X-rite passport & software

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by compuwar, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #1
  2. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #2
    I see no point in trying to produce accurate color when I can do it in photoshop.


    I am of course kidding and have little to offer.
     
  3. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #3
    LOL

    It's worth the 30 minutes of the webinar...

    Paul
     
  4. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #4
    That's amazing- all the talk about monitor calibration, and here's the chance to calibrate the sensor/lens/lighting combo and nobody's doing it?

    I got my Passport today- not sure if I'll be able to use it tonight, but I'm hoping I may have the chance. I like the idea of being able to calibrate two different body/lens combinations so that the images will be virtually identical.
     
  5. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #5
    I was being funny. I'd love to do it but I am tied to work on average 12 hours a day, not much time to shoot.
     
  6. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #6
    I know you were being funny- that's why I laughed :p , I just figured someone here would already be doing this- I think the software is relatively new- but it makes it so easy to calibrate the sensor and to match two bodies (one of the reasons the webinar is worth the time is to see those results.)

    Just because you're slacking off and only doing 12hrs a day doesn't mean the rest of us aren't busy :p !


    Paul
     
  7. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    #7
    True, lemme know how it works out say Monday before 2 pm but not during the weekend due to weekend working and super bowl sunday.
     
  8. firestarter macrumors 603

    firestarter

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    #8
    I've owned a color checker card for years - but not really used it that much, since it's always been difficult to manually tune all the RAW colour parameters.

    Tempted to use this new software (which is free).
     
  9. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #9
    There is an argument to be made that unless you're shooting product ads, the most accurate color is often not the best color. Think of the deliberate manipulation of white balance people do to enhance their images. When you shoot JPG in your camera, it applies its own color profile to the image giving it a distinctive look. Switch to RAW and you will notice the coloration to be quite different (unless you use the manufacturer's RAW converter, like Nikon CaptureNX which uses the same color profiles that Nikon loads into their cameras).

    That said, however, I do own a CCC and did calibrate my sensor a long time ago just because I was curious about it. I found the results to be subtle but visible (the biggest effect was in the reds) and I use my custom created profile on all my pictures.

    Is this product any different than using Adobe's free DNG profile software, provided you already have the colorchecker card? If you have the card already all you need to do is to use the free Adobe DNG profiler and that should have the same result as this product? Unless you're in the market for a small portable CCC, it might be more cost effective to just buy a different CCC and use the free software instead. I think my 8x10" CCC was like $60, this kit is $100.

    The one question I have about calibrating your sensor in general is, at least as far as I understand the process, it seems to be very dependent on the quality of your source photos. I think it is harder than you think to get two accurate shots under controlled lighting. I'm sure there is variability in tungsten bulbs, and unless you're shooting it in a room made of nothing other than neutral grey walls, you might get some color cast contamination. In order to get a good 6500K shot, just going outside doesn't always cut it. The weather, time of day, even physical location on the planet (for example, the D65 standard is defined as the sunlight on a bright day in Northern/Western Europe) will all subtly effect the temperature. Unless you have access to a solar simulator that can reproduce strictly the calculated spectrum of sunlight... your color images won't be as accurate as they possibly can.

    Again though, I did buy a CCC and did do use the profile I made for all my images. It was a fun experiment and a good learning exercise in color management.

    Ruahrc
     
  10. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #10
    I think that applies more to white balance, but I'd argue that starting with the correct colors is good, you can always adjust from there... They show several good examples in the webinar, the most glaring of which is the model with the multi-colored dress, some of the non-profiled shots show a completely different color.

    While NX has the ability to use the same profiles and apply the in-camera settings, you don't have to use it that way. But either way, being able to have managed color workflow despite mixed lighting, lens issues and the simple fact that sensors don't capture all colors accurately seems a win to me.

    The thing is that you get an accurate calibration only under the same lighting conditions- colors shift differently depending on the light source, so for optimum results, you should calibrate for a set of lights, a particular time of day, or whatever...

    This produces the DNG file for the Adobe stuff to use. If you have the card, then you can download the software for free and use it to generate the DNG.

    Take a look at the webinar, it's well-worth the time.

    It's got a good white balance card, the case is protective and pocket-sized and it's got the other adjustment card which may be handy. All-in-all, I'd rather have a protected card that I'm likely to have than the larger old charts- it's worth the extra $30 ($89.99) to me because the larger cards just won't survive field use, and this looks like it will.

    Your card needs to be one of the Macbeth ones- and I think they all fade a bit over time, but if you've already got one, then the software's a free D/L.

    That's the advantage of a portable package, just white balance, then shoot a shot of the color chart under your lighting conditions- then shoot away. Get back, create the profile and apply it to all the images in a shoot- you're never more than one shot from a calibrated sensor/lens/light combo- so if you're going through changing conditions, just go shoot in each room, or at each time and save the results, apply them to each location/condition and you're calibrated. For me, I know the biggest difference is going to be in flower colors- sensors simply don't do violets and magentas well- this will give me accurate colors for flowers, as well as allowing me to sync the color between my D3x and D3x when I'm out shooting with a different FL on each body.

    Right, so you shoot the reference image for that day's conditions- or hour's or whatever period you need, then you've got accurate results to apply to the entire shoot.

    So, if I'm going to Mt. Rainier, where I'm going to be high up and get more UV and I want to shoot wildflower meadows, I get to the meadow, shoot the chart, then take my images, and I apply that calibration to all the pictures for that day. If the clouds move in while I'm shooting, I shoot another reference image and apply that to all my images after that point. If I then go to Chicago and shoot in a studio, I can calibrate for that lighting, etc. It costs me a single image to calibrate for any condition.

    The plastic seems very sturdy. It stands up by itself, and won't blow over in most winds, overall I think it's worth it- even if it fades enough for me to have to get one every couple of years.

    Paul
     
  11. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #11
    Thanks for the replies. I did not really think about the "in-the-field" aspect of shooting the charts, or the fact that you ideally should create a profile for each specific lighting condition you encounter. Thus far I have just been operating off of the dual-illuminant profile I have already made, and interpolating it into all the lighting conditions. From what I gather this gets you most of the way but shooting and creating a single-point profile is the "most accurate" way.

    I went back and watched the webinar (previously I only had time to look at the Northlight written review) and can see some of the additional value. For example, I did not realize it had multiple "pages" in the plastic chart book that also had a large white balance target.

    I downloaded the software and will play around with it. Specifically I will try to shoot some scenes with the test chart I already have and see if the specific lighting profiles give different/better results than the two-iluminant one I have already. If there is a lot of difference, this passport seems like something I might consider.

    I still maintain though that for the vast majority of hobby shooters, this is pretty overkill. Not many hobby shooters are using multiple bodies and again the only area in which absolute color accuracy is a must is when doing products or ads. Otherwise, color should be working for you in order to create your vision, not dictate how your photograph should look. I think that is one concept that once I realized, really advanced my photography. When I started I was afraid to push the envelope too far, and kept trying to strictly re-create the reality of the scene I shot. But then I realized that it was more about what I wanted to show in the picture rather than what I actually saw.
     
  12. compuwar thread starter macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #12
    We'll just have to disagree about its importance- I find that the blues, pinks, violets and magentas I normally want to capture are what the sensors don't tend to render well- along with lack of saturation in the darker blues-- this fixes that. When I previsualize a scene, it's usually with the vivid colors, and this helps with that- I'll probably use it more often than not for my personal shooting.

    With product shots, I've always had to just match the prior advert, so it hasn't been as important for me to profile as it has for me to control the light- but for landscapes and mixed lighting, I think this will improve what I do tremendously and for other shooting it'll help enough that the minute it takes is worth it.

    One of the biggest things is even if I'm going to adjust the colors, this will ensure that I'm adjusting from a constant tonal range over the entire image, so my own post-processing will show a lot less strange shifts when I do go for that Velvia "Disneychrome" look.

    I did some indoors shots last night, and the differences are minimal for the lighting and ugly wall colors I had, but I'm sure I'll get completely different results when it's spring and I'm out in the field. I can't count the number of times I've shot wonderfully saturated flowers and came back and been unable to come even close to their actual colors without killing the surrounding greens.

    Paul
     

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