I've started experimenting with digital black and white whilst making some seascapse with the 5x4 Linof Technika IV and colour sheet film. The weather condition chosen was the mist and fog hanging around Encounter Bay on the southern Fleurieu Peninsula over the Xmas/New Year period (2023-24).
I've never had much success with digital black and white conversions from a colour digital file using the Sony A7 R111--- the results have always been disappointing, as the images have looked bland and muddy. The recent seascapes and fog offered me an opportunity to experiment to see if I could create something better. The above 'behind the camera' image is an example of this experiment.
The reason for why the standard bland looking images result from the digital b+w conversions lies in the nature of digital. on his Imaging Resource website David Etchells usefully points this out in passing whilst he is digging into, and evaluating, Fujifilm's various colour presets on their digital cameras.
He says that changing the color mode from RGB to Grayscale in Photoshop (or Lightroom) just removes the colour information from the image, leaving behind the luminance or brightness data. The contrast and effective color sensitivity will then depend a lot on the characteristics of the color original, but in general, this luminance-only conversion tends to produce bland-looking images.
Etchells observes that you can of course just bump up the contrast in Photoshop, or even use the Curves control to create a custom tone curve, but his experience is that he's never been as happy with the results he could achieve as when was making the black and white prints from the black and white film negatives in the darkroom. Ditto, for me with my scanned b+w film images.
Etchells was impressed by Fufj's monochromatic film simulation that mimics a specific family of Fuji's film, specifically the Neopan ACROS series. The ACROS-simulated images look good to his eye. Another digital b+w option is the specialised Leica M11 Monochrom. I cannot afford it, nor am I interested in just a black and white digital camera.
So I continue to use b+w film with my medium format cameras given that my black and white digital conversions only work for the odd image.