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Thread: custom white balance doubts..

  1. #1
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    Partha

    custom white balance doubts..

    hi, i wanted to know how does the custom white balance bring out the colors in the picture properly

    for instance, let's say that the ambient light is red in color and the subject is under the influence of that color

    now in that case with the custom white balance, does the camera try to remove that red tint from the picture to bring out the colors properly..?

    or is there another way the camera does this..
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 9th November 2011 at 12:40 AM.

  2. #2
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: custom white balance doubts..

    Hi Partha,

    Welcome to the CiC forums.

    At a basic level, what you probably want is Auto WB.

    To set a custom WB, you will need to expose a grey card, placed in the light source.

    I don't go to that trouble, if you shoot RAW, it can always be corrected in post processing.

    Someone that uses custom WB will probably be along soon to advise better how it is done, as I say, I have no practical experience.

    Cheers,

  3. #3

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    Re: custom white balance doubts..

    Custom white balance will produce corrected colors if the light source behaves as a black body radiator (the sun behaves well). You will run across light sources that are not so well behaved, such as sodium vapor lights. In that case, all bets are off.

    I prefer setting a custom white balance to using auto because auto can be fooled, just as auto exposure can be fooled. Buy a WhiBal card and you'll nail your white balance every time.

  4. #4

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    Re: custom white balance doubts..

    Hi Partha,

    The short answer is "yes".

    A longer answer is "yes, but (a) it's not always perfect, and (b) there are other (better?) ways to white-balance a shot (eg using a grey card)".

  5. #5
    PRSearls's Avatar
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    Re: custom white balance doubts..

    Camera sensors can vary in how they capture color; even the same camera sensor may capture things differently under tungsten, fluorescent or daylight. For the past year I have been shooting with a ColorCheckerPassport. It has calibrated color and gray patches. The software that comes with the Passport can calibrate your camera sensor's color response under any lighting condition. You photograph the Passport under those light conditions and then the software then reads and compares how the sensor recorded them with the known values of the patches. The software produces a file (you name it) that is then loaded into Lightroom or camera RAW software. You access it in Lightroom in the Develop Module (Develop Module > Camera Calibrations > Profile). Clicking on the camera profile, i.e. "1Ds-3-daylight," applies the "correction" to the image to give you a true color response; you still set the white balance by clicking on one of the gray patches. It is much easier to do than describing it. I was very surprised how much better my color looked even though I use a high-end Canon. X-Rite website has tutorials about it. I have no connection with X-Rite but I can recommend this product; it really does what it promises.

    - Paul -

  6. #6

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    Re: custom white balance doubts..

    Quote Originally Posted by PRSearls View Post
    Camera sensors can vary in how they capture color; even the same camera sensor may capture things differently under tungsten, fluorescent or daylight. For the past year I have been shooting with a ColorCheckerPassport. It has calibrated color and gray patches. The software that comes with the Passport can calibrate your camera sensor's color response under any lighting condition. You photograph the Passport under those light conditions and then the software then reads and compares how the sensor recorded them with the known values of the patches. The software produces a file (you name it) that is then loaded into Lightroom or camera RAW software. You access it in Lightroom in the Develop Module (Develop Module > Camera Calibrations > Profile). Clicking on the camera profile, i.e. "1Ds-3-daylight," applies the "correction" to the image to give you a true color response; you still set the white balance by clicking on one of the gray patches. It is much easier to do than describing it. I was very surprised how much better my color looked even though I use a high-end Canon. X-Rite website has tutorials about it. I have no connection with X-Rite but I can recommend this product; it really does what it promises.

    - Paul -
    I use the Colour Checker Passport too. It's "interesting" to flick between the passport generated profile and the default ACR one - there's definately a difference. My only (slightly) negative observation is that it tends to over-saturate a touch (I normally reduce it by about 10%).

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