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comicalalien Gold Member Nikonian since 05th Sep 2009Sun 10-Jan-10 11:34 AM
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"Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"


AU
          

I watched the Magic Lantern's video on the D90 settings. It talks about the default and programmed White Balance as well as the "PRE" setting.

The narrator in the video uses a white card to adjust the D90's WB at a particular location in PRESET mode, which apparently will adjust the WB for the ambient light at the time.

I composed a shot of a scene using "Auto" WB to see what it looked like. Then I tried the "PRE" setting and took a shot of that same scene without the white card, and the display showed "Good".

I then did another shot using the adjusted WB and the there was a noticeably improved difference in picture color and contrast.

Question 1: Is it necessary to always use a white card to adjust White Balance in the "PRE" mode on the D90?

Question 2: Why can't you always just run the "PRE" White Balance calibration off of whatever you are trying to take an image of since all you are doing is photographing the light reflected from that particular object/subject anyway?

I WOULD APPRECIATE SOME ADVICE & ANSWERS TO THIS INTRICATE WHITE BALANCE SETTING.

Cheers,
comicalalien

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

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Subject Author Message Date ID
Reply message RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90
Ciderfish Silver Member
10th Jan 2010
1
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sidewinder Silver Member
10th Jan 2010
2
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dnf777
11th Jan 2010
3
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sidewinder Silver Member
11th Jan 2010
4
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sidewinder Silver Member
11th Jan 2010
5
          Reply message RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90
sidewinder Silver Member
11th Jan 2010
6
          Reply message RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90
ChrisLilley
12th Jan 2010
14
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rbertalotto
12th Jan 2010
15
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OMMBoy Silver Member
12th Jan 2010
19
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sidewinder Silver Member
12th Jan 2010
20
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OMMBoy Silver Member
12th Jan 2010
21
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sidewinder Silver Member
13th Jan 2010
22
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13th Jan 2010
23
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sidewinder Silver Member
13th Jan 2010
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sidewinder Silver Member
14th Jan 2010
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rbertalotto
14th Jan 2010
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sidewinder Silver Member
15th Jan 2010
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rbertalotto
15th Jan 2010
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11th Jan 2010
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sidewinder Silver Member
11th Jan 2010
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Bluewaterhooker0
12th Jan 2010
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sidewinder Silver Member
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km6xz Moderator
12th Jan 2010
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12th Jan 2010
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Ciderfish Silver Member Nikonian since 12th Aug 2008Sun 10-Jan-10 12:28 PM
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#1. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 0


GB
          

comicalalien,

I am not a seasoned expert, but here is my understanding...

In the PRE WB process you are pointing the camera at a subject that is supposed to be uniformly white and the camera is adjusting the white balance for the whole scene accordingly.

For example you PRE shoot a white target that has a yellow tinge to it as a result of the prevailing lighting. The camera then 'sees' that yellow tinge and removes it from the subsequent images.
So..

Question 1: It doesn't have to be a white reference card - it could be anything that was uniformly white or grey*. A 'proper' white/grey refeerence card is probably best.

*depending on desired tolerances for absolute colour accuracy.

Question 2: The camera is expecting you to show it what white should be (I don't understand why a grey card works here - anyone?) so anything else will give you strange results.

Well that's me testing my current level of understanding - hope it helps

Cheers

Kevin
A Nikonian in the snow deep

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Sun 10-Jan-10 07:05 PM
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#2. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 1


US
          

> Question 2: The camera is expecting you to show it what white
> should be (I don't understand why a grey card works here - anyone?)
> so anything else will give you strange results.

The camera isn't expecting to see white. It is expecting to see the color temperature of the existing light. A truly neutral grey card will reflect the actual color temperature of the light accurately.

Remember that the color temperature of the light affects how all colors look. Not just white.

Scott

  

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dnf777 Registered since 08th Jan 2009Mon 11-Jan-10 02:12 AM
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#3. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 2


Franklin, US
          


>Remember that the color temperature of the light affects how
>all colors look. Not just white.
>
>Scott

True, but aren't different colors affected differently? For calibration purposes any shade of white, grey, or black should work best, lighter shades reflecting more light obviously. I mention this because when we WB our surgical cameras, if we use anything other than white sponges, all the other colors, esp yellow/green, are all distorted.

I'm just starting to try and master WB issues on my d90, and it seems that corrections can be easily made (and lessons learned) on the computer monitor is post-exp processing. Other than having sub-optimal images to review on the camera lcd, is there any disadvantage to adjusting WB in post-exp rather than on the camera , pre-exp? The Auto-WB usually is very close to 'right on'. I hardly ever have to adjust the slider more than one click to get the results I want.

Dave F
Franklin, Pa

"Always do right. You'll gratify some, and astound the rest." Mark Twain

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Mon 11-Jan-10 02:49 AM
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#4. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

"White balance" is a misnomer. It's actually "color balance" because all colors are affected by the color of the light source. Not just white. But, white is the most apparent because it is easiest to discern the affect the light source has on white.

Neither pure white nor true neutral grey change the temperature of a light source reflected off of it. These grey and white colors are both neutral colors.

Scott

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Mon 11-Jan-10 03:12 AM
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#5. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 4


US
          

I went Google searching and found this, which is a very good reference:

http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/white-balance.htm

Scott

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Mon 11-Jan-10 03:50 AM
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#6. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 3


US
          

> I mention this because when we WB our surgical cameras, if we use
> anything other than white sponges, all the other colors, esp
> yellow/green, are all distorted.

I can't believe you don't have a special card that is either neutral white or neutral grey for that purpose. The cards aren't that expensive. Look here:

http://www.rawworkflow.com/whibal/

Scott

  

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ChrisLilley Registered since 14th Jul 2007Tue 12-Jan-10 11:24 AM
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#14. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 3


GB
          


>For calibration purposes any shade of white, grey, or black should
>work best,

No. A white balance reference card is spectrally neutral. That requires higher tolerances than something which "looks white" to the eye. The card can be and often is pale grey, because its easier to make a totally flat response card if you don't also have to make it bright white.

As an example, on a MacBeth color checker, white balance is usually set on the third grey patch, not on the white patch.

--
Camera <ˈkæ mə rə>, n. Device for taking pictures in bright light.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nantonos

  

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rbertalotto Registered since 25th Nov 2009Tue 12-Jan-10 12:19 PM
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#15. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 14


North Dartmouth, US
          

This is a great thread.....Thanks for sharing!

Are any of you folks using the various "White Balance" lens caps that are available.

I'm not sure how they could be accurate with light passing through them rather than reflecting off them?

RoyB
Dartmouth, MA
www.rvbprecision.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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OMMBoy Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2007Tue 12-Jan-10 07:46 PM
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#19. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 15


San Diego, US
          

I don't know the science behind reflective vs. transmissive light with regards to white balance, but all I can say is that it works. Having so many varieties of white balance caps available makes it pretty difficult to choose which one to purchase. In my case, that decision was made on-the-spot at the camera store when I first saw the ExpoDisk... and it's $75 price tag (GASP)! To me, the ED looked like nothing more than the plastic lens cover of fluorescent office lights; others looked like opaque caps. This prompted me to make my own, not because money's tight right now, but because I couldn't justify spending that kind of money on a piece of plastic.

I first decided to make an opaque cap out of a Pringles cap, but Pringles' caps are now transparent instead of opaque (when did they change?). I then found a sheet of silicone elastomer at work which I tested out on my camera -- the results were incredible! I then cut out a circular piece of the silicone big enough to cover all diameters of my lenses (instead of cutting one for each lens) and simply hold in front of the lens when WBing.

All of my pro photographer friends love the results and asked me to make caps for them! Perhaps I should consider marketing them?

I'll try to take some WBed and un-WBed photos using the silicone elastomer for comparison and post them here...

Chris

_________________________________
The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.
Ernst Haas, 1985


Runfola Photography Gallery

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Tue 12-Jan-10 09:03 PM
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#20. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 19


US
          

Chris,

How did you test to see if your "sheet of silicone elastomer" is neutral and not changing the light temperature as it passes through the material?

The ExpoDisc is a great product if used correctly. Especially if you want to correct the white balance before shooting. If you are going to post process the photographs, then using either a true neutral grey card in a picture or using a product like an ExpoDisc would work.

Scott

  

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OMMBoy Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2007Tue 12-Jan-10 09:19 PM
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#21. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 20


San Diego, US
          

Good question, Scott! Actually, I have no idea whether it changes the light temperature as it passes through the material and I don't have any equipment to test it with! Although, I'm sure it does just a little bit as the material has a slight yellowish tinge to it.

I was rummaging through a storage cabinet here at work some time ago when I came across the silicone elastomer and decided to test it out with my camera (D80). I was so impressed with the results that I decided to show it to my friends who were impressed as well. In addition to the WBed and un-WBed photos I said I would post, I think it would be prudent of me to include a photo which was WBed using a white card (I don't have an 18% gray card).

Chris

_________________________________
The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.
Ernst Haas, 1985


Runfola Photography Gallery

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Wed 13-Jan-10 05:37 AM
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#22. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 21


US
          

Chris,

Just make sure that white card is neutral. Some people think that "white" paper is a reliable choice when it usually is not.

Scott

The important thing is never to stop questioning. -Albert Einstein

It is error only, and not truth, that shrinks from inquiry. -Thomas Paine

  

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OMMBoy Silver Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2007Wed 13-Jan-10 03:00 PM
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#23. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 22


San Diego, US
          

Thanks for the heads up! I was planning on using white paper, but now I think I'll go with a gray card. Apropos "gray card": I found this while Googling gray card. It's from Thom Hogan and he's got some interesting things to say about the 18% gray cards. I think everybody should read this:

http://www.bythom.com/graycards.htm

Chris

_________________________________
The camera doesn't make a bit of difference. All of them can record what you are seeing. But, you have to SEE.
Ernst Haas, 1985


Runfola Photography Gallery

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Wed 13-Jan-10 06:31 PM
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#24. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 23


US
          

Chris,

I don't mean to sound like a broken record, but: if you go with a grey card, you still need to make sure you get a grey card that is truly neutral. Or you might as well use a "white" piece of paper.

Scott

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Thu 14-Jan-10 05:59 AM
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#25. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 24


US
          

Folks,

I found this product today:

http://www.lallyphotography.com/store/

The Lally Cap is like the ExpoDisc but can be used on just about any lens and is MUCH cheaper. I have an email in to the inventor asking about his methodology to insure the product is indeed neutral.

Scott

  

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rbertalotto Registered since 25th Nov 2009Thu 14-Jan-10 11:13 PM
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#26. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 25


North Dartmouth, US
          

http://www.ppmag.com/web-exclusives/2008/11/product-comparison-white-balan-1.html

RoyB
Dartmouth, MA
www.rvbprecision.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Fri 15-Jan-10 12:52 AM
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#27. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 26
Fri 15-Jan-10 01:06 AM by sidewinder

US
          

Thanks, Roy!!

That link is quite interesting. But how does the reviewer decide which images have the most correct white balance? Is seems rather subjective to me.

What they should do in a test like this is to include a photograph of a scene or scenes with a known true neutral grey card in it. They should shoot the scene in NEF. Then use the various white balance filters to set the white balance. Then you could post process the images and have the scene adjusted using the grey card part of the image to set the white balance. The scene with the smallest change would be the most accurate.

That test would remove all subjectivity from the test results.

However, what is accurate and what looks best is not always the same.

I think I am going to end up buying two products. One that I can use before I shoot and one I can use to help with post processing.

Scott

  

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rbertalotto Registered since 25th Nov 2009Fri 15-Jan-10 11:37 AM
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#28. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 27


North Dartmouth, US
          

Very subjective, but interesting no doubt.........

I like the idea one fellow suggested in the comments that followed the article. Using a 4" embroidery hoop to hold a coffee filter.

http://www.sublimestitching.com/files/images/hoop.jpg

RoyB
Dartmouth, MA
www.rvbprecision.com

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Fri 15-Jan-10 09:13 PM
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#29. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 28


US
          

>Very subjective, but interesting no doubt.........
>
>I like the idea one fellow suggested in the comments that
>followed the article. Using a 4" embroidery hoop to hold
>a coffee filter.

Sure. But I bet that coffee filter color changes batch to batch. You can use one, but I am not going to trust my white balance to a coffee filter.

Again, if you are going to go through the trouble of setting the white balance, you might as well make sure whatever product you use is neutral.

I think I am going to buy a WhiBal card and the ClearWhite white balance filter. That will give me something to put in the scene for post processing and something for setting the white balance before shooting.

That will give me maximum flexibility.

Scott

  

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Bluewaterhooker0 Registered since 31st Jan 2009Mon 11-Jan-10 04:05 AM
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#7. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 0


Tampa, US
          

I'm duing this from memory. I worked in both photography and television years ago. Today's digital cameras are more closely related to television cameras than the old film cameras. There are basicaly three primary color sensors on an image sensor. Each one sensitive to RED, GREEN, and BLUE; the primary colors. Each of those sensors has to be adjusted in relation to the other, to produce a neutral color balance that will accurately reproduce the colors in a scene under different qualities of light, measured in Kelvin temperature. We used to use something called a waveform monitor to acheive this balance in television. But the objective is still the same. Digital SLR's just make the process a whole lot easier and automatic. However, only if you provide an accurate reference point, such as a truly white target or neutral grey target. It was generally accepted that a quality 18% gray card was the best target for adjustment, as overexposure on a white target could lead to misadjustment. I would have to beleive that is still true of digital cameras. Eastman Kodak used to be considered the GOD of accurate gray cards. However, I doubt, given Kodak's exit from the professional market, that these are still available. Did a quick search and found this 18% gray card at B&H. It so happens, that these cards can also double as an accurate exposure reference for the camera's reflected meter, if you're so inclined to take that type of meter reading. This card is very inexpensive, but there are other alternatives if you search the site. JC

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/101853-REG/Delta_22030_Gray_Card_8x10_1_.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

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Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Mon 11-Jan-10 07:34 AM
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#8. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 7


US
          

Kodak 18% grey cards are great for metering. But they may not be great for white (color) balance. They certainly were not designed for that function and can be far from color neutral.

If you go through the trouble of using a card to adjust white balance either pre or post processing, you might as well make sure what you have is truly a neutral card.

I am leaning towards buying a WhiBal card based on the technical specs and the overall durability of the product.

Scott

  

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Bluewaterhooker0 Registered since 31st Jan 2009Tue 12-Jan-10 02:28 AM
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#9. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 8


Tampa, US
          

Been around long ?

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

Visit my Nikonians gallery.

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Tue 12-Jan-10 03:34 AM
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#10. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 9
Tue 12-Jan-10 03:36 AM by sidewinder

US
          

>Been around long ?

Spit it out....what are you trying to say?

Scott

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Tue 12-Jan-10 04:00 AM
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#11. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 10


US
          

Kodak's goal with the 18% grey card was to make sure the reflectance of the card was consistent from card to card. Let's not even get into the 18% grey versus 12% luminance issue and ANSI standards for light meter calibration.

Kodak's goal was not and is not to make sure that the their 18% grey cards are a true neutral grey. If you want to assume that Kodak's 18% grey cards are neutral, be my guest. But they are not. Are they close? Some more than others. Are they close enough? That depends on who you are and what your are doing.

As I stated previously, if you are going to take the time and effort to use a card of some type to set white balance, you might as well use a card that you know to be neutral. Kodak's 18% grey card isn't that card.

I am not pushing WhiBal. Get whatever card or device you want. But get something you know is really neutral.

Scott

  

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km6xz Moderator Awarded for his in-depth knowledge in various areas, including Portraits and Urban Photography Nikonian since 22nd Jan 2009Tue 12-Jan-10 07:54 AM
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#12. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 8


St Petersburg, RU
          

>Kodak 18% grey cards are great for metering. But they may not
>be great for white (color) balance.
>
>Scott
Neither were Waveform Monitors. That is the job of a Vector Scope which displayed phase angle between color bars in relationship to the color burst reference signal at the beginning of each scan. The Waveform monitor is used for displaying modulation of the composite video signal.
Since there was a crystal reference for NTSC and PAL encoding, viewing and adjusting modulation phase angle of chrominance signal were the easiest part of making sure colors were right. The video cameras now often have vector displays for judging the camera's response to lighting. Everything was locked to or compared to the Color Burst signal. Even the color burst oscillator in the TV receiver was phase locked to the transmitter's color burst sub-carrier. TV networks locked stations together by providing the master clock/color burst signal, which in turn was locked to the National Bureau of Standards national time standard (forerunner of NIST). So the whole thing has accurate references to compare to. Wouldn't be cool if we had such a reference for still cameras?
This display was critical back when everything was analog because instead of generating distinct digital coding for primary color data, the information was carried in the form of phase relationships to known signals.
I was never a TV guy, stopped even watching it in the mid 60's but I did enjoy anything that had electrons zipping about, and RF. That is why adding video to a perfectly good still camera seems like a major step backwards. TV makes someone passive and less informed than if not watching.
So much for trivia.....
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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ChrisLilley Registered since 14th Jul 2007Tue 12-Jan-10 11:19 AM
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#13. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 0


GB
          


>Question 1: Is it necessary to always use a white card to
>adjust White Balance in the "PRE" mode on the D90?

Yes

>Question 2: Why can't you always just run the "PRE"
>White Balance calibration off of whatever you are trying to
>take an image of since all you are doing is photographing the
>light reflected from that particular object/subject anyway?

Because what you want to measure is the light. Not, the light as modified by being partly absorbed by the subjects.

Of course with a white balance card you are also measuring the light modified by a subject, but a subject that is carefully chosen to have a perfectly even spectral reflectance in the visible band.

--
Camera <ˈkæ mə rə>, n. Device for taking pictures in bright light.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/nantonos

  

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sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010Tue 12-Jan-10 03:11 PM
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#16. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 13


US
          

>> Question 1: Is it necessary to always use a white card to
>> adjust White Balance in the "PRE" mode on the D90?
>
> Yes

Not necessarily a white card...but a truly neutral card.

Scott

  

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Bluewaterhooker0 Registered since 31st Jan 2009Tue 12-Jan-10 04:53 PM
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#17. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 0


Tampa, US
          

Hopefully "comicalalien" got something out of all this.

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comicalalien Gold Member Nikonian since 05th Sep 2009Tue 12-Jan-10 05:02 PM
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#18. "RE: Using "PRE" WB setting on D90"
In response to Reply # 17


AU
          

Yes I have got a lot out of this.

I want to thank everyone for their delicious inputs into the correct use of White Balance.

The Forums are great! - The knowledge is great! - Photography is great!

Cheers to you all!
comicalalien

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