain Generator. This slider really lets you add just the right amount of grain to your images to create classic film black and white style images. With just a little or a lot of grain you can have your black and whites as textured as you want them.
Vignetting comes with it's very own tab in MonoPhix. Under this tab you are presented with a slider to adjust the amount of vignette around your image just as you'd expect. The vignette seems to be feathered nicely and you are presented with both a burn and a bleach option for the vignette color.
A Few Settings to Note
On the iPad version you are able to control the preview size. I changed mine to 600px(largest) because I want to utilize all of the preview area that I can. The App says that you might see a slowdown in performance at this size however I didn't see any. On the iPhone 4 you are able to utilize the Retina display and view your images in higher resolution. Again they claim a slowdown in performance might be seen however I haven't experienced a noticeable slowdown at all yet. This last little thing isn't a setting, but it's worth noting. The Help button under the settings tab will open up the help page on PheonxSoftware website which is worth giving a look. It really has some helpful information about using this App.
Couple of additions…
Never one to leave well enough alone I have a few things that I'd like to see added to the App. First, there is no option for landscape view. On the iPhone I understand this, however there is enough screen real estate that a landscape view could be accommodated. I would also like to see a feather control for the vignetting. The ability to adjust the hardness of the vignette edge and the shape would be nice. I know these are small things, but I want this App to be perfect!
Like I said earlier, Apps like this have to be focused on one primary thing to be really great. MonoPhix is really great! It does Black and white/Sepia conversion very, very well. From now on, I fully plan on using this for all of my black and white conversion and adjustment on my iPhone and iPad.
Get MonoPhix for the iPhone for $.99 from the iTunes store here:
Get MonoPhix for the iPad for $1.99 from the iTunes store here: