Flash White Balance on D70s

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by james_conrad|2, Oct 4, 2005.

  1. I figured that when I left the D70s white balance on auto and
    attached the SB-800 to the hotshoe, that the camera would detect the
    flash and automatically adjust white balance to flash. After all, if
    it doesn't then what's the point of auto? But as it turns out, it
    does NOT adjust the white balance & my photos turn out blueish
    unless i make a point of manually setting flash WB. Does this lack
    of automation strike anyone else as underfeatured?
  2. Huh. Auto WB does a great job on my D70. Even when my SB-600 fires. I'm pretty sure the camera's on-board computer calculates the optimum WB after the image is recorded. Which makes sense. I wouldn't want it effectively fixed at the "Flash" temperature just because I have a flash unit attached. I may be shooting fill flash outdoors or something.

    Do you shoot RAW? It'd be interesting to see what temperature the Auto WB is coming up with under different conditions. Maybe it's sort of "stuck" on the same setting.
  3. I have noticed the same phenomanon with my D2X. In fact, in the studio, with studio flash units, I have to change the WB to flash or I will get the blues! This ussually happens when I am shooting seniors outdoors and then move into the studio and forget to change the WB. Here are 2 examples, thank God for the preview!
  4. Here is the correct WB flash setting
  5. try again
  6. Studio flash and TTL shoe-mount flash are different animals. With a studio flash, the camera doesn't necessarily have any way of knowing that a flash will be made to make an exposure. With a TTL shoe-mount flash, the camera does know that a flash will be used.

    Also, as between the D2X and the D70s, I could see Nikon making different assumptions. With the D2X, it may be assumed that the professional or prosumer user is always cognizant of the WB selected.

    The D70s is an ametuer camera and I at least would expect that when an SB-800 is used in-shoe, the camera would default to the flash's WB setting. This would be similar to the way the newer Nikon cameras default to a safe shutter speed when a TTL flash is used.
  7. Does the D70s offer a way to tweak the white balance for each setting? The D2H allows tweaking plus or minus three notches for each standard setting: flash, sunlight, fluorescent, etc. It helps.

    Which RAW converter are you using? I just started trying Pixmantec's RawShooter and while it is gawdawful slow on a 3GHz P4 with only 512MB RAM, the results are excellent. With Capture I was getting too much blue from NEFs when I'd used flash.
  8. Well, you could be in a room full of tungsten lights or outside and just be adding fill flash. If your camera automatically set your WB to flash when you were adding fill flash outside, your WB would be way off. Unfortunately it's not that simple. If it were, the engineers would have designed it that way.
  9. It doesn't make sense for a camera to set WB to Flash when SB800 is attached. What if you're bouncing the flash and the amount of light from the flash is only a small portion of the light that creates the exposure? In such mixed lighting conditions Auto will try to balance SB800 with whatever ambient light there is. If you get blue or red, well, then Auto WB didn't do a good job even if it tried.

    Remember, you're always in control, if you want to have Flash BW set it yourself. Same goes for studio lighting - there is no way camera can figure out flash strobe WB automatigically before it fires. You can set Custom WB for strobes easily, though (see manual). Again, you're in control, not the camera! That's the way we want it, right? Right.
  10. Myself I always shoot RAW and leave the WB to daylight cloudy, I find at this setting I have to correct very few images.
  11. When they have the sense to use flash at all, at least 98% of the people I sell a D70/D70s to are going to shoot direct flash 100% of the time. They will also shoot in JPEG 100% of the time, which may not allow for adequate post-camera correction of WB errors.

    D70-series cameras should have an overridable, semi-idiot-proof white balance setting that defaults to "flash" when the pop-up flash or a TTL flash is used on the camera. At the very least such a setting should apply when the shooter is in a JPEG-only mode and in Auto WB (as opposed to RAW or RAW+JPEG).
  12. @Todd: Exactly. That's what I was trying to say.
  13. So now we've come to a point where the D70 should have idiot-proof settings? First, I'd like to see IQ tests handed out at the DMV, and especially the hotrod accessory shops. If you don't mind.

    But seriously, let's not blame the camera altogether here. From the (albeit minimal) studying I've done of portraiture, a custom WB is really the only diligent procedure to do, FIRST, with any digital camera. Shooting a Gretag/MacBeth color card at the start of a session is smart as well.
  14. "So now we've come to a point where the D70 should have idiot-proof settings?"

    D70-variant cameras are built on the on the mediocre, beginner-bait N65 chassis. D70-variants have other theoretically idiot-proof settings- i.e. the pictograph program modes on the mode dial. Why not an idiot-proof setting for white balance, where irreparable damage can be done to an image?

    "I'd like to see IQ tests handed out at the DMV(.)"

    That'd be fine with me.
  15. >"D70-series cameras should have an overridable, semi-idiot-proof white balance setting that defaults to "flash" when the pop-up flash or a TTL flash is used on the camera."

    Well, "cloudy" WB setting very often looks better, though. Why not make it default to "cloudy" with pop-up flash out? Seriously, it doesn't make sense to do either way. When shooting in a mixed temperature lighting environments it's not always "flash" or "cloudy" so it's best to let camera decide. I agree that D70 is not always right on with Auto WB, though.

    Shoot in RAW format and WB color-correction becomes a non-issue.
  16. I have been reading up on silhouettes <---that is probably spelt wrong, and I am told to set the white balance to the background. How do i do this with a D70s? I'm a complete beginner when it comes to photography so this may sound like a daft question.

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