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05-18-2011, 06:20 PM   #1
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White balance is tricky on the 645D

I've been shooting the 645D for about 3 weeks now and just returned from conducting my annual Moab Utah workshop. I shot about 400 images there and have been using the expo disk for custom white balance on my previous D3x as well.

I have noticed that the 3 custom setting are not too reliable and I have needed to do some major tweaking in Lightroom to get them to where I perceive the correct light to be. Has anyone had similar issues? Other than that the camera is awesome in most respects.


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05-18-2011, 06:27 PM   #2
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I shoot in RAW and have not had a WB issue. Are you shooting JPGs?
05-18-2011, 07:59 PM   #3
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6+ months on for my 645D ownership and WB has been fantastic and a vast improvement over previous cameras for me.

I've not quite been able to leave the grey card at home, but I'm not far off it.

Maybe try ditching the expo disc and just using a grey card, or letting the camera take a crack at working it out ..... you could be shooting yourself in the foot with your custom settings when the default or auto settings will do the job they are supposed to do a lot better.
05-18-2011, 09:10 PM   #4
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I never shoot in JPEG but thanks for the info You can obviously adjust the white balance is camera raw but is that what you remember at the the time you pressed the shutter.

05-18-2011, 11:55 PM   #5
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You spend 10 K on a rig and cant afford a color checker Pro for 99 bucks wow.
05-19-2011, 06:38 AM - 1 Like   #6
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Personally, the image comes together in post processing. It is impossible to make a perfect reproduction of a scene and I don't think that is the point of photography. So I process for the content of the image to give it a "realistic/natural" look, but one that emphasizes its strengths. To me, color photography is just as plastic as B&W. So why not use those controls to make the image the best it can be, rather than the most accurate it can be. Every process distorts the original, you cannot make a perfect copy.
05-19-2011, 03:22 PM   #7
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Since you are using pro equipment may I suggest a pro WB system X-rite's Colorchecker passport pro.

When I was shooting large catalog jobs on 4X5 trannies I always shoot one of the Macbeth checker for the separation guys and printers to uses as reference.

Last edited by D W; 05-19-2011 at 03:32 PM.
05-19-2011, 04:10 PM   #8
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I think the 645d likes grey for setting custom WB as opposed the the expodisc which is white.
This maybe your issue.
You may want to call Pentax to verify

05-19-2011, 05:37 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by kuau Quote
I think the 645d likes grey for setting custom WB as opposed the the expodisc which is white.
This maybe your issue.
You may want to call Pentax to verify
You might be on too something here. My collapsible, fabric grey card is grey one side, white the other - if I try using the white side the WB is terrible.

I was caught out some time ago when I only shot jpg when I first switched to digital from film and I botched a shoot due to WB issues. Checking WB prior to taking that first shot is now an automatic thing for me and used to spend a lot of time making sure it was spot on.

Now with the 645D I'm trusting the default settings like daylight, tungsen, shade ...etc and well as the auto setting a lot more - I find the camera really does do a good job of it and if it is off it's very easily fixed in ACR.
05-19-2011, 10:35 PM   #10
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white balance

This cameras white balance behavior is not something i have seen in in digital stills cameras before , but is similiar to motion picture digital cameras such as RED, Alexa , Genesis, etc.

That is to say , the white balance is beautiful in daylight conditions, acceptable in tungsten (although you must rerate the iso per your own testing), and total c**p in mixed lighting......

Which is fine since i will mostly shoot it outdoors.......
04-26-2012, 07:45 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by 672 Quote
That is to say , the white balance is ... total c**p in mixed lighting......

I have dug this out cos I have just had the same experience. The wb in mixed lighting situations is horrible, my D700 does a way better job here. It does a better job on wb than the 645D anyway I always wonder if this was an error in production (a "Monday" product) or if this was a general problem with the Pentax 645D.
04-26-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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I have also seen some pretty poor WB with the 645D, requiring considerable adjustment in post. In general its WB is not in the same league as my Nikon bodies.
04-26-2012, 12:11 PM   #13
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I've been shooting landscapes with the 645 side-by-side with a d800 and now d800e for a month now and find the Pentax files to be much better colorwise than the Nikons for landscape - I rarely have to do much in RAW to adjust the color with the Pentax files, but with the Nikon files the color is just not quite right and it takes a bit of work. I'm hopeful the shipping version of CS6 will do better with the Nikon files, but I could not be more happy with the Pentax files.

Sounds like with so many things in life - and especially in the camera world - some folks like one (Nikon color), others like the other (Pentax color)...
04-26-2012, 12:59 PM   #14
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In my opinion the Pentax 645D color is much more natural than any other camera I've worked with. Most of the time the files require less work than I'm used to with my Canon 5D mark II, which is notoriosly too magenta/warm in it's rendering of scenes.
04-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #15
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I have never used an expo disc...I bring a color checker passport when shooting landscapes. I get great results with this combo...wife verified

Btw I am colorblind so the passport is with me at all times with shooting because I cannot trust my eyes when it comes to greens and reds.

When I print I always have my wife check my results before I sell a print

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