Archived posting to the Leica Users Group, 2006/09/03

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Subject: [Leica] Re:Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate)
From: don.dory at (Don Dory)
Date: Sun Sep 3 06:32:41 2006
References: <> <004501c6cefe$b6976cf0$0a01a8c0@MacPhisto> <>

I will dare raise the subject again.  For a $100 or so dollars buy an Expo
Disc and use it for custom white balance.  Use like an incident meter and
your color will fall where they should.  Well built, easy to use and
consistant.  You don't have to worry that your white card has gotten grungy
or bent or isn't the correct shade of white.


On 9/2/06, Scott McLoughlin <> wrote:
> Chris,
> Thanks for going through all the variables I should consider.
> I've taken one vivid shot, of a rusty lamp on a boat. Dunno
> why, but that captured the greenish patina where my normal
> mode didn't.
> I have the camera setup for Adobe RGB. That should be ok,
> right?  I don't recalibrate every week, but I also use a Trinitron
> CRT that I'll calibrate every month or two.
> Perhaps it is a WB problem.
> First, generally, I'm a low contrast NPH (now 400H) kind
> of guy.  And in the next few days I'll dip into my new
> stash of Sensia.  NPH is more or less made for people
> pics - popular wedding film, etc.  I wonder if I'm just not
> going to get that kind of look out of my DSLR "in camera."
> Second, while I carry around a white card, I don't use it
> nearly as much as I should (like having dental floss....) I
> have to have better habits here. I have little excuse, because
> I'm rarely a quick shooting kind of shooter.
> Third, now that I think of it, I use my DSLR with flash quite
> a bit - either an SB800 or especially a pair of Alien Bees 800's.
> This might present a particular kind of WB problem.
> But, I'm going to tweak the in camera settings a bit until
> something good happens or I get bored :-)
> So, now a question - how to get a good custom WB when
> using artificial lighting, either with on camera flash (or a flash
> bracket) or with studio strobes?
> And a comment. My brother adopted a little black girl, and
> her skin tones come out just fine. It seems I have a white
> people skin problem.
> Again, thanks.
> Scott
> Christopher Williams wrote:
> >Welcome to digital colors. Yes, Nikon and Canon have different color
> looks.
> >To me personally Nikon has more of a "film" look. I've shot both kinds of
> >cameras and that's just my opinion, means nothing else. Fuji has come
> close
> >to great skin tones in their dSLR's but they have never achieved a great
> >dSLR camera to use(slow focus, poor VF, bad body build).
> >
> >Most dSLR's have 3 color modes. You want to use sRGB or Abode RGB with
> skin
> >tones. Using RGB II or III is for landscape colors. Horrors if you have
> your
> >D70 or D200 on VIVID!! Shooting in NEF/RAW can keep you from constantly
> >trying to change color corrections. And do not use Auto WB(I don't care
> what
> >camera you have), try using a Custom WB whenever possible - yeah I know
> it's
> >bitch sometimes. I usually have a good 2 minutes to do this in a church
> or
> >reception hall. Some cameras allow you do store Custom WB modes so you
> can
> >save a WB in #1 for a certain church or #2 for a certain reception hall.
> >Kind of like having different kinds of film. I'd never shoot Fuji 800
> Press
> >for bridal portraits - who wants red skin? But it works very well in low
> >light rooms where the skin tones may not matter as much as the overall
> >feeling of the mood.
> >There's even the ability to create a Custom Curve in your Nikon with
> Nikon
> >Capture. I have this in all my Nikons and believe me it helps later with
> >post processing.
> >
> >Then there's the fun part of getting skin tones to look correct with home
> >printers but that's just like at a lab where they may print with Fuji,
> Agfa
> >or Kodak paper.
> >
> >My crappy 1 cent anyway.
> >
> >Chris
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >----- Original Message -----
> >From: "Scott McLoughlin"
> >Subject: [Leica] Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate)
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >>I've been shooting with a D70 and now a D200.
> >>
> >>I find that skin tones with film have a certain opaque
> >>quality, and a lean toward beige, that I like. I've never
> >>personally shot Kodachrome, but as a viewer, I see
> >>these qualities playing out in force.
> >>
> >>By comparison, my DSLRs seem to render skin tones
> >>with a kind of transparency and pinkness.
> >>
> >>So I find myself in color correction mode quite frequently,
> >>tweaking skin tones toward yellow on the color cube (I use
> >>PWP).
> >>
> >>Any clue as to the causes of this discrepancy? I don't mean
> >>to start a debate. The DSLR may well be more "true to life"
> >>for all I know.  But I don't like it.
> >>
> >>Might this be a quality unique to Nikon DSLRs?
> >>
> >>Even better, any ideas how I might do something in camera
> >>so that I'm not goofing with color correction all the time?
> >>
> >>Thanks.
> >>
> >>Scott
> >>
> >>
> >
> >
> >
> >_______________________________________________
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> >See for more information
> >
> >
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Replies: Reply from faneuil at (Eric Korenman) ([Leica] Re:Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate))
Reply from scott at (Scott McLoughlin) ([Leica] Re:Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate))
In reply to: Message from scott at (Scott McLoughlin) ([Leica] Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate))
Message from leicachris at (Christopher Williams) ([Leica] Re:Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate))
Message from scott at (Scott McLoughlin) ([Leica] Re:Skin tone - film vs. digital (not a debate))