Help me with my White Balance problem.
October 18, 2006 10:15 PM   Subscribe

I've been having a bit of problem getting my WB set just right on my new 30D. I think the canon's have a tendency to AUTOWB a bit too cool for my taste. I'm thinking about getting an Expodisc or something like it. Do they really work as well as the advertising says in setting your custom White Balance? Could I achieve the same effect by putting tissue paper or tracing paper on the lens while setting Custom WB? Help!
posted by damiano99 to Technology (8 answers total)
Shoot RAW, white balance on the computer.
posted by doctor_negative at 10:22 PM on October 18, 2006

Response by poster: I do... but I'm looking for something to give me the extra edge. Plus, for some shots, I just don't want to take the time to shoot in Raw, load it into Bibble and convert it.
posted by damiano99 at 10:28 PM on October 18, 2006

ken rockwell (love him or hate him) has a pretty thorough review of the expodisc, if you haven't already seen it
posted by tumult at 11:12 PM on October 18, 2006

Why not just get a gray card?
posted by antifuse at 2:21 AM on October 19, 2006

The expo disc is for white balance, and while a grey card can also be used for white balance it's usually used for metering.

Setting WB from a grey card can be a very frustrating experience.
posted by bshort at 6:40 AM on October 19, 2006

Is it really that complicated setting white balance from a grey card? It seems pretty easy according to the 30D manual (page 65)... much easier than the expodisc method, at any rate... I'd rather try out the grey card method on the cheap than spending all that money on an expodisc.
posted by antifuse at 7:32 AM on October 19, 2006

I have a 20d and a whibal but the more I shoot the more I realize that all you need is any small card that's relatively neutral, since it's the lack of color that's important, once the converter can say, "I know this area is 128,128,128" (or what ever) the rest of the colors can fall in line.

I've done tests with a white piece of paper, my whibal and a MacBeth card and I'll get numbers within a few degrees in ACR. Yes the whibal and the Macbeth are closer to each other, but they are all pretty close.

Thing is, I find the "correct" temperature/tint, as read off the whilbal or the gray patches of the MacBeth, as too cool, esp, for skin tones, so I always have to I add a few hundred degrees, not much, but almost always some.

So if I forget to bring my whibal to a bbq I just grab anything nuetral, usually a pice of paper or a napkin, and keep it in my pocket, so I can take a quick RAW shot of that as I go along and the light is changing.

That's not gonna work if you want to shoot jpg, but everytime I've tried to set the wb off a card it's too cool for me, so shooting raw now seems easier in the end, it lets me take more spontaneous photos than the whole process of shooting a card, setting it to the wb, and then taking pictures, only to move into different light and have to do it all over again.
posted by JulianDay at 8:03 AM on October 19, 2006

If you shoot raw, setting WB from a grey card is freakin' easy. In Pixmantic rawshooter, you click on the eyedropper the click the grey card. Copy that correction and paste to all related shots, then do your batch convert.

The only drawback is it tends to overcorrect relative to what my eyes see: color correction is supposed to generate "true" colors, to match what is actually there. But as far as I can tell my eyes only partially correct. For example, I took a photo of my father indoors with incandecent light. The uncorrected photo is very yellow. Corrected, it doesn't look yellow enough as the yellow light gave the shot a warm feeling. Using a grey card and shooting raw gives you the flexibility to tune things after the shot even if you don't fully agree with the "perfect" grey card balance.

But you don't need a perfect grey card. Anything grey/white will work fine.
posted by chairface at 10:34 AM on October 19, 2006

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