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08-26-2013, 03:33 PM   #1
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Time to buy a Color Checker.

X-Rite ColorChecker Passport ? X-Rite Photo ? X-Rite Passport

Is there any good reason to buy the bigger version?

08-26-2013, 04:31 PM   #2
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The only time I've found the small target a bit too small is with my Sigma 8-16. Trying to place it in the scene results in it being too small for the software to recognize. But my work-around was just to hold it at arms length and photograph the target separately. Great tool, I wouldn't shoot without it.
08-26-2013, 05:19 PM   #3
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$100? That is super expensive! I am going to try to make a miniature copy of my color chart at Kinkos.
08-26-2013, 05:36 PM   #4
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Both sizes are the same price.

The cheap way I am avoiding is Paint Cards at Home Depot.

08-26-2013, 05:39 PM   #5
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Don't mind me asking, but what is the actual purpose of this Color Checker? Is its main use for white balance setting in PP?
08-26-2013, 06:12 PM   #6
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The chart can be used by itself (i.e. get your image into your PP software of choice and make it your image of the chart look as much like the chart as possible), or it can be used with included software to create an ICC profile of your lens/camera combo. Then in post you can apply that color profile to your images and they map perfectly to your working color space. Pentax sensors in particular tend to be optimized for skintones, but do so at the expense of saturation in the blue channel. In otherwords, people tend to look good while skies tend to look blah. The color checker fixes that. It really helps with cheaper lenses that tend to render colors rather dully, with better lenses there is less of an improvement, but it's still fairly noticeable, even with my FA 77. The color checker passport also includes several white balance targets for portraits and landscapes, and several patches to indicate when changes you make in one images may cause certain colors to blow out when those same changes are synced to other images.

As to having Kinkos print you one, it won't work. Their inks don't have enough spectral purity to accurately recreate all the colors on the color checker, and so what you'll get is a test chart that is guaranteed to throw all the colors in your image off. I paid $85 for mine with the software, and I would consider it a bargain at twice that price. It really works wonders.

Last edited by maxfield_photo; 08-26-2013 at 07:48 PM.
08-26-2013, 06:21 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by maxfield_photo Quote
The chart can be used by itself (i.e. get your image into your PP software of choice and make it your image of the chart look as much like the chart as possible), or it can be used with included software to create an ICC profile of your lens/camera combo. Then in post you can apply that color profile to your images and they map perfectly to your working color space. Pentax sensors in particular tend to be optimized for skintones, but do so at the expense of saturation in the blue channel. In otherwords, people tend to look good while skyies tend to look blah. The color checker fixes that. It really helps with cheaper lenses that tend to render colors rather dully, with better lenses there is less of an improvement, but it's still fairly noticeable, even with my FA 77. The color checker passport also includes several white balance targets for portraits and landscapes, and several patches to indicate when changes you make in one images may cause certain colors to blow out when those same changes are synced to other images.
Ah... Thank you on that explanation... *reads slowly*

Hehe! Sounds more complicated than ever for me..
08-26-2013, 06:56 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by SyncGuy Quote
Ah... Thank you on that explanation... *reads slowly*

Hehe! Sounds more complicated than ever for me..
There's a pretty good video (48 minutes long,but you only need to watch the first section) on the X-Rite site that, although it is really covering the monitor calibration tools, gives you a pretty good overview of color calibration, including why you need to do it.
X-Rite Photo Color Management Resource Center - Color Management Webinars and Information

08-26-2013, 07:21 PM   #9
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What's the fuss, just shoot B&W!
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08-26-2013, 08:20 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
$100? That is super expensive! I am going to try to make a miniature copy of my color chart at Kinkos.
They're selling for $69.99 at Amazon.com.
08-26-2013, 08:53 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by RollsUp Quote
They're selling for $69.99 at Amazon.com.
Thanks. That is a little more affordable...
08-27-2013, 01:15 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by fuent104 Quote
Thanks. That is a little more affordable...
Your welcome.
08-31-2013, 06:37 PM   #13
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There are other test charts out there, but the Gretag Macbeth chart is the industry standard, and it integrates flawlessly with the software, and any color aware application. Some have suggested trying to print their own charts, or to have one printed at the local 1hr photolab, but the idea is doomed to failure. The idea is to have color chips of a precise known value that the software can then use to compare and correct the sensor's output to match a reference color space. This process is known as ICC profiling. If the colors are off even slightly in the test chart, then the software will think it's due to the output of the sensor, and try to correct things that don't need correcting, or leave uncorrected things that do.

The only cheaper solution that will work as well is a carefully-handeled used copy of the Gretag chart, but beware. X-rite claims that after a time the charts can fade and age, and lose their accuracy over time. They recommend replacing them every 18 months. Now, I think that's overstated, and probably designed to sell more color charts, but there probably is a small amount of truth to it. For the folks who need it, this chart is just part of the cost of doing business. For others I can see how it might be considered pricey, but ask yourself, how much is great color in your photographs worth to you?
09-03-2013, 01:18 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by RollsUp Quote
They're selling for $69.99 at Amazon.com.
I knew this when I posted but chose the X-Rite link for the information. My Passport arrived in the mail today from Amazon.


09-05-2013, 08:17 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aoeu Quote
X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
I never leave home without one, it just saves so much time in PP later where critical colours are required.
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