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Author Topic: GTI vs Just Normlicht low-end print viewers?  (Read 5313 times)
walter.sk
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« on: December 09, 2008, 06:51:25 PM »
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Now that I have my NEC 3090 behaving pretty well with SpectraView II and the i1 D2, I became painfully aware of how poor my print viewing conditions are...an incandescent ceiling light and an old Ott-Lite TrueColor folding lamp on the desk.  The piggy bank only has a few coins left, but I've been looking at the smallest viewing stations by Just (Color Master 1) and GTI (DPV 1e).  My goal will not be to examine large prints, but rather small test prints to double check the softproofing.   I have 2 questions:

1) Are these two products similar in quality, and,

2) Can I get by without having to spend the $250-$300 more for the capability of dimming the viewers?

I make only a few prints a week on my Z3100ps, for display (and hopefully to sell) locally, so I don't have to meet the stringent standards of ISO fame.  But does it make sense to go with the non-dimmable models at all?

I get the feeling that I personally am helping turn our economy around, what with cameras, computer, printer, monitor and other purchases
« Last Edit: December 09, 2008, 06:53:18 PM by walter.sk » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 07:24:09 PM »
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Dimming is really nice! It allows you to control print to screen matching without having to rely on just raising or lowering display luminance to result in a match.

That said, while the Just boxes are nice looking, GTI IMHO are just as good, cost less, made in the USA.

Then there's Solux, the best illuminant, not expensive but more difficult to control (you can't use a dimmer).
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Andrew Rodney
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walter.sk
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2008, 09:24:22 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Dimming is really nice! It allows you to control print to screen matching without having to rely on just raising or lowering display luminance to result in a match.

That said, while the Just boxes are nice looking, GTI IMHO are just as good, cost less, made in the USA.

Then there's Solux, the best illuminant, not expensive but more difficult to control (you can't use a dimmer).
Thanks for your opinions.  I guess I'll bite the bullet and go for the smallest unit that has a dimmer, in this case the GTI 2E D.  The Solux bulbs are interesting, but I'm not really handy and trying to make a setup that has even illumination and an easy way to vary the height is beyond my meager mechanical fortitude.

Incidentally, I have calibrated my NEC 3090 with various settings using SpectraViewII.  I tried native luminosity, and then varied it in small steps all the way down to 90 cd/m2, and then back up to the brightest point where I could still predict how the darker areas of my prints came out.  I am currently at 120 candelas.  I also tried native gamma and native white point in various combinations with the luminance settings and settled on 6500K and 2.2.  I haven't seen any banding yet.  The software also gives me a choice between D65 and 6500K.  Is there a difference?

I  had been less than enthusiastic about the apparent textured quality of the display, but, as with the two horizontal lines on the old shadow-mask CRT's, the texture disappears after an image is brought up.

Right now, when I view a print with my little Ott-Lite lamp, it looks yellow after viewing the 3090.  Will that continue with the GTI viewer, as well?  It will be placed 90 degrees to my right, in line with my shoulder as I face the monitor.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2008, 09:26:19 AM by walter.sk » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2008, 09:34:14 AM »
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Out of the box, 120-150cd/m2 is at a fairly low level for a new display like this to hit. Again, you can adjust this and the booth for a match.

With the SpectraView II software, you don't have to use native gamma/white point since adjustments are happening high bit in the panel. You'll want to adjust the white point based on the viewing conditions. The GTI will likely look different form the OTT.
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #4 on: December 10, 2008, 06:07:11 PM »
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I've currently got a pet project going on I've been wanting to attempt for some time photographing and processing in ACR color targets that include the Xrite CC chart and inkjet and offset process prints lit by several brands of full spectrum lighting fixtures, bulbs and tubes.

Unfortunately the light boxes mentioned here are too expensive for me but so far I've bought out of my own pocket several 15watt GE Sunshine 18" T8 fluorescent tubes rated at 5000K, 90 CRI; a Solux clip-on desk lamp with included 50watt, 4700K, 98 CRI, MR16 bulb; Ottlight's new HD Natural Lighting CFL (a hybrid of all of their past fluorescents) rated at around 5500K, 95 CRI and a 20watt BlueMax 5900K, 95 CRI CFL which I just ordered several days ago.

From my findings Andrew is right about the Solux. It is spectrally flat, but neutrality is on the warmish side only after long edits on a 6500K calibrated coolish looking display but hue and saturation levels are spot on. You'll want to neutralize your eyes by being away from the display for a while before examining prints especially B&W. This bulb actually makes prints look a bit more vibrant and appealing with lots of definition but somehow still match the display. It's a weird effect that has to be experienced first hand. What I don't like about the Solux is it gets hotter than hell in the desk lamp fixture to the point it starts to give off a noticeable chemical burn smell set within arm's reach after being on all day. The smell irritates my sinus's a bit.

The angles these lights are placed really affect the appearance of color in prints as well and is slowing me down trying to get accurate renderings with my camera especially shooting prints. The CC chart is no problem. So far all of these lights could work but the CC chart test is the most grueling because it shows certain patches changing color under each brand of light, but when I view a diorama I've constructed that contains several natural objects in the scene it's hard to see these color anomalies. Neutrality differences becomes more a problem over anything else.

The images below are some of the work I've been doing. Hope it helps.

[attachment=10244:OttLiteV...xCCchart.jpg]
[attachment=10245:GEvsOttLiteDiorama.jpg]

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digitaldog
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« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2008, 06:11:22 PM »
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Couple of points. I think CRI is basically worthless spec.

As to Solux, there's great debate as to the "right, best" CCT bulb values. They make em in differing values.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2008, 06:35:16 PM »
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I agree with you about the CRI number, Andrew. It's pretty much a worthless spec.

And I'm aware about the other Solux CCT's. I didn't think I'ld see a difference between 4700K and their 5000K and wasn't sure if I could just buy the $8 bulb and get my own MR16 desk lamp. Wasn't sure if Solux custom spec-ed the electronics matching their desk lamp with their bulb. I didn't want to add that as a variable. I can see a little bit of the halogen showing through on the outer edges of the diffused spot flood.

Surprisingly the Solux CC chart read a perfect 4700K selecting it in ACR 3.7's color temp slider to get an exact appearance of neutrality. However, I'm having hell capturing inkjet prints (Peter Figen's Epson 2200 print of the PDI target) and processing for accuracy using the Solux. The CMYK target (Ole No Moire print from CopyCraft) is no problem though. Color science strange-ness I guess.
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2008, 06:56:52 PM »
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About CRI, this GE website I just found during my research pretty much explains why this number is worthless. The other topics it covers including their own color test booth (which is also way off from being accurate) is quite informative.

http://www.gelighting.com/apo/resources/le...r_rendering.htm

I had a long talk with a sales rep/tech support person over at OttLite and asked why their new CFL gives off such a bluegreenish cast and she even agreed that the CRI wasn't very helpful but it was all the industry provides for now until the color scientist community comes up with something better. The sales rep/tech support lady was quite vehement about their product helping a lot of people to the point she started getting a bit defensive the more questions I asked.

We can put a man on the moon...oh, never mind.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: December 10, 2008, 07:44:38 PM »
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Quote from: tlooknbill
And I'm aware about the other Solux CCT's. I didn't think I'ld see a difference between 4700K and their 5000K and wasn't sure if I could just buy the $8 bulb and get my own MR16 desk lamp.

I think they recommend, at least for fine art viewing (not necessarily proofing) 3500K. They are also working on a 5500K(?) bulb which is probably too cool. I think they are working on this more to make people who want the numbers to sync up, rather than what would produce a better match.

I think all their bulbs will work in an MR16. You can even dim them if you have the right Lutron unit. I put recessed Solux bulbs all over my new office and even my deck. The dimmer is lovely albeit, it affects the color temp. I have 3500's in them and yes, while they may not be ideal for screen to print matching, they sure make everything look great.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #9 on: December 10, 2008, 07:46:02 PM »
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As for CRI:

CRI was developed in large part to aid in the sales of Fluorescent tubes. As you point out, there are tiles used to compare under a reference light source but only eight. That's too small a set of tiles. The manufacturers pick the tiles. That make it easy to create a spectrum that will render the 8 tiles and doesn't tell us that the light source is full spectrum. It doesn't tell us how the other colors will render. My understanding is there are two reference sources; Tungsten for warm bulbs and D50 for cool ones. That means that a normal tungsten bulb and perfect daylight both have a CRI of 100! As such, a high CRI is a decent gauge of how well a light will preform in your home but not such a great indicator of how well it will work for photography and proofing. Both a Solux 48 and a "full spectrum" tube from home depot may have a CRI of 97. I can assure you the Home Depot bulb has a giant mercury spike and some spectral dead spots.  



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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #10 on: December 10, 2008, 09:41:26 PM »
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The thing is I can't tell nor can I separate the spectral spike's effect from each light's color cast effect when judging color under any of these lights.

You'll notice the OttLite shows different greens and yellows. Is this from the bluegreen color cast or the spikes? How much neutralization through the use of different phosphor colorant mixtures built into these lights would change the hue of these greens and yellows? Or is it these spikes that are creating the color cast?

All I want is a neutral looking light but I can see this red/green issue is going to be around for a long time.

What color cast hue do the Solux 3500K emit? More orange-ish or reddish. It seems this color temp is already getting too close to regular incandescent Soft White light bulbs which is somewhat saturated amber color.
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juicy
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« Reply #11 on: December 11, 2008, 12:03:57 AM »
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What about CRI 8 vs CRI 215? For example Just Normlicht specifies their tubes with the latter figure. Anyway fluorescent will never reach the spectral charasteristics of true daylight because of spiky spectrum but there are certainly differences between "good" and "bad" tubes.

Has any of you tried Osram Decostar Cool Blue (4500K) or another manufacturer called Whitestar (many different colour temperatures up to 6500K) halogens? How do these compare to the Soluxes? They are all low voltage halogens with a dichroic filter.

Cheers,
J
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2008, 12:31:54 AM »
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I haven't heard of any of the brands you mentioned except for Just Normlicht.

Googling full spectrum lighting yields quite a few competing brands each marketed to different industries and consumer needs. They all claim daylight equivalent lighting which in my experience doesn't necessarily translate into a neutral appearance.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #13 on: December 11, 2008, 08:15:41 AM »
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Quote from: tlooknbill
Or is it these spikes that are creating the color cast?

Very likely yes. Especially if there are OBAs in the paper.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #14 on: December 11, 2008, 08:16:28 AM »
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Quote from: tlooknbill
I haven't heard of any of the brands you mentioned except for Just Normlicht.

Googling full spectrum lighting yields quite a few competing brands each marketed to different industries and consumer needs. They all claim daylight equivalent lighting which in my experience doesn't necessarily translate into a neutral appearance.

There's no such thing (really) as full spectrum Fluorescent. That doesn't stop any of the manufacturers from the claims.
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Andrew Rodney
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juicy
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« Reply #15 on: December 11, 2008, 04:18:26 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
There's no such thing (really) as full spectrum Fluorescent. That doesn't stop any of the manufacturers from the claims.

and "tlooknbill" wrote
Quote
Googling full spectrum lighting yields quite a few competing brands each marketed to different industries and consumer needs. They all claim daylight equivalent lighting which in my experience doesn't necessarily translate into a neutral appearance.

and my original question was
Quote
Has any of you tried Osram Decostar Cool Blue (4500K) or another manufacturer called Whitestar (many different colour temperatures up to 6500K) halogens? How do these compare to the Soluxes? They are all low voltage halogens with a dichroic filter.

Osram is one of the largest lamp manufacturers (German).
Whitestar is actually the name of a lamp that I've seen manufactured by two different companies (probably under license just like Solux), one in Germany and the other in the US.
Both of the aforementioned lamps are similar in construction to the Solux, the only real differences are in the dichroic filters and thus there may be pretty considerable differences in spectra. I would still be interested in hearing any real world experiences with these "alternative" lamps. Just like Soluxes they are widely used in museums and jewellery shops.

Cheers,
J



(Btw, Just tubes are manufactured by a large european lamp manufacturer, not by Just.)
« Last Edit: December 11, 2008, 04:28:40 PM by juicy » Logged
juicy
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« Reply #16 on: December 11, 2008, 04:21:25 PM »
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Whitestar
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juicy
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« Reply #17 on: December 11, 2008, 04:36:07 PM »
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It might be nice to build a viewing booth with  several halogen bulbs with different color temperatures, for example a standard 3000K, 3500K and 4200K and 4700K Soluxes, 4500K Osram and finally 5300K and 6500K Whitestars. It would be easy to proof for different lighting conditions.

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