ExpoDisc 2.0 White Balance Filter Review

ExpoDisc 2.0 White Balance Filter Review - We take a look at the ExpoDisc 2.0, a white balance filter you may think you don't need but, can you trust your camera's auto white balance?

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ExpoDisc 2.0 in Filters

2.0
ExpoDisc 2.0 (Image taken with AWB, on an off-white desk)

 

The ExpoDisc 2.0 is a professional white balance filter, that lets you set a custom white balance for the scene you're in. Whilst many cameras have improved their white balance performance over the years, there are still situations where you'll be unsatisfied with the resulting images. 

 

ExpoDisc 2.0 Handling and Features

ExpoDisc 2 0 (5)
ExpoDisc 2.0 - the image was taken on a white piece of paper, using the ExpoDisc to set the white balance.

 

The ExpoDisc 2.0 comes in two sizes, 77mm, and 82mm, and will fit on to this size lens. However, if you have a smaller lens, then you can simply hold the filter in front of your camera while you're setting your white balance. 

 

ExpoDisc 2 0 (1)
ExpoDisc 2.0 - ExpoDisc contents, image taken on a white piece of paper, using the ExpoDisc to set the white balance.

 

There are four Portrait warming filters in there as well, with 2 different strengths, +1, and +2. These add 250 degrees and 400 degrees kelvin warming. They recommend the use of these under daylight balanced studio lights, but they can also be used in other situations.

There's a Calibration Certification Card in the box that shows that the ExpoDisc has been calibrated. There's also a small instruction booklet explaining how to use the ExpoDisc. There's also a lanyard strap in the box, so you can keep the ExpoDisc handy.

In a nutshell, this is the procedure you follow to use the ExpoDisc:

  1. Put the ExpoDisc in front of your lens (white side covering the lens)
  2. Aim the camera towards the dominant light source (to measure incident light)
  3. Follow your cameras instructions to set the white balance
  4. Remove the ExpoDisc and start taking photos using the custom white balance.

There are additional steps in the instructions in case your camera needs you to focus manually, set exposure manually or when using flash. You can also use it for measuring dust on your sensor (by taking a photo of the ExpoDisc), although you could also use a piece of paper. You'll also need to remember to re-set the white balance when moving to locations, or when the lighting might change. We used the Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II, which has room for four custom white balance settings.

 

ExpoDisc 2.0 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

 

ExpoDisc 2.0 Sample Photos

 

Portraits (outdoors, in shade) - The auto white balance of the camera gives a cool image which we struggled to correct in Photoshop. The portrait taken with the ExpoDisc white balance is much more true to life, and has meant the colour of the T-shirt (dark grey, or light black) has been much more accurately reproduced.

Product shots (indoors, under fluorescent lighting) - We were able to get much better, and much more accurate colour reproduction when using the ExpoDisc for product shots. This then meant it was quicker to edit (and crop) the photos taken, rather than having to correct white balance issues in Photoshop. 

Overall, we saw some impressive results, even when using a camera that has good white balance performance. If you're using an older camera, that has worse white balance performance, then the benefits of correctly setting the white balance could be even more noticeable. 

 

Value For Money

The ExpoDisc 2.0 is available for around £34 (for the 77mm version) which makes it good value for money. An alternative is the Dorr White Balance Lens cap for around £15, however, you may not be able to find one in the same size as this, the largest we've seen is 72mm.

Alternative systems include the X-Rite ColorChecker Passport, which is available for around £80, and the Datacolor Spyder CheckR Cube, available for around £43. These work best when shooting raw, and require the correction of white balance after shooting. You could get a grey card by Lastolite, the Ezybalance card for around £20, or use a white piece of paper, which is basically free, however having a grey target can be a good way of setting the white balance when processing images (a white piece of paper is not likely to work as well). 

 

 

ExpoDisc 2.0 Verdict

If you struggle to get accurate and consistent white balance results, then the ExpoDisc 2.0 is a quick and easy way to improve your results. For all types of photography, it can save time by reducing the amount of time spent editing photos, and correcting colour in Photoshop. It's good value for money and is easy to use, although some may prefer it if the ExpoDisc was available in different sizes.

 

ExpoDisc 2.0 Pros

  • Quick to use
  • Easy to use
  • Can save editing time
  • Good results

ExpoDisc 2.0 Cons

  • Only available in 77mm and 82mm sizes

Features4/5
Handling4/5
Performance4.5/5
Value4/5
Overall Verdict

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