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sathlersathler Member
edited March 2013 in portraits & people
Hi Everyone! This is my first time here... I was listening to Neilvn this morning on presenting the topic: "Give me the f/stop" Fantastic Information.

Two questions:

1-How do I send a question to Neilvn here on his site?

2- Anyone thoughts on the EXPODISC for white balance?

Thank you,



  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    HI there ... Oh, I hang out here on occasion. ;)

    Re using an expodisc ... an excellent idea.
    I have one, but don't use it since I very often bounce my flash, and the WB can vary then. It's just not a consistent enough environment that I am creating that way.

    If you need help in using an expo disc, there are numerous video clips on youtube.
  • Not to sound discouraging.
    Nothing wrong with this and it works well along with many other color accuracy devices.

    Many get too hung up on correct white balance.

    A calibrated monitor and correcting in raw converter to eye I find a good solution as it suits "my photography" and is often more efficient in a mixed environment as Neil said.

    But this is a preference.

    You may want this because:
    You like new toys
    Your picky
    It's fun
    You have time on your hands
    You do occasional studio work where color accuracy is important

    You do this professionally in which color accuracy is essential. Then you need more than this expo disc. :(

    Good luck
  • ZenonZenon Member
    Me too. Mine has been collecting dust for years. A great tool but conditions vary too much.
  • RolfRolf Member
    I picked one up too - really like it when all I have is ambient light. When adding flash - they say you can setup and bounce and take a reading...but if you're event shooting, not feasible. Certainly could be setup and used in a location/studio environment ...

    For WB, I have been messing around with a wonderful software tool for android... It's simply called "White balance" If you're on the google store and search on White Balance, I think it comes up as one of the first apps.

    I just recently tried calibrating it against the Expodisc. The readings are as static as I would like and my test environment it seemed to work alright...but I haven't used this in a live shoot (yet). But it is certainly way, way cheaper than a Kelvin Lightmeter.
  • I got one in my continuing efforts to master white balance. But it kept giving me obviously wrong color settings. So I gave up with it. I must be doing something wrong. I had watched videos. I do think it's important to get it right in camera both as a time saver and to get the color just right.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    In all honesty, with using RAW, and just knowing or getting the WB in the ballpark, I merely look at the back of the LCD and judge from there and keep all shots the same WB in that sequence, so if out a bit, easy 1 click fix and sync with the others.

    The thing to remember when looking at an LCD screen and an image appears slightly too warm say, don't be in a hurry to change it so it looks 'perfect' since that image you are looking at is a compressed jpeg file and when you open it up big, it will look not so warm [or cool] on a computer screen.

    Also, when shooting in mixed lighting, etc. it's the atmosphere that counts, since if you sterilise an image with 'correct' whites/skin, you just may lose that ambient/atmosphere at the time of capture.

    Take test shots and look in ACR/LR/Aperture/Capture One whichever you use to get a 'feel' for what you shoot. You only need to do a few hours one time indoors and you will know.

    Daylight/outside, a no brainer. Full sun, 5300-5500; cloudy/light shade 6000-6500; full heavy shade 7000-10,000, yep can be as much as that.

    I shot a wedding once, heavy shade, dull overcast skies, shot at 7000, had to take WB up to 12,000 to make it look 'sunny/bright', even with just a 'blip' of flash, since I needed the background to be in it.

    I've been down the path of WB 'tools' a few years back and to me it was time consuming, cumbersome, etc.

    As Neil pointed out, using flash the way we/you do in bounce, it won't give accurate readings.

    @ Skipperlange. Nope, just the way it is mate with various products. Some people like them, some don't.
  • JoshuaJoshua Member
    edited March 2013
    Without knocking the Expodisc I've changed to using a grey card for WB. Specifically the Lastolite EzyBalance.

    It is just as easy to use as the Expodisc plus has more uses and is 1/4 the cost and works with all sizes of lens.

    It is useful for metering, can be used in frame on a test shot to set WB on Raw file in post. It can also be placed with the subject in the light that they will be in when setting WB. Instead of trying to get the lens with Expodisc pointed at light source.

    The other side of EzyBalance is a white card useful for giving a source to check highlight warnings aka the blinkies on the LCD

    It was startling how accurate spot metering was with the use of a grey card.
  • TrevTrev Moderator


    I have something similar and only use it when shooting masses of jpeg files of proms, graduations, etc. with 2 lights in umbrellas, backdrop and set distance for exposure and WB.

    The one I have has 3 triangles on it: White; Grey; Black so I can get that to get the meter smack in the middle and use it as a customised shot for WB saved in a custom setting.

    Once that was done a year back, I have not used again since I kept those Custom settings in the Canon 5D MkII [C3] I use only for those types of functions.

    Each and every time exposure and WB is spot on, so in that context using something like that is good since I don't want to be editing over 2000 images per event from RAW.
  • amyamy Member
    I use the expodisc all of the time when shooting in the studio with strobes and also using natural light outdoors. I find it saves tons of time during post processing by giving excellent white balance. My camera is the D800 so I set a custom WB in camera by pointing the expodisc and camera back at lights when setting it. I don't use it for events since the lighting situation is too variable and also I am not sure that it works as well using OCF outdoors. HTH.
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