06
Jun
09

Pentax Strobists Beware: Custom Menus 11 and 12 !

I was adding velcro strips to my new AF-360 flash, and wanted to make sure the Sto-fen fit over the gel correctly and held it in place. My old flash had a slot for the gels, the 360 doesn’t.

It fit rather well, so I thought it would be a good idea to try it out. I was in the kitchen, under 6 incandesent lights, and had attached a CTO gel, so I set the K20D to an incandesent WB and took a shot.
Orange.
Whaaaa?
I went into the WB menu, and it indicated a daylight WB.
Oh, ok, my error.
I scrolled down to the incandesent WB, and the preview magically looked correct. I hit OK.
Took another shot.
Orange!
WTH?
This time I hit ‘Info’, and it told me this was an incandesent WB shot.
Back into the WB menu, set it to Incandesent again.
Shot…
… Orange.
By this time, I’m not surprised.
So I turn off the AF-360, and shoot in just regular incandesent light.
Normal.
Flash back on.
Orange.
But in the WB selection menu, the shot looks ‘normal’, as in ‘white’.
Then I head to the workstation and import the shots into Lightroom. I’m really curious to see what the settings are as recorded by the camera.
Ok, this is weird. It says the orange shots, with the ‘As Shot’ white balance are @ 5000K. That’s not tungsten!
So I force it to tungsten in the LR menu, and viola, the shots look ok.
Logic says that it has to be the camera… right?
Hmmm…. I wonder…. that sounds familiar…
I dive right into the Custom Settings menu, because I tend to find most defaults are not to my liking, and I know there are a few options for WB in there.
Eureka!
Custom Menu Setting #11: WB When Using Flash: AWB (as in ‘Auto WB’)
and
Custom Menu Setting # 12: WB Adjustable Range: Auto Adjustment
This won’t do!
The options for #11, WB When Using Flash, are:
1. AWB
2. Unchanged
3. Flash
Choosing ‘1. AWB’, the default, is baaaad for those of us who gel our strobes. Same difference with ‘3. Flash’, because flash is close to daylight.
Since I’m likely to either forget about WB, but shoot in RAW, and/or gel my strobes, I set this to ‘2. Unchanged’. That way the WB menu choice I make will stick. And you can still choose AWB in the WB menu. This was why I only saw the issue when I shot with the flash on.
The options for #12, WB Adjustable Range, are:
1. Auto Adjustment
2. Fixed
The first choice will override the WB Menu setting with an AWB choice, if it feels that something is askew. I think menu 11 was the culprit, but still I decided ‘Fixed’, which uses the WB setting in the Fn menu, is the way to go.
Hope this helps!
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