Setting white balance

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mostlylost Regular Member • Posts: 472
Setting white balance

Ancient Chinese proverb says "Man with one watch knows what time it is, man with two watches is never sure."

That's pretty much what I'm dealing with here, but I want to hear some additional thoughts.

For a rather long time I've been using an ExpoDisc to set white balance. Since the light is beautiful today, the weather is great, and I don't have anything particular to photograph, I'm doing what everybody does when they have a new camera. I'm experimenting

In this particular experiment I was making a comparison between setting white balance with an ExpoDisc and also setting it with a Passport Color checker. As expected, they don't generate quite the same white balance. In fact, just looking at the two devices side by side you can obviously see a slight difference in their color, with the ExpoDisk appearing significantly whiter and the large reference square on the Passport Color checker seeming to have a light gray tint.

And of course when examining the images of the two devices in Photoshop, using the eyedropper to correct the white balance doesn't give the same result that the camera did when selecting a preset white balance. The ExpoDisk, for instance, consistently gives a result about 200 warmer than the Color Checker Passport. Tint varies about 2.

While it's well known that different reference devices should not be expected to give exactly the same results, I was curious what thoughts people might have regarding actually dealing with the issue. I do notice a much closer match between the camera preset white balance and the Photoshop eyedropper of the resulting photograph.

And I'm not real sure any of this makes much difference since both devices are quite consistent and repeatable, but it got my curiosity going.

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But to be honest, it's probably the unicorns.

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