The White Balance Lens Cap

You may think automatic white balance is good enough. But if you’ve ever had to fix dozens (or even 100s) of photos with just slightly different colors, one-by-one, you know the true meaning of pain. The White Balance Lens Cap leaves you no excuse for not properly white-balancing every situation you encounter. Simply flip your camera into custom White Balance mode, snap a photo with your White Balance Lens Cap on, and your camera creates a perfect profile of the actual lighting in front of you. Best of all, unlike a gray card, the White Balance Cap takes no extra room in your gear bag. Just replace your existing lens cap with this one and you’ll always be able to white balance with no additional equipment.

15 Comments leave a comment below

  1. That’s amazing and brilliant in that I can’t believe no one thought of this before way. I want.

  2. I agree with above — that is brilliant. That would make things so much easier.

  3. I wouldn’t say a grey card takes up a lot of extra space…

    but damn, this is an awesome idea.

  4. Perfect idea. A little pricey but it sure would save a lot of post production time.

  5. Another trick that works really well: take two filters the size of your lens, cut a tissue to fit inside those filters and screw them together.

  6. Brilliant, really.

  7. I got an insider trick from a photographer while taking a beginner course in photography;
    use your hand!
    Point the camera on to your palm and use the manual white balance button on your camera. Works and is way the cheapest approach!

  8. the only problem which this, besides it’s cost, is you need to buy one for each of your lens sizes… Since it is made to fit a certain size. I have looked at them in the past, but I am not purchasing 3 or 4 of these.

    Kind of confused on the point made on how it doesn’t take up much room unlike a grey card. This is used to set a custom white balance where as a grey card is used to figure out a correct exposure… right? A grey card isn’t used for white balance, since it is, well, grey.

    I was reading popular photography the other day and they had something similar to this but it was a piece of material and had an elastic outer edge so you would just stretch it across your lens, any size you would like. Took up no room, same function, seems like a great idea.

    @Tash along with my comments above, yes your hand can work good as a grey card substitute, but your hand is not going to help you white balance. To use a custom white balance, your camera (usually) requires a white photo.

    Personally, i just picked up a losolite ezybalance 12″. It has a grey card on one side and a white balance area for the other side. It works just like a pop up reflector and can fold up into a tiny pouch. works great so far. Heck you can even use it has a white reflector if you need to as well.

  9. Us photo buffs are suckers for gadgets!

    Another option is to hold an opaque Pringles tube lid over your lens to capture the ambient white balance.

    I carry an old white envelope in my camera bag and snap it (autofocus off) in custom white balance mode, then tell the camera to use that snap as the white balance reference frame. Takes all of ten seconds and costs nothing. Works a treat.

  10. I so could have used this on a shoot this past week!

  11. As long as your subject stays in the same light, you want to shoot with the same white balance. Auto-white balance will shift slightly or more as you reframe the subject, just as auto-exposure does, leading to the effect described (many images of a subject with colors that are slightly different).

    But…. doing a white balance facing your subject is a “get lucky” proposition that assumes your subject’s aggregate reflectivity represents the light source. White balancing on a grey card that is facing the camera from the subject’s location is a much better idea: it does exactly that, while also giving you a standard reflectivity you can meter on for exposure.

    Consider: Stand close to a strongly colored wall you want to photograph, with the lens pointing at the wall, and take a white balance and a picture. If you change to another colored wall that is lit with the same light, and do it again, you’ll get a different white balance, and both pictures are likely to look like crap. But you know it’s not right, because as long as you’re in the same light, you want the white balance to stay the same, regardless of the subject’s colors.

    This gadget here might work pretty well if you point it from the subject toward the location where you will be shooting, so it can read all the light sources that will be reflecting off the subject in the camera’s direction. It will be unreliable if you point it at the subject.

    You can cut a grey card to the size of your camera and always have it in your bag. It doesn’t need to be in focus when you balance on it. It doesn’t have to be wrinkle free :-)

    One time you’ll still be challenged is when your subject is in different light than you are and you can’t get close to it to get a reading. But heck, if great photography were easy, everyone would do it.

    Sidebars:
    - A grey card is fine to white balance on. “White” balance means adjusting for the color temperature of the light, not the intensity of it. A white piece of paper looks just as grey as a grey card if you stop down.

    - Just as different “white” papers are cooler or warmer, greys are all different and grey cards are not necessarily neutral. Choose one you like. You may prefer, say, Macbeth-Gretag’s to Kodak’s.

    - If you shoot RAW files and like to adjust each image, you can ignore white balance when you are shooting and leave it on auto. RAW saves the uninterpreted sensor data. All the white balance setting on the camera does is overlay at interpretation on that data to affect how the image is displayed. You can do that later in your computer with no loss. Of course it takes time to do this with every image.

    - If you shoot JPEG or TIFF, this last doesn’t apply. Your final file gets made in the camera according to the settings that you have, and changes you make later in the computer will be lossy.

    Cheers

    James

  12. Thanks – again – for the great inspirational minutes I got visiting you.
    I was going to write “break-from-work” instead of “minutes”, but it was rather a start-up so that I can begin working today, puting my mind in inspirational-mode.

  13. I bought it and was unimpressed.The first thing I noticed is that the dome prevents you from being able to stand the lens up the way you’d normally do it once you remove the lens from the body.

    But more important: The white balance preset is buried in the menu of the Nikon, and to make these adjustments each time the light temperature changes (if, say, you’re walking around the streets of Damascus) you’d spent a great deal of time staring into the LCD screen of your camera clicking through the menu options.

    It’s better to simply learn how to adjust white balance manually (especially the “choose color temp” setting using the numbers, like 3400K = tungsten bulb light, etc.).

  14. I’m a cheap bastard

    I bought it but just spend me $8.99

    http://www.linkdelight.com/vmchk/View-all-products-in-shop.html?keyword=White+Balance+Lens+Cap

    but got this after 15 days of buying, not very quickly than my hope

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