It drives me crazy when I set up a custom WB on my Nikon d810 (ex. 6000K) and after importing the photos in Lightroom the Color Temperature shows 6550K even if it's set on "As Shot"

Take a look at the exif data:

White Balance : 6000K


How can I fix the problem? Thanks in advance!

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Have you used WB Fine-Tuning? \$\endgroup\$
    – Itai
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is your issue that it does not correctly reflect the color you expect, or that the numeric value shown is not what you expect? I think it unfortunate the numeric values do not match, but largely irrelevant. If you need to tweak by eye it is all about warmer/cooler, not 6503 vs 6332. I did some experimenting and found that the end result (not the value) looked correct on a D800 with preset temps. \$\endgroup\$
    – Linwood
    Commented Nov 17, 2016 at 15:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ The strange thing is though that I used a custom WB with reference to this pic dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19280975/test/DSC_0449.NEF in my camera. After import and setting custom WB with the eyedropper Lightroom gives me 900K offset. Witch i totally yellow. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slavi
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 8:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'd like to edit the question to be more generic, because the same problem also happens with a Panasonic GH-3 (Raw shots with manual white balance set in Kelvin). Lightroom shows a different color temperature, but exiftool can display the original one. Instead of "How can I fix the problem?" I'd like to ask "Why is that so?" \$\endgroup\$
    – U. Windl
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


Color temperature is not in the Exif (for Adobe to see). Instead the Exif shows a RGB multiplier value involving conversions. Nikon does not use temperature K internally either. Adobe and Nikon are always a little different that way (numerically). It seems no problem, since we adjust by eye, and never have much clue what the actual lights WB value is anyway.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks friend. After buying all the camera calibration stuff (color checker passport) I do the WB by eye since neither the camera custom WB with gray card (too bluish) nor Lightroom's eyedropper (too yellowish) deliver acceptable results. I have 1000K offset between - dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19280975/test/DSC_0449.NEF. \$\endgroup\$
    – Slavi
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 8:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ At least I use the color checker for color calibration :D \$\endgroup\$
    – Slavi
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 8:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ I hope you are working with a calibrated monitor when doing this adjustment. Any grey card would be good enough to compare the shots (no need for a color checker). And if you want to "calibrate" use a calibration target designed for a DSC, like "GretagMacbeth ColorChecker DC" (see xritephoto.com/ph_product_overview.aspx?ID=938#) or the "C1" target from targets.coloraid.de. Of course you'll also need some software for calibration. \$\endgroup\$
    – U. Windl
    Commented Aug 21, 2019 at 0:51

How can I fix the problem?

Ditch Lightroom and use Nikon Capture NX-D software that uses the exact in-camera settings to open your raw files.

When you select a color temperature and use White Balance Fine Tuning it affects the final color temperature that is applied to the raw data and that is recorded in the EXIF info as RGB multiplier values. Lightroom will (supposedly) attempt to replicate the same fine adjustments, but I find that it can be rather hit or miss. Using the camera maker's own software usually means the information in the maker note section of the EXIF data will be read and applied to the raw data. Adobe products tend to ignore most of the information in the maker notes. Most WB fine tuning and custom WB information is stored in the maker note section of the EXIF info by many camera manufacturers.

For more, please see:
Why do RAW images look worse than JPEGs in editing programs?
Match colors in Lightroom to other editing tools
How can I undo Canon Auto Lighting Optimizer in Lightroom? (although Canon specific the situation is very similar with Nikon and their in-house raw converter Capture NX-D compared to Lightroom)
Canon custom white balance does not import to Lightroom / Photoshop
How do I map white balance settings on the Sony NEX to Lightroom?
Why does AWR (Sony Raw) file curve at the edge when editing in Photoshop? (A Sony version of the same basic question)
What is the Lightroom equivalent of setting the contrast to -2 in the camera?
How to get Lightroom to render JPEG photos the same as on the 60D LCD?

  • \$\begingroup\$ yes thanks a lot. Unfortunately at the end I have to edit the WB in Lightroom by eye since there is 800-900K offset between Lightroom's eyedropper tool and custom WB in camera with reference for the same pic - dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/19280975/test/DSC_0449.NEF \$\endgroup\$
    – Slavi
    Commented Nov 18, 2016 at 8:37

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