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06-22-2011, 02:40 AM   #1
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K-7 How-to-do-the-white balance question

One of the most difficult things in photography is the wb issue... I have heard some cameras have the possibility to set the WB manually or automatically... I know k-7 can do this too.

But I would prefer to show the camera a grey card in a setting, tell the camera "this is grey", and have the camera do the setting itself.

Is that possible with the K-7 and how do I proceed?

Thanks,
Syb

06-22-2011, 02:44 AM - 1 Like   #2
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Almost, but not quite.

What I do is:

Press WB button
Scroll down to K (colour temp)
Select 'White Balance Manual' (top option)
Take a picture of a white piece of paper, or something white - there is normally something to hand!
Scroll around with the little green square to cover the part of the photo I want to be white
Press OK to set WB
Press OK to return to shooting mode
Take photos

The next step is often to forget I've set a custom WB and so have to adjust the next set of pictures in ACR manually
06-22-2011, 07:37 AM   #3
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I always get confused by this issue because surely if you're filling the frame with a white piece of paper to set WB then the exposure is going to be off as the camera will try to expose it 18% grey?
06-22-2011, 07:40 AM   #4
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I don't fill the frame

You get a choice if a whole frame WB, or a little square - you can toggle with the e-dial on the back.

06-22-2011, 08:37 AM   #5
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Or you could choose not to worry about this at all and just shoot raw. Set the white balance to your liking later.
06-22-2011, 08:49 AM   #6
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A gray card will work. Just make sure you are setting it in the same lighting you are photographing in. White balance refers mainly to the amount of color tint (basically speaking) in the light. Some paper is itself tinted even if it Appears, white. You can also get a white balance card to do the same thing. Use Northern Souls procedure to set the balance. The more of the frame you fill, the easier it will be. Too little and you won't be able to grab enough to properly set the balance.

-OR- as suggested, you could go AWB, shoot RAW, and correct in post process if needed.

06-22-2011, 10:57 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by roliver Quote
I always get confused by this issue because surely if you're filling the frame with a white piece of paper to set WB then the exposure is going to be off as the camera will try to expose it 18% grey?
Why would it matter if the shot you use to calibrate wb is underexposed?
06-23-2011, 12:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Syb Quote
Is that possible with the K-7 and how do I proceed?
RTFM: go to your user manual, open up to page 194, read it and follow the instructions. Note it says to use white, but I've had success with a grey WB card.


Last edited by pop4; 06-23-2011 at 12:43 AM.
06-23-2011, 02:43 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Why would it matter if the shot you use to calibrate wb is underexposed?
I dunno, I just presumed it would if white isn't truly represented as white.
06-23-2011, 05:30 AM   #10
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Is it always possible to get the correct WB in PP when shooting RAW? I occasionally have trouble getting a photo to look exactly the way I'd like it too, even using Lightroom and a RAW file. Custom WB and the dropper often work well to get it close, but then I often have to move the sliders even more. Sometimes I just can't get it "right".

Another question: Pentax K-r manual instructions for custom white balance say to use a white card, but many people use a gray card. What is the difference and which is the "correct" way to set custom white balance? Or does it not make any difference?

Thanks!
06-23-2011, 08:47 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Is it always possible to get the correct WB in PP when shooting RAW? I occasionally have trouble getting a photo to look exactly the way I'd like it too, even using Lightroom and a RAW file. Custom WB and the dropper often work well to get it close, but then I often have to move the sliders even more. Sometimes I just can't get it "right".

Thanks!
Are you using a properly calibrated good-quality monitor? I honestly find WB to be a snap to get right. In fact, AWB on the K5 (and I assume the Kr) is so good that the only photos that require some adjustment are indoor flash photos. If I touch the WB adjustment on the vast majority of my photos it's just for creative effect.

Honestly, I think the AWB of Pentax cameras is one of their strengths. From what I've read, I think it's supposed to be better than other brands.
06-23-2011, 08:58 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Are you using a properly calibrated good-quality monitor? I honestly find WB to be a snap to get right. In fact, AWB on the K5 (and I assume the Kr) is so good that the only photos that require some adjustment are indoor flash photos. If I touch the WB adjustment on the vast majority of my photos it's just for creative effect.

Honestly, I think the AWB of Pentax cameras is one of their strengths. From what I've read, I think it's supposed to be better than other brands.
I just got a new monitor this week and have not taken any photos since I've had it. It is not calibrated with a colorimeter, but it's a Dell IPS and is supposed to be quite good out of the box. I have turned the brightness down on it as recommended. Hopefully, this will help me a lot. I can already see a huge difference when viewing my photos. Much more shadow detail, for instance.

I have been impressed with the AWB on my K-r overall, but there have been some instances where it just didn't work well for me and I had some problems. Hoping the monitor makes a difference in post processing - I think it will. Good point! Thanks.
06-23-2011, 09:52 AM - 1 Like   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by loco Quote
Another question: Pentax K-r manual instructions for custom white balance say to use a white card, but many people use a gray card. What is the difference and which is the "correct" way to set custom white balance? Or does it not make any difference?

Thanks!

A white card is for setting the white balance - you are giving the camera a 'reference' white under the lighting you are using.

A grey card is for setting exposure - the meter assumes that on average a scene is 18% grey, so a grey card can be used to set exposure in tricky circumstances. Or just use the palm of your hand for free, that's what I do
06-23-2011, 11:08 AM   #14
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Thanks Northern Soul. I appreciate the tip, didn't know about using a gray card for exposure.

I know I've read about using white or gray for white balance, though. Just was wondering which was better. I think I will stick with white since that makes more sense to me!
06-23-2011, 10:16 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by DogLover Quote
Or you could choose not to worry about this at all and just shoot raw. Set the white balance to your liking later.
Setting the WB later is time consuming and it also prevents reviewing images in camera - it is very hard to judge the quality of an image when WB is off.
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