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White Balance
Old 09-07-2008, 01:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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With all the gadgets on the market claiming to be great for doing a custom white balance, what have you found works best?

1) Expodisc
2) Color Charts
3) Balance Smarter (advertised on shootsmarter.com)
4) Camera's Kelvin temp
5) all others

Trying to get white balance correct is within it self somewhat of a challenge but, to many "claims to fame" to choose from.
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-07-2008, 02:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well if it's sunny outside I set it to sun on the dial. If i am shooting in a studio I set it to flash. The reason I don't do a custom setting for wb is because I always seem to adjust it in raw anyway.
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-07-2008, 02:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Well ever since I attended a Rolando function, I set it on 6000.

If you shoot RAW and if you convert in Photo Shop you can play around with the different settings and see what you like best...
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-07-2008, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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There are a number of good products on the market that you can use to get a Custom White Balance and there are a number of variables in how you would use them and how they work. All of them work to a greater or lesser degree and you just have to chose one that fits your style and workflow.

The one I use and have had the best success with is the Photo Vision Target. In addition to setting a Custom White Balance the Photo Vision Target can help you in other ways. I bought mine a year or so ago at a local camera shop for $69.00 and it came with a DVD and as far as I am concerned the DVD alone is worth that price.

Basically, you make an exposure of the Target (and it can be used in either RAW or JPG) and you look at the in camera Histogram. When you have your exposure right you will see three spikes that are slightly skewed to the right.

Once you have your exposure correct you use that frame as a reference frame to do a Custom White Balance in your particular camera,

The nice thing about the Photo Vision Target is that if you shoot and process in RAW you can import the Baseline frame and use it to set the White Point and the Black Point in Adobe Bridge for a series of images that have similar exposure characteristics.

For me I do a Custom White Balance every time a model changes outfits and also every time I change locations and it has made a huge difference in the quality of the exposures of my images.

I know this is a lot of information and I hope I have made it clear. If it isn't put a response in this thread with your question(s) and I will answer them for you. Good luck
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-08-2008, 12:45 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Most of the time I will use a gray card. Not only can it set the white balance but will also set the proper exposure when done correctly.
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-08-2008, 01:16 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chief View Post
With all the gadgets on the market claiming to be great for doing a custom white balance, what have you found works best?

1) Expodisc
2) Color Charts
3) Balance Smarter (advertised on shootsmarter.com)
4) Camera's Kelvin temp
5) all others

Trying to get white balance correct is within it self somewhat of a challenge but, to many "claims to fame" to choose from.

I've got an Expodisc that I use when I'm shooting JPEG. If I'm shooting RAW, I set it to automatic because I'm going to set it up in Photoshop, anyway.
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-08-2008, 10:20 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thank you all for your response, your inputs are greatly appreciated.
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Re: White Balance
Old 09-09-2008, 12:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Alas, they left out the most accurate one. I mean if accuracy matters to you and the type of shooting you do. It doesn't for all photogrpahers and doens't need to.

If you shoot with on camera flash, the expo disc won't work. It can't. The photo vision is pretty good, but those I have tested weren't spot on for color accuracy.

I like the compact size, the certified accuracy (each one is tested) and the durability of the Whi-Bal card.

Kodak 18% Gray cards are all over the map for color so I really don't recommend those for color balance.

Setting custom white balance will reduce the loss and amount of work both in JPEG and RAW and will give you a uniform starting point for your adjustments to taste.
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