18% grey or white card for white balance setting

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by shingfan, Jan 26, 2007.

  1. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toroto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    what is an 18% grey card?....and how white should a white card be?....when setting white balance...which is more convenient to use?......so..when setting the white balance....should i put the paper very close to the camera...or use long focal lenght?....any difference?
     
  2. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Either one will work fine. An 18% grey card is used for determining proper exposure, and for calibrating a meter. Meters always give recommendations to make your exposure 18% grey, or "middle" grey. The meter has no idea what your subject matter is. It's up to you to decide how to expose based on the meter.

    As for white balance, all you need is a neutral tone to balance off of. White balance is a term that comes from video, and somehow has made the transition to digital still photography. A grey card works just as well as a white card. You need to have the card illuminated by the same light that is hitting your subject, or chosen scene. If you are shooting a model, have them hold the card. If you are setting a custom white balance, depending on your camera, you may have to fill the frame, or it might let you select a spot in the photo to wb from. I don't know what camera you have. If you are planning to set the white balance in software later, it doesn't have to fill the frame. You'll just click on it with an eyedropper to select WB.
     
  3. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toroto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    so i can grap a piece of regular printing paper and it should do a fine job acting as a white reference?.....does it matter if there has folding line.......or it is not that critical and it doesnt need to be perfectly smooth surface when evenly spread color?....i'm thinking of putting a couple pieces of printing paper in my camera bag to use for setting white balance if this is okay in your opinion...but of course...they are too big to fit in the bag so i'll need to fold them...so when i use them...there will be folding lines...wonder if it matters
     
  4. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I wouldn't recommend using a piece of paper, because it's not totally opaque. You want something opaque, so no other colors show through it. A piece of white foamcoare or mat board is probably smarter. Folds and creases don't really matter. You want something to represent neutral color in your scene.
     
  5. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Why not just buy a gray card, you can get one for about 10 bucks.
     
  6. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toroto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    well....three piece of printing papar stacked is probably opaque enough?........or maybe white cardboard?.....i like to put it in the camera bag and carry along easily.....how about focal length?.....does it matter?......better if the card board is farther or closer to the camera?

    well....i'm not sure what a grey card is....i'm a newbie....and if i can get something to do the same job for free at home....i would save the $10...lol....
     
  7. ladyphotog

    ladyphotog TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Messages:
    215
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Georgia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    You will use a gray card many times for different situations and you will always have it if you take care of it.

    This is a gray card:
    http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/products/tools/card.shtml
     
  8. Digital Matt

    Digital Matt alter ego: Analog Matt

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2004
    Messages:
    5,346
    Likes Received:
    65
    Location:
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Focal length doesn't matter. The paper has to be clearly visible under the same lighting conditions as your subject.
     
  9. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
  10. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toroto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    when using this grey card...do i need to also include the white and black area in the exposure?....

    how much is it different from just using white paper?
     
  11. ksmattfish

    ksmattfish Now 100% DC - not as cool as I once was, but still

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2003
    Messages:
    7,021
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Lawrence, KS
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    You can white balance with anything that is color neutral. The problem is that the human eye is not very good at determining if something is color neutral or not, so you need to know for sure whether the paper is color neutral.
     
  12. shingfan

    shingfan TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    569
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Toroto, ON
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    what is the meaning of color neutral?....
     

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

18 grey card download

,
18% grey vs white
,
18% grey/white card
,
18 grey vs white balance
,
download grey card 18 for photography
,
grey card vs white card
,
is 18% grey or white better
,
mat board that is 18% gray
,
setting custom white balance, difference using white paper or grey card
,
white balance card vs 18% grey card