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Niko D7000 with SB 800 Flash

Linda Roina , Nov 14, 2010; 06:40 p.m.

I've never had a problem with the SB800 and my Nikon D300 but with my Nikon D7000 the colors are way too warm when flash is selected in the menu. Hand to change and go to Auto. Anyone else use this flash with a D7000?


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Matt Laur , Nov 14, 2010; 06:44 p.m.

Leaving the white balance on flash, what happens when you use the camera's built-in pop-up flash, instead?

Wayne F , Nov 14, 2010; 07:05 p.m.

Putting WB to Auto with hot shoe flash drastically changes what Auto WB does. Auto WB is no longer just guessing. Then it is instead Nikons Flash Color Temperature Communication, page 5 of the SB-600 or SB-800 manual.
Flash color temperature (WB) changes with power level. On speedlights, high power is reddish, low power is bluish. Your shooting situation is using more power level. Maybe because D7000 is ISO 100?
But the flash knows what power level it used, and it is designed to know about what color temperature that is. If on the hot shoe, it can report this temperature to the camera. If WB is Auto, the camera can use it for WB. You will like it. (Flash WB is "close", but is a constant regardless of power level.)

Frank Skomial , Nov 14, 2010; 09:26 p.m.

Perhaps flash color temperature does not change more than some 5% with flash duration change (or energy/power change). This is the nature of the technology, and not deficiency of Nikon flashes.

It your flash color does change, it is due for Nikon service or at least for checkup, like in the statement:

Have Nikon spot-check your Speedlight regularly

By sending flash temperature information to the camera, that is a constant value regardless what power output is needed, Nikon just makes sure that other pre-set temperatures are not used in auto while balance mode with flash used.

Nikon recommends that you have your Speedlight serviced by an authorized dealer
or service center at least once every two years.

Shun Cheung , Nov 15, 2010; 12:31 a.m.

I just ran a few test shots with the D7000 + SB-800, with white balance set to flash on the D7000. Everything comes out just fine. In any case, I shoot RAW anyway so that it is easy to adjust white balance in post processing.

Wayne F , Nov 15, 2010; 12:32 a.m.

No, the results may be more constant, but the Flash Color Temperature Communication is NOT a report of a constant number. What would be the point of that? Camera flash WB is the constant. We already have that constant, which is ballpark, but which is the problem when power level varies.

All flashes do this, that is correct, and right, it is not at all specific to Nikon flashes.

Nikon is not going to say much about all flashes varying though, but they do word it this way:

Says "transmits information to the camera about the color temperature of the light that it is emitting."
The flash manuals describe Flash Color Temperature Communication as

"Flash Color Information Communication
When the SB-600 is used with compatible digital SLRs, color temperature
information is automatically transmitted to the camera. In this way, the
camera?s white balance is automatically adjusted to give you the correct
color temperature when taking photographs with the SB-600."

(on Page 5 of SB-600/SB-800 manual, and page B-3 of SB-900)

But it requires a hot shoe flash and Auto WB to get and use this communicated value.

All flash tubes change color with power level. This is very normal of course, and a necessary fact of life, and Wikipedia describes it here:

Flash tubes cannot "not vary", and here is a report of measured values for some studio monolights at different power levels (some are sort of high dollar):

Speedlights vary too of course, and they have more range, and the mechanism is different (opposite in some ways - at low power, monolights become slow and red, but speedlights become fast and blue). But their color temperature still necessarily varies with power level, and this is pretty basic. You can see it shown in the last combo picture near the bottom of the page here
(some are pink, some are blue, depending on speedlight power level)

Just how it is.

Leon Chen , Nov 15, 2010; 04:16 a.m.

Interestingly my D3 also has a very warm tone when used with SB-800.

Alvin Yap , Nov 15, 2010; 06:34 a.m.

I would like to add that my D300 shots come out warmer with the SB600. Looks more appealing on the lcd but gets annoying when going through the raws.

Paul B. , Nov 15, 2010; 07:44 a.m.

"Interestingly my D3 also has a very warm tone when used with SB-800"
Settings for D3 + SB800 :

OUTSIDE (sunny day) - Picture control = "Neutral" ; WB = sunny

INSIDE - Picture control = "N" ; WB = auto


Frank Skomial , Nov 16, 2010; 03:39 a.m.

Another Nikon's blunder in this statement:

"In Auto White Balance mode, the master Speedlight—the unit attached to the Nikon D-SLR, transmits information to the camera about the color temperature of the light that it is emitting."

Nikon flashes do not have capability to vary color temperature of the light they produce. At any of the flash power ratio setting, or at any automated light output, the flash light produced has a constant temperature.

Possibly, Nikon uses a different white balanced algorithm applied to the picture data for different levels of flash power output in AutoWB, but has no abiity to chage color temperature of the light prodiuced by the flash.

This is anotheer example where Nikon cannot get too technical, and explains this the way that could possibly make sense, even if it is not exactly true.
You could add this statement to collection of other misgivings, omisions, misrepresentations, or plain errors, produced by Nikon or their vendors.

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