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White balance in green waters


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#1 Segerdahl

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 01:53 AM

Hi,

As I've started to do much more video (with and without lights) and I have also got the need to get the white balancing spot on under water. No RAW...

I use a white "write tablet/board" (?). The problems are mainly two:

1. It reflects the light sooo much more than any subject, so I have to change the exposure alot before the camera can get an OK reading.
This means that it takes much longer time than needed and I may forget to change it back when starting filming.

2. Especially when using my lights (Sola 1200) and white balancing with my white board, the result is not good. It's much too blue and way too little red.


Any suggestions for a easy ways to improve the white balancing results?

Edited by Segerdahl, 23 September 2011 - 01:55 AM.

Nikon D7000, Ikelite housing and strobes, SOLA 1200 video lights.

#2 acuevas

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:07 AM

Hi,

As I've started to do much more video (with and without lights) and I have also got the need to get the white balancing spot on under water. No RAW...

I use a white "write tablet/board" (?). The problems are mainly two:

1. It reflects the light sooo much more than any subject, so I have to change the exposure alot before the camera can get an OK reading.
This means that it takes much longer time than needed and I may forget to change it back when starting filming.

2. Especially when using my lights (Sola 1200) and white balancing with my white board, the result is not good. It's much too blue and way too little red.


Any suggestions for a easy ways to improve the white balancing results?


If you are using some kind of artificial light, you can execute the white balancing out of the water. In a dark room with your light as a source of light.

I don't have lot of experience but I have read that you can't use any plastic material for white balancing, because it will not reflect the colors the same way depending of the color spectrum you have in that moment.
That's why I use a grey card, specifically WhiBal, the good thing about the WhiBal is that you can use it underwater without problems.

Some guys use pink card to white balancing with natural light underwater, but I haven't done that.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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#3 Segerdahl

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 06:05 AM

If you are using some kind of artificial light, you can execute the white balancing out of the water. In a dark room with your light as a source of light.

I don't have lot of experience but I have read that you can't use any plastic material for white balancing, because it will not reflect the colors the same way depending of the color spectrum you have in that moment.
That's why I use a grey card, specifically WhiBal, the good thing about the WhiBal is that you can use it underwater without problems.

Some guys use pink card to white balancing with natural light underwater, but I haven't done that.


Thanks for the reply!

I did some tests white balancing on land (in my dark basement) but was not pleased with the results... Perhaps I did not use a good grey card?
Well, it seemed OK on land, but my guess is that the water filtered the colors from the lights underwater so the white balance in air was not relevant.

I remember reading about WhiBal long time ago but it never struck me that I could use it underwater.

It seems a bit small though!?
Is it really possible to use it with the Tokina 10-17 mm fisheye (or Nikon 10.5mm fisheye)??

Also, I guess it is less reflective than my "white board", but how reflective is it (very, quite a bit, not so much , almost not at all ;-) ...)?

Edited by Segerdahl, 23 September 2011 - 06:05 AM.

Nikon D7000, Ikelite housing and strobes, SOLA 1200 video lights.

#4 acuevas

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 07:10 AM

Thanks for the reply!

I did some tests white balancing on land (in my dark basement) but was not pleased with the results... Perhaps I did not use a good grey card?
Well, it seemed OK on land, but my guess is that the water filtered the colors from the lights underwater so the white balance in air was not relevant.

I remember reading about WhiBal long time ago but it never struck me that I could use it underwater.

It seems a bit small though!?
Is it really possible to use it with the Tokina 10-17 mm fisheye (or Nikon 10.5mm fisheye)??

Also, I guess it is less reflective than my "white board", but how reflective is it (very, quite a bit, not so much , almost not at all ;-) ...)?


If you are concerned by the size, they have different sizes, I haven't tested it with my Tokina 10-17, but I can do some test during the weekend.

Concerning how the card is going to reflect the colors, I'm sure that the grey card will perform better than your PVC card. :D I don't have the technical knowledge in order to explain why the grey card works better, if you go to the Whibal site you will find some useful information about white balancing.

The only thing I know is that the card must be as neutral as possible, you can have a neutral color with white, black or grey.
The problem is that is too difficult to produce a true white or true black, but it's easier to produce a neutral grey card.
Not only the color of the card is relevant but also the material, the material of the card must reflect the colors of the light in the same way independent of the colors present in the light that you are using in a specific moment, and for us the material of the card must be waterproof also.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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#5 acuevas

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Posted 23 September 2011 - 05:14 PM

After failing to white balance with the whibal card and my nikon.
I searched on the internet and I found this explanation from Michael Tapes in another forum, I think he is the owner of the company that produces the whibal.


"if you are setting an in-camera White Balance on a Nikon, you must fill the entire frame with the reference (the WhiBal). Therefore the pocket model is really too small for this. The Studio or Reference will allow you to fill the frame depending on the lens that you are using.

For using the WhiBal in post production, as in shooting RAW, and setting the White balance in Lightroom (or whatever), you do not need to fill the frame, so for that usage any of the sizes work perfectly. I do not like setting in-camera WB unless I know that the lighting will not change for long while. Because if the lighting changes you
have to reset the in-camera White Balance before you continue shooting. But for JPEG shooting that is the best way to do it. One reason why I always shoot Raw. "

This is the first time I use the gray card with my Nikon, all my experience with the whibal was with my Canon P&S that by the way handles better the white balancing in camera.
The Canon P&S can set the white balancing just having the center of the frame with a neutral color.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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#6 Segerdahl

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:04 PM

If you are concerned by the size, they have different sizes, I haven't tested it with my Tokina 10-17, but I can do some test during the weekend.

Concerning how the card is going to reflect the colors, I'm sure that the grey card will perform better than your PVC card. :laugh: I don't have the technical knowledge in order to explain why the grey card works better, if you go to the Whibal site you will find some useful information about white balancing...


The main thing is of course that the colors are reflected perfectly back to the camera. But, also of big importance is that the card is not to "reflective". It would be nice not having to change exposure totally when white balancing. My white board reflects way too much light, so I have to tweak both aperture and time to get an OK exposure before performing the white balancing. Sometime I forget to reset the exposure before starting to film and the film will be ruined.

Yes, I saw they have different sizes, but even the largest seemed a bit small for the fisheye.
It would be great if you could try it out and let me know!
Nikon D7000, Ikelite housing and strobes, SOLA 1200 video lights.

#7 Segerdahl

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:12 PM

After failing to white balance with the whibal card and my nikon.
I searched on the internet and I found this explanation from Michael Tapes in another forum, I think he is the owner of the company that produces the whibal.


"if you are setting an in-camera White Balance on a Nikon, you must fill the entire frame with the reference (the WhiBal). Therefore the pocket model is really too small for this. The Studio or Reference will allow you to fill the frame depending on the lens that you are using.

For using the WhiBal in post production, as in shooting RAW, and setting the White balance in Lightroom (or whatever), you do not need to fill the frame, so for that usage any of the sizes work perfectly. I do not like setting in-camera WB unless I know that the lighting will not change for long while. Because if the lighting changes you
have to reset the in-camera White Balance before you continue shooting. But for JPEG shooting that is the best way to do it. One reason why I always shoot Raw. "

This is the first time I use the gray card with my Nikon, all my experience with the whibal was with my Canon P&S that by the way handles better the white balancing in camera.
The Canon P&S can set the white balancing just having the center of the frame with a neutral color.


So, your test with 10-17 and D7000 failed?

In what way did it fail!?
Was you reading "no good" or did you simply not like the colors?

Which WhiBal card (what size) is it that you have?

"In-camera WB" : Is that the same as manual white balancing!?

If you ask me, Michael Tapes only stated the obvious and was not of much help. Sure, shooting RAW is better but there is no video RAW on D7000...
Nikon D7000, Ikelite housing and strobes, SOLA 1200 video lights.

#8 acuevas

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Posted 26 September 2011 - 01:37 PM

So, your test with 10-17 and D7000 failed?

In what way did it fail!?
Was you reading "no good" or did you simply not like the colors?

Which WhiBal card (what size) is it that you have?

"In-camera WB" : Is that the same as manual white balancing!?

If you ask me, Michael Tapes only stated the obvious and was not of much help. Sure, shooting RAW is better but there is no video RAW on D7000...


I'm using the pocket size card.

This is what I did, I executed a manual white balance using the card, I wasn't able to cover the frame but I got an OK from the camera.
Then I took a picture of the card using the setting.
I imported the shot in Lightroom and executed a white balancing using the picture of the card.
Then compared the values from lightroom and from the camera, the difference wasn't huge but there is a difference:

As shot (Manual White balancing in camera):
Temp: 5400
Tint: +26

Custom (White balancing in lightroom):
Temp: 5850
Tint: +30

Now that I think about it, maybe I made a mistake.
I illuminated the card with my dive light because the light of my room was not enough, but then when I took the shot the card was a different distance compared as when I made the manual white balancing. Whit this maybe I let more light of the environment to get in the picture.

I will execute the test again with only one source of light.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
flickr

#9 acuevas

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Posted 28 September 2011 - 02:43 PM

I got new result from my testing with the pocket size whibal and the nikon D7000 and Tokina 10-17

This are the test I made:

Left manual white balance in camera - right white balance in Lightroom

At 10mm

10mm_1.jpg
10mm_2.jpg
10mm_3.jpg

At 17mm

17mm_1.jpg
17mm_2.jpg

I think that the best result were at 17 mm end.
But in conclusion, it is possible to use the whibal to make manual white balance.
Behind a dome might be better to use something bigger than the pocket size card.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
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#10 Segerdahl

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:25 AM

I got new result from my testing with the pocket size whibal and the nikon D7000 and Tokina 10-17

This are the test I made:

Left manual white balance in camera - right white balance in Lightroom

At 10mm

At 17mm

I think that the best result were at 17 mm end.
But in conclusion, it is possible to use the whibal to make manual white balance.
Behind a dome might be better to use something bigger than the pocket size card.


First, thanks for doing all the tests!

It would be much more interesting to see how it behaves under water though...
I guess there are not that many choices so I think I will order one (I'll go for a larger one) and try it out myself.

Thanks again and if you ever test it underwater, please let me know the results.
Nikon D7000, Ikelite housing and strobes, SOLA 1200 video lights.

#11 acuevas

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Posted 04 October 2011 - 09:41 AM

First, thanks for doing all the tests!

It would be much more interesting to see how it behaves under water though...
I guess there are not that many choices so I think I will order one (I'll go for a larger one) and try it out myself.

Thanks again and if you ever test it underwater, please let me know the results.


No problem, I'm also interested in this kind of test.
I only have strobes with my camera, so if I want to shoot some video I will need to use the natural light and manual white balance in camera.
Regards
Andres Cuevas


Nikon D7000, Tokina 10-17, Aquatica AD7000, Aquatica Mini Dome, 2xInon Z-240 type 4.
flickr

#12 Segerdahl

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Posted 05 October 2011 - 12:48 PM

No problem, I'm also interested in this kind of test.
I only have strobes with my camera, so if I want to shoot some video I will need to use the natural light and manual white balance in camera.


I ordered the new super large whibal card, thinking I could always cut it smaller if it's too big. Shipping and customs will be more expensive than the card itself so...

The D7000 is excellent for video. I have done alot with natural light and the results are fantastic. Could be even better if I got the whibal right underwater though. ;-)
Nikon D7000, Ikelite housing and strobes, SOLA 1200 video lights.

#13 oskar

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 05:34 AM

It will be interesting to see how it goes.

I wonder if it would be possible to order a neutral colour gray in the paint shop to customize some neutral object. (slate, buddy's cylinder etc)

Cheers
/O

I ordered the new super large whibal card, thinking I could always cut it smaller if it's too big. Shipping and customs will be more expensive than the card itself so...

The D7000 is excellent for video. I have done alot with natural light and the results are fantastic. Could be even better if I got the whibal right underwater though. ;-)



#14 peterbkk

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 07:37 PM

I've been doing some experiments with "pre-white-balancing" before the dive. Seems to be getting good results.

In Photoshop, I created 4 A4 pages filled with color, edge-to-edge:

Dark blue
Light blue
Dark green
Light green

The idea is to look at the water conditions before the dive. If the water looks bluish, use the two blue pages. If the water looks greenish, use the two green pages.

Put the lighter page on the ground, chair or table in the sun. Step to MWB slot A and do a MWB on the lighter page. Switch to MWB slot B then MWB off the darker page. Usually get a kelvin setting of about 8000 and 9000 respectively.

My camera also has two more WB settings (auto and kelvin). I set kelvin to 6500.

During the dive, I step through the settings:

Auto - surface down to 5 meters deep
Kelvin - 5 to 10 meters (if bright and sunny)
WB slot A - 5 to 10 meters (if overcast and a bit dark)
WB slot B - 10 to 20 meters
Deeper - switch on lights and go back to Auto setting.

Underwater, I can see on the monitor if I have the right setting, stepping through them until one looks optimal.

The MWB A & B retain the last setting indefinitely so, don't need to do another MWB until water conditions change.

After about 10 dives, I think that it is working.

Regards
Peter

#15 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 09:57 PM

I've been doing some experiments with "pre-white-balancing" before the dive. Seems to be getting good results.

In Photoshop, I created 4 A4 pages filled with color, edge-to-edge:

Dark blue
Light blue
Dark green
Light green

The idea is to look at the water conditions before the dive. If the water looks bluish, use the two blue pages. If the water looks greenish, use the two green pages.

Put the lighter page on the ground, chair or table in the sun. Step to MWB slot A and do a MWB on the lighter page. Switch to MWB slot B then MWB off the darker page. Usually get a kelvin setting of about 8000 and 9000 respectively.

My camera also has two more WB settings (auto and kelvin). I set kelvin to 6500.

During the dive, I step through the settings:

Auto - surface down to 5 meters deep
Kelvin - 5 to 10 meters (if bright and sunny)
WB slot A - 5 to 10 meters (if overcast and a bit dark)
WB slot B - 10 to 20 meters
Deeper - switch on lights and go back to Auto setting.

Underwater, I can see on the monitor if I have the right setting, stepping through them until one looks optimal.

The MWB A & B retain the last setting indefinitely so, don't need to do another MWB until water conditions change.

After about 10 dives, I think that it is working.

Regards
Peter



Hi Peter

I have made an electronic colour card with RGB adjustment. Just trying it out now. Seems to work consistently with the XF. Drop by and have a go when you are free.

Cheers
David

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/


#16 peterbkk

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:25 PM

Hi Peter

I have made an electronic colour card with RGB adjustment. Just trying it out now. Seems to work consistently with the XF. Drop by and have a go when you are free.

Cheers
David


Sounds useful. I'll take a look later this week.

Now all you need is some firmware and 3 dials so the user can select a range of "Sea Conditions", "Sunlight" and "Depth" and the color card outputs the right color to set up the pre-dive MWB.

Regards
Peter

#17 CheungyDiver

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 10:41 PM

Sounds useful. I'll take a look later this week.

Now all you need is some firmware and 3 dials so the user can select a range of "Sea Conditions", "Sunlight" and "Depth" and the color card outputs the right color to set up the pre-dive MWB.

Regards
Peter



Hi Peter

Yes it has Red, Green and Blue colour dials and all could be pre-calibrated. Now I need to shrink the circuit down and size it like a dive slate. This prototype is the size of a Tupperware bowl - literally it is housed in one.

Cheers

David

Edited by CheungyDiver, 25 October 2011 - 10:41 PM.

Proprietor of Scubacam, Singapore. Commercial videocameraman. Also shoot digital stills. I modify and built stuff. I love technology. Camera: Red Epic/ Scarlet and soon Dragon

Email: info@scubacam.com.sg

http://www.scubacam.com.sg/