ViewFinder Photography Forum

General discussion - our photography living room. Talk about aesthetics, philosophy, share your photos - get inspired by your peers! Moderated by another view and walterick.
ViewFinder Forum Guidelines >>
Introduce Yourself! >>
PhotographREVIEW.com Gatherings and Photo Field Trips >>
Results 1 to 18 of 18
  1. #1
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    White Balance Aids

    What do you use to make your custom white balance settings?

    For shooting landscapes, I've noticed I get much better color when I make a custom white balance setting from a shot of an old fashioned grey card. I'm looking for something smaller and more convenient to take on an upcoming backpacking trip.

    The ExpoDisc and BaLens products look nice, but they aren't cheap. Can anyone comment on how well they work?...particularly the BaLens?

    What about this Seculine Vivicap? It's much cheaper. Anyone tried it? http://www.adorama.com/ZVSVC67.html?...=white+balance

    I've also considered getting one of those 18% grey microfiber lens cloths to take on my trip, but that might not be so convenient.

    Any input would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Paul

  2. #2
    Starting to think outside of the box icicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kelso, Wa
    Posts
    504

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Why not just get an old white t-shirt to use.

    For me I will use the white line of a road, my white t-shirt sleeve, or anything else white.
    even if I have to do a slight color correction in post, I can live with it.
    Feel Free to edit my photos, However please explain what you did to them.

  3. #3
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by icicle
    Why not just get an old white t-shirt to use.

    For me I will use the white line of a road, my white t-shirt sleeve, or anything else white.
    even if I have to do a slight color correction in post, I can live with it.
    I guess I haven't thought to try that. Does that really work any better than picking from the in camera Shady, Cloudy, Daylight, etc. settings?

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    164

    Re: White Balance Aids

    I have one of those, it works fine, if I remember to use it. Auto white balance works pretty well on the D300, and when I do a custom setting as with the bacap, I don’t always remember to change it back. Just sloppy on my part.

  5. #5
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Mineral Point, WI, USA
    Posts
    7,561

    Re: White Balance Aids

    I have heard really good things about the Datacolor SpyderCube for a custom white balancing tool but I have never used one. It's not cheap and it looks like it would take up some room in a bag too.

    What I use to set a custom WB is my RAW converter. It's a very simple adjustment that doesn't hurt your image quality.

    If you are set on having something to set your WB in the field there are a couple of DIY tricks you can use. Instead of buying an expo disc buy a can of Pringles and use the lid as your expo disc. I have read mixed reviews on this but it might be worth a try. I have also heard of people using a plain white coffee filter for a WB tool. Use it the same way you would and ExpoDisc.
    Mike

    My website
    Twitter
    Blog


    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  6. #6
    Pentax Forum Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Platteville, WI, United States
    Posts
    2,043

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Nice tips everyone...something I never thought about, but will now start to consider more often when in the field!! Thanx photophorous for bringing up the subject and thanx everyone else for the tips!! I'm going to keep an eye on this thread for more ideas if they come along!!!
    Ken


    Click these links for the K5 Review Page and the K7 Review Page
    Remember, Reviews help keep our site free!!!

    Your reviews are the foundation of this site - Write A Review!

    The K-Teams Updated Logo CLICK HERE to add a link. Many thanx go to Axle for his hard work.


    Nikon Samurai #20

  7. #7
    project forum co-moderator Frog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    wa state
    Posts
    11,195

    Re: White Balance Aids

    I have no idea and always use auto wb and change in photoshop if I need but I always shoot raw too.
    The reason I respond is to thank you for asking the question so I can learn from the replies you get.
    Keep Shooting!

    CHECK OUT THE PHOTO PROJECT FORUM
    http://forums.photographyreview.com/...splay.php?f=34

    Please refrain from editing my photos without asking.

  8. #8
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by Byron Lentz
    I have one of those, it works fine, if I remember to use it. Auto white balance works pretty well on the D300, and when I do a custom setting as with the bacap, I donít always remember to change it back. Just sloppy on my part.
    Hi Byron,

    Which one do you have?...the BaLens cap?

    Paul

  9. #9
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by mjs1973
    I have heard really good things about the Datacolor SpyderCube for a custom white balancing tool but I have never used one. It's not cheap and it looks like it would take up some room in a bag too.

    What I use to set a custom WB is my RAW converter. It's a very simple adjustment that doesn't hurt your image quality.

    If you are set on having something to set your WB in the field there are a couple of DIY tricks you can use. Instead of buying an expo disc buy a can of Pringles and use the lid as your expo disc. I have read mixed reviews on this but it might be worth a try. I have also heard of people using a plain white coffee filter for a WB tool. Use it the same way you would and ExpoDisc.
    Mmm...pringles.. I was just at the grocery store and looked at them. I think they've changed their lids. They're totally clear now, so I don't think it'll work. The coffee filter might be worth a try though.

    The SpyderCube looks interesting, but I am leaning more towards an in-camera solution. I always shoot RAW, so I can tweak it a little if necessary, but I really want to have an accurate starting point. Otherwise, I can get thrown off and end up with something way too warm or way too cold.

    I like the idea of these devices that serve double-duty as a lens cap. Gotta have a lens cap anyway, so that would make it really convenient. I guess I'm just trying to decide between the BaLens and the much cheaper Vivicap. I sure would like to spend around $20, instead of three times that much.

    Paul

  10. #10
    Senior Member readingr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Basingstoke UK
    Posts
    4,564

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Paul,

    What camera have you got, if it can take RAW then use that and adjust the temp when converting from RAW.

    I have a Canon and its permanently set to 5500 and then I adjust it when PP'ing. I have never used any of the Auto WB's even in the day's of film and adjusted in PP.

    If its a compact then the Nikon L6 I have is set for daylight permanently unless I'm skiing then I use exposure compensation.

    I have rarely used anything other than a piece of white paper to get the white balance right if I think its going to cause a problem. On that occasion it was indoors and people pictures so that I got the right skin tones. Never used one for landscapes.

    Roger R.
    "I hope we will never see the day when photo shops sell little schema grills to clamp onto our viewfinders; and the Golden Rule will never be found etched on our ground glass." from The mind's eye by Henri Cartier-Bresson

    My Web Site: www.readingr.com

    DSLR
    Canon 5D; EF100-400 F4.5-5.6L IS USM; EF24-70 F2.8L USM 50mm F1.8 II; EF 100 F2.8 Macro
    Digital
    Canon Powershot Pro 1; Canon Ixus 100


  11. #11
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by readingr
    Paul,

    What camera have you got, if it can take RAW then use that and adjust the temp when converting from RAW.

    I have a Canon and its permanently set to 5500 and then I adjust it when PP'ing. I have never used any of the Auto WB's even in the day's of film and adjusted in PP.

    If its a compact then the Nikon L6 I have is set for daylight permanently unless I'm skiing then I use exposure compensation.

    I have rarely used anything other than a piece of white paper to get the white balance right if I think its going to cause a problem. On that occasion it was indoors and people pictures so that I got the right skin tones. Never used one for landscapes.

    Roger R.
    I'm using a 450D and shooting RAW. In the past I always just put it on Auto and fixed it later, but I've discovered that I end up with better color when I shoot a grey card for a custom white balance. It just works better for me.

    Paul

  12. #12
    Starting to think outside of the box icicle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Kelso, Wa
    Posts
    504

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    I'm using a 450D and shooting RAW. In the past I always just put it on Auto and fixed it later, but I've discovered that I end up with better color when I shoot a grey card for a custom white balance. It just works better for me.

    Paul
    Shooting a grey card is not the same thing as shooting a white card.
    And can Somebody correct me if I'm wrong;
    Grey cards are for setting the exposure level to a neutral setting.
    White Card are for setting the white balance for the shots at that time.

    If you haven't noticed that natural light is not the same over the coarse of the day, and light bulbs are constantly flickering at the rate of 60 cycles a second, so in reality the human eye does not notice then doing that, but a camera will.

    I will post a sample between custom white and auto white later tonight sometime.
    Feel Free to edit my photos, However please explain what you did to them.

  13. #13
    Seasoned Amateur WesternGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Alberta, Western Canada
    Posts
    1,253

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Paul, when I bought my grey cards (years ago), the package contained two regular-sized grey cards and smaller one in a separate package. This one measures about 5 inches by 4 inches and would easily fit in a backpack and not contribute any weight. I don't know if you can buy anything like that separately or not, but it might be worth investigating. HTH.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy

  14. #14
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by icicle
    Shooting a grey card is not the same thing as shooting a white card.
    And can Somebody correct me if I'm wrong;
    Grey cards are for setting the exposure level to a neutral setting.
    White Card are for setting the white balance for the shots at that time.

    If you haven't noticed that natural light is not the same over the coarse of the day, and light bulbs are constantly flickering at the rate of 60 cycles a second, so in reality the human eye does not notice then doing that, but a camera will.

    I will post a sample between custom white and auto white later tonight sometime.
    Any shade of grey or white will work for white balance as long as it's color neutral.

  15. #15
    light wait photophorous's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Austin, Texas
    Posts
    1,910

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by WesternGuy
    Paul, when I bought my grey cards (years ago), the package contained two regular-sized grey cards and smaller one in a separate package. This one measures about 5 inches by 4 inches and would easily fit in a backpack and not contribute any weight. I don't know if you can buy anything like that separately or not, but it might be worth investigating. HTH.

    Cheers,

    WesternGuy
    My back up plan is to cut my 8.5 x 11 grey card down to about 4x5. It was dirt cheap, so I don't mind. Weight is always a concern when backpacking, but I'm really thinking more about convenience. The weather in the Rockies changes constantly, so I think one of those lens cap deals would be a lot easier to use. But since I really don't want to spend $55 on one and nobody can vouch for the $19 one, it's looking more and more like I'll be chopping up my grey card.

    Paul

  16. #16
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Tulsa, Oklahoma USA
    Posts
    164

    Re: White Balance Aids

    Quote Originally Posted by photophorous
    Hi Byron,

    Which one do you have?...the BaLens cap?

    Paul
    Yes, the BaLensLens cap 77mm

  17. #17
    Moderator Skyman's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
    Posts
    1,507

    Re: White Balance Aids

    I use a lite disc, it is a small white/grey twistfold disc that is like a small reflector. White balance and grey card in one. It folds up to almost nothing (i can fit it in my pocket) and I can use it as a reflector for macro shots if I need to.
    Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur


  18. #18
    Ghost
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Crystal Lake, IL
    Posts
    1,028

    Re: White Balance Aids

    I use a grey card, a small one that I always carry in my bags because I keep other technical notes along with it. One side is white and one is grey. I use the white side.

    Although I always shoot raw, I am always MUCH MUCH happier when I take the time to do custom white balance than trying to set it post processing. I think it's worth the extra effort up front if you have the time and ability to do so.

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •