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Thread: WB Question

  1. #1
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    WB Question

    When shooting RAW what should you set your WB on. I keep mine on Auto WB. I was told to use custom.

    Frank
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  2. #2
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    Usually auto unless i'm in a gym for example.or other weird lighting..

    but for a photoshoot..well that gets dialled in first

  3. #3
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    Never trust anyone who gives you an answer like that and doesnt bsck it up with the why and the how. If anything, when shooting raw, wb isnt as critical as jpeg.
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  4. #4
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    If you set the WB to auto and shoot RAW only the image on the VF is processed using the WB setting you set in camera right? The RAW file should be unprocessed which is why it needs to be converted. Rooz when you say isn't as critical does that mean you should use a custom WB before any shoot? I was reading about using a gray card to set WB for portrait shots and it said you should use custom WB before the shoot. This is why I am confused about this.

    Thanks again for the answers
    Frank

    Frank
    Sony A77
    Sony A580
    Sony A 100
    Maxxum 400si.
    Sony 18-70 Kit Lens
    Minolta AF 35-70
    Minolta AF 50 f/1.7
    Tamron 70-300 f/4-5.6 Di LD
    Tamron 60mm Macro
    Tamron 17-50 f/2.8
    Tamron 2x Converter
    Sony HVL-F42AM
    Quantaray 70-300 4.5-5.6 Macro
    Slingshot 200 Bag



    http://www.flickr.com/photos/22083244@N06/

    http://s305.photobucket.com/albums/nn219/sparkie1263/

  5. #5
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    I leave mine on Auto. I correct it in post processing. The WB is recorded on the JPEG, the RAW file is neutral, it has no WB set. If you process the RAW file without changing the WB it uses the Auto setting, if you correct it in post then it uses your correction whether you use a pre set or custom. I am a big believer that this is the easiest and best way to set white balance. A place where setting a custom is very important is product shots.
    Last edited by TenD; 11-27-2010 at 05:45 AM.
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    If you set the WB to auto and shoot RAW only the image on the VF is processed using the WB setting you set in camera right?
    You mean the LCD image but, yes you will see a JPEG using the selected WB setting.
    When you open the RAW image in your converter it will probably default to the selected WB but you can change it.

    The RAW file should be unprocessed which is why it needs to be converted. Rooz when you say isn't as critical does that mean you should use a custom WB before any shoot?
    Rooz ia probably asleep but I think he says it's not critical because you can, in any case, change the WB in your RAW processor to whatever you fancy.

    I was reading about using a gray card to set WB for portrait shots and it said you should use custom WB before the shoot. This is why I am confused about this.
    If you are shooting JPEGs you can't change the WB after the event, so a Custom WB set before you shoot will be advantageous unless the light changes and you don't react with another CWB.

    When you shoot RAW, simply take a Picture of your reference Grey Card any time the light changes. You can then correct the WB in the RAW converter to match the image containing the reference card and it will be correct for all the other shots.

    The other issue when shooting RAW is that the LCD image is of a processed JPEG rather than a true representation of a RAW file, so if you use it to ETTR it won't be correct.
    Why camera makers don't address this issue, I don't know.

    In the meantime I use UniWB as a stop gap.

  7. #7
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    In camera or in post production or both, that is the question ... jpegs - in camera a must, but RAW gives you the flexibility to tweak the WB.

    If I'm out and about, I usually have WB on auto because the camera usually does a good job on WB selection, probably about 95% of the time. Where auto WB has a problem is in mixed lighting situations, like flourescents with incandecents. I've found in those situations the camera either tries to balance between the two or if one source is more predominant it adjusts to that setting. Here's an example:

    Original - Auto WB setting RAW -
    Name:  White Balance Orig-0683.jpg
Views: 130
Size:  409.9 KB
    50mm f5.6, 1/4sec, ISO 640, Auto WB = Temp 3150, Tint +4 (toward magenta)
    You'll note the camera selected the flourescents in the backgrounds as the predominant temperature source attempting to balance between the candescent light source in the foreground. The problem, bacground light is near white while foreground (and the subjects) have a yellow cast.

    Using the white napkin on the table as white source for adjustment in Adobe Lightroom, here's what we end up with:
    Name:  White Balance Adjusted-0683.jpg
Views: 120
Size:  406.5 KB
    Temp 2450, Tint 0
    Now the white napkin is white, the foreground subjects have the correct colors, but you'll note the lighting in the background now has a blue color cast. That's where, if you wanted to get really fussy, you would further adjust the photo in PS, selecting the background area for a new curves adjustment layer, go to the blue channel and pull down the blues.

    Now, if you know the light temperature you're going to be shooting in and it's unlikely to change (e.g. studio lighting), then you would want to dial in an exact temperature setting in the camera. That way, when it comes to processing the RAW images, it's one less adjustment to worry about.
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  8. #8
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    It's nice to see while you are shooting...makes it easier to see what your picture will look like leter with no suprises

  9. #9
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    I really would avoid using that screen on the camera for more than checking basic composition, focus, and exposure. It's not calibrated, and shouldn't be trusted. So it really doesn't matter if you see WB while you are shooting. Surprises can always be fixed if you've shot in RAW, there should be no surprises if you're shooting in JPEG with a custom white balance.

    JPEG should always be shot with a custom WB. With product shots it's very important to get the color right, so choosing a custom whether in RAW or JPEG can be important to know what the color should be. All else is really subjective and everyone has different ideas of what they want to see or convey.
    A good photograph is knowing where to stand.
    Ansel Adams

    Rule books are paper, they will not cushion a sudden meeting of stone and metal.
    Ernest K. Gann-Fate is the Hunter.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by sparkie1263 View Post
    If you set the WB to auto and shoot RAW only the image on the VF is processed using the WB setting you set in camera right? The RAW file should be unprocessed which is why it needs to be converted. Rooz when you say isn't as critical does that mean you should use a custom WB before any shoot? I was reading about using a gray card to set WB for portrait shots and it said you should use custom WB before the shoot. This is why I am confused about this.

    Thanks again for the answers
    Frank

    Frank
    It isnt as critical cos you can change WB in post if you screw it up
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