White Balance Cards

The place for questions about shooting with Blackmagic Cameras.
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bmpcc6k

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White Balance Cards

PostSun May 09, 2021 4:17 am

Which white balance card do you recommend for using with bmpcc cameras. which do you use?
I've read a lot of positive reviews and recommendations regarding https://bhpho.to/3bezCxX your thoughts?
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Tom Roper

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun May 09, 2021 6:14 am

bmpcc6k wrote:Which white balance card do you recommend for using with bmpcc cameras. which do you use?
I've read a lot of positive reviews and recommendations regarding https://bhpho.to/3bezCxX your thoughts?


https://www.expodisc.com/collections/al ... podisc-2-0
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JonPais

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun May 09, 2021 4:40 pm

bmpcc6k wrote:Which white balance card do you recommend for using with bmpcc cameras. which do you use?
I've read a lot of positive reviews and recommendations regarding https://bhpho.to/3bezCxX your thoughts?

The most accurate is the X-Rite Colorchecker Passport Video. The ExpoDisc and Lastolite are to be avoided.
https://daejeonchronicles.com
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Tom Roper

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun May 09, 2021 11:12 pm

I have the Passport too but it is so small you have to move in close and then it gives a different reading with every change in the angle of reflectance. The Expodisc 2.0 is more consistent because it aggregates all the light, plus you don't need the talent to hold it.

The Expodisc 2.0 includes gels that can add warmth if desired, and when it's not in use it's a lens cap that stays on the camera. A lot of people use it wrong because they point it at the subject. Incidence metering is premised on positioning the camera where the model would be, and pointing the lens at where the camera would normally be. Since it is a calibrated 18% transmittance, it's also an exposure tool, hence "expo" disc.
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John Brawley

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun May 09, 2021 11:45 pm

I use a grey card that is actually made up of magenta and cyan patches that cancel each other out. So in totality it makes 18% grey, but the visibility of the colour patches alro can reveal a lot about the white point of the light you’re using to illuminate the card. So if it has more magenta or green the amount the patches show or disappear can tell you about the colour of the light you’re using.

Now a warning. This card is SUPER DIFFICULT to order.

Like this website, I DARE you to navigate it and not be driven crazy.

I managed to order a card a few years ago, and I need to replace them, but I can’t bring myself to navigate this website again.

Perhaps some of our German speaking friends could cut to the chase here and do a bulk order for me !

http://fotowand.de/frameset.htm?CHOICE= ... 958eng.htm


Any way I found this to be a pretty cool idea.

JB
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JonPais

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun May 09, 2021 11:58 pm

Tom Roper wrote:I have the Passport too but it is so small you have to move in close and then it gives a different reading with every change in the angle of reflectance. The Expodisc 2.0 is more consistent because it aggregates all the light, plus you don't need the talent to hold it.

The Expodisc 2.0 includes gels that can add warmth if desired, and when it's not in use it's a lens cap that stays on the camera. A lot of people use it wrong because they point it at the subject. Incidence metering is premised on positioning the camera where the model would be, and pointing the lens at where the camera would normally be. Since it is a calibrated 18% transmittance, it's also an exposure tool, hence "expo" disc.

Agree with you about needing the talent to hold the card, which is aggravating; and the reading can change depending on the angle. However, Paul Leeming tested a bunch of white balance targets and found the X-Rite to be the most accurate, using a DCS Labs ChromaDuMonde chart as a reference. It is expensive and needs to be replaced every couple years, but hey…

https://www.leeminglutpro.com/whitebalance.html
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Ellory Yu

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostMon May 10, 2021 12:35 am

I have tested a few cards too and so far the XRite Passport is what I bring with me often.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostMon May 10, 2021 6:09 am

John Brawley wrote:I use a grey card that is actually made up of magenta and cyan patches that cancel each other out. So in totality it makes 18% grey, but the visibility of the colour patches alro can reveal a lot about the white point of the light you’re using to illuminate the card. So if it has more magenta or green the amount the patches show or disappear can tell you about the colour of the light you’re using.

Now a warning. This card is SUPER DIFFICULT to order.

Like this website, I DARE you to navigate it and not be driven crazy.

I managed to order a card a few years ago, and I need to replace them, but I can’t bring myself to navigate this website again.

Perhaps some of our German speaking friends could cut to the chase here and do a bulk order for me !

http://fotowand.de/frameset.htm?CHOICE= ... 958eng.htm


Any way I found this to be a pretty cool idea.

JB



Wow, he really made it even harder to order from him than the last time I did (in 2007 or so).
John, what exactly do you need and how many of them?
You can PM me.

BTW, here is the direct link to the order page:
http://fotowand.de/shopset.htm
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 04, 2021 7:17 am

Found this post and thought I'd try to purchase one of the Fotowand 4930 cards. (You weren't kidding about the God-awful website. Ouch!)

Finally figured out the order form and was looking at the terms for overseas sales from Germany to the US. The Grey card is 44 Euros, but the minimum order is 300 Euros.

Looks like payment is only accepted by bank transfer, too. No credit cards. Although, I did appreciate the request to mail them cash for any small, written orders plus 2.50 Euros in stamps for the shipping back to you.

Unless these are available through a reseller in the US, there's six other people who'd like to go in with me on it in order to achieve the minimum purchase amount, or there's an easier way to purchase that I didn't see, I'll have to stick with my X-Rite. :(
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Brad Hurley

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 04, 2021 10:39 am

A good alternative is the DSC Labs SMPTE OnShot Plus, which is supported in DaVinci Resolve and includes black, white, 18% gray; a flesh tone row; and colour rows. The back side of the chart has larger white and 18% gray chips.
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Creative110

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostMon Jul 05, 2021 2:51 pm

Ben Price wrote:Found this post and thought I'd try to purchase one of the Fotowand 4930 cards. (You weren't kidding about the God-awful website. Ouch!)

Finally figured out the order form and was looking at the terms for overseas sales from Germany to the US. The Grey card is 44 Euros, but the minimum order is 300 Euros.

Looks like payment is only accepted by bank transfer, too. No credit cards. Although, I did appreciate the request to mail them cash for any small, written orders plus 2.50 Euros in stamps for the shipping back to you.

Unless these are available through a reseller in the US, there's six other people who'd like to go in with me on it in order to achieve the minimum purchase amount, or there's an easier way to purchase that I didn't see, I'll have to stick with my X-Rite. :(


I would be one of the six, count me in.
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Denny Smith

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSat Jul 10, 2021 5:49 pm

Ben, I am interested in one also, the one JB referenced with the color patches, Std size (4390 model)
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Marshall Harrington

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 11, 2021 4:51 pm

I'd be in too for the 4390.

Please let me know details as they happen.

Thanks.
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John Brawley

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 11, 2021 5:23 pm

Ben you can put me down for two.

Rob N also messaged me and was interested and was helpfully assisting. If he’s still
Lurking he may also want one.

JB
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Ellory Yu

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostMon Jul 12, 2021 5:24 pm

Ben, I'm also interested in the one that JB wants, the 4390.

Please let me know as things progress and how to participate in the buy-in. Thanks.

-Ellory
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Creative110

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostMon Jul 12, 2021 5:29 pm

It appears we have the 6 we need.
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 4:29 am

Just to be clear on what card we're talking about...

I'm referring to the 4930 - http://fotowand.de/pdfs/4930-4958-eng.pdf

Everyone after my last post is referencing 'the 4390' card. I'm presuming that's just a error in transposing the middle two numbers, but I want to make sure since multiple people specified the 4390 versus the 4930.

If we ARE all talking the same card (eg. 4930), I'll reach out and get a quote for a combined purchase.

Right now, here's what I have for a potential order...

2 - Ben Price - Colorado
1 - Chris Fazio (Creative110) - Unknown location
1 - Denny Smith - California
1 - Marshall Harrington - California
2 - John Brawley - California
1 - Robert Niessner - Austria
1 - Ellory Yu - Unknown location

The cost per standard-sized (8-1/4" x 11-5/8") 4930 card is 44 Euros. At the time of this message, that's $52.24 (USD).

From what I can tell on the order website, they'll only ship to one location. Robert Niessner is in Austria. I'm not sure how that'd work shipping everything from Germany to the US and then back to Austria.

Chris and Ellory... where are you located?

Regarding the purchase cost... if the order does have to be completed via a wire transfer in Euros, what is everyone's thoughts on covering their individual share? I can float the initial purchase. That's not the issue. However, the US dollar is all over the place and there's no easy way to pin down the cost until it's already paid for at whatever the exchange rate is at that moment. Also, what about reshipping of the gray card(s) to you once the order arrives in the US? Does everyone have a USPS, FedEx, UPS, DHL, etc account to ship with? Alternatively, USPS has a flat rate, 3-day box at $15.50 that would easily fit the card and provide reasonable protection.

Let me know your thoughts. In the meantime, I sent an email to Fotowand asking about their willingness to accommodate a US-based order. I'll let you know if I get a response.
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Denny Smith

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 4:57 am

The 4930 works, I am in, I can PayPal or send check. I probably transposed the numbers.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 6:07 am

Just to be clear, I am not into buying a card. I would have bought some on behalf of John and sent the cards to him. And it wouldn’t make sense for me, as I can easily order from Germany directly.

I have already made a phone call to Fotowand to make sure they are still in business, the cards are still available and can be delivered.
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Ellory Yu

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 6:13 am

Ben, I am in California, same county as Marshall. I can do PayPal or check too.
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 6:41 am

Robert Niessner wrote:Just to be clear, I am not into buying a card. I would have bought some on behalf of John and sent the cards to him. And it wouldn’t make sense for me, as I can easily order from Germany directly.

Yeah... I didn't think it made sense for you to be a part of the purchase since you lived so close. In fact, I'd have just bought one there (in Germany) if international travel conditions weren't so unstable. My wife participates in the Vienna City Marathon and is registered to run this September. However, we've given up hope for being able to get there for it.


Robert Niessner wrote:I have already made a phone call to Fotowand to make sure they are still in business, the cards are still available and can be delivered.

Thank you! This is great news. Hopefully, I'll receive a response from them and can move forward with the purchase.
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Uli Plank

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 8:44 am

I just got one for testing and I'll report.
Yes, they know the website is awful, it's actually based on a precursor of the internet (German Telekom BTX).
But, even if he's really old, the guy is very knowledgeable in photography and responsive. He normally delivers most of his cards as bulk to vendors in Asia, so he didn't care for Paypal.

@Ben: Don't be too pessimistic, vaccinations are going pretty well now over here and we can travel freely in Europe if verified. All vaccines used in the US are certified by the EMA too, AFAIK. Currently, public sports in the open are not restricted.
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Robert Niessner

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 9:47 am

@ Ben
Yeah, Austria has reached 56% people vaccinated and 41% fully vaccinated.
I am optimistic that this year September will be quite differently from last year.

In my hometown Graz we will host the EuroSkills 2020 (now 2021) in the end of September.
EuroSkills = championship for young professionals
Saying "Thx for help!" is not a crime.
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Creative110

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 1:21 pm

I’m located in Chicago.
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Marshall Harrington

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 3:21 pm

Just let me know what I need to do and THANK YOU foe all your help. Very appreciated!
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 4:51 pm

I heard back from Fotowand and it looks like we're in business.

I've requested a quote for eight (8) of the standard, 4930 Colour-Grey Cards.

Here's the current breakdown for who's getting what:

2 - Ben Price - Colorado
1 - Chris Fazio - Chicago
1 - Denny Smith - California
1 - Marshall Harrington - California
2 - John Brawley - California
1 - Ellory Yu - California
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Ellory Yu

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostTue Jul 13, 2021 6:20 pm

Thanks for all your effort in putting this together Ben. Looking forward to it and the next step.
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Uli Plank

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 14, 2021 9:18 am

That card is really helpful. Good quality, both in material and colors.
Even if it was initially meant to printing in the darkroom, it can show you any bias in your light sources quite faithfully. Please note that the color patches are cyan, magenta and yellow, +5 on the left and -5 on the right (so, these are the complements, red, green and blue).
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 14, 2021 7:25 pm

For the benefit of anyone else not in the EU who might want to purchase one of these white balance cards, you need to be aware that it won't be easy.

For me, the website is nearly unnavigable. Attempting to load even a single page will cause multiple new pages to be automatically opened - some which appear to be related, some duplicate, and some unrelated to the originally loaded page. In nearly all cases, clicking on a link will create an entirely unexpected result and may even cause a never-ending string of pop-up windows that can only be stopped by force quitting your browser. Unfortunately, turning on your pop-up blocker prevents 'normal' navigation of the website. The page formatting will also sometimes appear to mix up the content - making it extraordinarily difficult to determine the information contained within that page.

After three rounds of emails asking for a quote, an estimate, or even just confirmation of the unit price for the cards, the consistent response has been, "I'm waiting for your final order." Apparently, you must blindly commit to an order before Fotowand will let you know how much said order and shipping will cost you.

There is supposedly a 300€ minimum order amount for anyone outside the EU that Fotowand will not confirm or acknowledge. And, there appears to be two pricing options for all products available - with and without VAT. If you're outside the EU, you can use the 'without VAT' pricing. At least, that's what I'm inferring from the response, "for outside EU without VAT." Payment to Fotowand is by bank transfer only. This means there's no option for disputes if you don't get the card(s) or the cards aren't as expected / promised.

In the case that we're in now, we're looking at purchasing the 4930 Colour-Gray card. These cards are 36.97€ without the VAT. To reach the minimum order cost, it'll require the purchase of at least nine (9) cards.

To the current group... we only account for eight cards. So, I'll increase my allocation to three cards and commit to the order. (Here's hoping that Fotowand's communication improves once the order is placed.)

3 - Ben Price - Colorado
1 - Chris Fazio - Chicago
1 - Denny Smith - California
1 - Marshall Harrington - California
2 - John Brawley - California
1 - Ellory Yu - California


Once I receive the invoice and pay, I'll divide the total out by card and let you know how much your portion comes to. (I'll provide everyone a copy of the invoice for transparency.) The cards will be ~$45 USD at current exchange rates. I have no idea how much S&H will be from Germany to the US. And then, there'll be shipping to your respective locations. I'd roughly guesstimate that a single card will cost $65 to $75. [eg. $45 (per card) + $8 (S&H from Germany) + $15.50 (S&H to you)]

Presuming everyone is still on-board, we're good to go.
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Creative110

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 14, 2021 9:31 pm

I’m confirming my order.
Let us know how you want to be paid when it’s time.
Thanks
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 14, 2021 11:05 pm

The order for nine (9) cards has been placed and acknowledged by Fotowand. (This is the verbatim response received.)
es Ben,

but please wait some days for the Invoice with details of the bank.

best, Dietmar

I'll let you know when the invoice arrives and is paid.
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Carolina Bay

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 18, 2021 9:26 pm

So, did you need anyone else to commit to buy one? If you do, add me to the list. It looks like you sucked up the extras to make an order, so I will take one if that is the case.
Thanks,
Virgil
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Marshall Harrington

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostMon Jul 19, 2021 6:35 pm

Ben Price wrote:The order for nine (9) cards has been placed and acknowledged by Fotowand. (This is the verbatim response received.)
es Ben,

but please wait some days for the Invoice with details of the bank.

best, Dietmar

I'll let you know when the invoice arrives and is paid.
Let us know when and how we need to respond. Thanks for your help. Awesome!
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 9:43 pm

I followed up with Dietmar at Fotowand to inquire about the order status and if an invoice had been created. (I haven't heard anything since last week when the order was placed.)

He responded, "not until yet, because of the virus attack. I inform you as soon as possible, by sending the Invoice. Please be patient."

So... I guess we wait.

In the mean time, I've obtained all the paperwork and endured a bit of an interrogation from my bank branch manager for the international wire transfer and currency conversion associated with payment.


Virgil Huston - I did add an extra card to my allotment in order to hit the minimum purchase amount. If you're interested in it, I'm happy to include you on the list and assign the extra card to you.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 10:16 pm

If I'm not too late to the party, can you add me to the list for one card?
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 10:31 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:If I'm not too late to the party, can you add me to the list for one card?

Jamie - Since the invoice hasn't been generated yet, I'll ask if the quantity can be increased. My prior communication with Fotowand leaves me skeptical that they'll allow it. However, it doesn't hurt to ask.
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostWed Jul 21, 2021 10:39 pm

Ben Price wrote:Jamie - Since the invoice hasn't been generated yet, I'll ask if the quantity can be increased. My prior communication with Fotowand leaves me skeptical that they'll allow it. However, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Thank you Ben!
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostThu Jul 22, 2021 3:53 am

Ben Price wrote:
Virgil Huston - I did add an extra card to my allotment in order to hit the minimum purchase amount. If you're interested in it, I'm happy to include you on the list and assign the extra card to you.


Thank you, let me know how to pay you. I will keep an eye out here for that info.
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Ben Price

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostThu Jul 22, 2021 6:32 pm

Jamie LeJeune wrote:
Ben Price wrote:Jamie - Since the invoice hasn't been generated yet, I'll ask if the quantity can be increased. My prior communication with Fotowand leaves me skeptical that they'll allow it. However, it doesn't hurt to ask.
Thank you Ben!

Good news! I head back from Dietmar...

“before I will send the Invoice, I will inform you about it, for you can add additional units to the order ...”

So... it looks like we can add more people / cards up to the actual point of placing the final order.

Here's the current order list...
2 - Ben Price - Colorado
1 - Chris Fazio - Illinois
1 - Denny Smith - California
1 - Marshall Harrington - California
2 - John Brawley - California
1 - Ellory Yu - California
1 - Virgil Huston - ???
1 - Jamie LeJeune - California
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostThu Jul 22, 2021 7:03 pm

Ben, Do we get better pricing if more folks order here? If so, come on Beemdemers, what are you waiting for?
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostFri Jul 23, 2021 5:03 am

Ben,
I am in South Carolina.
Thanks,
Virgil
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostFri Jul 23, 2021 6:14 pm

Okay everyone... last call.

now I'm ready to send the Invoice for the cards.
Please inform about the final amount, that I can send the Invoice.


Here's the order list...
2 - Ben Price - Colorado
1 - Chris Fazio - Illinois
1 - Denny Smith - California
1 - Marshall Harrington - California
2 - John Brawley - California
1 - Ellory Yu - California
1 - Virgil Huston - South Carolina
1 - Jamie LeJeune - California

I'll wait through the weekend for any last minute additions and then turn in the final order on Monday (26th) at 10am (MST). In the mean time, please PM me your contact info / mailing address. I can also put together a group email, Google Chat, etc. for all of the purchase details to be covered outside of this forum if that's preferred.
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostFri Jul 23, 2021 6:36 pm

Ellory Yu wrote:Ben, Do we get better pricing if more folks order here? If so, come on Beemdemers, what are you waiting for?

I'm not aware of any quantity discounts. However, I wouldn't expect to get one anyway unless we hit a far higher quantity.

One good outcome of having more cards on the order is that the shipping cost from Germany to the US and the wire transfer & currency conversion fees from USD to EUR are split up more.

I'm guardedly optimistic that the final cost of an individual card will be lower than originally estimated. Unfortunately, we just won't know until Fotowand sends the invoice.
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Ian Henderson

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSat Jul 24, 2021 4:04 am

Hi Ben - I’d be interested in one but I’m in South Africa. Is that a possibility in terms of shipping? I have a drop ship in the US but that seems an expensive and convoluted way of getting it here. Cheers, Ian
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSat Jul 24, 2021 11:34 pm

Ben Price wrote:
Ellory Yu wrote:Ben, Do we get better pricing if more folks order here? If so, come on Beemdemers, what are you waiting for?

I'm not aware of any quantity discounts. However, I wouldn't expect to get one anyway unless we hit a far higher quantity.

One good outcome of having more cards on the order is that the shipping cost from Germany to the US and the wire transfer & currency conversion fees from USD to EUR are split up more.

I'm guardedly optimistic that the final cost of an individual card will be lower than originally estimated. Unfortunately, we just won't know until Fotowand sends the invoice.

Thanks Ben. Appreciate what you are doing for us here.
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 25, 2021 1:48 am

Ian Henderson wrote:Hi Ben - I’d be interested in one but I’m in South Africa. Is that a possibility in terms of shipping? I have a drop ship in the US but that seems an expensive and convoluted way of getting it here. Cheers, Ian

Ian - It's a logistics stretch... Europe to USA to South Africa. It's also potentially a bit punitive for you cost-wise since there'd be the equivalent of a double currency conversion and double shipping. That being said, I'm not opposed to trying if you really want one.

How would we handle the reimbursement?

And for comparison against your drop ship option, I think the US Postal Service will ship a 'flat rate' box to South Africa for approximately $52 USD (~775 ZAR). Letter parcels are much cheaper, but the postal service requires that they're bendable by at least 1" of deflection. I can almost guarantee that a card sent in an envelope (even a padded one) through the USPS won't make it to you undamaged. (I've had a USPS carrier literally throw a box containing HDDs out his truck window at my garage door - with me standing on the sidewalk watching - rather than get out of his truck to deliver it.)
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Ian Henderson

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostSun Jul 25, 2021 3:27 pm

Hi Ben, yeah if they need to go via US probably doesn’t make sense. Count me out then and I’ll try get one when I’m in the EU. Best, Ian


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Re: White Balance Cards

PostThu Jul 29, 2021 8:49 pm

After a bit of back and forth on the invoice amount and how to handle shipping, I'm closer to a final amount per card.

The shipping via DHL was going to be as much as $300. I didn't think everyone would appreciate paying an additional $30 per card. Standard German post was only 15€ but would ship in a regular envelope. So, we compromised at 50€ with a padded envelope inside a 'folding carton' that has been insured for the full purchase price and comes with a tracking number.

The final total to Fotowand will be 434.41€. (see invoice) At the current exchange rate, that comes to approximately $520. The bank wire and currency conversion is $55. This brings the base purchase to ~$575 or ~$57.50 per card. If you don't have a preferred shipping method for getting your card to you once it arrives in Colorado, my plan is to use the USPS Flat Rate Priority box which is $15.50.

The estimated total then is approximately $60 (USD) per card plus $15.50 shipping to you if needed.

I'll coordinate payment with the bank as soon as possible and push out another update when that's completed.
Attachments
BenPrice_Invoice.jpg
Invoice with 35 EUR added for insurance and tracking
BenPrice_Invoice.jpg (640.56 KiB) Viewed 369 times
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Jamie LeJeune

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Re: White Balance Cards

PostThu Jul 29, 2021 10:05 pm

Thank you for putting in so much work to make this happen Ben. The plan for pricing + shipping sounds good to me. Let me know how to get payment to you. Venmo? Zelle?
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Re: White Balance Cards

PostThu Jul 29, 2021 11:18 pm

Thanks for taking this on Ben. Once you have the details down I'll be on it as fast as I can. Your effort is very appreciated.
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