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ExpoDisc 2.0 Review: White Balance Done Right

from Photo-Tips-Online.com, 1/13/2014

"To summarize, ExpoDisc 2.0 is an improved version of an already excellent white balance filter. Delivering the same great accuracy as its predecessor, ExpoDisc 2.0 has an improved mount, interchangeable warming gels, and a significantly lower price point."

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ExpoDisc 2.0 Professional White Balance Filter


ExpoDisc, the original white balance filter gets even better.  Set white balance, meter for exposure and dust map your sensor with the only calibrated and certified 18% transmission incident light metering filter.

We invented the digital white balance filter with the original ExpoDisc and established it in the market as the premium white balance tool by individually testing and certifying every ExpoDisc. Now, ExpoDisc 2.0 introduces user-selectable warming filters (gels), an improved mounting design, and a new lower price-point.



ExpoDisc 2.0 Features:
 
• Quickly set white balance for photo and video
• Includes User Selectable Warming Filters (Gels)
• Meter 18% Incident Exposure
• Dust Map Your Image Sensor
• Made in USA - Hand Calibrated for Accuracy

ExpoDisc 2.0 Contents:


• ExpoDisc 2.0 Professional White Balance Filter
• Comfortable Lanyard
• Sturdy Carry Pouch
• Calibration Certification Card
• User Quickstart Guide




Use the ExpoDisc to Save Time Editing White Balance in Photo and Video


Whether shooting in RAW or JPEG, photographers using ExpoDisc to white balance their images save valuable time in photo editing software.  When used to set a custom white balance, the ExpoDisc consistently produces excellent color in natural, artificial, and studio lighting, and it even excels in difficult mixed lighting environments.

The ExpoDisc is far easier to use than any gray card, white card or calibration target. Simply place the ExpoDisc in front of your lens and capture the incident light while setting your camera’s custom white balance. Using an ExpoDisc custom white balance will virtually eliminate the need for RAW or JPEG post-capture color adjustments.


                                                                                                                                                                                     
How Do I Set a Custom White Balance with the ExpoDisc?


Getting great color with the ExpoDisc is easy.  To set a custom white balance with the ExpoDisc, simply place the disc in front of your lens and follow your camera's custom white balance procedure to capture an incident light reading through it.  For most cameras, this procedure takes only about 15 seconds.

That's it.  If you're shooting JPEG you're done.  And if you're shooting RAW, simply download your images as shot and save yourself valuable time correcting color.  No special software, and no post processing required.


ExpoDisc 2.0 Includes New Portrait Warming Filters (Gels)

The original ExpoDisc Professional White Balance Filter was available in separate Neutral and Portrait (warming) versions.  ExpoDisc 2.0 combines these versions into a single tool.  ExpoDisc 2.0 includes two levels of custom warming filters (gels) which can be inserted into recesses on the face of the ExpoDisc, allowing photographers to add varying degrees of warmth for pleasing skin tones.


                                                                ExpoDisc 2.0 Portrait Warming Filters                                       Attach Portrait Warming Filter


Meter for 18% Incident Exposure with the ExpoDisc


The ExpoDisc is not just for white balance, though.  The precision calibration and uniformity of the ExpoDisc means that it can also be used to meter for an 18% incident exposure and to produce a dust map of the image sensor.

To meter for an 18% exposure, stand at the subject's position and aim the camera back towards the intended shooting position.  Use the camera's meter as seen through the viewfinder to adjust the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO until a proper exposure is indicated.  It's also possible to make exposure adjustments based upon the position of the histogram spike on an ExpoDisc test shot.  Simply adjust the aperture, shutter speed, or ISO until the spike is centered.


ExpoDisc Is Hand Calibrated in the USA

Made in the USA, every ExpoDisc is tested by hand on a transmission spectrophotometer and individually adjusted using custom formulated materials to ensure an 18% total light transmission across the visible spectrum.  Each ExpoDisc 2.0 includes a quality control card to certify its neutrality as tested on our spectrophotometer.  This neutrality is important because using a non-neutral tool for white balance can actually add undesirable color casts to images.


                                    Transmission Spectrophotometer Test Result                                 ExpoDisc 2.0 Calibration Certification Card 


How does the ExpoDisc work?


Your camera’s internal light meter measures the color temperature of light passing through the ExpoDisc to make an “in-camera” color adjustment. This color adjustment is applied to all subsequent images taken using the custom white balance from the selected light reading.

Or, if you prefer shooting in RAW file format and batch processing later, simply capture a reference image through the ExpoDisc to use with your image processing software.


                        
 

Will the ExpoDisc Work with My Camera?


The ExpoDisc can be used with any digital camera with a custom white balance capability, including all digital SLRs and most point & shoot cameras. The ExpoDisc works with all major camera brands, including: Canon, Nikon, Sony, Pentax, Olympus, Samsung, Lumix, and Leica.

ExpoDisc 2.0 Design Attaches Securely to Lenses and Threaded Filters

The ExpoDisc 2.0’s new filter mount utilizes a new button-activated spring design which allows the ExpoDisc to securely attach to lenses and even to low-profile threaded lens filters.  

Larger ExpoDisc Sizes Can Be Used with Smaller Lenses

The ExpoDisc 2.0 is available in a 77mm and 82mm filter size.  As with the original ExpoDisc, a larger ExpoDisc can be used with smaller filter size lenses by simply holding the ExpoDisc over the lens during the white balance procedure.

 
ExpoDisc 2.0 Attaches Securely                           Works With Smaller Lenses

What is a custom white balance?

Even the best digital cameras struggle with consistently reproducing accurate color. Images shot with incorrect white balance may have unnatural looking red, yellow or blue tints that are time consuming and difficult to correct.

To help photographers cope with this problem, digital camera manufacturers have designed their cameras with multiple white balance functions, including Custom White Balance, Automatic White Balance (AWB), and factory Preset color temperature settings for Sun, Shade, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Flash, and Cloudy. When shooting, photographers must select one of the camera's white balance settings to apply in-camera, or photograph a neutral reference tool to apply later in post processing if using the RAW file format.

Unfortunately, Auto White Balance (AWB) often produces maddeningly inconsistent color results, and the color temperatures assigned to the camera's Preset white balance settings often do not reflect real world lighting conditions, causing a color-cast.

Using the Custom White Balance function remains the most reliable way to consistently reproduce accurate, balanced color in digital cameras. The custom white balance function eliminates the inconsistencies of AWB and the gross generality of factory Preset color temperatures because it allows the user to calibrate the camera to an exact color temperature at image capture. The custom white balance procedure requires a neutral reference like the ExpoDisc to measure the color of light accurately.


                                                           Before (Camera AWB)                                                                         After (ExpoDisc)

                                                                                                     Image © 2013 Terry Livingstone

About ExpoDisc Professional White Balance Filters

Created by ExpoImaging, ExpoDisc Professional White Balance Filters are trusted by photographers everywhere to capture accurate color and to save time editing their images.  The original ExpoDisc Professional White Balance Filter and ExpoDisc 2.0 are protected by US Patent No. 7,719,606 B2.