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12-07-2013, 06:31 PM   #1
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What's up with the color red

I think this has been brought up before but I had to ask. Sometimes when I take a picture and the subject is red I get some really wild variations on the color red. At times it can be almost reddish pink to just to a purplish red. Then the next time I take a shot of something red it comes out just fine. I did notice that this usually happens with my outdoor pictures more so than indoor. Not sure if that makes a difference. Let me see if I can find a picture to explain what I'm talking about. A picture is worth a thousand words.


12-07-2013, 06:51 PM   #2
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It looks a little overexposed. You may be saturating the red channel in the problem images. Check the RGB histograms.
12-07-2013, 07:15 PM   #3
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I agree, overexposure is the cause. You were using spot metering, the one in the center is properly exposed and looks normal. You shouldn't use spot metering to just meter on whatever is in the center, you should use it to check all areas of the subject and then pick the exposure values that will balance everything as well as you can.

For this situation center weighted metering would have been a better choice. It averages multiple points from a larger area instead of just going from one tiny point in the center of the frame.
12-07-2013, 07:56 PM   #4
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You may also look into your 'Custom Image' settings for JPEG shooting. The default camera setting is 'Bright', and it can sometimes may reds look over-punchy, depending on the light.

12-07-2013, 07:57 PM   #5
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Reds seem to be an issue with all my Pentax cameras. I just went from the k7 to the k5iis, and also have a k-x and I have to desaturate the reds in all my RAW photos. I shoot predominately in natural and I use decent lenses. I shoot RAW+ but rarely use the jpegs, but I was trying to find a way in camera to desaturate the red channel.

If you search this site you'll see other threads about the reds being a little strong.
12-07-2013, 08:33 PM   #6
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Yup, reds tend to burn a bit. Not a big issue in RAW, but the jpg engine really likes them. Make sure your color balance is as neutral as possible.
12-07-2013, 08:48 PM - 4 Likes   #7
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The truth is...reds are a nightmare, but they are not limited to the K5 or to Pentax. I spent an entire day last year searching various sites like Flickr and Pbase and found that Canon and Nikon reds were also problematic, as much or even more than Pentax.

I can only tell you my experience, it may help you some. The brighter the light, the worse the reds "melt"...as in the OP photo. Decreasing exposure, shooting Raw and desaturating can also help...some.
I have also found that changing settings can help with reds...try "reversal film" it seems to get a more true to life red in the Jpeg.

Here are a few of my recent reds, most are close or very close to the true color of the birds. Keep in mind, these Cardinals are all different shades of red in real life, so they won't appear alike.

Using "reversal film" this Jpeg is very close to his true color without processing.



This was from a Raw and is close but just a shade too orange. He is an old bird and does have an orange tint, but the hue is off just a half shade. On a Canon he would look like a Florida orange!



I see this little guy up close every day, and this is very, very close to his true color. The key was in the light, it was just right and I kept the exposure down. Processed from the Raw.



Another older guy.....but this one is also very close to his true color. From the Raw, shot keeping the exposure down.



Also very close, keeping the exposure in control and processing the Raw file.



To sum it up in my experience, reds are tough, and it is work to get them right...or even close, but it is possible. I used to blame Pentax, but do your own search, you will find plenty of horrible reds from Canon and Nikon.....and many other makers too. I think it is a sensor problem that is pretty much universal.

Regards!
12-08-2013, 09:11 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
The truth is...reds are a nightmare, but they are not limited to the K5 or to Pentax.
I have also found that changing settings can help with reds...try "reversal film" it seems to get a more true to life red in the Jpeg.
Regards!
Thanks everyone for your responses and yes i can see that my shot was overexposed and that lent to the color shift. I checked some other pictures from an event that were shot with proper exposure to underexposed and the colors were more true to life so I'll make sure to check my exposure more in the future.

Rupert it is odd that you mention the reversal film setting. I scrolled through my settings about two weeks ago and found that I liked the effect this setting gives some of my pictures. Can you elaborate on what it actually does?

12-09-2013, 06:37 PM - 1 Like   #9
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Someone in this Forum posted that the Sony sensor used in Pentax cameras has two red, one blue and one green for each pixel. Your meter aims for a middle gray value, so when the subject is primarily red, it is roughly one stop over-exposed. It seems the easiest way to fix this is to shoot RAW and decrease exposure on only the red channel. Or underexpose by one stop and punch up the blue and green channels by one stop in post processing.
12-09-2013, 06:46 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
Thanks everyone for your responses and yes i can see that my shot was overexposed and that lent to the color shift. I checked some other pictures from an event that were shot with proper exposure to underexposed and the colors were more true to life so I'll make sure to check my exposure more in the future.

Rupert it is odd that you mention the reversal film setting. I scrolled through my settings about two weeks ago and found that I liked the effect this setting gives some of my pictures. Can you elaborate on what it actually does?
QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
Rupert it is odd that you mention the reversal film setting
The "reversal film" is my preferred setting for jpgs on my k-01. I don't know hoe to set it on my K5. ANy help?

ROn
12-10-2013, 07:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by bass3587 Quote
Can you elaborate on what it actually does?
I have no idea what it does, but I like it at times...it tends to underexpose in this setting, so you may have to adjust some. The underexposure may explain why it helps on reds?

Squareeyes Hit the little button on the right of the 4-way controller, twice. It brings up the screen for the various style settings...landscape.....portrait....bleached...etc. I play with most all of them from time to time.

Regards!
12-10-2013, 11:11 AM   #12
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Here is an old shot ...shot with the K20D. It is typical of the results often obtained when shooting reds...although my WB probably could have been processed better than it was too.

Cardinals are not orange! (Otis swears I shot this one with a Canon!)



Shot this one this morning......As close as you will get to the true red of this bird. I kept the exposure even and made sure he was not in too much direct light.




These are beautiful birds when adults...but you might never know it from how they often start out as youngsters....



Regards!
12-10-2013, 02:36 PM - 1 Like   #13
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What's up with the color red

Picture taken in RAW with the good old K10D.

In camera JPG settings: Bright, Saturation -1, Contrast +2.
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12-10-2013, 10:30 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Crooski Quote
Picture taken in RAW with the good old K10D.

In camera JPG settings: Bright, Saturation -1, Contrast +2.
Show off LOL
12-11-2013, 07:45 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Rupert Quote
Squareeyes Hit the little button on the right of the 4-way controller, twice.
Thanks! Thanks to your tip I discovered (realized?) that the reason all my jpgs were so darn pale was that I had left my jpg processing at "Bleach By-pass!" I always shoot RAW+ so I only lost time for snapshot web jpgs by having to use RAW processing instead of OOC.
Directly regarding reds, I usually adjust luminance down in RAW when the saturated reds are blown out.
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