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Thread: CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE..... How does one set the camera

  1. #1
    Senior Member jks_photo's Avatar
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    CUSTOM WHITE BALANCE..... How does one set the camera

    Hi guys,

    Need your help again. CUSTOM WB.... how does one set the camera to shoot the "sample image" to be used by the camera for it's CUSTOM WB??

    usually they say to set camera to AWB and set mode to that "green square" to get the picture. They don't tell you how to set the ISO.So question is does ISO speed affect the "sample image"?

    I don't use a grey card. I am a user of those Gary Fong flash diffusers. I learned from his video that you can use the white dome for CUSTOM WB. You just hold the dome over your lens { assuming of course it can cover the lens heheheh} set it to manual focus and take the picture to be used for the Custom WB. I must admit I am happy with the "improvement" in my pictures as opposed to using AWB, but I'm sure there is still room for improvement....


    thanks for your input guys.....

  2. #2
    Administrator Sean Setters's Avatar
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    You have to take a "properly exposed" shot with the flash diffuser over the lens, I suspect. Being properly exposed, the white of the flash diffuser will be recorded as 18% gray. Then the white balance is calibrated to that. At least, I believe that's what Mr. Fong is getting at....

  3. #3
    Senior Member neuroanatomist's Avatar
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    ISO speed might affect the custom white balance. In some previous testing, increasing ISO appeared to result in a progressive desaturation in the red channel relative to the others, and to a lesser extent, the green channel, whereas the blue channel seemed relatively stable. That suggests there's a color shift with increasing ISO. Based on that, if you're really a stickler for white balance (and need to shoot JPG for burst frames or to save card space), your best bet is probably to shoot the custom WB reference shot at whatever ISO you plan to shoot at the most, or pick an average (maybe ISO 400?) to minimize the differences at the extremes.

    I presume you're doing this to shoot in JPG? If you shoot RAW, it's usually easier to make the adjustment in post. Personally, for portrait shoots or other planned situations, I just include a grey reference in one shot in the series (either a SpyderCube or the WB card in the ColorChecker Passport), then grab that with the dropper in DxO and apply it to all the images in the set.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jks_photo View Post
    Hi guys,

    Need your help again. CUSTOM WB.... how does one set the camera to shoot the "sample image" to be used by the camera for it's CUSTOM WB??

    usually they say to set camera to AWB and set mode to that "green square" to get the picture. They don't tell you how to set the ISO.So question is does ISO speed affect the "sample image"?

    Hi jks,

    Yes, the ISO will affect the custom white balance, because it will affect the color rendition of your gray card. Program mode or Auto ISO will automatically set the ISO.

    You need a gray card or medium gray colored object, then "take a picture of the gray card" with the camera meter facing your subject. You can use; Program Mode, Auto ISO and AWB to take the picture (if you know your settings, then you can also use; AV, TV or Manual Mode, with AWB and Auto ISO or fixed ISO). Once you take the gray card picture, then go into the cameras menu and choose "Custom WB" it should be beneath White Balance in the Menu, and you should see your image on the card, then press set, then OK. Now, go back up to the "White balance" setting in the menu and make sure you select custom white balance. The choices will be AWB, Clouds, Shade and so forth.., Custom WB is the weird looking icon that looks like a head wearing a bow-tie. Ok.., so I have a vivid imagination.

    Once you have taken your "test image by using AWB", it doesn't matter if you "set" the test image first, and then select the Custom WB icon, or you can select the Custom WB icon first, and then "set" the test image.

    Once you're finished shooting at that venue, then I would reset your white balance back to "AWB" so that you don't forget the next time you shoot.

    You can take pictures around the house using tungsten or AWB and then take the same pictures using Custom WB that you set for your home lighting, and you will be amazed at how much more accurate the custom WB is, compared to AWB. I'm usually pretty happy with AWB outside when there is plenty of light. Keep in mind that Custom WB is the most accurate, however the most accurate does not always look the best.

    Rich
    Last edited by Richard Lane; 11-22-2011 at 05:11 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member jks_photo's Avatar
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    @ sean.... yes he did say to get a "properly exposed" shot. may be thats the reason for the AWB setting and the "green square" mode setting. But he did not make mention of the ISO setting.

    @ neruro....... Right now I might be considered as what you call a "stickler" for custom WB. Yes I did notice that "desaturation" of red channel especially on skin tones. No, I always shoot raw, though sometimes SRAW1, but still RAW. Yes it does seem easier to just adjust WB in post, but my goal is to take pictures with as little post processing as possible..

    @ richard............ thanks for the input

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    I have one of these devices rather than a gray card for setting custom WB....it works really well and is easy to use


    http://colorright.com/colorright-classic.html

  7. #7
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    Semi off topic, as it won't help the original poster, but I have a Custom WB pet peeve. If someone from Canon (or Magic Lantern) is watching this thread, please make custom white balance as easy to setup as Sony's H1 (and likely the entire H series, and potentially all Sony cameras).

    You can keep the current model of 'take a picture and choose it', as potentially that model is good when switching back and forth between locations. In such a case you can just re-choose your image instead of digging out a grey card as you move around a venue.

    But, in addition to that mode, you really should have a 'Quick Custom WB' option. It assumes you're pointing at something white, and takes a shot. This shot is not recorded to your memory card. The white balance is set based on this image. This is faster, doesn't waste card space, and more usable and useful to the majority of users who won't be changing white balance repeatedly for a session.

  8. #8
    If I'm reading you correct David, then on the 1D mkIV ( I guess other 1 series too) you can store up-to 5 custom white balance setting.
    So as you say you can set a custom WB and name it Gym, then set another called Cafeteria and swap between them as you move to each location.

    The 'Quick Custom WB' option you suggest would be very handy indeed.

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