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Old 02/24/2004, 11:26 PM   #1
TS
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Must-reads for White balance!

I read about this on a photography forum and decided to try it out.

The method is to point your camera at your tank, put an ordinary white coffee filter over your lens (yes, you heard me right) and set your manual white balance.

The results speak for themselves...


Canon 10D
http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/...ghlight=coffee

Nikon CoolPix 880

http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/...ghlight=coffee


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Old 02/24/2004, 11:58 PM   #2
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Travis,

This sounds great. I'll give it a try tomorrow after work when i come home w/ lots of coffee filters!

Some questions...what kind of lights do you have? Have you given this a try on 20K's yet? In your opinion, how many filters did it take to capture the true colors of the corals/lights/tank? Lastly, you mention pointing the camera at the tank when setting WB....do you think that pointing it directly at the lights would make a difference?


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Old 02/25/2004, 12:35 AM   #3
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Please do give it a try and post results.

The tank I tested on has 2x65W PC, it's a CSL unit with one 10K and one actinic.

I read on the photo forum that some were saying one, some were saying three. In my test photos, three was a slight edge on the coolpix but not a difference I could notice on the 10D. I will be going with one filter in the future.

I do think pointing directly at the lights would make a difference, probably a negative one. We're measuring ambient light here, unless you're taking a pic of your light bulbs it makes more sense to me that you would point it in the general area of what you're photographing.

Finally, for anyone who's doubting this method (as I did) take a look at this $120 or so piece of equipment that has been long heralded by serious photographers, and basically does the same thing... http://www.expodisc.com/

Travis


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Old 02/25/2004, 02:20 AM   #4
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Wow - great tip Travis. Especially when looking at the costs of the 72mm expodisc..


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Old 02/25/2004, 05:30 AM   #5
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Kewl! WB settings have been buggin' me since i got my finepix.
i'll be trying this tonight. thx T


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Old 02/25/2004, 07:28 AM   #6
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Travis your a nerd like greg, haha glad to have you here

going to try this tonight

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Old 02/25/2004, 08:36 AM   #7
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to help me better understand. You set the camera on autobalance. I assume it was in macro mode and the iso was 100?

Now you just focused on your subject and put the coffee filter in font of the lens. How long did you leave the filter there? I guess you could do this with a blank piece of printer paper?

I have a cannon s-30 and IMO I can never get a true color pic with this camera when shooting tanks with 20k

also is there a way I can reset my camera. I feel that i hit so many buttons I dont know what settings I have it set on.

one more question....

do you have to do the coffee filter thing every time you take pics or will your camera remember the settings?

tia
mike


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Old 02/25/2004, 08:51 AM   #8
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Great tip!! Thanks for posting - made my pics that more vibrant!!


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:04 AM   #9
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can anyone share some pics....maybe take one before the coffee filter then one after.

tia


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:15 AM   #10
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gotta try this next time i shoot 20k metal halides- those give me the most trouble.
thanks Travis-
greg
g


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:20 AM   #11
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gregr,
do you know the answer to my above question about resetting my camera.
tia
mike


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:26 AM   #12
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hey Mike-
i've never used that model so i can't say for sure. i'll see if i can find a manual on-line somewhere.
i fear though that there is no easy way to accomplish what you want without removing the internal battery.
i'll search for the manual tonight.
greg


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:29 AM   #13
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gregr,
No need to go through any trouble. I have the manual at home..I read through it myself. I was curious if there was a quick fix...you know like ctrl..alt..del .... :-)


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:35 AM   #14
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well, look at it as a chance to become better acquainted with your menu
greg


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Old 02/25/2004, 09:53 AM   #15
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greg your a dork, come on help this kid out hehe you know you know this stuff off the top of your head haha..

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Old 02/25/2004, 12:08 PM   #16
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Answers to a couple of the above questions-

1. There are before and after pics on both of the links I posted.

2. This is a method for setting your custom white balance, also called manual white balance. If you don’t have this feature, you’re still SOL. When you set your custom white balance, you’re supposed to point the camera at something white and press the shutter button. The camera then adjusts white balance accordingly, and should leave it set until you change it to another white balance mode (depends on your camera). What you do with this trick is, get your camera ready to measure the white balance. But before you press the shutter, you put the coffee filter in front of the lens (while pointed at your tank). Hope this explains it better.


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Old 02/25/2004, 12:38 PM   #17
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so i want to push the button halfway down so it focuses on the filter? do you put the filter right over the lens or just infront of it?

I saw the pics on the other bb but was curious if anyone else tried this


ok i looked at my camera on line and found this pic http://www.powershot.com/powershot2/s40-30/sample.html
iso speed at 50 do i want to set this as low as i can and what do i want the resolution as high as I can get it?


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Last edited by lilbuddy; 02/25/2004 at 12:52 PM.
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Old 02/25/2004, 01:13 PM   #18
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IMO, always go with the lowest ISO that you can w/o sacrificing picture quality. I typically use a higher ISO if i'm shooting in low light or fast moving objects. Otherwise, i'm always at 50. Also notice that the higher ISO that you use, the more noise/grainyness you get on the final product. Its a tradeoff. However, there are various tools (software) out there that will remove most of the noise quite easily.


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Old 02/26/2004, 12:58 AM   #19
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Well, just thought i would give an update. I tried the coffee filter trick on my 20K's and sad to say, it just didn't work. Everything came out too white and the slight hint of blue that the 20K's put out just didn't show on the pictures. I think what will work best for me is to try using a yellow card w/ various shades of yellow on which to set my WB. I tried aiming the camera at a slightly yellow paper (a manila folder) and that actually gave me better results. However, I think a different shade of yellow would work best. I just gotta find that perfect shade of yellow! Now, if you have 10K's then i think Travis' idea would work great.


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Old 02/26/2004, 03:02 PM   #20
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I tried it with my fuji s7000 and here are the full tank shots. (ok ok I know there is a reflection... I am too impatient to wait till dark... and too cheap to go out and buy the $ 10 blind)

With WB set to tank lighting


WB with coffee filter:


Now one thing I wonder is are coffee filters different thickness' and would that make a difference?


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Old 02/26/2004, 04:26 PM   #21
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i like the first pic better.....also i think he used up to 3 filters at one point


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Old 02/26/2004, 08:11 PM   #22
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I agree, that was a step in the wrong direction. Did you put the filter right up against the lens?


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Old 02/26/2004, 08:21 PM   #23
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Heavydc2-
clearly you need more zooanthids
awesome looking tank!
sad to hear that the coffee filter didn't work with the 20k's.
greg


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Old 02/26/2004, 10:35 PM   #24
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Thanks greg, to think I just gave some away too....

IO did have the filter up against the lens, it was not held tight (I do only have 2 hands...) But it was as tight as I could get it. Could it be that I did it from farther away (ie the tank shot). Hmm I wonder. I got a different coffee filter to try also, I will let you knwo what I can come up with.

Dave


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Old 03/06/2004, 07:36 PM   #25
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wouldnt you NEED some light to get it balanced ?

this is how I do it

Here is how you teach the camera what the light is:
• Have a piece of white paper handy. Put it in the light you wish to set for.
• Press the Menu button to open Menu Page 1.
• Select White Preset.
• Press the shutter button to open the sensor window. A small square of image appears in the middle of the screen. You now see two choices, Cancel or Measure.
• Point the camera at the white piece of paper. Sometimes you have to hold the paper up near the lens to make sure the camera sees only it. That?s okay; for this process, focus is irrelevant.
• Choose Measure, and press the shutter button to confirm. The camera beeps and clicks, then returns to its normal operation: White balance has been achieved.

Images on the monitor screen may look different from the way they did before you performed the white balance, but there is no guarantee that they will look perfect

To gain confidence that the white balance is correct, shoot a test shot that includes the white paper. The image on the monitor screen should look quite good now. The paper should look white on-screen.

I dont put the white sheet SMACK dab in front of the lenses, it needs to see it, blocking light isnt a good idea.


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