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01-07-2008, 10:01 PM   #1
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Help with White Balance

Hey guys (gals): Sorry if this has been written about previously. I am new to Pentax and bought a new K10D. I have found the automatic white balance to be simply awful. I do try to shoot RAW. Sometimes, though, I want to shoot jpegs for smaller size. Even with RAW the image on review still reflects the present white balance setting. I know it can be corrected in PP. I have found though for me that seeing an image with a grossly off white balance, clouds my ability to review the images. I suspect that it is me and the newness of the the Pentax system. But, I would appreciate any help/suggestions or steps that you take to optimize the white balance.

Mark

01-07-2008, 10:05 PM   #2
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Don't use the auto white balance. I'm not sure what else you need to know. The in camera settings aren't too bad, they usually work well enough for me. Sunny if it is daylight, then cloudy and shady as you get a little less sunlight, the different fluorescent settings in those lighting situations, tungsten for regular light bulbs, flash for using with a flash, and then there is the custom setting I haven't used this, so I don't know how accurate it is, but you just need a little WB card and take a shot of it and it will set your white balance for you. What else did you need to know?
01-08-2008, 12:26 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by ramzey Quote
I have K10D too
When Outdoor and sunshine,K10D has almost perfect autowhite balance than Canon or Nikon.
If indoor or not bright environment, I think maybe not good enough. I will take raw when a hope to have a perfect photo.
01-08-2008, 12:33 AM   #4
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I've never had luck with the auto white balance inside or on flash, outside in the sun its okay. Stick with manual or shoot in RAW. You can also set a custom balance manually from a test shot as necessary. You can also target with a white or a gray card right in the camera. In the manual white balance window just take a picture of the while or gray target. Position the green target or zoom out, press OK. This is will give a rough set of the while balance. You can then do any fine tuning as you would normally. Any RAW processor worth its salt will be able to do something similar. A system like the QPcard and the accompaning program would do the same.

01-08-2008, 03:26 AM   #5
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At the risk of getting everyone who uses a grey card, coffee filters over the lens, or some other "calibrator", my view is that you can forget ALL that stuff.

You can adjust WB very well manually on the K10D as follows.

Take a picture, preferrably with white and skin tones.
Immediately after you take the picture, press the Fn button on the back of the camera.
using the 4 way controller select WB.
You will see the WB controls, color temperature, and all the settings. You will also see your photo.
As you change settings, you will see the picture change interactively to the new settings. adjust the whites and skin tones as you want them, and press OK until you exit the settings, or simply press the shutter.

Your new settings will now be set, and although they don't change the last photo you took, alll future ones will now use these settings.
01-08-2008, 05:49 AM   #6
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Auto white balance only down to 4000

The manual states that Auto white balance only works in the range 4000-8000.

So if shooting indoors you should not use AWB. The colour temperature is below what the AWB was designed for. Use manual WB instead.
01-08-2008, 10:34 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
The manual states that Auto white balance only works in the range 4000-8000.

So if shooting indoors you should not use AWB. The colour temperature is below what the AWB was designed for. Use manual WB instead.
Glad you pointed that out Peter. Most folks have no idea that there is a limitation on the Auto WB range. Your standard incandescent lamps are ~2800 degrees Kelvin, well out of the auto adjustment range for the K10D and most other DSLRs.

There is significant added noise in the blue channel when you try to make white things look white under 2800K illumination. Way back when in the film era we used 80A filters to convert 3200K to 5500K (daylight) so we could use daylight balanced film under incandescent photo lamps. That's not a bad approach even today if you have enough light as it would keep the blue channel noise down.
01-08-2008, 11:18 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MSM Quote
Hey guys (gals): I have found though for me that seeing an image with a grossly off white balance, clouds my ability to review the images. Mark
As a simple way to get past this. I'm about 99% sure that changing the white balance on the camera will show the effects on the previous shot. I do shoot only in RAW though.

01-08-2008, 11:21 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by jshurak Quote
As a simple way to get past this. I'm about 99% sure that changing the white balance on the camera will show the effects on the previous shot. I do shoot only in RAW though.
White Balance, when shooting RAW, is only useful to change the view on the LCD. Use the steps in a previous post to set the white balance from a first shot, and ignore it. You can set it more exactly when you import the images.
01-08-2008, 11:35 AM   #10
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This thread has been very informative. Thanks to everyone who posted!
01-08-2008, 11:43 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
At the risk of getting everyone who uses a grey card, coffee filters over the lens, or some other "calibrator", my view is that you can forget ALL that stuff.

You can adjust WB very well manually on the K10D as follows.

Take a picture, preferrably with white and skin tones.
Immediately after you take the picture, press the Fn button on the back of the camera.
using the 4 way controller select WB.
You will see the WB controls, color temperature, and all the settings. You will also see your photo.
As you change settings, you will see the picture change interactively to the new settings. adjust the whites and skin tones as you want them, and press OK until you exit the settings, or simply press the shutter.

Your new settings will now be set, and although they don't change the last photo you took, alll future ones will now use these settings.
Awesome !!!
I will check this out later today.
01-08-2008, 12:58 PM   #12
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Thank you everyone for your help. When I considered switching to Pentax. I came to this forum to see what people had to say and to learn more about Pentax. I really liked the "freindly Pentax Discussion Community" motto. This site helped me make the decision to switch from Canon. Thanks again

Mark

ps I love the idea of shooting skin tones and adjusting the WB and the limits of the AWB discussion.
01-08-2008, 03:04 PM   #13
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This statement may not be entirely true:"WB has no effect on RAW files".

Shortly after the release of the K10 some folks over at DP
Review did some testing that seemed to show that WB was affecting the RAW data. In particular the red channel could be shifted significantly by shifting the WB preset. Green and blue channels had smaller shifts. The testing procedure was complex and convoluted, many questions remained and went largely unanswered.

A single fact remained: Few and perhaps no end users know the exact content of the RAW image data; backing up one step, none seem to know the details of how the data is generated. Specifically if the WB is a factor or not.


QuoteOriginally posted by Canada_Rockies Quote
White Balance, when shooting RAW, is only useful to change the view on the LCD. Use the steps in a previous post to set the white balance from a first shot, and ignore it. You can set it more exactly when you import the images.
01-08-2008, 06:53 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by Lowell Goudge Quote
At the risk of getting everyone who uses a grey card, coffee filters over the lens, or some other "calibrator", my view is that you can forget ALL that stuff.

You can adjust WB very well manually on the K10D as follows.

Take a picture, preferrably with white and skin tones.
Immediately after you take the picture, press the Fn button on the back of the camera.
using the 4 way controller select WB.
You will see the WB controls, color temperature, and all the settings. You will also see your photo.
As you change settings, you will see the picture change interactively to the new settings. adjust the whites and skin tones as you want them, and press OK until you exit the settings, or simply press the shutter.

Your new settings will now be set, and although they don't change the last photo you took, alll future ones will now use these settings.

Will this work also on K100D and should recording be in Raw or JPG when doing this adjustment ? Thank you.

andy
01-08-2008, 06:57 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by xandy Quote
Will this work also on K100D and should recording be in Raw or JPG when doing this adjustment ? Thank you.

andy
I don't think this works on a K100. I recall someone posting a while ago that all they had was a black background. I don't have a K100 so I can't say.


I found this quite by accidentm and have reported it several times when ever a question of WB with the K10 comes up. Note I shoot almost exclusively JPEG.

Also, I use PSP X2 for any post processing cropping etc. When you select color balance correction, you get a selection tool that asks for a white surface, this can correct just about anything, but I find that it makes things a little too cool.
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