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EOS 5D White Balance / Color Temperature Questions

Michael P , Mar 02, 2008; 05:34 a.m.

- Do you manually set the white balance of your 5D whenever possible? - What do you use? I tend to use a napkin or a wall. - What about the color temperature setting in the 5D menu? - Does that in any way correspond to the white balance setting? - If I set the color temperature, does it override the white balance setting?

Thanks for any answers you can offer.


Puppy Face , Mar 02, 2008; 05:51 a.m.

Nope, I let AWB rip and correct if needed prior to RAW conversion in DPP. But it actually doesn't matter what you set as you can quickly change it in DPP, although your camera setting will open as the default. Most of the time AWB nails it, except in mixed lighting. For mixed lighting--say flash and tungsten--I use one WB setting for one conversion (flash) and another for the ambient and combine and blend in PS.

The only advantage to setting WB manually is for JPEG shooters. Fixing WB after the fact in a JPEG is a bitch. But I'm guessing not too many 5D owners shoot JPEGs a lot.

Colin Carron , Mar 02, 2008; 05:59 a.m.

As above - shoot in RAW with AWB then play about with RAW development. Mostly I find the correction is needed for inside shots with mixture of natural and tungsten lighting. Otherwise AWB is pretty good.

James Glucksman , Mar 02, 2008; 06:08 a.m.

I used to use AWB all the time on my 5D, but I found that sometimes it just wasn't cutting it, so I went out and got an Expodisk, which has helped a lot. It's basically a translucent filter that goes on the end of your lens; you take a shot through it and then use the resulting shot to set the custom white balance. Works very well.

Juergen Sattleru , Mar 02, 2008; 09:29 a.m.

I never worry about WB with my 5D - I shoot RAW. I correct WB during conversio to TIF.

Beau Hooker , Mar 02, 2008; 12:39 p.m.

As others have said: Shoot RAW. If you use PS's RAW converter, just slide the color-temperature slider 'til things look good and that's it.

Mixed lighting can get tricky no matter what. But again, if you shoot RAW you have much more flexibility. You could, for example, convert 2 or more versions with slightly different WB settings then combine them in Photoshop and use masks to seamlessly combine the same shots that have more than one WB setting - this would be impossible to do in-camera.

santa claus , Mar 02, 2008; 06:10 p.m.

While AWB can be useful in many occasions, if you are going to be in reasonably consistent lighting, then setting the white balance to something at least reasonably close is particularly useful for RAW shooters. If you shoot AWB, the color temp setting will be all over the map depending on the subject and getting the color temp really correct will involve individual tweaking. If the images are shot with a single color temp setting, you will more easily be able to see which fall into this or that group and you can batch process the similar images much more easily. This is meaningless for one or two shots but when you are shooting a few hundred images it can speed up post processing dramatically. Same can hold true with shooting jpgs but jpg has much less latitude and awb has other advantages for jpg shooting.

Giampi . , Mar 02, 2008; 08:02 p.m.

Actually, I do set the WB manually. Old dog... :)

Shooting RAW it's certainly the safe thing to do but, that should NOT keep you from learning the ins/out of color temperature and how to deal with mixed lighting, etc...

Also, in my case I had/have to do shoots in which JPG is the ONLY requested output format so, I have to be as close as possible in both exposure and WB right away.

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