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08-03-2012, 09:26 PM   #1
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Pentax k-5 Nightshot problem

hi all! Everywhere where there is orange light images i take are sooo orange that it's discusting . Friend of mine with Lumix gh2 Took same shots with same settings and his picture is way more better and normal with normal colors then mine.
Do you guys expirience problem with orange light or any light with pentax k-5 cause somehow k-5 just force the light above too much. So much that it's frustrating.
Here is an example. This is in front of my house so i can do picture when ever i want to test it if someone have some suggestions what to do and how to do it but picture just isn't normal imo. Here is the picture and later i'll show you the picture taken with lumix gh2 and you'll see a difference. Friends camera somehow manage to isolate that orange light above and make it a normal picture.
So, can anyone help on this, please. How to take a picture under some light to be a normal picture and not all colored with light that is above my head. Thanks!

Example: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/69090258/OOOO1777.JPG

08-03-2012, 11:43 PM   #2
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His camera might have an auto white balance setting on it or he had it set correctly to start with...and yours you didn't shoot with the right white balance setting.

If you don't know what white balance is then we will give you some stuff to read.

But basically different sources of light emit different amounts or colors of light from them and you have settings on the camera to correct what kind of light is being used.

Some artificial lights tend to be more blue. Some more green...or any number of colors...your camera has a WB setting and it should be used accordingly. The setting in your case should have been 'tungsten lamp'....

Pretty much sums it up.

Last edited by alamo5000; 08-03-2012 at 11:51 PM.
08-03-2012, 11:59 PM   #3
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I did nothing to the photo except select tungsten lamp as the white balance offset.

Then you can tweak the colors as needed.

Last edited by alamo5000; 08-04-2012 at 12:07 AM.
08-04-2012, 12:15 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Zandroido Quote
hi all! Everywhere where there is orange light images i take are sooo orange that it's discusting . Friend of mine with Lumix gh2 Took same shots with same settings and his picture is way more better and normal with normal colors then mine.
Do you guys expirience problem with orange light or any light with pentax k-5 cause somehow k-5 just force the light above too much. So much that it's frustrating.
Here is an example. This is in front of my house so i can do picture when ever i want to test it if someone have some suggestions what to do and how to do it but picture just isn't normal imo. Here is the picture and later i'll show you the picture taken with lumix gh2 and you'll see a difference. Friends camera somehow manage to isolate that orange light above and make it a normal picture.
So, can anyone help on this, please. How to take a picture under some light to be a normal picture and not all colored with light that is above my head. Thanks!

Example: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/69090258/OOOO1777.JPG
What is your white balance set to on your camera? Is it AWB? Have you changed the custom option in your K-x for "Automatic White Balance in Tungsten" to "Strong"?

08-04-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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Here is a bit of background information on light, AWB - Automatic White Balance...Also, just a note. Once you take a image, you can go in and change the white balance to the type of lighting used. Just use the post processing software that came with the camera. It will be one of the adjustments available to you. The K5's AWB is one of the better systems around.

08-04-2012, 05:55 AM   #6
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The human eye and brain is extremely good at compensating for ambient light. So when we are out walking around at night, we don't normally notice the yellow colors given off by incandescent lights, the blue from florescent lights, the greenish color given off by mercury-vapor lamps, etc. But when you take a picture with a camera (whether film or digital), this freezes the lighting conditions, and allows you to bring the image into different viewing environments (like the monitor on your home or office computer) where the differences become more obvious.

So pretty much all digital cameras have a white balance setting, which attempts to compensate for the ambient lighting conditions, to make the image appear more normal. The default setting on all modern cameras is "auto", but you can manually change this as well. Hit the "WB" button on the back of the K-5 to see your options. Normally, the K-5's "auto" setting works really very well, but all cameras can get fooled from time to time. This is why better cameras like the K-5 put a WB button on the back, so you can get to it directly without digging through menus.

In addition, in the K-5, "Custom" menu option #12 will allow you to decide if you want "strong" or "normal" tungsten correction. Not sure if this changes how much the white balance is adjusted under tungsten lighting, or how quickly the compensation algorithm decides to apply the correction, or both. Not sure exactly where you are in the world, but most newer street lights are not tungsten. In this image, I'm guessing that it is sodium vapor, which gives a very strong orange coloring. Picking "strong" correction might work in this case.

Furthermore, there is a button opposite the WB button, which allows you to set various color saturation modes. Default is "bright", but you can try "normal". You could also pick "BW" which would eliminate all the color, if you want to get artistic. There are other manual settings there too if you want to go crazy. But if the pictures you take during the day look okay, then I would probably leave this at the default setting of "bright" or "normal".

I guess one way to describe what happened, is that the K-5 took a more faithful reproduction of the light than your friend's Lumix did.
08-04-2012, 06:53 AM   #7
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I agree with what everyone has said about white balance. I would also do some reading on shooting in raw mode and trying it out if you aren't already. You can change the white balance of a jpeg in post production too, but you will have much greater capabilities in raw. There are lots of articles out there (and threads on here) debating the two formats, but it is probably a good idea to read up and decide which format is right for you.
08-04-2012, 08:08 AM   #8
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I took like 30+ shots of that car in all kind of settings, colors.... I'm usually keeping AWB with 3 on cold side. None of them worked. Still waiting for a friends picture then i'll post it and you'll see how toooo normal picture can be.

Here are some examples of pictures where it looks like working ok so it's not some HUGE problem or something but it's just annoying why it can't be "normal". Here is an example of normality that i took. So it's not all that orange

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/69090258/OOOO1737ra.jpg

https://dl.dropbox.com/u/69090258/OOOO1705.jpg

08-06-2012, 12:00 AM   #9
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Make sure when you post your friends photo the exif data is intact, funky colored street lights are terribly exaggerated by the super long exposures you were doing, like the light down the street that went solid green. He may have been boosting his ISO to at least 800 which is what you should have done since the K5 is one of the best high ISO cameras out there and you were shooting on 100 or 200 in the pics that actually have exif data. I never set ISO to auto even in the day, or anything else for that matter when night shooting.
In the last 2 pics they look better because they are whiter street lights and they are placed differently, the light in the gazebo across the water in 1705 (nice pic) is a similar crappy color temp to the one in your first pic. 1737 looks about 1 stop over exposed btw.
I took a long exposure (in my album) of a row of street lights in a super long exposure that almost look like Christmas lights in their reflections on the water even though they all appear near white in person because they had bulbs replaced by the city as they burned out of many different color temps and the camera totally picked it up. Made the pic work better actually I think in that case.

Last edited by PPPPPP42; 08-06-2012 at 12:07 AM.
08-06-2012, 07:58 AM   #10
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Good advice given above. Old film shooters know that artificial lights ARE colored, and film didn't do AWB so we had to correct by selecting an appropriate film type or filters. The first picture looks like mainly a Sodium lamp, that is indeed very yellow/orange, so the K-5 picture is "correct" - but not the way you want it. (I changed our area light from Mercury to Sodium, and compared to indoor lighting see the same bright yellow/green colors when looking outside, but when spending time out in the light it begins to look normal when your brain compensates for what the eyes see.)
AWB tries to "filter" so that something white in the picture appears white. With the mix of Sodium and Mercury Vapor lights, and the different colors in the picture, it may be averaging as best it can. As has been mentioned, long night exposures, with lots of dark space in the frame, gives unpredictable AWB results.
I much prefer manual white balance for jpg, so I control the result.
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