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11-25-2013, 09:28 AM   #1
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White balance issue with flash photography

I have had a consistent white balance issue with flash photography. This occurs with indoor flash only. I have had beautiful results with outdoor flash photography. With indoor photography I get results like this shown in the link. It is absolutely horrible and wholly unacceptable and I am hoping it is a firmware issue. A couple of points:


1. There is no possibility of color cast. The walls were white and the backdrop is black.
2. The lighting was provided by Yongnuo 560 speedlite and a Godox EX 600 strobe.
3. The white balance was set to auto evaluative. I later set it to auto and then at 5000k and the results were similar.
4. This is not the only venue/lighting set-up where this has occurred.
5. I have seen similar results using the tungsten setting under tungsten only light - no flash - in which the yellow/orange cast is horrible.
6. I cycled through other WB settings in camera and none of them resolved the color cast.
7. I have had no luck removing it in Photoshop.
K3 White Balance Issue | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

11-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #2
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You shooting jpegs?

M
11-25-2013, 09:38 AM   #3
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Is it the white balance that is off, or is over saturated? The snowflakes in the jacket seem very close to white to my eye.
11-25-2013, 09:44 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
You shooting jpegs?

M
I shoot raw and jpeg but I had the raw set to PEF which Photoshop does not support. I have tried to correct this by using "open as adobe camera raw" but it is persistent.

11-25-2013, 09:47 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
Is it the white balance that is off, or is over saturated? The snowflakes in the jacket seem very close to white to my eye.
It was on the portrait setting, which does include high saturation. I have not tried it on another setting and I have not been able to play with the raw file because I have been shooting PEF and it is not supported by Adobe yet. In any case, no native setting should be producing results like this.
11-25-2013, 10:03 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheBlindHog Quote
I shoot raw and jpeg but I had the raw set to PEF which Photoshop does not support. I have tried to correct this by using "open as adobe camera raw" but it is persistent.
Well, that's the heart of your problem. It's a software issue. Your portraits are really nice so it is apparent you know what you are doing with the camera.

Try this: run the PEF file through the Adobe DNG converter and then work off the DNG. Save future raw files as DNG until Adobe updates ACR. They say the next version will read K-3 files. I assume you are at CS-6.

The core problem is that the WB auto adjustment data is too newfangled to be understood by Adobe software, so the rendering will be off. Because a specific profile for the K-3 has not been developed by Adobe yet, I'm pretty certain that my K-3 shots are aways from looking their best. You can use the Pentax-supplied utility software to develop the image; I have not done that because I cannot stand using that software.

If you are a Mac user you can try the excellent Iridient Developer which already has a K-3 profile. This may be the best raw processor on the market, but I need more of what Lightroom offers.

M
11-25-2013, 10:54 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
The snowflakes in the jacket seem very close to white to my eye.
FWIW, the reflection of the flash in your model's eyeglasses is R:255 G:255 B:255.

I am with Miguel. This is likely a camera profile issue.


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11-25-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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As noted earlier you should use raw--and ACR will do the conversion.

You seem to be seeing mixed lighting--so It seems likely there is/are other other light sources--either reflction of colored surface (which you say there isn't) or indoor lights.

In any event I suggest taking a no flash photo off of a gray card (where you want to do the photos)--or use the camera to get the temperature (don't think it gives you the temperature) or get a color meter (Gossen sixticolor are cheap and fine) and check the light temperature. Then put a filter in front of the flash to adjust the light to the color you found.

Color correcting filters should be very cheap used b/c most people no longer use them. The Kodak/Tiffen Wratten filters (3"x3") are best, but any proper (color) filter will do. You want to change from 5500K about to the temperature from the gray card, and set the camera to the temperature off the gray card--so your jpeg will be OK also. I use guide number for flash and set the aperture--but I assume the automatic camera system will work.

(When I did film more I carried about a half dozen color filters and the colormeter w/ me--if you do this a lot you may want to do same--if this works.)

11-25-2013, 11:00 AM   #9
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Took a look at your image and took a screenshot to test in Photoshop. Reducing the saturation makes the image look correct (Master -32 and yellow -25), so I guess the profile for the JPEG is wrong. DNG is the RAW-format you should use for now.
11-25-2013, 11:03 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by stevebrot Quote
FWIW, the reflection of the flash in your model's eyeglasses is R:255 G:255 B:255.

I am with Miguel. This is likely a camera profile issue.


Steve
I don't see how it can be an Adobe issue because Adobe has never touched this image. This is straight from the camera and is a JPEG processed in camera on the portrait setting.
11-25-2013, 11:08 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by dms Quote
As noted earlier you should use raw--and ACR will do the conversion.

You seem to be seeing mixed lighting--so It seems likely there is/are other other light sources--either reflction of colored surface (which you say there isn't) or indoor lights.

In any event I suggest taking a no flash photo off of a gray card (where you want to do the photos)--or use the camera to get the temperature (don't think it gives you the temperature) or get a color meter (Gossen sixticolor are cheap and fine) and check the light temperature. Then put a filter in front of the flash to adjust the light to the color you found.

Color correcting filters should be very cheap used b/c most people no longer use them. The Kodak/Tiffen Wratten filters (3"x3") are best, but any proper (color) filter will do. You want to change from 5500K about to the temperature from the gray card, and set the camera to the temperature off the gray card--so your jpeg will be OK also. I use guide number for flash and set the aperture--but I assume the automatic camera system will work.

(When I did film more I carried about a half dozen color filters and the colormeter w/ me--if you do this a lot you may want to do same--if this works.)
Yes, there was other lighting in the form of fluorescent. I have been shooting portable studio set-ups for quite some time in all sorts of lighting using a K5 and a K30 and have never had a color cast like I am getting with the K3. In my opinion it is the white balance metering and not anything I have done incorrectly. I have performed exactly as I have for many other photo shoots and the result is drastically different and the only change is the camera body. I appreciate your advice on shooting grey cards and using colored filters on the flash and making post corrections, but I would prefer that the camera get it right to begin with.
11-25-2013, 11:15 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheBlindHog Quote
I don't see how it can be an Adobe issue because Adobe has never touched this image. This is straight from the camera and is a JPEG processed in camera on the portrait setting.
Well, this is contrary to your response to my initial question "You shooting jpegs?" What gives?

What particular white balance setting did you use for this image?

M
11-25-2013, 11:35 AM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by Miguel Quote
Well, this is contrary to your response to my initial question "You shooting jpegs?" What gives?

What particular white balance setting did you use for this image?

M
There is no contradiction. I shoot Raw +. I sad in my reply to your post that I have not been able to evaluate the raw file because Photoshop does not support PEF and I have been shooting PEF. This is the JPEG from the camera and has not been in Adobe. I have noticed this issue in two previous indoor photo shoots. In those instances I have taken the images into Adobe using "Open as Adobe Camera Raw" and have been able to mitigate but not eradicate the effect.

Yesterday I noticed the issue and switched to my K30 camera body. Here is a JPEG straight from the camera using the same lighting and in the same space as the god-awful K3 image.


Troy W. | Flickr - Photo Sharing!




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11-25-2013, 11:37 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by TheBlindHog Quote
This is the JPEG from the camera and has not been in Adobe.
Was this also taken in the Pentax Portrait jpeg mode?

M
11-25-2013, 11:40 AM   #15
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I don't think auto white balance should be used with a non PTTL flash. AFAIK the K-3, unlike previous Pentax DSLRs evaluates the colour balance before the exposure, looking both at the naturally lit image as well as the one illuminated by the pre-flash. If you use the Auto WB with an external non P-TTL flash I think the AWB will be adjusted according to what the exposure sensor 'sees' in the scene lit by the available light, and that will normally be wrong. It will not 'know' that the scene would later be illuminated by a flash as there is no feedback from the flash to let the camera know that it is there.

I'm not quite sure why the WB is determined by the exposure sensor rather than off the recorded raw image. With P-TTL it is perfectly reasonable and a very good idea but for any other situation, be it natural light or illumination by a non P-TTL flash I would think that it is always better to use the actual recorded raw image to determine the white balance.

That said I am not 100% sure that the exposure sensor is being used for AWB even in available light but some not very scientific tests I conducted seem to support that view. In any case if things are the way I think they are it will probably be corrected quite soon in a firmware update.

It is worth noting, that the Nikon D800 specification describes the exposure sensor (which is the same 86K chip) as being used for white balance specifically for flash exposures.

I'm not familiar with the flashes mentioned, but I am supposing they are not P-TTL - if they are then you can disregard most of what I said above.
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