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Multiple cameras, same look in Lightroom?

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by jziegler, Mar 14, 2013.

  1. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    I am working on learning Lightroom, and the next thing that I'd like to do is to get some consistency on look between my main cameras. I have an E-PL1 and G3 that I regularly use, and bringing RAW files from both into lightroom for the same shoot, the color is different in the two. If I'm shooting with flash on an off-white backdrop, both cameras set to flash white balance, the colors don't match. I know that I can have camera profiles automatically applied, is there any advice on how to get profiles to make the two match better?

    Thanks!
     
  2. TDP

    TDP Guest

  3. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    Looks interesting, but a bit more expensive that I was expecting.

    Do you have one and use it? The description talks about DNG targets, does that mean that you need to convert to DNG to use it, or is that just what the targets are called? So far, I have been keeping the native .ORF and .RW2 files rather than convert to DNG.
     
  4. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    As I understand it (don't own one yet), the way the CC passport works is you take a photo of it with the camera, then use it to create a DNG file which is used as a profile for Photoshop etc. So the DNG profile is just for creating the original color profile, doesn't mean you have to use DNG files. You can still shoot & process RAW.

    Basically it's a way to calibrate your camera's color response to a known target which should go a long way toward getting color and WB response to be more consistent between cameras by creating a profile tweaked to your preference.

    I believe for the best results, you're supposed to create profiles for multiple scenarios (or even take an image of the CC Passport directly at the scene where you're shooting). For example, from the XRite blog post on DNG targets:

     
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  5. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    I found that blog post right after I posted the second question. Thanks for posting it here. That gives me a better idea how this whole things works. It looks great for getting color the way you want it, but is it overkill for getting 2 cameras to match? And creating a new profile for all lighting conditions might be more work that I care to do regularly.

    Plenty to think about... Thanks.
     
  6. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Jay
    You'd only have to do it once per camera, then apply the appropriate profile for that type of lighting at processing time. The other option is if you're doing studio work or a lot of shots in one location/lighting situation, you take a shot of the CC Passport and calibrate the other shots to it later (i.e. once per shoot)

    If most of your color issues are less about color and more of a white balance difference, you might get away with a simple (and cheap) WhiteBal card shot to calibrate a custom WB in LightRoom for the conditions. That takes seconds in LR and can be easily done for a set of pictures from one location.
     
  7. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Yes I have one and I have used it on my Canon DSLRs, M43 and Fuji X bodies. It comes with software that reads the color patterns and creates a custom color profile for your camera which you can use in PS or LR.

    My 5DII was waaaay off, yet my 550D (much cheaper) was almost on the money. Funny how that goes....
     
  8. TDP

    TDP Guest

    If you want to get really into it, use the color chart at the beginning of each shoot. Add the chart into a photo (have a model hold it, etc), use it to set your WB and shoot away. When you are ready to process, fix the first image (the one with the color chart in it) the way you want and sync the rest to that image. Poof, color correction.

    Works until you change lighting (or it changes for you, as in the sun).
     
  9. TDP

    TDP Guest

    Here is an example...take a shot with the color chart in it and your lighting the way you want it, then take the remaining shots as you like. Correct the first and go from there.

    My wife is rather tan and the background wall isn't pure white, often times auto WB (either in camera or in PP) can't figure out what to do about it. This makes it easier.

    5189986520_71c0c38c22_z.
    Photo Make-up by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr


    Light Test 01 by Photos By 夏天, on Flickr
     
  10. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction.

    I did a search on DNG profile, and the following came up:

    Adobe DNG Profiles and Profile Editor

    So Adobe has a free DNG profile editor for download. If you shoot a test chart, it can generate a profile (although it is a manual process compared to the x-rite software). Apparently, the free editor supports dual light profiles, so I'm thinking that I'll give that a try first. There are some downloadable color charts, and I'll give it a try with them first and go from there. Even if it's not 100% accurate, I'll see if it get the two cameras close together at least.
     
  11. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    No. Downloadable color charts won't work, except to give you colours that are uniformly wrong. The color chart is the reference point. Every one of them is exactly the same and tested to be that way. The one you print will be wrong by how much out your printer is. It'd be nice if there was a free way to do what you want but there isn't. You're going to need to make a small investment on this one. Unfortunately coloor management and free don't get on. Maybe you could find someone with a colour card to photograph. Just remember the shot needs to be taken properly to get a good result.

    BTW you don't need to use the color checker. Any of the Xrite cards work and you can download the software for free from their site if you register your card. They don't all cost as much as the passport.

    Gordon
     
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  12. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    So a downloadable color chart printer by a color managed program, using the proper profiles for my printer and paper combination won't be close enough? I didn't specify the details before, but I do have proper profiles for printing. I know that the control won't be as good as from a purchased card, but I'd think it would be pretty close. And I'm no pro here, I just want a better match between cameras.

    I'd have no problem buying one if the price wasn't crazy for a stupid card. The cheapest one I see from X-rite is over $60, which is insane for what it is. Even with testing and a high failure rate, I can't imagine production costs more than a couple bucks. I see some charts from other companies on Amazon and other stores, but how do I know that they would be any better than what I can print?
     
  13. TDP

    TDP Guest

    To calibrate your screen, your printer and your camera sensor requires software and hardware that are not inexpensive. Each item is its own unique animal, there is no way to correctly do it with pre built profiles.

    Printing a color chart off the Internet on your home printer then using that to build sensor profiles would result in each of your cameras producing the same colors, they just would not be correct colors. That being said they might be close enough for your needs.
     
  14. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Highly unlikely. Possible (and it will cost nothing to try) but unlikely. It's not just the colours (although they still wouldn't be "spot on" it's the reflectance of the materials. Yes they're expensive. But also very, very useful if you already have a colour managed workflow. Especially the passport. For a lot of what I do I now consider it to be as essential to my workflow as my Spyder. The time I've saved in post processing has well and truly paid me back the cost of the passport, several times over. Once I had made a dual illuminant profile for each of my cameras and those of my shooting partner a simple shot of the card for white balance is ridiculously easy.

    $60.00 = what? A couple of weeks worth of coffee? A single trip to the movies? An Olympus Body Cap lens? Half of a decent UV filter? Less than an Olympus hood. :smile: Sure it's hard to see the value when you don't have one and you do have to develop the habit of using it all the time. But you seem to have a colour managed workflow going on. Why not make it a bit easier to implement?

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    Hey, you obviously know a lot more about color management than I do, and this is valuable information. I did just print a chart, I'll see if I get a chance tomorrow afternoon to play with them and see what I get. You're also coming at this from a different angle than I am. For you as a professional, time is money, so speeding up your post-processing is of more value than to me as a hobbyist.

    I do have a color managed workflow, but have struggled with it. I started when I was using a printing service, and wasn't happy with the results I was getting as compared to my monitor. I've gone through several iterations to get where I am now, and I still struggle with brightness sometimes (I use a Spyder3 express to calibrate, which does not measure brightness of the monitor). I have seen the wisdom to purchasing the right item (I threw out 2 Huey Pro calibrators because I could never get them to work well, the second was a warranty replacement). Buying the slightly more expensive Spyder first would have saved me in the long run. So buying the right chart the first time is what I would do. I wouldn't trust the no-name cheap ones on Amazon, but I'm still having a hard time with the price. What can I say, I'm frugal (or sometimes, cheap). I'll think about it for a bit, and play with what I have some more.

    I've also started reading your page on color management, and it is helpful, and a better summary than others that I've seen. I really wish it wasn't so complicated (says the guy who designs miniature electronics for a living....)

    So once again, thanks for the advice.
     
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  16. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    For me. It's not about the time/money. I'd just rather be either taking photos or playing with the kids. I'm an enthusiast too, when I'm not getting paid. But I'm picky as well. Like yours, my colour management workflow started when I began printing digitally. That was about 10 years ago and I'm still learning bits and pieces. You have the basics down. A decent monitor profile and profiles for your papers. In the real world that's usually all you need.

    Colour profiling using a checker card hasn't been around that long for us mere mortals. i think the Fors Script was the first one I played with. The colorchecker and software really upped the game around when LR3 was released because it was the first one that worked as advertised and it was the first that allowed us to make a quick dual illuminant profile for LR. It's hard to believe the hoops digital photographers jumped through before that.

    Good luck with the downloaded chart. I'd be interested to hear of the results.

    Gordon
     
  17. jziegler

    jziegler Mu-43 Veteran

    261
    Dec 15, 2012
    Salem County, New Jersey
    James
    Just for a quick update, I haven't had a chance to do anything serious with the printed chart. I did a few quick snaps of it, and read it in the Adobe DNG profile editor and created a profile, which Lightroom sees, but the shots weren't take at the right color temperatures. If I'm going to try this, I'd prefer a dual illuminant profile, and have had trouble getting the 6500k so far. Finding time to work on this while I have a full time job, and an 8 month old son can be a challenge.

    I was out last weekend at a local garden, and did some natural light shooting there, and the cameras didn't seem as different than when I'm at home using flash inside. So it might just be that the flash white balance settings on the two cameras are very different. I should probably try using a custom white balance for the flash work and see what that does for me as well.
     
  18. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    Other option - DxO has camera body specific profiles, which you can assign to images. It's more about how certain sensors render colors - which differs from camera to camera.
     
  19. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    Dual illuminant profiles dont demand ultra precision. Its not like you have the equipment to do that anyway. 6500k is shade in daylight. That shouldnt be so hard. Then a shot under tungsten lights. Just avoid lights like vapour lamps that dont actually send parts of the visible spectrum.

    Gordon