Grey Card

25 posts
2 July 2014
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz
 
When working inside with natural light and studio lights I tend to opt for a custom white balance. I'm never quite sure whether I should make sure that I get the grey card to fill my lens, or weather its fine as long as you get most of the grey card in the shot.
 
All of the grey card in the shot?
 
Thanks in advance of any helpful replies.
 
Posted 2 July 2014
onthecouch
Photographer
onthecouch
we always filled the frame at college, but haven't used a grey card for 15 years
David

Posted 2 July 2014
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz
onthecouch

we always filled the frame at college, but haven't used a grey card for 15 years David


Do you find that auto white balance is adequate?
 
Possibly spot metering.
Posted 2 July 2014
nikondave
Photographer
nikondave
If filling the frame what difference would spot metering make, and how the hell does spot metering work with studio flash ?



Posted 2 July 2014
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz
nikondave

If filling the frame what difference would spot metering make, and how the hell does spot metering work with studio flash ?


Apologists, I was under the impression you knew what you were talking about.
 


Any help from knowledgeable photographers would be very much appreciated.cheeky
Posted 2 July 2014
nikondave
Photographer
nikondave
Anyone care to comment

Posted 2 July 2014
eosfan
Photographer
eosfan
First of all, get the exposure of the grey card right, then ideally fill the frame with grey card and follow your cameras Custom WB procedure. In practice I doubt it would make much, if any, difference if the card only filled say 75% of the frame, but why not fill the frame anyway?

I still use grey card or Lastolite Ezybalance on every shoot as I use various umbrellas, softboxes, and both Bowens and ProFoto lights.

Posted 2 July 2014
Edited by eosfan 2 July 2014
Paul_Jones
Photographer
Paul_Jones
Ladiesman
When working inside with natural light and studio lights I tend to opt for a custom white balance. I'm never quite sure whether I should make sure that I get the grey card to fill my lens, or weather its fine as long as you get most of the grey card in the shot.
 
All of the grey card in the shot?


If using the grey card to set a custom white balance in-camera, the way I have done it in the past is to fill all of the frame with the grey.

If shooting RAW you could instead take a reference photo of the model holding a colour check device and then adjust the white balance in the RAW conversion stage.  Consider devices like:

X-Rite Colour Checker Passport  -  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0036ZBUOG/?tag=paujon-21
Digital Grey Card  -  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000HDFH6W/?tag=paujon-21


nikondave

... how the hell does spot metering work with studio flash ?


It doesn't.  One would typically meter each light using a lightmeter / flashmeter, such as:

Sekonic Flashmate L308s lightmeter  -  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000BTCJNG/?tag=paujon-21


Best regards
Paul
Posted 2 July 2014
nikondave
Photographer
nikondave

It doesn't.  One would typically meter each light using a lightmeter / flashmeter, such as:
Sekonic Flashmate L308s lightmeter  -  http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B000BTCJNG/?tag=paujon-21
Best regards
Paul


I rest my case !

Posted 2 July 2014
Edited by Chosin 2 July 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
nikondave

If filling the frame what difference would spot metering make,


+1


nikondave

and how the hell does spot metering work with studio flash ?


It works exactly the same as you'd use a spot meter with ambient light except that for the reading you'd need to trigger the flash.  Spot metering with flash is handy if you want to check the 'dynamic range' (for want of a better description) of a scene.  Spot meters like Sekonic's L458D can built up multiple readings and display how many stops of range there are for a scene, and it can recommend a middle-value for the camera setting.

If you've gone through the agro of calibrating an L-458D with the appropriate swatch charts it can also understand your camera's dynamic range and warn you accordingly when a range of exposures goes beyond what the camera is capable of capturing.
Posted 3 July 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
As for the OP's question, bear in mind that depending on the angle that you hold the card at in relation to the camera will cause variances in any readings.

And for the record, if using the histogram to get an exposure reading with grey card I use spot metering and simply make sure the card fills the spot in the viewfinder. I too actually use a Lastolite Ezybalance like eosfan and highly recommend it as it gives you three 'spikes' on the histogram and makes setting up your lights really easy.

Posted 3 July 2014
nikondave
Photographer
nikondave
Ok, lets get a couple of things straight,
As I read this question this is how it comes out to me, the OP is filling the frame with a grey card, using spot metering, this is the cameras spot meter, now am I correct in thinking that the camera cannot meter for studio flash, which is why we use flashmeters, if the op is using a flash meter what differance does filling the frame with the lens make or are we talking about the lens of the meter ?

Posted 3 July 2014
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
You can use your camera for metering if you refer to the histogram after taking the photo. But yes, spot metering (or any other) on the camera is as good as useless when using flash (unless you're keeping an eye on ambient light as well obviously).
Posted 3 July 2014
Mr_Catz
Photographer
Mr_Catz
eosfan

First of all, get the exposure of the grey card right, then ideally fill the frame with grey card and follow your cameras Custom WB procedure. In practice I doubt it would make much, if any, difference if the card only filled say 75% of the frame, but why not fill the frame anyway? I still use grey card or Lastolite Ezybalance on every shoot as I use various umbrellas, softboxes, and both Bowens and ProFoto lights.


 
Because of the lens I choose to use makes it is difficult to get all of the grey card in the shot unless I move up close to the grey card.
 
75% sounds good to me. Thank you for your polite answer.
 
For the record when I'm struggling with light I to use my Sekonic Flashmate L308s lightmeter.

I would be grateful if everybody would ignore spot metering. After all it wasn't in my original question.
 
Thanks to everybody else who is giving advice.

 
 
Posted 3 July 2014
anthonyh
Photographer
anthonyh
Google your question...there are some excellent explanations on line by people that clearly know what they are doing regarding all aspects of studio lighting. Personally I'd invest in a cheap flash meter off eBay. I have one that cost £10 and did have one costing 20x that......I sold the expensive one as it wasn't 20x better...or even twice as good.
Posted 3 July 2014
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