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Thread: WB setting for Floodlights

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    WB setting for Floodlights

    Tomorrow night I am wanting to shoot a night game of hockey.
    Under floodlights.
    I'll use my D300 and shiny new 70-200 f2.8.

    What is the best WB setting do you think?

    Fred
    Fred
    D600, D300, D5100, F100
    Sigma 50mm f/1.4; Sigma 24-70 f/2.8; Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8; Nikon 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 VR.
    3 X Nikon SB-700 Speedlights; Battery Grip; Manfrotto 679B Monopod

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    Moderately Underexposed I @ M's Avatar
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    Fred, the biggest problem on telling you which WB setting to use is that we don't know what sort of floodlight they are and what colour temperature they work at.

    Fortunately you have a few good options open to you to get it correct without too many dramas. Some of the options may have to be held over till next time when you have had a bit of experience at setting a custom WB.
    At this stage you are faced with leaving the WB on auto and shooting in NEF and adjusting it later if necessary in PP.
    Taking a few shots in the different pre set WB scales and seeing which ones look good and which ones suddenly look yellow, blue or purple in the LCD.
    You can obtain a grey card or a device like the expodisc and set a custom WB from that under the light conditions at the time.

    For tonight ( unless you can find out the exact colour temperature of the lights and set that in camera ) if I were in your shoes I would opt for shooting in NEF and the take a few shots using the different pre sets, chimping the lcd and finding the best looking image and adjust later in PP.
    Once you have established a satisfactory colour you should be able to apply that setting to the rest of your files from the night and have consistency.
    Andrew
    Nikon, Fuji, Nikkor, Sigma, Tamron, Tokina and too many other bits and pieces to list.



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    Shoot in raw
    Id probably start at A sunny wb, a lot of good lights are set to sunlight wb
    Take a picture of something grey or at least neutral as a reference photo

    Never much fun under lights
    Darren
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    Do as Andrew says.. shoot NEF and with the ability to set a grey point later, edit the NEF's to get the perfect WB point.

    JUST REMEMBER to take something grey as a reference point

    another alternative and one of my preferred methods of setting a correct colour balance, rather than 'setting WB' per se. Use Live view, and either set WB directly, or remember which setting looked best on the review screen.
    I saw this tip on a Nikon specific podcast once, where they started LiveView, and then made WB adjustments(as you normally would) and the live view image seen on the screen changed tint as you made these adjustments.
    Irrespective of what many people say about the 'quality' of the review screen on your camera, I can tell you with 100% certainty that you will be hard pressed to pick every difference between it and the resulting image on your PC screen.
    That is, what you will see in LiveView on the screen, is at least 99.8% of what you will see on a calibrated PC screen later on in post.... but with the caveat here that you must be using Nikon's software, such as ViewNX or CaptureNX. Other vendors software may vary in their renderings of NEF files.

    ALSO!!! ... and very important. With white balance, you have to decide whether you want true white to be rendered(proper white balance setting) or an accurate rendition of the actual scene.
    I always prefer to set WB to render the scene as faithfully as I can(either at the the time of exposure, or later on in post on the PC). And very rarely do I deviate from this preference.

    Another thing to look out for on the night, is varying temperature lighting being used. That is, scout the ground for all the light sources and take note of the different lights being used, and are they very pure white(high temp) lighting, or very warm lighting(low temp) looking very yellowy. A more pure white light source is a high temperature light(eg. 5000K) and considered to be cold. Whereas a more yellowy orange looking light source is considered warm and has a lower temperature value (eg. 3000K). And to add to the confusion there is also a level of tint to take into account as well.

    To be sure, to be sure... have a reference point with you, or alternatively look around for a reference point for colour balance. A pure white or mid grey item of significant size is one way to set an accurate white balance value. But in setting an accurate WB value, you will set a true white point, which may not be an accurate rendition of the scene as you saw it! But if there is an varying light sources, this is the best way to do it, and then warm or cool the images later in PP at home. if there is mixed lighting at the ground, say high colour rendering fluoros, high temperature floodlights and incandescent all at the same time, you will get tint issues that can be annoying to account for later on. This is where a reference white balance is helpful, to get the tint level right. a small grey coloured item, or a piece of white paper, your entry ticket, or whatever(I've used my white t-shirt on the odd occasion).

    Your camera's final WB setting is called 'PRE'(as you scroll through the available options. If you've never used this option before, what it does, is allow you to set a pre defined WB value based on an exposure of a grey or white surface.
    What you do is to set WB to Pre(via the normal method of setting WB).
    Once in Pre mode, check the LCD for a d-x value. This d- value is one of the available memory banks, of which there are four or five?? The default setting is in memory d-0, and you use the front dial to alter where you want to store this particular WB setting. All you need to remember, if you set the Pre WB at d-0, then you need to be in d-0 to use it. if you scroll through the other d- values, you will use that WB memory for the current WB setting.(hope this makes sense, this is where many get it wrong).
    Once the memory is set, you then need to press and hold the Wb button again for about two seconds, which will ten get the camera into WB calibration mode, where the Pre indicator on the LCD is now flashing,. This mode lasts for only 10 seconds or so, so you need to be quick as well. Once the Pre is flashing, all you need to do is take an exposure of a grey or white source, making sure that the white or grey source is the only thing that fills the frame! Even better is having the colour source out of focus(doesn't need to be focused as the colour is all that's required, not the sharpness).Once the exposure is made, the camera will then determine the exposure level for correctness(you need to make sure that no exposure compensation has been set too). it take a few seconds and then the camera will throw out a message on the LCD if the calibration was successful or not. A message such as good or bad appears up in the LCD screen above the Pre indicator.

    Once you have set a Pre whitebalance, in this manner, you can then go into the WB menu in the Shooting Menu(camera icon in the Menu). If not already, if you scroll down to the Pre setting in this manner, and you set it, you will then get the list of d- memory banks available for use(if any have been set). If none have been set, then they're all blank .. or black. What these d- wb settings are, are a series of images taken for wb reference in the form of the d- memory banks referred to earlier.
    You will see the out of focus image you previously set up for Pre white balance earlier on. You can take an actual image of a normal scene if you like, but the camera is smart, and if there are the wrong mix of RGB pixels in the scene, it will return a 'bad' status for this pre WB setting.
    These images are not user configurable in the normal manner, even tho there is a way to get user configured images into the camera's system. I forget how to do this exactly, but I do have a very green looking uniWB value in my D300.

    hope this helps.
    Nikon D800E, D300, D70s
    {Nikon} -> 50/1.2 : 500/8(CPU'd) : 105/2.8VR Micro : 180/2.8ais : 105mm f/1.8ais : 24mm/2ais
    {Sigma}; ->10-20/4-5.6 : 50/1.4 : 12-24/4.5-5.6II : 150-600mm|S
    {Tamron}; -> 17-50/2.8 : 28-75/2.8 : 70-200/2.8 : 300/2.8 SP MF : 24-70/2.8VC


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    Other tips, turn adl off, if anything slightly overexpose, use manual and meter for faces. If you have ti use very high iso so be it to get 1/500s.

    Use the lightstands as the sun, have one over your shoulder and only shoot when the action is close

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    Thanks Guys.
    I'll get hold of a 'Grey card' when I'm in the photographic shop today.
    "Why am I going to the photographic shop?" I hear you say . . well I put the camera, battery grip, and shiny new lens together and now I need a heavier duty monopod!
    Its only money, hey?

    Fred
    Last edited by Fredo; 17-06-2011 at 9:15am.

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    congrats on the D300 Fred...how long you had it?..what 70-200 did you end up with ?.

    Id use auto WB..shoot raw..and correct in PP if you have to

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    Hi Tommo,
    Had it a week . . man what a piece of kit!
    Got the Sigma f2.8 70-200mm and got hold of a Nikon 18-105mm.
    yeah . .I'm not sold on the RAW thing for me just yet.
    With the sports stuff I mean. PP is not really my forte.
    Fred

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    a cheap option is get a mennon white balance lens cap off ebay for $10 or thereabouts

    You put it on your lens, take a white balance preset shot, and hey presto, perfect white balance from the get go.

    Works like an expodisc
    Last edited by kiwi; 20-06-2011 at 11:21am.

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    Member Tommo1965's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fredo View Post
    Hi Tommo,
    Had it a week . . man what a piece of kit!
    Got the Sigma f2.8 70-200mm and got hold of a Nikon 18-105mm.
    yeah . .I'm not sold on the RAW thing for me just yet.
    With the sports stuff I mean. PP is not really my forte.
    Fred
    great stuff mate..yep the D300 is a very nice body mate. what sigma did you buy ?...did you swing for a OS version..or the HSM II ?

    .Ill pm you about the PP stuff

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