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Old May 12, 2006, 6:02 PM   #1
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Hello again, my last post about spot metering. Thanks for all the information. I added yours to the one I gathered from the Net. I think I will get it...The word "greycard" is often used in the talks about spot metering. Since my language is primarly French, I have to say I don't really know what is a greycard and what it does. Can someone guide me in this please. Thanks again my friends.Germain
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Old May 12, 2006, 6:44 PM   #2
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Light meters generaly work on an 18% grey. That is they assume that area being metered is a mid tone the actual colour doesn't matter as the light meter is not sensitive to colour.

It is possible to buy a card which is 18% grey. Using this and a spot meter it is possible to obtain a perfect meter reading. It can alos be used to set the white balance. If the actual subject is particulary light or dark you would need to adjust the exposure to compensate.



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Old May 12, 2006, 8:52 PM   #3
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It could literally be a cardboard you can buy and it's color is 18% grey. It could also be made from other materials, ie a cloth, etc. I've seen photography books with an 18% grey card on the back that you can tear and use. I've also seen camera and lens cloth that are supposedly 18% grey.

Here's what they have in B&H, but I've seen actual cardboards in my local camera store for about $10.

I don't have one, I saw a book in my local bookstore that lets you read a scene to determine which is 18% grey, so I just rely on that and eye-ball it.

But like I mentioned on my other post, I don't really use spot metering unless it's necessary. But one of these days, I'll use it more and try to understand it more.

Good Luck!

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Old May 13, 2006, 12:52 AM   #4
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In real life you do not need a gray card. I am mainly shooting birds. Small birds with light back ground is not easy to measure the right exposure. Attached picture is a good example. If youpoint spot meter at the black bird the reading will lead to over expose of the picture (the camera try to make the black bird 18% gray). If you point at the sky back ground the picture will be under exposed (the camera try to make the sky 18% gray). You can compensate your setting to solve the problems. With this particular shot I measured at the branch with the spot meter. I consider it's close to gray card.
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Old May 13, 2006, 2:09 AM   #5
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Yeah, I've used shaded tree branches as well. If you do a search for "zone system" online, you'll see a lot of examples on how to spot Zone 5 (ie 18% gray), or something close to it. Here's an example from this site.





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