Color My World

So your light provides accurate color, what about your modifiers

I recently posted a self portrait I made while testing the new Interfit Studio Essentials LED monolight. I got some comments about how good the color looked and asking if I did much color correction on the image. I actually did very little color work on the image (shown here). I made one frame with an X-Rite Color Checker Passport and the second frame without. Using Adobe Lightroom Classic's white balance picker, I clicked on the middle gray swatch on the Color Checker and that made a small change, -100K and -5 tint. I thought the image was a bit too saturated, so I also pulled down the vibrance slider -11 points. That was it. 

 Image straight out of camera with no color adjustment

Image straight out of camera with no color adjustment

 Image straight out of camera, no color adjustments

Image straight out of camera, no color adjustments

 Image with minor color corrections (temp -100, tint +5, vibrance -11)

Image with minor color corrections (temp -100, tint +5, vibrance -11)

Or was it????

That got me to thinking about the modifiers I have available. I see so much concern over the color accuracy of strobes, fluorescent lamps, and LEDs. But not so much talk about the modifiers. With so many types and brands of modifiers I figured there must be differences. And I was right. Sometimes big differences.

For the above photos I used two LED monolights on me each with an Interfit 1x3-foot strip box. The light on the background was a Honey Badger studio strobe at its lowest power setting. I was quite happy with the results. But what about my other modifiers.

I grabbed a few modifiers: 7-inch silver metal dish, 24-inch pop-up that comes with the LED monolights (and also with the Honey Badger), a 20-inch metal dish reflector, the same reflector with two different diffusion socks, a 22-inch white beauty dish, a Photoflex 42-inch umbrella, a Photek 46" umbrella (a Softlighter without the diffuser), a Westcott 40-inch shoot-through umbrella, a Westcott Apollo Orb, an Interfit 1x3-foot strip box, and a 32" Photoflex white translucent pop-up diffuser panel. I set the camera (this time a Canon EOS M5 mirrorless with the 70-200 f/4 IS lens. AV mode at f/4.5. 

The first set of images shows have no corrections, just as they came out of the camera. For the second set I used the White Balance eyedropper to balance on the middle gray patch. I also attempted to get the exposure evened out between all of the modifier images (click on each image for a larger version). Quite a variety of colors!!

Samples from each modifier straight out of camera with no color adjustments

Samples from each modifier with color and exposure corrections 

With the camera set to Daylight White Balance, Lightroom read it as 5000K and +9 tint. Here is a list of the color corrections for each modifier:

7-inch silver dish: 5050 (+50K) +1 (-8)
24-inch popup: 4900 (-50K) +13 (+4)
20" dish: 4800 (-150K) +15 (+6)
20-inch + speedotron diffuser: 4450 (-550K) +6 (-3)
20-inch = mola diffuser: 4250 (-750K) +14 (+5)
Beauty dish: 5200 (+200K) +10 (+1)
Photoflex umbrella: 4900 (-50K) +4 (-5)
Photek umbrella: 4820 (-180K) -1 (-11)
Shoot through umbrella: 4800 (-150K) +8 (-1)
Apollo Orb: 5000 (0) +14 (+5)
Interfit strip bank: 4900 (-100K) +14 (+5)
Photoflex disc: 4650 (-350K) +4 (-5)

For reference, a +K value added yellow, -K added blue and +tint added magenta and -tint added green.

Have you done a comparison of the effects your various modifiers have on your lights? 

I have.

Thanks for playing along...
John