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Zebra Stipes: Using a Gray Scale

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Thomas Hanser
Zebra Stipes: Using a Gray Scale
on Oct 17, 2018 at 5:31:45 pm

Can a grayscale card (Kodak) be used to determine precise exposure, with your zebra stripes set to 70%?

I was taught that zebra stripes will appear on correctly exposed Caucasian skin. But why not use a gray scale of some kind in the studio?

Apparently this won't work - the 70% step on a Kodak gray scale is far too dark, rendering the scene way overexposed.

What if I change my camera settings to 100% zebra stripes, and expose for the white step on a gray card? Isn't this a more precise way of exposing?

Thanks.

Thomas Hanser
Seattle, WA


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Mark Suszko
Re: Zebra Stipes: Using a Gray Scale
on Oct 17, 2018 at 9:02:33 pm

I'd suggest that rather than just a gray card, you get an actual color bar chart to use on set: part of the chart is specifically made to calibrate exposure.

And if you can afford it, get a Macbeth chart, which can really help you in the color correction phase of post.

Camera-generated bars are next to useless; you need a chart shot thru the lens, under the actual lighting conditions.


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Thomas Hanser
Re: Zebra Stipes: Using a Gray Scale
on Oct 17, 2018 at 9:16:47 pm

I believe you're right, Mark.

>Camera-generated bars are next to useless; you need a chart shot thru the lens, under the actual lighting conditions.

I'm using a Macbeth color chart AND a Kodak grayscale, but I think I'll start relying on my waveform monitor. The chart and grayscale card are mounted on a stand, where the subject would sit, under studio lighting.

I assumed there was a correlation between the 70% step on the grayscale and the 70% that the zebra stripes represent, but there isn't one.

70% zebra stripes represent 70% brightness, not 70% on a grayscale.

Thanks.

Thomas Hanser
Seattle, WA


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