Setting custom white balance with Leica SL

I think this is a great title trick I’ve learnt about the Leica SL. I never paid much attention to the front button until I tried it one day and discovered the GREYCARD mode. It is an extremely handy feature to quickly set the custom white balance without guessing. I remember I used to do it on my Canon DSLR bodies but it was a bit awkward and time consuming. SL implements it in a simple and elegant way.

I use ExpoDisc to set my camera’s white balance in any tricky light situation.

EXPODISC is a very handy tool

I put the ExpoDisc in front of the lens (against the filter rim) and press the front button on the SL body for 1 sec to enter the GREYCARD mode for setting the white balance. The SL will set the white balance automatically, and preview the new setting in the view finder. Then it’s just a press away on the LRB (lower right button) on the back to confirm the new setting. Voila.

The results are obvious. See the difference this makes in a simple example of the two images below. The light is pretty tricky at night with LED bulbs and any digital camera can be easily fooled into some weird white balance settings if used in the automatic mode. If you shoot RAW (DNG on SL) it can be manually corrected in post, however it’s easier and faster to set the white balance in-camera and not worry about it later with a series of images waiting to be processed.


I went to my corporate end-of-the-year event in Kirribilli yesterday. It was a rather overcast and rainy day, not great for enjoying the time on the public reserve grass nor photography. At least, I captured a few images that are a good record of Kirribilli in gloomy weather, and I like how the white boats stand out against the dark sky. There is something about white boats that lifts the spirit, don’t you think? I do like Kirribilli because I spent so many years of my life going there on Sunday mornings and hanging out and shooting there. Hope someone else can appreciate these shots too. To people not living in Sydney, these scenes could be quite a novelty.

It was the first time I shot with the Leica M-mount Elmar 24mm f/3.8 lens on the Leica SL (typ 601) body. I’m glad the ‘wide angle test’ passed, i.e. there is no smearing in the corners, like it was the case with the Sony A7II and Sony A7RII cameras I used recently. There is a lot of tiny detail in the images. The lens resolves the SL’s 24MP sensor well, it seems. I’m happy with the results so far.

2 + 4 + 2 with Leica SL

Not hard to guess what the formula refers to.

I spent 30min at George St in Sydney in front of Paxton’s randomly shooting the passerby. The aim was to fill up the SD card with enough images made with the new camera body to get a sense of the IQ. I was happy at the end when I quickly processed the images in Lightroom. There are many shots I’ve posted to Work if you’d like to explore.

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