Macbeth ColorChecker.

Whether digital photography or film-based photography, you still need the traditional gray card and color charts. Even though Kodak has a color card, Macbeth has been able to provide professional photography with an international standard reference card, both for colors and for gray scale.

Macbeth has gone through several corporate changes; I know them best as a (former) division of the Kollmorgen Instruments Corporation. Macbeth is now allied with a prominent Swiss company, Gretag. The new combined company is GretagMacbeth (no space between the words).

Image at the right is a 6th century Tiquisate bowl from Guatemala (in the Museo Popol Vuh). This is a raw picture in order to reveal how often color correct is required. Weak electricity in many countries causes color temperature shifts in the tungsten lights (as does age). Result is bad color.

The MacBeth card allows figuring out how to restore the color to the proper original hues and balance.


Absolutely ideal for field photography is Macbeth's mini-color reference card (at the left). Being stiff it is much stronger than the color card of Kodak (at the right). And, being about 2x3 inches in size, the mini-Macbeth fits easily into your pocket. The Kodak color card is long, thin, and crumples easily.

Despite corporate name-change for the parent company, Macbeth itself is evidently still located at 405 Little Britain Road, New Windsor, NY 12553-6148, tel 1 800 622 2384), 1 800 COLOUR (Canada). Fax in USA is (845) 565-0390. web site is

Image at the left is a quickie snapshot, raw (uncorrected). In the hands of a capable graphics artist or digital photographer the presence of these cards will allow color correcting to the original 8th century color of this ancient Maya vase.

Munsell Color is a division of Macbeth. Munsell Color is the international scientific reference for the colors of artifacts. All the Maya pottery of Tikal was recorded with Munsell color references.

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Most recently updated July 3, 2003.