spectrophotometers ?s

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by bladowphoto, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. hello, i have a few ?s about spectrophotometers, first what is the differance between a spectrophotometer and a color meter, second is the xrite DPT41 any good, lastly, i have a copy of xrites Profilemaker5 but no mesument device im looking for sugesstions the cheaper the better (im thinking Ebay).
    Nathan Bladow
  2. You want an X-Rite or Gretag-Macbeth Eye One Pro . Are you saying you have a physical dongle for Profile Maker 5?
  3. Spectrophotometers measure light transmission at different wavelengths thru an object, dual beam ir/vis/uv ones are handy for measuring how good the uv coating is on your sunglasses, and for plotting filter cutoff curves. Most are totally useless for measuring the color temperature of external light sources.
  4. If all you want is a device to calibrate your monitor you probably just need something like an Eye-One Display or Spyder3. If you want something for print, as well, low-end is Spyder3Print (I use and generally recommend it) or Colormunki.
    The devices Ellis refers to are significantly more expensive and I'm not sure Ebay will help you a whole lot.
  5. Also, be careful with ebay. There are a lot of spectros listed that are being sold by people with no knowledge of spectros or software. They originally came labelled as OEM equipment for XEROX and so forth. Sellers will tell you they power up but haven't been proven. You then need proper software and as Ellis mentioned, many need dongles. I would avoid anything that does not come with original packaging, discs, etc.
    I personally use a Spyder2 for monitors and an original PrintFixPro colorimeter with the newer software for printers and it does a perfectly acceptable job (the newer Spyder3 has the ability to adjust for ambient light as well). A a system it would be slow and a bit clumsy for a professional and busy print shop but the price is right. Colorimeters are not as versatile as a true spectro but for a small shop or home printing they can be excellent.
  6. A normal photographic colour meter has no more than three or four (in the new Sekonic) filtered sensors while a spectrophotometer does some kind of spectral analysis (as already mentioned). The Eye-One Pro measures in 3 nm steps, but the readout is usually in 10 nm steps. It will measure ambient light as well as reflected, and can be used as a very fancy colour meter if hooked up to a laptop etc. I use mine with BabelColor and SpectraShop on the laptop. The combination isn't as portable or easy to use as a colour meter (I have the Minolta II, IIIF and Gossen 3F, haven't tested the new Sekonic yet). Let me know if you want a more detailed, more specific comparison.
  7. In regard to photographic calibration tools, spectrophotometers use a diffraction grating to divide light into a spectrum, whereas colorimeters use a set of fixed filters, usually three to separate red, green and blue light.
    The Eye-One Pro (XRite, nee Gretag-MacBeth) is a spectrophotometer which measures both emitted light (e.g., a monitor and ambient light) and reflected light (e.g., prints), since it has a built-in lamp. The Eye-One Display tool is a colorimeter which measures only emitted light. Spectrophotometers are more accurate (reads in 10 nm steps) for non-continuous lighting and for dyes and pigments, which often have an irregular reflectance spectrum. Colorimeters are much more sensitive, and may do a better job calibrating monitors at low levels. They're also a lot cheaper when applicable. The Eye-One Pro kits start at about $800, whereas the Eye-One Display kits start at about $250.
    Much of the cost of a calibration kit is software. Eye-One Pro kits go up to about $2500 (perhaps more) with the addition of profile editing and full CMYK capability. You can purchase the software separately as an upgrade to any XRite kit.

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