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WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-18-2007, 02:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hey all,
It's been a long time since I've been on here but had to come back Anyway, I just purchased some new equipment including 2 Alien Bees B400's w/softboxes. This may be a dumb question but what WB setting should I be using? I don't have cards for a custom WB, just using the generic settings on the camera sunny, cloudy, flast etc. The lights say they are rated for daylight...does that mean i shoot be shooting w/daylight WB? So in other words...help! I've never used lights before except for the sun so I'm in learning mode.
Any help/tips would be greatly appreciated!
Sean
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-18-2007, 04:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yes, unless you use a custom balance setting, you ought to use "Daylight" for studio strobes like the ABs. Be sure to allow enough time between shots for a complete recharge - I don't have AB's but the (much) earlier White Lightnings and they will fire (if triggered) before they're truly ready.
Have fun.
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-18-2007, 04:49 PM   #3 (permalink)
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As stated above, if you do not perform the steps for a custom WB (which involve mostly the camera settings) then you should use a default. I use automatic WB (I shoot Canon) your camera should have something similar.
Your camera users guide will have step by step instructions on how to set the WB.
It is relatively easy to do and i foresee you having little problems.
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-18-2007, 05:53 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolutely Digital View Post
As stated above, if you do not perform the steps for a custom WB (which involve mostly the camera settings) then you should use a default. I use automatic WB (I shoot Canon) your camera should have something similar.
Your camera users guide will have step by step instructions on how to set the WB.
It is relatively easy to do and i foresee you having little problems.

I would have to disagree with using the Auto WB. Auto WB is one of the fastest ways to mess up a photograph. Your camera will WB on every shot to whatever it thinks white should be, and will produce inconsistent and usually undesired results.

With AB Lights you should either set your camera to "Daylight" or if it allows for dialing in an exact WB, then set your camera to 5600 for a pretty good white balance.

I will usually set my WB at 6000 for a bit warmer look.

Just my 2.5c
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-18-2007, 10:32 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ffppro View Post
I would have to disagree with using the Auto WB. Auto WB is one of the fastest ways to mess up a photograph.
I agree with this. There is no reason to use Auto WB in a studio setting. If daylight or manually setting the WB to a specific temperature is not appropriate for your needs, then take a moment to set a custom WB.
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-18-2007, 11:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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For those who use the Photo Vision Target (and I haven't quite mastered it yet but I am getting there) you can do a Custom White Balance in a studio setting just as easily as you can outdoors under natural light.

For most of my everyday digital shooting I set the White Balance in my camera to Cloudy and it seems to work just fine. I do agree with not using the Auto White Balance because it intreprets each photo differently and raises havoc with consistency.

I still haven't figured out all of the ins and outs of the Photo Vision system (including a very nasty tendency to mislead me into underexposing my photos by slightly over a stop which I now compensate for) but so far I think it is a good system and worth the investment especially for those of us shooting digital but no one should ever leave home withour a light meter by their side.

Good luck.
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-19-2007, 01:17 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by PhotoDave1 View Post
For those who use the Photo Vision Target (and I haven't quite mastered it yet but I am getting there) you can do a Custom White Balance in a studio setting just as easily as you can outdoors under natural light.

For most of my everyday digital shooting I set the White Balance in my camera to Cloudy and it seems to work just fine. I do agree with not using the Auto White Balance because it intreprets each photo differently and raises havoc with consistency.

I still haven't figured out all of the ins and outs of the Photo Vision system (including a very nasty tendency to mislead me into underexposing my photos by slightly over a stop which I now compensate for) but so far I think it is a good system and worth the investment especially for those of us shooting digital but no one should ever leave home withour a light meter by their side.

Good luck.
Are you going for three spikes that are as far right on the histogram as you can get them? That's usually the best exposure --- but you have to compensate for dark or light subjects as needed. Also you need to calibrate the spikes you see on the LCD to where they show up in Photoshop and then compensate for the optimal PS histogram.
Once you have a good photo of the target in a given light setup, then you use that image to set custom white balance.
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-19-2007, 03:29 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Ummmmm, this originator of the thread does not/did not know how to set his white balance and from what I gather does not know where to start, hence his call for guidance.
I always WB with 18% and dial in my color with a mcbeth, for consistency and accuracy in my photographs, but for him I only gave baby steps.
There are several advance methods and approaches to WB and color balance etc etc however I really did not recommend that to him or her.
Baby steps, photography is a life long hobby, just like golf, you never stop learning.
So my suggestion was to read the manual that came with the camera, and i told him what worked for me, when I was at that stage in photography.

Now we are talking about spikes and photoshop levels, historgrams and yes they are spot on and correct but we are guiding someone who needs help with setting there WB for some new strobe they just purchased....Hint Hint baby steps

Auto WB is inconsistent, true but lets tailor the information to intended audience or the originator of the thread.

So in closing....all of us (mostly you) are correct. but if the thread starter does not know how to WB he or she will more than likely not grasp the concept of anything above basic WB.
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Last edited by Absolutely Digital; 12-19-2007 at 03:36 AM.. Reason: continuation
 
Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-19-2007, 03:50 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Absolutely Digital View Post
Ummmmm, this originator of the thread does not/did not know how to set his white balance and from what I gather does not know where to start
You sure?

Quote:
Originally Posted by LePhotography08 View Post
I don't have cards for a custom WB, just using the generic settings on the camera sunny, cloudy, flast etc. The lights say they are rated for daylight...does that mean i shoot be shooting w/daylight WB?
To which the correct baby-steps answer is "Yes".
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Re: WB setting for strobes?
Old 12-19-2007, 08:31 AM   #10 (permalink)
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OK ok ok point made. lol
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