Time to retire fluorescent white balance settings?

Started 4 weeks ago | Questions thread
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iljitsch Contributing Member • Posts: 954
Time to retire fluorescent white balance settings?

I was experimenting a bit with the new white balance settings on my Nikon Z fc (see below), and I wanted to see the impact of different types of light, so I dug up my last incandescent and fluorescent lamps and took a few test shots.

Absolutely no difference between the color temperature between my regular LED lights, the incandescent bulb and the fluorescent one.

It seems to me that over the course of the previous decade, fluorescent lights have matured a lot and pretty much never produce that green cast that made them notorious in the past.

So do we really still need a bunch of fluorescent settings in our white balance menus, which these days just seem to get the white balance wrong in slightly varying ways?

(Even back when fluorescent lights had weird color casts, it was rather non-obvious which of the fluorescent settings you had to use.)

I'm actually a bit disappointed that fluorescent is now so boringly correct, though. When I got my D90 in 2009, I went around shooting street scenes at night and enjoyed the wildly varying colors I got in neighborhoods with different era street lights. Now it's all the same.

About the new Nikon WB options:

With my D90 and D7100 interior shots at night always came out too warm. That was with the auto 1 (A1) setting. With A2, it's even warmer. But somewhere between the D7100 and Z fc they added A0, which does actually make candle lit scenes look daylight white. 

And: a new "natural light" setting, that operates under the assumption your light is natural so it will adjust to the light at different times of day, but otherwise doesn't remove color casts. This should make the photos come out looking more like we see scenes at dusk etc with our eyes. Haven't had the chance to really use this, but sounds very intriguing.

 iljitsch's gear list:iljitsch's gear list
Nikon D7100 Nikon Z fc Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 16-85mm f/3.5-5.6G ED VR Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF Nikkor 50mm f/1.8D +7 more
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Nikon D7100 Nikon D90 Nikon Z fc
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