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How to use the Datacolor SpyderCUBE for white balance and contrast

Achieving accurate colors and contrast in your images can be difficult for many photographers. Without the proper tools, you are often just guessing at the best overall settings during post-processing. For lots of people, getting close enough to accurate color works most of the time, sometimes you need to be more accurate.

The SpyderCUBE is a tool by Datacolor that allows you to quickly and accurately set a photograph’s white balance, white point, shadows and black point.

I’ve produced a video (below) on how I recommend using this tool in your workflow.

Here’s the general approach to using the SpyderCUBE:

  1. Place the SpyderCUBE near the subject and in the same light. Make sure the black point port is pointed towards the camera.
  2. Resume taking photos of the subject.
  3. Import your images into Lightroom (or your favorite image processing software).
  4. Use the white balance dropper tool to set white balance (color temperature)
  5. Use your cursor to measure the RGB values for the white area of the SpyderCUBE. Use the tonality sliders and/or curves tool to set RGB values between 97-100% luminosity.
  6. Use your cursor to measure the RGB values for the black area of the SpyderCUBE. Use the tonality sliders and/or curves tool to set RGB values between 3-5% luminosity.
  7. Use your cursor to measure the RGB values for the black point of the SpyderCUBE. Use the tonality sliders and/or curves tool to set RGB values around 0% luminosity.
  8. Copy these adjustments and paste them to all the other images shot in the same lighting scenario.

Some software packages have white point, gray point and black point dropper tools that you can use in lieu of the approach I outline above. Whatever method you use, the SpyderCUBE is a very helpful tool for us photographers.

I know you’ll find the SpyderCUBE to be a useful tool, especially for those of you looking to improve your color accuracy and overall image quality. Let me know if you have any questions and I’ll get right back to you. Thanks for reading!

Note: Datacolor sent a SpyderX Capture Pro kit for me to test in my photography business. Check out the other Datacolor videos here on Photofocus and on my YouTube channel to watch detailed hands-on reviews of each tool in the SpyderX Capture Pro kit: Spyder X Elite Colorimeter, SpyderCUBE, SpyderLENSCAL and SpyderCHECKR color calibration chart.

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