Looking for greyscale testcards

James Kirk

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Hello, I'm new and it's great to be here. This is a question for the purpose of understanding actual hues represented in old monochrome photos. Is there a website from where one can download greyscale testcards for RGB tones, both for orthochromatic and panchromatic films? Or if not a website, can someone point the way to how one may be able to find these. Also I'm interested in the same for early 19th century 'blue sensitive' monochrome photography. Thank you.
 
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480sparky

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You can't download and print them.... you have to buy one.
 
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James Kirk

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Thank you. Any idea from where?
 

480sparky

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I use a Digital Gray Card. Solid chunk of homogeneous plastic. But I don't think they're made any more. I reckon you could order one from Adorama, KEH, B&H etc.
 
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James Kirk

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Sorry, I think I didn't explain myself clearly. I am attempting to work out the hues in old vintage monochrome photographs
 

480sparky

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I gray card can't help you with that.

Even if a gray card were included in the original image, it won't tell you what colors were what in the original scene. Some things you can assume, like a blue sky. Others you can guess at, like red brick. But there's no way to know whether someone's shirt was blue or red.
 

webestang64

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I doubt this will help but.......

ydrc2np.jpg


zaV83E4.jpg
 
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James Kirk

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I gray card can't help you with that.

Even if a gray card were included in the original image, it won't tell you what colors were what in the original scene. Some things you can assume, like a blue sky. Others you can guess at, like red brick. But there's no way to know whether someone's shirt was blue or red.
Yes, that is true but I am only trying to guage a mean average, not a precise measurement, hence the request - for example, depending on the type of orthochromatic film, green is usually darkish in early 20th century photos (just check the leaves on trees etc), beaches are sometimes bleached out which gives a clue to the inverse (bluish?) - red wasn't captured so accurately but you can still get a clue from flags or such things etc
 
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James Kirk

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Thanks Webestang64 - do you know what sort of film is it meant for? I've got a similar one (but with different grey tones of course) for orthochromatic film.
 

Original katomi

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Re post 7
Wow now that is interesting never thought of that. However,it is something I have learnt
For the OP
This may sound stupid, I will explain
Do you have any colour blind friends
A long time ago a friend of mine who like me did film photography was colour blind
I once asked how did he get on, he knew that some things were a certain colour oranges for example
Uk post boxes and phone boxes were red. And so on from these he knew , don’t ask me how, which shades of grey were what colours....
could you make your own version of the post 7 idea, photo things that are in your images if they still exist or go onto places like face book that have old images of the same location bu5 in colour
Otherwise I have no ideas of how you are going to translate old b&w tones into colour there are just so many variables temp, colour of original light source the difference on how film recorded the shades I know from past experience and working in digital not all film recorded images the same
Can just wish you the best of luck
 
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James Kirk

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Re post 7
Wow now that is interesting never thought of that. However,it is something I have learnt
For the OP
This may sound stupid, I will explain
Do you have any colour blind friends
A long time ago a friend of mine who like me did film photography was colour blind
I once asked how did he get on, he knew that some things were a certain colour oranges for example
Uk post boxes and phone boxes were red. And so on from these he knew , don’t ask me how, which shades of grey were what colours....
could you make your own version of the post 7 idea, photo things that are in your images if they still exist or go onto places like face book that have old images of the same location bu5 in colour
Otherwise I have no ideas of how you are going to translate old b&w tones into colour there are just so many variables temp, colour of original light source the difference on how film recorded the shades I know from past experience and working in digital not all film recorded images the same
Can just wish you the best of luck
Hello Original katomi,
thanks for your idea - yes, that is certainly one way to go about it I suppose. I'm sort of trying to build up a guide, if you will, for the various ortho and pantochromatic films in order to be able to read them like words on a page. I don't know if any one has done it before but a compilation like that would certainly be useful for any one that colorises old photos. Regarding the AI deep learning version of colorising, I am not a big fan of that, I must admit. lol But thank you all the same.
 
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The David Taylor book I have for one my bodies had a gray card as the inset. I tore it off and keep it in the bag.
 

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