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04-14-2011, 10:19 AM   #1
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ExpoDisc and whitebalance with K-5.

A short review of the ExpoDisc in use with the K-5.

Info from the manufacturer:
ExpoImaging - ExpoDisc

I got this week an expodisc. That is a whitebalance disc that you put infront of your lens to set the whitebalance of your camera manual. There are different brands and also some cheep chinese knockoffs, who maybe work the same. I chose this one because I read some good things about it. It is expencive, 70 euro for the 67mm version (wich fits my 85mm and 50-135 and can be held infront of my other smaller lenses). I bought it to get some more controll off the colours out of my camera in sertain situations. Also because I sometimes want to shoot jpg's because K-5 isn't very fast with working the RAW-files in sports. Espescially in artificial lights the K-5 (and any other camera around) isn't that good in making a good whitebalance in AWB and thus producing good colours.

How thous it work:
You choose whitebalance (left on the forway steering) for manual whitebalance setting (In K-5 you can set 3 different whitebalance settings). You ame your camera with the expodisc infront of your lens (with the white creamy site to your lens) to the lightsource that is on your photographic object. Click the shutter, you will see a creme/blue/white-ish photo and choose too use the total image or only a part of it with the backwheel and click OK. You can adjust somethings in the settings, to warmer/cooler/yellow etc and press OK. This is your whitebalance preset. Don't forget in the menu to check the memory for whitebalance so your K-5 will remember your setting (is default). It is recommended to check if you did a good job on setting your whitebalance and if you have corrected for the right light-condition or that there is also another lightsource that is to be accounted for. Make a testshot and if nescesary do the test again.

The tricky part is to find the light that is falling on your photografic object and for wich you want to set the right whitebalance. Sometimes there are mixtures of different lightsources like in sportsarena's, or a combo of artificial and natural light together. It is a good thing to find out wich light is on your subject and wich whitebalans is important for you and where to compansate. In that case you can also aim teh expodisc with setting your whitebalans towards your photographic subject instead of the lightsource.

If your photolocation changes or the lightsituation changes your whitebalance will change also So this is not a fast way of working, but for a good chosen photographic work where you want to controll your colours produced direct out of your camera. Saving time in post-processing.

The test:
I did this test in the camerashop of Erwin, FotoLooman in Purmerend, where I picked-up my K-5 Silver. This test are the first shots I made with my Silver-baby. It's a shop in a Mall with no outdoors light and different light from the shop itself and from the promenade.

1) AWB

2) ExpoDisc whitebalans directed on the TL-light in the shop.

3) Same pictures as number 2, but with an adjustment to manual whitebalance of A2, wich makes the colours just a little warmer

My personal preference goes to number 3, but maybe you look different to this with all your calibrated screens.

04-14-2011, 10:25 AM   #2

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on my screen, number 3 looks the most natural and pleasing.
04-14-2011, 10:33 AM   #3
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Some may find this odd (and some may not), but I CWB off of G18 exposure cards...

EDIT: Meant to add CWB off of the grey side and not white side of card...

Last edited by joe.penn; 04-14-2011 at 10:40 AM. Reason: add
04-14-2011, 01:30 PM   #4
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A cheap alternative is a white (not the natural colored ones) coffee filter (cone type). Place it over the lens and point it from the subject to where the camera will be and set a manual white balance. Works quite well and you can make a cup of coffee when you are done.

04-14-2011, 03:00 PM   #5
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There is a very detailed review of white balance products at this link:

Product Comparison: White Balance Filters (Professional Photographer Magazine Web Exclusives)

Personally I chose the Lally cap simply because of ease of use and a one-size fits all.
04-14-2011, 05:19 PM   #6
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Have you tried the ExpoDisc outdoor yet? It gave me consistently warmer result than the white side of the Kodak gray card regardless of lens or camera. Just wondering what you make out of it. I find the AWD on the dSLRs are so good at mixed existing light that I don't brother to use ExpoDisc indoor anymore.
04-15-2011, 01:02 AM   #7
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Thanks for sharing this info.

Didn't use it outdoors, but I'm satisfied at the time with the job AWB is doing in natural light conditions. I will look into that next week.
04-15-2011, 04:35 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by RonHendriks1966 Quote
My personal preference goes to number 3, but maybe you look different to this with all your calibrated screens.
Me too No. 3 on my calibrated monitor.

Here is something that may surprise you:
About 18 months ago I visited a museum in Berlin. I wanted to take a photo of an exhibit with my K-7 but could not get the white balance right. I did not have anything with me to aid me in setting the white balance. So I had this bright idea. I took out a new white paper tissue from the pack, (I had a bit of a drippy nose at the time) set the camera on manual white balance and MF, held the tissue in front of the lens, pointed the camera towards the light source took a shot, locked in the resulting datum and what do you know? Perfect white balance.

I have repeated this procedure with my K-5 with the same pleasing result.
Cheapest white balancer ever.

Greetings from sunny Australia.

Last edited by Schraubstock; 04-16-2011 at 06:47 AM.
05-04-2011, 10:13 PM   #9
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#2 - most natural looking.
05-04-2011, 10:54 PM   #10
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The cover of a (Starbucks) coffee cup works perfect for me...
The one for a small expresso fits in the lens hood and the drinking hole can be covered with some tape.
05-04-2011, 11:10 PM   #11
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Its a good idea, but the price of the product is down right absurd!

I usually use color cards for most controlled shooting, but I've replaced all of my caps with WB caps off eBay. To which I might add, are every bit as good as the ExpoDisc's. But again... none of which are as good as a color calibration system(card and profiling).

PS. ave costs of WB caps? 1 - 3 dollars ea.
05-05-2011, 05:00 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by JohnBee Quote
PS. ave costs of WB caps? 1 - 3 dollars ea.
That sounds as a smart idea
05-05-2011, 07:16 AM   #13
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These are what I use:

18% Gray DNG Card Exposure White Balance Ship from USA | eBay

Ordered a few sets to have extras on hand...
05-05-2011, 07:26 AM   #14
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The ExpoDisc has an advantage over some of the other methods in that it allows the camera to be used as in incident light meter.
05-05-2011, 07:40 AM   #15
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I prefer #2 on my Samsung SyncMaster

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