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FORUMS Canon Cameras, Lenses & Accessories Canon Accessories 
Thread started 27 Mar 2013 (Wednesday) 12:20
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Expodisc

 
photome09
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Mar 27, 2013 12:20 |  #1

Hi, Folks, just want to get your opinion....is buying an expodisc worth every penny as oppose to me having already a CS5 & LR 3, or doing just a custom WB with white or gray card?

I am going to use the expodisc for food photography & read in some articles that expodisc is 1 of the essential equipments to have for food photog. I also read that this will help improve a lot on images when shooting indoors & saw on seller websites that there are expodiscs for portrait shooting.

My reluctance is that I use 3 lenses for food photog with different filter sizes a 58, 72 & 77 & expodiscs are quite expensive.

Lets just say that cost is not part of the equation, but more on the value it will give to my images vs. post processing or with a gray card...any thoughts?




  
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iazybandit
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Mar 27, 2013 12:43 |  #2

You don't need a expodisc for every lens. You can just buy the 77 and place that over your smaller lenses. I have a BRNO baLens and it made a world of a difference

Auto WB

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Custom WB
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Mar 27, 2013 12:53 |  #3

wow. I have to admit this looks tempting; i currently just leave it on auto and fix in post as needed. I guess my main concern would be durability as I would expect a 99usd time saver like this to last a long time.. (And the lack of an 82mm one for future proofing?)


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iazybandit
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Mar 27, 2013 12:56 |  #4

w0m wrote in post #15761886 (external link)
wow. I have to admit this looks tempting; i currently just leave it on auto and fix in post as needed. I guess my main concern would be durability as I would expect a 99usd time saver like this to last a long time.. (And the lack of an 82mm one for future proofing?)

The BRNO baLens that I reviewed for my site is at most $60 for a 77mm. I use to leave my in auto as well and fix in post but this definitely saved me time and color was more accurate.


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SkipD
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Mar 27, 2013 12:58 |  #5

In my opinion, the Expodisc is an overpriced scam. For it to work properly, you need to be in the very same light as that which is illuminating the scene and point the camera/filter at the light source.

I feel that it's far easier (and far less expensive) to use a neutral gray card and either do a "custom white balance" setup or simply use the card IN the scene for a test shot (and shoot in RAW with color balance dealt with in post-processing).


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Snydremark
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Mar 27, 2013 13:00 |  #6

Until I learned how to read the meter correctly, the Expodisc was a nice crutch, but it's now been sitting on the shelf collecting dust for 2 years. I found that it was really just too much of a PITA to use correctly for my shooting; although, it might be easier when doing food photography.

EDIT: So, yes, agree with Skip's post above.


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v35skyline
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Mar 27, 2013 13:21 |  #7

Gray cards are so much cheaper.


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photome09
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Mar 27, 2013 13:49 as a reply to  @ v35skyline's post |  #8

Interesting inputs, Folks....thnx.

I am leaning more on custom WBs which at most points I always forget doing or executing before I take the shot. I just saw this expodisc while studying tips & tricks for food photog & this was my 1st time to hear about it & most readings I did, expodisc is always coming out....




  
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photome09
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Mar 27, 2013 13:51 |  #9

1KIND wrote in post #15761856 (external link)
You don't need a expodisc for every lens. You can just buy the 77 and place that over your smaller lenses. I have a BRNO baLens and it made a world of a difference

Auto WB
QUOTED IMAGE

Custom WB
QUOTED IMAGE

When do you use the Auto & Custom WB though, why there are 2 when if it is Auto, isn't it that should be enough?




  
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iazybandit
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Mar 27, 2013 20:10 |  #10

photome09 wrote in post #15762134 (external link)
When do you use the Auto & Custom WB though, why there are 2 when if it is Auto, isn't it that should be enough?

Depends on personal preference. I'll use custom when the colors aren't true to the actual lighting but I personally use custom when in doors. The lights indoor make a difference and can turn your images yellowish (as shown in my pictures).

To some, auto may be enough but as you can see, the image is yellow. With custom, it's more white and cooler in temp. Again, this is my preference.


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nwlight
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Mar 27, 2013 21:51 |  #11

I guess I am one of the few people that like Expodisc. Yes, it is pretty expensive, but you only need one for the rest of your life. It's a lot easier to use than a grey card. With a grey card, you have to use one hand to hold the card and another hand to shoot it. You also have to be careful to not get reflections. I also find it hard with a wide-angle lens to get the grey card to fill the whole frame, especially without getting shadows on it.

With the Expodisc, you put it on the lens and point at the light source. This works particularly well indoors if you have a consistent source of light. If you are in a room with mixed lighting, well you are screwed for white balance anyway.

Expodisc is particularly useful for video. With photos, I always shoot RAW and I can generally correct the color to my liking even if the white balance is off. With video, I find it really difficult to fix white balance issues. Getting it right from the start saves tons of time and significantly improves the video quality.




  
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Mar 27, 2013 22:00 |  #12

get a grey card, or just a white piece of paper works just as well. My expodisc was used exactly twice, since then it's sitting in in's little pouch. Most useless photo thing I ever bought. In studio I set the WB to 5600 and adjust from there, rest of the time it's on auto and rarely fails. And if, it's quick to adjust one image in LR and then apply the same fix to all the rest. Takes less than a minute.

I see it as a gimmick, some seem to really like it. I doubt I'll ever use mine again.

Under most "normal" conditions AWB works great. Save for something else instead, is what I'd say :-)


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CyberDyneSystems
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Mar 27, 2013 22:16 |  #13

Not only is it overpriced, you get the exact same effect by using a white Mr Coffee filter (2x in fact) in the same manner.

So lets compare prices... One costs a pretty penny, one costs pennies. So little in fact, we throw them out every morning.

Same result. And I'd like to see you brew coffee with an expo disk!

Melitta whites will work well too, I use them since my coffee pot takes them, but the Mr Coffee basket type is better shaped for the job.

FYI, I've been saying this for years, and used to catch a lot of slack from the true believers. I'm glad to see the wool is off the eyes here (or the coffee filter?)


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Mar 28, 2013 00:31 as a reply to  @ CyberDyneSystems's post |  #14

Those who are curious always could try a cheap knock-off version. (external link)




  
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Mar 28, 2013 01:10 |  #15

CD is right, coffee filters work just as fine, so do many white plastic object laying around that can be placed just as easily in front of the lens.
If you TRULY care about color management put the money instead toward a x-rite product such as color checker passport and make sure your monitor is calibrated correctly and often.
I think the passport was $99 when I bought it and it is simple, place in one test shot, then after import in LR for example, can set CUSTOM color profile for the shoot itself, and not only nail the white balance but also calibrate for all the colors too. Then all the images in that particular shoot under the same lighting conditions are instantly corrected as best can be done for the price. If lighting conditions change just put passport in for another test shot, and repeat. Take a minute to do it and then NO guessing about white balance and whether the colors were captured correctly.
Also, should point out the new product Photo Ninja from www.picturecode.com (external link)
It is similar to LR in being a RAW converter and editor for RAW, TIFF, and JPG. It offers something that LR doesnt' however. You can place color checker, gray card, etc in the shot, then tell it to do the same thing as the Xrite software does, but doesn't require the Xrite software, it is built into the Photo Ninja software itself. Pretty cool. So if know of where you can get the Color checking card, or Grey card, but don't want to shell out for the software then you can use Photo Ninja. ALSO, it comes with Noise Ninja, yep, can't beat that.
It can be downloaded as beta for long term use, just think the "save" function is crippled, think the price is $99, so if already have LR just get the color check, if thinking of LR and color checker save and get PN. Noise Ninja is worth another $100 by itself.

I saved an image of a Munson color card with the CMYK or LAB values for each square so you could use it to test your monitor's display of color, already have the color checker passport so never bothered to print it out to use as one. If CyberDyne or another guru thinks it could be of use after being professionally printed on proper paper with proper ink I will go and find it in my archives. It was given away freely in an old tutorial on color management, and doesn't list copyright nor did it mention restriction of use. It was a very very obscure article so just lucked out in finding it a long time ago.


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