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#1 Jack Schwitz

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 03:47 AM

Does anyone know where I can find a cheap/used color chip cart. like you used in film school. I'm just getting back into filmmaking and am aquiring the goods.
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#2 Michael Collier

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:28 PM

I wouldn't recomend a used one. Usually people buy new and don't get rid of them until the surface gets marred or the colors start to fade. The manufacturer says their chips start to fade in about 2 years of average use. I doubt you would find a used one under 5 or 10 years old.

Are you looking for something like a macbeth chart? Those are usually pretty cheap. 60-70 bucks. Ok, maybe not cheap for a peice of cardboard, but for accurate colors its pretty cheap.
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#3 Bob Hayes

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 05:38 PM

Any know where I can get some used chewing gum? No. You want to own a new chip chart.
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#4 Michael Collier

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Posted 08 October 2006 - 06:39 PM

Hey, bob, I got some great used gum if you wanna buy it. Circa '97. Very good year for wriggleys. make me an offer :D
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#5 Jack Schwitz

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Posted 09 October 2006 - 12:51 PM

nice i didnt know they were under 100 bucks.
thanks
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#6 ryan_bennett

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 10:53 PM

I used the one supplied on Bonolabs website, can't find the link now. I would also make my own as described on same site.
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#7 Michael Collier

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 12:17 AM

I used the one supplied on Bonolabs website, can't find the link now. I would also make my own as described on same site.


Thats not entirely solid advice (actually its pretty bad advice in my opinion, sorry ryan and bonolabs) The point of a color chart is they should be a mathematical standard. Something to target with. Light meters, guitar tuners, color charts, are all very tightly calibrated to provide a reliable set that fits within tight standard deviation requirements. Not only are all measurements related to eachother, but any one can be traced to a mathematical idea of some kind. (light meters are obvious: 100fc=100ASA with proper exposure, a tuner puts G at 440Hz, I am not sure the conversion to wavelength, but red on a Macbeth is a true red, according to wavelength standards.) all have been tested to ensure they are true to their standards before leaving the factory.

When you use a color chart (either for film or video) your doing yourself a disservice if you cannot guarantee that the colors are accurate. With any kind of printing proccess there are inherant problems with keeping a consistent color. In fact simple things litke the kind of cartridge you use, or the printer, or even the OS/Graphics software you print from can affect the color in subtle ways. In fact it could look perfect to you by eye, but in the end you may wind up with colors with a slight tint.

Now this may not be a problem for simple things. I printed my own warm cards for my ENG work. They work beautifully (after the 10th printing with minor changes at each generation) but that was all done to taste. Print, test see if you like it. Guess again and try again, that was the method for all 4 colors! (3 warms, and one plus green) In the end its not a true white ballance card, just one I know give me results I want for that particular camera. Even on a different camera there could be issues.

Add to all those problems the fact that anyone else looking at your footage will not know what to make of the colors! A standard chip chart is gold for someone coloring your video (I hear its the same for a film timer) in fact, most likely if your going to a proffessional colorist they will probably have several standard color chips on hand. Plus their using a standard chart that they look at all day, and know in general what they should look like on their system.

Bottom line: a standard chart (which is expensive because of the extreme methods they use to ensure and check that the are in fact standard) will guarantee you perfect colors, weather your doing the work or someone else. A non standard-home printed version will never let you feel safe. Even if it helps the first time you use it, maybe on a different camera or under different lights the chip chart you use may fail you (and is any of your footage expendable for the cost of a $65 chart? I sure hope not)

But for 60 bucks, come on. you can save on fast food and cigarettes and buy one in a few weeks without being any more broke.
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#8 Andrew Jackson

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 10:15 AM

I'm also needing a chip chart, and just recently I had come up with an idea, although it probably won't work. If I bought a graycard, then went to wal-mart and bought like a "paint variety pack" for $10 that contains a little bit of white, black, blue, yellow, red, green, etc. and I painted little circles on the graycard, would that work? I'm trying to be cheap, a la any film person. My options are pretty much
A) use only a graycard
B) use a color chart that someone will lend me but is just colors printed out on a piece of paper and slapped on graycard
C) do the paint method



Thanks!
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#9 Michael Nash

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Posted 20 October 2007 - 06:03 PM

Hey, if you want cheap Fotokem used to give away their grayscale/chip charts. I've still got a couple and they still work. No, it's not a mathematically precise MacBeth chart, but it's more than enough for someone to hand-hold at the head of a reel (for a skin tone reference), set up on a telecine and go, "yeah, that looks pretty good."

Posted Image

If you're a DIT programming an HD camera you need precise reference. If you're a student doing a short film, shooting a graycard and attending a supervised telecine session will probably teach you more anyway. You just have to decide what tool you really need for the job.
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