D70 White Balance

 In General


White Balance confused me when I first switched from digital to film. Sure, I understood that as the sun changed position, or if the sky got cloudy, or if you were under different artificial lights that the color temperature of the light changed, but with film, it didn’t mater to me, because I shot Velvia or Provia regardless.

So, with my same old habits I ended up leaving the white balance on auto and just let the camera do the work. I figured that because I shot everything in RAW, that I would just fix it later when I got back to the computer. And fix it I did. For most of my shots, Nikon’s WB system got it wrong, and there were even cases that I found two exact frames had a slightly different white balance, or that if I zoomed in with my lens the white balance changed. So, I got good with Capture and the white balance tool.

After about 2000 shots, I got sick of doing this, and I decided to figure out white balance and made the white balance chart included with this article in PDF form. It is formatted to fit a 3×5 note card, so you can print it out and paste it to a 3×5 note card and carry it with you.

Armed with this chart I set the white balance exactly according to how the light conditions looked to me, and mostly this worked. I got accurate colors and white looked white, but even though I made the card, and the card worked, I found that in Capture I’d still adjust most of my pictures to the Cloudy +0 to -2 setting. I found that those settings ended giving me a slightly warm rendition of most of the scenes, which is exactly what I wanted.

Now that I’ve been shooting digital for over a year, I have developed an understanding of how the temperature of the light changes the look of the picture, and I find that my D70 White Balance Chart is a handy tool to have along.

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  • Allen Shen

    Hi, Just want to say thanks for providing this information. I have a D70 and sometimes experience WB imbalance problems. I hope this will work and I appreciate the sharing and the time you put into those 3×5 cards. Happy Holidays.

    Warm regards,

    Allen Shen

  • Charles

    Best explanation of White Balance I’ve found! Now I’m thinking of how this chart applies to white balance in bracketing.

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