Fotowand Color Gray Card
|Gray cards are an indispensible part of a serious photographer's toolkit. Unfortunately they don't last long. In nearly 40 years of photography, I've gone through more gray cards than I care to remember. All the ones I've ever used have been printed on cardboard. With normal use and handling, a gray card soon becomes soiled and fingerprinted, dog-eared and bent.|
|A better solution
Recently I discovered Fotowand Technic in Sudwalde, Germany. Fotowand makes highly durable gray cards, color reference cards and many other quality light measuring tools for photographers, photo lab technicians and graphic designers.
|If you don't know about the many uses for gray cards, find out now with our gray card tutorial.|
|I've been using Fotowand's
color gray card and traditional gray card for the last
several months and I'm impressed.
flexible and fade-resistant
Fotowand's distinctive patented design features a white border around the neutral 18% gray field. I like the white trim because it keeps oily fingers from touching the gray target. If the protective white edge bothers you, it can be trimmed off with a utility knife and a straight edge.
The polystyrene plastic is much stronger and more flexible than cardboard and the color stability is highly fade resistant. I have no reservation with the manufacturer's claim that "the card is intended to last a photographer's lifetime." The guidelines for long life are simple - never use solvents or detergents to clean the card, avoid scratches, and store the card in the clear plastic envelope out of sunlight and other bright light when not in use.
|Color Gray Card is
Fotowand's color gray card is more than a gray card. It contains six color circles also with 18% reflectance - yellow, magenta, cyan, orange red, green and violet blue. It also includes two gray reference circles, one darker and one lighter than the 18% gray background.
Unique Patented Design
|The color gray circles serve
an important function. When shooting a test frame, it
allows the photographer to instantly compare the color
balance of one film over another. Sometimes professional
photographers need a perfect color match between the
subject they've photographed and the color print. A
custom photo lab can easily see color bias in the test
frame and make whatever color correction is needed.
shifts are easy to see
When my test roll of film came back from the minilab, I could instantly see from the reference photo of Fotowand's color gray card that the entire roll was going to have a magenta cast.
Exposure Adjustments Not Needed
Black and white purists will be glad to know Fotowand also manufactures traditional 18% gray cards using the same washable, flexible polystyrene material, and the choice of a white or black border.
Both the color gray
card and traditional gray card are available in two
Traditional 18% Gray Card is
available on both white and black stock
|Pricing and Ordering
Color gray card:
standard size EURO 30.41, half-size EURO 23.80
Traditional gray card:
standard size EURO 11.90, half-size EURO 8.37
Shipping and Handling, add EURO 10
Fotowand accepts international money orders and dollar notes, however they don't accept credit card orders at present.
Fotowand Site Navigation Tips
At present there are no local distributors in the United Kingdom, Canada, the United States, Australia or Asia.
Fotowand Technic Products
|- Doug Clifford, ACE Camera|
Go to The Gray Card Tutorial.
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Published February 17, 2000