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The Sampler node gives visual feedback on the R,G and B values of an image that lay along a horizontal cross section of the image the position of which is determined by a little widget that appears in the viewer window. It is very useful to visualize the effects that color manipulations have upon the image.

Below: the Sampler node plotting the values along a horizontal cross-section (in red) of the image (inset). See how it displays a light mass interrupted by a dark mass in the middle.

Tip: if you place a Saturation node before it, set the saturation value to zero and then sample again. The RGB values will gang together into one curve that reflects the luminance of the image.

Colorsampler 1.png