Color Temperature Setting Chart for D100
I have made available a D100 color temperature setting chart suitable for lamination in a wallet-sized laminating pouch. D100 users may find this card helpful for gaining more precise control over color temperature settings for getting realistic color or for creative purposes. Sadly, the Auto white balance on the D100 is just as bad as for compact digicams. To gain real creative control over digital photography it is necessary to use consistent white balance settings. Moose Peterson has written an excellent article about white balance at nikondigital.org that sparked my interest in sorting out the D100 for myself. As Moose suggests, I have found a color temperature setting of about 6700K results in a suitable, realistic "daylight film" setting for the D100. Your mileage may vary, but I tend to like SHADE+3 (or CLOUDY-3) as a basic daylight color temperature setting. When photographing gardens , cooling the image a bit by lowering the color temperature setting closer to 6000K (CLOUDY) makes the greens really pop. Several color temperatures can be achieved with more than one setting, but the quality of the image is slightly different. (For example, 5600K can be set with SUN-3, FLUORESCENT-1, or CLOUDY-2.) Experiment to see what works best for a particular application.
#1. "RE: Color Temperature Setting Chart for D100" | In response to Reply # 0AlanC Basic MemberSun 14-Jul-02 05:14 PM
Just to reinforce what Roger has said about the auto white balance, here's an example of just how far out the D100 can be:
In auto mode
Manually set to cloudy
That second shot isn't absolutely spot on, but it's a heck of a lot better than the first one.
Oh, and one thing that drives me nuts about Nikon's white balance system is that the negative adjustments (e.g. CLOUDY -3) raise the colour temperature....
#2. "RE: Color Temperature Setting Chart for D100" | In response to Reply # 1BJNicholls Charter MemberMon 15-Jul-02 03:32 PM
Not having worked with a D1, I don't know what the auto settings would do, but the upper image is corrected so that the whites are white. The camera can't know that the wall is warm white or is lit by a warmer light. In my experience, the auto setting has to have a reference clean white visible in the frame in order to do a visually accurate color balance. The results are what I'd expect for an auto balance setting of the image shown.
Are all manual settings relative to one of the canned values? I'd prefer a numeric color temperature value...
Thanks for the pioneering info!
#3. "Color temperature settings" | In response to Reply # 2RRowlett Charter MemberMon 15-Jul-02 11:01 PM
Yes, the color temp settings in the D100 are relative to the canned values for each white balance "icon" just like in the D1 series cameras, except they are...different from the D1 cameras! Each level of compensation in the D100, from -3 to +3 shifts the color balance (I think) about 83 mired. So depending on the color setting of "zero" the actual color temperature steps are larger or smaller. All the ranges of the various icons badly overlap, hence the chart to sort things out. THe EOS-1D has a numerical setting, I believe, which seems simpler.
An effective color temp setting of 6700-6800K or so seems to be a good starting point for daylight shooting in the D100 without excessive warmness or coolness. This corresponds to Nikon's CLOUDY-3 or SHADE+3 settings. Any of Nikon's SUN settings are excessively cool in bright daylight,in my opinion.
#4. "RE: Color Temperature Setting Chart for D100" | In response to Reply # 2AlanC Basic MemberTue 16-Jul-02 07:14 PM
Very true, but not all cameras behave in that way: some compact digitals keep the CCD active all the time and compute the white balance continually and some professional SLRs (e.g. Canon EOS-1d, Kodak DCS series) have independent colour temperature sensors that behave in a similar fashion. These systems appear less likely to give wildly inaccurate results like those I posted above.
Personally I'm not too bothered by this since you can change the white balance after the event when shooting NEFs - and I had to get used to making the correct settings with the D1 since it white balances it's NEFs before saving them.
It is an issue for anyone shooting JPEGs, though.