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White balance tools revisited?????

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by Tom Swaman, May 28, 2011.

  1. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    With today's myriad of external devices, what tools/devices do you use to white balance your images with your GH2 if you truly want good and easy contro; of color balance?

    How accurate or inaccurate and under what general light do you find auto-white balance to be significantly off-color in the GH2?

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  2. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    Are you shooting stills or movies? Stills easy to correct in post-process.
    For movies, you can use an incident light diffuser. The simplest are some kind of white translucent lens caps. I liked those branded "EXPO/DISC". Must be some around in the second-hand market. Get on the scene, put it on the lens, point camera at where it will be for actual film recording. Do the custom WB setting procedure. While you're at it, set the manual exposure, disc still on the lens.
    Here you're ready: perfect consistent balance for flesh tones--colour and density. Scene 1, clap!
     
  3. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Pan Korop,

    I shoot only stills. Do you know the new system CBL sold by B&H? I know the EXPODISC< but one may need a range of these for different size lenses.

    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  4. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    IMHO people are too worried about WB and adjust it too much, thereby correcting out the color/shade that was inherent at the time of capture, at least outdoors. I have found that I can use one (tweaked to help correct color balance) WB for all outdoor scenes - full sun, overcast, whatever.

    I will admit that indoors is a different situation due to the wildly varying light output from different types of light - but generally, AWB does pretty well in these scenes.
     
  5. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Gordon
    I have used a color checker passport for a year now and it's fantastic. I create profiles for all my cameras in Lightroom and also use the passport in the field. Just take a shot of it and then shoot away on awb.

    The bit I really like is that it has warming and cooling patches you can use instead of just mid grey.

    It's become a really indispensable tool for me.

    Gordon
     
    • Like Like x 2
  6. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    If you are shooting JPGs, you want to be careful about WB. Usually, color dominated scenes are the problem--sunsets or inside a very green forest. It is possible to surpress a color channel so much in a JPG that you do not have enough data in a channel with which to correct the image.

    If you shot RAW, then you can assign WB in the RAW converter.

    Some light sources, like sodium-vapor lighting (those yellow street lights), do not have a complete or continuous spectrum and so no amount of processing can compensate for them no matter what you shoot.
     
  7. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    Get a 72mm Expo/Disc, hand-hold it over whatever lens you reasonably use in m43, is all. Simple, light, rugged--and it works.
     
  8. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Thanks to all so far. I actually have used the EXPODISC and Lastolite grey discs and white discs only. I never foind a favorite.

    By the way, a never try to preadjust WB for a JPEG as I feel that there are just too many ways to mess this up. I am a strictly RAW shooter for printing.

    Let's keep this discussion going. So far all posters use something different. It would be interesting to see what other devices/methods are used, what is simplest and what is most reproduceable.

    Thanks much,
    Tom
     
  9. Traveling light (left the white/gray card home) on the last trip I used a sheet of white paper & the custom WB option on the GF-1. Quick, easy & inexpensive. Just picked up a Lally cap to play with. Bit pricey for a piece of rip-stop nylon with an elastic chord. Compact, light. Not sure how effective it is.

    Just posted a series of jpegs showing the differences between awb, sunny, cloudy tweaked & the Lally Cap in the accessory section.
     
  10. Grant

    Grant Mu-43 Veteran

    I simply include a grey card in a test shot. I balance for that and then apply the balance to all pictures taken under similar lighting conditions.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. John M Flores

    John M Flores Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 7, 2011
    Somerville, NJ
    I simply white balance with people's white shirts. Works pretty well most of the time, although each white shirt balances a bit differently. Once I get a good one, I match the rest.

    Table cloths work well too

    my iPhone sent this
     
  12. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    WHAT IF?????

    What if you cannot place a known object in your photo such as a gray or white card?

    Has anyone tried the multiple varieties of white balancing and/or exposure balancing lens caps?

    Suppose you are photographing an object under indoor light and the object rests on a large light green background and the object is dark colored. How do you white balance this scene without placing a card in the photo? For those who do not see the problem, please note the green under the object will cast a hue on the object. By the way, this is a fairly typical studio issue.

    Thanks,
    Tom
     
  13. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    You can keep a while sheet of paper in your camera bag. Or go to the bathroom and take some toilet paper.

    If not, then figure out the light source and use a preset WB.

    Or shoot RAW...
     
  14. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Hikari,

    You are correct and I used to do this. I have a special problem I am trying to address. I am trying to be able to correct WB and possibly exposure in scenes in which I am not able to insert any device/card, i.e. remote adjustment of WB and/or exposure.

    Regards,
    Tom
     
  15. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Tom, why not shot RAW and correct in post processing?
     
  16. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    For exposure, you can "calibrate" your hand to a grey card, note how many stops different it results between your palm and the card, and then use your palm as a reference
     
  17. Tom Swaman

    Tom Swaman Mu-43 Veteran

    Hikari,

    I always shoot RAW and I use both LR3 and CS5. I want the camera calibrated and then I will tweak in PP.

    ~tc~,

    I have used the old hand trick for years. This works great. Frankly, I am really interested in white balance calibration. I mentioned exposure due to the claims of many WB devices that they also enable exposure calibration frankly, I use the histogram very very effectively for exposure control under most lighting situations.



    Best regards,
    Tom
     
  18. Pan Korop

    Pan Korop Mu-43 Veteran

    479
    Mar 31, 2011
    Phare Ouest
    Right, typical studio issue. How do you solve it in the studio? As in cinema: incident light metering. Exposure same as CT.
    I recommend the Expo/Disc, because they were calibrated for light metering and give a metering response very close to a half-dome integrator.
    The best integrating lens covers are probably Topcon's, buy they are half-domes, hence bulky in their standard 58mm ΓΈ, so they don't qualify as lens caps, and can't be pocketed as Expo/Discs.
     
  19. tomrock

    tomrock Mu-43 Regular

    132
    Jun 21, 2010
    Indianapolis, IN
    I'm getting ready to go out of town for a couple of weeks and your post reminded me to grab my color checker. Thanks.
     
  20. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    I use the open shade white balance on my G2 for most outdoor shots. If it seems to be warming things up too much I'll switch to the cloudy setting. I don't want to "auto-balance" the natural color out of the scene.

    The same setting works indoors when most of the light is from windows. When the sun goes down I switch to auto balance.

    I shoot RAW plus JPEG so if things go wrong I can correct the color later.