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Thread: Exposure basics - 18% grey

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    Default Exposure basics - 18% grey

    I've been reading some books on photography and getting a bit confused. They seem to be saying that white colour will appear as 18% grey in photographs. But that's not true right? I see actual white color in my photos.
    Last edited by red_ryder; 11th May 2006 at 10:23 AM.

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    Moderator ortega's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure basics - 18% grey

    that is if you use centre weighted metering and the whole frame is filled with white.

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    Moderator catchlights's Avatar
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    Default Re: Exposure basics - 18% grey

    Yes, if you fill you frame with white only, and use the meter reading suggested by the camera, the white will turn out gray, 18% gray.

    and, if you fill you frame with black only, and use the meter reading suggested by the camera, the black will turn out gray also, 18% gray.

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    Default Re: Exposure basics - 18% grey

    thanks!

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    Default Re: Exposure basics - 18% grey

    Points to add. Our camera metering take 18% grey as a standard to measure how much light there is. So if you meter a total white area, the camera will take it as 18% grey and meter as such. Then you will have a under expose reading as the camera meter is trick to read there too much light and your white area will come out as grey. Same goes to meter a black area. You will have a over expose reading as the camera meter is trick to read there too little light and your black area come out as dark grey. That why there such device call the 18% grey card, which people use it with their camera meter to get a more balance reading. Incident meter also have the advance as it meter the actual light fall on to the subject, thus will give you the correct 18% grey reading. Learning and using the zone system will make you understand these things better.

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    Default Re: Exposure basics - 18% grey

    Quote Originally Posted by singscott
    Points to add. Our camera metering take 18% grey as a standard to measure how much light there is. So if you meter a total white area, the camera will take it as 18% grey and meter as such.
    If I'm not mistaken, the ANSI/ISO standard that most manufacturers follow specifies about 12% reflectance, not 18%.

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    Default Re: Exposure basics - 18% grey

    Quote Originally Posted by LittleWolf
    If I'm not mistaken, the ANSI/ISO standard that most manufacturers follow specifies about 12% reflectance, not 18%.
    Yes you are right. Then most reading materials out there will tell you the standard is 18% mid grey. That why the thread starter ask about 18% grey because something he read. 12% is more like the trade brench mark among camera manufacturer. So you are right most meter use 12% grey. But that not main point here please read my above posting carefully, if you like just replace the 18% to 12% as that will make you understand better
    Last edited by singscott; 12th May 2006 at 03:18 AM.

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