GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport

Started Mar 6, 2011 | Discussions
Jman13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport

So I picked up the Color Checker Passport from X-Rite last week....what a revelation! I had been struggling with a light green cast on skin tones as well as some duller colors in the general Adobe profile. The CCPP is great...tiny, and very easy to develop custom profiles for your specific camera. Instantly made colors richer and much more accurate. I don't have an example in these three, but the blues are much, much truer. Easy to create a dual-illuminant profile that is very good for most lighting, and I have a few other custom profiles (for bounce flash in my family room, where I take a lot of pictures.) It even helped with reds and yellows quite a bit on my 1Ds Mark II, and corrected the red cast on my G1 pics. Really great product, and not expensive (I got mine for $83.) Well worth the cost...instant color improvement, and FAST.

In some images, the difference is subtle. In others, it's very apparent. In all cases, it's more accurate.

A few examples...these are quick conversion from RAW, with the only difference between the two pics being that one is with the Adobe Standard profile in Lightroom, and the other is with my GH2 Dual Illuminant profile...just a change to the profile...nothing else done to the files. In each case I can attest that the GH2 profiled images, in addition to looking better, are a much, much more accurate rendition of the scene as well.

Flower: (Note the deeper, more saturated reds)
Adobe Standard:

Custom GH2 profile:

Landscape:
Adobe Standard:

Custom GH2 profile:

Portrait (note the better skin tones):
Adobe Standard:

Custom GH2 profile:

Buildings with sky: (note the deeper, richer blues)
Adobe Standard:

Custom GH2 profile:

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(unknown member) Veteran Member • Posts: 4,734
Wow, big improvement

I use the Passport on my cameras, and profiled both my GF1 and G2. On the GF1 it made a huge difference, the size of what you got with your GH2 or maybe more. On the G2, it made very little difference.

If you haven't done the dual illuminant profile, that's well worth the tiny extra bit of effort.

If you know you're going to be shooting in difficult lighting, shoot the color checker in one of the images and use it to true up the color in all the images. When I do that, I can even see a difference with the G2.

DElliott Senior Member • Posts: 1,061
Re: GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport

Wow, quite an impressive improvement! I've been intrigued by the ColorChecker. It also provides a nice compact WB card.

I'm ignorant about the process for creating a "dual-illuminant" color profile. Given it's apparent ability to be used as a generic profile, it certainly has appeal to me. Can you shed some light on how this is done?

Thanks,
Doug

ebrandon Regular Member • Posts: 459
Re: GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport

Hi. Can you post your GH2 profile file?

Is there any reason to believe that two different GH2's would be significantly enough different that it would be a bad idea to use your profile with my camera?

Thanks!

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OP Jman13 Senior Member • Posts: 1,424
Re: GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport

DElliott wrote:

I'm ignorant about the process for creating a "dual-illuminant" color profile. Given it's apparent ability to be used as a generic profile, it certainly has appeal to me. Can you shed some light on how this is done?

Thanks,
Doug

Sure. It's really easy. I use Lightroom, so that's where I'm coming from. The software is basically made for Lightroom, though you can make an ACR profile in the stand-alone program.

To make a dual-illuminant profile, you just take a picture of the color checker in two very different light sources. Under tungsten and in outdoor shade are recommended. Import the photos into Lightroom, select the two images, click "Export" and select the Color Checker Passport. Name the profile, click the button, and it works for a minute. Restart Lightroom and the profile is there. You can then set it to be the default profile for your camera, so every time you import with that camera, the profile gets applied.

As to making my profiles available for everyone...well, maybe some day. Right now, since I just shelled out nearly $100 for this, I don't really feel right giving it for free to the entire world. Plus, the product is so good, I feel I'm doing Xrite a disservice by doing so. That said, even with my current profiles set, it's very worthwhile. I've got it in my bag (the little passport is very well built, slim and has a built in stand)so I can shoot in tough lighting situations and still get perfect color.

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Ann Chaikin
Ann Chaikin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,094
Re: GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport
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Ann Chaikin
Ann Chaikin Veteran Member • Posts: 7,094
Yes please
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compositor20 Senior Member • Posts: 1,655
Re: Yes please

i have a thread about it and e-pl1 for free

did you have the care to not overexposre the white pathc (say more tha 95 ad you risk luminance/saturation accuracy in reds at least) with the white patch at 90 its safer...

how do you do the dual profile i copy the values from one profile in DNG profile editor to the otehr profile and somehow they mix +- sucessufulyy

adobe has a green cast for sure i dont know why they make such a terrible job with those profiles

DElliott Senior Member • Posts: 1,061
Re: GH2 custom profile with ColorChecker Passport

Thanks for the explanation! I appreciate it.

I have xrite's i1 Display 2 color calibration hardware and software, and have been pleased with it. I think I may pick up a Color Checker Passport.

Jman13 wrote:

DElliott wrote:

I'm ignorant about the process for creating a "dual-illuminant" color profile. Given it's apparent ability to be used as a generic profile, it certainly has appeal to me. Can you shed some light on how this is done?

Thanks,
Doug

Sure. It's really easy. I use Lightroom, so that's where I'm coming from. The software is basically made for Lightroom, though you can make an ACR profile in the stand-alone program.

To make a dual-illuminant profile, you just take a picture of the color checker in two very different light sources. Under tungsten and in outdoor shade are recommended. Import the photos into Lightroom, select the two images, click "Export" and select the Color Checker Passport. Name the profile, click the button, and it works for a minute. Restart Lightroom and the profile is there. You can then set it to be the default profile for your camera, so every time you import with that camera, the profile gets applied.

As to making my profiles available for everyone...well, maybe some day. Right now, since I just shelled out nearly $100 for this, I don't really feel right giving it for free to the entire world. Plus, the product is so good, I feel I'm doing Xrite a disservice by doing so. That said, even with my current profiles set, it's very worthwhile. I've got it in my bag (the little passport is very well built, slim and has a built in stand)so I can shoot in tough lighting situations and still get perfect color.

Just Having Fun Veteran Member • Posts: 3,869
Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

I forgot I was given one these by a friend. I have not used it yet, but will now!

apicius9 Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

Thanks to the OP for the pics, I had thought about one of these, and now I just placed the order. Just a question: I understand that whenever I shoot, I could create a new profile for that specific situation, but this might get overwhelming at some point. What I was wondering, are the profiles mostly influenced by the light or by the lens characteristics? Would it make sense to create profiles for specific lenses? I am mostly thinking of older legacy lenses with more subdued colors and contrasts.

Thanks for your thoughts,

Stefan

John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

apicius9 wrote:

Would it make sense to create profiles for specific lenses? I am mostly thinking of older legacy lenses with more subdued colors and contrasts.

You can create "dual illuminant" profiles, one shot in daylight and one in (say) tungsten and LR/ACR will interpolate between the two, making the lighting far less important.

IMO the main advantage is to match lens/camera combinations so that when shooting the same scene with more than one camera and/or lens the resulting images will have the same overall tone and colour balance, so I tend to make a profile for each camera/lens combination I use. Works well.

PS: the profile creation software (both stand-alone and LR plugin) works with any ColorChecker, it doesn't need to be a Passport. I use a much less expensive mini-colorchecker that is sadly now discontinued, probably to help Passport sales. The software was available as a free download to anyone who registered any X-Rite product when I bought my ColorChecker, I don't know if that still applies.

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John Bean [GMT]

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Adventsam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re: Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

I am happy to buy one and share my profiles, why wont others?, seems a bit insecure if you cant share your profiles?

John, apart from the obvious, do you know the difference between the colour passport checker and the mini, both are still available?

Any other incite would be useful, as an avid LR user, I would like to add this asap and had sent a private mail to ask him to share his profile so I could have a go with some files before getting my own, but sadly no dice, so wil just have to head-on for the unit, but I see loads of these devices on google;-)

John Bean (UK) wrote:

apicius9 wrote:

Would it make sense to create profiles for specific lenses? I am mostly thinking of older legacy lenses with more subdued colors and contrasts.

You can create "dual illuminant" profiles, one shot in daylight and one in (say) tungsten and LR/ACR will interpolate between the two, making the lighting far less important.

IMO the main advantage is to match lens/camera combinations so that when shooting the same scene with more than one camera and/or lens the resulting images will have the same overall tone and colour balance, so I tend to make a profile for each camera/lens combination I use. Works well.

PS: the profile creation software (both stand-alone and LR plugin) works with any ColorChecker, it doesn't need to be a Passport. I use a much less expensive mini-colorchecker that is sadly now discontinued, probably to help Passport sales. The software was available as a free download to anyone who registered any X-Rite product when I bought my ColorChecker, I don't know if that still applies.

Adventsam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re: Workflow video.

This is a good video of the workflow?
http://www.xritephoto.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=141

Adventsam wrote:

I am happy to buy one and share my profiles, why wont others?, seems a bit insecure if you cant share your profiles?

John, apart from the obvious, do you know the difference between the colour passport checker and the mini, both are still available?

Any other incite would be useful, as an avid LR user, I would like to add this asap and had sent a private mail to ask him to share his profile so I could have a go with some files before getting my own, but sadly no dice, so wil just have to head-on for the unit, but I see loads of these devices on google;-)

John Bean (UK) wrote:

apicius9 wrote:

Would it make sense to create profiles for specific lenses? I am mostly thinking of older legacy lenses with more subdued colors and contrasts.

You can create "dual illuminant" profiles, one shot in daylight and one in (say) tungsten and LR/ACR will interpolate between the two, making the lighting far less important.

IMO the main advantage is to match lens/camera combinations so that when shooting the same scene with more than one camera and/or lens the resulting images will have the same overall tone and colour balance, so I tend to make a profile for each camera/lens combination I use. Works well.

PS: the profile creation software (both stand-alone and LR plugin) works with any ColorChecker, it doesn't need to be a Passport. I use a much less expensive mini-colorchecker that is sadly now discontinued, probably to help Passport sales. The software was available as a free download to anyone who registered any X-Rite product when I bought my ColorChecker, I don't know if that still applies.

John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

Adventsam wrote:

John, apart from the obvious, do you know the difference between the colour passport checker and the mini, both are still available?

Not sure I understand the question. The actual ColorChecker part is the same no matter which you buy, the Passport has other targets in addition to the 24 ColorChecker patches and comes in a protective case... but surely that's obvious from the pictures of it. Have I missed something extra in your question?

As I said in my earlier reply the mini (credit card sized) ColorChecker is apparently no longer made but I'm sure lots of suppliers still have them in stock.

PS: if in addition to a ColorChecker you need/want other things like a grey card, warm/cool targets and plain WB card then the Passport is a very cost effective solution to getting them all in one handy package. If you want only a ColorChecker for profile purposes it's a bit expensive.

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John Bean [GMT]

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John Bean (UK) Forum Pro • Posts: 18,035
Re: Workflow video.

Adventsam wrote:

This is a good video of the workflow?
http://www.xritephoto.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=141

Dunno, I couldn't bear to watch it all. What an awful video.

This is a good review though... without the distractions:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/photography/colorchecker-passport_1.html

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John Bean [GMT]

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Adventsam Veteran Member • Posts: 4,983
Re: Workflow video.

OK, Thanks, actually as a heads-up on what this device does it told me in a few mins what it does, how I use it and why I need it, am I missing something?

John Bean (UK) wrote:

Adventsam wrote:

This is a good video of the workflow?
http://www.xritephoto.com/custom_page.aspx?pageid=141

Dunno, I couldn't bear to watch it all. What an awful video.

This is a good review though... without the distractions:

http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/reviews/photography/colorchecker-passport_1.html

Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
Re: Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

John Bean (UK) wrote:

Adventsam wrote:

John, apart from the obvious, do you know the difference between the colour passport checker and the mini, both are still available?

Not sure I understand the question. The actual ColorChecker part is the same no matter which you buy, the Passport has other targets in addition to the 24 ColorChecker patches and comes in a protective case... but surely that's obvious from the pictures of it. Have I missed something extra in your question? (...)

I think Adventsam just wanted to make sure he got it right.

What that started as a big (about A4 or Letter size) Gretag Color Checker with 24 patches has now grown to a small family of different more or less expensive charts.

The 24-patch cards are all the exact (calibrated stuff as long they haven't been exposed to the sun or strong light too long) same coloured patches.

Like John I have made good use from the mini chart which is about half the price of the Passport. By time the mini chart got stained and abused in the bag and I actually see the Passport version as a better solution for anyone absolutely in need of taking reference shots on the fly for individual profiles (product photography for example). A good, and cheaper, solution is to just bring a grey card for reference at home for the PP and use the dual light profiles. I have an (expensive) Raw Workflow WhiBal thing that seem to last forever.

I hope this helps,

Jonas

apicius9 Regular Member • Posts: 134
Re: Wow, now I will have to give this a try.

This sounds like I could have gotten away cheaper because I also have an Expodisc for WB, but I do some 'product photography' for another hobby, and getting the colors right is very helpful. So, I look forward to playing with it once it gets here.

Stefan

Jonas B Forum Pro • Posts: 14,596
And, one opinion, four samples

opinion makes a forum...

I think anyone serious about his/her photography should get a GCC. With the Passport software it has became easier than ever to make decent profiles for any camera and lens and light combination.

Far from every image need this but if you anytime have felt disappointed about the colours from your device individual profiles would have helped you (like bad reds from a 5D, or most colours from the G1 or common examples as showed in the opening post of this thread. In the long run it is well worth the money.

The again, the not so serious cheapskate isn't reading this anyway.

Samples make it more fun. The image is a lousy one but I hope it explains why you shouldn't trust generic profiles. They can be good for something, for example landscapes in the afternoon, but then? The image are processed the same (nearly nothing) and then different profiles were applied. That's not how one should do it but here they are for demonstrating purposes. Knowing how this pale Englishman looked while drumming like hell in the street in the freezing winter I know the custom (individual) profile is the best starting point for further work in this case.

With regards and a Thank you! to Jordan.

Cheers,

Jonas

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