I wonder whether a ColorMunki Dmax measurement is worth much above a certain DMax.
These instruments have design goals, and reading into the black is probably not one of them - maybe a reading with a "real" spectrodensitometer might make sense for some of the papers which have a good Dmax.
thanks for you comment.
Even if the ColorMunki is the entry level spectrophotometer in X-rite line, this doesn't means that it is not a reliable instrument.
In fact, compared to other more professional products, it is less flexible (UV cut only), slower in the readings, it needs bigger patches size, it is less practical due to their form factor, more plastic built, and finally is highly crippled in the features of the software which comes with in. Obviously probably is less precise than a i1 Pro2, for example, as it should be given the price difference, but within their own specifications/limits, the ColorMunki is a reliable instruments.
For Dmax calculation I use the full range of reflectances data I can extract from an exported cxf file in ColorPicker, so, this is not a feature present in the ColorMunki software, it is something I have done for my personal reference and I cannot put my hands on fire being an absolute correct value.
In any case all the times I have compared my measurements with other public available ones I found a reasonably good match, this fact, in addition to my personal experience of repeatable measurements, have confirmed to me a good trust in the overall capability of the humble ColorMunki.
All what I can say to you now is that with my ColorMunki Photo I have no problem to get readings reaching L*=3 for black values, as for example I have measured on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk in ABW. My Dmax estimation based on reflectance data was around 2.4 in that case and if you look around you will find that these values are very reasonable ones.
For this reason I "dared" to post the L*=17.8 black value (with Dmax 1.6) I have measured on Gold Cotton Smooth, it was my 2cents contribution here, and it was a measure done with Matte Black ink, and not Photo Black ink as in the review, so I was thinking that it could be useful to publish it, and, even with all the cautions being a ColorMunki measurement, I think it could be considered decently reliable (in my opinion at least). I expect to see some better results in ABW, but I have not tested this yet.
That said, I fully agree with you that to get very precise and reliable measurements of deep black patches a specifically designed instrument as a spectrodensitometer (and/or a better spectrophotometer) is the best choice for sure.
I think that we will soon see here more measurements performed with very good instruments, and then we can draw further more consistent considerations on the topic of this post.
Thanks for the attention.