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Thread: ColorChecker Passport

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    Question ColorChecker Passport

    I just finished watching a couple of podcasts and both mentioned the ColorChecker Passport from xrite, both were very interesting and made me wonder if it is worth the $185 they are asking for it.
    Does anyone here have any experience with it, or seen anyone use the passport on a shoot?

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    I have seen the promo stuff....but find it hard to the justify the cost. Be interested also to hear of any real life experience with it though.

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    I have one, although I havn't used it much (mainly because I haven't been taking too many photos lately)


    It really depends on what you shoot, but it really comes into it's own for,
    Crazy lighting which will mess with your white balance.
    Accurate skin tones.
    Anything to do with colour by numbers where accuracy is everything.

    I shoot raw so I don't worry about white balance in camera.
    As for custom profiles I have done this a few times with the colour checker program as well as adobe dng editor and found it a quick and painless experience.
    Size wise it fits in your pocket so that's a plus.

    Value for money? in the eye of the (wallet) beholder.
    Just clowning around

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    crazy lighting that throws out your WB.. I need that.

    my folks run some crazy cheapo(reeeeeally cheapo) energy saver lights of various colour temps in their house and taking a photo under these lights produces the most horrendous skin tones.. all green and yellow mixed with blue, purple and ultraviolet infra red casts!


    .. seriously bad stuff.(I've never tried to WB adjust it though with a white or grey reference materieal of any kind.

    as for the color checker.. I don't know anything about it either. Looks expensive, but going by the review on luminouslandscapes, it doesn't look too bad if you're serious about your colour accuracy.
    (in the end the price fades into insignificance.. as I now realize with my Elite version of the Spyder calibrator .. )

    I do my colour checking by eye/memory.. of how I remember the scene to appear through the vf or naked eye.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Thanks for your replies. I too do most of my work by eye, using what I remember to be white as the main source for WB adjustment. But many times this has only got the image close and the blues are out a little as are the reds (tend to be closer to orange).

    I photograph birds for relaxation and hence would love to get the colours as close as possible. I too have calibrated my monitors using the Spyder, and though this helped, it still relies on my eye to gauge what is right (I too think that money was well spent AK).

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    when reds and blues start to need adjustment, and in my case, hue comes into play, I fall into a heap.

    Nikon's software is fairly easy to work with when it comes to hue, but it just doesn't seem to be 'fine' enough in it's calibration. Where the hue control in CaptureNX is adjusted in steps from 1-12 in both a negative and positive manner.. I find that a single 1 step adjustment can be too much.. and would like to see 1/2 or 1/3 step adjustments. Their use of -12 to 0 to 12 is plain silly. It bears no resemblance to any in camera parameter, and goes against their regulation stepped adjustments that use % increases instead.

    have you had a read of the review on this passport thingie on the luminous landscape site?
    it does seem to make PP a little easier, and works by profiling the camera for a given shoot in Adobe based profile types.. so may be something worth looking into if you have a difficult lighting situation to battle with.

    Also remember that whitebalance isn't simply about colour temperature either.. you should take into account the hue balance as well.
    With white balance; colour temp(in Kelvin) is about balancing the blue-yellow channels properly, as well as taking into account the magenta-green channel for hue.

    later model Nikons have a groovy WB grid that clearly helps with this in difficult situations.

    Also, have you ever tried balancing WB/hue using Liveview? it works quite well.. maybe not perfectly, but pretty damned close. You see it in real time, so as you adjust WB and make subtle changes, you should see the colours as you want them to look in the final capture.
    of course this is not always practical, but if the conditions are ok for it(eg. not too bright to overwhelm the review screens display ability... give it a try.

    I think I once posted a small reply on how WB can be pretty accurately checked using Lv mode. I used my daughter an her younger cousin as subjects under that horrid lighting at mum and dads. Their skin came out looking like a nice shade of banana yellow, which was a much closer rendition of the actual scene at the time, compared to the lime green coloured skin that AWB tried to produce!

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    Yeah, read the review AK, seems good. I am going to use some of the funds from my last shoot to pay for it and will post a review when I have nutted out how to use it correctly. I was in the same boat before buying the Spyder for my screens, and now think it was money really well spent, so hope this will be the same.

    The Liveview idea is a good one, and no i've not tried that, but i'll give it a go on the next shoot.

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    when i bought a color munki from imagescience I got the mini colorchecker as a bonus offer. I'm yet to use it as i've done little shooting in a studio/controlled situation (ie. weddings don't lend themselves well to using it) because the light is always changing.

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    Ok, I bought the xrite colourchecker passport today and thought I'd see how much a difference it would make to a shot. I setup the Alien Bee B400 in the lounge with the reflector allowing for a direct flash with no modifiers. The AB is rated at 5500 Kelvin, set the camera to that and took the following shot.

    Original


    Modified with new profile


    As can be seen, the blue channel is quite different and the new profile shows a much richer blue. So for my dollars, i think it's worth it. I now have a calibrated camera, monitors and use a pro lab for printing, that should give me the most accurate representation of the image taken. Would love to know peoples thoughts about how you calibrate your workflow.

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    Thanks for that Allann, there is a definite difference. I would be interested in how it fits into your work flow. Do you just set the profile when you upload your images?

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    Steps taken for the shoot:
    1. Setup lights, flash, reflector, etc
    2. Take a few test shots to ensure lighting is correct
    3. Ask model to hold passport near face
    4. Proceed with shoot using that lighting. Poses, props, etc can change as long as the lighting doesn't from what i understand
    5. Import images to LR
    6. Export the image with the passport (LR uses a plugin to create a profile)
    7. Restart LR and set the profile of the imported images to the newly created profile


    I tried using the initial profile on some other shots where I asked the subject to change (from cream to a deep red), though the cast from the shirt was very different, the profiles were so close to being the same I couldn't tell the difference between the two shots. However, changing the lighting conditions, requires a new profile. So for studio work, with consistent lighting, you would only need one profile as I see it.

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