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FORUMS Photography Talk by Genre General Photography Talk 
Thread started 01 May 2019 (Wednesday) 07:27
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Auto WB or specific setting?

 
duckster
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May 01, 2019 07:27 |  #1

Today promises to be cloudy/overcast today for the track meet. Do you tend to leave you camera in auto WB or switch to one of the specific settings (in this case - cloudy)?




  
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May 01, 2019 08:10 |  #2

If you shoot RAW it dosen't matter because you can adjust in PP. I pretty much leave it in Auto.


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John ­ from ­ PA
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May 01, 2019 08:24 |  #3

I shoot virtually all AWB although I have changed things for subjects heavily lit by fluorescent lighting. However, less and less of that these days and AWB seems to handle LED lighting well.




  
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Tom ­ Reichner
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May 01, 2019 08:25 |  #4

.

duckster wrote in post #18854259 (external link)
Today promises to be cloudy/overcast today for the track meet. Do you tend to leave you camera in auto WB or switch to one of the specific settings (in this case - cloudy)?

.
I usually just put it in the "K" setting and dial in a temperature that is appropriate for the conditions.

If it is a moderate overcast, I will set it to 5300 or thereabouts. . If it is a heavy overcast or deep shade, then I'll set it up around 5800. . If it's clear and I'm shooting in warm golden-hour light, then I'll have it down around 4400.

Do with white balance the same thing you do with exposure - take a test shot and then look at it on the LCD to se if it's right or if it needs adjustment. . Adjust till it's right. . It's quick and easy. . There is no need to wonder what to do when you can see the results immediately and adjust accordingly. . Take control, don't let the camera make these decisions for you.

Even thought I shoot in RAW and can just change it later, I like this way better than auto WB because I like all of the jPeg previews to be similar. . Auto WB is all over the place - five frames of the same thing taken seconds apart will have multiple WB values ..... drives me nuts.


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duckster
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May 01, 2019 08:53 as a reply to  @ Tom Reichner's post |  #5

Thanks for the insights. I have noticed some shot to shot variance with the Auto setting at times. I have used the fluorescent settings indoors but have usually just done Auto outdoors but it appears like to today is going to be steady overcast all day




  
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May 01, 2019 10:31 |  #6
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It hasn't been a problem with my still cameras but when I was shooting a lot of video it became really obvious that the auto mode just wasn't good enough for certain situations. They were pretty much all under strange lights in school gyms plus sometimes schools had really bright colors on the floor and they would change the light big time. I would carry a white sheet of paper and do a manual set of the WB. If I didn't get the change I wanted I would do it again until it was right. No more video with everyone a funny shade of orange.

Cameras do well with most light but flourescents and sodium lights are another story. It depends on the particular camera of course. I would just pay attention to the results you are getting. If they aren't what you want make a change.




  
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Post edited 6 months ago by Wilt. (10 edits in all)
     
May 01, 2019 13:17 |  #7

duckster wrote in post #18854314 (external link)
Thanks for the insights. I have noticed some shot to shot variance with the Auto setting at times. I have used the fluorescent settings indoors but have usually just done Auto outdoors but it appears like to today is going to be steady overcast all day

Canon's AWB is implemented with plenty of inherent flaws; some brands might (or might not!) be any better. Some years ago I shot an entire series of shots in which the
constant, unchanging sunlight could have a single WB value be used for all shots made within a 30 second window, yet AWB chose values scattered all over the place, with values from 4424K thru 5895K ... 60% of the AWB values had deviated from the ideal neutral gray card value of 5000K of the lighting conditions. While 40% of the AWB values were 5001K, 60% were not, and yet there were no strong colors predominant in any of the shots to unduly influence AWB value in the wrong direction!

https://photography-on-the.net …p?p=12259856&po​stcount=11

When strong colors were present in the scene in the same sunlight conditions, the error rate for AWB increased to 80% error! (Two posts later in the same thread above you can read my post, showing this result.)


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May 01, 2019 13:23 |  #8

I pretty much always leave it in auto but I shoot raw only so WB isn't really a factor at capture time. However, If I need to have the colors spot on, I'll take a test or two with a x-rite color checker.


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May 01, 2019 13:29 |  #9

I leave mine set to "Sunny" 95% of the time which sets it it 5200K and +5 (magenta) when importing the raw file into Lightroom. I like having a consistent starting point as opposed to AWB taking a different guess with each shot. If I know I'll be shooting for a while under incandescent lights, I'll manually select that preset in the camera which makes it a little easier to judge the exposure from the LCD.




  
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May 01, 2019 13:33 |  #10

mike_d wrote in post #18854443 (external link)
I leave mine set to "Sunny" 95% of the time which sets it it 5200K and +5 (magenta) when importing the raw file into Lightroom. I like having a consistent starting point as opposed to AWB taking a different guess with each shot. If I know I'll be shooting for a while under incandescent lights, I'll manually select that preset in the camera which makes it a little easier to judge the exposure from the LCD.


I do the same, leaving it on Sunny most the time. I adjust as needed after imprting the raw file, but the consistent starting point is nice.


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May 01, 2019 15:54 |  #11

duckster wrote in post #18854314 (external link)
Thanks for the insights. I have noticed some shot to shot variance with the Auto setting at times. I have used the fluorescent settings indoors but have usually just done Auto outdoors but it appears like to today is going to be steady overcast all day


mike_d wrote in post #18854443 (external link)
I leave mine set to "Sunny" 95% of the time which sets it it 5200K and +5 (magenta) when importing the raw file into Lightroom. I like having a consistent starting point as opposed to AWB taking a different guess with each shot. If I know I'll be shooting for a while under incandescent lights, I'll manually select that preset in the camera which makes it a little easier to judge the exposure from the LCD.


rdricks wrote in post #18854445 (external link)
I do the same, leaving it on Sunny most the time. I adjust as needed after imprting the raw file, but the consistent starting point is nice.

A different approach, for RAW shooters, is to create a default preset to be used by Lightroom in importing all images, regardless of the setting of the camera at the moment of exposure. Then have another preset with about 2900K as the stored WB value, which you can use when you have selected all images known to be shot indoors under incandescent lighting. That leaves small tweaks to be done for image in mixed lighting, or at high altitudes/overcast conditions


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May 01, 2019 22:47 |  #12

mike_d wrote in post #18854443 (external link)
I leave mine set to "Sunny" 95% of the time which sets it it 5200K and +5 (magenta) when importing the raw file into Lightroom. I like having a consistent starting point as opposed to AWB taking a different guess with each shot. If I know I'll be shooting for a while under incandescent lights, I'll manually select that preset in the camera which makes it a little easier to judge the exposure from the LCD.

x3

Having it the same allows me to also judge the RGB histogram, although I can see how chaning it depending on the conditions could be 'better' in the sense of figuring out is any individual channels are blown. I just usually can tell from the 'Sunny' setting which I see as close to the 'true' color.


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May 01, 2019 23:34 |  #13

The newer models have better AWB, in fact they have a couple AWB settings, and they seem to work better than older models.


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May 02, 2019 09:23 |  #14

We see things in warm light, cool light, & everything in between. AWB tries to make everything look the same. Take a image of a sunset on Daylight & also on AWB. Try Overcast, too. Which do you like better?
Also, shooting RAW, I'd prefer all the images to have the same balance point to make it possible to batch process many of them at one time, instead of having to "correct" them separatly.


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May 02, 2019 10:36 |  #15

Do you ever find that the "right" white balance gives unnatural skin tones? For example right after sunset, I could use a grey-card to get a temp of 7500k, but the subject looks way too warm. It's almost as my own eyes have an AWB range within which I can correct things to neutral. But if the light is less than ~2500k things will look warm and above ~7000k things will look cool. Forcing the colors to neutral in such light just looks wrong.




  
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Auto WB or specific setting?
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