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01-29-2016, 04:47 PM - 1 Like   #1
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Questions to Colorchecker Passport / Lightroom owners...

Currently, I use a neutral grey card to set my white balance either in camera before shooting, or by including it in a shot at the time of shooting and using the eye-dropper in Lightroom to adjust white balance in post-processing. In combination with either the Adobe Standard colour profile or those embedded in my images, this works reasonably well (as a starting point, at least), though I typically have to tweak contrast and colours quite a bit to get to a "standard" look (I usually fine tune white balance again at that stage, depending on the look I want to achieve for each shot).

My questions are regarding the use of the Colorchecker Passport (which I'm considering buying) and Lightroom, with my various camera / lens combinations:

(1) In setting a colour profile for a specific camera / lens combo, will that profile now work for all lighting conditions if I also continue to use my neutral grey card for white balance reference?

(2) Further to question (1), would I actually be better off taking a calibration shot at the start of a shoot in the prevailing lighting conditions, and using that to create a shoot-specific colour profile and set white balance off one of the grey squares on the Passport?

(3) Does the colour profile take into account the contrast characteristics of the lens - i.e. if I setup a profile with one of my cameras and a lens that has poor contrast, will it now render colours and overall contrast appropriately, or will I still have to adjust the contrast separately?

(4) In relation to question (3), what about zoom lenses where contrast appears to reduce at the longer end, will I need separate profiles for a range of focal lengths (I assume that I will - and that's OK, I'd just like to establish if this is the case)?

Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!


Last edited by BigMackCam; 01-29-2016 at 05:07 PM.
01-29-2016, 06:43 PM - 1 Like   #2
npc
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Think of the colorchecker passport as a sort of fancy gray card. Difference is that the gray card only helps for white balance, while the passport's color patch helps with color accuracy - that's why it generates a profile at the end rather than just move the wihte balance sliders like the neutral color picker.

But like the gray card - it depends on the camera lens and lighting conditions so for best results you need to generate separate profiles depending on these.

(1) In setting a colour profile for a specific camera / lens combo, will that profile now work for all lighting conditions if I also continue to use my neutral grey card for white balance reference?
No it won't work for all lightning conditions, you need a separate profile, or just take a picture of the colorchecker first - you can use it both for white balance or generate a profile specific for this specific occasion for best accuracy

(2) Further to question (1), would I actually be better off taking a calibration shot at the start of a shoot in the prevailing lighting conditions, and using that to create a shoot-specific colour profile and set white balance off one of the grey squares on the Passport?
yes (but might be an overkill to generate a profile every time, you probably will be fine with generating just the usual sunny/cloudy/etc lightning conditions

(3) Does the colour profile take into account the contrast characteristics of the lens - i.e. if I setup a profile with one of my cameras and a lens that has poor contrast, will it now render colours and overall contrast appropriately, or will I still have to adjust the contrast separately?
no, it knows nothing about the lenses, just the final picture. If your lenses give different color cast, etc - you'll need separate profiles for them for best results - I guess only for contrast you can just adjust that to taste

(4) In relation to question (3), what about zoom lenses where contrast appears to reduce at the longer end, will I need separate profiles for a range of focal lengths (I assume that I will - and that's OK, I'd just like to establish if this is the case)?
same as above, you can create separate profiles but it's an overkill, should be sufficient to just correct the contrast from the slider
01-29-2016, 07:39 PM   #3
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I have an old Mac Beth Color Checker card. Can I follow the same methodology?
01-30-2016, 01:20 AM   #4
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It is important that the software that generates the color profile supports your card. Otherwise the generated profile will be incorrect. For example if your card is kind of the same but say greens are little less green than the original - then the software will overcompensate for them so it will be off when applied to real pictures.
I think the original Mac Beth Color Checker is exaclty the same as the current x-rite branded ones, so it should be fine. You can get the software for free from x-rite's website and give it a try.

01-30-2016, 12:46 PM   #5
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@npc - thank you for the response - very helpful indeed!
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