Most helpful positive review
137 of 143 people found the following review helpful
on September 7, 2008
This is a great product. Every photographer new to photography that do not understand how to set the white balance or exposure using the camera's built in light meter, should purchase this 18% gray card or this 18% gray card tool.
This tool helps take the guess work out of getting the correct white balance and exposure setting right the first time. Even though I know how to use Photoshop to correct the white balance and exposure, it's more efficient to have the correct settings from the very start, which means less time making corrections during post processing.
To determine the exposure using the card fist I set my camera's ISO speed to match the lighting conditions, such as outside ISO 100 indoors ISO 400, meter to spot and mode dial to auto. Then fill the viewfinder with the card and be sure that the focus is out of focus so that you are reading the overall card and not just a spot on the card, with the flash set to off take the picture.
Now playback the image and display the exposure setting set by the camera, such as f-stop and shutter speed. Now set the camera to manual and set the f-stop and shutter to correspond to the auto settings. Now if your camera has a manual white balance setting follow the above methods to set the white balance. My Nikno D60 has just such a function, which will allow for setting the white balance by taking a picture of a gray or white card to set the manual white balance and hold that setting in memory or use another pictured stored on the media card with correct the white balance settings.
Now your settings are correct for exposure and white balance and you can start taking pictures. Remember if your location or the lighting changes you must recalibrate the white balance and exposure.
If you are experienced in using Photoshop, open an image and on the menu bar got layer > new adjustment layer > levels and click Ok to create the adjustment layer, select the middle gray eyedropper and click the gray card in the image. You may or may not see a change, if the exposure or white balance was set correctly there will be no change, but if the setting were not correct you will see the exposure and white balance change.
The out come that you want is no change, this will mean that everything was set correctly and that no adjustments are needed. But if there were changes and there are other image taken under the same lighting conditions you can save the level setting and use it to correct the other images, with the levels dialog window still open click the save button and give the level settings a name and save it and save the corrections made to the image.
To use the saved settings to correct another image just open the image to be corrected and on the menu bar select layer > new adjustment layer > levels and click Ok to create the adjustment layer. Click the load button and load the file that you named and saved in the previous steps, the image will change to reflect the correct exposure and white balance click Ok and save the image.
This will help in post processing by allowing you to make corrects in a timely manner.
If you use Photoshop's Lightroom you can save the setting and then apply it to many images at one time, which will speed up the post processing time.