White balance issues


TPF Noob!
Feb 4, 2013
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Hello there, it's been a long time since I've posted anything here but I have a nagging issue that I'm hoping someone can help me with. I shoot weddings with a Nikon D3s as my primary body but I also use a D800. I use the auto WB on both cameras most of the time. The D3s color comes out fine but my D800 the raw files come out with a magenta hue. It's very noticeable when you see the files from each camera side by side in Lightroom. Is there a way to match the raw color profiles of both cameras even in the auto WB? I didn't want to start playing with the D800 color profile until I know there might be a easy fix. It's not a major issue it just would speed up editing if I didn't have to correct the D800 files. Any help or suggestions would be much appreciated.

If you're using auto WB my guess is that it wouldn't be possible, since the image is being processed according to it's measured white balance, and not a defined standard, like 5500 K Daylight.

In other-words, you're starting point is floating. If both cameras agreed a scene was some specific temperature, then yes, you could get them to mostly agree.

But, that's just a guess. Camera color management is kind of a mystery to me.
Adobe products ALL must "guess" the proper white balance setting on all Nikon cameras made in the D2x generation and newer...so, 2004 or newer? Adobe S/W must use its best guess on WB; Nikon has encrypted the NEF files in the D3 and D3s and D3x...and also alllllll of the other Nikons, like the D800. It's not that uncommon for Adobe S/W to be 300 to even 700 degrees Kelvin "off" in tricky lighting scenarios. This encryption of White Balance data might be the single, stupidest thing than Nikon, Japan has done in the modern era...

Do you have both cameras set to the same color space, like Adobe RGB on both bodies?
Adobe products ALL must "guess" the proper white balance setting on all Nikon cameras made in the D2x generation and newer

Derrel - This is a bit OT, but why on earth did Nikon get rid of the color meter? For me this was a big difference and advantage that set nikon's flagships apart from the toys. Any idea what the logic there was?

ETA: I might pick up a D2x/s to replace my a700. They're like stupid cheap.
The D2 series (D2h, D2Hs,D2x,D2Xs) had the external "white eye" for external WB metering; the WB could be measured externally, at the prism AND through the lens...I don't think that was all that necessary, really. YES--D2x, D2Xs are both stupid-cheap. And--here's a factoid that makes them kind of interesting: The Nikon TC-16A telephoto converter can CONVERT F-mount, manual focusing lenses to autofocusing...and it works FABULOUSLY well on the D2x. NOT kidding here, either...1,6x telephoto factor, and one-button-push autofocusing of MANUAL focusing F-mount lenses.

I think the external "eye" to measure color value of ambient light was, really, a marketing idea. I dunno. The D2x is a remarkably responsive camera...and its AF system is, I think, actually better than the 51-point AF in the D3x. The D2x can focus **anywhere** across the frame, in almost any light, even with cheap-ass zooms. Battery life is astounding too.
So in practice then the "white eye" wasn't really too useful, huh?

Maybe i'm just stuck dreaming about how totally rad color meters are, and how they'd fix everything :/ Probably a leftover daydream from film - when I was younger had an obsession with meters in general.
I think it was only the D2 family that had encrypted white balance. And there were complaints, and Nikon provided a SDK to software developers that could access it. I don't think there was any encryption after the D2.

White balance degrees K is not in any Exif anyway, but there is a RGGB matrix multiplier that does the conversion. I think Abobe can match the color, that's a standard operation, but they have different ideas about computing a degrees K number to call it. Mostly it is just the number, not the color. But another really big factor is our Raw settings like Picture Control or contrast and such. which of course will change color fairly drastically from what the camera might have been using.

But why shoot Raw if not going to do WB right? If not going to do anything, then shoot JPG so at least the camera settings can do something. The camera WB (certainly Auto WB) is not likely right anyway, why duplicate it? The point of Raw is to set it correctly after being able to actually see it, and see what works.

I am not familiar with the D2 white eye, but it does superficially sound like a great idea, to actually balance the color of the light instead of the colors reflected from the subject. Like ExpoDisk or something. But it would seem best only in bright sun, otherwise the light the camera samples may not be the same light that is on the subject.
from 2014...

My Answers to the Unanswered Questions | byThom | Thom Hogan

"Why can't users create Picture Control bases? I think the answer to this is that Nikon at one point decided that they wanted a "Nikon look." After all, Fujifllm and Kodak had looks back in the film days. Nikon seemed to go to a lot of trouble to lock in these looks: encrypted white balance, special sauce Picture Controls that weren't fully editable, and so on. I don't mind if Nikon has a look, but I do mind that Nikon doesn't want Thom to have his own look. I'd also feel a lot better about Nikon's look if it actually appeared that they were actively working it. We can't even download some of their previous looks we liked any more (e.g. D2X Picture Controls). We have a very small set of very limited looks. That's more like a fast food restaurant than gourmet dining, don't you think? "

Nikon corporate has some strangely out of touch people running the show.
from 2014...
Nikon corporate has some strangely out of touch people running the show.

And Thom must be getting really discouraged that it is not him running their show. :)

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