First off, apologies if this is in the wrong section of the forum, I wasn't sure whether it should be in Lightroom, ACR or Colour Management. I did a few searches before typing this up and didn't find an answer.
Didn't realise how long my post was getting, so I've summarised it at the top if you don't want to read the whole thing.Short version:
I'm having trouble accurately reproducing colour (particularly saturated reds/yellows) with my Canon 1000D (Rebel XS) especially under artificial lighting. Monitors are profiled with an i1Pro & ColorEyes, I shoot RAW and I white balance my shots with a WhiBal card, so that's not the problem.
I'm having hue/saturation issues with various colours when using the Adobe Standard profile for my camera. The Canon Standard one looks better most of the time, but still isn't right. (note: I'm not trying to match the Canon JPEG/DPP look, or the camera's screen, just get colour closer to how things look to my eyes) Under bad lighting (e.g. halogen lights) neither looks any good.
Is it worthwhile buying a ColorChecker (£60 here, ≈$100 not exactly cheap) and creating my own profiles, or are they going to suffer from the same problems that the Adobe Standard one does? For people that have done profiling, how close were the results? Was it worthwhile?
I'm just concerned that the problems I'm having might be with the profiling process itself, rather than the profiles Adobe supplies. As it's a low-end camera I have, it wouldn't surprise me if there maybe wasn't as much care taken profiling it compared to something higher up the line though, or perhaps its colour response is more varied under different lighting conditions.Long Version
Recently, I've been spending a lot of time with Lightroom trying to create a new default setting for my camera (Canon 1000D/Rebel XS) that works well with the majority of images I shoot, as I've been getting fed up with having everything zeroed and making a lot of adjustments for each image by hand. I get better results that way, but it's pretty tedious. I know I can sync my settings across a batch of images, but I then find myself trying to undo some of what I just did for one image as it doesn't necessarily work on another.
I've been reasonably successful with this, creating a new default along with a handful of complimentary presets that suit most of my images and means I don't have to do a lot of basic adjustments, just fine-tuning now, if anything. I still find that I'm having to make a lot of manual colour adjustments to get things to look right depending on the lighting conditions though.
My monitors are completely profiled with an i1Pro & ColorEyes Display, and I white balance my shots with a WhiBal card (and I've verified its accuracy with the i1Pro) so that's not the problem.
Daylight is usually
ok, but indoors with artificial lighting often looks terrible. Initially I had been using the Adobe Standard profile for my 1000D but recently moved to the Camera Standard one as I found the Adobe profile to be problematic with reproducing saturated reds/yellows, and sometimes blue would have weird colour shifts.
It's not an interesting image, just one I took quickly when tweaking my default settings (I took a lot
of random images to make sure they worked with as many images as possible) but I think it shows off one of the issues I had with the Adobe Standard profile. (I'm pretty sure it does, but I'm on my laptop right now and the screen isn't that good, so I'm not certain)
Old zeroed settings using the Adobe profile on the left, my new defaults using the Canon standard profile on the right:
Notice how the blue highlights look totally out of place with the Adobe profile, showing as a weird hue/saturation shift, rather than being a lighter shade of blue as they are with the Canon one. (obviously my new defaults produce a much punchier image as well, but there's no colour tweaking applied and the RAW wasn't clipped) The blue with the Canon profile is also much closer to how it actually looked.
That was shot under daylight and just shows off one of the problems I was having with the Adobe Standard profile, but artificial lighting is much worse for colour.
I thought the Adobe profiles were shot at both 2856K and 6500K, but when shooting under halogen lights (2735K going by the white balance—I haven't measured with my i1Pro) colour reproduction needs a lot of tweaking. I suppose it might be due to the spectral response even if they're around 2856K.
Canon Standard tweaked by hand with the HSL controls to look how it actually should. (note: this was just done quickly, and isn't quite right—I went a bit far with red, but it's much
closer to how it should be than the other two)
Notice how bad red, orange and yellow in particular are using either the Adobe or Canon standard profiles. I still can't get yellow looking right by tweaking it manually. (still looks desaturated here compared to the rest)
Particularly under halogen lighting (which seems to be the worst affected) is creating a custom profile with a ColorChecker going to make a big difference compared to the standard Adobe ones, or will I end up with a similar result that also suffers from hue shifts and needs just as much tweaking?
The ColorChecker cards are pretty expensive here—£60 ($100) for the large and £50 ($80) for the small so I'm a bit concerned about spending that much cash to end up with a similar result. And, would you recommend the large or small one? Small seems like it would be convenient, but I wonder if the larger patches would profile better? (and if it were to get marked at all, there's less chance of ruining the card with large patches)
Any information/advice is appreciated. If anyone has an example they could show shot under bad lighting comparing the standard Adobe profile for their camera to a custom one, that would be great.