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01-22-2012, 10:30 AM   #1
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How do you shoot red and get an accurate color rendition?

I really need some help... I shoot clothing and have always, regardless of what camera I used, had a devil of a time shooting shades of red accurately. Also, the blue-green shades like turquoise, aqua, etc. I understand (from doing some reading and asking people who know more than I do) that this problem isn't uncommon, because the shades that are most troublesome are at the very ends of the color spectrum, and the camera isn't capable of reproducing some of them even close to 100% accurately.

I've had an Olympus C2100UZ, a Panasonic Lumix DMC F-7, and now a k100ds. With each successive camera, the situation has improved; with my k100ds, the green-blue shades are no longer an issue; between the better white-balance controls and, on occasion, some PP tweaking, I get accurate color reproduction. But red still is an issue. I've changed my lighting so that I have neutral daylight lights (5500 deg k). Any "bluer" on the lighting and other colors get too cool (blacks get too blue-black, browns not brown enough, etc.). So, I've tried every white balance setting on my camera, and while some give better than others, I still can't get all the reds true to color. On my other cameras, I tried setting custom white balance, but that never worked, either. So I've never even tried it on this camera. The biggest issue is the blue-reds, not so much the orange-reds. The blue-reds come out too orangey, and I can't get them right in PP. It's a real problem, because red is my favorite color, so I buy and shoot a lot of red apparel and accessories!

I'm even thinking of buying a k-7, as I understand you can set white balance according to your lighting temperature. But it seems a lot of expense to incur for something that I probably "should" be able to do something about.

Any help is greatly appreciated!


Last edited by amc654; 01-22-2012 at 10:32 AM. Reason: typo
01-22-2012, 10:37 AM   #2
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Why don't you shoot RAW and set white balance in the RAW converter?

Also just because the lights are 5,500 deg K, it does not mean they actually produce that exact color temperature. Lens coating also can affect the color that reaches on the sensor as the actual background reflections.

One thing to consider is to get a color target that also has a true white and 18% gray parts and shoot an image with the lights you are using. You can set white balance on the white part of the target and your exposure on the 18% gray.
01-22-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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Photo of white card to set in-camera custom white balance works okay. Better imho is to use the X-rite ColorChecker system. You think red is difficult, try Fuscia!
01-22-2012, 11:36 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
Why don't you shoot RAW and set white balance in the RAW converter?
Because I haven't thought of it--duh on me. This is the first camera I've had that you can shoot on RAW, so I always forget about it. Thanks, I'll try that!

QuoteQuote:
Also just because the lights are 5,500 deg K, it does not mean they actually produce that exact color temperature. Lens coating also can affect the color that reaches on the sensor as the actual background reflections.
Actually, I know that there is a difference in the color of the lights--I use 4 lamps, and bought 2 at one time, then 2 at another. One set is a bit warmer than the other, so I've put each of the warmer ones in the stand with one of the cooler ones, and placed the warmer ones furthest away from the target area, hoping to make the difference less marked.

Thanks for all of your thoughts, and I'm going to re-shoot a dress in RAW and see how it comes out!

01-22-2012, 11:39 AM   #5
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QuoteQuote:
You think red is difficult, try Fuscia!
Oh, yes, fuschia falls into that category of pink-reds that are hard to shoot! IMO, if it's any shade of red or pink that tends more toward blue than orange/yellow, it's a bear to shoot and get right!

Think I should get a white card, color target, whatever will help....
01-22-2012, 11:45 AM   #6
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I'm using a K10D and have never had good luck getting accurate red rendition, always comes out too hot.
01-22-2012, 12:33 PM   #7
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Try dialing back luminance for reds in PP
01-22-2012, 12:39 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by rhodopsin Quote
Photo of white card to set in-camera custom white balance works okay. Better imho is to use the X-rite ColorChecker system. You think red is difficult, try Fuscia!
agree. I just got the passport, so I keep forgetting it, but when I get it in my routine, from experimentation, it does help keep accurate colors.

01-22-2012, 12:47 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by riff Quote
Try dialing back luminance for reds in PP
Good thought and worth a try. Thanks.
01-22-2012, 01:00 PM   #10
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I guess it depends on how accurate you really mean. The process I can think of is as follow:

- hardware monitor calibration (assuming the monitor is good quality IPS)
- use identical full spectrum light sources
- shoot raw
- nail the proper exposure
- use colorchecker at the start of every session for camera calibration (Photoshop)
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