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12-08-2014, 12:37 PM   #1
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white balance/indoor color issues

Please excuse my ignorance as an extreme amateur First off, I have the K-50. I've had it for a year or so now and continue to get poor indoor color results (colors not true to the scene). I've played around with different white balance settings without much success. Is there a test of some sort to check the accuracy of the white balance system to find out if the camera (or the user) might be defective? I'm open to all suggestions. Thanks in advance for all responses.

12-08-2014, 12:46 PM - 1 Like   #2
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If you shoot in RAW, Kizzk, you have total control over the cclour temperature.
12-08-2014, 12:49 PM - 1 Like   #3
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Indoors can often have mixed color temperature lighting making it difficult to get accurate white balance. Read your manual on how to do a custom white balance. Basically, you hold a white card or paper in front of the camera under the lighting conditions you want to shoot and take a picture. The camera will set the white balance for what it is seeing. I don't have a K-50 to tell you exactly how to do that but no doubt someone here with a K-50 can help.
12-08-2014, 12:51 PM - 1 Like   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by kizzk Quote
... I've played around with different white balance settings without much success...
There could be multiple reasons why the images aren't coming out as expected. Do you have any recent examples that show the problem? You could have mixed light sources, florescent light flickering, incorrectly chosen white balance...

For me, AWB does a pretty good job of getting the white balance very close to correct. I do some minor tweaking when developing the raw file but its usually not too drastic.

12-08-2014, 12:57 PM - 1 Like   #5
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Are you shooting with flash or ambient light?

If flash, the "Flash" white balance should come pretty close. If using ambient light, you are probably getting a mix of incandescent, florescent and window (daylight) lighting which, as mentioned above, makes it difficult to get just right. Shooting Raw and adjusting in post-processing is the best solution. Using a Custom WB setting works very well, too. Otherwise, try to see which light source is the most prevalent and use that, expecting that lamps and other sources will be visible as an off color. All that usually doesn't matter when using flash as it tends to overpower everything else.
12-08-2014, 01:01 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
Are you shooting with flash or ambient light?
You can buy gels for your flash to match the ambient light - makes the WB more uniform.
12-08-2014, 01:15 PM - 1 Like   #7
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Where are you shooting? For example, a basketball gym (assuming you don't have strobes installed in the rafters or something) is a classic example of an environment that can be horrible in this regard. It's actually impossible to get consistent color from shot-to-shot if they've installed different color-temperature bulbs in the various fixtures. Since these lights usually flicker, it all depends on which particular lights were "on" during that exact 1/500s (or whatever your shutter speed is).

Get an expo disc: ExpoImaging, Inc.

This will go a long ways toward fixing your problem - you just need to remember to bring it with you and use it! It's generally easier and more consistent than the white/gray-card solution. However, if the lights are flickering you'll still get significant variance in the colors from shot to shot. Just order the size that matches your largest (or largest potential) filter size. Generally for Pentax this means 77mm, although there are a few Sigma and other lenses that are 82mm. But 77mm has worked fine for me - I've never needed anything larger, despite getting more than a few lenses. They cost twice as much when I bought mine - they're actually a very good deal now.
12-08-2014, 03:02 PM - 1 Like   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You can buy gels for your flash to match the ambient light - makes the WB more uniform.
A 1/4 CTO pretty much permanently resides on my flash. Comes off outdoors.

12-08-2014, 03:13 PM - 1 Like   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by abmj Quote
A 1/4 CTO pretty much permanently resides on my flash. Comes off outdoors.
Yeah, I also keep a blue one handy for shooting in the shade.
12-08-2014, 04:31 PM - 1 Like   #10
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I shoot raw and use to make custom white balance with a card, but now if I need it I just use a coffee filter to make a custom white balance. Works very well. Google (Bing) "white balance coffee filters" and you will find several links about this. Here is one to get you started:

Product Comparison: White Balance Filters (Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives)
12-08-2014, 05:13 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by clackers Quote
You can buy gels for your flash to match the ambient light - makes the WB more uniform.
Thanks so much to everyone for all the info. I'll be playing around with all of your suggestions

---------- Post added 12-08-14 at 07:15 PM ----------

Thanks so much to everyone for all the info. I'll be playing around with all of your suggestions

Read more at: https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/151-pentax-k-30-k-50/281817-white-balance...#ixzz3LM4cP0qe
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