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step wedge

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n. ~ A standard piece of film consisting of areas with discrete tones progressing from opaque to transparent that is used to calibrate and test photographic films and papers.

Notes: 

When photographic materials are contact printed with a step wedge, the resulting image is a gray scale. A densitometer is used to measure the reflection or transmission of light from each discrete tone. Those measurements are then compared to measurements made from the step wedge.