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Old Jul 20, 2005, 12:11 AM   #1
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Something I've found really handy for white balancing with is those free paint swatch cards you can pick up from hardware/paint stores. They are small enough to put into any camera bag and easily replaced if you lose it. Plus you can get many subtle colour variations so I find it handy to have a slightly red and slightly blue card as well on hand for when I want to cool or warm a shot. If you use a larger camera with a lens cap then glueing a white one inside it means it is always at hand.

Happy balancing

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Old Jul 20, 2005, 12:21 PM   #2
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I think your idea is a good one. Just make sure the swatch is large enough that you can fill the frame with it when doing a WB calibration. If it doesn't fill the frame, you will not get an accurate reading.

As for gluing anything inside the lens cap, probably not a good idea. If the lens cap is a friction fit, it may not fit tightly when attached to the lens and could easily be lost. It the cap is the type with "squeeze buttons" on the sides that grip the threads of the filter ring, it is probably still not a good idea. Anything inside the cap could possibly come in contact with the lens. This could possibly scratch the lens or deposit debris on the lens. Another problem with gluing is that you can only glue one card in the cap. If the glue is not dry or set when you attach the cap, there is a possibility of getting glue on the lens--not a good idea.

Proceed with caution.

Cal Rasmussen

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Old Jul 20, 2005, 5:08 PM   #3
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good point on the glue. i only have a panasonic fz20 so i keep its extension tube on at all times, so a squeeze style cap is nowhere near the lens at all and never having used SLRs i dont know how much clearance there is on regular lens. With some double-sided tape the card is safe and sound.

the cards are usually available in may sizes and some cameras use a small area in the center of the frame to take the white balance from. anyone unsure if their camera uses the full frame or just the middle segment can experiment with a small white sample and hold it up in front of a strong blue or red background. then move the card close until it fills the frame and take a WB, then move it out a bit at a time and take a WB while watching carefully to see when the white card starts to change its colour. that will give you a good idea what size and distance you can get away with for WB. obviously an accurate colour card covering full frame is always best but not always convenient to have at hand.

i've also had some fun with wb a white card illuminated by a UV torch, then scribbling with highlighter pens.

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