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White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
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dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Mon 12-Apr-10 07:09 AM

Hi Everyone,

Bought the WhiBal pocket size card - works OK for in-camera custom WB (balance is better then without it).
I do not use it in PP (it is a smallest one, but I am able to "fill the frame" with it - not to worry about it here).
The WhiBal claims it is at L ~ 75, a ~ 0, b ~ 0 in CIELAB color space: http://www.whibalhost.com/_Tutorials/WhiBal/06/index.html

What I do not understand is where this particular "neutral grey" CIELAB point lands in any of the in-camera RGB color profiles (sRGB and Adobe RGB). Is it 128R, 128G, 128B in both sRGB and AdobeRGB? Does anybody know for sure?

If no definitive answer, - I will then talk to WhiBal and share the response.

Thanks,
Dmitry

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KenLPhotos

Stewartstown, US
1937 posts

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#1. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 0

KenLPhotos Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009
Mon 12-Apr-10 09:03 AM

If I create a LAB 75, 0, 0 color in PS,

Adobe RGB is R 183, G 183, B 183.
sRGB is R 185, G 185, B 185.
Apple RGB is R 171, G 171, B 171.

etc. etc.

KenL

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There are many 'photographs of beautiful objects' but not so many 'beautiful photographs of objects'.

sidewinder

US
737 posts

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#2. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 0

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Mon 12-Apr-10 01:44 PM

The measured luminance value of a WhiBal card is not really all that important as long as it is bright enough. The luminance value of ~75 just fine as the WhiBal videos explains.

The important point is that the WhiBal card does not color the light that reflects off of it. This is why it can be used to set white balance.

In any RGB color space, the R, G, and B values for the WhiBal card will be the almost exactly the same. These values will vary in the different color spaces. This is what Ken has shown.

Your WhiBal card might measure 185, 185, 185 in AdobeRGB while my card may measure 180, 180, 180. Your card would be a bit brighter than mine but both would be neutral.

Scott

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

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

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#3. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 1

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Mon 12-Apr-10 05:28 PM

Ken,

Thank you for the values. One step closer to the point.

What I want is to understand the "mechanics" of color balancing with this particular card in Nikon D700.
I have got your answer, Ken, and now have to think what to do with it

When the reference reading from WhiBal is taken by the camera, what happens next? What color space is actually balanced (sensor or embedded or both)?


Here is something interesting and informative:
http://www.brucelindbloom.com/

Thanks,
Dmitry

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TiggerGTO

Apex, US
2258 posts

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#4. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 3

TiggerGTO Gold Member Nikonian since 22nd Feb 2006
Tue 13-Apr-10 04:50 PM

I don't believe that a color space is balanced. I think that when you set a custom white balance, the camera calculates the white balance adjustment needed to neutralize any color cast that it senses when you take the exposure of the supposedly neutral target in the existing lighting conditions.

Danny
A Nikonian in North Carolina

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#5. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 2

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Tue 13-Apr-10 05:11 PM | edited Tue 13-Apr-10 06:41 PM by dmitrychernyshev

Thank you Scott!

I have got a bit closer to the "technically correct" answer.

Camera registers the incident light from WhiBal (or other) - this is a "reference white".
Then it must identify the reference illuminant color temperature.
I am not sure about how this is done in camera (need to learn more).

Then camera performs "cromatic adaptation" of color(s) from reference illuminant to a destination illuminant (most probably to CIE Standard Illuminant D65, representative of the average daylight, with "correlated color temperature" - CCT = 6500 deg K).

This adaptation is performed through the use of XYZ space.

There are different "cromatic adaptation" methods available: Bradford, Von Kries, XYZ scaling, SHARP.
Most probabaly, the algorithm uses Bradford method (it has been accepted as standard).

There are many questions to answer yet...

Thanks again,
Dmitry

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sidewinder

US
737 posts

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#6. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 4

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Tue 13-Apr-10 05:23 PM

>I don't believe that a color space is balanced. I think that when you set a custom white balance, the camera calculates the
>white balance adjustment needed to neutralize any color cast that it senses when you take the exposure of the supposedly
>neutral target in the existing lighting conditions.

Danny,

White balance adjustments do affect the entire color space. I really don't like the term "white balance" because it does not represent what really happens when you adjust an image to correct the color cast of the light used to illuminate the scene. In effect you are "color balancing" the image.

Scott

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

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

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#7. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 4

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Tue 13-Apr-10 05:46 PM

Hi Danny,

Thanks for joining the post.
I think I have partially covered your doubt in the post #5.

It is sometimes difficult for non-professional to speak "in terms".
So, I am sorry - did'n want to confuse you.

Under different illuminant (reference white) the coordinates of the same color in the given color space will be different (yes, because of the "color cast").

For example: CIELAB color L=0.75, a=0.25, b=0.25 for illiminant D50 will be found at L=0.745904, a=0.225734 , b=0.243829 for illuminant D65 (using Bradford adaptation method) - see attached jpeg.

Click on image to view larger version


Dmitry
Attachment#1 (jpg file)

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dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#8. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 0

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Wed 14-Apr-10 06:49 PM | edited Wed 14-Apr-10 07:06 PM by dmitrychernyshev

Hi Dmitry,

I think this video may help you and others in this thread to understand Color (White) Balance better.
I have just started watching it, but it feels like the right stuff.
http://www.3gpdb.com/videoy.php?b=N3tLPcjQIJA&phototechedu-day-color-balance-babies-rugs-sunsets=

Some more photography related videos are here:
http://video.google.com/videosearch?q=PhotoTechEDU#q=PhotoTechEDU&start=0

or here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NWVDwpCYg3A

Dmitry

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dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#9. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 0

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Fri 16-Apr-10 04:56 PM | edited Fri 16-Apr-10 05:00 PM by dmitrychernyshev

I have found an article, which may be very helpful (if one reads it carefully): http://www.microscopyu.com/articles/digitalimaging/colorbalance.html

1) It is better to balance in-camera, not in PP - balance your SENSOR (G-R-G-B filter gets compensated for the source light).
2) If you change exposure time - you may want to change your custom WB along with it.

An article sets another question: whether we need a really neutral white card or a neutral gray card (WhiBal L=75, a=0, b=0) to balance our Nikons.
Why does it? - Try to WB with WhiBal, take a picture, look at hystogram - underexposed a bit, isn't it? Lightmeter in the viewfinder was OK, wasn't it? => Compensate +1 stop - shoot again

The in-camera algorithm is still not described.
So I do not know whethere it is the "illuminant estimation" or simple linear matrix correction in XYZ or something different.
This algorithm is the propietary Nikon thing, and I have no information about it.
I am pretty sure that it brings colors to D65 (see post above for more details on D65 if needed).

Dmitry

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briantilley

Paignton, UK
30235 posts

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#10. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 9

briantilley Gold Member Deep knowledge of bodies and lens; high level photography skills Donor Ribbon awarded for his support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 26th Jan 2003
Fri 16-Apr-10 07:32 PM

It's an interesting article, Dmitry, but it's rather specialised and I'm not sure how applicable it is to everyday photography rather than the precision required to record samples under a microscope.

I tend to think you may be over-analysing things - can you help us understand whay you need to go into such detail on this subject?

Brian
Welsh Nikonian

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#11. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 10

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Fri 16-Apr-10 08:26 PM | edited Fri 16-Apr-10 09:57 PM by dmitrychernyshev

Hi Brian,

The authors of this article mentioned a couple of times that the methods used for white balancing are the same.

<I tend to think you may be over-analysing things - can you help us understand whay you need to go into such detail on this subject?>

Well, it may be , but I simply wanted to know how the white balance works, what is "white point", "grey card" (let it be WhiBal or another), wheather the gray card provides us with the "white point" or not, wheather it is a "neutral balance" or a "white balance", how does the reference card affects my exposure (they ARE connected) and "all that".

There are multiple ways to balance the color space:
1) illuminant estimate + chromaticity coordinates (in-camera?)
2) linear (matrix) averaging using 3x3 or 5x5 in linear spaces (PP)
4) white point
5) black point
6) others...

The white balance itself is very close to the "chromatic adoptation": Bredford algorithm, SHARP algorithm, Van der... forgot... algorithm.
It becomes a chromatic adoptation if camera can identify the illuminant and measure RGB. It would be good to know for potential byers that WhiBal is really not for in-camera balancing (thought it can be used for in-camera WB), but for PP.
Why? Most probably because manufacturer does not know how WB is performed in different cameras (Nikon, Canon... etc) and relies on PP 3x3 or 5x5 matrix-vector averaging.

The trick is that if we would know how D700 perfroms its "white balance" then we can give it such a reference target, that our colors will be looking just fine in different illumination.
We would also discover the weaknesses of the algorithm in order to be more prepared for "strange" colors even with the reference card.

And... I simply do not understand people who writes white balance article on the web, but starts with "If we skip all that technical stuff, it is down to color temperature, so rotate that dial until you like the picture." - What the heck!

"White point definition needs more than just CCT. Many different colors have the same CCT — it is a many-to-one mapping." - Bruce Lindbloom.

CCT - is "correlated color temperature" in degrees Kelvin.

Finally, what is better for color rendering:
WB in camera (where we balance sensor RGB channels sensitivity)?
WB in PP (where we balance the working color space - sRGB, aRGB, ProPhoto RGB and, even, CIELAB)?

Some dudes, like Thom Hogan and these guys from the article vote for in-camera WB. Some try to sale their product mentioning PP only and confusing Nikon's fill the frame with PP 3x3 or 5x5.

This may be of some interest to some people here.

Thanks,
Dmitry

"The value is created by an evaluator" - F. Nietzsche

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KenLPhotos

Stewartstown, US
1937 posts

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#12. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 11

KenLPhotos Gold Member Nikonian since 26th Jul 2009
Fri 16-Apr-10 10:09 PM | edited Fri 16-Apr-10 10:13 PM by KenLPhotos

If you are an artist:

If it looks good
If it feels good
If you like it
It is fine.

If you are a scientist:
If it is scientifically correct
If it is mathmatically correct
If it is optically correct
It is fine.

We all benefit from either/both approaches.

PS = "White Balance" is a wrong term. It is really "Grey Balance" - or "Neutral Balance".

KenL

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There are many 'photographs of beautiful objects' but not so many 'beautiful photographs of objects'.

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#13. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 12

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Sat 17-Apr-10 12:35 AM

That is a good statement.
Who, but not scientists, complains about skin tones the most?

<PS = "White Balance" is a wrong term. It is really "Grey Balance" - or "Neutral Balance".>

It is really an "unknown" balance...

In-cmera it is called "white".
WhiBal manufactures underlines "...it is a white balance card!".

Here is defeniton of the white point: http://books.google.com/books?id=w__iiSih-zUC&pg=PA61&dq=white-point+chromaticity&lr=&as_brr=3&ei=s4qJR6iuFJq6tgPYmYnQBQ&sig=HeAw467xtg4Lrb24h4d9f1qKtJU#v=onepage&q=white-point%20chromaticity&f=false

To summarize: Color balancing can be performed using any neutral (from pure white to pure black) reference card.
When you perform it in-camera, it is better not to change the exposure time - this will affect the RGB channels rendering by calibrated sensor and will change the color balance (in other words, the exposure needs to be set to a correct one before the sensor is balanced). I do not know whether this change will be small or big.
Whether we need to do color balancing using neutral references of the white or grey color - is an open question.

When I use grey card, I sometimes need to compensate the exposure by more than a full stop to get a good dynamic range.

Colorright will solve my problem! - Colorright PRO has arrived today!
Whatever has the "PRO" thing on it - should be the right stuff!
The WhiBal has no "PRO", thought I quite like the colors it produces.



I will only come back to this thread if I will find something really precise and, hence, exciting.

Thanks to everyone,
Dmitry

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dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#14. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 0

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Sat 01-May-10 06:03 AM | edited Sat 01-May-10 06:13 AM by dmitrychernyshev

Here we go, Gentleman,... Colorright PRO!

The device is perfect in terms of size, form, weight, ease of use and etc (for small diameter lenses).
But the color balance it "does" is sh..t. I have been turning around like crazy (0 deg, 90 deg, 180 deg, lens down & up) - did not work.
I am thinking about returning it.

It is ~ "center weighted", so it shold be good for Canon, not for Nikon ("as uniorm as possible").

I would really appreciate if someone can give me a counterexample.
From my experience, the color cast is always there (red or green).

Any positive experience? - Please tell me "How to use".
For now I think it is a piece of "sh..t".

Thank you Gentleman,
Dmitry

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agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#15. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 14

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sun 02-May-10 06:15 PM

I've never been able to achieve consistently better results using a ColorRight Pro or Brno or WBLC/photojojo or ExpoDisc compared to a bright white sheet of printer paper (94 or higher) or a Nikonians 18% grey lens cloth.

S'matter of fact, I've been traveling with the Nikonians 18% grey cleaning cloth for two years (or is it three now?). Never had a problem, it deploys quickly and hangs over an edge or lies on a floor, or on top of my camera bag or some other surface quite cooperatively for use. As a result, I haven't had a white balance problem in all that time.

I don't begrudge ExpoDisc or any other company its business, but these white balance tools seem more like an expensive solution in search of a rather inexpensive problem. And the so-called solutions add yet another piece of hardware to your camera bag. Waste of money in my experience, but maybe I just haven't been in a situation in which nothing but an ExpoDisc or ColorRight Pro would work. Problem is, I just can't think of what such a situation might be. Use the Nikonians 18% grey cleaning cloth. It works every time, it's cheap, and it takes up only a vanishingly small amount of bag space.

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ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
9070 posts

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#16. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 15

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Sun 02-May-10 07:41 PM

Cannot refute anything you say, Howard. I do like the ExpoDisc because it doubles as a very portable incident light meter and I don't have to find a place to lay it down in the source lighting. So, as to the later, it just seems more convenient.

I have stayed away from WhiBal, because it just seems to difficult to use. Do you have your subject hold it? What do you do when your subject is distant and it doesn't have hands? Then you have to collect useless shots with a photo of the card. It appears to be high maintenance.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#17. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 16

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Sun 02-May-10 08:28 PM

>Cannot refute anything you say, Howard. I do like the
>ExpoDisc because it doubles as a very portable incident light
>meter and I don't have to find a place to lay it down in the
>source lighting. So, as to the later, it just seems more
>convenient.
>
>I have stayed away from WhiBal, because it just seems to
>difficult to use. Do you have your subject hold it? What do
>you do when your subject is distant and it doesn't have hands?
>Then you have to collect useless shots with a photo of the
>card. It appears to be high maintenance.

A lot of so-called specialized utilities are a pain outside a studio. Not sure why you'd be concerned about a distant subject though. Stand with your back to the subject, hold a card or cloth a foot or so from the lens (focus is not needed to do a custom WB - the card or cloth simply has to fill the frame) so that the card or cloth is being lit by the light you'll be facing when shooting your subject. Do your custom WB and that's all there is to it.

Clamping an ExpoDisc on the front of a lens and aiming it at a specific distant subject does not WB only for that specific subject. As with all custom WBs, light coming through the custom WB filter or custom WB reflector (card, grey cloth or white t-shirt for that matter) is either transmitted or reflected into the lens so that the sensor can react and provide sufficient information for the Expeed programming to do its thing. The only thing that matters is that you use either 18% grey or bright white - any surface or appropriate filter will do. I personally prefer a reflector such as an 18% grey cloth. Worked beautifully in Rome inside St. Peter's - the lighting situation from hell actually with natural light, sodium light, mercury light, incandescent bulbs, fluorescent tubes, LEDs and probably more still all mixed together in various combinations depending on what part of the cathedral you're walking. A priest (a photography hobbyist no less) even stopped to ask about my Nikonians 18% grey cleaning cloth. The priest initially thought I was actually using the cloth to wipe some dirt off a pedestal before photographing it! He asked, "Che cos'e?" and I explained. Then he looked very pensive and said, "Bravo, va bene. Quanto costa?" I gave him the Nikonians URL and the address of a good camera shop in Rome (very close to the Vatican actually). Nice guy - gave me his name card. I stopped by his office to say hello when I hit St. Peter's again a couple of days later and he presented me with a very nice book about Vatican history. See? Good things happen when we do custom WBs.

To me the whole point of a custom WB is to determine what white looks like under situational lighting so that the correct color temperature can be set by the camera. That means any grey between 14%-25% will do for most situations, and any white from 90 on up will also do in most situations. You can usually get perfectly decent custom WB off a restaurant napkin, an old undershirt (I've done it on location in difficult conditions), or whatever is available. Any remaining NEF tweak that might]/em] be needed thereafter is easily done because you're so close to begin with.

No matter what we focus on, light enters the lens reflected from objects other than our subject and filtered by air other than that directly in front of or in line with our subject. So to me it makes the most sense to obtain a custom WB from a reflector and that's why I think the Nikonians 18% grey cleaning cloth has been the best choice for me.

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ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
9070 posts

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#18. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 17

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Mon 03-May-10 09:43 AM

I cannot refute what you say again, Howard. As to the distant issue, sometimes you cannot stand in the lighting of your subject.

When I'm in a press box, I cannot hold a grey card in the halogen lighting, but I can aim an ExpoDisc at the lights. It is so dim on the press box, that I find holding a card at a 45deg angle difficult.

I do like using my ExpoDisc as a portable incident meter.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#19. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 18

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Mon 03-May-10 11:02 AM


>When I'm in a press box, I cannot hold a grey card in the
>halogen lighting, but I can aim an ExpoDisc at the lights. It
>is so dim on the press box, that I find holding a card at a
>45deg angle difficult.

Okay . . . that I'll definitely concede, especially if your end result is an accurate WB. Makes great sense.

>I do like using my ExpoDisc as a portable incident meter.

Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by meter.

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ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
9070 posts

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#20. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 19

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Mon 03-May-10 02:18 PM

Hi Howard,

>Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by meter.

I actually snap it on my lens, and when standing at the subject position, I aim it back at the camera position and meter manually. It is a quick and dirty incident light meter. I probably appreciate it for that more than I do a WB tool, ironically.

In camera AWB in my D700 and D300 are so close, I tend to get lazy with CWB, unless I see a difficult concoction of light.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#21. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 20

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Mon 03-May-10 08:44 PM

>>Sorry but I'm not sure what you mean by meter.
>
>I actually snap it on my lens, and when standing at the
>subject position, I aim it back at the camera position and
>meter manually. It is a quick and dirty incident light meter.

Hmm . . . allow me to be picky? The ExpoDisc is a lens & filter assembly, not a meter. The ExpoDisc doesn't measure anything, so it's not a meter. I thought for a moment there that you'd managed to lay your hands on a new/pre-release product - that ExpoDisc had mated a meter and sensor to its circular WB lens/filter assembly. Now that would be a cool 'little' multipurpose device.

Now that you mention it too, I wonder how many people actually snap-on/attach their ExpoDiscs to a lens when doing a custom WB, as opposed to just holding it in position for a moment.

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ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#22. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 21

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Mon 03-May-10 10:14 PM | edited Mon 03-May-10 11:02 PM by ScottChapin

Now, common. It is in fact, an incident light meter, when you use your camera's meter. It isn't just calibrated for WB.

It is calibrated to give the same reading as you would get with a reflected meter off of a grey card. Just point the camera at the light source and you will get the same reading as you would with an incident meter.

That's another reason I like my lenses to have the same filter size, but I do simply hold it in front of the lens with other lenses.

From their site:
"We test and calibrate each ExpoDisc for 18% light transmission and neutrality in the visible spectrum (400nm to 700nm). The ExpoDisc's 18% light transmission allows the ExpoDisc to be used as an incident ambient exposure tool (as you would with an 18% gray card), as well as for white balance."

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

Nikonians Team Member

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#23. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 15

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Wed 05-May-10 02:04 PM

Hi Howard,

Thanks! I will have a look at grey cloth then.

Dmitry

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dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#24. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 16

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Wed 05-May-10 03:17 PM

Hi Scott,

I have used the WhiBal pocket size card with my D5000 + 35mm f/1.8 and D700 + 105mm f/2.8 Micro (can not "fill the frame" with 50mm f/1.4).

I quite like the results.

If one does WB in PP, then he/she needs to give it to the subject and the card size does not play any significant role. You only need a tiny piece of neutral surface captured to estimate the R-G-B color cast from it and get the matrix-vector ready to shift the colors (all done with 1-2 clicks in software).
If you balance in camera (I also like it more then PPing), then the pocket-size is not really usable for in-camera balance (frame fill problem with wide lenses), the bigger one - 6 x 3.5 inch - should be more appropriate and will work with most of the lenses. It is big thought.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/search?Ntt=WhiBal&N=0&InitialSearch=yes

There are mixed opinions on how to hold cards relative to the ligh source (45 deg, 30 deg, 90 deg). WhiBal has this glare sticker on it - it helps to find an angle of "no glare".
When spectral responce of a card is measured with spectrophotometer - it is done at 90 degrees angle to the card.

Thanks for your advices,
Dmitry

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ScottChapin

Powder Springs/ATL, US
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#25. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 24

ScottChapin Moderator Awarded for his high level skills in various areas, including Aviation and Birds Photography Charter Member
Wed 05-May-10 03:43 PM

Dmitry,

I hear you. The subject has to hold it, or it has to be proped up somewhere in the photo. Then you have to take two photos, one with and one without. Otherwise, it has to be in an area where you will crop it out. I'm not saying that's a bad thing, if it fits your workflow, and you are comfortable with it.

I just prefer the ExpoDisc. I don't have to find a place to put it. If I'm standing in an open area, I find it easier than finding a place to lay a grey card/cloth down, crop in to fill the frame and then pick it up afterwards. When it's rainy, or the ground is wet, I don't have to lay my card/cloth in the sop.

Scott Chapin
Powder Springs, GA, USA

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herbellis

UK
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#26. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 23

herbellis Registered since 28th Apr 2010
Thu 06-May-10 06:24 AM

http://www.amazon.co.uk/White-Balance-Nikon-Tamron-Tokina/dp/B002SRPEP4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1273134045&sr=8-1

OR

http://www.amazon.com/General-Brand-Balance-Digital-Cameras/dp/B001BO2LBK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1273134117&sr=8-1

Question:

Has anyone tried this type of WB device (including EXPODISC) pointing firstly AT the subject and then at the light source?

Does it make any difference?

HE

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#27. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 26

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Thu 06-May-10 08:49 AM


>Has anyone tried this type of WB device (including EXPODISC)
>pointing firstly AT the subject and then at the light source?
>
>Does it make any difference?

Digital cameras don't have a problem with WB when light sources are unimpeded and unaltered. A custom WB is most often needed when the ambient light contains a variety of influences (reflections from polarizing surfaces, reflections from pavement, reflections from windows, reflections from a subject, etc., etc.) which are too difficult for the camera to sort out on its own. Inserting a white or gray card or purpose-built filter (ExpoDisc and so on) in front of the lens helps the camera sort out what either white or 18% gray looks like in the midst of all the confusing light. In custom WB mode, the camera is then used to shoot the card or disc so that the resulting WB calculation can be made and stored by the camera for use under the prevailing conditions.

There is no way to cumulatively assemble white balances taken from multiple sources. The discs being sold by Amazon through the links you provided are, like the ExpoDisc, passive devices. They're just elaborate filters, and do not calculate or store information.

I hope I didn't misinterpret your question.

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dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
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#28. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 25

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Thu 06-May-10 02:55 PM

Hi Scott,

Yep, I agree.
I prefer to balance the "sensor" too. Shooting with reference and PPing can be time consuming if one shoots under different lighting conditions.

Snap-on devices are more convenient.
But the ColorRight PRO I bought - is somewhat center wighted.
Our D700 wants "uniform".

Have you ever experienced the situation when the red channel gets overesposed after balancing?

I have been photographing the 1.5 yo daugther of our neighbours at about 18:45 - 20:00 yesterday (during sunset, but in the shadow till the sun was about gone).
In Aperture Priority mode. Apertures 4.5, 5, 8.
ISO 200 then 600 then 1000.
Shutter primarely 1/100 (1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125)
Card WhiBal
Lens 105mm f/2.8 Micro AF-S VR
Autofocus
Metering - Matrix fine tuned to -0.3 EV
Exposure compensation +0.7 (damn I forgot to remove it when I was re-shooting the card every other time!).

Ha-ha... It looks like I need some better shooting discipline
I go cut my finger off - so I remeber it next time.

Thanks,
Dmitry

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herbellis

UK
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#29. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 27

herbellis Registered since 28th Apr 2010
Thu 06-May-10 03:04 PM

A simple yes or no would have done.

But what I meant was under the same lighting conditions will the resulting WB reading be different if taken firstly from the subject and secondly from the light source (using an Expodisc type device).

BTW for $2 or so I wouldn't have thought it would break the bank to try it?

I don't think that I have seen any mention here of Nikon's built-in WB bracketing?

It is easy to use albeit that it only works with JPEGs, but taking a WB bracket sequence before during and after a shoot is fairly easy and if you are able to choose the WB which pleases you most from the bracket(s), you can get an accurate reading of the actual K value to batch to your RAW files shot under the same lighting.

What could be simpler?

HE

dmitrychernyshev

Moscow, RU
89 posts

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#30. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 15

dmitrychernyshev Registered since 02nd Feb 2010
Thu 06-May-10 03:05 PM | edited Thu 06-May-10 03:20 PM by dmitrychernyshev

Hi Howard,

Just a quck one: is it Nikonians cleaning cloth or Nikon cleaning cloth?

I have sen two by Nikon @ B&H:

One is within the kit:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/546023-REG/Nikon_8228_Lens_Pen_Pro_Kit.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

Another one is by itself: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/374562-REG/Nikon_8072_Micro_Fiber_Lens_Cleaning_Cloth.html/BI/4775/KBID/5289/

Thanks!
Dmitry

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sidewinder

US
737 posts

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#31. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 29

sidewinder Silver Member Nikonian since 05th Jan 2010
Thu 06-May-10 03:21 PM

>But what I meant was under the same lighting conditions will
>the resulting WB reading be different if taken firstly from
>the subject and secondly from the light source (using an
>Expodisc type device).

HE,

To measure the color temperature of the light source, which is what you are trying to do here, you cannot point the ExpoDisc at the subject or scene and expect to get a usable reading. Why? The subject or scene may alter the color temperature of the light when reflecting it.

The only time measuring the subject or scene would work is if it were actually neutral.

Scott

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

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

agitater

Toronto, CA
4551 posts

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#32. "RE: White Balance D700 - what is the right tool?" | In response to Reply # 29

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Thu 06-May-10 08:58 PM

>A simple yes or no would have done.

Well that's just me. Why use one word when two hundred will do!

>But what I meant was under the same lighting conditions will
>the resulting WB reading be different if taken firstly from
>the subject and secondly from the light source (using an
>Expodisc type device).

Yes.

>BTW for $2 or so I wouldn't have thought it would break the
>bank to try it?

Yes - $2 is certainly cheap. No - it won't break the bank to try it.

>I don't think that I have seen any mention here of Nikon's
>built-in WB bracketing?

That's because it's a solution in search of an application. Exposure bracketing works because it deals only with exposure values. WB bracketing is nowhere near as useful because it deals simultaneously with color temperature, color curve and saturation bracketing I believe. There just isn't enough computational power in these cameras to successfully calculate the correct bracketing balance. By comparison, exposure bracketing is child's play for the camera to execute.

>It is easy to use albeit that it only works with JPEGs, but
>taking a WB bracket sequence before during and after a shoot
>is fairly easy and if you are able to choose the WB which
>pleases you most from the bracket(s), you can get an accurate
>reading of the actual K value to batch to your RAW files shot
>under the same lighting.
>
>What could be simpler?

A custom WB is simpler IMO, because it's quick & easy to perform, far more accurate and requires little or no post-processing time.

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