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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    685

    White balance - grey card

    I have seen some old posts about grey cards - what are people using these days.

    I have seen caps to go on the lens. Sets of white, black and grey cards. Large and small cards.

    I noticed the other day when getting back I could not seem to get the colours of my subject back to how I remember. I do not want to spend time setting a white balance in the camera as I will probably forget and leave it set the whole day in different situations and give myself more headaches!

    So my thoughts were all I need is a grey card; perhaps buy a large one and cut it up into pieces - so when I leave it somewhere I will have a spair! It seems a waste buying a black and white one as well if I will not be using them.
    The size is the next thing; some sites say take a photo filling up the lens others do not mention that; just as long as it is in the frame. Filling the picture could be problematic as the card might not be in the same position as the subject and may actualy effect the light buy cutting some out if it is to close to te lens?

    I have also read that focusing can be a problem on a plain card; any input on this subject would be interesting.

    P.S. I would probaly be using the card for things like still life - fungi, insects etc.

    P.P.S. The plastic cards look good for wear etc. but do they cause a problem with reflection
    Last edited by Anthony; 10-16-2012 at 10:38 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    664
    You can buy 18% grey cards at a camera store, it is hard visually measure a card that will give the exact "greyness" (or grey tone?) will set the white balance to absolutely neutral in various lighting situations.

    Might be better with a white piece of paper if there is a sudden need to have a preset white balance.

    You will lose certain lighting effects (e.g. warm hues of a sunset) if you measure the white balance with a grey or white card.

    Added: Experienced photographers (not me) are usually able to directly dial in the direct kelvin value into their cameras if the camera has this feature. I am not sure what these photographers do in mixed lighting situations, at worst I have been in a room and I have window with sunlight, florescent, incandescent and flash contributing to the white balance.
    Last edited by Screenclutter; 10-16-2012 at 01:09 PM.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Livin in a redneck paradise
    Posts
    1,867
    I had some white tape I put on the back of all my lens caps a couple years ago, figuring that would give me a good way to get accurate white balance without carrying any extra pieces. However, I kept forgetting to redo the white balance as I went into each new scene, which made the whole thing pointless and maybe even worse. Ever since I just shoot Auto, and if I don't like that and care about the shot, I play around until the WB is whatever looks most pleasing, regardless of the true WB.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    685
    However, I kept forgetting to redo the white balance as I went into each new scene, which made the whole thing pointless and maybe even worse.
    I know and I would have the same problem; that is why I am looking to make the adjustments on the PC.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    685
    I have ordered a set of small grey, black and white plastic cards. Only cost 4.49 so I will see how I get on with them.

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