Managing White Balance

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Birma
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Managing White Balance

Unread postby Birma » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:21 pm

I'm after some help and advice please.

I would like to take more control over white balance myself, rather than leaving Auto white balance set in the camera and then trying to tweak to taste in Light Room. After a brief look around there seem to be a few options. (This is mainly for landscapes and outdoor macro.)

1. An 18% grey card or similar. The big plus is that this seems to be the cheapest option. The minus is that you have to place the card somewhere in the scene and then zoom in until only the card is in the frame. Not always so easy in an landscape situation.

2. Similar to 1, but more expensive are targets that have grey, black and white and (I guess) allow you balance across a range?

3. Next step us is something like this X-Rite ColorChecker Passport http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-x-rite-colorchecker-passport/p1033495 . More expensive, complex, and possibly more control I suppose.

4. Rather than reflected light methods are the filter methods which seem to have the benefit that you adjust based on what is coming in to the camera which seems easier to set up. The ExpoDisc seems a good choice, if expensive. http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-expodisc-77mm/p1005591

I'm happy to shell out for options 3 or 4 if they are going to make an easier workflow. (I will be using Light Room 3 for PP.)

Any thoughts from the group?
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.

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Dr. Harout
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Re: Managing White Balance

Unread postby Dr. Harout » Sat Jul 28, 2012 6:37 pm

I'll be content too with some answers.
A99 + a7rII + Sony, Zeiss, Minolta, Rokinon and M42 lenses

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Greg Beetham
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Re: Managing White Balance

Unread postby Greg Beetham » Sun Jul 29, 2012 1:29 pm

Birma did you know the camera has an inbuilt colour meter of sorts, it’s not nearly as sophisticated as a professional handheld colour meter of course but you can put the camera into calibration mode (separate to AWB) and take photos for the prevailing light conditions. It’s very easy to do, all you need is a white handkerchief laid on the ground and take the calibration shot of that, the image appears on the rear screen for you to check, you can brighten it up with maybe +.3 exposure comp for another shot but from what I’ve seen while dabbling with the KM5D and it’s Custom WB today (and a colour checker chart in various locations) it doesn’t usually need it. It seems to work ok actually and the calibration setting stays until you switch to another WB mode like Kelvin or one of the WB presets or AWB etc.
Greg

I wasn't going to spend time on images to downsize them for the web (when you guys can do tests yourselves), but here is one anyway handheld inside under fluro light (not overly bright).
KM5D KM24-105 (all camera embelishments either off or set to zero, as usual for me)
PICT2074-1.jpg
PICT2074-1.jpg (61.04 KiB) Viewed 2165 times

And another outside in direct sun also with Custom calibration WB
PICT2076.jpg
PICT2076.jpg (151.55 KiB) Viewed 2165 times

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Birma
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Re: Managing White Balance

Unread postby Birma » Sun Jul 29, 2012 11:46 pm

Thanks for the description Greg - I will give a plain white target a try.
Nex 5, Nex 6 (IR), A7M2, A99 and a bunch of lenses.


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