ExpoDisc overhauled, now easier to use and more versatile
posted Wednesday, November 20, 2013 at 8:08 PM EDT
Regular readers will be familiar with ExpoImaging's ExpoDisc, a product we've mentioned on our news page, newsletter, and in our reviews many times over the years. The ExpoDisc is something of a Swiss army knife for your camera, providing several handy functions in a single item. Now, the follow-up ExpoDisc 2.0 is here, with added functionality and an easier-to-use design.
First and foremost, ExpoDisc -- whether old or new version -- provides an alternative to a white or gray card when setting a custom white balance. Pop it in front of your lens, then measure custom white balance from the incident light source. According to ExpoImaging, each ExpoDisc is hand-tested using a transmission spectrophotometer to ensure its neutrality, ensuring your camera gives the most accurate white balance measurement possible. Like the original ExpoDisc, the ExpoDisc 2.0 also serves as a stand-in for an 18% gray card, allowing you to meter incident light and set exposure. You can also use it to provide a neutral background when shooting an image to check for dust on your sensor.
So, what's new? Well, there are two main design changes: Firstly, the friction mount of the original ExpoDisc is gone, replaced with a button-activated spring mount that holds it tight in your lens threads, or the threads of accessory filters -- even low-profile ones. Secondly and perhaps more importantly, ExpoDisc now comes bundled with warming gels that help provide an attractive, warm tone for portraits and the like. These simply slip into the front of the ExpoDisc 2.0, and you can stack them (two levels of filters are provided) for a stronger effect. The gels have a subtle, cool tint that causes your camera to compensate in the other direction, yielding the warmer white balance.
Perhaps the most important change, though, is the pricing. Previously, ExpoDisc ran anywhere from US$70 to US$170, depending on the size. (52mm, 58mm, 62mm, 67mm, 72mm, 77mm, 82mm, and 4x5.65 versions were available.) At launch, the ExpoDisc 2.0 ships only in the 77mm size, and with a pricetag of US$50, it's more affordable even than the original version in a 52mm size. More sizes of the ExpoDisc 2.0 are planned, but the 77mm version makes sense at launch, because as a stopgap until they ship, you can simply hold it in front of the lens for smaller filter sizes.
ExpoDisc 2.0 is available for purchase immediately from the ExpoImaging website.