WhiBal vs X-Rite ColorChecker

i_am_jim's Avatar

i_am_jim

28 Jan, 2012 07:04 PM

I have been using the studio version of your WhiBal cards since they were released several years ago.

When I came to ask a question I only had one -- now I've thought of three.

1) What are the advantages of the X-Rite ColorChecker (http://goo.gl/G61JM) vs the WhiBal card?

2) Using the WhiBal card I consistently have a problem with reds. They never seem to come out right and I have to tweak them. Do you know why that would be?

3) You have released several versions since the original. Do the newer versions give more accurate color, or are they just more convenient. to use?

  1. Support Staff 2 Posted by Michael Tapes Design on 30 Jan, 2012 05:55 PM

    Michael Tapes Design's Avatar

    Hi James,

    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).

    Hope this helps...

    Michael

  2. Michael Tapes Design closed this discussion on 30 Jan, 2012 05:55 PM.

  3. i_am_jim re-opened this discussion on 30 Jan, 2012 11:57 PM

  4. 3 Posted by i_am_jim on 31 Jan, 2012 12:02 AM

    i_am_jim's Avatar

    [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.)

  5. 4 Posted by i_am_jim on 31 Jan, 2012 12:08 AM

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    You may remember me as I have asked three questions in the past. I asked this one last year http://www.mtdhelp.com/discussions/misc/268-where-do-i-ask-a-produc... Which I never resolved. The pictures should have said WhiBal cards rather than gray cards. I think of them as gray cards.

    And one very early on where I was getting glare on the cards and your answer resolved that.

  6. 5 Posted by i_am_jim on 31 Jan, 2012 12:19 AM

    i_am_jim's Avatar

    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 glare.

  7. Support Staff 6 Posted by Michael Tapes Design on 31 Jan, 2012 05:39 PM

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    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 photos.

    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:

    KPMGMYSMCW

    Hope this helps...

  8. Michael Tapes Design closed this discussion on 31 Jan, 2012 05:39 PM.

  9. Michael Tapes Design re-opened this discussion on 31 Jan, 2012 06:41 PM

  10. Support Staff 7 Posted by Michael Tapes Design on 31 Jan, 2012 06:41 PM

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    Here is the movie that shows the different camera profiles...

  11. 8 Posted by i_am_jim on 31 Jan, 2012 06:52 PM

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    Thanks. The video shows exactly the kind of red variation I see.

    I'll try the different profiles. And, I'm ordering the current WhiBal

  12. Support Staff 9 Posted by Michael Tapes Design on 01 Feb, 2012 03:30 PM

    Michael Tapes Design's Avatar

    Glad it helped..and thanks for your support..

  13. Michael Tapes Design closed this discussion on 01 Feb, 2012 03:30 PM.

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