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Old Sep 25, 2006, 11:42 PM   #31
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Wow Tom, if you can use your hand to white balance, you really need a tan. Heheheh. Just teasing.

ennacac wrote:
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I find the skin on the back of my hand works for me most of the time for custom WB as well as metering.

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Old Sep 26, 2006, 9:11 AM   #32
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LOL! We were on vacation and I had switched the camera to the tungsten setting. That's when I was in a museum and the auto setting didn't deal well with it all. We went into another area that was lit primarily by daylight (wall several stories high of all glass - very dramatic) and I forgot I had changed the setting. Luckily I had been shooting in raw and could easily change the white balance. As shot, the pictures were terrible!

I thought the tungsen setting does a reasonable job with the white balance. The K100D has several options when it comes to florescent lighting and I've found that by taking test photos with the various settings, I can usually get close to what I see. However, there are those times when custom setting is the only way to go.

I don't find the white balance issue a very big deal. The auto setting is OK for daylight, the camera has settings for other situations and there's always custom WB. It isn't any different with any other digital camera I've had.
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Old Sep 26, 2006, 5:44 PM   #33
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Well, I just discovered all these great replies to my white balance question. Thank you very much and I will givesome individual replies soon. I want to be sure that everyone remembers that I have never used a k100 and that my question was motivated by a k100 white balance criticism that I had read on another forum. This is an important issue for me because half of my camera use will be shooting indoor pictures of my paintings which will be used for printing on canvas. I have a wonderful situation at my home in which there are two wall sized windows on each side of my livingroom. I can hang a painting over the fireplace and when the sun is overhead I receive equal intensity of natural indirect sunlight from both sides, just like the light set up required by studio photographers to shoot paintings. This has worked wonderfully with my old canon film slr. However an artist friend of mine has a canon s3is which we used to shoot one of my paintings in my livingroom with the natural light. He simply took a few pictures using the presets: foliage, landscape, portrait, and indoor (there may have been another, as you can tell, this was the blind leading the blind). We downloaded the shots onto my computer using photoshop elements. There were not any indoor light issues and opting for the landscape shot I did some minor color adjustments (adding some red, removing some blue or cyan), pretty elementary. Well the results were very close to my original painting. And to our amazement, I was able to print a 22x28 canvasgiclee without any degradation of image quality. However at that size, the weaknesses of the consumer settings and maybe the processing limits of the s3is were slightly evident as some detail and tonal gradation was missing in the light clouds and there was minor softening along the edges. But no one but me would notice.

I loved the immediacy of the digital camera and decided to buy one. But I have been researching cameras ever since, and one thing that was clear was that a six mp dslr enlarges better than a 6 mp fixed lense consumer. I was ready to go way over budget with a canon rebel, when having read continuously about the high quality pentax viewfinders, I decided to check out the pentax cameras. That lead me to Steve's review (amoung others) of the k100. It was great to be able to compare enlarged views of the same images shot by the k100 and the s3is. Whereas the k100's enlargements were sharp and stunning, the s3is' were soft and fuzzy. So that confirmed my realization that the dslr's produced better enlargements and of course more natural color, etc. etc.

But when I read the critical comment about the k100's indoor light problems, you can understand that I had to take note and ask the question. However, the pentax users have responded to my question inthe kind of levelintelligent and sympathetic fashion that I have seen on all their forums. One comment that was really pertinent and that I have read often during the past year is that all the dslrs have problems with low indoor light (tungsten) light. I have seen samples of canon rebel pictures where the individual did not know how to get the rust or the blue color out of the low light shot. I cannot believe that the digicams and fixed lens zooms do any better.

Again thank you for your thorough coverage of this "not a problem" problem. I feel very reassured and have learned some nice ways to "fix" it when I encounter it. To me the proof is in the pudding and I have seen now hundreds of online k100 photos, many in low light and artificial light, most showing off their unflash assisted skills, and my reactions are always wow. Those are beautiful photos. The k100 does so many things right for my needs, like soft detailed highlights, excellent high iso rendering, great shadow detail. Even with the rebel xti and, for slightly less, the rebel xt vying for my attention, the pentax k100 remains the only other entry dslr that I have read about which I am still considering to buy.


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Old Sep 26, 2006, 8:22 PM   #34
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Cacha,

What you really need is a DSLR, quality prime lense and a tripod. If you go Pentax it could be K100D and some 50mm prime lense. Could be new FA 50/1,.4, could be some used old manual focus 50mm lense. They'll give sharper and more accurate colours than kit lense. Tripod is also essential for taking really sharp pictures.

If your main concern about WB was taking pictures of your paintings, you should really forget about Auto WB -- no camera really will be able to do it perfect. Set it manually (using WB reference card or white paper) in the beginning of every photo session. Shoot RAW (it will enable you to finetune WB and colours much better than JPEG). You'll get perfect results

--
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 2:24 AM   #35
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Edvinas,

Thank you for your thoughtful and informative advice. I have been thinking along just the terms that you described, but it has taken me a good year of digital camera research before theidea actually lit up in my brain. The subject of lenses is new to me, but it's something that is inevitable when it comes to buying dslr's. Here's my problem (besides my obvious complete ignorance of lenses): I mentioned that half my camera needs are to photograph my paintings using indirect natural light indoors. The other half of my photo needs will be shooting outdoor pictures of the beautiful hills, vineyards, homes, trees and skies of California--which are the prime subjects in the paintings. Sometimes this involves shooting out an open car window as my wife drives us downa freeway orcountry road. But usually I drive to a spot I saw previously, pull over and shoot hand held, standing still. The outdoor pictures do not need to be perfect compositions orphoto masterpieces, because Iuse parts of several different pictures as references for the final painting. So I definitely need zoom andsomeamount of wider angle, probably not necessarially panoramic.

So the realhigh qualityphotographs will involve50mm type shots of my paintings (and the same lense could be used for shotswhenI do portrait paintings) and the less demanding photos will involve the outdoor photography. I was hoping to find this in the same lense, but I'm getting the picture that may not happen. I know the longer lenses cannot absorb as much light as the shorter lenses and to get a qualitiy result in azoom that goes from short to long involves a larger investment. But I am opento any suggestions.

You are the first person to zero in on the real issue that I now face. And I thank you for that.It feels like there's a few more weeks of research ahead for me. Since I really will not need a camera for at least another month, I have some time to to make a considered decision.

Cha Cha
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 8:37 PM   #36
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My appologies for just getting around to replying to some of these forum posts in response to my question on low light and tungstend light. Your photograph is exactly like the one that I saw on the web page that I referred to. Lots of yellow. But I think that one of the respondees to your photo had a good explanation, in that there is lots of red surrounding your subject and in the low, really low light of the room I'm guessing that there was some artificial light as well. But even if there wasn't, the low light with all the warm colors would give your camera a real challeng to find the cools to balance.
What I do not understand is that why it isn't just a matter of using photoshop to reduce the yellow. Wouldn't photoshop do this by adding some blue? I agree with one of the other responders to your photo, that besides the yellow, it's a wonderful picture.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 8:43 PM   #37
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Digital addict,
Somehow my late reply to this great photo (except for the unfortunate yellow) got placed as the last item on the forum thread. This is my first time writing in a forum and so I'm not sure of how this works. But if this reply also ends up below the one I just wrote, my appologies. But if it ends up under your photo, it's to inform you that I replied to this photo today, September 27 and it can be found way at the bottom of this thread (or it may end up right underneath the one I wrote. Cha Cha
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 10:02 PM   #38
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All the messages show up in chronological order. Most of us here got used to it
and usually are checking the last messages for anything new.
You could try to copy-paste the text you want to reply to and use the "" button in the editor when replying.

Anyway, both photos were taken inside with artificial light. The one with the bottles was on the countertop right under some fluorescent light while the other one
more exposed to regular incandescent bulbs (not at my place but I know the folks in question do not generally like CFL bulbs etc).

Other photos taken on that occasion came out similar. It seems that when shooting JPEG some of the information necessary to restore the colors is lost and that is why it is very difficult to get it right later in software. Shooting RAW should allow for far more correction.
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Old Sep 27, 2006, 10:20 PM   #39
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If you want serious WB accuracy a whibal is a good start, and shoot RAW. As to your choice of lenses, don't forget working distance. A 50mm is more a portrait lens w/ an APS sensor. Secondly zooms are approaching Prime quality at the present time and a 6mp sensor is not as demanding of resolution as large/more pixel sensors. Pentax has a good selection for you and it will be better next year.

The DA 16-45 f4 would be a good choice for you I think. If you must have a 50 you can always go for an A f2 or f1.7, VERY good lenses and usually very inexpensive. The 16-45 would be an all around......Another possibility, but I'm not sure if Pentax uses a RGB CCD for light metering....as the Nikons do.

this person (I've corresponded with a bit), is extremely critical when it comes to digital photography and color accuracy.. Just more a fyi for you:

http://www.commissionaportrait.com/a...asp?id=36#biog






quote.............

In light, with a low colour temperature say around 4000K, or less, I have found the automatic white balance function of Nikon D-SLR cameras tends to set a colour temperature (Kelvin value) that is too high, which is probably due in part to the very low level of blue wavelength light present in such conditions. This becomes an important issue if you select the Auto white balance control, because the photosites on the camera's sensor that detect light in the blue wavelength range receive so little information. Consequently, left to make its own decisions the Auto white balance control will, typically, render a picture that appears to be overly warm (red/yellow). Hence Nikon suggest that for practical purposes the lowest colour temperature the Auto white balance can deal with is 3500K. However, the light from many incandescent light sources is, generally, in the range of 3000K to 3500K, for example a 100W domestic light bulb emits light with a colour temperature of about 2900K. Hopefully, this explains the first reason I give at the beginning of this article.

unquote........

It is a global problem......

http://www.nikonownermagazine.com/fi...ncing_act.html



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Old Sep 28, 2006, 12:59 AM   #40
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Digiaddict,

Wow your information about jpeg digital compressed shots deleting visual information that might have been needed to correct a picture is truely important. Thank you for that. I cannot get over how helpful these forums are. Incidently, I appologize for not using your advice to copy and paste the relevant quote from your message to this reply, but my brain is too tired right now to figure it out. But next time for sure. Thank you for sharing the lighting type from your picture. I have film slr pictures with the same results from the same lighting conditions, so I guess it's asking allot to expect digital to conquer this problem, at least with current technology. Fortunately the lighting conditions that I will be using will involve very good natural light coming equally from large windows on opposite sides of the room. Should be no problem. The more I read these forums, the more convinced I am that I won't need to buy the more expensive rebel xti. Actually, my dream is to buy the k100 and learn from it and then go for the k10 much later. I'm sure, from reading these forums and professional reviews, that the k100 will perform much better than the single lense prosumers, like the canon s3is. Thanks for your continued responses and for helping my learning curve. Cha Cha
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