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White Balance, what setting do you use?

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Tue 28-Apr-09 02:20 PM

Hi guys,

In general, auto appears to be OK, in dark overcast days, (winter in my place now), I think it has been way out?

Is it best to just shoot auto and pp in NX or adjust during shooting?

Regards
Gary

bmunson

San Diego, US
351 posts

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#1. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

bmunson Registered since 04th Apr 2007
Tue 28-Apr-09 12:59 PM | edited Tue 28-Apr-09 01:22 PM by bmunson

Gary,

I shoot RAW, so 95% of the time I just leave it on Auto and adjust in PP. I use Lightroom and the same presets (daylight, cloudy, etc.) exist in the develop module as the camera. I belive NX has this option as well. Then I use the sliders. The presets are really just set up for average conditions. If you shoot jpg, that may be a different story.

Barry

The pursuit of photography drives me to go places and see things I otherwise would only view through the eyes of others.



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LMMiller9

Potomac, US
1169 posts

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#2. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

LMMiller9 Silver Member Nikonian since 18th Dec 2005
Tue 28-Apr-09 01:28 PM

Just leaving it on auto has worked for me. Personally, I think the percentage is in favor of messing the shot up by playing with WB. Always shooting in raw I can post process any problems regarding WB.

Larry Miller, Potomac, MD
DF/D810
http://lmmillerphotography.smugmug.com/

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aldewitt

Jefferson City, US
404 posts

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#3. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

aldewitt Registered since 16th May 2008
Tue 28-Apr-09 02:05 PM

I use an Expodisc most of the time, shoot a custom white balance, and change it every time the light or location changes. This really helps prevent most of the common WB issues. The expodisc is cheap and very practical, but a Lastolite gray target is also a practical way of doing a custom white balance. It's just a case of what you're comfortable with.

Custom white balance saves you a lot of time in post processing, but beware the situation where you leave it set on custom and you use the settings from the day before (been there, done that). Not a good plan.

When shooting casual or snapshot, I use the Auto setting and post process. If it is important enough to shoot with my D700, in most cases its important enough to take the 30 seconds necessary to do a custom WB.

A. L. DeWitt
Jefferson City, MO

Cameras allow us to share the beauty in God's creation with others.

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BassOverflow

US
419 posts

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#4. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 3

BassOverflow Registered since 07th Apr 2007
Tue 28-Apr-09 04:03 PM

I second Anthony's response. I use an Expodisc unless its not that important or the light is tricky with several different sources. I've had really good results with just leaving it in auto and tweaking in PP if needed.

In one example of taking a portrait at sunset w/ flash, I didn't have my Expodisc with me and I was trying to tweak the WB in camera and just could not get it to look right... flipped it to Auto and it was perfect!

~Joe in Western NC

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glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#5. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Tue 28-Apr-09 09:16 PM

Thanks Guys,

Expodisc! Had to google that one, did not even know there was such a product,

looks like a good option for "tricky" WB,

Usually everything's been OK but this time, late in a stormy day the WB was way off, Raw saved the day,

I guess Expodisc would save a lot of time pp,

Regards,
Gary

khiromu


31 posts

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#6. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

khiromu Registered since 28th Dec 2007
Tue 28-Apr-09 10:22 PM

I leave it "auto" most of the time.
When indoor and with mixed light, I often use flashes and that automatically changes to flash WB, I suppose as I get right WB in that way.

Hiromu

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dfettero

Stafford, US
6 posts

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#7. "Auto White Balance limits" | In response to Reply # 6

dfettero Registered since 23rd Dec 2008
Wed 29-Apr-09 12:12 AM

Please see page 140 of the manual and be aware that AWB limits are 3500K to 8000K

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glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#8. "RE: Auto White Balance limits" | In response to Reply # 7

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Wed 29-Apr-09 08:27 AM

Thanks Dean,

That makes sense, now I can see why it was out, one of those few pages one glasses over,

NX2 to the rescue!

Regards,
Gary

Tongariro

London, UK
404 posts

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#9. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

Tongariro Registered since 14th Jul 2007
Wed 29-Apr-09 03:44 PM

I shoot RAW, and used to leave WB on auto all of the time, occasionally including a shot with a whibal (grey) card to provide a reference point for processing later.

I then had a burst of what I thought was something potentially more sophisticated, that is setting custom white balance. However, this effort is now over, as I found that I could not copy the white balance setting thus achieved from one image to another using Capture NX2. I also was less diligent than I might have been about resetting WB if the light changed. So it's back to auto & the grey card when need be, which suits me fine.

Bridget

glxman

South Australia, AU
6750 posts

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#10. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 9

glxman Moderator Awarded for his high level skills, specially in Wildlife & Landscape Photography Nikonian since 04th Oct 2008
Wed 29-Apr-09 08:33 PM

Thanks Bridget,

Used to use the grey card in the old days, in fact, I've moved from film to D700 with a steep learning curve,

After a few tests, I am getting what I want PP, not sure if this always possible,

I know where your coming from when using a specific setting and then forgetting to switch back, old timers like me are good at doing that,

I guess if I'm shooting raw, I don't have too much to worry about,

Regards,
Gary

fld

PH
181 posts

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#11. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 10

fld Registered since 05th Feb 2009
Thu 30-Apr-09 12:04 AM

i usually leave it in auto. The Auto in D700 is quite good. I also adjust them in PS CS3 if needed.

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cneal007

US
65 posts

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#12. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 11

cneal007 Registered since 16th Feb 2009
Thu 30-Apr-09 01:14 AM

I jumped on the expodisc bandwagon. I haven't had to make and adjustment post processing since. I learned the hardway to use the WB memory banks for changing conditions. If I have a day where the sun is comming in and out of the clouds, I will set 1 custom setting to when it's out and the other for when it's obscured. Then I can change back and forth without having to pull the expodisc out again to reset. When I am using a flash, I leave the WB in auto.

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b2martin_a

US
475 posts

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#13. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 12

b2martin_a Registered since 10th Jan 2007
Thu 30-Apr-09 11:40 AM

I have several different white balance references - Expodisc, BaLens Cap, WhiBal Card, Lastolite, and X-Rite color checker. I shoot everything in RAW + JPG (have not used any of the JPG's from camera Yet). I process RAW using Photoshop CS4 with ACR 5.3 (Adobe Camera RAW) and use the new Camera Profiles Adobe released with CS4. I have used Custom white balance and Auto and have not found that neither is acceptable for all shots (don't want to set a custom white balance for every shot). Since I don't use JPG's from the camera I plan on taking a new approach (will probably start shooting only RAW).

My new approach is first set a custom white balance for the camera. Take a picture of the WhiBal card using the custom white balance. Next, change the white balance to Auto and take the pictures. When I process the NEF files using Photoshop ACR 5.3 I now have 3 white balance options I can select - 1. Auto, 2. Custom, 3. WhiBal Card. The image of the WhiBal card will have the custom white balance setting and with Photoshop ACR 5.3 you can copy this to any or all images (unlike NX). If I click on the WhiBal card with the gray eyedropper in ACR I now have a white balance setting for the WhiBal card and can copy it to any or all images, or I can adjust the Auto for each individual image if it's not accpetable. Custom white balance setting and WhiBal card will be very close, but are generally not identical. I plan to use the BaLens cap to set custom white balance since it will already be mounted on the lens.

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Tusker

US
32 posts

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#14. "RE: White Balance, what setting do you use?" | In response to Reply # 0

Tusker Registered since 25th Feb 2009
Tue 05-May-09 05:24 AM

Well This was taken in 'auto', in the rain, when these duck appeared in the back yard in a small runoff stream. They started walking when I stepped out of the basement some 70 yards away. with all the rain and water, I can't help but wonder if a CPL would have improved this.
D 700 70/300 VR w/Kenko 1.4x conv.

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Attachment#1 (jpg file)

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G