Colour Temp.

Specifically for the discussion of the A-mount DSLR range
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classiccameras
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Colour Temp.

Unread post by classiccameras »

Has any one tried out different colour Temperatures on the A57 or any Sony DSLR/SLT for that matter. On one review, the reviewer found pictures were a bit warm in Jpeg for his liking so he adjusted the 4 way temp graph one or 2 points nearer blue to cool the pictures down. It would be good to hear your views on this.
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Greg Beetham
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by Greg Beetham »

Hi Pete, I fooled around with the KM5D colour meter (built in) in custom mode a couple of times to see if it made much difference and it did a little I think but maybe not as much as needed to suit the conditions and return the colours to normal balance (warm it up in dullish light and cool it down in warm orange-ish afternoon light).
The KM handbook said to use something white (a very white handkerchief maybe) and not grey (grey for exposure, white for WB) that you spread out on the ground and photograph in WB custom mode and that records the WB conditions, you then can use that recorded WB in a photo or photos and it stays set at that until you record another WB custom exposure which replaces the previous one, or until you switch the WB out of ‘custom’ and back to AWB (or something else in the WB selections) then it’s business as usual.
I also took photos of a colour checker chart after setting the colour balance under custom WB and then printed and compared the result with the original. (a severe test for the entire system of colour reproduction)
If there was one thing that Minolta did well it was anything to do with exposure and colour, they built some of the best handheld meters in the industry but sad to say you can’t buy them from Sony, those went elsewhere, which is odd to say the least for a company that wanted to be known as a ‘camera company’ and not an ‘electronics company that makes cameras.’
If a company is serious about photography they should offer serious photographer’s meters for ambient-flash (incident & reflected) and colour meters as well, (professional and enthusiast grades).
The Sony cameras have inherited the colour meter, (the camera inbuilt version) it’s still available under the custom WB mode so you can try it under various lighting and see if it does much correction, like I say I found the camera WB meter a bit limited in assessing colour balance and then setting the correct WB for the conditions.
It also seems to affect the RAW file too because those corrections are in the attached cabfile that Photoshop reads when assembling the .arw thumbprint JPEG in the organizer, sometimes there are WB differences between the .arw-jpeg thumbprint and the .jpg-jpeg thumbprint for the same exposure file number (often the .arw-jpeg is better, but I have no idea why there are differences).
Greg
David Kilpatrick
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by David Kilpatrick »

Sony don't make Minolta colour meters because Kenko purchased the meter division - it was never in any case a genuine Minolta product, all the stuff was made by outside contractors to Minolta specification.

http://www.wexphotographic.com/buy-kenk ... taod534ayq

You can still buy the flash and colour meters, they are just Kenko meters now not Minolta.

David
classiccameras
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by classiccameras »

Thanks Greg and David.

I just adjusted the colour temp in camera a couple of small divisions towards the blue spectrum and took a couple of pics in sunshine this morning.

Standard colour mode, Programme, ISO 100, it certainly made a difference.
It was only slight but the warm pictures were toned down a notch and were much more to my taste. I shall have to get a colour meter and carry out a few more tests.

Thanks
Peter
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mikeriach
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by mikeriach »

Cheers David, as my livelihood doesn't depend on my images, I think at that price I'll just play about with the sliders!

Mike
All my Sony SLT gear gone. Still got my RX100 though.
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Greg Beetham
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by Greg Beetham »

David, that is (as you know quite well I’m sure) standard practice in lots of cases, farming production out and/or the manufacture of components elsewhere, or buying in components, whatever is the most cost effective I imagine, but the thing is Minolta made the design and owned the patent/copyright and that’s what counts.

Anyway just how many components inside a Sony or Nikon digital camera are actually made by Sony or Nikon?

I’d hazard a guess that Sony would have been offered the exposure and colour meter business as well but declined, just as they declined to take Minolta or KM branded stock and run that out which would have helped ease the transition period, the transition then turned into a long period of not much on the shelf as I recall apart from the eventual arrival of the pre announced A100 and a few rebadged lenses.
That whole deal to my mind was weird, it made me wonder just what was going to happen to the A-mount in the future, at the time.
Greg

Ps Pete, colour meters (good ones) are very expensive, I find it hard to justify the cost myself from an amateur point of view, but there are professionals who think otherwise of course.
Actually what I think is wrong with Sony sRGB is too much default saturation (even at zero in camera, Nikon is worse from what I’ve seen) rather than the wrong WB setting most of the time, I think you would be more impressed with skin tone if you leave the camera on AWB and just reduce the saturation a tad in post, works for me, that’s in good light though, if there is shade of overcast you will have watch the WB setting.
classiccameras
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by classiccameras »

Thanks Greg, yes, just seen the prices, Its funny you mentioned saturation as Barry also commented on it and even suggested using 'natural' or even 'portrait' in Jpeg rather than Landscape. I have heard even reducing in camera saturation can make quite a difference on all these picture modes. It looks like I have plenty of experimenting to get on with when weather allows.
I have the quick options for shade etc in the WB menu.
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by David Kilpatrick »

You might like to consider either the Expodisc or one of the cheaper alternatives (Pringles tube lid!) - see
http://www.photoclubalpha.com/2009/01/0 ... -dynax-5d/

Using the Portrait JPEG setting or Portrait profile in raw conversion can solve most of the issues with sRGB skin tones.

David
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by Eiffel »

You may want to consider the X-Rite ColorChecker passport and its associated software. I found it useful to get more accurate colours and, more importantly, consistency across cameras

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Pantone-MSCCPP- ... lorchecker
Proud owner of DK's dearly missed A900 ;-)
classiccameras
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by classiccameras »

Thanks every one for your help and suggestions re WB.
Pete
classiccameras
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by classiccameras »

Just to report back on my colour temp adjustments. As I explained, I thought the colours on my A57/37 were too warm and over saturated even in STD mode. [Portrait was less so]. After a few experimental adjustments I found adjusting the colour temp filter to 5500 K realy does improve colours to much more natural hues. Its now what I see is what I get, which is quite pleasing.
Good old Sony, I never was able to get it right on Nikons.
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bfitzgerald
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by bfitzgerald »

I went through a minor obsession with colour temp. I have for some time felt it was often overlooked by some photographers (ie they'd leave it on AWB and go with that when it might not be ideal)

I will say that for people shots it's IMO better to be a bit warm that too cold (unless you have reason for that)
Also I was once told not to be too concerned with super accurate WB, but WB that works for the type of shot you are doing. It can also be a creative tool too (folks used to play with tungsten balanced film in daylight purely for effect)
A57 isn't bad for WB, there are some shifts for green/magenta (though nowhere near as strong as the K-x was which had big shifts), it's usually not bad bar low kelvin light (Sony have yet to grasp the strong correction for this lighting-being fair Pentax were good here)

I tend to use Kelvins, though I have a grey card and one of those ebay WB lens caps (bigger size) works mostly very well. I would not waste money on an expodisc, grossly overpriced and there are many alternatives that work well for a fraction of the cost
classiccameras
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Re: Colour Temp.

Unread post by classiccameras »

Agree Barry, temp shift is some times over looked, yes, I'm quite pleased with the AWB on my 37 and 57 if nothing else, its pretty reliable. Although I have shifted the temp more to the cool spectrum, it is only by a fraction and the pictures are still a tad warm but not over the top as they once were, they are more neutral. AWB on my Olympus E-510 is a bit hit and miss and you have to nudge it now and again or use daylight setting.
On my old Nikon D5100 [Sony sensor], it was displaying a green and magenta bias, and it was difficult to adjust in small fractions away from this to a more neutral colour, however it did give superb Jpegs, much better than Canon and almost on a par with Fuji.
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