Kelvin Temp System: do you use it? Why?

Dylan777

EOS-1D X Mark III
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
7
Hi guys,
I have been shooting with AWB for years. I recently pushing myself manually adjusting Kelvin Temp in white balance. It does add another steps, however, I really like the results I'm getting :)

Do you use it? why?

Best,
Dylan
 

dcm

Good or bad - it's not the gear.
Apr 18, 2013
847
204
Coming from film, it is a lot easier and more accurate to change white balance than color filters on the front of the lens. Shooting with a 6D and downloading via WiFi provides usable images for immediate use. I can always tweak it later in post processing.

I tend to use for creative purposes (sunrise/sunset) to bring out the colors or to match a light source, such as a recent shoot in a datacenter where I could read the color temp of the fluorescent tubes and match them. It saves time adjusting it later to correct fluctuations in AWB across images in a shoot.
 

StudentOfLight

I'm on a life-long journey of self-discovery
Nov 2, 2013
1,444
3
38
Cape Town
I shoot with Kelvin white balance all the time now. I'm always carrying a 600EX-RT and gels so I find it's good to know what exactly the ambient lighting situation is in order to execute a desired relative color or closely matched color from my Speedlite.

When I started using Kelvin my awareness of ambient lighting skyrocketed. I would summarize it as follows: if it looks like dogs' breakfast on the rear LCD then I wasn't paying attention to the lighting.
 

Dylan777

EOS-1D X Mark III
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
7
neuroanatomist said:
3kramd5 said:
Since I only shoot raw, I never saw much point.
+1
RAW is what I have in my cams also. Still find K manual setting give more tasty tone in RAW files. Minor tweaks in LR hit the spot well. There is no right or wrong here of course :)
 

Dylan777

EOS-1D X Mark III
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
7
StudentOfLight said:
I shoot with Kelvin white balance all the time now. I'm always carrying a 600EX-RT and gels so I find it's good to know what exactly the ambient lighting situation is in order to execute a desired relative color or closely matched color from my Speedlite.

When I started using Kelvin my awareness of ambient lighting skyrocketed. I would summarize it as follows: if it looks like dogs' breakfast on the rear LCD then I wasn't paying attention to the lighting.
That my #1 reason to jump on K, especially skin tone under difficult light condition. Kinda like shooting with prime Vs zoom, more awareness in composing the shots - might not be the best sample, but hope you get the point :)
 
Dylan777 said:
Hi guys,
I have been shooting with AWB for years. I recently pushing myself manually adjusting Kelvin Temp in white balance. It does add another steps, however, I really like the results I'm getting :)

Do you use it? why?

Best,
Dylan
I shoot RAW, so I use K=5500 all the time. 5500 means RG&B are more or less balanced, and so clipping in one colour or another in very cold or warm light is likely to show up better in the histogram. If you allow AWB and it tones down the red, but it's the red channel that's clipping then I'm concerned it might clip without showing blinkies (IIRC calculated from the JPEG.. even though it isn't saved)

Now I've got my YN600EX-RT it also produces reliable results with that.
 

neuroanatomist

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jul 21, 2010
24,647
2,167
Dylan777 said:
RAW is what I have in my cams also. Still find K manual setting give more tasty tone in RAW files. Minor tweaks in LR hit the spot well.
That's one of the points of shooting RAW – unlike jpg, the WB is not 'baked in' to the file. 'Tone' in RAW files is arbitrary, there's no difference (unless you think it's more difficult moving a slider a little further).

The only real consideration for the in-camera WB was touched on by rfdesigner. To take that to the logical conclusion, Google 'uniwb canon' – your JPGs will look terrible, but it'll give you a close approximation of a RAW histogram.
 

Jim Saunders

EOS R
Sep 9, 2012
1,125
14
hhaphoto.com
I'll set it off a grey card if for some reason I can't get to Lightroom, but I don't feel bad about being spoiled on auto WB, LR and my Colorchecker Passport.

Jim
 

Dylan777

EOS-1D X Mark III
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
7
rfdesigner said:
Dylan777 said:
Hi guys,
I have been shooting with AWB for years. I recently pushing myself manually adjusting Kelvin Temp in white balance. It does add another steps, however, I really like the results I'm getting :)

Do you use it? why?

Best,
Dylan
I shoot RAW, so I use K=5500 all the time. 5500 means RG&B are more or less balanced, and so clipping in one colour or another in very cold or warm light is likely to show up better in the histogram. If you allow AWB and it tones down the red, but it's the red channel that's clipping then I'm concerned it might clip without showing blinkies (IIRC calculated from the JPEG.. even though it isn't saved)

Now I've got my YN600EX-RT it also produces reliable results with that.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts to this topic. I'll give it try.
 

Dylan777

EOS-1D X Mark III
Nov 17, 2011
5,515
7
neuroanatomist said:
Dylan777 said:
RAW is what I have in my cams also. Still find K manual setting give more tasty tone in RAW files. Minor tweaks in LR hit the spot well.
That's one of the points of shooting RAW – unlike jpg, the WB is not 'baked in' to the file. 'Tone' in RAW files is arbitrary, there's no difference (unless you think it's more difficult moving a slider a little further).

The only real consideration for the in-camera WB was touched on by rfdesigner. To take that to the logical conclusion, Google 'uniwb canon' – your JPGs will look terrible, but it'll give you a close approximation of a RAW histogram.
Thanks for the info John :)
 
neuroanatomist said:
Dylan777 said:
RAW is what I have in my cams also. Still find K manual setting give more tasty tone in RAW files. Minor tweaks in LR hit the spot well.
That's one of the points of shooting RAW – unlike jpg, the WB is not 'baked in' to the file. 'Tone' in RAW files is arbitrary, there's no difference (unless you think it's more difficult moving a slider a little further).

The only real consideration for the in-camera WB was touched on by rfdesigner. To take that to the logical conclusion, Google 'uniwb canon' – your JPGs will look terrible, but it'll give you a close approximation of a RAW histogram.
just tried the uniWB and it's much more consistant, thanks for mentioning it. I've now got it programmed into my landscape mode, but I'm keep K=5500 for flash.
 

nc0b

5DsR
Dec 3, 2013
250
5
73
Colorado
I definitely use Kelvin when shooting ballroom dancing under incandescent lighting. No I don't shoot raw, as these pictures are often used on a web site or for scrap book archives of the dance organization. I have no interest in the added complication in workflow of shooting raw. Ballrooms often have fancy chandeliers with dozens of tiny bulbs, and a setting of something around 3200 K works very well. The skin tones are warm and pleasant, but not annoyingly yellow or approaching orange if AWB is used.

I may get flamed for shooting JPG, but my output with a 70-200mm f/2.8 II and a 6D fulfill the needs of the Colorado dance organization. Compared to everyone else's results with their compact cameras, the dances I shoot using Kelvin turn out excellent.
 

fish_shooter

Underwater Photographer
Oct 9, 2013
101
0
Alaska
www.salmonography.com
Kelvin temp is useful when comparing adjustments made in Lightroom which are done in conjunction with tint. In underwater photography both have to be adjusted almost picture by picture so I frequently note the settings. I have also used degrees K in non-photographic applications - i.e., in chemistry and physics formulas - it has been a number of years however.
 
nc0b said:
I definitely use Kelvin when shooting ballroom dancing under incandescent lighting. No I don't shoot raw, as these pictures are often used on a web site or for scrap book archives of the dance organization. I have no interest in the added complication in workflow of shooting raw. Ballrooms often have fancy chandeliers with dozens of tiny bulbs, and a setting of something around 3200 K works very well. The skin tones are warm and pleasant, but not annoyingly yellow or approaching orange if AWB is used.

I may get flamed for shooting JPG, but my output with a 70-200mm f/2.8 II and a 6D fulfill the needs of the Colorado dance organization. Compared to everyone else's results with their compact cameras, the dances I shoot using Kelvin turn out excellent.
I might suggest that successfully shooting JPG for paying clients shows a degree of professionalism.. you can get it close enough in-camera, just like we all had to do with film.
 

Zeidora

EOS RP
Feb 15, 2015
667
10
For critical shots, I do a custom white balance, particularly, if there are no good white/black/neutral grey points to do a soft white balance in photo editing software. The RAW adjustments are all good and well for mood shots, but for color accurate reproduction it is better to make adjustments before shooting, and not adjust the RAW files further. Sometimes there is no option for including a color checker (e.g., compound microscope images).

On my 5D2 I tried a few times specifying K values based on Minolta Color Meter III readings from flash. However, the AWB turned out better, so I did not try it further. Those were some macro shots, so not sure whether this has an effect.

Being Kelvin aware is a very good thing, particularly if you have multiple light sources with different K values. The eye/brain is extremely efficient in adjusting for it, but the camera is brutally straight faced about it. I notice it a lot when I tried to mix an Einstein 640 with a Speedlight 580. The Lee filter sample booklets are great to make all sorts of LB filters for the 580. Then it is also good to know the mired system, and how to chose the right filter.
 

AlanF

Hands. Face. Space.
CR Pro
Aug 16, 2012
7,246
6,843
I use Kelvin all the time for thermodynamic equations as stock-in-trade, e.g.:


G = ∆H - TS


etc etc, as I am sure many CR users also do.
 

Besisika

How can you stand out, if you do like evrybdy else
Mar 25, 2014
721
142
Montreal
I use K when I gel my flash, in particular under mixed lighting with fluorescent.
 
AlanF said:
I use Kelvin all the time for thermodynamic equations as stock-in-trade, e.g.:


G = ∆H - TS


etc etc, as I am sure many CR users also do.
I use it for defining/measuring the sensitivity of radio receivers.

Many people use "noise figure", which I also use, but I find "noise temperature" to be more useful as it's independant of variations in ambient temperature