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Old Jan 11, 2010, 10:55 AM   #11
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I'd set a custom white balance using a gray or white card (or even a white coffee filter if you don't have anything else handy), and turn DRO off.
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I have never played with the white balance other than what is available in the camera.
I purchased an expodisc but have never used it.

Can you advise the proper procedure to set a custom white balance?

Lots of good feedback here and I really appreciate it from all of you.
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 11:13 AM   #12
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It's pretty easy with your A700. You'll see a dedicated WB button on your camera. Just press it and scroll down past the presets using your controller pad until you get to the Custom choice, then scroll right until you see the Set feature. If you select that (just use the center button on the controller pad), it tells you to use spot metering.

If you're using a gray card (anything white can work, too), just place it in between some of the lights on the floor (since sometimes they'll vary in temperature and you're trying to get a good average), fill the frame with it (being careful not to block the lighting), and press the shutter button and the camera will measure the temperature of the lighting from the card. It will then ask you where to save it. You've got 3 memory locations for custom white balance settings with the A700. Just pick one of them (Custom 1, Custom 2, Custom 3) to store it. Then, you can easily select from one of those custom readings as desired by pressing the WB button again. That allows you to store different settings for different locations (or lenses, since if you swap lenses, you'll sometimes see variations in WB between them using a custom setting).

Since you've already got an Expodisc, I'd just use it instead. Basically, you point the camera towards the lighting you want to shoot in and set it the same way you would from a gray card. The Expodisc is designed to diffuse the light so it's more even and lets the camera measure the temperature of the lighting in the same way.

Note that one popular way to set it was using a pringles lid in the same way as the Expodisc, as they used to be a translucent gray. But, the newer lids won't work (they're too clear for that purpose). LOL
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 11:19 AM   #13
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All I'll add to Jim's advice is this - shoot the WB shot with a shutter speed around 1/60. This will give you an average temperature. If you shoot at a fast shutter speed you'll get the light during it's cycle and can end up with stronger color casts in your shots.

So -this is one instance where using shutter priiority is actually a good thing when shooting sports
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 11:44 AM   #14
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One other thing you may run into is an error when trying to set a custom WB with your A700 (usually caused by "hot spots" from too much light reflecting from what you're measuring it from).

That's one reason something like white coffee filters can work in a pinch (they're not as likely to have that issue as something else white if you don't have a gray card handy).

Another trick that works with the A700 is going manual focus and deliberately throwing the lens way out of focus before setting it. The camera doesn't care if it's got focus lock or not, and that helps to diffuse the light when taking a reading.

You'd probably laugh at how I sometimes set my WB. I've got a camera bag that's gray inside, and I've found the inside of the top lid works pretty well for that purpose, giving me slightly warmer colors than you'd get with a more accurate WB setting (which can sometimes be a bit on the "cool side" compared to what might look at bit nicer). LOL
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 12:00 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimC View Post

If you go with an f2/8 zoom later, I'd probably look at the Sigma 50-150mm f2/.8 EX DC HSM II. I'd probably use f/2.8, ISO 3200 and 1/400 for starters (or go ISO 4000, 1/500 and f/2.8 if desired).
That is a great general all purpose low light zoom lens. However I have yet to turn off the DRO setting..... I should try that myself. You will be very happy with the money spent on the above lens. Its not too too heavy and it gives you a good range.

dave
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Old Jan 11, 2010, 1:18 PM   #16
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Hey Dave. You placed your comments inside of the quote box with mine (making it appear that I made the comments about that lens and not yet turning off the DRO setting. ;-)

So, I edited your post and moved them outside of the quote box where they should have been.
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