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06-13-2012, 07:45 AM   #1
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Odd white balance with K-x

I take a lot of pictures indoors, mostly under florescent lights (unfortunately), and the whites tend to come out looking a light purple. Obviously, this is easy to fix in Lightroom, doubly so if I remember to take a picture of my gray card. Is there a way to get the white balance right in camera without having to do the Lightroom chair time? I usually keep the white balance on Auto.

06-13-2012, 08:25 AM   #2
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Of course you can get it right in camera. You already mentioned you have a grey card. Before you start shooting, go to custom white balance, fill the frame with the grey card and set the white balance based off of that.
06-13-2012, 09:07 AM   #3
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Have you tried changing the WB in-camera to "fluorescent"?
06-13-2012, 09:28 AM   #4
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Two good suggestions above. You could also shoot in raw and set WB during processing.

06-13-2012, 10:47 AM   #5
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I usually set the WB in post processing. I have tried the fluorescent WB setting, and it seems to make colors odd, likely an artifact of my daylight CFLs. I haven't tried to set it with the gray card. How do you do that?
06-14-2012, 01:40 AM - 1 Like   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
I have tried the fluorescent WB setting, and it seems to make colors odd, likely an artifact of my daylight CFLs.
You may try the tungsten wb setting then. My CFL in the living room is much closer to tungsten light, so selecting tungsten wb gives correct result (and fluorescent gives funky colors).

Page 185 of the K-x manual describes how to set custom manual wb with a gray card (or any neutral gray or pure white surface). You select the manual wb in the menu, point the cam on the gray card, press the shutter, then you can mark the card on the LCD and press OK. You can further fine tune it if needed.
06-14-2012, 10:15 AM   #7
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Do note, though, that what we perceive as color isn't a single wavelength - it's a whole spectrum of other colors basically "average themselves out" to form the color we - and a camera AWB system - perceives. And there is no getting around the fluorescent bulbs often have an "unnatural" (compared to sunlight) spectrum, such that even you get the WB as right as you can, there may still be a tint to the resulting shots. To make matters worse, fluorescent bulbs actually vary in color according to the frequency of the alternating current feeding them, so the exact moment you shoot within that cycle can often make a difference. If your shutter speed is faster than 1/60" (for the US), you won't see the entire cycle, and that will bias the color.
06-14-2012, 10:59 AM   #8
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I've been slowly replacing my CFLs with LED or Halogen bulbs, depending on the fixture. Those give a much more pleasant tone to my pictures. Also, I believe they are truer to the stated color temperature.

06-14-2012, 11:33 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by miltona580 Quote
I usually set the WB in post processing. I have tried the fluorescent WB setting, and it seems to make colors odd, likely an artifact of my daylight CFLs. I haven't tried to set it with the gray card. How do you do that?
Really, PP is about the only way to go, and for many of the reasons Marc mentioned. The Kx does a pretty good job, but no camera will be perfect with fluorescents or tungsten lights. Add a little light from a window, and you have a real challenge.
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