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D700 white balance issue?

Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
50 posts

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Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 09-May-12 04:22 PM

Hello Nikonians!

I rejoined the club after some while and I still feel like at home here!
I recently upgraded my gear from a D70s to a brand new D700.
I couldn't feel any happier with the choice. Being still at an intermediate level I felt like I didn't need to wait for the D800 to hit the market.
Back to the technical question: the pictures out of my D700 look kind of "cold". The blue colour appears to be predominant even on outdoors with full natural light pictures.
I shoot RAW with aperture priority. I use Automatic WB setup most of the time though I tried to use different WB settings with no joy. I'm prepared to play with manual settings if this is the right approach and if there is nothing wrong with my camera.
I just recall the D70s times when getting a correct WB setup looked easier!

Thanks for any advice

rpiechow

Berwyn, US
14 posts

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#1. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 0

rpiechow Silver Member Nikonian since 02nd Jun 2009
Wed 09-May-12 05:00 PM

I too made the D70s to D700 move about 8 months ago and there is a lot more to pay attention to on the D700 than on the D70s. But the camera certainly satisfies my need for the type of control the D70s didn't offer and I agree about not needing to wait for a D800.

I also thought the D700 had a "coolness" to each image and couldn't figure out what I was doing wrong. Now, I don't usually use auto white balance and instead select one of the other options as close to what I think I'll need. I've played around a bit with the XRite color checker passport too, and have had decent results. Most of what I've been shooting lately has been under horrible lighting conditions, usually a mix of fluorescent and flash, so to be honest, I've leaned toward adjusting white balance in Light Room after the fact, and use the color checker shot to get me in the zone.

I shoot lots of rocks and minerals under these conditions, without much opportunity to "set up a shot" and control the lighting. I look at it as great experience working with subjects that reflect, refract, fluoresce, etc.

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ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3330 posts

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#2. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 1

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Wed 09-May-12 10:31 PM

While WB can be modified to a warmer or cooler appearance in the camera, and it will appear that way on the LCD, that only shows up on the jpg. Raw records what comes through the lens without adding the biases of jpg processing, and if you are working with Raw, you can essentially set your own WB in postprocessing. You have much mroe latitude to do that in RAW than you have with a jpg. I have had the hideous experience of shooting aerial 35-40 images with the WB set on tungsten and then glancing at the viewing screen during a lull, only to be horrified that everything looked like Smurfland (blue). But the Raw NEFs corrected easily and there was no loss or need to reshoot.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
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#3. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 2

Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Thu 10-May-12 06:58 AM | edited Thu 10-May-12 07:59 AM by Highlander_Italy

Thanks for the comments.
I certainly don't mind adjusting the WB during the post-processing phase and certainly could try to get as closer as possible to the real conditions by using the in-camera presets, although I would like to learn how to improve the in camera WB control.
Is there any way/tool you suggest to make a temperature colour estimate/metering without breaking the bank (ref. Kenko professional meter)? I've been recently carrying a printed table of the typical colour temperature vs light condition.

archivue

Paris, FR
5525 posts

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#4. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 3

archivue Registered since 26th Mar 2002
Thu 10-May-12 07:35 AM

You could also set a different color value (warmer) in "image optimization" menu...? It wouldn't show either in NEFs but would shift your jpegs from Ekta's to Chrome's

Jacques

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My Gallery...

jgould2

Fort Pierce, US
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#5. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 0

jgould2 Gold Member Fellow Ribbon awarded for his excellent and frequent contributions and sharing his in-depth knowledge and experience with the community in the Nikonians spirit. Nikonian since 13th Oct 2007
Thu 10-May-12 02:11 PM

Hi Gianluca.

Please note that within each white balance setting you can fine-tune to suit your taste, even in auto. Simply hold in the WB button and spin the front dial to add a '+' or '-' bias.

JIM

piniongear

Houston Texas, US
466 posts

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#6. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 5

piniongear Registered since 29th Jul 2006
Thu 10-May-12 03:59 PM

Provided you have Capture NX2 to do your edits, you can shoot your pics using the D700 white balance set at Auto.

Then open the file with Capture NX2 and change any of the white balance settings, using the same choices provided with the camera. You can select cloudy, sunshine, vivid etc, etc to see how this pic looks under different settings.

Or, you can select a white balance value (5200K for example) and see what that looks like.

The result will enable you to select the proper white balance you desire on the camera. Note that a cloudy day will need one selection and a sunshine shot another.

This is the reason I use Auto WB setting on my D700, then adjust the color (if too warm or too cool) using Capture NX when I edit.
I only shoot RAW........ 100% of the time.

This is non destructive editing (in RAW) and to change what you have selected all that is required is to un-check the box(es) and the shot is put back in original form.
Nothing lost, as there will be with JPEG files.
Perry

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Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
50 posts

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#7. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 6

Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Fri 11-May-12 05:55 AM

Thanks for all useful hints, I'll try both the fine tuning and a different in-camera colour set-up.I too shoot Raw all the time.

With regard to Capture NX2, I've never used it and relied on Photoshop Elements. The CAMERA RAW module of Photoshop Elements would allow me to modify the WB though no presets are available on there. Is it worth moving to NX2?

Then the next question is if I have to play with WB settings in post processing how do I know what the "correct" temperature is? I'm not referring to obvious incorrect values i.e. too warm or too cold of course.

Thanks

piniongear

Houston Texas, US
466 posts

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#8. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 7

piniongear Registered since 29th Jul 2006
Fri 11-May-12 11:33 AM

For me Capture NX is worth the relatively small cost of the software (approx $130 US) because it works so well with RAW files.

I cannot say how it compares with Photoshop Elements but I really believe it will be a far better choice for you, having a Nikon camera.

At one time Nikon offered a trial version that you could use free for 30 days. You may want to see if that is still offered and give it a try. That is the way I got into Capture NX a few years back.

Try using this link to get there......
http://nikonimglib.com/cnx2/index_en_nsa.html#os-windows
Perry

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phil711

Williams, US
144 posts

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#9. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 8

phil711 Silver Member Nikonian since 08th Jun 2008
Sun 13-May-12 12:29 AM

It has been quite a while, but I recall when viewing the same NEF file in Elements and NX2 there was always a slight color difference. It was explained that the raw processor with Elements does not read (or process) the white balance information within the NEF in the same manner as does NX2.

No problem. Being chromatically challenged, I have a work around that helps me quite a bit. Shoot a frame with a gray card in the same light as the subject. I balance that image carefully so the RGB numerical values of the card are the same. The colors should be spot on. Then I use that corrected image as a reference for correcting the real image.

I am partial to the Wibal card, but I expect the Color Checker and other methods should also work quite well. Also, for what it is worth, I am a great fan of NX2. It processes the raw NEF data better than anything else I have tried -- by far. If you decide to go with NX2, there are a few tricks that make the process quick and easy. Only if I have a particular problem or wish to combine images, will I revert to Photoshop, but that happens seldom.

Good luck.

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Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
50 posts

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#10. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 9

Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 16-May-12 10:35 AM

There must be a difference on how Elements processes the NEF files. This is also obvious when I look at the pictures on Windows 7 after installing the Nikon codecs.
Colours differences are visible though the WB settings look incorrect in both cases.
I'll give NX2 a try to see how I get on with that compared to my current workflow based on Elements.

thanks

piniongear

Houston Texas, US
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#11. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 10

piniongear Registered since 29th Jul 2006
Wed 16-May-12 10:45 AM

Yes, just give the trial version a go.
It is free and good for 60 days (previously I incorrectly stated 30 days).
Perry

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Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
50 posts

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#12. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 11

Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Thu 17-May-12 11:00 AM

Yesterday I installed the trial version of NX2 and played a bit with the WB settings. I found the WB automatic correction tool to be quite useful and effective in most of the cases with no need of manual fine tuning. I might switch to NX2 eventually.

However I still struggle to understand whether this 'coolness' behaviour is intrinsic of the D700 or not.

Thanks

piniongear

Houston Texas, US
466 posts

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#13. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 12

piniongear Registered since 29th Jul 2006
Thu 17-May-12 02:20 PM

<However I still struggle to understand whether this 'coolness' behaviour is intrinsic of the D700 or not.>

That one I cannot answer.
Color balance is a very subjective thing and no two of us will agree 'What is the correct color.'

I would urge you to continue to use Capture NX2 and find the color balance that suits you, then set your D700 to produce this color cast.

One large problem is the LIGHT is always different.
Early morning/late evening is quite different than shooting at high noon.

Good luck with the quest.
Perry

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slothead

Frederick, US
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#14. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 0

slothead Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 11th Aug 2009
Thu 17-May-12 10:55 PM | edited Thu 17-May-12 10:57 PM by slothead

If you haven't tried it already (and I didn't notice if anyone else mentioned this), try picture control = vivid.

Good luck,

Tom
http://tjmanson.smugmug.com
D810, D750, N1-J5, N1-V3 (and a few other cameras) and a BIG handful of lenses.

Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
50 posts

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#15. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 14

Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Wed 23-May-12 02:41 PM

Hello Tom,
would it work shooting RAW too?

Thanks
Gianluca

ajdooley

Waterloo, US
3330 posts

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#16. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 15

ajdooley Gold Member Nikonian since 25th May 2006
Fri 01-Jun-12 06:15 PM

Gianluca -- Raw is raw -- what the camera sensor saw and recorded. You adjust the WB in post processing. You can also influence the vividness and/or saturation there as well. Setting WB has an influence only when shooting jpgs, where it is factored into the procssing the camera itself performs on the image. See my second post from the top. Once you shoot RAW, you'll never go back. It captures everything your camera sees. Disadvantages? There's an extra step in converting the RAW file to another usable format and there's a storage issue. RAW files are 24-25mb each.

Alan
Waterloo, IL, USA
www.proimagingmidamerica.com

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bernardcollin

bangkok, TH
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#17. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 16

bernardcollin Registered since 03rd Apr 2011
Sun 03-Jun-12 12:28 AM

I too had the same issue when I changed from a Canon to my D700 and I shoot RAW.

Using vivid or other settings, made the difference for me, and I found a few presets on this forum at the time and in Tom Hogan's manual that helped me tremendously.
The fact is that the raw data is the same expect that it has some additional info about the way you want to see your image by registering the shift to vivid or else, and when the converter interpret the data to make the jpeg or whatever format you sent to your printer, colors are adapted accordingly.

I found it easier to set the color and white balance as close as possible when I shoot because I use aperture and it does not have the same algorithm to convert RAW as Nikon has, only apple's re-engineered one so correcting in aperture is not as easy as in NX2.

I have different shooting banks with different presets depending on what I shoot and I am happier now, and usually get my color closer to what I like.
I also found nik software fantastic to work on my pics, a lot easier to learn and use then photoshop, and much cheaper too. It exists as plugins for aperture, lightroom and photoshop

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expat

Qawra St Pauls Bay, MT
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#18. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 17

expat Silver Member Nikonian since 09th Mar 2010
Sun 03-Jun-12 05:59 AM

I never considered it until reading this post but I find that I often, especially with shots of buildings, change the white balance (Capture NX2) to 'Daylight Cloudy' which gives me a nice warmer effect.
So possibly my D700 also produces a cold effect in camera which I never thought about until now. (RAW only & Auto WB.)
Obviously no point messing about in camera as everyone has said NX2 does the job fine.

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passlake

terrace bay, CA
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#19. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 18

passlake Registered since 08th Mar 2008
Mon 04-Jun-12 07:03 PM

I always use manual WB settings (Kelvin). With practise you can make small adjustments to suit your conditions. I keep a chart of colour temperature settings in my camera bag

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agitater

Toronto, CA
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#20. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 0

agitater Gold Member Donor Ribbon awarded for his very generous support to the Fundraising Campaign 2014 Nikonian since 18th Jan 2007
Wed 06-Jun-12 07:53 PM

Late to this thread . . . but make sure the monitor on which you're reviewing your D700 photos has been calibrated. I've seen photographers go to crazy lengths to sort out colour casts in-camera, only to realize belatedly that their computer (desktop, laptop) monitor is way off.

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Howard Carson

wamco

Houston, US
7 posts

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#21. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 0

wamco Silver Member Nikonian since 26th Feb 2008
Thu 07-Jun-12 03:50 PM

For starters, I always shoot RAW and I post-process with NX2. I've had my D700 since it first came out.

I too was periodically frustrated with the results while using auto white balance on my D700, due to cooler tones. I was frustrated as my wife's point and shoot (jpg output) didn't seem to have this issue.

I now use the daylight WB setting as my "standard" setting all the time and
I do a lot less post-processing of the WB. The WB is also more consistent within a group of shots. And with my RAW files I still have the ability to edit the temperature if need be. This works well with my flash shots, also.

I agree with the numerous comments that WB tone is very personal, but you might test this technique in several environments and see what you think.

Highlander_Italy

Milano, IT
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#22. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 21

Highlander_Italy Registered since 09th May 2012
Tue 12-Jun-12 10:50 AM

Sorry I'm late with my reply.

I started using "daylight" setting as default and must admit that results are more encouraging, at least closer to my perception of correct white balance setting. I recall a similar problem on the D70s, which I minimized using the "shadow" setting.

With regard to the monitor colour calibration I haven't done it on my usual home pc monitor, however the same "cool" behaviour was visible on different monitors I tried.

Finally I still believe on the advantages of shooting RAW no matter the additional time required for post processing fine tuning.

Thanks again for all useful hints

William Rounds

Rambouillet, FR
732 posts

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#23. "RE: D700 white balance issue?" | In response to Reply # 22

William Rounds Gold Member Nikonian since 25th Mar 2011
Thu 14-Jun-12 05:35 AM | edited Thu 14-Jun-12 05:36 AM by William Rounds

I'm no expert in the use of imaging software, but I bought both Capture NX2 and DxO. Feel free to let me know if I've got it all wrong in what follows as I'm still learning.

Each of these two software packages has its advantages with respect to RAW conversions with the corollary that each has relative disadvantages as well. With NX2, when you open the NEF file it appears on-screen with the in-camera adjustments being applied and shown. This has the advantage of letting you fool around with the jpeg WB, Color, Tone, Sharpness etc settings and then know that they will be applied almost exactly in appearance to the viewed RAW file. From what I read about using Nikon cameras, this is not really the optimal approach to get the most out of the camera's sensitivity range, since that will influence the histograms, and not in the direction of maximizing dynamic range. You will see advice, from Digital Darrell for example, to put all the in-camera settings to neutral to attempt to get accurate histograms for maximum dynamic range and then make all the color and tonal adjustments with the software; in theory having the best dynamic range in your NEF file with no blow-outs. And that approach is correct. In this approach all the in-camera processing is mainly a hindrance (my opinion) and what you see through the viewfinder is not what you get on screen (at least with respect to color).

Open a NEF file with DxO with no presets at all and your first reaction will be, "This is the flatest most washed out photo I've ever seen", if you are used to opening your NEF files in NX2 with the camera settings applied. I've also noticed that the histogram isn't exactly the same either, even when every setting on my D700 has been set to neutral or zero, they are not identical when opened in NX2 or DxO, and I have no idea why. You're in a different virtual world and as a beginner I still don't really know how to account for it or deal with it. But DxO isn't about preparing print ready files, it's about cleaning the RAW file, fixing the distortions, adjusting the WB and setting tone curves and color if you've got the time.

So, I generally do a RAW conversion with DxO and then treat the TIFF file with NX2 for final tweaking and conversion to jpegs for web use or prints. I may not be doing this correctly but as I said I'm just starting out.

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G