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CFV - No Auto White Balance?

nathantw2

New Member
I was reading the people's opinions on bhphoto on the CFV and one of them said there was no auto-white balance. Is this true? I'm really starting to regret selling that Kodak DCS back I had.
 

macmx

Member
There is indeed no auto white balance. There is a manual mode, that lets you shoot a picture of your grey card, a wall or whatever and then it sets the white balance accordingly.
 

polypal

New Member
AWB does not do a good job on most camera systems I used so far.
To get anywhere near correct results a reference to existing light condition is necessary.
 

nathantw2

New Member
There is indeed no auto white balance. There is a manual mode, that lets you shoot a picture of your grey card, a wall or whatever and then it sets the white balance accordingly.

The thought of having to carry around a gray card just doesn't appeal to me. I don't mind carrying an external meter, but a gray card? Nah. Especially when I just have a camera and meter and no bag.
 

nathantw2

New Member
AWB does not do a good job on most camera systems I used so far.
To get anywhere near correct results a reference to existing light condition is necessary.

The Kodak back I had was pretty good. I'm not saying it was perfect, but it got me in the ballpark without any fuss or muss. I noticed on my digital P/S that the auto white balance isn't perfect but it's acceptable.
 

polypal

New Member
That is exactly the point.
AWB is a facility for consumer cameras.
Hasselblad rightly considers it not fitting for a CFV.
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Paul

Not quite correct .
A kind of "AWB" is done in FLEXCOLOR or PHOCUS .
As per the FLEXCOLOR documentation this is done absolutely lossless , by using special algorithms .
For example , if the color temperature is exactly 5500k (daylight) and you did a shot with a color temperature set to 4800K , FLEXCOLOR can compensate that . Don't ask me how , but that is what I read .

Regards Jürgen
 

polypal

New Member
Jürgen,

This is done after the images are recorded I presume.
Problem is many images are recorded under conditions where natural light of unknown colour temperature is mixed with other light sources like fluorecent lamps.
It is virtually impossible to correct those situations to an acceptable result after the image is recorded.
That is why a white balance correction is important before the shoot.

Paul
 

jotloob

MFF-Patron
Paul

Absolutely correct what you say . The compensation is done correctly , (in FLEXCOLOR) when there was only one light source , like daylight .

When you have different light sources it is getting very tricky .
And that is exactly the reason why I bought a SEKONIC COLORMETER C-500 .
The metering shows you the color temperature and the required compensation filters (CC-filters when using film) .

BTW , the money for that meter came from the pott I had for the HASSELBLAD SWA , Ulrik could aquire . That is what I call , keep the money in a turnaround

Best reagrds Jürgen
 

nathantw2

New Member
That is exactly the point.
AWB is a facility for consumer cameras.
Hasselblad rightly considers it not fitting for a CFV.

Auto-white balance I don't think should be solely considered "for consumer cameras." What if Nikon and Canon had done that in their pro cameras (not their mass production ones, but the ones made for the pros that rely on their equipment for a living) thinking AWB is for consumers and not worthy of a pro who needs to control everything? I don't think those cameras would be as popular as they are today.

I agree that a pro camera (or any pro equipment for that matter) should provide consistent results all the time, there are times when there isn't any time to do a gray card reading to get a perfect white balance, such as when the sun is going down and the colors are rapidly changing. This kind of conversation reminds me of the days when auto-exposure was just starting to become popular. Many people said only pros use manual adjustments and had no need for auto-exposure. Then it was auto-focus. Only consumers use auto-focus. It appears that both of those were adopted by Hasselblad in their H-series cameras. I guess consumers aren't the only ones that use auto-exposure and autofocus.

That said, omitting AWB is more of an oversight than a "feature" of the back. I feel it should have been there, if nothing more than an option. However, if it were an option I'm sure many people would leave it on. It just seems that for $10,000 ($9,000 today), not a small sum of money, that they could include that as an option. Heck, even the Kodak DCS Pro Back Plus had it built in. However, looking at what Hasselblad has to offer it appears that their higher priced/MP backs don't have AWB either.

Well, that's my take on it. Knowing that it doesn't have that feature I may look at another company's product. I know Phase One's backs (keeping comparisons apples to apples) have AWB and Nikons and Canons that cost over $5000 - $8000 (comparing apples to oranges) have it. You would think Hasselblad would at least give some hint of one onboard and not via a software resolution.
 

polypal

New Member
Auto exposure and auto focus are both features that can compensate camera settings continuously
in dynamic situations according to varying circumstances.
Some great pictures would not have been possible without these features.

AWB is an artificial compensation for unknown lighting conditions made according to trial and error method.
Hasselblad engineers and designers did not consider AWB a valuable option to improve image quality.
I absolutely agree with them.

Electronic imaging offers a feature we did not have with film.
It offers the possibility to compensate situations where daylight is mixed with other light sources
I remember vividly the days we had to shield all daylight to prevent mixing with artificial light sources.
HMI lighting did not exist in those days, we used special film for this purpose.
 
My 2 cents -
Auto white balance is not necessarily a good thing, as each shot may change in hue. Being weaned on film, I find it very easy to simply set my CFV to 5500K for all outdoor shooting, regardless of the actual lighting temperature. This provides the same results as if you were shooting with film. Indoors, under incandescent light, I set the CFV to 2800K. Each very easy to adjust/correct if necessary, once you upload the image to Flexcolor, Phocus, ACR, or most pre-Photoshop software. In fact, on my DSLR which does have AWB, I made a custom white balance with a studio strobe, and have used it for all shots for years now. I would never recommend an auto white balance setting.
 

nathantw2

New Member
Thanks for bringing that up. I didn't even think of using the back as though it was film. Here I was getting all irritated with Hasselblad not having AWB in their digital backs and you come out and give a simple and straightforward solution. Now I don't feel as bad.
 
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