Forgot Password
Pentax Camera Forums Home
 

Reply
Show Printable Version Search this Thread
03-08-2009, 11:20 PM   #1
Forum Member




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 60
White Balance Settings

For general walk around photography, which white balance setting do you use? Auto or one of the specific settings (ie daylight, shade, etc.)

I went to museum and garden and took a bunch of photos yesterday. Imagine my surprise and disappointment when I found that I had forgotten to change the white balance between several shots.

After this experience and a couple of others, I think I'm going to stick with the auto setting for now. Are there any specific instances where this is a bad idea? (I read an old review that said the *ist DL had iffy white balance performance under incandescent lights.)

Thanks for any info

03-08-2009, 11:51 PM   #2
Senior Member




Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: B.C Canada
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 121
When outside your w.b. will work fine on auto.When shooting indoors always change the w.b. to the existing lighting.
03-09-2009, 01:03 AM   #3
Veteran Member




Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Budapest
Posts: 821
QuoteOriginally posted by pentaxdude Quote
When outside your w.b. will work fine on auto.When shooting indoors always change the w.b. to the existing lighting.
Exactly. Outdoors I use auto, indoors either auto (if light is sunshine through windows) or the appropriate setting in case of tungsten and fluorescent light. Tungsten light is where auto wb fails in almost every camera.
03-09-2009, 01:06 AM   #4
Forum Member
PinarelloOnly's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Shoreline CT
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 86
I was at a birthday party yesterday which was a WB nightmare. From room to room
it changed from a sunny room to a room with fluorescent to the rest of the house a
mix of tungsten and sunlight.

If you want your pix to come out right you have to stay on top of the WB.

I can't remember using Auto WB for anything.

Actually, I can't remember even putting my camera in Auto.

03-09-2009, 05:35 AM   #5
Senior Member
Hawki's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: North Face of Mount Shasta
Photos: Albums
Posts: 107
I also use auto most of the time outside ... where I usually have a problem is a mix of indoor lighting and that's when I try to manually set my white balance. Pentax has a good section in their manuals on this process and it is worth practicing in your house, before you need it at an important occasion.
03-09-2009, 06:01 AM   #6
Veteran Member
vievetrick's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Easthampton - Massachusetts - USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,175
or simply shoot AutoWB but in RAW and adjust later. I typically do as what the folks above said as well but always RAW so I can play with them if need be later.
03-09-2009, 06:21 AM   #7
Veteran Member
StevenVH's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 475
When shooting in RAW none of the in-camera effects (WB, Custom Image, etc.) are applied to the image. In-camera effects only apply to JPEGs processed by the camera. See p.148 of the manual for more info.

hth
03-09-2009, 06:42 AM   #8
Veteran Member
vievetrick's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Easthampton - Massachusetts - USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 5,175
QuoteOriginally posted by StevenVH Quote
When shooting in RAW none of the in-camera effects (WB, Custom Image, etc.) are applied to the image. In-camera effects only apply to JPEGs processed by the camera. See p.148 of the manual for more info.

hth

Not sure what your point is? What ever WB setting you have the camera set to is what you will see when the shot is on the card and in post processing to start with anyway. I am not picking a fight just confused by your statement.

03-09-2009, 07:18 AM   #9
New Member




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: San Jose, CA
Posts: 12
I agree, shoot RAW and invest in a gray card (or if your budget is tight bring a white piece of paper) and for the situation you described, you would simply take a quick shot of the gray card in each room or location that has different lighting conditions. Then you can post process in Lightroom, Aperture, or whatever you use and apply the white balance settings.

A good video that shows the process can be found here: WhiBal White Balance Gray Card Video Tutorial by Michael Tapes

I'm not pushing this guys product btw, but he does show the process well.
03-09-2009, 07:26 AM   #10
Veteran Member
StevenVH's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: N Carolina, USA
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 475
QuoteOriginally posted by vievetrick Quote
Not sure what your point is? What ever WB setting you have the camera set to is what you will see when the shot is on the card and in post processing to start with anyway. I am not picking a fight just confused by your statement.
haha...well first off it takes a lot more than a discussion about photography to put me in a fightin' mood
Which part of my comment is confusing? Simply put, if you record an image in RAW format you get "...CCD output data saved without processing." And "Effects such as White Balance, Custom Image and Color Space are not applied to the image...."
WB and other corrections are applied by the software used to view and process the RAW image. You can use or set the camera to create a JPEG file which will apply the effects settings of the camera.

better?
03-09-2009, 09:15 AM   #11
Veteran Member
Reportage's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2009
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 739
having used multiple systems, i can clearly say that Canon and Sony probably has one the best "Auto" detection algorithms. Having used Pentax for quite some time, its more or less 2nd nature now to manually set my white balance. This makes the K20D a great camera for people who like more control while for those who expect it to work brilliantly out of the box will be disappointed.

Used to take Raw but now that changing WB has become the norm and knowing what works, i find that my JPGs rarely need to be edited and in fact is useable right out of the camera.

Last edited by Reportage; 03-09-2009 at 11:04 AM.
03-09-2009, 09:36 AM   #12
Pentaxian
Just1MoreDave's Avatar

Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Aurora, CO
Photos: Gallery | Albums
Posts: 4,814
QuoteOriginally posted by thrillerb Quote
After this experience and a couple of others, I think I'm going to stick with the auto setting for now. Are there any specific instances where this is a bad idea? (I read an old review that said the *ist DL had iffy white balance performance under incandescent lights.)

Thanks for any info
Indoor lighting, snow and sunrises/sunsets are common conditions for the white balance to be fooled. Indoor lighting is especially tricky these days because it's not just incandescent, it's compact fluorescent, halogen, LED, etc. from 2600K up to 6500K, sometimes a random mix. Snow will reflect other colors like the sky or lights. Sunsets are warmer and sunrises are cooler than typical daylight. (Sunsets are the reason why auto WB doesn't adjust for incandescent lights.)

I did the same thing as you at first, and still have some shots that I wish were different. Then I switched to using RAW mostly, using Auto WB and adjusting WB in Photoshop Elements. That has accidentally trained me to figure out when Auto WB will not work well. Now I will often set the white balance manually in difficult conditions, even shooting in RAW. The advantage is that the preview image is more accurate, and so is the histogram. Also when I'm traveling without access to my usual software, my processing time is shorter.

It's like exposure - experience will tell you when you need to change settings to make a better image.
03-09-2009, 10:34 AM   #13
Site Supporter




Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: MT
Posts: 1,075
White balance outdoors is also a real problem. Under a tree canopy--shooting macro or intimate landscapes. Sometimes the 5000K setting works to filter out the green tint under the leaf canopy but not always. Cloudy skies have many possible color casts and the Cloudy and Shade presets just don't match very well with actual day to day conditions. Open sun varies throughout the day and doesn't just match up with the Daylight setting either. Auto setting seems to essentially select one of the preset options which again, just don't match up very well with the actual variations in light outdoors.
After much frustration with the in-camera choices for white balance, I tested the manual setting using a white card and with a gray card. The gray card produces a more neutral color cast than the white card which comes out a bit warm in some circumstances--ie tungsten lighting indoors and some outdoor conditions.
So go with the many recommendations here...use the gray card to manually set a color balance...you'll like the difference it makes!
03-09-2009, 12:14 PM   #14
Forum Member




Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Atlanta
Posts: 60
Original Poster
My concern is speed; I tend to take pics of my kids and they're getting to the point that as soon as I pull the camera out, they run the other way screaming.


I usually have to be pretty quick to catch them acting naturally. Hence the desire to let the camera handle the WB for me.
03-09-2009, 01:49 PM   #15
Pentaxian
Marc Sabatella's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Denver, CO
Photos: Gallery
Posts: 10,686
QuoteOriginally posted by thrillerb Quote
Hence the desire to let the camera handle the WB for me.
All the more reason to shoot RAW and deal with WB afterwards. With the right software, it takes but seconds to select all the pictures shot in a given setting and select an appropriate WB preset for them.
Reply

Bookmarks
  • Submit Thread to Facebook Facebook
  • Submit Thread to Twitter Twitter
  • Submit Thread to Digg Digg
Tags - Make this thread easier to find by adding keywords to it!
auto, balance, camera, pentax help, photography, settings
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
RAW DNG Shots with Wrong White Balance Settings nstocke Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 8 09-10-2010 02:36 AM
In Camera White balance settings and RAW? Javaslinger Troubleshooting and Beginner Help 9 09-18-2009 11:10 AM
Coffee Filter For Custom White Balance Settings? stewart_photo Photographic Technique 13 01-01-2009 07:52 AM
Preferences re White Balance settings Rick Pentax DSLR Discussion 4 06-13-2008 02:30 PM
Auto white balance vs. daylight balance outdoors. fevbusch Pentax DSLR Discussion 7 02-18-2007 03:04 PM



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 07:11 AM. | See also: NikonForums.com, part of our network of photo forums!
  • Red (Default)
  • Green
  • Gray
  • Dark
  • Dark Yellow
  • Dark Blue
  • Old Red
  • Old Green
  • Old Gray
  • Dial-Up Style
Hello! It's great to see you back on the forum! Have you considered joining the community?
register
Creating a FREE ACCOUNT takes under a minute, removes ads, and lets you post! [Dismiss]
Top