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03-24-2014, 10:57 AM   #1
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Bright Reds look off...magenta or pinkish

With my Pentax K-3 (and noticed too with my K-x) that when shooting photos of bright red objects, close up, the reds are more magenta than red, even when I tried playing with the wb. Any suggestions? The objects I'm photographing are flowers and red berries.

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03-24-2014, 11:20 AM   #2

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Adjust your [JPEG] image tone settings. Default is 'Bright'. Try 'Natural'.
And sometimes, notably with higher-ISO's, the default JPEG colour noise reduction settings can also alter the display of reds.
03-24-2014, 11:21 AM   #3
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Are you strictly a jpeg shooter? The reason I ask is that one can get any colours you want if you shoot raw and post-process the image . In the past, every Pentax model has struggled with reds to some degree. I now shoot a K-3 and find it quite good handling the reds. But I do shoot raw. If you shoot jpeg straight out of the camera, you will need to experiment with the in-camera settings to try to get what you want out of the camera since it will be doing all the processing for you. One thing I do suggest is to turn off the default noise reduction or tailor it to your ISO range. The default NR creates too much smearing of the reds especially.

03-24-2014, 11:30 AM   #4
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It looks overexposed, that will cause inaccurate colors.

03-24-2014, 12:19 PM   #5
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Reds are hard for most digital cameras, though in your case, I think the WB is probably off a bit. It is easiest to fix if the original capture was RAW, but you can tweak it on a JPEG, though I don't think I would use Picasa.

03-24-2014, 01:07 PM   #6
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We had a couple threads about red colours so far. Yes, its difficult with all modern bayer sensor cameras.
What you can do about it is the following:
-if you shoot jpeg, change the jpeg mode that works for reds. If you shoot raw, make sure you are using the right colour profile for your camera (the Lightroom default can be the wrong one btw) or Embedded,
- White balance: white balance affects reds a lot
-over/under exposure: reds more than other colours quickly turn to pink if overexposed. Make sure the red is correctly exposed.

You can also take more drastic actions like the "Color passport" thingy or a white balance lens cap.
03-24-2014, 01:50 PM - 1 Like   #7
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It is just a matter of overexposure. The red channel is considerably saturated. This is a common problem because the exposure meter looks at the overall brightness and will underestimate the brightness of an individual channel as it averages out the red, green and blue.

What surprises me though is when this happens with the K-3 since its exposure meter, unlike almost any other camera, measures the red, green and blue separately so this should never happen.

In playback mode if you switch to the RGB histogram view the red channel overexposure should be clearly visible.

Three things I can think of that could result in overexposure:
Do you have perhaps some +ev compensation?
Are you using an aftermarket focusing screen, perhaps a split prism one?
Are you using the histogram in live view to set the exposure manually?
03-24-2014, 04:24 PM   #8
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I have an excellent example of this problem. I didn't know that exposure needed to be adjusted for these cases, so I am glad to be aware of that now. I took a number of photos of a flowering eucalypt in raw but still struggled to deal with the red post-processing, some images were just a mass of red. This one is one of the worst and is a bit overexposed anyway but even some of the shots that were a bit underexposed I could see places where the red filaments of the flowers had still bled together in the image.

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