Can you adjust the white balance after taking the picture (film camera)

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by secretpact, Aug 4, 2012.

  1. secretpact macrumors 6502

    May 24, 2007
    I plan on buying a Nikon N80. I know in photoshop you can change the white balance for digital raw files very easily and the result would be as good as if you changed the white balance setting on the camera before taking the picture. But can you do this with film? Is there a setting on film scanners to change white balance?
  2. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    You can change the white balance of any old digital image, regardless of its source. As long as it's a file on your computer and it can be read by your image editor, you can change it.

    It might not be through your typical white balance Kelvin slider; you might have to fiddle with the curves tool (which is loads more precise). But really, it's all color manipulation, and it's possible anywhere.
  3. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    You can adjust the curves of the scan before importing. Also, like what you can do with a JPG or TIF, you could open the scanned file into ACR and have access to the rudimentary white balance slider. It's just warming or cooling the image, not like the specific adjusting you can do with a RAW file, but it's something.
  4. SimonUK5 macrumors 6502

    Nov 26, 2010
    With film, you want to be sacnning to the Biggest TIFF file you can, and make no adjustments in the scanner, leave your curves/contrast/WB ect to Photoshop or your software of choice.

    I scan as flat as you can aswell and sharpen in PS
  5. juanm, Aug 4, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2012

    juanm macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2006
    Fury 161
    When working with film, it's better to correct the WB before you shoot. You can buy 5600ºK film (daylight, by far the most common) or 3200ºK film. Once you have that, if you need to fine-tune WB, you'll use filters.
    You could also shoot only with 5600º, and work only with filters, but since they absorb light, and you are limited to ISO400, you might want to start with the right film, and do as little WB correction as possible.

    The standard filters were
    80A (blue, to correct tungsten cast with DL film)
    85B(orange, to correct daylight cast with tungsten film)
    30M (magenta, to correct the average green tint of fluorescent lighting)

    There are of course different degrees of correction (look into Mired shifts on wikipedia)

    Honestly, now, I only work with film when working with the Arri 435 (most of the time, it's Epic or Alexa). For photography, digital has so many advantages, that film is pretty much dead, unless you're shooting with much larger formats.
  6. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Scanning as flat as you can, inherently means making adjustments at the scanning stage.
  7. blanka macrumors 68000

    Jul 30, 2012
    Even with digital adjusting afterwards is limited. People forget that with the wrong white balance, the light measurement can be off, resulting in clipping in extreme colours. If you do product shoots of say red items, boy you have to get WB right when you shoot. If you don't software may not be able to fix it.

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