X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?

Started Apr 5, 2013 | Discussions
Seanps
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X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
Apr 5, 2013

Hi all

I have all three DPMs and enjoy them a great deal. I mostly work in B&W but have been inspired lately to do more color. As there is a lot of discussion regarding color differences across the line I was wondering if anyone had tried this xrite solution for color management. I use their products to manage my monitors and printers but had not used this to create camera profiles.

Any one tried it or something similar in the SPP workflow?

Thank you

Sean

NancyP
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to Seanps, Apr 6, 2013

The XRite color passport program requires DNG input. I don't know whether you can get from X3F to DNG. The Spider colorchecker product doesn't require DNG input, will take .CR2 or .NX2 or whatever proprietary Bayer sensor RAW files, but doesn't support .X3F, apparently.

Just use a good gray card and zero within SPP? I am trying to understand this Sigma camera calibration conundrum as well, will be interested to see other responses.

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xpatUSA
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to NancyP, Apr 7, 2013

NancyP wrote:

The XRite color passport program requires DNG input. I don't know whether you can get from X3F to DNG. The Spider colorchecker product doesn't require DNG input, will take .CR2 or .NX2 or whatever proprietary Bayer sensor RAW files, but doesn't support .X3F, apparently.

Just use a good gray card and zero within SPP? I am trying to understand this Sigma camera calibration conundrum as well, will be interested to see other responses.

I know that Adobe does a RAW to DNG to converter which I have used on SD9/SD10 files, so it should perhaps do SD14. However, it may not do SD15 or the subsequent Merrill X3Fs. The Adobe Labs site would tell you more. You'll need the Macbeth card to click in the profile editor for perfect results although you can also play with any DNG image to fiddle around with the colors (the end result is a profile .dcp, your image is not changed).

I once used it and the DNG profile Editor (both free) to re-create the infamous SD9 blue in a Nikon camera profile, just for grins.

Gray card should do it for WB I would have thought.

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Kendall Helmstetter Gelner
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to Seanps, Apr 7, 2013

Seanps wrote:

Hi all

I have all three DPMs and enjoy them a great deal. I mostly work in B&W but have been inspired lately to do more color. As there is a lot of discussion regarding color differences across the line I was wondering if anyone had tried this xrite solution for color management. I use their products to manage my monitors and printers but had not used this to create camera profiles.

Any one tried it or something similar in the SPP workflow?

I use it but more of a reference that I can adjust to if needed, than anything that is automated as part of the workflow.

I believe some people have managed to convert images with color checker passports in them to ICC profiles that you can then apply to other images...

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anfat
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to NancyP, Apr 7, 2013

you can create tiff with SPP and DNG from that tiff with Lightroom...

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Seanps
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to Seanps, Apr 7, 2013

Thank you for the input everyone.

I also read about going x3f-tiff-dng in Lightroom so that makes the use of the passport with dng possible.

I will hold off on trying it for a while as it does not seem to have any rousing endorsements.

I will stick to my grey card for now - although I have heard that using this within SPP is not reliable - so I will use from within PS or LR on tiffs

Thanks again

Sean

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cquarksnow
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to Seanps, Apr 8, 2013

Seanps wrote:

Thank you for the input everyone.

I also read about going x3f-tiff-dng in Lightroom so that makes the use of the passport with dng possible.

I will hold off on trying it for a while as it does not seem to have any rousing endorsements.

I will stick to my grey card for now - although I have heard that using this within SPP is not reliable - so I will use from within PS or LR on tiffs

Thanks again

Sean

FYI X3F is a Sigma RAW extension that has been used for all generations of Foveon-based Sigma cameras, yet the algorithms needed to interpret color, noise, etc... are different from sensor to sensor and unless the "cooking" part is properly identified, there is little chance that the raw developing capability of a software package will decode a Merrill-based raw file, not to mention firmware versions in the camera or possible changes in manufacturing in the same camera.

A good example is dcRaw, that claims for instance X3F for DP2 Merrill, yet it more data extraction than processing, interpolation, denoising or anything else.

It would make it easier if the flow of RAW development was quantified, with maybe values rating the color , denoise , lens processing abilities like for instance 4:4:4 or 4:2:0 so that one knows a full-fledge tool from a product that just passes the data along with some generic assumptive values.

Hopefully your gray card is good, as I read about someone with many 18% gray cards looking different, and the color aspect (CBL lens, Colorright, Zerocs) rather than gray has been discussed primarily in the Sigma forum, that is no surprise to me.

Actually there is a late thread on the CBL lens (and also last week contributions of BobNL & vbd70 showing color cards photographed with DP*M)

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51231224

Chris

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markau
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to cquarksnow, Apr 8, 2013

Guys,

Re: Grey Cards

since some of you have been discussing grey cards, thought I would jump in with the card i use which might be helpful for some if they are deciding on buying any in the future:-

Company website

http://michaeltapesdesign.com/whibal.html

I looked at it after reading from other forums where medium format guys were recommending it.

These are a couple of pictures, the target in the middle lets you focus on it and color is consistent throughout even if you scratch the surface. They have a range of sizes, this is the Pocket size (5.3cm x 8.5cm). Can order directly from their website.

I'm a proud owner of the DP2m and also have the XRite Color Passport, so thanks for the great information.

regards mark

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Seanps
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Follow up question on grey card...Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to markau, Apr 8, 2013

Mark

Since you have both the WB card and the Passport - do you see a difference in the perceived accuracy of color when using the two methods?

Thank you

Sean

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yvind Strm
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Re: Clarification and misconceptions.
In reply to Seanps, Apr 8, 2013

Seanps wrote:

Hi all

I have all three DPMs and enjoy them a great deal. I mostly work in B&W but have been inspired lately to do more color. As there is a lot of discussion regarding color differences across the line I was wondering if anyone had tried this xrite solution for color management. I use their products to manage my monitors and printers but had not used this to create camera profiles.

Any one tried it or something similar in the SPP workflow?

I know Gunther Borgermeister calibrated his SD14s, but found he needed to use a 144 patch gretag card for getting correct colors. I also think it was him that said that you could not calibrate the camera once and for all, but that each different light setting required re-calibration.

Also think Gary Mercer did calibrations (also with SD14), using 16 patches.

A few misconceptions in this thread:

1. A gray card has nothing to do with calibrating a camera. Grey card is for WB adjustment (and/or exposure measuring), and can never replace calibration. (Only if the camera is perfectly calibrated, of course). A WB adjustment influence ALL colors in the scene. This also applies if you use a grey card and Custom WB.

2. Calibration is used to correct individual colors (not all, of course, but hopefully the adjustments also influence the rest of the colors correctly). It is vital for correct color reproduction with Foveon. (and for most other cameras) WB will just shift all colors.

2. Grey cards are 12% (at least they should be), not 18%. Light meters, handheld and in-camera (film and digital) tries to match 12%.

3. A grey card is not a grey card. Get a good one, because lighter or darker grey might cause color shifts.  I can´t seem to dig up a Imatest for the DPxm series, but the Imatest for the SD14 shows that white to black points varies - meaning that colors (wb) will change if you click on different shades of grey (and white).

Thank you

Sean

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Kind regards
Øyvind

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PicOne
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to markau, Apr 9, 2013

I've had the credit card fan-out Whi-Bal cards for a half-dozen years or so..  Work fine for what they are; however, I can't see the rationale for a focus target being added to them..  I actually generally defocus from a gray card for WB readings.   Not sure this matters?

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cquarksnow
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Re: Clarification and misconceptions.
In reply to yvind Strm, Apr 9, 2013

yvind Strm wrote:

I know Gunther Borgermeister calibrated his SD14s, but found he needed to use a 144 patch gretag card for getting correct colors. I also think it was him that said that you could not calibrate the camera once and for all, but that each different light setting required re-calibration.

Also think Gary Mercer did calibrations (also with SD14), using 16 patches.

A few misconceptions in this thread:

1. A gray card has nothing to do with calibrating a camera. Grey card is for WB adjustment (and/or exposure measuring), and can never replace calibration. (Only if the camera is perfectly calibrated, of course). A WB adjustment influence ALL colors in the scene. This also applies if you use a grey card and Custom WB.

2. Calibration is used to correct individual colors (not all, of course, but hopefully the adjustments also influence the rest of the colors correctly). It is vital for correct color reproduction with Foveon. (and for most other cameras) WB will just shift all colors.

2. Grey cards are 12% (at least they should be), not 18%. Light meters, handheld and in-camera (film and digital) tries to match 12%.

3. A grey card is not a grey card. Get a good one, because lighter or darker grey might cause color shifts.  I can´t seem to dig up a Imatest for the DPxm series, but the Imatest for the SD14 shows that white to black points varies - meaning that colors (wb) will change if you click on different shades of grey (and white).

Kind regards

Øyvind

Hi, Yvind -

Indeed it's 12% and one can check this if any doubt http://www.bythom.com/graycards.htm
By the way I would like to know your opinion on neutral rather than standard color setting with the DP*M when it comes to taking photographs of color patch cards.

Also is there anything wrong in your view with doing color balance, e.g. using CBL lens for the DP*M ? http://www.cbllens.biz/gallery.htm

Thanks,

Chris

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yvind Strm
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Re: Clarification and misconceptions.
In reply to cquarksnow, Apr 9, 2013

cquarksnow wrote:

yvind Strm wrote:

I know Gunther Borgermeister calibrated his SD14s, but found he needed to use a 144 patch gretag card for getting correct colors. I also think it was him that said that you could not calibrate the camera once and for all, but that each different light setting required re-calibration.

Also think Gary Mercer did calibrations (also with SD14), using 16 patches.

A few misconceptions in this thread:

1. A gray card has nothing to do with calibrating a camera. Grey card is for WB adjustment (and/or exposure measuring), and can never replace calibration. (Only if the camera is perfectly calibrated, of course). A WB adjustment influence ALL colors in the scene. This also applies if you use a grey card and Custom WB.

2. Calibration is used to correct individual colors (not all, of course, but hopefully the adjustments also influence the rest of the colors correctly). It is vital for correct color reproduction with Foveon. (and for most other cameras) WB will just shift all colors.

2. Grey cards are 12% (at least they should be), not 18%. Light meters, handheld and in-camera (film and digital) tries to match 12%.

3. A grey card is not a grey card. Get a good one, because lighter or darker grey might cause color shifts.  I can´t seem to dig up a Imatest for the DPxm series, but the Imatest for the SD14 shows that white to black points varies - meaning that colors (wb) will change if you click on different shades of grey (and white).

Kind regards

Øyvind

Hi, Yvind -

Indeed it's 12% and one can check this if any doubt http://www.bythom.com/graycards.htm
By the way I would like to know your opinion on neutral rather than standard color setting with the DP*M when it comes to taking photographs of color patch cards.

Sorry, I have no knowledge of the differences between the various color modes. I only have the SD14.

If I had one of the cameras with color mode, I would certainly photograph a color patch card in all modes under equal conditions. And probably not only one scene, but daylight, flash, indoor.

This is to gain knowledge of how the various modes influence different colors in various conditions. As you may have read, people here have some recommendations about color modes for different types of photography. Absolutely vital information to know the behavior of your camera.

I supose you would pick the color mode being closest to correct colors for a particular setting.

Also is there anything wrong in your view with doing color balance, e.g. using CBL lens for the DP*M ? http://www.cbllens.biz/gallery.htm

Absolutely not. But there is a cave cat. Even some pros gets this wrong.

You can use an Expodisc or (similar) in three ways.

  1. At camera position, pointed at the subject.
  2. In subject position, pointed at the main light source.
  3. In subject position, pointed at the camera position.

To kill the suspense, number 3 is the correct one. (The other two might have some limited use, if one knows why)

To understand why:

With 1, you do not measure the Color balance of the light, but what is reflected from the colors of the subject. In principle, with that method, you would be just as well off by using AWB on your camera, and save the money.

With 2, if there is a really dominant light source, it might work just fine. BUT, very often the reflections of other objects also plays a role - like green grass in front of the subject.

With 3, CWB algorithms of the camera will see all light that is reflected on the camera with the WB device (aka the subject).

An example: You want to take portrait of someone in front of a blue wall. The subject is standing on a large green lawn. The person is lit by direct sun, and so is the wall and the grass.

With method one, you point the camera at the subject, hold the CBL device in front, and do a CWB. The algorithm will pick up the color of the reflection of sunlight and the green from the face.  So skin color, and how that reflects matters. This is the same as the camera do in AWB (without the CBL). This will probably reflect as some Yellow-green, so the WB algorithm will compensate with magenta. To make matters worse, the CBL will see to that the background color also is considered. The camera will try to balance the strong blue color with some red-orange compensation. All in all you will probably get a pretty red skin out of this. Pretty useless CWB in any case.

With method 2, you will measure the color balance of the sun, and not from the reflected green from the grass. The background is not considered. In this case, camera is not aware of the green, and green it will be. In cases where secondary and tertiary reflections are weak, method 2 will work. Typically, you will use method 2 if you need to force the camera to consider only one of several sources.

With methode 3, the reflected light (with its color) is also considered.

This is exactly the same way when using the CBL device for metering. The exact same considerations applies, only for exposure. This is the way handheld meters is use, to measure incident light. Again, pointed at the camera. A studio photographer will also use 2, to see differences between light sources.

On a side note, for a professional, critical shot, a photographer might want to eliminate secondary unwanted reflections with gobs, reflectors, extra (possibly mired) light.

Hope this was clear enough.

Thanks,

Chris

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Øyvind

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cquarksnow
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Re: Clarification and misconceptions.
In reply to yvind Strm, Apr 11, 2013

Hi, Yvind -

Talking about misconceptions, I also came across this challenge to Thom Hogan's 12% gray from an SD10 user :

http://dpanswers.com/content/tech_kfactor.php

Do you know what the Merrill series calibration values are ?

Thanks,

Chris

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DMillier
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Re: Clarification and misconceptions.
In reply to yvind Strm, Apr 11, 2013

I have my sd14 profiled for use in lightroom and it addresses the green cast nicely.

When making dng profiles you have the option of making dual illuminant or single illuminant profiles. A dual illuminant profile contains profiles for daylight and artificial light and it uses white balance settings to vary between the two profiles. The simpler single illuminant profile corrects only a single light source.

I use single illuminant profiles and have made a series of them under different weather conditions. These show up in the calibration tab in LR and you can choose from the list of profiles at will.

This gives you a set of preset "looks" to choose from.

LR obviously ships with at least a default profile for every camera but for canon/nikon cameras adobe normally provide a series of profiles to emulate the various in camera jpeg looks. If you want you can add your own custom look in a similar way. So for example I  used the dng profile editor to modify one of my sd14 profiles, moving it away from the idealised colour rendition the colour patches provide. That means if I want my greens a little yellow I can shift those tones to more green or more magenta or whatever by guesswork by using a colourwheel shift for each of the patches. I can also change the contrast curve.

The modified profile can then be saved as a custom profile.

I did this by trial and error for my sd9 because I dislike its colour response so much. The difficulty with hand rolled profiles is getting something that works consistent rather than optimising just your test image!

Obviously dng profiles are an adobe solution only (ps and lr). They won't work with SPPand LR needs to support the raw format of your camera.

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cquarksnow
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Re: X Rite Color Passport and DPMx?
In reply to markau, Apr 15, 2013

Thanks, Markau -

I placed an order and also this thread might be of interest to you :

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3471679

Chris

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yvind Strm
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Re: Clarification and misconceptions.
In reply to cquarksnow, Apr 15, 2013

Hi cquark

Gisle, a countryman of me, and a person I have great respect for. I need to carefully study what he writes.

No idea about the Merrils, sorry.

cquarksnow wrote:

Hi, Yvind -

Talking about misconceptions, I also came across this challenge to Thom Hogan's 12% gray from an SD10 user :

http://dpanswers.com/content/tech_kfactor.php

Do you know what the Merrill series calibration values are ?

Thanks,

Chris

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Øyvind

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Joseph S Wisniewski
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the rationale for a focus target...
In reply to PicOne, Apr 15, 2013

PicOne wrote:

I've had the credit card fan-out Whi-Bal cards for a half-dozen years or so..  Work fine for what they are; however, I can't see the rationale for a focus target being added to them..  I actually generally defocus from a gray card for WB readings.   Not sure this matters?

Not at all. White balancing reads an average of a bunch of pixels, so it does the blurring for you.

'Everything in photography boils down to what's sharp and what's fuzzy.'

There's the rationale for adding a focus target: you can kill two birds with one stone: use the card as a focus aide in a difficult focus situation (you would be surprised how many "copy" photography situations completely confuse both autofocus systems and common manual focus methods).

So we see focus targets appearing up on white balance cards, pop-up reflectors, you name it. Anything that increases utility without increasing cost or decreasing performance is a win.

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Joseph S Wisniewski
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SPP to TIFF, then Argyll to ICC profile the TIFF...
In reply to Seanps, Apr 15, 2013

Seanps wrote:

Hi all

I have all three DPMs and enjoy them a great deal. I mostly work in B&W but have been inspired lately to do more color. As there is a lot of discussion regarding color differences across the line I was wondering if anyone had tried this xrite solution for color management. I use their products to manage my monitors and printers but had not used this to create camera profiles.

Any one tried it or something similar in the SPP workflow?

There's two ways to do this sort of thing. Profiling through your workflow (applying correction directly in the raw converter, like you normally do with Adobe or X-Rite tools) and making an "end run" around your raw processor. The former, of course, is high performance, and matched to a limited data target (Lightroom uses "pie slice" profile warping, very cheap to compute the profile, very cheap to apply it, half the computations of an ICC 3-space to 3-space interpolator). That doesn't help us here.

The latter is not that much trouble, as long as you can get to TIFF files relatively painlessly (I'll leave the debate on SPP's "pain level" for another day. For the sake of discussion, we'll call it "sufficient").

Argyll CMS can generate an ICC profile from a number of different targets, including either a standard Macbeth ColorChecker or an X-Rite Passport. Shoot a target in the same light as the images you are planning on profiling (or build a collection of profiling images for different light sources) and it can then embed that profile in your TIFFs, or merge it with any profile already in the TIFF, if SPP is outputting TIFFs with weird profiles embedded). You'll have to learn a couple of command line tricks, or get someone to put it into a script so you can just drop files onto it, but it's doable.

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Armenian genocide survivor, amazing cook, scrabble master, and loving grandmother. You will be missed.
Ciao! Joseph
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