Incandescent setting on Nikon 990 gives blue cast

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by Bill Smith, Jan 3, 2005.

  1. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Guest

    All photos taken on my Nikon E990 have a heavy blue cast when I use the
    Incandescent setting under incandescent light. I thought it might be the
    result of different light qualities provided by domestic lighting in
    different locations, but the blue persists in photos taken in many
    different UK locations and in several different parts of France.
    Auto setting gives good enough colour, and I can compensate for the blue
    in Photoshop, but I'm puzzled by the Incandescent setting causing such a
    pronounced blue cast.
    Any thoughts?
    Bill Smith, Jan 3, 2005
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  2. Bill Smith

    Dave Guest

    I suspect the colour temperature of the light source assumed on your
    camera is not the same as your light bulbs. Not all incadescant lamps
    are equal. If you buy bulbs of a known colour temperature, and that
    matches that of your camera, you should I think be OK. But using just
    any old lamp is just not on. Studio lights will have the colour
    temperature marked on them.

    I'm not expert, but I think this is your problem.
    Dave, Jan 3, 2005
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  3. I can get that effect with my CoolPix 990 when I have the white balance set
    to incandescent and the flash goes off.
    Phil Stripling, Jan 3, 2005
  4. Bill Smith

    Dave Guest

    This is not my area, but I think studio lamps intended for photographic
    purposes will have a colour temperature of 3200K.

    I assume you can buy them from any professional photographic shop. My
    guess is that you can't run bulbs at daylight temperatures (~5500K)
    otherwise they would soon burn out.

    This link

    says domestic bulbs are around 2800K, but my guess is that this depends
    on the bulb, as this is not likely to be well controlled. You know as
    well as I do that you can buy clear bulbs, those with white, some with a
    colour tint etc. If you buy bulbs of a known colour temperature you
    should be OK.

    I know you can buy fluorescent bulbs with a known colour temperature,
    but I think that is a bit of a fiddle, as such light sources don't have
    a continuous spectrum light a normal incandescent lamp, but a number of
    different wavelengths emmited.

    As I said, this is something I know little about, but my guess is that
    if you used domestic bulbs at 2800K, whilst your camera was set up for
    3200K, you would get a red tint, not a blue as you are getting. So
    things are not going the way I expect. A bulb running at a lower
    temperature should produce more red light and less blue I think, but I
    might be wrong.

    If you can set a colour temperature on your camera, try 2800K for normal
    bulbs, but I think the best solution is to get decent lights which will
    have a known colour temperature.

    I suspect it is a small effect, but I would expect the colour
    temperature of a bulb to be a function of the mains voltage, so for the
    utmost precision I would expect running from a stabilised supply, such
    as a computer uninteruptable power supply (UPS) would be more constant.
    But I don't think people ever do this, so I suspect the effect on mains
    voltage is small.

    I'm a professional scientist, not a photographer, so a lot of the above
    is based not on experience, but my theoretical understanding. Others
    will no doubt have more practical experience.
    Dave, Jan 4, 2005
  5. Bill Smith

    Bill Smith Guest

    That's probably it, Phil. Many thanks. I'll try some with & some without
    flash and post findings.

    Thanks to other respondents, but the fact that the same blue cast is
    present on many shots taken, as I said, in many different indoor
    locations in UK and France under "domestic" lighting doesn't seem to
    explain the effect unless by an astonishing coincidence everywhere I go
    they all use the same light bulbs.

    Bill Smith, Jan 4, 2005
  6. Bill Smith

    Cliff Hartle Guest

    It seems that your camera is applying too much of a "blue filter" to your

    When I shot only SLR I had a blue filter to tone down the orange light that
    incandescent light puts out.

    Likewise there was a magenta filter for fluorescent light.
    Cliff Hartle, Jan 4, 2005
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