How to use Grey Card With Strobe?

3 years 10 months ago #672258 by rcearley
Hello, I own a Sony A7RIV.  

Does anyone know if it is possible to set the white balance using a "grey card" while using a strobe at the same time?

When you go into the menu and set a custom white balance, the camera will take a picture, however, the strobe doesn't fire in this mode.  

I'm wanting to capture the grey card when the strobe is lit since the strobe changes the white balance.  


3 years 10 months ago #672297 by Nikon Shooter
Grey cards are normally used for exposure as they are a
18% grey reference. Many grey cards may also qualify as
WB cards as their tint was controlled while in production.
This, however, you should control rigorously. I use a small
reference made by ColorChecker.

WB is the least critical parameter at SR and it is waaaaay
better to tweak it in PP than to set it up in camera (which
is relevant ONLY if you shoot in jpg.

Good modern flashes do have pretty constant outputs so,
once tweaked, the WB values may be applied to all other
shots taken in the same conditions.

Once you got your shot set up and you're ready to shoot,
place the reference card on the scene and capture it.

Light is free… capturing it is not!
Photo Comments
3 years 10 months ago - 3 years 10 months ago #672318 by garyrhook
Pretty sure that a strobe is going to be set to 5100 - 5500 K already. You don't need a gray card for the light from a strobe.

That said, the challenges come when you have multiple, uncoordinated light sources, and that's just painful. A gray card will give you a reference point.

Trying to set a custom WB in a camera is just silly. Light (usually) changes, and change depending upon  which direction you're facing. Use the card to get your reference point (no strobe, use your WB daylight setting) and take your photos.

Adjust the WB in post (as suggested above).

N.B. I speak from experience, thinking that I should use a custom WB. The problem with doing that is that it's only good for that moment, for that shot. Sample your gray card periodically during your shoot, and if you're using strobes, use WB daylight and have done with it.

N.N.B. I know of no photographer that uses custom WB settings in-camera.

N.N.N.B. Your brand of camera is irrelevant.

N.N.N.N.B. We assume you're shooting RAW.

Photo Comments



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