Grey Card For White Balance...


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Canonized

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Hi Everyone,
I have been looking around unsuccessfully for a Grey Card for white balancing of my DSLR. I will be very grateful if anyone can tell me where I can get one (esp if its cheap and good!).

BTW - does anyone here use a grey card and does it make for a better white balance instead of a true white card?

Also - if one shoots with RAW - does it make any difference to use the white balance grey card or white card?

Thanks.
 

topster

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Or buy 'the photoshop CS2book for digital photographers' by Scott Kelby as it comes with a grey card. Improve white balance and pp all at once!
 

freelancer

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topster said:
Or buy 'the photoshop CS2book for digital photographers' by Scott Kelby as it comes with a grey card. Improve white balance and pp all at once!
Not as accurate to the Gretag Macbeth Gray Scale Balance (reference standard used by most people) .. see the spectra measurements here http://rawworkflow.com/products/whibal/products_whibal_charts.html

The coffee filter is also another 'grey' reference if you are not too particular.
 

Canonized said:
Hi Everyone,

BTW - does anyone here use a grey card and does it make for a better white balance instead of a true white card?

Thanks.
from what i understand.
the grey card corrects the colours and give a neutral look

if you use a white card, the white card under whatever lighting (which may not look white to you) is corrected to pure white.
and all other colours are adjusted accordingly.
 

light

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freelancer said:
Shipping is US$10 and the card around US$39 for a total of US$50. Arrived in less than a week.

The whibal had survived the most rough conditions including rain, travel, etc since I got it a year back.

http://rawworkflow.com/products/whibal/index.html#Anchor-WhiBa-35784

Looks very useful, good design where it can be attached to the belt or hang round the neck..very convenient to use when it is needed.
 

freelancer

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haagen_dazs said:
from what i understand.
the grey card corrects the colours and give a neutral look

if you use a white card, the white card under whatever lighting (which may not look white to you) is corrected to pure white.
and all other colours are adjusted accordingly.
The Canon meters for 18% grey, in other words the exposure will be set so that "white" looks grey in the image captured. Its the same issue we face when we use flash for example, dial in +ve FEC when shooting at bright colored subjects and -ve FEC when shooting dark colored subjects. This because the camera is metering (ideally) the whole scene for 18% grey.

The white and black patches in the Gretag (or Whibal) card is meant for you to set the white point and black point when doing curves/levels adjustments.
 

Canonized

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topster said:
Or buy 'the photoshop CS2book for digital photographers' by Scott Kelby as it comes with a grey card. Improve white balance and pp all at once!
Hi Topster
Thanks for the recommendation! I wanted a good book and this bonus will be most useful - at least for a start to help me learn how to use these things! Freelancer's White Card looks very useful and most impressive as well - possibly when I get better at using one!

Thanks again!
Regards
 

Canonized

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freelancer said:
Not as accurate to the Gretag Macbeth Gray Scale Balance (reference standard used by most people) .. see the spectra measurements here http://rawworkflow.com/products/whibal/products_whibal_charts.html
The coffee filter is also another 'grey' reference if you are not too particular.
Hi Freelancer,
Your posts and links have been most educational. I am especially impressed with the comparison of other white/grey cards in the market. I thought it was particularly funny using coffee filters though!

I have used photocoping papers/white envelopes (its amazing how many tones of white there are) etc to some degree of success. I have found that I needed to do a white balance manually in indoor situations esp where there are mixed types of lighting. E.g. warm white flourescent is particularly confusing to my camera. Its neither tungsten nor the common white flourescent. Also where there is a mix of spot lighting and flourescent - the camera cries mama.

I noted that the whitbal card being sold comes in differing sizes and I think the studio one is most useable. Afterall the Canon manual suggest that the card should fill at least 80% of the viewfinder. The smaller one may be a tad diffiult to use if the closest focussing distance is longer than an armlength.

I will be acquiring the CS book as I need one anyway and see how the card included works out. I suspect that I will in time acquire one of the Whitbal card :)
So - I really appreciate your post as it has been most educational. Thanks again!
 

cosycatus

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why not go to your friendly photo lab and ask them to develop a 18% grey card for you?
cost is 30 cents
 

catchlights

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haagen_dazs said:
from what i understand.
the grey card corrects the colours and give a neutral look

if you use a white card, the white card under whatever lighting (which may not look white to you) is corrected to pure white.
and all other colours are adjusted accordingly.
For taking White balance setting, any neutral tone surface are useable, white card and 18% grey card are useable.
 

Canonized

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Hi Everyone,

Now I am rather confused. I just discovered from a book that when I use a white, grey and blackcard like Whitbal, the purpose is in post production with Photoshop.

But what if I want to use the white balance calibration function on the 20D itself? Do I use only white cards or also the same white grey and black cards? Or does the 18% grey also work as well for that function?

Any help here will be most gratefully appreciated!
Thanks.
 

freelancer

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Within Photoshop, the white and black cards are for white point and black point settings and the grey card for mid-tones.

When it comes to the 20D, you have two choices to achieve WB.

1. During the raw conversion (if you shoot raw) by clicking on a grey card shot taken in the same lighting conditions as your images. If the light do change then you can take addtional WB reference shots.

2. In-camera custom WB. You can take a white (or grey) card and making sure the target completely fills the image frame. From the camera menu setting, you can designate this as a custome WB frame and the camera will do the rest.
 

Canonized

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freelancer said:
Within Photoshop, the white and black cards are for white point and black point settings and the grey card for mid-tones.

When it comes to the 20D, you have two choices to achieve WB.

1. During the raw conversion (if you shoot raw) by clicking on a grey card shot taken in the same lighting conditions as your images. If the light do change then you can take addtional WB reference shots.

2. In-camera custom WB. You can take a white (or grey) card and making sure the target completely fills the image frame. From the camera menu setting, you can designate this as a custome WB frame and the camera will do the rest.

Hi Freelancer
Thanks for the clarification! Looks like I have to shoot RAW to benefit from using the grey cards in Post production. Not Jpegs?

Will certainly try to use both in camera as well as using the grey card shot for PP. Would it be redundant? I guess the second method will be useful when I shoot only Jpegs then?

BTW - if I use the second method, would that be as accurate as the first method? I suspect not. Also, there are far more steps to take in the second method as opposed to merely shooting directly with one shot with holding up the grey card in normal shooting mode.

Thanks!
 

freelancer

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Canonized said:
Looks like I have to shoot RAW to benefit from using the grey cards in Post production. Not Jpegs?
Note also that grey cards are still used when you adjust mid-tones levels in post production photoshop.

Canonized said:
Will certainly try to use both in camera as well as using the grey card shot for PP. Would it be redundant? I guess the second method will be useful when I shoot only Jpegs then?
Yes the second method is necessary when you shoot JPEG only.

Canonized said:
BTW - if I use the second method, would that be as accurate as the first method? I suspect not. Also, there are far more steps to take in the second method as opposed to merely shooting directly with one shot with holding up the grey card in normal shooting mode
The second method is like with Expodisc and each time the lights change you need to shoot and set a new custom WB on the camera. What I like about Gretag or Whibal is that you just shoot a frame with the card (and it can be held in front of the camera .. the WB shot not even need to be in focus) as the lights change. During RAW processing the WB shot is used to get the first estimate of the white balance and fine tuned as needed if you want to play around with the color temperature.
 

Canonized

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freelancer said:
Note also that grey cards are still used when you adjust mid-tones levels in post production photoshop.

Yes the second method is necessary when you shoot JPEG only.

The second method is like with Expodisc and each time the lights change you need to shoot and set a new custom WB on the camera. What I like about Gretag or Whibal is that you just shoot a frame with the card (and it can be held in front of the camera .. the WB shot not even need to be in focus) as the lights change. During RAW processing the WB shot is used to get the first estimate of the white balance and fine tuned as needed if you want to play around with the color temperature.
Hi Freelancer!
Thanks once again for the advice! Really appreciate it very much. It help clear up a lot of doubts and issues for me regarding grey cards and such! :)
Warm regards,
 

dEthANGeL

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Siglap
Just wondering, whether anyone can so call "print" their own greycards?

Correct me if i'm wrong, but assuming that the grey card is a pantone shade. Then its possible to enter the codes into Macromedia Freehand and just put in the specified codes and print them out using a laser printer for accuracy? :dunno:
 

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