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Thread: Strange that no one here talks about GretagMacbeth ColorChecker®

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    Post Strange that no one here talks about GretagMacbeth ColorChecker®

    With all these talk about exposure and colour balance, WB, colour cast, color management, etc, no one here seems to mention the above. I had wanted to organize a quick MO on ordering the above but there was no respondant. I thought that it could be because it was a very short period or that everyone had already gotten one.

    But I don't remember seeing it being used in my studio shoot and when I did a search in the forum, there was very very few mentions of it. Again, with all these nick-picking about exposure, color cast and calibration, why is there no mention of this?

    For those who don't know what it is and what it does, a description can be found here. A short quote from it is:
    One of the most photographed images in the world, the ColorChecker is a unique test pattern scientifically designed to help determine the true color balance of any color rendition system. It allows you to avoid costly mistakes by checking for potential problems
    A rough image is seen below:
    Last edited by Watcher; 15th June 2003 at 02:12 AM.

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    i guess mayb no one is so hardcore down to the specifics to warrant getting this colour picker? i generally dun need such detailed colour balancing for my normal shoots i guess....
    Believe it. And it will be so.

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    Originally posted by Horus
    i guess mayb no one is so hardcore down to the specifics to warrant getting this colour picker? i generally dun need such detailed colour balancing for my normal shoots i guess....
    Your two recent question can be solved/resolved easily by using the above. The gray card question and the color cast question.

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    Wasn't this originally made for the SMI Sienna and Gretag machines?

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    Originally posted by Azure
    Wasn't this originally made for the SMI Sienna and Gretag machines?
    If you are thinking of output profiling, no. The printers are (currently anyway) profiled using a much larger chart.

    C'mon, there got to be some reasons right? Ignorance, cheapskate, equipment wankary? It is not very expensive, less than most lenses, yet no want feels the need to ensure lighting and colorcast is accurate? Trust camera metering and Photoshop too much?

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    ? if you want to buy, get it loh. There're millions of things to get in the world and not everyone is interested in the same.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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    Originally posted by mpenza
    ? if you want to buy, get it loh. There're millions of things to get in the world and not everyone is interested in the same.
    agreed. although i'm irked by the fact that my monitor at home and at work is uncalibrated (hence the strange colours at times), i'd rather spend $400++ on a tripod.

  8. #8

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    C'mon, there got to be some reasons right? Ignorance, cheapskate, equipment wankary? It is not very expensive, less than most lenses, yet no want feels the need to ensure lighting and colorcast is accurate? Trust camera metering and Photoshop too much?
    Perhaps most of the hobbyists here feel that they are getting satifactory output. Strict colour accuracy may not be needed unless you are doing some professional work.

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    Originally posted by mpenza
    ? if you want to buy, get it loh. There're millions of things to get in the world and not everyone is interested in the same.
    I have. Paid for it already. MO was just a sharing thing.

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    Originally posted by Zerstorer
    Perhaps most of the hobbyists here feel that they are getting satifactory output. Strict colour accuracy may not be needed unless you are doing some professional work.
    I guess in that case it is very sad. Quality and professionalism loses to equipment wankery.

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    rather than post a picture of a bunch of coloured squares, maybe post actual pictures showing 'before' and 'after' calibration?

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    I guess in that case it is very sad. Quality and professionalism loses to equipment wankery.
    Why is that so? What has it got to do with professionalism when they are producing for their own consumption? Strict accuracy may not be warranted in all cases.

    And what has equipment wankery got to do with this? Isn't this a form of equipment as well?

    IMO, there is no need to get so repetitively condescending just because others do not share your interest in this.

    If it reassures you, I think I saw Chris_K or some other professional selling these sometime ago in offstone.

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    I guess in that case it is very sad. Quality and professionalism loses to equipment wankery.
    I wanted to join your MO, but with less than half a day between announcement and close, it was a bit impossible (I logged on at 8am, and the MO already closed).

    I am very particular about color and my monitors are calibrated with the Spyder calibrator.

    BTW, your MacBeth color chart is a bit out. Here is a corrected version.


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    Default Other tools also available

    Apart from calibration of monitors, DSLR users also have a variety of tools at their disposal to "color-correct" their images. I, for one, use the white balance tool in Nikon Capture to tweak the color balance of RAW/NEF shots.

    A Gretag ColorChecker would greatly simplify color balance issues and I can see great value in using it - however, paying S$200 (or even S$150) for it may not give great return on investment.

    Most of the time, I use a grey card to set a custom white balance, and as I shoot in RAW/NEF almost 95% of the time, I can always tweak the custom white balance setting after the fact.

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    Originally posted by Darren
    I wanted to join your MO, but with less than half a day between announcement and close, it was a bit impossible (I logged on at 8am, and the MO already closed).

    I am very particular about color and my monitors are calibrated with the Spyder calibrator.

    BTW, your MacBeth color chart is a bit out. Here is a corrected version.

    I've ordered a Eye-One Display for myself as well. As for the chart, it came from the drycreek site. I think the guy might have made the error when he converted from tiff->jpg. But hey, my screen is still not calibrated...

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    Default Re: Other tools also available

    Originally posted by Darren
    Apart from calibration of monitors, DSLR users also have a variety of tools at their disposal to "color-correct" their images. I, for one, use the white balance tool in Nikon Capture to tweak the color balance of RAW/NEF shots.

    A Gretag ColorChecker would greatly simplify color balance issues and I can see great value in using it - however, paying S$200 (or even S$150) for it may not give great return on investment.

    Most of the time, I use a grey card to set a custom white balance, and as I shoot in RAW/NEF almost 95% of the time, I can always tweak the custom white balance setting after the fact.
    I too use the same white balance tool. I mean, these things go for that amount of money and yet pros still buy it. Why? I really wonder. Can't be that they miss out something, can it? Even with JPG, the gray/midpoint picker can do the color cast correction, so can the (semi) auto-color feature. At worse, I do the correction in LAB space, which was touted to be able to correct *any* wrong casting (I read it elsewhere).

    From what I read, it is like your grey card. Without it, even if we have a calibrated screen, there might still be colorcast, unless we go back to the ol' "by the numbers" method. The ambient light, the number of subtly colorcasted images that our eyes adapted to, etc.

  17. #17
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    Lightbulb Gretag Macbeth ColorCheck DC / FleshChecker

    ... unless you shoot very color specifc items (i.e corporate colors, catalogue, some color itensive fashion products, products with spot colors / pantone colors), a colorchecker serves mainly to provide mid color calibration reference point for design / ad agencies, on top of your profile.

    I utilize one with every digital shoot, even not-color specifc ones as it's been a regular cycle in my workflow. (Subconsiously become common proactice). Don't forget that you need to change it every 10 - 15mth due to exposure to the environment. For non-commercial uses, is this money well spent?

    Before you get one, ask yourself if you really need spot-on colors for birds, insects, general scenery shots or even skin tones? or is it something "cool" that you've seen another photographer using. Is it a good return of investment?

    Hope this helps.
    Last edited by chris_k; 16th June 2003 at 01:03 PM.

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    BTW, just came back from Cathay Photo, and they carry the ColorChecker - special price available for ClubSNAP members, just enquire with Michael.

    Also, the Eye One Display Monitor Calibrator is available locally from Cathay at S$560 (not sure if this was inclusive of GST). Michael has very good recommendations for the Eye One as it provides a more accurate monitor calibration than the Spyder.

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    Originally posted by Darren
    BTW, just came back from Cathay Photo, and they carry the ColorChecker - special price available for ClubSNAP members, just enquire with Michael.

    Also, the Eye One Display Monitor Calibrator is available locally from Cathay at S$560 (not sure if this was inclusive of GST). Michael has very good recommendations for the Eye One as it provides a more accurate monitor calibration than the Spyder.
    Hmmm, can reveal? Also, the Eye-One Display street price is US$240 before tax (4% GST), shipping (around US$48 with FedEx), etc. As for the quality, yes, many has said that it is better than the Spyder. Check it out at Rob Galbraith's forum and DPReview. The Eye-One Display does CRT + LCD as well. I've not compared the feature of the Display vs Optical rather than Photocal...

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    Originally posted by Watcher
    But hey, my screen is still not calibrated...
    I guess in this case it is very sad. Quality and professionalism loses to equipment wankery.

    Just kidding. Glad to see all the repetitively condescending talk stopped.
    Check out my wildlife pics at www.instagram.com/conrad_nature

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