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07-23-2008, 11:50 AM   #16
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Peter: Congratulations on both your ME Supers and your 4,000th post.

I am glad they tested well against your meter--one never knows how this will go. When I am testing a new camera against my Sekonic L308S, I tend to be a little nervous. So far, my new purchases have tested well. I do not use a gray card, though, when testing. I probably should. I suppose I have a fair idea as to what a neutral test subject is, but I have been thinking of buying a set of gray cards anyway. I have looked around a bit, and there does not seem to be much available.


07-23-2008, 04:27 PM   #17
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Glen, There are some decent and relatively cheap gray cards on Ebay if you can't find one locally. I got my latest one at a local store. They are only good for about 2 years or so as the dye fades.
07-23-2008, 04:46 PM   #18
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if I may show my ignorance, what is the purpose of gray cards?
07-23-2008, 05:27 PM   #19
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QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
if I may show my ignorance, what is the purpose of gray cards?
If you meter off one you can set your white balance so it is exactly as grey. Prevents colour casts.

07-24-2008, 12:51 AM   #20
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To make sure your meter is metering as it should
The light meter is calibrated for ana average scene, thus balanced light and dark tones, so if you point your camera to a white surface or to a black surface the metering will over/under expose and thus using a grey card allows you to meter correctly.

making one yourself is relatively simple with a printer and paper, you can either do it as a solid gray or I think a black/white checker pattern is best.

IMHO if you are testing the camera meter against a handheld it does not matter what do you test it against as long as it is the same for the handheld and the camera. If you point both to the wall of your house (white in this example) or point both to a dark steel door (black) both should meter the same, and a picture should give you a medium gray in both cases
So point them to an average scene in you backyard and they should meter the same. BUT do it at different times, since the problems arise in both limits of the metering spectrum so a very bright and a quite dark scenes would test the meter best.

QuoteOriginally posted by jgredline Quote
if I may show my ignorance, what is the purpose of gray cards?
From Clemson tech photography course
There are a number of technical situations where camera meter systems will be fooled and produce incorrect exposures. These situations include photographing black and white line drawings, graphs etc and photographing specimens where a white or black background is employed. Specimens photographed in front of a curved background will appear to float in the photograph (see the photograph of the copy stand below) and there will be no background details to distract from the specimen. Consider the three photographic subjects below. The left and right frames will fool the meter systems and thus require exposure reading using a 18% gray card. The middle subject is close to neutral or 18% gray and would produce a correct aperture-shutter setting.

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