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08-10-2012, 05:25 PM   #1
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K-r white balance with flash

I've been having a consistent problem with my K-r where the white balance seems to go all goofy with the flash. Pretty much all I want to do is use is the built-in flash for fill in portraits, where I'm still using the available light as the primary light source. If I leave it set to AWB then I get this crazy orange color cast. I always shoot RAW so it's not too hard to clean up after the fact, but I'd rather just be able to take a lot of shots and not have to fiddle with the white balance in ACR so much. Any ideas on how to avoid this orange color cast and get more natural-looking shots SOOC?

08-10-2012, 07:12 PM   #2
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There should be a separate custom setting for which white balance to use with a flash - make sure you play with that setting first.
08-10-2012, 07:26 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by DSims Quote
There should be a separate custom setting for which white balance to use with a flash - make sure you play with that setting first.
On some of the older Pentax models, I got good results by setting the white balance to the "flash" setting. I think the K-r has a similar setting.
08-10-2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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A couple other things I guess I should mention...

I've played with the flash white balance behavior custom function and haven't seen much of a difference between the settings.

I've been setting the flash exposure compensation to -2 for fill flash. I don't think this is the problem though because I've done -2 flash exposure compensation with good results on any camera I've used that has flash exposure compensation. Film and digital.

Most of the time this involves "tungsten" compact fluorescent bulbs, the ones with a warmer color temperature than the usual whitish/bluish fluorescent color. Sometimes at night where the CFL bulbs are the primary light source, other times during the day with natural light coming in a window plus the CFLs.

Could this just be asking too much from the camera given the difference in color temperature between the warm-ish CFLs and the flash? Is there such a thing as like a gel that clips on to the built-in flash (and hopefully fits when the flash is down even)? That could be a simple enough fix...

08-12-2012, 05:52 AM   #5
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Yes, your mixing two different light sources with very different color temperatures would explain the problem as you describe it. Your primary lighting is 2700-3200K, and your flash is 5600-6500K. Because you are using flash, your camera is setting white balance for the flash. Turning this around, if you set white balance for your CFL, anything touched by the flash would appear to be too blue.

While they exist for external flash units, I'm not aware of a clip-on color adapter for the K-r's built-in flash. I think you would have to make your own or tape the gel in place. Another alternative to a gel would be to look for an 80A or 80B glass filter for your lens to balance warm (tungsten) light for daylight color slide film (bluish colored, but you lose a lot of light), or better, an 85B or 85 glass filter placed over your flash to balance daylight for tungsten color slide film (yellowish with maybe a bit less light loss). Either method would place the two light sources closer to each other in color temperature.
08-15-2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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Jim said it all, you are asking the impossible: there is no way you can WB match daylight (flash) and tungsten in a single shot without color correction filtering. There will always be some harsh color transitions somewhere in the picture, although when controlled well it can also be a creative effect. Jim already explained the method 1 and 2 but there would also be a third way: you could put blue gels on your tungsten lamps. Check it out: Color Balance Correction Daylight Tungsten Florescent Conversion Softbox Gel Filters Lighting Gels Lee Filter Rosco
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