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Lally - Expodisc - coffee filter ...
Old 01-24-2008, 11:20 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Everyday it seems some new method of doing WB on our digital camera's hits the market. Now in addition to Expodisc and the Black/Gray/White Photovision target, and a host of gray cards, and patches, etc., we have the Lally Cap. Here is the information on it:

http://www.lallyphotography.com/store/index.htm

For this you pay $32 after shipping. Now let's see, that's $32 for a little elastic and a piece of white cloth --- hmmmmm. But Expodisc is even worse as it sells for $100 plus and the cost of production is about $2.00. By the way you can buy the Chinese version of the Expodisc for as little as 99 cents on eBay (search for white balance), but you do have to pay $5 shipping --- makes one wonder.

I've found that a white coffee filter works as well as either of the above and costs a few cents. I use the filter with a rubber band and get results that seem to be almost identical to the Expodisc.

By the way, Expodisc now has the new Expodisc Paddle that only costs $199. Wow --- what a deal! Here is the link about it:

https://www.expodisc.com/products/pr...d_4x5.65_Flats

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Lally - Expodisc - coffee filter ...
Old 01-24-2008, 08:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Before Pringles Potato Chips switched the snap-on lid for their can to clear plastic, they used a translucent plastic that worked perfectly for doing a custom white balance.

(I noticed this lid change after the Expodisc came out. Maybe the Expodisc people got ahold of the Pringles people ...?)

Some yogurt containers also have a translucent lid, and I've even used translucent plastic cut from the side of a plastic milk jug. Both worked well. Never thought of the coffee filter though. I'll have to try that.

An unused coffee filter, of course. Wouldn't wan't my images turning out too blue ....
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Re: Lally - Expodisc - coffee filter ...
Old 01-25-2008, 10:22 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I have a Lastolite gray target freebie from a workshop that I use outside of the studio. In the studio I always have some white seamless around. That seems to do the trick for me.
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Re: Lally - Expodisc - coffee filter ...
Old 01-25-2008, 11:49 AM   #4 (permalink)
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It has been a long running joke that photographers will buy most anything they see. And when it says something like.. "hottest new item for photographers"... The price triples.

All those ideas about what you use are useful.. Personally I take along a few sheets of white bond paper with a small X on it. I am going to post a question about white balance.
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Re: Lally - Expodisc - coffee filter ...
Old 01-25-2008, 01:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I actually make my own WB cards for some uses. I divide a 8.5 x 11 sheet of photo paper into 4 divisions and print it on my inkjet printer with 4 different colors. This idea is based on the "warm cards" that are commercially sold for a quite high price. Here is what the sheet looks like:



I then cut them out and use which ever one I want to set the Custom White Balance. The three bluish/cyan cards give you warm, warmer and warmest WB settings and the greenish one is good for normal fluorescent lighting (where the bulbs are not daylight temperature). Naturally you have to choose the correct colors for the four cards to make this all work. If you like them larger, then you print one card on the full 8.5x11 sheet.

Cheers,
rfs
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Re: Lally - Expodisc - coffee filter ...
Old 01-25-2008, 09:35 PM   #6 (permalink)
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The expodisc is an excellent tool that's worth every penny in my opinion. One thing that never gets mentioned in these debates is that the Expodisc is also for metering. It transmits 18% of the light effectively turning your in-camera meter into an ambient meter for a perfect exposure every time once you get past a small learning curve. It works with flash also if you're setting up off-camera lighting. In fact I haven't found a metering situation that I couldn't use the Expodisc for except spot metering which is built in to most of the better cameras anyway. Anyone wanna buy my Sekonic meter. I haven't used it once since I got my Expodisc.

As a wedding photographer at the Flamingo Las Vegas wedding chapel for about three years plus a year at Mandalay Bay I was constantly on the move. We were expected to get as many usable images as possible in as little as 30 minutes for the smaller packages. This included ceremony, family shots, and formals. I might hit 5-7 locations in that time with conditions ranging from tungsten to window light to shade to full direct sun. I could pull the Expodisc out of my pocket (sometimes even while walking to a new location if I knew the lighting was going to be the same) and get both a custom white balance and correct ambient exposure in about 4 seconds. Just for the record if I had a cooperative couple I could get over a hundred unique shots in that 30 minutes.

I have had my Expodisc for almost four years now and its as good as new and I've never had to change its batteries.
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