View Full Version : Color temperature

18-May-2008, 19:03
I'm shooting fine art with 4x5, Fuji Provia 100F RDPIII and Profoto Monolights. I need to correctly balance the film and lights but cannot find the exact color temperature of the film. It is daylight so I assume its 5500K but cannot confirm this.

Can anyone help please

Ron Marshall
18-May-2008, 19:10
Daylight = 5600 K:


18-May-2008, 19:33
That was fast Ron, many thanks.
I had looked at the Fuji data sheet previously but I still don't see the 5600K listed anywhere. Sorry to be thick, but could you tell me how you determined it was 5600K please.
Many thanks for you help

steve simmons
18-May-2008, 19:38
Daylight film is balanced to 5500 or 5600K. That is generally considered to be the industry standard for daylight color temp.

steve simmons

Now, do you know what the color temp of the lights is?

I would recommend doing some tests, getting th film processed and then seeing how accurate it is. You may need to do a little color correcting with some CC filters or LB filters.

steve simmons

18-May-2008, 19:43
Tks, no I don't know the color temp of the lights. I was hoping to borough a color temp meter. Profoto makes different glass caps for their strobes, I believe +- 300K and +-600K. I'm hoping I can solve the problem this way because I am a little light challenged.
I will run some tests but I'm hoping the color meter will start me closer to the right numbers. I'm told the temperatures must be quite close for the quality of print my client intents to produce.

Frank Petronio
18-May-2008, 19:51
You really can't expect to get within 2-300K based on data-sheets and even with a color meter you can't tell what you're going to get on that particular emulsion -- a real life film test is the only way to confirm. Start without the domes, and if you want to see the effect of adding 300K or 600K use Roscoe or Lee gels over the lights to test -- much less expensive than buying Profoto domes.

erie patsellis
18-May-2008, 19:55
another thing to consider is that when you change the power, most heads will shift color as well.


18-May-2008, 20:11
Tks Erie, I am aware of the color temp change with power but right now, I need the lts on full blast. I need to get to f22 and I'm at f16 at best.
Frank, I'll remove the domes and try to find some filters then run some tests.
I'm told the lts look blue which I guess means they are a higher temp than the film. A bit odd since I saw one web reference which indicated that the Profoto monolights (600ws) are about 5000K on full power.

18-May-2008, 20:18
Besides the steps you are already taking, there is another way to help with final color balance before scanning. McBeth and Kodak both made color charts that can be included in the frame edge. Kodak's (my choice) is linear and is made to fit along side the art work. With that in frame, it's a simple matter when doing the scan, to correct the balance to match the chart. Then the other colors in the scan are automatically perfected as well. Kodak's kit also included a stepped gray scale to check accuracy of density.

This eliminates the worry over lights changing color, etc.

If you have access to a copy of the book "Color" from the old Time Life Library of Photography, this whole process is illustrated on pages 126-128 including illustrations.


18-May-2008, 20:30
Tks Lenser, I see I can get the Time Life book, used, for a staggering $1.52 on Amazon. Looks like a good investment.
I have both the Kodak card and the Geta Macbeth X rite color checker card. I was told the color shift was to great to correct during scanning. This seems a little odd since we're only talking approx 500K. Anyway, I'll try to fix it and will include the Kodak card.
Many thanks for all your inputs

Joanna Carter
19-May-2008, 00:32
You really can't expect to get within 2-300K based on data-sheets and even with a color meter you can't tell what you're going to get on that particular emulsion -- a real life film test is the only way to confirm...
Frank, I use a Minolta Color Meter 3F and find that, using CC filters on the lens, correction is very accurate. Admittedly the filters required seem very odd with strong blues from the 82 and 80 range together with magenta to cope with the green spikes present in some lighting.

Here is an image I made in a gallery in France, scanned and with no further colour correction required.

steve simmons
19-May-2008, 04:04
The Profoto lights he is using are flash so if he uses a color temp meter it will need to be able to read flash.

Photographers who specialize in art reproduction usualy have a setup left in place all the time and have carefully calibrated their system and film. They then just drop the art piece in place and go to work. I don't think you can do this well as a one-off situation w/o doing the testing.

steve simmons