Colour Charts & Tools

Read on for solutions for achieving accurate capture of colour through proper camera calibration, simple options for white balance, and of course we have classic colour charts and even tools for testing and/or calibrating the focus of your camera and lens combination! 

We also have the innovative spot colour measuring and matching device - 'Palette Cube' 

The Easy Path To

Complete Camera Calibration

The X-Rite ColorChecker passport has become the de-facto industry standard colour chart. Packed in a petite, easy to carry, small plastic cased form factor is a LOT of simple colour accuracy.

Of course it contains a small version of the classic 24 patch ColorChecker chart you can use as a simple visual or by-the-numbers reference in your processing, but this cheap as chips tool allows you to do so much more than the classic chart:

  • Easily create DNG camera calibrations that integrate with Adobe Lightroom to significantly increase the colour accuracy of ALL your photographs over Lightroom's default included profiles (which vary from poor to mediocre at best).
  • Use the White Balance target to get precise white balance settings - it's amazing what setting the perfect white balance can do to the clarity and purity of colour in your images. Not relying on your camera's auto white balance if one of the key things that separates technically great images from everyday images
  • Use the creative enhancement white targets to sympathetically vary your white balance - ie. warm or cool your shots. This is a highly effective process, particularity with portraits to create pleasing skin tones.
  • Creative custom profiles for specific shooting conditions, e.g. product shots in the studio, and massively increase the speed of your RAW post processing work by applying these correction profiles to all your shots in one go. In a typical studio workflow this thing can pay for itself in less than an hour!

A Simple Option for White Balance and Tone Setting

Setting an accurate white balance is the one thing you absolutely should be doing to improve your colour photography. Auto white balance is fine for the Uncle Joes, but you can and should do better, and you'll be amazed at how clean your photographs can look with the correct white balance!

A simpler again option than the Passport, and one perfect for hanging around the neck of your portrait subjects at the beginning of studio sessions, is the SpyderCube. This is a basic white balance and tone setting tool.

Easy to use, inexpensive and very portable.

Classic Colour Charts

The X-Rite ColorChecker has of course been the industry standard colour reference chart for more than 30 years. It's a classic and everyone serious about colour should have one in their kit. Used as a visual or by-the-numbers reference, it provides known values for 24 key tones.

If you need more advanced calibration, for example for your high end flatbed scanner or for art reproduction photographic work, the Digital ColourChecker SG has a vast array of patches for greater accuracy. Make sure your calibration software supports this target before you pick one up, of course!

DataColor have their own versions of the popular targets, and they can offer good value.

Want it super sharp? You need

Focus Calibration

Modern digital cameras routinely have focussing issues, and fortunately many now support focus calibration to help overcome these issues. Modern lenses are also very, very complex instruments involving lots of precisely aligned elements and many even have their own internal motors - so it's often hard to tell if your particular lens is up to scratch.

The Spyder LensCal is a simple and unique tool to assess and (if your camera offers this) - correct focus issues with you camera and lens combinations. If you've ever been faced with a naggings sense your shots should be sharper, this is the perfect tool to tell you where the problem lies - whether it's your equipment or your technique.

The easiest path to

Colour Capture

Just measure, match and use!  

The Palette Cube is a simple to use device for spot measurement of colour, that also measures ambient temperature and light intensity. 

You can sync the device to desktop software and excellent mobile apps which allows you to import your colours and match to a host of over 75,000 digital colour profiles - including Pantones!

The only limit to this device is your imagination and it's a tool that should be in any designer or visual artist's tool box.