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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 19 Apr 2011 (Tuesday) 12:01
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X-Rite ColorChecker Passport

 
June ­ Bug
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Apr 19, 2011 12:01 |  #1
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Sometimes I get a funy color cast in my pictures when using my lights. Since I have a BXRi kit with 2 strobes, I checked in the Elinchrom thread and it looks like most of you use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. So I have a few questions:
1) Why is the ColorChecker so expensive !!
2) Why do you need all of those colors and shades of gray? Isn't 18% gray all I need?
3) If I set up my lights and shoot the ColorChecker, do I then simply apply the same correction from that shot to all of my images from that lighting set-up?
4) If I change my lighting in any way (intensity, arrangement of lights, modifiers) do I need to shoot the ColorChecker again?
5) Can't I get the same white balance correction using a less expensive 18% gray card that I can get from B&H for less than $10?
6) How often do those of you with the ColorChecker actually use all of those colors, and can you give some examples of how you used them?


~~~~~~~~~~
June
5DII | 16-35LII | 24-70L | 70-200Lf/2.8IS
Elinchrom BX500Ri | Elinchrom BX250Ri | 580EXII | 420EX
~~~~~~~~~~

  
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sigma ­ pi
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Apr 19, 2011 12:15 |  #2

1 Good question

2 You can cool it or warm it up to what you want. It is really nice.

3 Kinda not really depends on how much ambient is coming in and what other changes there are. Most of the time I am good to go after I shoot it once.

4 I do not, but if in the studio its pretty consistent in terms of color temps

5 No I had the 18% gray card. But the Color checker over saturates some times.

6 Ummm i think the colors help the computer figure out what is what. You do not use them.


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TMR ­ Design
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Apr 19, 2011 12:35 |  #3

June Bug wrote in post #12253195 (external link)
Sometimes I get a funy color cast in my pictures when using my lights. Since I have a BXRi kit with 2 strobes, I checked in the Elinchrom thread and it looks like most of you use the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport. So I have a few questions:
1) Why is the ColorChecker so expensive !!
2) Why do you need all of those colors and shades of gray? Isn't 18% gray all I need?
3) If I set up my lights and shoot the ColorChecker, do I then simply apply the same correction from that shot to all of my images from that lighting set-up?
4) If I change my lighting in any way (intensity, arrangement of lights, modifiers) do I need to shoot the ColorChecker again?
5) Can't I get the same white balance correction using a less expensive 18% gray card that I can get from B&H for less than $10?
6) How often do those of you with the ColorChecker actually use all of those colors, and can you give some examples of how you used them?

HI June,

I can't explain your color cast but I can help you out with the ColorChecker a bit.

1. There's no good reason for it to be so expensive. I understand that there is a very tight tolerance and QC on the colors and accuracy and degree of reflectivity but it doesn't justify the expense. It's like trying to figure out why the Sekonic calibration target (same concept, bigger piece of cardboard, lol) costs $150.

2. The ColorChecker swatches are used to build the profile for those lighting conditions. It also has additional warming and cooling swatches that can be used for a quick adjustment. Sometimes they work, sometimes not. I find that once I want to veer away from the profile I just make a small manual adjustment.

3. You shoot the ColorChecker as a raw file. You then create the profile from Lightroom or Photoshop or as a standalone. Then you apply that profile to one image as the Camera Calibration. Now sync the rest of the images that were shot with the same lighting and the profile is applied.

4. I found that even if you are really anal about things that you quickly find out you're wasting time if you shoot the target every time you use similar lighting. For example, If I'm using my Elinchrom strobes in the studio with no ambient contribution then I can use a profile I created just called Studio. I've even gone to the trouble of seeing if different modifiers make a difference and if they do, I couldn't see or perceive any difference, so I've chosen not to be anal about it, knowing that as long as it's my strobes in my studio then I'm fine.

5. You can use any one of several white balance tools that do a really nice job. If I just use the white balance card in the ColorChecker and don't apply a profile in post, I think I get really nice color and nice skin tones. Having said that, when I then apply the profile I find that blacks look black, blue and red and purple become more saturated and in general it 'seems' like it puts color where it should be. Whether it's accurate or not, I can't say. I just know that I always love watching what happens as the profile is applied. Many people use other white balance tools and they're getting great color so there's nothing that says you have to use this expensive fold-up doodad if you like the color you get without it.

6. I only use the color swatches to build the profile so I would say I always use them but it all happens transparently behind the scenes.


Robert
RobertMitchellPhotogra​phy (external link)

  
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sdipirro
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Apr 19, 2011 12:51 |  #4

It's a lot of money for what it is, but I know that when a shoot is important to me as far as getting the colors right and not having any doubts when I'm doing the post processing, I always take a couple of shots of the white balance card and a couple of the color swatch, after metering to get the exposure correct, and then I'm ready to do the shoot with more confidence. When I'm post-processing the images, I get the correct white balance, create a profile, and then apply both to all the images from the shoot before I do anything else. As Robert said, the colors look more saturated, and I think the images have more pop.


Cameras: 1DX, 1D4, 20D, 10D, S90, G2
Lenses: Canon 10-22mm, 16-35mm f2.8L II, 24-70mm f2.8L, 70-200mm f2.8L IS, 300mm f2.8L IS, 200mm f2L IS, 50mm f1.4, 50mm f1.2L, 85mm f1.2L, 1.4x TC, 2x TC, 500D macro, Zeiss 21mm
Lighting: 580EX, Elinchrom 600 RX's, D-Lite 4's, ABR800, 74" Eli Octa, 100cm/70cm DOs, Photoflex Medium Octa and reflectors, PW's, Lastolite Hilite, Newton Di400CR bracket

  
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FJ ­ LOVE
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Apr 19, 2011 14:06 |  #5


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DILLIGAF about your bicycle or your gear

  
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Csae
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Apr 19, 2011 14:26 |  #6

I have a "Whibal" WB Card of sorts, and tbh i always either forget to shoot it or can't (event work)

I've gotten used to using all sorts of things for WB, eyeballs, dresses, earings, or just plain goin at it manually.

I'd definitely like to invest in a color calibration of sorts, but i would go the full route and get everything from the color cart (as the colorite) to the monitor, to a printer calibrator, without all 3, you're not getting much better.

Also keeping in mind, most people do not use a calibrated monitor, so when you deliver the pictures, its pretty moot unless you're doing commercial clients who do, or are printing yourself.

If youre getting weird color casts, it could be the ambient, it could be a colored wall bouncing some of your flash, it could even be your modifiers, i have some old umbrellas that are a bit more orangey, it could even be flare.


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abbadon31
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Apr 19, 2011 14:32 |  #7

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5141/5623093673_5902b04c0a_z.jpg

I AM SHOM

  
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sigma ­ pi
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Apr 19, 2011 14:34 |  #8

Hey how is she holding it?!?!?!?

I use the hold it by the sides like Martin and some times the fingers cover the color pallet


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
http://www.flickr.com …6850267535/in/p​hotostream (external link)

  
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TMR ­ Design
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Apr 19, 2011 14:35 |  #9

sigma pi wrote in post #12254161 (external link)
Hey how is she holding it?!?!?!?

I use the hold it by the sides like Martin and some times the fingers cover the color pallet

It looks like it's being held by the third section that is normally collapsed.


Robert
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TMR ­ Design
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Apr 19, 2011 14:36 |  #10

sigma pi wrote in post #12254161 (external link)
Hey how is she holding it?!?!?!?

I use the hold it by the sides like Martin and some times the fingers cover the color pallet

Then you have to tell your clients to only hold it by the edges. ;)


Robert
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abbadon31
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Apr 19, 2011 14:38 |  #11

IMAGE: http://farm6.static.flickr.com/5125/5203780313_2d7374c518_z.jpg

I AM SHOM

  
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abbadon31
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Apr 19, 2011 14:39 |  #12

Its being held by the third panel like Rob said.


I AM SHOM

  
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FJ ­ LOVE
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Apr 19, 2011 14:42 |  #13

TMR Design wrote in post #12254175 (external link)
It looks like it's being held by the third section that is normally collapsed.

he doesn't even know about he third section, remember he broke his opening it :lol:


DILLIGAF about your bicycle or your gear

  
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TMR ­ Design
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Apr 19, 2011 14:44 |  #14

FJ LOVE wrote in post #12254231 (external link)
he doesn't even know about he third section, remember he broke his opening it :lol:

LOLOLOLOL. Oh man.


Robert
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sigma ­ pi
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Apr 19, 2011 15:42 as a reply to  @ TMR Design's post |  #15

abbadon31 wrote in post #12254205 (external link)
Its being held by the third panel like Rob said.

You could have said magic and I would have believed you

FJ LOVE wrote in post #12254231 (external link)
he doesn't even know about he third section, remember he broke his opening it :lol:

Yeah it required he man like strength its open now ............ for good


Thanks Rob


Don't try to confuse me with the facts, my mind is already made up.
http://www.flickr.com …6850267535/in/p​hotostream (external link)

  
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X-Rite ColorChecker Passport
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