Without a doubt, the biggest obstacle in my quest to take the best pictures I can take has been white balance. I love my Nikon D80, but I honestly believe that it came with a default white balance setting of “Jaundiced,” particularly noticeable on indoor, nighttime shots without flash. Unfortunately, that comprises a good portion of my family photos. I’ve experimented with all the white balance settings, including adjusting the Degrees Kelvin.
I was so excited when I read about this lens cap! Could it be the answer to my white balance problems? The folks at Photojojo were nice enough to let me test it for review.
The night before the lens cap arrived, I took some shots of my daughters reading by lamplight. They were so yellow that the one I posted for my Project 365 was converted to black and white. Here are a couple of shots from that night:
See what I mean?
The next night I recreated the same scene: same lens, same settings. The only difference was the White Balance Lens Cap.
Here are a couple of sample photos taken at night in my dining room.
Without White Balance Lens Cap:
With White Balance Lens Cap:
The difference is amazing, isn’t it?! I’m now saving loads of editing time and frustration.
To use the White Balance Lens Cap, you have to set a custom white balance on your camera with the lens cap in place. After Googling and reading my manual, I figured out how to do it. Now I probably could blindfolded.
Here’s how it’s done for my Nikon D80:
- Set the White Balance to “White Balance Preset” either through the menu or by pressing the WB button and rotating the main command dial on the back of the camera until you see “Pre” in the lower right corner of the control panel on top of the camera (faster). (Pages 58-60 in the manual.)
- Hold down the WB button on the back of the camera for a couple of seconds until you see “PRE” flashing on the control panel on top of the camera.
- Take a reference exposure shot with the lens cap on the camera. The lens cap instructions say: “To set an accurate custom white balance, point the camera towards your subject’s main light source or towards the light source from where you will take your photo.” After taking the shot, “Good” will flash on the control panel if your camera was able to measure a value for white balance (mine has every time).
- Remove the lens cap and be prepared to love the white balance on your photos!
I’ve read about other methods of setting custom white balance, such as using a gray card; holding toilet paper in front of your lens; or making a custom filter using a coffee filter. All of them involve carrying around something extra, and as a busy mom I don’t have enough hands as it is. I’ve always got a lens cap with my camera, though.
Simply replace your lens cap with Photojojo’s White Balance Lens Cap and you’re all set! I’ve been testing the 52mm model since it works with both my 18-55mm and 50mm Nikkor lenses; when I change lenses, I just switch the lens cap.
Photojojo’s White Balance Lens Cap comes with both neutral and warm interchangeable color domes and is available for lens thread sizes 52mm, 55mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm and 77mm. (Don’t know your thread size? Just check the outer rim or bottom of your lens for one of these numbers.) Prices range from $45-$65 depending on size (the one I’m using is a $45 model).