4 Replies Latest reply: Apr 9, 2007 1:03 PM by Bob_Peters RSS

    wrong white balance in NEF files (Nikon D70 RAW)

      I have a problem with NEF files: I shoot them with white balance set to Cloudy (6500K), however, in lightroom the white balance is shown as 5450K.

      There is a color shift because of this:
      When I leave the white balance at "As shoot" the image appears OK, however, changing white balance to "cloudy" which is supposed to do nothing, makes the image warmer, obviously because Lightroom believes that the image is shot at 5450K and converts it to 6500K, e.g. makes it warmer, while the image is already 6500K. Changing the setting to, say, "shadow", makes it even warmer.
      Of course I may try to correct the WB "blindly", disregarding the temperature value, but that's annoying.
      The camera is Nikon D70, unpatched.

      Did anyone have the same symphtom?
      Is there any fix or a workaround?

      Thank you,
        • 1. Re: wrong white balance in NEF files (Nikon D70 RAW)
          (Andrew_Rodney) Community Member
          First, the WB is only an EXIF suggestion and not at all accurate. 2nd, LR (like ACR) uses two profiles so there's some disconnect in what the actual CCT Kelvin scale produces. Third, there's no reason to believe that the Kelvin numbers recorded are correct and worse, many colors of white can correlate to the same Kelvin numbers. Since this doesn't affect the raw data, its only a suggestion (and in the past, Nikon has gone out of its way to hide this), I'd just ignore it anyway. As shoot should be the right answer (more or less) anyway then you can tweak the WB any way you wish. The raw file is Grayscale data. The only thing that affects it is exposure and ISO.
          • 2. Re: wrong white balance in NEF files (Nikon D70 RAW)
            gennadym Community Member
            When the camera was set to "Cloudy" (6500K) then switching to "daylight" (5200K) makes the picture cooler, switching to "Shadow" (7500K) makes the picture warmer. This is how the camera behaves and this is how Nikon's NEF convertor behaves. Obviously, when the camera was set to "Cloudy", then switching between "As shot" and "Cloudy" should make no change, because "As shot" means "Cloudy", because the camera was set to "Cloudy".

            Now, for some reason, Lightroom believes that the picture was shot with a manual settings of 5450K. I don't know why it believes so.
            And thus, switching from "As shot" to "Cloudy" makes the picture warmer (although it should leave it unchanged), and switching to "Shadow" makes it even more warmer, far warmer that it should be at "cloudy" setting.

            What I expect is that switching from "As shot" to "Cloudy" in the Lightroom would give the same colors as switching from "As shot" to "Cloudy" in Nikon's NEF convertor. And apparently it does not work this way.

            • 3. Re: wrong white balance in NEF files (Nikon D70 RAW)
              J McWilliams Community Member
              As Andrew indicated, it often doesn't work "that way". I find that "Auto" frequently does better than the camera, which I leave also on Auto for casual shooting. <br /> <br />But I am also inclined to take a WB reading from one shot, see how it looks, and then use that for all pix in the same vicinity, time of day, etc. etc. <br /> <br /> <span style="color: rgb(102, 0, 204);">John "McPhotoman"</span> <font br="" /></font> color="#800000" size="2"&gt;~~ John McWilliams <br /> <br /> <br /> <br />MacBookPro 2 Ghz Intel Core Duo, G-5 Dual 1.8; <br />Canon DSLRs
              • 4. Re: wrong white balance in NEF files (Nikon D70 RAW)
                Bob_Peters Community Member
                gennady m:

                Please perform a careful reading of Andrew Rodney's post. ACR and Lightroom use a *number* for the Kelvin value which should make the image look more or less correct. This has been pointed out by Thomas Knoll a number of times on the Camera Raw forum.