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[OM] ExpoDisc revisited

Subject: [OM] ExpoDisc revisited
From: Ken Norton <ken@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 11 May 2020 12:22:44 -0800
I bought some storage dohickies to better organize the "camera cave".
In the process of straightening things up, I found my old ExpoDisc. I
thought, Hmmmmm..... I wonder.

So, a bit of playing around and remembering how to actually use it, I
took it out and about for a field test. Do keep in mind that this is
not the calibrated 2.0 version, but the original I had bought for
something like $1 out of a store's junk bin. In past testing and use,
I determined that the color neutrality was pretty close and the
exposure accuracy was still dead-on. Probably not as perfectly color
neutral as the 2.0 version, but still VERY close.

I'm convinced that the instructions and reviews for the ExpoDisc were
written to totally dissuade use instead of encourage use. Maybe I
should come up with a new use procedure for it to simplify things a
bit.

Anyway, out and about on my hike. I did try to set WB with the
ExpoDisc per what would be normal procedures. It's really very simple.
Just cover the lens with the ExpoDisc, and do custom WB set. That's
it. Or, if you are like me, and choose to do everything with RAW files
in Lightroom, just take a picture of the ExpoDisc and use that to set
WB in Lightroom and just copy that WB setting to the set of images.
Frankly, that's much easier. The reason why the second procedure is
probably easier is that digital cameras today aren't the easiest
things to do a custom WB setting with. The old E-1 was brilliantly
easy in this regard, but every other camera gets more difficult. It's
far easier to just snap a picture and deal with it later. This way,
you can leave the camera on AWB and let it do its thing. Periodically,
take another picture with the ExpoDisc so there are fresh gray images
to work with throughout the shoot.

As to exposure? I'm definitely seeing where the metering systems and
overall bit-mapping is different between the cameras. There's nothing
like an 18% target to really throw modern cameras into a tizzy. I
didn't spend time to debug and figure out what exactly is wrong or
why, but the DMC-GX85 isn't doing what I'm expecting and is definitely
skewing the response curves somehow. Over the next few days I'll do a
deep dive and figure this out. I'm sure it's a setting somewhere that
got wierdified.

BTW, side note: I don't think SONY ever intended the A7 II to be used
in manual exposure mode. The exposure meter is brutally difficult to
use and the exposure dials literally move the wrong way. As to
exposure accuracy, with the SONY, when I did actually get a correct
reading, it was VERY correct. With the GX85, I never did get a
predictable result. I got frustrated enough that I just left the
Panasonic home and took the SONY on the hike.

Anyway, the end result of this is that I'm dusting off the old
ExpoDisc and might actually pick up a second-hand 2.0 as it does
address a couple of problems that I've been fighting.

AG Schnozz
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