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White Balance Lens Cap

Posted by Maggie Wilson  
Maggie Wilson January 03, 2012 02:55PM
Happy New Year, everyone!

My intuition tells me that this might be a waste of money, but my intuition doesn't know a whole lot about photography. Has anyone had any experience with this accessory?

Harald Schillhammer January 03, 2012 05:25PM
Years ago, the Pringles lid yielded very good WB results, but then they changed the design and it became useless.

I have not much confidence in those fancy solutions (Expodisc, etc.). The cheapest way is to hang a white cloth over your lens :-).

In the field I usually do not need to fiddle with the WB, using "Cloudy" most of the time. In difficult situations (e.g. macro shots in the forest) and if I have no stress I shoot a reference image with my MacBeth color checker and adjust the WB at home, which is a breeze when you are shooting RAW. When shooting concerts or musicals I have a different approach, usually setting the color temp., experience telling me which Kelvin number to use.


Ronald J. Pellar January 03, 2012 07:36PM
White balance can be very tricky if you item that you are using to establish the white balance is not spectrally neutral. White pieces of paper are notoriously unreliable as they may have fluorescent "brighteners". Gray paper, cloth, etc can be gray under some light source and not gray under other light sources.

Kodak used to sell a gray card that was spectrally neutral, but you can't go wrong with the "X-Rite 421869 Mini Gray Balance Card" available on Amazon for around $37.00 or the one that I use a spectrally neutral plastic gray card "DGC-100" from Robin Meyers Imaging,, for $14.95 for a 4" by 6" size. He also has the "DGC-150" for $29.95 in a 6" by 9" size.

A spectrally neutral gray card will be visually gray under any light source and I have had excellant results with them in my macro photography of minerals.


Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 01/03/2012 07:42PM by Ronald J. Pellar.
Ron Gibbs January 08, 2012 09:01PM
If you want to try one, try E-bay ... look up "white filter". They are sold from Hong Kong, Taiwan, etc. for about $4 including free shipping. I got one when I order about 4 or 5 remote shutter releases for my cameras. (Again the shutter releases were about $3 - $5 on ebay.) The shutter releases wear out (or in my case get misplaced) about once a year. I tried the white balance cap and found it worked "OK". It gets you fairly close to a good white balance point when used outside in a hurry. I don't use it for my desktop work as I color balance the lighting itself, and use a Passport Color Checker when I am more serious.
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