How do I use the custom white balance function?


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ombre

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2008
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#1
Hi guys, I'm writing this from a Canon 350D perspective, not sure if white balance functions are generic, I hope it is.

In anycase, I'm just wondering how do I use the white balance functions? I know its supposed to change the color tones, I've been playing with it but can't put a finger to how the tones actually changes, ie. its not predictable to me.

So I'm supposed to choose one picture when using custom white balance, can I just take any properly exposed picture and use it for custom white balance? Or must I use a properly balanced picture to do custom white balance?

I feel v noob now, hah. Thanks in advance.
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#2
Hi there,

You have to choose a picture in the same lighting conditions because its going to be custom if you use just any properly exposed picture its not going to work.

For instance you are in a tungsten lite room, you meter off a gray card for the custom white balance and set it, the camera is actually adding blue tones to it so as to compensate for the red/yellow of the tungsten setting.

Then you go outside the room its lite by daylight, but your still using the custom white balance of the tungsten lite room, resulting in a overly blue picture.

So why set custom balance when you can just use Auto, since the camera will auto compensate?

For more control.

For instance, your are shooting a bride in a white gown. Then her sisters are all wearing red comes into the picture, in the group shot, the camera might get fooled and compensate for the overly red scene by adding some blue, end result is the bride white dress got a bit blueish.

Setting a custom white balance based on a neutral gray card ensures consistency.

Its important if you shoot JPEG.

:)
 

ombre

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2008
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#3
Hi, I shoot jpeg yea. Can this be done without a grey card?

Alright so how do I use the function exactly? I shoot a shot on the grey card and set my camera's custom WB to the Grey card's picture? Did I understand that right?

Thanks again.
 

Rashkae

Senior Member
Nov 28, 2005
19,105
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#4
Hi, I shoot jpeg yea. Can this be done without a grey card?

Alright so how do I use the function exactly? I shoot a shot on the grey card and set my camera's custom WB to the Grey card's picture? Did I understand that right?

Thanks again.
Try a google search. Seriously. Also, it's covered in your manual.
 

Jan 23, 2005
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Singapore
#5
Hi, I shoot jpeg yea. Can this be done without a grey card?
Any colour neutral object will do. A sheet of white paper works usually very well.

Alright so how do I use the function exactly? I shoot a shot on the grey card and set my camera's custom WB to the Grey card's picture? Did I understand that right?
Yes. It is a pretty braindead process ergonomically speaking, but for some reason Canon sticks to it with their dSLRs. (Their compact cameras, i.e Powershot series, do it in a less cumbersome way.)
 

sjackal

Senior Member
Jul 9, 2008
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#6
You can also use expodisc which you place the disc over your lens, point at the light source, shoot a pic, then use that pic as custom.

Expodisc is $170 at Cathay Photo
There is a similar product known as Mennon disc at $25 from Orient Photo
White balance lens cap from ShutterCentral 's mass order at the mass sales forum for $10, I suspect its Mennon also.

Canon has troublesome process for setting custom WB. Nikon is much easier.
 

ombre

Senior Member
Sep 3, 2008
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#7
Alright, thanks for all the prompt replies, I think I have a good understanding of it now. Cheers!
 

catchlights

Moderator
Staff member
Sep 27, 2004
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Punggol, Singapore
www.foto-u.com
#8
just to let you know that once there is a mixed lighting situation with different color temperature, there is noway to balancing two color temperature into one. you only can balance for the dominating light source for more acceptable result.
 

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