Which WB setting for indoor with tungsten lighting + flash?

guitarlp

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What is the correct white balance setting to use for an indoor shot with the lights on (tungsten) along with a speedlight flash on my camera with a diffuser attached (pointing at 45* upwards)?

I took a couple sample pics using all the different white balances available and I found Shade and Flash to give me the most accurate colors. Between the two I'm leaning towards Shade as being more accurate. Shade provides a bit more warmth then the flash setting does.

What do you guys/gals use as your white balance when shooting indoors in a similar situation as mine? If using a flash is it always better to set the WB to Flash? Or since I'm mixing my lighting sources would it be better setting it to something like shade?
 

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if your using your flash as a secondary lighting set it to fill flash. As far as W/B I can't say I use one setting for any situation. I always change all my settings according to what the setting is where I'm shooting. I can set it up for where i'm shooting, but if i turn around facing the other direction my lighting has now changed
 

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If it's a speedlight/lite specific to your brand of camera, you should be able to set your white balance to auto or flash, and the flash will communicate colour temperature data to your camera.

Warmer is not more accurate. That is kind of the opposite.
 

Jeff Canes

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Back in the film days the flash neutralize or balanced mixed lighting, it should be the same for digital
 

JerryPH

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I am sure it has been mentioned many times before, but just shoot RAW and adjust in post processing. While there, just note what the custom WB settings are and make a note for future use. ;)
 

jstuedle

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Mixed lighting can be tough. If your flash is your primary light, the tungsten light can still spill in from the sides and show a color shift in corners, flash shadows and reflections. If at all possible, try to use multiply off camera flashed to overpower all hints of the tungsten light. Even shooting RAW, you will not be able to edit for mixed lighting unless you become somewhat proficient with PShop. You will need to do localized color adjustments to balance color temps.
 

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If you are mixing ambient and flash, the only way to successfully WB is to gel the flash to the same temp as the ambient.
 

Big Mike

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If you are mixing ambient and flash, the only way to successfully WB is to gel the flash to the same temp as the ambient.
:thumbup:
This would be the way to get the best balance.

If you don't want or need to get it balanced, then just shoot in RAW and adjust it to taste.
 

jstuedle

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Gel to ambient is great, but sometimes hard to do right. And sometimes a color meter and many different color gels are needed to do it right. When shooting bands, I gel to incandescent as that is what the LD uses in his stage lighting. But stage lighting is a bunch of wild colors anyway, so perfect balance is not needed. It depends on how critical the shoot is, how much trouble you want to go to in getting the shot.
 
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guitarlp

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Thank you for the replies everyone. I'll leave my camera on Flash. I do shoot all my pictures in raw so I can always adjust for the correct white balance in Lightroom. But I'd like to have something somewhat close from the begining... and I'm guessing Flash is the best way to get there.

Thanks again.
 

Big Mike

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But I'd like to have something somewhat close from the begining... and I'm guessing Flash is the best way to get there.
You could always set a custom WB. Just take a photo of something white. Then go into the menu and set the custom WB using that image.
 
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guitarlp

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You could always set a custom WB. Just take a photo of something white. Then go into the menu and set the custom WB using that image.

So that's how the custom WB setting works? If I carried around a white sheet of paper would that work? And also... would I need to place that paper at the distance I'd be shooting my subject and take the picture or would I hold it up to the lens close enough so it fills the entire frame?
 

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So that's how the custom WB setting works? If I carried around a white sheet of paper would that work? And also... would I need to place that paper at the distance I'd be shooting my subject and take the picture or would I hold it up to the lens close enough so it fills the entire frame?
You can use a white piece of paper or anything white really. I believe you can also use a grey card.
What you want to do, is put the white card/sheet into the spot where your subject will be (in that light) then fill the frame with the card (get fairly close with the camera). Then you can use that shot to set the custom WB.
Check your user manual to confirm the steps to setting it.
 

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