alternative methods of setting white balance


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nightwolf75

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#1
harlo!

i came across some old threads abt setting white balance on DSLRs. apart from using grey cards, i read that some CSers use white styrofoam cups, pringles cap etc. the most expensive method, i guess, is to buy this product called Expo Disc (abt US$70+). :bigeyes:

my question is, apart from buying grey cards (to leh chey to use) and the Expo disc (way too expensive), are the alternative methods accurate? for some strange reason (could be me... :embrass: ), my skin tones are always a tad under, even in studio. brett, of linearstudios, advise me to increase the saturation on my 300D. but, still find the colors just slightly off.

can someone pls advise, or point me to some relevant websites for reference? thanks in advance! :D
 

igpenguin

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#2
personally i have only tried grey cards and white sheets of paper, and found grey cards to be pretty accurate. i have a spare one lying around if you are interested - no need to pay $20+ to buy the whole kodak pack then.

in a pinch i have white-balanced off walls, concrete floors... results can be good when it works. walls and concrete floors aren't necessarily pure white or grey anyway, but usually the white-balance achieved is quite acceptable.

i dunno about the 300D; i assume you can't dial a specific colour temperature for preset white-balance? it would be easier to match the colour temperature of the studio lights precisely.

if you are into RAW, another way could be to adjust the colour temperature in PS. So no need to buy anything, though i think it's always better to do things correctly while shooting instead of relying on post-processing.
 

nightwolf75

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#3
if you are into RAW, another way could be to adjust the colour temperature in PS. So no need to buy anything, though i think it's always better to do things correctly while shooting instead of relying on post-processing.

yup. dats why i'm looking for ways to reduce my work done in PS. for most of my shots, i'm always adjusting the color temp and balance. like i said, could be my lousy shooting lah, which is why i'm thinking of ways to set the WB right and reducing my work.

grey cards are good. problem is that i need someone to hold it up for me. i can't always depend of help. will let u know if i need the grey card! thnx!
 

freelancer

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#4
You can use either a grey card or a white card to white balance. The 300D metering will meter the white card as 18% grey anyway.
 

dkw

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#5
Hmmm....I thot 18% grey was for exposure metering and not WB setting?? Mebbe I'm confused, so pls correct me if I'm wrong.

Anyway, back to the original question. I've used styrofoam plates, A4 paper, backs of people's white T-shirts, wedding invitation cards etc to set WB, and they have all worked fine (just make sure they are really white!). The problem with having a card is that when you hold it up it is usually too close for the lens to focus! If I need to set it down somewhere I might as well use something readily available from the surroundings.

With the 300D, I find that the Custom WB gives a slightly 'cold-ish' cast to the pics, but that's pretty easy to fix in PS.

P.S. Dun forget to also set CWB with flash. You may need to toggle between the two as shooting conditions change.

Cheers,
 

sumball

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#6
dkw said:
With the 300D, I find that the Custom WB gives a slightly 'cold-ish' cast to the pics, but that's pretty easy to fix in PS.

P.S. Dun forget to also set CWB with flash. You may need to toggle between the two as shooting conditions change.
Cheers,
Anybody has any comment on 300D's AWB? I find its AWB isnt that accurate and reliable... I am trying to get the blue sky by setting the same setting as the other DSLR...my sky turn out wash out while my frd's is ok? Or shall i change the WB setting everytime I shoot under diff lighting for example I should select sunlight in this case.

Is there any tips on this. Thanks in advance!
 

freelancer

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#7
dkw said:
Hmmm....I thot 18% grey was for exposure metering and not WB setting?? Mebbe I'm confused, so pls correct me if I'm wrong.
The camera will meter for 18% grey meaning it will for example meter a white card so that it looks 18% grey when exposed at the meter's recommended settings. On the other hand, using a 18% grey card is ok for WB since the meter's exposure will result in 18% grey. Can be confusing I know but it sinks in after a while when you think of the camera's meter trying to set the whole scene to 18% grey.
 

freelancer

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#8
sumball said:
Anybody has any comment on 300D's AWB? I find its AWB isnt that accurate and reliable...
AWB on the 300D is very accurate for most light situations except incandescant and florescent, where you need to manual WB.

With regards to your sky being wash out, what are the 300D settings you are using? Try using Parameter 2 and see if there are some improvements. If the contrast and/or color saturation is turned up too much, you have have clipped off something - try playing around with EC -2/3 and see if it helps also. This is not a WB issue, in my opinion but rather of exposure settings.
 

sumball

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#9
freelancer said:
AWB on the 300D is very accurate for most light situations except incandescant and florescent, where you need to manual WB.

With regards to your sky being wash out, what are the 300D settings you are using? Try using Parameter 2 and see if there are some improvements. If the contrast and/or color saturation is turned up too much, you have have clipped off something - try playing around with EC -2/3 and see if it helps also. This is not a WB issue, in my opinion but rather of exposure settings.
Parameter 2 huh? alright, will play around with it... and the EC too.

i have tried and close my aperture to f16 and what i got was just an underecpose shot nt the blue sky, if i want a proper expose shot, my sky will turn out washed out. :(

Thanks anyway.... Think I have to get know to my camera better ;p :embrass:
 

showtime

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#10
do your white balance on anything white... but then what is true white? you must figure that out... but no need to be so precise. white paper is white enough for me.
 

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