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Old January 18th, 2012, 09:00 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
Posts: 8,520
Default The ColorRight tool and gray cards

I haven't paid much attention to "developments" in the area of the ColorRight line of white balance tools for a while, but for some reason I looked at the ColorRight site FAQ today and found this gem:

What makes ColorRight better than a grey card?

ColorRight fixes your color in camera, not in post-production saving lots of time and money. ColorRight is easier to use. ColorRight is more robust and durable. ColorRight is easier to carry and will not break apart or crumble like a grey card

Of course, a gray card can well be used to set a custom white balance to perform in-camera color correction (I often do so). That is in fact the main reason that there are large ones. (One the size of a lapel pin will do fine in most post-processing situations.)

The use of a gray card is not limited to white balance color correction in post-processing. So this observation by the ColorRight folks is a bit of a misdirection.

As to gray cards breaking apart and crumbling, I believe this is an affliction whose incidence is on a par with voter fraud conducted by people posing as someone else to vote with a stolen voting certificate.

But I have been afflicted in my work by rye crackers breaking apart and crumbling at my desk late at night. And they are so badly calibrated.

Best regards,

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Old January 18th, 2012, 11:51 AM
Duke Beattie Duke Beattie is offline
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Kalispell, MT
Posts: 160

Never had a grey card crumble, but I have lost them.. this one is tougher to lose.. but it gets sweat stains.. It also serves as a quick photography knowledge test.. If they make some comment about my hair color I slap them. :)
Are we having fun yet?
Kalispell MT. USA
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Old January 27th, 2012, 05:59 AM
Doug Kerr Doug Kerr is offline
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Join Date: May 2006
Location: Alamogordo, New Mexico, USA
Posts: 8,520

Well, it looks as if I haven't been paying enough attention to the ColorRight product line.

It now includes a gray card set, known as the ColorRight BASICS Gray Card Set.

It is said to be useful "in Post-Production, in Studio, or Directly in Camera."

This of course flies rather in the face of the assertion as to why the ColorRight tool proper is better than gray/grey cards - "they can't be used for in-camera white balance setting".

It is also said, "General Grey Card set that provides amazing color balance and may also be used as an exposure aid". Hey - "grey", "gray" - no need to be consistent here - its only an ad.

With regard to "exposure", the only discussion is of using the black and white cards in the set for black point and white point control.

We also learn that these cards are "almost unbreakable". Of course a reason that the ColorRight tool itself is better than gray cards is that gray cards crack and crumble.

There is also now the "ColorRight BASICS simple color filter". This appears to be a fairly conventional white balance measurement diffuser. (We hesitate to conjecture what its acceptance pattern is.)
But that doesn't matter. I asked Drew once, "In your outlook on this process, what is it that we look to a measurement diffuser to do?" His reply: "Well, Doug, to diffuse."
The instructions do not make it clear whether it is intended for use at the subject position or the camera position for the shot (but we can guess).

The three steps of the instructions are:

1. Set Manual Focus - Make sure the Auto Focus on your camera is OFF.

2. Hold ColorRight over Lens - Make sure the Auto Focus on your camera is OFF.
[Of course the name of this product is not ColorRight. "Now, plug the General Electric into a wall receptacle."]
3. Set Custom White Balance - Press menu and navigate to custom white balance and select the photo you just snapped as to calibrate the white balance.
[What photo we just snapped? Was that in step 2?]
Drew, you have a wonderful way with words.

Best regards,

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Old January 27th, 2012, 01:15 PM
Jerome Marot Jerome Marot is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Munich, Germany.
Posts: 3,753

Silly me. For the past 20 years, I have simply used a piece of paper (white) as a target to color balance my video cameras and when digital still cameras started to be available I simply carried over my detestable habit. And only now "ColorRight" tells me that I have done it all wrong for all those years? How unfortunate.
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