Gray Card use help


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ikandarp

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Dec 11, 2007
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#1
Hi All,

In forum while reading some exposure/metering threads I have come across term "use gray card".

I am newbie in photography world and don't understand why and how to use gray card and what's relation between gray card and exposure/metering techniques?:confused:

:embrass: It sounds stupid to ask such question but can you please redirect me to understand this fundamental.

Please help.

Thanks in advance.
Kandy
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#2
Hi All,

In forum while reading some exposure/metering threads I have come across term "use gray card".

I am newbie in photography world and don't understand why and how to use gray card and what's relation between gray card and exposure/metering techniques?:confused:

:embrass: It sounds stupid to ask such question but can you please redirect me to understand this fundamental.

Please help.

Thanks in advance.
Kandy
Let's see. There was a recent thread on the 18% grey card and exposure, go look it up. From what I recall, it seems that the camera's metering is more close to 12% rather than 18%. As such, if we meter using a grey card in the right conditions, we may need to increase the exposure slightly by 1/2 stop or so.

Here's a site whre you can read more about it :

Meters Dun See 18% Gray

Why to use one, you would get a better metering subject than what you may be shooting, say a black clad groom or a white covered bride. Using a neutral grey would allow you to meter the lighting conditions better and more accurately than guesstimating between the black and white.
 

Del_CtrlnoAlt

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Feb 15, 2003
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#3
grey card aka the 18% grey is for metering.

cos most metering system will use the 18% grey to even out the exposure.

well, its only useful up til a certain extend... if for newbies, i doubt u might even need it...

its often use in like placing it on subjects, take metering, then use the setting to shoot consistently. but there is still limitation, for eg, gray cards are normally small sized, not say big like a big poster, so if you are shooting big objects, and your metering in camera (spot meter) will not be able to meter at a small point.

getting a light meter with incident is still an easier and effective method.
 

ikandarp

New Member
Dec 11, 2007
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Singapore
#4
Ok so that means, gray card is used to identify lighting condition on particular location say on the spot, which will help to maintain even exposure.

And if I am not wrong can be helpful to set exposure in shady/bright lighting or else while shooting multi color subject e.g. shooting theme park or clown etc.

advice me if I have miss understood.

Thanks a lot.

Kandy
 

zac08

Senior Member
Feb 21, 2005
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#5
Ok so that means, gray card is used to identify lighting condition on particular location say on the spot, which will help to maintain even exposure.

And if I am not wrong can be helpful to set exposure in shady/bright lighting or else while shooting multi color subject e.g. shooting theme park or clown etc.

advice me if I have miss understood.

Thanks a lot.

Kandy
I would say it's more for a more accurate metering area as opposed to the subjects which you may encounter. Do note that it can also be used for manual white balance setting too. ;)
 

photobum

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Apr 17, 2005
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#6
And of course I will not want to argue over the gray card issue with Thom Hogan (I respect that man as one of the voice of authority in Nikon and Fuji gears).

As a student of John Sexton (who himself was a student of Ansel Adams), I firmly believe in the representation of 18% gray as a meter reference in photography. I am trained with the Zone System and I have always used it in my line of work, and to me, the Zone System has become one of my photography tools.

The 18% Kodak gray card is used as the 'industry standard' for many, many years. Not only in photography, but in cinematography as well. So, who am I to change the standard or argue over this discrepancy?

For me, it is a standard that works. For most, it is a standard that is literally 'curved on stone' and up to the individual to apply in his/hers photography.
 

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