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Thread: Gray Card using Inkjet?

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    Default Gray Card using Inkjet?

    Is it possible to create your own 18% gray card using your printer? I know that normally this tends to be warmer depending on the type paper used but anyone actually tried or anyone know how is it? Is a more-or-less 18% gray card good enough (from what I read, some people suggest using a rock or grass or something so would a home-made gray card be better or worst?)

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    some ink-paper combinations are said to have 'metamerism'. that is, the colour is different under different types of light. so i guess it might work but may not be foolproof?

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    probably if you can get your pc set (including printer, scanner n monitor) calibrated, inclusive of a good paper for printing... u might pull if off... but probably wont b as accurate eh..?

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    Quote Originally Posted by detrop
    probably if you can get your pc set (including printer, scanner n monitor) calibrated, inclusive of a good paper for printing... u might pull if off... but probably wont b as accurate eh..?
    for pc, can set the CYMK to gray like 0-0-0-18%? Anyway... I guess no choice but try.. hehe... thanks guys for responding... but it seems not many cheapo here... $20 for Kodak Gray Card is darn expensive for me.

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    suggestion: why not print several variations? then you can tweak the brightness/colour slightly depending on your needs, using the different cards

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    Quote Originally Posted by d7t3
    suggestion: why not print several variations? then you can tweak the brightness/colour slightly depending on your needs, using the different cards
    Good idea. thanks.

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    just pop by any bookshops that sell A4 colour paper, and pick the different shape of gray papers. It works.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jopel
    just pop by any bookshops that sell A4 colour paper, and pick the different shape of gray papers. It works.
    Oks. Thanks. Will do that.

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    There is a simpler method.

    1) Find someone who has a gray card
    2) Meter the gray card and your hand in a variety of lighting conditions, write the readings down.
    3) Compare the values of gray card to the palm of your hand.
    4) Calculate the compensation value between your hand and gray card.
    5) You now have a "calibrated" hand that is always available for 18% gray measurement.
    Last edited by Ian; 18th July 2005 at 09:37 AM.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
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    you sure the palm can't be paler or more flushed depending on temperature/activity level?

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    theorically, ian is correct. y didnt i think of it. but is the accuracy that reliable?

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    why not follow ian's instructions, except replace "palm" with "homemade grey card"?

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    Oks. Thanks. Time to experiment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by detrop
    theorically, ian is correct. y didnt i think of it. but is the accuracy that reliable?
    It's pretty constant, typically within 1/10th or so of a stop. Given that almost all camera meters are only accurate to 1/3rd stop anyway. 1/3rd of a stop is the smallest amount of light varience the average human eye can detect.

    Quote Originally Posted by d7t3
    you sure the palm can't be paler or more flushed depending on temperature/activity level?
    I've found the varience to be minimal, typically around +/- 1/10th of a stop though there are larger changes in extreme cold (below about -10C) or if your hand is wet or sunburnt.
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    woo! i learned something! thx! hopefully i could try it out soon nuff.

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    Using photoshop to create a new doc in 5R/4R size, 300dpi,

    fill the layer with RGB 128,128,128

    save it in jpg and send to lab for print,

    You have a homemade 18% gray card now, not 100% accurate but should be good enough.

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