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  1. #11

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    Use the palm of your hand, add 1/2 to 1 stop. But I always hunt up a bit of grass on the ground and just go w/ that reading w/o any adjustments.
    Last edited by momus; 01-17-2014 at 06:39 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  2. #12

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    Some years ago I was able to get a couple of plastic gray cards that have seemed to be very close if not right on. I too cut them into manageable pieces which if not 100% accurate at least had also come in handy to scrape ice off the windshield on a September visit to Yellowstone Natl. Park a few years ago.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  3. #13
    Trail Images's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the ideas overall.

    @ AgX, I followed the Fotowand link and by using the link to the USA site found a vendor who sells a nice 3x5 plastic card made by Fotowand.

    Fotowand Grey Card

  4. #14
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Can't you just print an 12% sheet and paste it to a gator board. YOu'd have to measure it to see if it's the correct "gray" and adjust to get the right darkness.

  5. #15
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    @ Alan, yes I'd thought of that approach too. Although I'd want to devise a weatherproof finished product in the end. After seeing the shipping price on some of the cards at more then what the cards actually go for it might be the answer.

  6. #16
    Terry Christian's Avatar
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    I use a pocket size Whi-Bal.

  7. #17
    Alan Klein's Avatar
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    Nat Geo makes Adventure Paper. It's about $20 for box of 25-8 1/2 x 11" sheets. They have larger sizes as well. It doesn't rip, it's waterproof, you can fold it without leaving creases, and you can run it through your ink jet printer. I use it to print out topographic and trail maps and other paper stuff I need when I go hiking so it's convenient and protective for using out in the field. I never tried it to make a gray card, but it seems like it should work.
    http://www.ems.com/product/index.jsp?productId=3656654

    http://shop.nationalgeographic.com/ngs/product/member-products/adventure-paper---single-pack-letter---25-sheets%2F8.5''x11''

  8. #18

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    At one time I had a really good spectrophotometer in my shop and plotted readings from a whole stack of gray cards from different manufacturers. Not only
    were none of them 18% gray (or even within 4% of that), but the point of highest spectral sensitivity varied all over the place within respect to what
    "gray" actually is, as a hue. Even cards from the same manufacturer varied, depending on age (fading, even when purchased new) and general lack of
    quality control. So just for the hell of it, I mixed a batch of paint that was true 18% over the entire visible spectrum. It became a backboard in the studio,
    but had fabric or studio paper dropped over it for the actual shot. I'd hate to try to replicate it. What I have discovered, however, is that the gray patches
    on an unfaded MacBeath Color Checker chart are quite neutral, and one of them is a reliable equivalent of 18%. These cost a lot more than gray cards and
    aren't really practical in the field, but give a good reference for checking your ordinary cards as well as color film testing.

  9. #19

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    I might add that serious equipment is never calibrated to any of the above, but to nonfading ceramic tiles which have themselves been carefully measured and labeled with any correction factors. With the programmed software in many bench devices nowadays this is fairly
    easy. Back in the old days a calibration standard could cost you a thousand bucks. I'm very skeptical of TTL metering in general, since there are so many complicating factors, but everyone just gets accustomed to the specific idiosyncrasies of their own metering system with practice anyway. I use several exactly matched Pentax digital spotmeters which are recalibrated if one of the goes off even a third stop over the whole scale (maybe only once a decade per meter). The nature of peak sensitivity of the meter is just as important as the hypothetical percent. But I alway work with the
    18% formula, and I'm about as nitpicky with color film as people come. But again, once you get used to however your own boomerang
    manages to correctly return to you, that is all that is really important.

  10. #20
    Trail Images's Avatar
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    Anyone using the "Novoflex Zebra Check Card"? Apparently made of polymer and gets good ratings for all around field usage.

    Again, thank you all for your input. It's been educational with regard to the collective ideas. After using a standard Kodak gray card for 20+ years in the field I had no idea how many products were actually being offered on the market these days. Most all include "white balance" on the back of the gray cards. So no doubt a lot of items released with the advent of the digi-world and the need to check white balance in the field too.

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