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06-20-2008, 11:08 AM   #1
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A better custom WB solution?

I've wanted an ExpoDisc since I first saw the ads for them. But no way was I paying their prices. I saw an ad today for ColorRight, but it's $90. Then I remembered seeing ads in the back of Shutterbug for a shower cap looking thing, and it's only $5. I started researching to see if there's any difference, and I found out I could just use a bleached coffee filter. Hah! I tried it and it works perfectly!

But here's what I'm thinking... What if I'm inside, shooting out a window. Granted, the outdoor AWB is usually pretty good, but let's ignore that for now. So say the room I'm in is painted a bright red, and it's well-lit. So I mount the ExpoDisc, or hold the coffee filter or whatever. It catches the reflected red light from the walls and tints everything blue. (I don't know that this would happen, but surely it would, right?)

Is there a better custom white balance solution?

06-20-2008, 11:09 AM   #2
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yes!

load up your picture in lightroom or similar and play with the temperature sliders.
06-20-2008, 11:13 AM   #3
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Best option is to shoot RAW. The white balance is done quickly in post processing, and there is no loss of detail in the colour channels in RAW, as there is using JPEG. I use Lightroom, and just click the eyedropper for the WB adjustment and click a neutral coloured area in the image. Presto chango - perfect WB every time. Other RAW converters will do similar tricks with little effort. Most of the time, my WB setting is auto - just so that the jpegs on the back of the camera look reasonable.
06-20-2008, 12:36 PM   #4
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Oh, I always shoot raw. But sometimes I try my damnedest and just cannot find a neutral bit in the photo. So I end up just fiddling, and I hate that.

Besides, the scenario I mentioned is completely hypothetical. But anything I can do to minimize PP time is a blessing.

06-20-2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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I wonder if I should share my very high budget manual white balance device with everyone.........


Oh, what the HE-double-hockey-sticks

about 2 weeks ago I was grabbing out a filter, and I discovered that in the package was a white piece of foam, the same size as the filter.
When I looked in the next filter package I discovered that there was also a piece of plastic the same size.

I held these both up to the lens, one at a time, and used them to adjust the manual white balance. And what do you know, It Worked

It gave me very pleasing results as well

I've since then discovered that every brand of filter appears to have their own coloured foam, all of which appear to work. But they might give you a little different colour.
So you may want to pack a few of these little freebie disks along

Oh, you'll need to set the camera to manual focus. They don't appear to be able to focus through the disk.
Plus a low f-stop number appears to help while using manual lenses.
06-20-2008, 03:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by little laker Quote
I wonder if I should share my very high budget manual white balance device with everyone.........


Oh, what the HE-double-hockey-sticks

about 2 weeks ago I was grabbing out a filter, and I discovered that in the package was a white piece of foam, the same size as the filter.
When I looked in the next filter package I discovered that there was also a piece of plastic the same size.

I held these both up to the lens, one at a time, and used them to adjust the manual white balance. And what do you know, It Worked

It gave me very pleasing results as well

I've since then discovered that every brand of filter appears to have their own coloured foam, all of which appear to work. But they might give you a little different colour.
So you may want to pack a few of these little freebie disks along

Oh, you'll need to set the camera to manual focus. They don't appear to be able to focus through the disk.
Plus a low f-stop number appears to help while using manual lenses.
A coffee can lid or Pringles lid works well too. Just hold it over the lens and get your WB.
06-20-2008, 04:43 PM   #7
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Several good suggestions here. Whatever you use, just remember to aim at the light source (not the colorful subject or surroundings) to set your custom WB.
06-21-2008, 02:30 AM   #8
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I shoot RAW and worry about WB later. But just in case I want to manually set WB, I also use the coffee filter approach, but with it mounted inside a step-up ring and lens guard filter combo.

Here is a Flickr set which explains it.

06-21-2008, 04:50 AM   #9
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since you own a K10D, I will offer my own $0.02.

forget all the filters, etc.

take a shot with the lighting you use, and without shutting off the camera press the Fn button, and with the 4 way controller select WB

what you will see is the last shot you took, with it's WB settings. Simply adjust the WB settings as you like, and you will see that image change interactively with the new settings.

Once you are happy, you can then shoot the rest of your shots with that setting, and be done with it.

Even when shooting RAW, many editors carry use the JPEG settings for the display of the RAW image, so it will carry these through into PP.

Also, depending upon the processor, some like PSP X2 also allow color ballance correction using black.
06-21-2008, 05:41 AM   #10
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I bought one of the cheapo wb lens caps from Chinabay and it seems to work pretty good. It was only 5 bucks. Essentially the same as you are referring to, a white piece of plastic in a frame. I have read of other solutions involving a coffee filter, where they remove the retaining ring from the filter, and fit in a cut coffee filter on the glass, then put the ring back. This way it won't tear.

This seems to be a matter of personal choice and convenience. There seems to be 2 camps here, use a white object as the subject of the shot and set the camera up that way, or use a "filter" of some sort, as a cover to the lens to get the light colored to the lens and set up that way. I really have not done lots of experimenting, but it seems to work alright both ways.

Another idea I heard of was to go to a photo or craft store that sells matting and see if they have a scrap bit of mat board, maybe 4x6 or so. Put that in your pocket and shoot that for manual setup. You can even get slilghtly different shades to adjust warmer or cooler to your preference. This could be totally free if you find the right store!

Scott
06-21-2008, 05:41 AM   #11
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Lowell:
What car is that in your avatar? I like old iron.
06-21-2008, 08:12 AM   #12
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It is a 1966 Ford Fairlane 500. it was the 956th car off the ford assembly line in 1966, built in St Louis.

Believe it or not I bought it from my cub-scout den mother, who was the origonal owner.

In the early 1970's she had fallen in love with the color purple, and had a disagreement with her family. She wanted to paint her house purple, and I don't mean a designer tint of purple, I mean really bright purple. Eventually the family won out and she agreed to paint her car.

Needless to say, when I got it, it got repainted.

When I got it, the car had not run for about 6 years due to several burn't valves. I took the 351 that I had shovelled into my 64 Ford Falcon and did a quick swap.

Although heavier and not as fast as my Falcon, it was a very nice highway car. I sold this, along with my 65 T-bird in about '84.

I have lost track of the T-Bird, but the Fairlane is still on the road, although it has suffered some since I sold it.
06-21-2008, 08:23 AM   #13
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I spent the coin on a 77mm expodisk a few years ago. Expensive, but it works.

A year later i see the coffee lid thing on the net.

Story of my life.

Dave
06-21-2008, 08:32 AM   #14
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Old school days there was a term "reflective light vs incident light"

Incident light readings (measurement of light falling onto the subject) are generally far more accurate - and most portrait pro's and fim industry use a light meter, which mearures Incident Light.

The semi-translucent white cap over the lens (pointing at light source) taking a measurement was a trick I employed (1990) quite effectively. Very effective for wedding's as well, especially with black suit, white dress, white (untanned) skin situations.

Fortunately with the K10D there are a myriad of settings in manual white balance that can be viewed live especially in static situations.

I tend to really like the kelvin options and generally use them exclusively with tweaking - also using live preview quite often to do this.
06-22-2008, 07:03 AM   #15
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heare is a intersting seen i shoot all the time.

photoing house fires at night. you have flashing red lights, blue lights, head lights, spot lights, the fire light ect..... ALL at 1 time and there allwas changing.

this is a mixed light HELL lol i shoot mostly in JPEG. i would like to shoot mor in RAW but the photos take so much longer to prosses.

so what i do is as i am walking up to the seen is take a quick photo hit the FN butten go throw the pre set list of WB. mostly i use the tungsten setting, it seems to work the best. but it can make the color of the fire look funny at times depending on what the house is made of and what is burnning. so there have been times i have used the day light seting when photoing the flames or one of the others. i really do not have a lot of time to set costom WB, i would like to but not pratcal.
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