relieved powder [deleted] 3:28am, 6 April 2015
Just wondering what's best for my D3100? I shoot raw, so I know I can adjust it until my heart's content in Lightroom, but is it better to get it right from the get go and set it manually on the camera?
jaerwin 7 years ago
You could make a habit of carrying a grey card and photographing it under the same lighting conditions.
javalvr3 7 years ago
I find it better to pick a white balance that to use auto. If a group of photos is consistently off the it is easy to correct one and then apply the change to all of the photos in the group. If you use Auto White balance then you will need to adjust each shot individually. I generally leave my camera set to Daylight white balance.
Xavier Farre 7 years ago
I use always auto, 90% of the photos are OK and the very few that does not do a good job you can change it after on your PC
relieved powder [deleted] 7 years ago
Thanks, I guess I'll experiment a bit more and see what works. I start out setting it, then I went to auto, but maybe now I'll start using the presets again. I find myself always tweaking the WB a bit in Lightroom (even when I shoot in auto), but maybe presets will get it closer.

I took a few indoor test shoots last night under tungsten light, and the tungsten preset seemed to do a little better than the auto. Although, when I picked auto WB balance in LR, it made both shots identical
Mervyn S Posted 7 years ago. Edited by Mervyn S (member) 7 years ago
For me, it seems to me that auto white balance tends to make pictures a bit too warm.

I do use 'Auto' or 'Flash' white balance when using one of those Nikon incandescent TN-A1 or florescent TN-A2 gels on my SB-900, both settings will detect the Nikon flash gels and adjust the white balance to these flash gels.

In the Nikon Digital Learning Centre group, someone once did post a diagram that did conclusively show that not setting the white balance at the time of the shot can lead to a small chance where the red channel might get blown out that NEF file adjustments are not able to recover.
jaerwin 7 years ago
I use Aperture, a soon to be defunct software package from Apple (boo! hiss!)and it's default RAW development settings are sufficiently different from the Nikon Defaults that JPEG previews give me little guidance aside from "Is it in focus", "is it framed properly," and "did I get the shot." I find myself adjusting white balance anyway, and having a grey card helps me immensely--- when I remember to take it along. Otherwise it's a case of remembering which things were neutral grey, and which things were gray, with subtle tints....
ault 7 years ago
If you are shooting RAW, it doesn't matter. The WB setting may be carried through to LR, but as it is just an adjustment, you still have all the data you can tweak it until you're tired.

Personally, I'm not a fan of the grey card - as most of my shots are in situations where I want to convey the natural lighting at the time of a shot (e.g. blue cast in shadows, yellow in sunlight, etc.) Sometimes if a shot contains both shade and sunlight, I'll use adjustment tools in LR to change the temperature in one area relative to another to get back to what I felt I originally was trying to capture.
jamesgarvin 7 years ago
Given post processing, I would agree that it does not matter most of the time, but I can't agree that it never matters. I find in shooting live music with some hot lights, particularly reds, that not lowering my white balance to a cooler setting can lead to blowing out high lights I cannot recover in post processing by adjusting the white balance.
John_Prewer 7 years ago
This forum covers a lot of cameras. On my D50 I use auto and check, because on a reasonable number of occasions it can be improved upon. I once got a set of blue outdoor photos by accident by changing WB for fluorescent indoors & forgetting to change it back. I fixed them to be usable in post processing.

I now I have an FX camera that is not on the list for this forum I can leave it on auto quite happily, so I presume this is the same with the newer cameras on this forum (my D50 is the oldest model here!).
DianeWorth 7 years ago
They are also having a discussion of white balance at the group "Nikon Digital Learning Center"
right now. Both discussions are an interesting read.
relieved powder [deleted] 7 years ago

Thanks, I'm going to check that out. I will say that these past few days, I've been playing around and setting WB manually in the camera, and I like the results. I don't really have to mess with it in LR.
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