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Grey Card necessary when using handheld light meter?


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#1 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:24 PM

Hi there,

 

just wondering if it's necessary to use a grey card when metering with a handheld light meter like the Sekonic L-758 or other handheld light meters? 

 

thanks in advance,

Alex


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#2 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:27 PM

A reflected reading off a grey card will be the same., more or less, as an incident reading. So, no, not really.


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#3 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:40 PM

thanks for the quick reply, Mark.

 

what about skin tones? aren't they supposed to be 2/3 - 1 stop lighter? 

 

P.S. newbie here, so please excuse if any of these questions seem basic or self-explanatory to you ;)


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#4 Mark Dunn

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:45 PM

Yes they are. If you take an incident reading, though, skin tones will be correct. An incident reading is independent of the different reflectances within the scene- it's correct for all of them. more or less.


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#5 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:48 PM

Got it now! Thanks for your help :)


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#6 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 12:52 PM

The Sekonic L-578 is a combo incident and reflective meter, so in which mode were you asking about a gray card?  Incident meters measure the amount of light falling on the dome, so don't need gray cards, but a spot / reflective meter reads the amount of light reflective off of an object, so if you want an 18% gray reference, then the card is useful, though most people use reflective meters to measure the brightness of various areas in the frame.  They tend to use the gray card when they only have a spot / reflective meter and are using it to determine the exposure for the scene.  If you have a combo meter though, I would tend to think you'd use the incident meter in place of a spot meter pointed at a gray card, and then use the spot meter mode to check the contrast range, how hot a lamp is, etc.


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#7 Alexander Boyd

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Posted 23 December 2014 - 01:20 PM

Hi David,

 

being aware that the L-758 is a combo meter, I was wondering about it in more general terms. But your wonderful description has made it clear - just like Mark's post - that a grey card isn't really necessary when taking incident meter readings, while it seems to be favourable when using a spot/reflective meter.

 

Thanks to both of you! 


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#8 A.DePa

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Posted 20 June 2015 - 02:36 PM

Reading the post I´m thinking about that I use the 18% grey card with false color. In my opinion is very useful. Is a good reference for me. What do you think about this? 

 

thanks


Edited by A.DePa, 20 June 2015 - 02:39 PM.

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#9 Kendrick Gray

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Posted 11 August 2016 - 02:06 AM

Old post but this helped me a lot! 


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