Some really beautiful shots in here I took one of my son this morning. He can't wait for tomorrow....
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I bought the colorchecker. The graycard is quite small. Does this matter (if something else with different colors accodentally slips into the frame) ?
I've tried that a lot myself, appreantly (at least with the 1dx) you only need to fill the spot-metering circle with the grey area. However, I always try to include as much as I can without shadowing the greycard. Kind of hard with 24mm to get a lot in the frame. But it made very little difference with the 5d2, it always came out right.
And yeah, I too get the blues (lol) to blue...
Pickup a X‑Rite ColorChecker Passport and make profiles based on the Camera body, lens and lighting conditions.
This is a good starting point... build profiles based on your needs. I think you answered your own question though, there will never be a "setting" that is universal. Only a good point from which you can evaluate and build on based on the situation.
I used to LOVE the CC passport, however with the 5d3 and 1dX the reds ALWAYS have way too much blue, and in daylight the WB is always way too warm. Any idea why? It's crazy annoying.. I can clearly see it makes the colors way more accurate, but not all and I never had this issue with the 5d2...
Once you buld the profile you can edit and save tweaks... also the WB is has to be set seperately. The profile only adjust the color profiles not the WB. Basicaly you are making profiles like Canon's Neutral, Portrait, Faithful, etc... even with the color checker its only a good starting point. The two middle rows of the passport have WB panels for cooler to warmer... The top row is for portraits, the bottom one for landscapes.
First shoot the colorchecker, then pick the WB suitable for your needs, then build the profile... check profile, tweak and resave. This should be done for every camera body+lens+lighting combo. It can be a pain but it has saved my ass on many event shoots where the lighting has been less than perfect and PP would be difficult to say the least. I usually make profiles for lighting situs with the worst being mixed light... tunsten, flourecent and flash is the biggest offender lighting wise.
Actually it's quite essential to use the built in greycard to get a perfect WB BEFORE you shoot the CC. The manual also states that the WB can't be set afterwards. You can correctly warm or cool it, but it still has to be correct when on location. The problem is that the greycard gives me way too warm WB, and when I apply the profile and compare (yes my screen is calibrated, and monitored every 5 minutes) it gives colors that doesn't match the real life colors, and it ALWAYS did with the 5d2, in fact, I can shoot with my girlfriends 5d2 now and get correct wb and colors.
I find that the "camera calibration" settings for my 5diii are best on neutral when shooting scenes with skin tones in them. You will have to add some contrast back into the scene after changing this but it's worth it.
I find that scenes with skin tones are the most difficult to adjust. Here is my work flow for wedding photos:
1) Get the skin exposure right with the exposure slider
2) Get the color temp, this is often the hardest one of the bunch!
3) Adjust the white and black sliders while holding down the cntrl key so that whites are pure white and blacks are pure black. This kind of stretches the DR a bit and adds contrast.
4) I will usually bump the vibrance up to 40-50 and the saturation to 10-15 to start. Doing this screws up the skin tones so I will go into the color saturation panel and use the dropper to click on the skin and draw down the saturation of just the skin tones. (I have a couple of presets for this and will tweak the presets for each wedding couple) This process adds the "pop" to the colors.
5) Add a little bit of contrast. You can do this with the slider but I find that adjusting the curve to an S curve is more natural. (just use the pre-programed curves) The amount of contrast is going to depend on the lighting and on your lens.
6) Tweak the white and black sliders again to get the final effect i'm looking for.
7) Tweak the noise reduction with the picture at 100%
Obviously I jump around these steps and use a little different settings based on lighting but for a "standard" picture this is basically it. Some might say that colors (particularly reds) become too saturated using these settings so you have to adjust for the scene but most people today are looking for the photos that "pop" rather than a very natural look.
FYI, I also use a 50d for weddings and the settings are totally different for it. The tones are rendered very differently between the two cameras. Most of the photos I take with the 50d end up as black and whites.
For my 14L I just picked up an ND gelatin filter from B&H. It set me back a pretty penny, but the first few shots I have done with it seem to have turned out great. The thin plastic sheet (gelatin, whatever) is large enough to cut half a dozen filters out of it. This way if you screw one up down the road, you can always make another.
Supertelephotos take similar filters.
REVIEW on DPreview
I would be wary of anything not designed for a lens. Those look like they are intended to be used with lighting (high temperature) so they probably aren't optical quality. I don't know how it works at the rear of a lens, but I know if you put a cheap piece of plastic (even if it looks perfectly clear) over the front of a lens, it will completely ruin the image quality because the plastic has distortion and waviness that you can't see but that gets magnified by the lens.
These might be absolute crap(I don't know), but here's at least one place(assuming you are in the US): http://www.amazon.com/Norman-Neutral-Density-High-Temperature-Filters/dp/B000IU0HZK/ref=pd_bxgy_p_img_y
I would say that it's irrelevant. What kind of filters do you normally use? A circular polarizer? That's not going to work with this lens. The only thing I can see someone using on this lens would be some kind of neutral density filter. Practically anything else you can do in post.
The world is ending, and your worried about gelatin!?!