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08-21-2013, 07:54 AM   #1
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K-5 white balance problems

I shoot exclusively in raw, but when I open my K-5 files in a raw convertor, the white balance is usually wrong, either too yellow or too magenta. This is true whether the raw convertor is Photo Ninja, ACR or Capture One. My Sony RX1 files shot at the same time of the same subjects are perfect. Are other people experiencing WB problems with their K-5s? Is it necessary to carry a WhiBal card for every shoot? FWIW, I am using firmware 1.14.

Rob

08-21-2013, 07:58 AM   #2
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Is your raw converter up to date for the K-5 ?
08-21-2013, 08:59 AM   #3
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White balance is one of those things that is a little subjective. Some cultures prefer bluer photos, others more yellow. Some subjects look better in warmer tones, others in colder. Artificial lights are horrible to deal with, especially LED lights (white balance for these is very hard to fix).
What white balance setting are you using? AWB, daylight, tungsten, CTE, custom?
Is your monitor calibrated? I know that one of my monitors makes my photos look more orange.
It could also be the lens, as some lenses are slightly more yellow or whatever.
One of the main reasons for shooting raw is that you can fix white balance in post, without losing image quality.You can try having your raw converter choose its own correct white balance by default. Another thing to look at is the "camera calibration" in the post processing software. These things can have an odd interpretation of your camera's colours..


Hm, but I usually have the white balance set to Daylight, Tungsten (indoors), or AWB when the light is changing a lot. CTE in some special occasions. I often tweak it in post. Without using a white balance card.
08-21-2013, 09:55 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by fs999 Quote
Is your raw converter up to date for the K-5 ?
I have the latest versions of Photo Ninja, CS6/ACR and Capture One. They all show the same color casts. The only raw convertor that gets the K-5's WB right is Raw Photo Processor (RPP). RPP is a great program, but it is much more cumbersome to use than the others. My preferred software is Photo Ninja, which is truly excellent.

Rob

08-21-2013, 10:07 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
White balance is one of those things that is a little subjective. Some cultures prefer bluer photos, others more yellow. Some subjects look better in warmer tones, others in colder. Artificial lights are horrible to deal with, especially LED lights (white balance for these is very hard to fix).
What white balance setting are you using? AWB, daylight, tungsten, CTE, custom?
Is your monitor calibrated? I know that one of my monitors makes my photos look more orange.
It could also be the lens, as some lenses are slightly more yellow or whatever.
One of the main reasons for shooting raw is that you can fix white balance in post, without losing image quality.You can try having your raw converter choose its own correct white balance by default. Another thing to look at is the "camera calibration" in the post processing software. These things can have an odd interpretation of your camera's colours..


Hm, but I usually have the white balance set to Daylight, Tungsten (indoors), or AWB when the light is changing a lot. CTE in some special occasions. I often tweak it in post. Without using a white balance card.
I am shooting in raw, so WB setting in the camera is irrelevant, but for the record, I have it set to AWB. And this is not a matter of cultural or personal taste, as the WB is very far from neutral. My monitor is calibrated, and the lens in question is the FA43 Limited. In Photo Ninja, I have created a custom color profile for my K-5, but the WB issue is the same as with ACR and C1. In my previous post, I mention that Raw Photo Processor (RPP) gets the WB correctly, so I can only assume that the problem lies with programs that take the WB from the camera, which RPP does not. Still, that would suggest that the fundamental problem is with the K-5's WB. Is no one else having the same experience?

Rob

Last edited by robgo2; 08-21-2013 at 10:40 AM.
08-21-2013, 12:10 PM   #6
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I have been routinely shooting under some nightmare lighting scenarios (LED, tungsten, flouros, sometimes all mixed together) recently, using AWB pretty much all the time, shooting RAW, processing in LR4 or DxO 8. I can't say I've ever struck the problem you describe robgo2.

Maybe get a X-Rite ColorChecker Passport colour panel (or something similar) to check/calibrate your camera and create a DNG profile for your camera to make it's default WB work better for you in ACR or LR and maybe C1.

Another option/ check point may be to open up some RAWs in the Pentax RAW software (Pentax Digital Camera Utility) and see if the resultant output looks better there for you. In a sense, the images that come out of PDCU represent how the WB rendering should 'officially' look.
08-21-2013, 01:54 PM   #7
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Sometimes I shoot in my lightbox and cannot get the WB correct. Bought some neutral gray cards from eBay and it helps tremendously.
08-21-2013, 02:23 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
I am shooting in raw, so WB setting in the camera is irrelevant, but for the record, I have it set to AWB. And this is not a matter of cultural or personal taste, as the WB is very far from neutral. My monitor is calibrated, and the lens in question is the FA43 Limited. In Photo Ninja, I have created a custom color profile for my K-5, but the WB issue is the same as with ACR and C1. In my previous post, I mention that Raw Photo Processor (RPP) gets the WB correctly, so I can only assume that the problem lies with programs that take the WB from the camera, which RPP does not. Still, that would suggest that the fundamental problem is with the K-5's WB. Is no one else having the same experience?

Rob
Hello Rob,
I shoot the K5IIs in Raw with AWB and use Capture One. In sunny daylight the images come out too cold, never giving you the impression of the really sunny daylight that was there in reality. So I shot a few images in those circumstances with a grey card. Using the white balance picker in CO1v7 showed me that my eyes were right (I'm on a calibrated Eizo Coloredge monitor), and that AWB in sunlight was usually off by 300/400k. Since then, I always try to remember the white balance as well as I can, and work from there, or take a grey card. The routine is, that when you increase the color temperature, you usually also have to increase the tint towards magenta to maintain neutral color. It may sound unreliable, but I find that I train my eyes and feel free to reproduce the color temperature of the scene, instead of letting auto settings dictate, that are by no means more reliable, except for a grey card of course.
Same goes for color profiles. The profiles in CO1 for the k5 and k5IIs (same profile) have a reddish colorcast. With some care you can edit this profile in the pro version and save it as a new corrected .icm profile.

08-21-2013, 03:14 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by robgo2 Quote
Is no one else having the same experience?

Rob
Nope. AWB. Elements 9.
08-21-2013, 04:26 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
Nope. AWB. Elements 9.
Well, unless I am mistaken, Elements 9 uses ACR, the same as CS6, which points to my camera as being poorly calibrated by Pentax. So does the fact that I get the same weird WB with Photo Ninja, ACR and Capture One. The only solution for me would seem to be to carry a WhiBal card and shoot samples in every lighting condition that I encounter with my K-5. What a bother. I have never had to resort to that with any other Pentax camera, including a K10D and a K-7. I would consider sending the camera in for service, but I fear that it would be found to be operating "within specification."

Rob
08-21-2013, 04:32 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by rawr Quote
I have been routinely shooting under some nightmare lighting scenarios (LED, tungsten, flouros, sometimes all mixed together) recently, using AWB pretty much all the time, shooting RAW, processing in LR4 or DxO 8. I can't say I've ever struck the problem you describe robgo2.

Maybe get a X-Rite ColorChecker Passport colour panel (or something similar) to check/calibrate your camera and create a DNG profile for your camera to make it's default WB work better for you in ACR or LR and maybe C1.

Another option/ check point may be to open up some RAWs in the Pentax RAW software (Pentax Digital Camera Utility) and see if the resultant output looks better there for you. In a sense, the images that come out of PDCU represent how the WB rendering should 'officially' look.
As I mentioned previously, I have created a color profile for the K-5 in Photo Ninja, and I did use an X-Rite Color Checker for that. If I can find a neutral area in the image and select it with the white balance tool, I get perfect colors. The problem is that some images lack neutral areas. Then I am left adjusting the temperature and tint sliders, which is much less precise.

Rob
08-21-2013, 06:01 PM   #12
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And Faststone is fine.
08-21-2013, 09:10 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by SpecialK Quote
And Faststone is fine.
Faststone may be fine with your K-5, but I have no idea how it would work with mine, as it is not available for Mac.

Rob
08-21-2013, 09:34 PM   #14
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No camera has infallible WB. One of my 'recreations' is looking at gig shoots and EXIF from a group of local photographers, some of whom are very experienced and shoot some impressive modern hardware (D4's, D800's, IDx's etc). It's a very rare day when I see any gallery of theirs where they nailed the WB in every shot.
08-22-2013, 06:18 AM   #15
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WB setting on the camera is not "irrelevant", as your Raw converter uses the camera white balance setting as its starting point.
You could compare the embedded JPG preview images with what you get in your programs. If there is a large discrepancy between the JPGs and what you get from Raw conversion software (with WB set to "camera"), the problem is with the software (probably bad color profile or wrong interpretation of white balance values) and not bad calibration of your camera.
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