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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old July 12th, 2005, 04:07 PM   #1
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ExpoDisc White Balance Filter

I shoot weddings/receptions I move around quite a bit with the camera hand held or mono pod. Lighting is always a problem constantly changes from room to room. I'm sure you're aware of the different types of combined lighting sources we find installed in just one room sometimes. Under these circumstances I often find the WB presets on my camera are not always useable mostly I WB manually. I need something that's quick and fast to manually WB my GL2 or it's easy to lose a good shot. It's fairly awkward to use a card large or small - sometimes I have white balanced off the brides dress or a napkin when desperate.
However using mixed sources to WB is not the best Id like something that provides a more consistent and easy way to WB when moving from room to room. Im hoping it will make any POST color correction easier.

Anybody use one of these? (ExpoDisc 58mm Digital White Balance Filter)
is it really worth the money?
They make it sound fast and easy.
B&H sells the for around $79.00

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/con...oughType=search
What do you think?
Thanks for input
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Old July 12th, 2005, 06:38 PM   #2
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Hi Steve,

I'm a real stickler for having the proper White Balance. I was anxious to see the link, but it didn't work.

I use a WB card from Porta Brace. It's about 6 inches by 8 inches. It has a little cord attached to it that makes it easy to loop through your belt. When I need it, I just pull it out of my belt and lay it on the floor or near the subject to get my WB. The whole process only takes a few seconds. Porta Brace sells them for $5.00, so if you have 4 shooters it would only be $20 versus $320 for the Expo Disc.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 07:06 PM   #3
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"sometimes I have white balanced off the brides dress or a napkin when desperate."

surpisingly, i do the same thing. Then if im off my a couple of degrees, ill correct it in post.

Most of the time, with the DVX, it takes 2 seconds to WB, as with the PD units u can quickly correct WB without a problem

I use cards but i HATE the "warm" look some cards tint the camera towards (usually the bluer cards) , and i use a white reference from within the room im shooting if i have to. Usually a ceiling or table cloth (or even her dress) i also use the Auto WB lock which is on the camera (i dont know if the GL does this) if i am shooting outdoors.

99% of the time, i go manual. Its the best way for accurate colours, but you really do need WHITE cards, not grey or blue tinted
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:07 AM   #4
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ExpoDisc

Mark said -
"I'm a real stickler for having the proper White Balance. I was anxious to see the link, but it didn't work."
-------------
Mark:
Thanks for the tip on the Porta Brace white cards - it's a very reasonable price very portable and worth a try. Sorry the link for the ExpoDisk didn't work it try this:
http://www.a-digital-eye.net/expodisc.html

I know the Expodisk is kind of expensive but it may be more accurate and convenient when I'm chasing people around to capture the emotion of the moment. So if anyone has acutally tried it or has another idea I would appreciate your input.

The GL2 has a tendency to be a little warm in indoor or lower light. I learned very quickly even some so called white cards have a lot of blue in them - not the best in my case the flesh tones turn ugly pink. If anything I need a card that fools the camera into a cooler look but then there is a risk of global color skewing - It's a fine line indeed to get it right especially when you're on the run and looking at a cruddy 2.5" LCD or EVF. So most of the time a proper WB with a truly "white" white card works OK then correct any offending footage in POST.

The GL2 does have the internal WB lock I use this outdoors works very nice it's just the man made light that gives me fits.

Still interested in any comments you all have on fast easy ways to WB

Thanks for the help :>)
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:22 AM   #5
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Hi Steve,

Thanks for the link. It does look very interesting. I wonder if a WB card that I described would be faster. I think it may take more time to thread the expodisc on and off your lens, but I would like to hear from someone that actually owns an expodisc.

I faught the red color tone of Canons for 5 years. In low light it does get pretty bad.

Have you seen Warm Cards. They are more expensive than the Porta Brace WB card, but you may want to check into them. They have a true white on one side and a different color on the other side. I think there is 5 different variations to help you get the WB you are looking for. I'm sure if you do a search for Warm Cards something will show up.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:33 AM   #6
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ExpoDisk

Mark,
As I understand it the ExpoDisk is a "push on - pull off" simular to a lens cap approach don't have to thread it. I would like to try the Porta Brace WB card but can't seem to find a link do you have a ULR or part number? The Porta Brace I found was a camera bag munufacture - supplier. I have checked out the warmcard.com site they look interesting they even offer a cool card kit add on but as you said very pricey (total $112.00) like the Expodisk. It would be nice to hear from anyone that's actually used either.

Thanks,
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Last edited by Steve Anderson; July 13th, 2005 at 10:44 AM. Reason: addition
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Old July 13th, 2005, 10:49 AM   #7
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Warmcards in my opinion

I use the card set from http://www.warmcards.com/

What I find extremely usefull is the included set of smaller cards which one can stuff in your pocket like for a wedding shoot. The advantage is here, and after doing some tests yourself, you can normally determine from your camera which cards will best suit your shot. Don't forget about their "Minus Green" cards! The advantage is that you can choose different cards for different "warmth"

These cards are being used by many people (and no, I don't work for them - can't really being a South African - lol) here in SA as well. But then again, being in this neck of the woods makes us rely on forums like these to determine the best kit.

I have ben using these for about 4 months now and if mine are missing or being used by someone else, I tend to get the jitters.

Just my .02

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Old July 13th, 2005, 11:01 AM   #8
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Warmcards

Jeremy,
Thanks for your input.
I'm curious do you have the cool card kit warmcards.com sells as an addition option - if so how's it working for you? Reason I ask is my Canon GL2 tends to get a little to warm (flesh tones turn pinkish) in some room light or low light so I actually need a card to cool things down rather than warm them up.
Wouldn't mind hearing from anyone that's tried these cool cards from warmcards.com
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Old July 13th, 2005, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Anderson
Mark,
As I understand it the ExpoDisk is a "push on - pull off" simular to a lens cap approach don't have to thread it. I would like to try the Porta Brace WB card but can't seem to find a link do you have a ULR or part number? The Porta Brace I found was a camera bag munufacture - supplier. I have checked out the warmcard.com site they look interesting they even offer a cool card kit add on but as you said very pricey (total $112.00) like the Expodisk. It would be nice to hear from anyone that's actually used either.

Thanks,
Hi Steve,

Okay, push on-pull off would greatly increase the speed of the ExpoDisk. I'm glad you pointed that out.

I went to the Porta Brace site and downloaded the catalog. The WB Card was listed in the catalog, but that number didn't work on the website. I emailed Porta Brace with the question. I'll let you know what they say.

In my opinion, if the Warm Cards help you to get the proper WB with your Canon, the money would be put to good use. Over the course of a year or two you will spend hours in post correctly the Canon WB, of couse depending on what NLE you use.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 01:39 PM   #10
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Check out this thread , it might save you a lot of money
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ight=warmcards
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Old July 13th, 2005, 02:22 PM   #11
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All good and well but....

What Mr Graf is referring to is a simple and practical approach for those that are able to lay there hands on these swatch booklets - I for one can't since I'm not in the states as I am sure many others too. And in fact, have already on a previous occasion tried to get these swatch booklets and have received the reply "sorry, no shipping beyong our borders" - maybe I'm just a bit miffed at not being nearer the technology. Even the local gel suppliers are stiff when asking of samples and then if your 1/8 CTO goes missing, you have to go cap in hand looking for them again.

Now if everyone from this forum and others watching these types of posts decided to call on Lee's and pick up these swatch booklets, these guys are going to start smelling a rat and I'm sure pretty soon they will start charging for their samples. These people hand out these booklets in the hope that one purchases the gel/s from them!

I for one don't entirely agree with his philosophy as a waste of money. My set of warmcards work overtime, come in a zipper pouch and are encased in a really solid laminated matte casing - I LOVE them!

Steve - to answer your question - Yes, I do have the "cool card" option (warm1/2 and minus green) - the exact reason why I bought them. I do a lot of corporate work insitu without additional lighting because of the clients limitations posed on us and all these facilities have flourescents. This is where I have found these cards invaluable. And I quote from their website which makes logical sense to me "The age, condition, and hue of the gel will all affect the white balance -- and so will the white card that you are shooting through the gel. Is it pure white? Is it the same white you used on previous shots?"

It saves me a heck of a lot of time in post.

If you look after them, they should last you for a long time.

At the end of the day, its what is going to float your boat which matters. I would suggesting reading their faq's and see if you agree or disagree - your choice. IMHO $91.00 for a fairly well put together set is small enough money to pay.

I just follow my quote in my signature!!!!!

Cheers
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Old July 13th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #12
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For a while B&H was selling just the 1/2Warm and Minus Green seprately.

The ExpoDisc discussion also brings to mind the whole "white balance through a generic coffee filter" technique. I read where someone scientifically measured the light through Safeway (or some grocery store chain) generic bleached coffee filters and it was damn close to the magic 18% grey desired for white balance.
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