on June 4, 2013
Ok, I wavered on this purchase. I work on a corporate video team, and we all have DSLR's we use for photos and video. My buddy always whipped out his expo disk and touted the amazing accurate white balance it provided. I was impressed and I could tell it was much better than my crappy white card method. (Which often resulted in a hint of cold tones that were unbecoming). I set off to purchase myself one of these magic expo disks and suffered major sticker shock. After doing a lot of online shopping, I decided to give this Ezfoto disk a shot. I told my buddy and he seemed to doubt the Ezfoto because of the price. Yesterday we did a shoot together that lasted all day and over 7 locations. We both used my Ezfoto disk and by the end of the day my buddy was cursing the bloated price of the expo disk. "Damn, this thing is just as good, and easier to use because of the larger size and the handle. And it looks just as good and accurate!" So take it from someone who has used both, save yourself a ton of money and spend it on some ND filters or new sd cards, or something else your camera rig needs.
on April 2, 2015
It works. I've used it a few times indoors pointed at a white card placed in front of my subjects when several light sources were contributing to the mix and have been really happy with the results, and I've used it a couple times pointed directly AT light sources of questionable color. Equally happy. But I was really impressed with it in helping me to set a custom color balance outside with sodium vapor lights. And in working through the problem, I learned a LOT about color balancing.
The attached before/after images show the exact "before" shot with the camera set to Auto White Balance. Seeing the horrorshow color in the resulting image, I then put the filter in front of the lens, zoomed-in, shot the light source, and used that shot to set a custom color balance -- the typical way you do it. The "after" shot is also after a TINY bit more manual hue correction in Photoshop since the camera's "lowest" color temp setting is 2500°K and the sodium vapor output is closer to 2000°K, I've since learned. Sure, you may be able to just set your camera to its lowest numerical value in this extreme situation and do the rest in post, but most color correction problems are going to be with a light source that's within your camera's normal range, thus the filter will provide you with great results that won't need tweaking in post.
on October 12, 2013
This little item has already saved me many hours of color correction on shots taken in gymnasiums with their very challenging lighting. Just hold it in front of your lens, point the lens at the light source--NOT at your subject--and set the white balance. I have been very impressed at how well it has worked for me in a variety of high school gymnasiums.
on May 6, 2015
As a semi-amateur photographer, I tend to forget about white-balance until I'm about halfway through a shoot, if I even remember at all. However, the times that I do remember, I find that my 'auto' settings sometimes work, sometimes don't. Not because of the camera, but because of the lighting conditions; sun/flash, incandescent/flash, fluorescent/flash... you get the picture. I was researching on proper settings for shooting at a wedding and the photog got out an 'Expodisc' and I was going 'huh'? How does that help? Well, it's super easy, because even a bonehead like me can figure it out. I tested against the built-in settings on my Nikon, and they worked out the same. The first pic is with the in camera 'flash' WB, and the 2nd is with the 'preset, using photo' shot I took using the filter. I'm super-pleased! And the size of this thing! The usable disk measures 100mm across! That's far bigger than any lens I currently own!
Based on what others have said who have compared Expodisc to this filter, this device will get you what you need 90+% of the time. Why spend more?
on February 13, 2015
This is a preliminary review of the JJC white balance filter. I will also offer a basic comparison with the Expodisc (version 1 aluminum). The JJC is very large and according to the packaging, can handle up to a 100mm lens. The product does seem a little flimsy and I'm not sure of the long term durability, but I am hopeful that it will last if I do not abuse it. Compared to the expo disc it is very flexible, but as long as it holds up, that's OK with me because of the lower price point of the JJC. I also notice that the JJC has the prism type material on both sides versus the expo disc having the prism material only on the outside and a smooth translucent white material on the inside.
As far as performance goes, the JJC seems to get the job done. Based on preliminary comparison testing(my Expodisc came in today from ebay), the JJC delivers accurate results, although see below for more on accuracy. One caveat with these types of filters: using these things with consistent results seems to be an art in itself. Some situation are relatively simple, while others are trickier. Doing research online should be of much help. Documentation with the JJC is sparse while the Expodisc has a nice booklet guiding me through the difficulties we will encounter under the practically infinite lighting conditions in our world.
Now as to the performance differences with the Expodisc, which I assume many are interested in because of it's popularity: The JJC appears a little warmer than the neutral Expo(without blue warming gel), but a little cooler than the ver. 1 Expo with the provided blue warming gel. As for dead on accuracy, I can't say for sure which one is more so, but I present this as a comparison at this time. For those wanting Accuracy(presumably what these products are about)this is important and when/if I get a better handle on this important metric, I will update this review.
These discs may not always be necessary, but there are times when auto white balance will be fooled. That's when you pull this out. However, I also think it's a good idea to get used to "eyeballing" the color temp so we are better able to "dial in" the temp using our own trained color perception to provide the image we want, whether that's dead on accuracy, a little warm or a little cool. This can be done through Kelvin or WB fine tuning as often the presets are not what we want or need. In case anyone's interested, if you can find a CTB filter light enough (1/8 or lighter), you should be able to attach it to the JJC and turn it into a warming WB filter as Expoimaging has done with their product. Conversely, If you can find a light enough CTO filter, you can cool the image. As already stated if my long term experience/results differ, I will update this review. All in all, for the price, this is a good buy, particularly for someone who wants to try it or experiment without the investment of an Expo disc.
Edit September 2015: As for comparing the JJC with the Expodisc, I spoke to an Expodisc rep and she told me the warming model I have is calibrated for use with the warming gel, but not calibrated with the gel removed. In other words, taking the gel out doesn't necessarily give a neutral result. It may or may not. It seems like a small point, but I add it for sake of accuracy and clarity. On the use of these types of white balance tools in general: Back in January 2015, though not hired, I took shots at my wife's nephews wedding shower (yes men were invited). I did not have this tool at the time and ran into mixed tungsten lighting and left it on AWB. I normally shoot JPEG and found WB correction really tough and wasn't completely happy with the results, although the nephew and everybody else seemed to love the results. Going forward to March 2015, I had my WB tools and found florescent lighting at the wedding. I decided to go with the Expodisc because of the warming gel. I couldn't have been happier with the results! Beautiful and consistent JPEGs throughout! I shared them through Photobucket and he was very appreciative and happy. Recently I got a call from the nephew. He told me he was disappointed with the shots from the pro that he hired (she used digital and film Nikons and took 5 months to get the finished photos to him) and asked if I would mail a DVD to him with the full size files that I took. Needless to say, that was a very rewarding feeling. I tell this story because whether you use JJC or Expodisc, it really does work. Especially if you shoot or want to shoot JPEG. If I was going to use the JJC for people shots, I would experiment with a warming gel to warm up the image a bit, since so many people will prefer this. Then you would have more options. One more thing: I have been looking for a simple yet effective post processing tool. I have not yet climbed the sharp learning curve with Photoshop, etc. because I really don't want to spend even more time in front of my computer. For the wedding shots I used Athentech Perfectly Clear with excellent results. Many of the shots look nothing short of glamour shots! They make plugins and are also working on a standalone version currently in Beta stage.
on August 13, 2015
I've been using this tool for 2 years now, and I have to say that it ALWAYS gives me correct colors straight out of the camera whenever I use it.
It's small enough to fit in almost any camera bag, but too large to fit into a pocket. That's okay, because my camera bag is always close by.
I find it easier to use than color charts where you shoot a reference image and then have to process images in post. The only downside is that you have to make sure to set white balance before shooting. If you forget, you can set the white balance later, shoot a reference image, and then use the color settings to correct earlier images. (I always shoot RAW for easier post-processing.)
With a proper color-managed workflow, the prints that come back from the lab always match the original colors, with no surprises along the way. This means that you'll also need to color-calibrate your computer monitor, and use color profiles (particularly sRGB) when sending JPGs to be printed.
on March 1, 2016
This is an incredibly easy-to-use gadget to help set a custom white balance. I have used a gray card when shooting portraits, but asking the subject to hold it is awkward and then if you move to another location outdoors, you need to do it all over again. It really slows down the session. Once you've rehearsed the steps using this filter to set the white balance takes less than 1 minute:
1) Change focus mode on lens to manual
2) Change White Balance mode to Custom on the camera's menu (I can do it 2 different ways via the menu of the top control panel on the Canon 5D)
3) Shoot one image with the JJC Filter close to the lens, filling the frame with the filter.
4) Select this image as the Custom White Balance image on the WB menu
5) Change lens back to Auto Focus and start shooting.
I do need to remember to change back to AWB after the shoot or I will end up with a weird color in later images. I do shoot in RAW, so it's easy enough to adjust in ACR, but I'm trying to eliminate that step whenever possible.
The JJC WB Filter is sturdy yet lightweight (all plastic) and includes a hole at the end of the handle so that you can thread a string or cord to it to hang it from your camera bag or tripod. The surface appears to be many tiny lenses that bend and refract the light. I don't understand the light theory behind the design, but it definitely seems to work. I have tried it in several lighting conditions, one of which was a mixture of tungsten light bulbs of various colors, and it definitely improved the overall color of the scene.
on January 10, 2014
White balancing my camera can't be any easier! Easy to carry around and simple to use. Plastic is light weight so I wouldn't recommend being careless with it, but should last a long time if used as intended
on January 7, 2014
I've used this product for the past few months now and I must say it has done wonders for white balancing. I always keep it in my bag and although it's big, it slides in nicely in one of the back pockets, where a laptop would usually go. It's fairly large, which can be a good and a bad thing. It's too big to carry around in your pocket, but at least you won't have to worry about lens size issues as it can fit pretty much 98% of the lenses out there. I believe it's equivalent to a 100mm ring.
I've never tested products such as the popular expo discs, but without any kind of bias, I can say that the white balance is spot on just from an observational standpoint.
If you've never used one before, I'd recommend switching the lens to manual so the camera doesn't get lost trying to focus on something. If you're in a dimly lit situation, try pointing the camera towards the nearest strongest/lightsource before shooting.
You really can't go wrong with this as it's not easy to break and the transparency is equivalent to all other white balance filters.
The best part of it is that it's very inexpensive and although you can almost get similar results using a DIY coffee filter, this looks a lot more professional, if you get what I mean.
on December 4, 2014
Surprisingly accurate.I wasn't convinced that this would be more than a stop-gap white balance solution, but it has served me very well. It isn't perfect, but has allowed me to use the customized white balance settings in my Canon (but the brand of camera doesn't matter). It is little things, like proper white balance, that will take your photos to the next level. This isn't a high-end solution, for sure, but it is a low cost, valuable tool for even a soccer parent like me.