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Grey card in Super 8?


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#1 Samuel Berger

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 01:16 PM

I was wondering if the grey cards used for White Balance in digital cameras are of any help for metering in Super 8. I remember reading somewhere that modern grey cards are 18% grey whereas they used to be 12% grey but I'm not even sure that was it.

 

I know absolutely nothing about using grey cards, by the way. So, how would I go about using a grey card with Super 8? And for what? Just light metering? Can they be used for grading in post after scanning?


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#2 Will Montgomery

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 04:40 PM

Grey cards are a neutral source to judge exposure in the film transfer process so yes, they are very useful (but not completely critical). And just FYI, they've been around for film longer than digital :)

 

Make sure you put the grey card where your subject is so the lighting is the same...like right in front of a face. If you do that consistently it will help the colorist keep different film segments looking similar. You only need a few frames but make sure the lighting doesn't change in between shots.

 

I believe Kodak still sells their grey card but you can get water proof ones from B&H easily. Not sure when or if they switched from 12% to 18% but these days it is 18%.


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#3 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 05 October 2017 - 11:28 PM

Samuel, re the use of a grey card for metering....Not sure where you are at with your understanding of using the light meters,  sorry if some of what follows is redundant...

 

Normally one might set a basic level and relative value of sources using an incident meter.  It ignores the light or dark values of the thing being photographed. An incident meter is normalised to 18% grey.  So a textbook exposure will yield the dark faces dark and the northern Euro faces light....

 

If one is thinking about the relative values of brightness within a frame (as framed by the camera) then one might look through a spot meter.  Quickly one can cover the whole range of values within the frame.  But these values (numbers) are only relative to each other.  If you want to relate them to the normalized reading from the incident meter,  you aim the spot meter at a small grey card (18% grey).  Even if you are on a roll,  able to sense these relative values just with your eye,  it is useful to refer occasionally to a small piece of grey card.


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