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11-11-2013, 09:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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K-7 custom white balance question

I know most of you are moving on to the K-3 or at least the K-5 but I have a K-7 that I still like. Here is my issue.
I use a Sigma 70mm Macro lens that I use for photographing fish and corals in my saltwater reef aquarium. One of the issues is that the lighting on a reef is quite intense and can vary greatly. The lighting that I use consists of 2 250 watt metal halide bulbs at about 17k and 4 54w T-5 vho bulbs, that provide actinic highlights. This is what makes the corals glow and the colors really pop. I have had pretty good success with shots when all the light are on by using Auto White Balance. The 17K lights simulate noonday lighting. I would really like to take some shots with just the T-5 actinics to get that surreal look of the corals glowing. I have attempted to set a custom white balance following the procedure in the manual. However, whenever I press the shutter button to capture the "white" the camera returns the "The operation could not be completed correctly." message.

Is there something I'm missing? I have tried to experiment with setting this by just setting a white piece of paper on my dining room table with ambient lighting and get the same result. What am I doing wrong?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

11-11-2013, 09:30 AM   #2
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Are you filling the frame with the white piece of paper?

For aquariums I use a coffee filter to set white balance.


11-11-2013, 09:35 AM   #3
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Original Poster
I'm nit filling the frame. I was under the impression that I could toggle to the selection screen and move the box to the white section. The problem with using the coffee filter is I would have to actually submerge it in the aquarium. Once I got the procedure down I was planning on submerging a white pvc fitting in the aquarium to set the white balance and saving it to a custom slot. That way I would only have to do it once. The lights shine down from the top of the aquarium so anything outside the tank would not give me the true light reflection.
11-11-2013, 09:43 AM   #4
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I forgot you can select the section of white, the K-5 is the same but I always use the coffee filter.

What I do with the coffee filter is put it over the lens, then point it towards the light through the glass at an angle. I should have mentioned that, it is an old trick, it works like those fancy and expensive Expodisc things, I even sandwiched mine between a few cheap UV filters to mimic them.

Just enough light shines through it that it takes on the color of the light.

That gets me close enough, I'll usually tweak a few degrees one way or another in post, since I always shoot RAW.

11-11-2013, 09:49 AM   #5
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Join Date: Jul 2011
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Ok, cool. I'll try that this evening when I get home. Thank you.

BTW i love the purple toadstool in your pic.
11-16-2013, 05:42 AM   #6
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Far North Qld
Posts: 3,294
I have one of these.
Works well
Mennon White Balance Lens Cap ? 55mm - Digital Camera Warehouse Australia
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