1 - The ColorChecker is a good product. it is overkill for a
White Balance reference in terms of its size and cost. it can be
used for "color testing" and also to build Lightroom camera
profiles (should not be needed)
2 - The WhiBal cannot be wrong, unless it is dirty or
contaminated. By the "reds" do you mean that there is a cast on the
image, or you do not like the way the reds are rendered.
If the latter is the case then you have to look at the camera
sensor/development software combination. Give me more details and I
am happy to help.
3 - The old WhiBals were spec'd to the same precision, but the
material was not as stable as what we use now. So if the WhiBals
are 3 years old, I would suggest it is time for a fresh set (I
believe that CC is recommended to be replaced every year).
[the color checker] can be used for "color testing"
What do you mean by color testing?
By the "reds" do you mean that there is a cast on the image, or
you do not like the way the reds are rendered.
There's no color cast. While the other colors closely match the
actual colors, the reds often do not and I must adjust them
manually. I'm the guy who photographs quilts, so I have the actual
object beside me when working on the image. In most photography
people accept the colors without remembering how they really look.
Quilters have spent many hours looking at the colors in the quilt
and KNOW if they're off.
I'm currently using a Nikon D5100 but, up until earlier this
year I was using the WhiBal and another camera with the same
result. I use Adobe Camera Raw and the DNG converter with Photoshop
(I still use Photoshop CS4 and the raw converter does not support
the D5100 so I have to use the DNG converter. Previously I used the
raw converter directly.)
My WhiBal studio is a set of four cards, white, black, RAW gray,
JPEG gray. I see you no longer include the JPEG card and have
combined the white & black onto the RAW gray (at least I assume
it's the RAW gray.) I found the black card useful in avoiding
By color testing I mean to shoot the CC and then
compare its colors to the actual colors, but you have the ultimate
CC in your quilts.
The color shift is no doubt in the processing of the image CS4.
The designers have to create a color profile, and has some of the
personality of the designer, and also shows some of the faults in
the software. In fact the latest Lightroom beta and upcoming CS6
have a completely new processing engine showing that Adobe also
knows that there was room for improvement.
For now i would suggest trying the different camera profiles
within Camera raw. I attached a video that shows how much the reds
are affected simply by changing the camera profile. I think only
Nikon and Canon are supported in this way but you can check. Also
you could adjust the red slider in the camera calibration panel
(same panel as profiles, and then store those setting either as the
default, or you can load them in when you process the quilt
if that does not work well for you...THEN you can use the
CCPassport to build a custom profile using your lighting and
camera, and that should yield proper results with the WhiBal. Your
WhiBal is very old, so you may want to get a new one in case the
surface has gotten contaminated. Here is a 20% discount coupon code
if you want to do that: