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Author Topic: Color mange profiling kit?  (Read 8510 times)
tived
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« on: May 10, 2009, 07:52:17 PM »
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Hi guys,

I want to get more into this, I am finding it more and more interesting and also feel that I need it for some of the jobs that I do. Currently I am lucky enough to borrow a iOne Proof kit.

Which of the above mention would be the best option, the iOnePro kit is from what I gather a almost modular system, as in you get the kit, then you can later add ProfilerMaker and your auto-readers

Colormunki, seems like a cool little tool, but how useful is it - though it is relatively cheap

Spyder3Studio, i think that is what it is called - I don't hear much about it, and haven't had a one since the original Spyder came out. The kit seem to be able to calibrate eveything the iOne Kit can, but at a lot cheaper price? but is it any good?

I know of people who makes a living from color management, who feels the current version of iOnepro isn't as good as some of the older versions, due to specular highlights reflecting off the paper surface when reading...maybe I got it wrong. Anyway, getting an older version seems almost impossible and how much difference does it make when you make your profiles.

What is the best bang for you buck?

What is the best solution, in terms of quality, which is what we are striving for?

Did I miss anything, is there something else that I need to know, please fill in the gaps, thanks

Guys, I do appreciate your inputs here, we have a very fine community here, which a huge brain-tank and a lot of good people here who generously share with others, thanks!

Henrik

PS: What do I want to do with it, well, profile, monitors, printers RGB and CMYK, maybe cameras
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Steve Gordon
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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 08:26:22 AM »
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G'day Henrik

Good to run into you again. You still in Perth?

Colour management is addictive. Watch your consumption.

I got the Spyder 3 studio. Great colorimeter and software for screen calibration. The printer profiler gives me very good results but is a bitch to use, hand measuring hundreds of target patches. It  turns lots of folks off, but if you're obsessive like me, the pain is gain.

The Munki is easier to use. Varying reports on the net as to it's accuracy and software bugs. It has less (or no) ability to tweak the profile after (which the Syder has, to some extent)

I assume the Eye-1 kit has the Eye-1 spectro. No doubt it's the best but it was 3-4X the cost of the other 2 options in Oz when I last looked. Expensive but expandable. It's the pros choice if you got the dough.

Good reviews on Keith Cooper's site who regularly contributes to this forum and is hopefully reading your post right now: http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/feature...lour_Management
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tived
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« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2009, 09:43:10 AM »
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Hi Steve,

How are doing, sorry for the late reply, been a bit snowed under....can't really say that in Perth :-)

I have been looking at your kit, and I have been using a iOne Proof kit, what I am worried about is that I buy the cheaper one, and regret it later, and then have to go buy the more expensive one.

What worries me with the Spyder kit is, that there does not seem to be an upgrade path for it, where as the iOne seems more the diverse, correct me if I am wrong. Problem is the cost! it is very expensive in particular here in Australia compared to buying it in the US. (in Oz AUD$3500 vs US US$1450) quite a difference.

I guess, I can hold out till, I can't borrow the iOne kit. I have made printer profiles with it, and just like you have had to read them with the ruler...but I am down to 5 min for two sheets or 918 patches :-) it took me 45min to do my first one :-)

Hope to see you sometime soon again, when you are out shooting

Henrik

PS: Yes, still in Perth :-)
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neil snape
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« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2009, 11:16:55 AM »
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I see the Colorvision kit a great alternative for a low entry price.
I have and still do use and like my i1 Pro, and or i1D2. This summer a long awaited upgrade will happen and I expect the packages to change with the new soft. Traditionally the price has come down over time.

On this forum a few items were sold a very reasonable prices, if not Ebay . A bit risky depending on the seller but buying a good used i1 Pro would be worth looking into.

IF it is just playing with colour , the Spyder could do well, or the ColorMunki. If you want to do a lot of control strip reading calibrations, and large patch charts an i1 Pro will be more convenient.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2009, 12:28:11 PM »
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I have the Spectraview Kit from NEC for my monitor so I was only looked into the printer calibration packages.  It came down to choice between Spyder Print and ColorMunki and I opted for the Spyder Print.  There are a number of reviews of both products out on the web and Spyder seemed to be the preferred choice.  As was noted above, you have to read each square separately which is a bit of a drag but once you do a couple, it goes very quickly.  It has given me some excellent profiles for a reasonable price.
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tived
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« Reply #5 on: June 01, 2009, 01:11:11 AM »
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Thanks Neil,

playing, it is all play :-) we just happen to make a few bobs here and there :-) I just seem myself getting more and more involved in color locally (boy, do I have much to learn!) I find that I often run into situations where I feel I would like to be able to confirm what I am seeing is correct, or that my assumption is right. I personally find it very interesting, so it is very much a personal thing atm. I certainly have benefited from having access to one.

Like I said above, I am a bit worried that by buying a lower end model, that I then later will have to go out and buy the higher end version anyway, because it simply isn't giving me what I need. So, with a iOne kit, it could be the beginning building block for a larger and more advanced kit, and if things don't go that way, I still have a very capable kit.

I have thought of buy off ebay, but I am also thinking that this is such a precision tool, that it may be better to buy from a brick'n'morter shop, such as BnH or IntegratedColor whom I have bought of before. I am certainly not buying it locally, at twice the price. I'll import it and pay the tax.

I guess, my original question was to eliminate any doubt between which kit was the better as an entry level. As I didn't know a lot about the Spyder kit, there could be thing it could do that I was not aware of, and it could perhaps be a modular as the iOne.

go to go and see if there is still anything left in the little piggy-bank :-)

thanks

Henrik
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ITEnquirer
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« Reply #6 on: June 28, 2009, 02:05:45 AM »
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I saw your question and thought I'd jump right in. I am still new to this forum, so let me introduce myself: I am the editor of a website that deals with publishing processes, including the creative processes and so I have a good deal of experience with colour management. I own (and have reviewed) the i1 Pro with iO robot arm, the ColorMunki Design, ColorMunki Photo, ProfileMaker Packaging 508, basICColor's screen and printer software (highly accurate stuff, that!), and finally a Polish brick that measures monitors but has no useful software on a Mac...

My experience is that the i1 really comes into its own when used with the iO robot arm. This eliminates most reading errors with the i1 due to dragging the instrument too fast or too slow alongside the ruler.

ColorMunki Photo: not bad at all, and you get the photo pouch system so you can exchange images with others in a colour controlled way. The profiles themselves are more conventional thanwhat you can get from the i1 combined with ProfileMaker --meaning they are a bit smaller, usuallycovering less in the dark blue areas.

Spyder: I heard the last one is pretty good, but then again the printer version is nothing but bad news. I would steer clear from that one if I were you. The latest monitor model is good.

One thing to keep in mind with ALL of these instruments is that after a while they start to drift. Over here in Europe (actually in my home city, Antwerp) we have a printers' association which has tested the high-end instruments like the i1 and they all drift after a while, needing re-calibration at the factory which means the white spot that you normally use for that purpose is not sufficient.

Another thing to keep in mind is that as a photographer you probably need the largest profile possible. For printers it's different: they need the most accurate one-on-one conversion between colour spaces. For photographers using large format inkjet printers the gamut is most important, so you'll need a profiling software that can create the largest possible profile.

In my experience this rules out almost everything except the more expensive applications such as ProfileMaker and basICColor's Print 3.
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In a previous life, I was a member of the Bar Association in Antwerp, Belgium.

Currently I am the publisher of IT Enquirer, an information resource for cross-channel publishing processes with an emphasis on the processes from start to finish (including, therefore, photography both commercial and journalistic). http://www.it-enquirer.com
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« Reply #7 on: June 28, 2009, 03:48:03 AM »
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Just to throw my own experience into the mix. I started out with an interest in colour management by purchasing the Spyder2 Pro kit a few years back.

I was happy enough initially, but then I started noticing that there were some slight colour tints (particularly green in the shadows) and sometimes posterisation was quite pronounced.
I tried out ColorEyes Display Pro after there was an article about it on this site and got much better results using it.

At this point, I had been doing more reading into calibration, finding out what people thought of the various sensors etc. and it was generally considered that the DTP-94 was the best affordable colorimeter on the market at the time, so I went with the ColorEyes bundle, rather than just getting a software license.

This gave me the benefits of smoother gradations with ColorEyes but also a better calibration, particularly in shadow areas (no more green tint) and I sold the Spyder package. (for what it's worth, I sent my sensor into them for replacement, got a new one and had similar issues) So far, I have been really happy with ColorEyes' results.


A few more years down the line and I got interested in home theatre calibration, so televisions and projectors. These don't support ICC profiles like PCs, so you have to make manual adjustments. (I was using the free HCFR software) Long story short, I wasn't entirely satisfied with the results I was getting on some displays using the DTP-94. With some, greyscale would match perfectly and on others it wouldn't. With no reference for comparison, I really had no idea which was correct. Colour adjustments were somewhat problematic as well.

Well, I did more research on display calibration and the hardware, and concluded that I needed a spectrophotometer. (i1Pro)  Basically, the accuracy of a colorimeter is based on how close the primaries of a display are to the response of the colour filters used. So if a colorimeter was designed around displays with an sRGB response for example, it would be less accurate with wider (or narrower) gamut displays. Which means that you really have no idea of how accurate the readings you're getting on your display are. They might be perfect, or they might not.

A spectrophotometer on the other hand, works completely differently and its accuracy isn't really based on the gamut of the display. (well, you might have issues with laser displays due to their spectral characteristics)  They have their own issues—they're much slower than colorimeters and aren't as good at low light levels, for example, but should generally be a lot more consistent and accurate.



Initially, it was an i1Pro I had wanted anyway, but it was well out of my budget at the time. It was still very expensive here in the UK, but as I was also looking to upgrade my HT calibration software (in the same way I went from the Spyder 2 software to using ColorEyes Display Pro for more accuracy) I was able to buy an i1Pro from SpectraCal for about half the cost of the cheapest X-Rite i1 package over here. (though with the extra software and other hardware I bought I think the whole order was about the same cost)

Now, they supply an OEM sensor, which means you just get it and the accessories in a white box without any X-Rite software licenses, so if you want to use the X-Rite software, you have to purchase the individual modules from them (currently it seems to be $99 for a monitor license, $199 for RGB printers, $99 for scanners, $199 for camera profiling) but as I already had ColorEyes Display Pro which also supports the i1Pro, I didn't need to buy any. (I don't do printing/scanning at home or have a need for camera ICC profiles)

Unfortunately they no longer seem to sell the i1Pro on its own (it was around $600 if I remember correctly) so you would also have to purchase their CalMAN software with it which may or may not be of any interest/use (though it couldn't hurt to ask if they'd sell the sensor on its own) but depending on where you live and the price of the X-Rite packages there, along with exchange rates/import duties, it might still be a lot cheaper. Remember of course that you will have to buy additional software for creating profiles, but you may have been planning on doing that anyway. I know if I had bought the X-Rite package I would still want ColorEyes on top of that for my computer monitors.


But anyway, now that I have the i1Pro I'm getting consistent results across all displays I've used it with. That covers CRT, LCD, wide gamut LCD, narrower gamut LCDs (laptop displays) LED Backlit LCD (again, laptops) Plasma, DLP Projection, SXRD Projection. Once they're calibrated to D65, the greyscale is a visual match on them all, whereas it differed when using colorimeters. (I bought a Chroma 5 along with the i1Pro as part of the CalMAN kit, and while it's better than the DTP-94 or Spyder were, it's still somewhat inconsistent) It's not just greyscale that's more accurate though, colour gamut is often measured wrongly with the colorimeters as well.


So if you can afford it at all, I would strongly recommend purchasing an i1Pro package of some kind. I wish I had just bought it right away, rather than incremental upgrades leading up to it, which has cost a fair bit over the years.

The other thing is that with the Spyders, it's my understanding that their factory tolerances/calibrations aren't so strict. I'm not sure how much it applies to the Spyder 3, but the Spyder 2 was basically a lottery as to whether or not you'd get a good one, unless you had a Spyder 2 Platinum sensor. (which was a hand-picked one that you could only get with the purchase of ColorFacts)

SpectraCal are soon going to be selling hand-calibrated Spyder 3s, which suggests to me that it's going to be as much luck getting a good one as it was with the Spyder 2s if you buy a datacolor package.

They place the calibrated Spyder 3 above the i1D2 but below the X-Rite Chroma 5. Well, I own a Chroma 5 (I've had two actually) and as I said, I found it to be better than the DTP-94, but still not nearly as consistent over a variety of displays as the i1Pro.

For greyscale (which is a major part of calibration) I'd say a good colorimeter is maybe 80% of the way there, the i1Pro is 95% there, and then high-end meters (which are orders of magnitude more expensive) get that last 5% of accuracy.

With colour, a colorimeter may as well be guessing. It should still be an improvement over not being profiled at all, but if you want accuracy, you really need a spectro in my opinion. (note: specially calibrated colorimeters that are only bundled with specific displays are an exception to this, they should be very good)



It's also worth mentioning a few other things about the i1Pro. There are quite a few revisions, I think A to D. The only difference between these is the reading speed, they're just as accurate as each other. If you're buying a new meter, you should get the latest anyway. Even it can be quite slow at times though, so I'd hate to think how the others are.

It's not really worth buying one second-hand though (if you had considered it) as they are only certified for a year. (though if they are stored well, I believe they should be good for two or three)

If your primary concern is display calibration or measuring the spectral response of lamps/other surfaces (I used mine to select the most neutral screen for my projector I could find, for example—which was Carada's brilliant white, if that's of interest to anyone) you want an i1Pro without the UV-cut filter.

If you are profiling papers that have optical brighteners, you want an i1Pro that does have the UV-cut filter as it should be more accurate for that. (and if you're doing both displays and prints, well then I'm not sure which you want…)
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digitaldog
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« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2009, 12:08:16 PM »
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Depending on the equipment you need to deal with, best bang for the buck will likely be the ColorMunki. It builds very good printer profiles, measuring a surprisingly small number of patches, has the option to use the new iterative profile process (send it files that you want it to extract colors for additional measurements). It will be quite good for display calibration where you might run into more exotic display technology like wide gamut units or LED blacklight where a colorimeter without proper filtration might produce color issues. Measures ambient light and can deal with projectors. Good price point. Software isn't top of my list but it gets the job done. Unless you have to build a lot of profiles with a lot of patches, then maybe the EyeOne with i0, otherwise, price to performance ratio bodes very well for the Munki.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2009, 01:56:22 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Depending on the equipment you need to deal with, best bang for the buck will likely be the ColorMunki. It builds very good printer profiles, measuring a surprisingly small number of patches, has the option to use the new iterative profile process (send it files that you want it to extract colors for additional measurements). It will be quite good for display calibration where you might run into more exotic display technology like wide gamut units or LED blacklight where a colorimeter without proper filtration might produce color issues. Measures ambient light and can deal with projectors. Good price point. Software isn't top of my list but it gets the job done. Unless you have to build a lot of profiles with a lot of patches, then maybe the EyeOne with i0, otherwise, price to performance ratio bodes very well for the Munki.
I forgot all about that. If you can't afford an i1 package, that's definitely the one to get. (from what I've heard it's basically X-Rite's attempt at cost-reducing the i1Pro as much as possible)

As you say though, the included software package isn't the greatest, and there's very little third-party support for the meter. (if any at all?)
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« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2009, 02:01:14 PM »
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Quote from: Andrew Fee
As you say though, the included software package isn't the greatest, and there's very little third-party support for the meter. (if any at all?)

NEC SpectraView II display software supports it.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2009, 08:51:12 PM »
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Thanks Guys,

I really appreciate all the feed back here, I think when monies permits, I will go with the iOne Xtreeme kit. but this is what I currently want to use it for,
NEC 2690, EIZO CG241Q and CG19, Dell screens 24"s and to profile my Epson printers and HP Z3100 with a variety of papers, but currently my favorite paper is Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Baryta.

We do have a projector and that would be interesting to profile too as well as I would like to play with camera profiling down the track.

So with that in mind, would the iOne Xtreeme still be the right choice to get. I have used ColorEyes with my NEC 2690 and it has produced really good results, and I will purchase this shortly.

what do you think, am I on the right track

thanks

Henrik
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« Reply #12 on: July 14, 2009, 06:12:16 AM »
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I've just ordered a Colormunki to profile Epson Traditional Photo Paper with my 3800, hopefully I can solve the slight yellow colour cast that has been bugging me for some time. Fingers crossed.


Quote from: digitaldog
It will be quite good for display calibration where you might run into more exotic display technology like wide gamut units or LED blacklight where a colorimeter without proper filtration might produce color issues.

Andrew,

Do you think the Colormunki would therefore give me a better monitor profile with an NEC Spectraview 2090/Spectraview Profiler 4 combination than monitor profiles made with my i1 Display? I'll try it anyway, but I'm interested to hear your ideas.
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« Reply #13 on: July 14, 2009, 07:39:14 AM »
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Quote from: Pete_G
I've just ordered a Colormunki to profile Epson Traditional Photo Paper with my 3800, hopefully I can solve the slight yellow colour cast that has been bugging me for some time. Fingers crossed.

Do you think the Colormunki would therefore give me a better monitor profile with an NEC Spectraview 2090/Spectraview Profiler 4 combination than monitor profiles made with my i1 Display? I'll try it anyway, but I'm interested to hear your ideas.

You always want to use the SpectraView II software, as to an instrument, the Munki will be more accurate at measuring a wide gamut display while a non optimized colorimeter (i1 display-2) will be better at measuring very dark colors. Ideally, a colorimeter mated to the unit (something available from NEC) is ideal. The other advantage of a Munki is you can use it to build profiles and measure spot colors.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2009, 12:36:17 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
You always want to use the SpectraView II software, as to an instrument, the Munki will be more accurate at measuring a wide gamut display while a non optimized colorimeter (i1 display-2) will be better at measuring very dark colors. Ideally, a colorimeter mated to the unit (something available from NEC) is ideal. The other advantage of a Munki is you can use it to build profiles and measure spot colors.

Well, I got the Colormunki but, since I'm in the UK and using the Spectraview Profiler 4 (Basiccolor) software, I can't use the CM to profile the display, it's not supported, I thought it was but it 'aint. Never mind, I made a printer profile (Epson 3800 and Epson Traditional Photo Paper) and the profile was as near as dammit the same as the Epson/Pixel Genius profile, very very close. I imagine if you made a print of the same image with each you would have a pretty hard time telling the difference.

Which all goes to show that the Colormunki is a pretty good piece of kit I think.

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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2009, 12:40:33 PM »
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One would hope, and expect the BasICColor boys to support the Munki which NEC has done on this side of the pond.
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Andrew Rodney
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