Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Quick White Balance Test (coffee filter vs. auto white balance vs. grey card)

I've been using the grey card for quite some time now and with good results in terms of getting colour and sometimes for exposure. While watching a video around youtube for photography tips I found two photographers Zack and Jody Gray and they were talking about this product called expodisk. It said to give you correct colour and you can use it to nail the exposure. To sum it all it's a modern grey "card". It sounds good and browsing Amazon it looks like a pretty decent product. I want one! but for $99~ vs. my grey card for $4.18 hmmm that's a big difference. So I'm off to find cheaper alternative and sure enough I found some ranging from $6.97~$16.27 hmm.. not bad but I'm not sure if it's as good as expodisk. Upon further search I found an alternative.. coffee filter! the cost.. pretty much close to nothing! So how does it fair? I did a quick test with mix light settings here's the result (image copyright of Jonathan James Tan... a.k.a. ME)

The right side is the auto white balance. As you can see on the histogram, the red is spot on or close but lacks blue and a little green. Overall not that bad.

The middle is the grey card the green is pretty much spot on and it has a little more red and blue is not that much off. Overall I'd say pretty much even.

Lastly it's the coffee filter, like the grey card it's pretty much spot on but clearly lacks a lot of red and there's too much blue.

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I've seen some test photo of the coffee filter and it turns out great! I don't know if maybe I did something wrong but this is only a quick test. Will do another test hopefully with a expodisk and/or and expodisk alternative like what phottix is offering.

btw here's the set up of the test (credit of the picture to me, Jonathan James Tan)
tested with mix lighting (overcast day, indoors with tungsten lights), set on manual at ISO400, 1 sec and f/8

the grey card and the coffee filter

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