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Old Nov 24, 2006, 7:35 AM   #1
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I shoot a lot inside sports and the white balance is hard for me to get right. I am finding white balance disc all over now. Some I see are the Expo Disc and others look like cheap copies. Is there a difference? Do they work? Anyone had any experience with them? Can I buy the cheap one and get good result too?

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Old Nov 25, 2006, 11:23 AM   #2
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I recently looked into the WB disks as well and after much reading and inquiring into the subject I went for the $20 grey card.

I too shoot indoor sports and could never get the skin tones correct and would wastesooo much time in PS trying to correct those tones. I first came across the WB filters which claimed to correct the tones. My first question was would I need to get a filter for each lens I have because their different in frontal mm size. The sales rep suggested just getting the larger size fliterand hold it up to the end of the smaller lens. This would accomplish the same thing even if you have to hold it on the end as apposed tospending the extra $$ to screw it on.

The cost I was looking at for the larger mm size WBfilter was over $250 but the sales repstated that for the amount of photographers that set their WB by filters or grey cards the choice of filter is really split so Idecided to try the $20 grey card to give it atry and am really glad I did.

Setting the WB by grey card instantly corrected the color balance of everything in the room including the skin tones and I now set the WB this way before shooting a sport event or if I go from one indoor pool to another.

I can't speak for the WB filter but I can highly suggest the grey card.
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Old Nov 27, 2006, 10:42 PM   #3
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Could I trouble you into goingthrough the steps involved with getting a WB reading from a gray card?
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 12:50 AM   #4
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It's been a while since I've carried a grey card around, but the ones I haveowned in the pastalsohad a bright white backside. Today I'd use that sideand obtain a custom white balance and you'd be set to shoot anything in that lighting and the colors will be correct. Justfollow the instructions your camera manual says to obtain a custom white balanceand thenshoot away.

Usingthe grey card sideyou are not setting a correct white balance...the grey side isall about getting the right exposure. You point your camera at the great card, filling up the view in your finder with the grey and take a meter reading. That reading, assuming you keep shadows or glaring light off the card, gives you a balanced exposure for the scene you are trying to shoot, so both sides of a card like that would be very useful.

Take the card to the floor prior to the game and, assuming the lighting does not change after the game starts, you'll have the right exposure using the grey side and the right white balance using the white side. The key is getting a big enough card that you can stand somewhat away from the card and still be able to fill the viewfinder with both sides when taking the measurements, and keeping shadows and extra bright lights of the surface of the card when taking your measurements, or the results and your imageswill be off.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 7:51 AM   #5
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Thanks for the tip...Ill try that tonight.
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Old Nov 28, 2006, 10:52 AM   #6
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Play around with your exposure from the stands if you need to. I typically use spot metering and take a reading from the floor or a players white jersey, check the resultsand add or subtract to get the look I want, then set my exposure mode to manual and never change the settings during the game. The lighting indoorsis consistent and you don't want the lower lit crowd areasto affect the exposure of the action on the floor.
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