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18% Pantone

Published : 15th June 2013

I've a job coming up abroad where post have asked that the studio background be painted a 'mid gray'. I'm choosing to take this as a proper 18% gray.

The studio bods want to order paint and have asked what the Pantone™ equivalent for '18%' gray is. It's a good question.

Nearer home I'd simply march down with a Macbeth chart and hold it up against an art directors swatch book but I can't do that over the phone and I'm loath to start emailing pictures as one never knows how dicey some ones monitor/printer may be at the other end.

I'm currently downloading
http://www.pantone.com/pages/MYP_mypantone/MYPsoftwaredownload.aspx

but reserve judgment on how accurate it proves to be...

Any bright ideas/definitive answers?

Tom Townend,
Cinematographer/London


>>Any bright ideas/definitive answers?

If you have time either have the person in charge of painting purchase a Kodak gray card or ship them a gray card or piece of "neutral gray" seamless paper and have them match the paint colour for you.

Peter Hawkins
LA DP


Here are some reference samples.

Exact 18% grey are :

1)Kodak Grey Card plus
2)Field 7 (starting from white) in DSC chart
3)Key (Largest) Field in Gamma & Density's 3cP-S chart or
4)Field 300mV in Gamma & Density's 3cP-709 chart

Closest to 18% grey are (+/- few points)
a)Pantone cool gray 10C
b)Pantone Cool gray 11 U
c)MacBeth's 4th grey field

Hope it will help,

Yuri Neyman, ASC
Director of Photography, CEO/Founding Partner
Gamma and Density Co.™
www.gammadensity.com


I would have taken mid grey to mean 50% (as on television charts). This is defiantly a case of getting Post to define exactly what they want, before drawing any conclusions. It’s surely their call. In any case, my Pantone swatch book has 10 pages of “grey” with seven swatches on each page, plenty of room to get it wrong. In addition, the numbers (e.g. 420U) refer to uncoated paper, not paint, even more room to get it wrong!

Brian Rose
Film and Television Technical Consultant



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