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11-20-2011, 10:33 PM   #1
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Auto White Balance

I am new to Pentax SLR's, having had Nikons up until now. I am finding that the Auto White Balance doesn't seem to work that well under artificial lights, giving a yellow colour caste to most shots. Is this typical of Pentax cameras or is there something I can do to prevent this? I have a K5 and figured it would work as well as my Nikon D7000 in this dept. I love the K5 for everything else. It's way more fun than the "serious" Nikon.

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11-20-2011, 11:03 PM   #2
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if its yellow to you, just dial in a little bit of yellow compensation under the WB settings
11-20-2011, 11:27 PM   #3
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Thanks but how do I do that? Is it by moving the axis away from the yellow/green quadrants in the adjustment window? If so I'll assume it is trial and error each time you are shooting under artificial light. Is this what you do or should I not be using the AW setting and always set the WB to the type of lighting present? Appreciate your help. Thanks again.
11-21-2011, 12:35 AM   #4
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you do it by moving it towards the opposite end. by using the axis, you are applying your own color shift to cancel out existing color shift

as for when i shoot, i typically shoot in RAW and set the WB afterwards in post. I find auto white balance adequate for most situations when shooting in jpeg. If you want more control in your white balance, go to manual white balance (the one before the last one), point the camera at something neutrally colored, and take a picture of it. Select the area in the image that is neutrally colored, press OK and you're set

11-21-2011, 05:21 AM   #5
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The white in the baby's hat looks white. It does look a bit oversaturated though. BTW I'm using a calibrated monitor.
11-21-2011, 10:15 AM   #6
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Kennuck, the first thing you have to understand about AWB is that it has an effective range. That range can vary from camera to camera, but is usually in the neighborhood of 4000K to 8000K. Tungsten lighting has a color temperature of around 2850K, which is outside the range of AWB. Most fluorescent lights and other artificial lights are also outside the range of AWB. It is unrealistic to expect AWB to perform well when shooting outside of it's range.

I have a K-7, not a K-5, but the K-7 has a custom setting that can apply either a subtle or strong correction to AWB under tungsten lighting. My K-7 performs well in AWB under tungsten lighting with the strong correction feature applied. Check your K-5 manual to see if you have that setting and if so, set it to strong correction. If not, use the appropriate WB preset or do a custom WB for the color temperature you are shooting in. In any event, do not rely on AWB when shooting under lighting conditions that are outside AWB range.

BTW, I don't see any color cast in the image you posted.
11-21-2011, 10:42 AM   #7
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This has been very helpful I have learnt a lot about AWB and will now take this into account. I'm surprised that you don't see the yellow tone to his skin. Maybe it's my eye sight that's the problem. I think I'll start using ore manual control over what my camera is doing. The info on "strong correction" is great. I'll try that for sure. I should definitely shoot RAW more than I do. Thanks again.
11-21-2011, 11:49 AM   #8
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- Oops - I see someone else already pointed out the strong correction setting...


Last edited by TomB_tx; 11-21-2011 at 11:51 AM. Reason: duplicate reply
11-21-2011, 12:23 PM   #9
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Strange, I've usually heard about Nikons having a yellow colour cast. A lot of babies are slightly jaundiced at birth. Maybe that's what you're seeing?

I assume you're shooting jpegs. I suggest you try Portrait image tone. It's not as punchy as the default Bright setting. The saturation in your baby photo is the problem IMO, not WB.
11-21-2011, 09:54 PM   #10
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Is your moitor calibrated? If not, that could explain why you see the skin as yellow but others don't. Another check - load the image into an editor and take an eyedropped to th white in the hat. If it shows a yellow cat, then there is a yellow cast. If not, then there is no color cast in the image.

Realize, though, that WB is a subjective thing. If the light is yellow, them eberything se in that light really is yellow, amd you are asking the camera to lie anbout reality if you want it to not show that yellow cast. Many people prefer the camera to only lie a little - to reduce the yellow cast, but not remove it entirely.
11-21-2011, 10:24 PM   #11
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I am beginning to think that the yellow I am seeing is actually the tone of my grandson's skin at the moment. I should have shot in RAW but being new to Pentax wasn't confident in doing this just yet. I did do the eyedropper sample from the white and it did change a little. I also have a grey card which I should've used for this lighting. After reading the advice and suggestions given above I now feel more confident. I have made some changes in settings in camera. Up until now I wasn't sure what some of those WB settings meant. The owner's manual is not very full in its description of settings and what they are for. However, I am learning and it's fun. I really appreciate this forum. It has helped a lot.
11-22-2011, 02:47 AM   #12
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I've never had AWB work well on any digital camera in the last decade. When processing JPGs, my most-used filter is REMOVE COLOR CAST. I shoot RAW-only with my K20D and fix WB in development. What I see and what the camera sees are rarely the same. Such is life.
11-22-2011, 08:51 AM   #13
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Glad it isn't just me. Thanks.
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