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Old Dec 8, 2008, 11:15 AM   #1
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When using the pop-up flash should we set the WB to "flash"? Or is that only when using an external flash (e.g. Nikon Speedlights)?

I was shooting an indoor scene at night. Got much better colors when I didn't use the pop-up flash and just upped the ISO speed. More true to the scene. Using the pop-up the colors looked washed out. Took out the yellowish glow from the hallogen desk lamp.

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Old Dec 8, 2008, 6:35 PM   #2
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DarkDTSHD wrote:
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When using the pop-up flash should we set the WB to "flash"? Or is that only when using an external flash (e.g. Nikon Speedlights)?
How a camera does at auto WB varies by the camera and lighting. There is no guideline that applies to all cameras. Some do a better job of auto WB vs. others. WB performance will also vary by how much of the exposure is determined by flash vs. a blend of flash and ambient. An exposure based on the blending of two different types of light source would be a very difficult thing for a camera to figure out.


Quote:
I was shooting an indoor scene at night. Got much better colors when I didn't use the pop-up flash and just upped the ISO speed. More true to the scene. Using the pop-up the colors looked washed out. Took out the yellowish glow from the hallogen desk lamp.
The washed out look isnt so much a matter of WB as it is flash use. It's very difficult to get a natural looking photo with an onboard flash in low light. That flash is a harsh bit of light - it's why portrait photographers use softboxes or umbrellas to diffuse the light and make it softer. The problem is made worse by too much flash AND when the flash is adding all the light for the exposure. If you google a practice called 'dragging the shutter' it's a useful technique for flash photography. What you're describing is the reason a lot of people prefer available light photography over flash use. If you want better flash performance skip using the on-board - use an external speedlight - preferably bounced - if not, use a gary-fong lightspere or some other diffusing device to soften the light up. Use FEL in difficult situations. And, in general I prefer to shoot in RAW whenever I do non-sports flash work - especially when I don't have the ability to do a FEL on every shot. It's much easier to recover from a little too much flash use in a raw conversion than working with the jpeg.
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 8:37 PM   #3
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Some cameras default to flash WB whenever the pop-up or a dedicated hotshoe flash is in use. Others don't . In your case, the auto WB probably tried to adjust for the mix of flash and tungsten light.

I generally use bounce flash in order to diffuse the light sufficiently. It works best with an external flash, but you can add a reflector to your pop-up flash. These can be made of white cardboard. DIY from white coated packaging boxes just to try out. On-board flashes usually aren't very powerful, and range is very limited if you diffuse or bounce them.

brian
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Old Dec 8, 2008, 11:07 PM   #4
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Thanks guys. Unfortunately I left my SB-800 back home packed away. I'll just forego the pop-up. And just up the ISO when needed.

On to other things...
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