problems with color balance cards

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by kkamin, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. kkamin

    kkamin TPF Noob!

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    I've never had great success with color balance cards.

    Right now I am using a Michael Tapes pocket gray card that is supposed to be within 0.5 on the a & b channels for the gray patch (comes with black and white patches too). I used it in my most recent shoot where I had only one light. After I balance off the card in Adobe Camera Raw, my images don't look good--the color temperature is off in the image-the green/magenta amounts as well as the Kelvin temp. I am working off a color calibrated monitor.

    I usually end up balancing by eye and using neutral points in the image for numerical reference. It seems like the gray card's only use for me is so I can look professional in front of my clients.

    Does anyone have any ideas or have had similar problems?
     
  2. tertius

    tertius TPF Noob!

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    I use WhiBal and it seems to do good.
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    One would consider that strange for two reasons. The card is grey visually, and the program will attempt to adjust the entire image to make sure the card appears grey.

    Here's a question, regardless of what you see, when you white balance against your grey card, is it actually grey? I.e. are the RGB values nearly the same?

    Having a calibrated monitor does not mean you're not looking at your screen with rose coloured glasses. For instance if you have bright fluros in your room your eyes will white balance to them rather than the monitor. Does grey actually look grey on your monitor?

    Then there's always personal preferences. Grey does not mean good. I too use a grey card, and then more often than not bump the warmth up slightly for portraits because quite frankly it usually makes for a better image, grey light be dammed.
     
  4. Andrew Boyd

    Andrew Boyd TPF Noob!

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  5. Derrel

    Derrel Mr. Rain Cloud

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    Some Nikon bodies have WB settings that simply do not look "right" at the appropriate Kelvin WB settings,and the settings one uses need to be custom-tailored to suit the desired end result. The D2x is such a camera...I do not find the normal WB settings to be "right" using Adobe RGB profiles and on-scene WB settings...same with the older Fuji S2 Pro. I think it is like fine-tuning a cooking recipe--your oven might be hotter or cooler than the "book" says...
     

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