Grey cards always seem to disappear when you need them the most, don’t they? There you are on a shoot, the lighting’s changed, you need to white balance, and where’s that damn grey card gone? Well, here to save the day is GRAYCAP. It’s a lens cap with a built-in grey card.
The blurb on the website says…
Ditched the oversized color checker and order your GrayCaps today! With Gray Caps you’ll never forget to color balance again!
Which sounds awesome. “Hey, where’s my grey card? Oh, it’s inside the lens cap!”, so it’s always with you when you have your camera. But I have a couple of issues.
White balancing is not the same as “colour balancing” (or, more accurately, colour profiling). A simple grey card will never do the same job as products like the X-Rite ColorChecker and DataColor SpyderCHECKR can do. The ColorChecker creates a camera profile that works independently of white balance. The SpyderCHECKR does similar using HSL sliders. And the ColorChecker Passport isn’t really all that big.
Plus, I lose lens caps WAY more than I lose anything else in photography. I’ve got probably around 50 lenses of various mounts now, and maybe ten of them have lens caps. So, at $20-25 a pop, the GRAYCAP is a tough sell, especially when I can pick up regular generic lens caps for $2 each on eBay. I’ve never lost a grey card, though.
It’s an interesting concept, and I’m sure they perform their white balancing duties admirably if you’re white balancing in post, but I think it’s a solution looking for a problem.
But if you think it’s useful, and you want one, then head on over to the GRAYCAP website. They’re available in clip on and screw on flavours, and you can buy replacement grey card inserts for them.