Where are you from? In the US we have laws forbidding cruel and unusual punishment.
Originally Posted by Bob-D659
Let me make a suggestion before we really derail into insanity.
A gray card is a tool, nothing more and nothing less. It is not a magic wand.
If you have a particular problem with your work, then look for a solution to that problem. And *IF* the solution looks like it might be a gray card, then by all means get a gray card and start learning to use it.
But do not get a solution and then start looking for a problem in your work to solve with that solution.
That isn't to say that a gray card may not be just the thing you need. But you haven't said why you think you need a gray card, and now all these old guys like me are making jokes about it.
But again, don't fall in the trap of seizing a solution then trying to find a problem to fit it. First try to identify what area you need/want to improve, then look for the tool to do that. And if coming to understand and utilize a gray card for critical exposure control is part of that solution, then jump all over the gray card.
But a gray card is not a magic wand. Don't dismiss it, but don't put too much value in it either.
To the OP: for color balance, and if you have to perform an initial purchase, it's probably better to lean towards a color checker, like the ones distributed by Gretag (just an example!).
The only time I have used a gray card in my 45+ years behind a lens was when I worked for Olan Mills Inc. Company policy was shooting a gray card first shot of the day, once mid-day and last shot of the day. Also had to shoot one whenever I changed rolls of film. That was for the processor's use not mine, so the color balance was always near perfect as they could get. I tossed out my gray card when I left them. If you need a subject that renders middle gray for B&W, meter off the lawn(middle gray) or your hand and add one stop(unless you're an albino, then add 2 or 3).
What is a master but a master student? And if that's true, then there's a responsibility on you to keep getting better and to explore avenues of your profession.
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@Holly (OP), If you are solid on your shooting, I would stick with that. If you are scanning on a flatbed scanner, I would suggest a grey scale to be scanned w/ it in the same pass.
Like one of these: http://www.adorama.com/KKQ13.html, http://www.bhphotovideo.com/bnh/cont...dak+Grey+Scale
The patch marked w/ the "M" is .70 density and is the closest (if not right on) 18% grey. Make your adjustments to your scan and then crop out the scale for output. Or the Gretag marco.taje suggested if you care to spend the extra. They are quality.
It's never going to be perfect, it's digital. Your scanner has a color profile, so does your monitor, so does the printer you plan to use and each web site has it's own way of rendering images. It's close to impossible to get everything to match. Here is an example of a scanned negative. Open the image that is an attachment (it should open in a new window) then look at the two photos side by side. The attachment is a direct upload to APUG. The "inserted" image is the exact same file uploaded to Photobucket and then linked to this thread. Not only are the tones different, the direct uploaded one is sharper than the linked one.
Just my 2 cents, good luck,
Does this result in an indecent exposure? (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
Originally Posted by BillBingham2
I did some of my best work with those Kodak Note things you used to get with film... and guessing!!
otherwise Minolta Flash meter IV... no grey card here either.
Here's a lens cloth and a grey card all in one.
It's like a whip topping and a floor wax all in one!
Originally Posted by Sirius Glass
I'll be happy if I can lift one in 50 years, much less use it.