The final item is a simple, yet clever, accessory – the SpyderCube. This has two grey and two white areas as well as black face and a zero black trap, at the top is a silver ball for measuring spectral highlights.
Place the cube in your photograph and take a picture, this will be the reference image that is used to white balance and colour correct the images shot in that session. Continue with the shoot without the cube.
Using Adobe Camera Raw Open the reference image together with other images shot on the same session, use the eyedropper to sample the lightest grey, this will be the grey that has received the most light, (both sides of the cube have the same grey shade). You can also use the Histogram to ensure that the whites are not blown. Ensure that the base is black with the black hole visible (black trap), you shout ensure that the trap has a RGB value of 0,0,0 and that there is a difference between the base black and black trap, use the out of gamut settings on the histogram to check this. Once done you can Synchronise all the images with the reference shot to ensure the colour balance and exposure settings are consistent.
Datacolor has a high reputation for producing quality products. I am particularly impressed with the Spyder 4 colorimeter and the simplicity of the SpyderCube. The SpyderLenscal may be useful if you own a high end DSLR, but may be of limited use with a mid range or entry level DSLR. The SpyderChecker didn’t produce the results I was hoping for, despite spending several hours trying different permutations. Most current DSLR cameras are producing excellent results straight out of the box and any fine adjustments can be made in Lightroom, Photoshop or Adobe Camera Raw. However, if you have a client who demands colour accuracy for their product shots then the SpyderChecker should ensure any demands are met.
Of course this kit is not the entire solution to colour management especially if you are also printing photos. Datacolor has the solution with SpyderPrint, but that’s for another review.