Brands/power/modifiers color temperature

Started Jul 3, 2013 | Discussions
Zlik
Contributing MemberPosts: 989
Like?
Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
Jul 3, 2013

Hi,

Has anybody done any testing regarding the change in color temperature in the following scenarios:

- which brands (Elinchrom, Einstein, Broncolor,Nikon/canon speedlights, etc) tend to have less change in color temperature at different output powers (full power vs 1/8 vs 1/16 vs 1/64 etc) ?

- which modifiers and modifier brands (softboxes, beauty dishes, umbrellas, etc) are the most "color neutral" ? Do the cheap modifiers affect the color temperature more than the expensive ones ? Does it change between different products inside of the same brand ?

- Have you found DIY materials (white paper, aluminium foil, white bed sheets etc) that are "color neutral" ?

I ask because right now I have two different lighting setups: Nikon speedlights + cheap phottix umbrellas and Elinchrom system (3 lights) with portalite softboxes and a rotalux octabox. A while back, I made a couple of DIY light modifiers (softbox with aluminium foil and white paper as a diffusion sheet, etc). The Elinchrom and the speedlight setup differ significantly in color temperature and so did the light that came out of my DIY softbox vs the phottix umbrella (in post, when correcting for the umbrella, the other light goes in the magenta direction, and vice versa, when correcting for the softbox with the white paper, the umbrella was going in the green direction...).

Is the only solution to shoot with one kind of lights and brand at a time ? Do you guys mix different modifiers together ? The difference I noticed was not excessive, but enough to get slightly different skin tones in the same photo depending on which light was hitting which part of the subject ! If using only one light, there is of course no issue because you can correct for that light and the whole photo will have the same temperature/tint. As soon as you add a second light, both lights must have the exact same color temperature (I am not talking about gelling for bigger differences in light temperatures used for effect) or you get weird color casts in some parts of the photos, even if that difference is not very pronounced.

Thanks for reading.

kenyee
Senior MemberPosts: 1,509Gear list
Like?
unless you shoot in a color neutral room
In reply to Zlik, Jul 3, 2013

You'll also get reflections from the walls

The modifiers will also mess up your color temp more than the strobe head will.

Color mixing isn't that big a deal IMHO...only if you shoot catalog shots where the clothing colors or products have to exactly match would be the only time I'd really worry about it.

 kenyee's gear list:kenyee's gear list
Pentax K20D Pentax smc FA 43mm F1.9 Limited +1 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
24Peter
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,005
Like?
Re: Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
In reply to Zlik, Jul 3, 2013

Zlik wrote:

- which brands (Elinchrom, Einstein, Broncolor,Nikon/canon speedlights, etc) tend to have less change in color temperature at different output powers (full power vs 1/8 vs 1/16 vs 1/64 etc) ?

I can't speak to other brands, but PCB Einsteins have a special setting to maximize color temp consistency at different outputs

- which modifiers and modifier brands (softboxes, beauty dishes, umbrellas, etc) are the most "color neutral" ? Do the cheap modifiers affect the color temperature more than the expensive ones ? Does it change between different products inside of the same brand ?

I don't think you can generalize, but see my response below on the best way to deal with the issue

- Have you found DIY materials (white paper, aluminium foil, white bed sheets etc) that are "color neutral" ?

No, DIY varies as much as anything. For instance, common white paper is almost never color neutral and I would imagine bed sheets are the same (never used them myself for anything other than sleeping though.)

Is the only solution to shoot with one kind of lights and brand at a time ?

Without a doubt, this is the best solution if this is really a concern. I would add using the same brand modifiers with the same brand lights at the same time.

Do you guys mix different modifiers together ?

I do and it is sometimes a problem as you have noticed

The difference I noticed was not excessive, but enough to get slightly different skin tones in the same photo depending on which light was hitting which part of the subject ! If using only one light, there is of course no issue because you can correct for that light and the whole photo will have the same temperature/tint. As soon as you add a second light, both lights must have the exact same color temperature (I am not talking about gelling for bigger differences in light temperatures used for effect) or you get weird color casts in some parts of the photos, even if that difference is not very pronounced.

Thanks for reading.

This comes up in many different contexts. I do a lot of product photography work and getting true/ consistent color is important to the point where I also have to consider the color bias of my background paper, fill cards (e.g., foam core) etc. When I shoot portraits it can also affect skins tones, hair color, clothing, etc. The one brand lights & modifiers is the best solution. Then do the best you can with everything else.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sailor Blue
Senior MemberPosts: 6,520Gear list
Like?
Re: Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
In reply to Zlik, Jul 4, 2013

Lots of white papers and some white fabrics have UV whiteness enhancers added to them.

I bought a set of cheap Chinese strip softboxes because the manufacturer of my studio strobes doesn't sell strip softboxes. The first tests with the new strip softboxes showed that there was a very noticeable color cast.

Testing with a ColorChecker Passport showed me that my studio strobes had a color temperature of about 5200 with the 7" metal reflector, about 5300-5400 with the manufacturer's softboxes or the strip softboxes without any diffusers, and 6200 with the strip softbox diffusers installed.

Doing a simple WB correction left a tint so that skin tones were no longer accurate. The only way to get accurate colors was to do a full color profile with the ColorChecker Passport.

I am pretty sure the WB and color tint problems are due to UV enhancers in the diffuser fabric. I'm still trying to find a solution, which may involve begging the studio strobe manufacturer to sell me some diffuser material so I can make new diffusers.

If at all possible I recommend you stick with one manufacturer for your diffusers.  If you mix diffuser manufacturers don't be surprised if you have problems with colors matching.  You can even have problems if you buy a new diffuser that is exactly the same as an old one since fabrics yellow and change the color balance with time.

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

 Sailor Blue's gear list:Sailor Blue's gear list
Canon EOS 7D +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Zlik
Contributing MemberPosts: 989
Like?
Re: Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
In reply to Sailor Blue, Jul 4, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

Lots of white papers and some white fabrics have UV whiteness enhancers added to them.

Didn't know that, thanks !

I bought a set of cheap Chinese strip softboxes because the manufacturer of my studio strobes doesn't sell strip softboxes. The first tests with the new strip softboxes showed that there was a very noticeable color cast.

Testing with a ColorChecker Passport showed me that my studio strobes had a color temperature of about 5200 with the 7" metal reflector, about 5300-5400 with the manufacturer's softboxes or the strip softboxes without any diffusers, and 6200 with the strip softbox diffusers installed.

I will do the same thing, with every flash / modifier combination that I have ( I will even measure the bounced light off of my reflector ) to have a complete list of what can be mixed together (probably not much outside of the same brand).

Doing a simple WB correction left a tint so that skin tones were no longer accurate. The only way to get accurate colors was to do a full color profile with the ColorChecker Passport.

I am pretty sure the WB and color tint problems are due to UV enhancers in the diffuser fabric. I'm still trying to find a solution, which may involve begging the studio strobe manufacturer to sell me some diffuser material so I can make new diffusers.

I asked Elinchrom the same to sell me some diffuser material, and they told me that they used to sell it at a per surface price, but that they've stopped ! Too bad.

If at all possible I recommend you stick with one manufacturer for your diffusers. If you mix diffuser manufacturers don't be surprised if you have problems with colors matching. You can even have problems if you buy a new diffuser that is exactly the same as an old one since fabrics yellow and change the color balance with time.

Didn't think of the difference that will come from aging. Again, good point.

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Bangkok ? I will be visiting Bangkok this summer ! How do you like it for cityscapes  / street photography ?

Cheers !

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Zlik
Contributing MemberPosts: 989
Like?
Re: Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
In reply to 24Peter, Jul 4, 2013

24Peter wrote:

Zlik wrote:

- which brands (Elinchrom, Einstein, Broncolor,Nikon/canon speedlights, etc) tend to have less change in color temperature at different output powers (full power vs 1/8 vs 1/16 vs 1/64 etc) ?

I can't speak to other brands, but PCB Einsteins have a special setting to maximize color temp consistency at different outputs

- which modifiers and modifier brands (softboxes, beauty dishes, umbrellas, etc) are the most "color neutral" ? Do the cheap modifiers affect the color temperature more than the expensive ones ? Does it change between different products inside of the same brand ?

I don't think you can generalize, but see my response below on the best way to deal with the issue

- Have you found DIY materials (white paper, aluminium foil, white bed sheets etc) that are "color neutral" ?

No, DIY varies as much as anything. For instance, common white paper is almost never color neutral and I would imagine bed sheets are the same (never used them myself for anything other than sleeping though.)

I guess it begins to be a problem as soon as you try to mix everything together.

Is the only solution to shoot with one kind of lights and brand at a time ?

Without a doubt, this is the best solution if this is really a concern. I would add using the same brand modifiers with the same brand lights at the same time.

Do you guys mix different modifiers together ?

I do and it is sometimes a problem as you have noticed

The difference I noticed was not excessive, but enough to get slightly different skin tones in the same photo depending on which light was hitting which part of the subject ! If using only one light, there is of course no issue because you can correct for that light and the whole photo will have the same temperature/tint. As soon as you add a second light, both lights must have the exact same color temperature (I am not talking about gelling for bigger differences in light temperatures used for effect) or you get weird color casts in some parts of the photos, even if that difference is not very pronounced.

Thanks for reading.

This comes up in many different contexts. I do a lot of product photography work and getting true/ consistent color is important to the point where I also have to consider the color bias of my background paper, fill cards (e.g., foam core) etc. When I shoot portraits it can also affect skins tones, hair color, clothing, etc. The one brand lights & modifiers is the best solution. Then do the best you can with everything else.

Glad to see that I am not the only one having trouble matching different color temperatures !

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Sailor Blue
Senior MemberPosts: 6,520Gear list
Like?
Re: Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
In reply to Zlik, Jul 5, 2013

Zlik wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Bangkok ? I will be visiting Bangkok this summer ! How do you like it for cityscapes / street photography ?

Cheers !

It is like any foreign city, you will find lots of things that are different than you are used to and interesting to photograph. Sometimes it is the person on the street, sometimes the buildings, and sometime the combination.

Of course the tourist attractions like the Royal Palace and the various temples should be visited and they are always good subjects for photographs. Chinatown can offer some good opportunities for photography. Check the guide books for historical buildings, which are fast disappearing in BKK.

I have lived here long enough that it isn't really foreign to me anymore but I'm still fascinated by things the ordinary Thais rely on such as street markets. You can buy just about anything in them from fresh foods to toys to clothing to cell phones. It is the people there that are my center of attention. Outside BKK is a floating market - your hotel can help you arrange a trip there.

Street food is everywhere and if it is cooked and served up to you it is generally safe to eat and usually very good tasting. If you like very spicy food you will be in heaven.  If very spicy is too much just say mai pet (which means not spicy and is pronounced like "my pet" in English)

Just don't eat papaya pok pok, which is a salad of shredded green papaya mixed with crushed live land crab and various other things - the crabs are a sure way to get BKK Belly and leave you in love with your toilet seat and force a quick trip to either the drugstore (chemist) or hospital for antibiotics.  Even if they don't add the crabs for you they generally don't wash the mortar and pestle between uses, even in fancy restaurants, so be warned.  papaya is pronounce "pah pah yai" where the "a" is like in "ah".

By the way, the street markets along Sukhumvit between the corner of Soi 3(across Sukhumvit it is Soi 4) and Asoke are ripoffs.

Pick up a BTS elevated map, which will show you the routes for both the BTS and the MRT subway.

For shopping visit MBK (BTS Stadium Station) or the Platinum Mall on Phetchaburi Rd. Both Pantip Plaza (electronics, software, DVDs, cameras, etc) and Platinum Mall are within walking distance of the BTS Ratchathewi Station.  They are shown on the BTS map.  Across the street from the Platinum Mall is an open air clothing market.  It is fun to wander through it looking for clothing but don't expect to find a large selection if you are a 6' overweight farang (Thai for foreigner).

A good day trip from BKK is to Ayuthaya by bus, returning on the dinner boat. A half day at Muang Boran is good - you can probably hire a taxi for 2000 Bt to take you there, through the park, and return you. Another day trip is by bus to Bridge Over the River Kwai, a ride on the railroad, lunch, a jaunt on a long tailed boat on the river Kwai, and return.

Chiang Mai is a nice place to visit. Get a private sleeper car in the late night train so you will be awake when you leave the flat central plains and enter the mountains. Be sure to tour the various factories where they make umbrellas, furniture, and pottery. A trip up Doi Suthep is a must. The night market is a good place to visit and you should go to a performance at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center

Lots of dogs are street animals (soi dogs) but people feed them and sometimes do more to care for them. In the cool (no such thing as cold to a Westerner in BKK) season they will put old tee shirts on the dogs to help keep them warm. They sleep just about anyplace they want. Most are friendly but don't count on it - some of them will bite.

There are also soi cats too and they are likewise well treated. Again most are friendly but that can vary. Many are welcomed into the street markets since they help keep the rodents down.

The BKK adult entertainment areas of Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy are interesting but pale by comparison the Walking Street in Pattaya. Forget Patpong in BKK - it is a complete rip off area.

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

 Sailor Blue's gear list:Sailor Blue's gear list
Canon EOS 7D +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Zlik
Contributing MemberPosts: 989
Like?
Re: Brands/power/modifiers color temperature
In reply to Sailor Blue, Jul 8, 2013

Sailor Blue wrote:

Zlik wrote:

Sailor Blue wrote:

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Bangkok ? I will be visiting Bangkok this summer ! How do you like it for cityscapes / street photography ?

Cheers !

It is like any foreign city, you will find lots of things that are different than you are used to and interesting to photograph. Sometimes it is the person on the street, sometimes the buildings, and sometime the combination.

Of course the tourist attractions like the Royal Palace and the various temples should be visited and they are always good subjects for photographs. Chinatown can offer some good opportunities for photography. Check the guide books for historical buildings, which are fast disappearing in BKK.

I have lived here long enough that it isn't really foreign to me anymore but I'm still fascinated by things the ordinary Thais rely on such as street markets. You can buy just about anything in them from fresh foods to toys to clothing to cell phones. It is the people there that are my center of attention. Outside BKK is a floating market - your hotel can help you arrange a trip there.

Street food is everywhere and if it is cooked and served up to you it is generally safe to eat and usually very good tasting. If you like very spicy food you will be in heaven. If very spicy is too much just say mai pet (which means not spicy and is pronounced like "my pet" in English)

Just don't eat papaya pok pok, which is a salad of shredded green papaya mixed with crushed live land crab and various other things - the crabs are a sure way to get BKK Belly and leave you in love with your toilet seat and force a quick trip to either the drugstore (chemist) or hospital for antibiotics. Even if they don't add the crabs for you they generally don't wash the mortar and pestle between uses, even in fancy restaurants, so be warned. papaya is pronounce "pah pah yai" where the "a" is like in "ah".

By the way, the street markets along Sukhumvit between the corner of Soi 3(across Sukhumvit it is Soi 4) and Asoke are ripoffs.

Pick up a BTS elevated map, which will show you the routes for both the BTS and the MRT subway.

For shopping visit MBK (BTS Stadium Station) or the Platinum Mall on Phetchaburi Rd. Both Pantip Plaza (electronics, software, DVDs, cameras, etc) and Platinum Mall are within walking distance of the BTS Ratchathewi Station. They are shown on the BTS map. Across the street from the Platinum Mall is an open air clothing market. It is fun to wander through it looking for clothing but don't expect to find a large selection if you are a 6' overweight farang (Thai for foreigner).

A good day trip from BKK is to Ayuthaya by bus, returning on the dinner boat. A half day at Muang Boran is good - you can probably hire a taxi for 2000 Bt to take you there, through the park, and return you. Another day trip is by bus to Bridge Over the River Kwai, a ride on the railroad, lunch, a jaunt on a long tailed boat on the river Kwai, and return.

Chiang Mai is a nice place to visit. Get a private sleeper car in the late night train so you will be awake when you leave the flat central plains and enter the mountains. Be sure to tour the various factories where they make umbrellas, furniture, and pottery. A trip up Doi Suthep is a must. The night market is a good place to visit and you should go to a performance at the Old Chiang Mai Cultural Center

Lots of dogs are street animals (soi dogs) but people feed them and sometimes do more to care for them. In the cool (no such thing as cold to a Westerner in BKK) season they will put old tee shirts on the dogs to help keep them warm. They sleep just about anyplace they want. Most are friendly but don't count on it - some of them will bite.

There are also soi cats too and they are likewise well treated. Again most are friendly but that can vary. Many are welcomed into the street markets since they help keep the rodents down.

The BKK adult entertainment areas of Nana Entertainment Plaza and Soi Cowboy are interesting but pale by comparison the Walking Street in Pattaya. Forget Patpong in BKK - it is a complete rip off area.

-- hide signature --

Living and loving it in Bangkok, Thailand. Canon 7D - See the gear list for the rest.

Thank you very much for those great tips ! I might come back with more questions as soon as I start planning the trip.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads