Hi folks, I'm new here. I'm having trouble getting true reds when shooting my tropical fish. In particular an m. parva rainbowfish that's very RED, not orange as I keep getting with my images.I'm very basic with my methods & PP. I shoot raw, Micro Nikkor 60mm, SB 600, and use only ViewNX2 for processing. I'd really like to get the adjustment in camera if possible. I've been through the manual and tweaked the settings with no positive effect. I haven't yet(ever)done a preset. A little worried I'll do it wrong & cause more problems. I have uploaded a pic to my gallery if you can find you way there. Thanks for any advice! Jim
#1. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 0Omaha Registered since 07th Jan 2012Tue 13-Mar-12 12:36 AM
I'm a digital newbie myself.
Interestingly, your question gets to the heart of something I didn't grok at first, but was educated by our fellow Nikonians: Namely, when shooting RAW, the WB setting on your camera makes no difference. It doesn't change the way the raw image data is stored at all.
(The only thing the WB setting does is get carried along with the rest of the image meta data and is used by some, but not all, RAW converters as their default starting point.)
I'm not familiar with ViewNX2 (I use Photoshop), but I assume it has sliders for WB, saturation, etc? My guess is that your answer lies there, not in the camera settings. Glancing at your image, I'm betting a generous dose of increased saturation will get you the color you are looking for.
But then, as I said, I'm a newbie. Hopefully someone more experienced will come along with a fuller answer.
#3. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 1Tue 13-Mar-12 01:07 AM
Very interesting Omaha, thanks! No wonder all of my fussing with the camera settings didn't seem to change a thing! I have tried all of the possible(at least i think) adjustments available with NX2 and though i can improve the image, I can't get near reality! Maybe I need to try some different softwear?
#2. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 0
Since the lighting on the fish is probably from an artificial source, you may have to set the white balance for that source. There's one for incandescent, fluorescent, daylight, and even Speedlight (flash). I would expect less of this with flash illumination, but there must be something messing with the color.
I'm suspecting the bulb in your aquarium is incandescent, and it's putting a bit of yellow in the image. I get a certain amount of that, particularly when shooting in existing light, with my D70.
The white balance setting is in the shooting menu. Try the different settings and see if one fixes the problem. If you are in shooting mode (not menu mode), the WB button on the back should give you access to change the setting with the command dial. The icons aren't particularly intuitive however.
Experiment a bit and have fun.
Learning a little bit more, every day...
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#4. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 2Tue 13-Mar-12 01:11 AM
Thanks for the reply Spraay! The shot was made with my SB600 above the fish. The aquarium light is flourescent. I shoot a lot of fish and usually get what I consider good color. Today shot some red cherry shrimp and they were also lacking red.
I've been through all of the WB settings on the camera with no change. I think Omaha answered why.
#5. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 4Tue 13-Mar-12 02:27 AM
Now that i know there's nothing to gain by adjusting the camera, I took the image to NX2 and Photoshop. Photoshop, even with my lack of ability, got it pretty close! I put the images in my gallery for comparison. Thanks again for your help!!
#7. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 6cliddell Nikonian since 10th Oct 2006Tue 13-Mar-12 04:27 AM
If you can find even the smallest object which is white (or should be white) and, in ViewNX2, click on it using "Use Gray Point" it will magically do it all with the one click. It may be possible to place some small white or gray object when taking the picture?
Of course only NEF files but you do use RAW so no problems.
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#9. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 0
Another tip: be careful not to over-expose if red is an important colour in the image. The red channel blows out first and because the D70 can't show you histograms for the separate channels you might not know you've clipped it. When one of the channels clips the colours are thrown off a bit because the RGB mix is now wrong. I've shot quite a few red flowers that just don't look right.
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#10. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 9michaelhager Registered since 15th Feb 2007Tue 10-Apr-12 08:20 PM | edited Tue 10-Apr-12 08:53 PM by michaelhager
A couple of things... if you go way back several years to when the D70 and D70s were new you'll find many posts about the over saturation of red in those cameras. You can control the color in the camera by using the neutral setting rather than vivid and keepng the exposure perhaps -.3 under.
If you are using NX2 for post, then all of your camera settings are transferred with the NEF file as you shot them. The issue is not with NX2 it is with all other non Nikon software. Only the exposure and white balance are brought to the software if it is not Nikon.
Now, as for pre-sets, there is nothing you can really do wrong to the camera or its settings if you use the WB pre-set function. It will ONLY effect the WB in the pre-set mode. All others will remain as they are.
To do a successful preset, find something white and waterproof. Something fairly large that will fill the camera frame. (maybe a white china plate) Put it in the tank with the lighting you plan to use and perform the pre-set function on it.
Set the pre-set channel to d0
Point the camera at the object, filling the frame with white. Don't worry about focus it won't matter.
Press down the WB button and move the WB to PRE and continue to hold down the button.
When the display blinks, make an exposure.
If the display flashes "gd" (in the vewfinder) or "good" on the top LCD, simply start to shoot, your WB will be very accurate. If not, try it again until it says "gd"
To balance all images in Post Processing instead, put something white in the tank and make one exposure. It can be any small item as long as it's white or neutral grey.
Remove the white object and make all the exposures you need. In NX2, as stated above, select "Camera Settings", change "Set Color Temperature" to "Set Grey Point". You can use "Use a single point" but I prefer "Marquee Sample" then click start. Make a small window over the white object in the first frame. The WB will set itself perfectly for that image. Close and save the image. Select it in the browser pane then in the menu select "Batch", then "Copy Adjustments". Select all the rest of your images taken during that shoot under the same lighting conditions and from the menu select "Batch" then "Paste Adjustments". NX2 will apply the corrected WB setting to all of the selected images.
If you change your lighting setup, just put the white object back in the tank and make another exposure for the next part of the shoot.
The good thing about RAW processing is you really can't ruin the image. IF you screw it up really bad you can always revert back to "Original" and start over. Just about the only way you can ruin a RAW file is to delete it.
Now, you can adjust that -.3 under exposure in the "Quick Fix" pane with the "Exposure Compensation" slider, then back the red down slightly with the "Saturation" slider. Fiddle with those and "contrast" until you are comfortable wit your image, save it then save as .tif or .jpg as you desire.
As I think about it, you can make all of these adjustments to the first image, then batch them to all of the rest as well as the WB all at the same time. Then go back to individual images and make small adjustments as required.
Don't be afraid of anything. Experimentation is the only way you'll learn what works best for you. If you're real nervous about it, don't reformat your card until you're satisfied you haven't messed anything up. Or make a second copy of your RAW files someplace else.
Mostly just have fun!
C. Michael Hager
Your most important piece of photo equipment is built into your face.
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#12. "RE: D70s white balance" | In response to Reply # 11