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Hi folks, I'm wondering what experiences others have had with the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport.
I've just bought one thinking that it would be a great way to not only set a custom WB on location (with the included grey card), but to also be able to "zero" the color and camera profile in post using the color chart and included software via LR. My thought was that starting post production with 100% scientifically accurate color and then seasoning to taste would be a good idea. In practice (so far) I haven't been sold on the results.
I've only used it at two shoots so far and the results were 50/50. The first shoot was in a basketball stadium with mercury-vapor lights, the second shoot was an actor headshot in beautiful open shade with no noticeable strong color casts that I could see...which shoot do you think faired better with the CCP? It was the stadium lighting!
Even with the color-cycling of the mercury lights, the profile created by the x-rite software via LR really produces excellent looking colors in the shots. And using the WB eye-dropper tool on the passport in the image produces solid WB that is very much in the realm of a nice looking image. I say nice looking because we all know that accurate isn't always the look we're going for, and often the pleasing settings aren't how it looked to the naked eye at the time the image was shot. So that was my first experience with the CCP, and things were looking good.
Next comes time to process the images from the headshot session. I had high hopes that I would be blown away by the colors in the shots and that skintones etc would look amazing...not the case. I created the profile from the shot of the CCP, and apply the newly created profile to the first image, the colors are super bland and the WB is very weird (when set to As Shot, which I believe was AWB in camera because I did not set a custom WB on that shoot). So I go back to the image with the CCP and use the eye-dropper to set the WB, it tells me that it's 11500 Temp, and +45 Tint...which looks ghastly. I eye-drop a bunch of other neutral swatches on the image and they all return similar values for the scene. t was in an open shade area on a clear day, so I would expect the temp to be 6-7k and the tint to be +10-12, depending on taste. No matter how much I played with the WB sliders I couldn't seem to find a setting that I liked, and I had to do a lot more tweaking of other sliders to make a decent looking photo...none of which compared to the results of just using the Camera Standard profile and very basic adjustments on the other sliders. Something clearly went wrong somewhere along the line. I did try recreating the profile a couple of times and no change to the situation.
I guess I can post some images or links to RAW files if folks want to have a play, but thought I'd see what results other people have had with the CCP in real-life shoots.