Which of these color calibration tools would you suggest?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by christal|1, Feb 18, 2014.

  1. This summer I'll be attending photo school, and I have a required list of equipment to buy. They suggested any of the following color calibration tools, along with the prices they are able to get us (discounted, I think) through B&H Photo. I'm a very non-tech person, so I'd like to know which one would be easiest for me to understand and use. I presume they all do a good job or they wouldn't have recommended them. But I'm anxious to hear your opinions on this. Thanks so much.
    X-Rite www.xrite.com
    B&H Edu Price *
    ColorMunki Display $144.00
    i1Display Pro $224.00
    ColorMunki Display & x-Rite Color Checker Passport Kit $219.00
     
  2. I have one of the ones you list, but wish I had the ColorMunki. I have used the ColorMunki and it is an awesome, simple to use system, much like a color meter. I don't know what version I used, nor the difference between the color checker passport kit, but the one I've used can calibrate a monitor, then go and calibrate a color projector. It is amazing.
     
  3. This one: ColorMunki Display & x-Rite Color Checker Passport Kit $219.00
     
  4. What does the Passport kit do, Ellis?
     
  5. Surprised they didn't recommend the DataColor/Spyder Pro. I have used the i1 and the Spyder.
    I like the i1, but the DataColor is also a good spectro, and easy to use.
    Sometimes (not necessarily) institutions have special "deals" with specific brands. Doesn't mean other brands aren't capable... Just not financially beneficial.
     
  6. Michael and Phil.....Thanks for your 'vote'. :) Yes, I also wondered what the difference is between the Color Munki and the version with the Passport Kit. I have no idea what the Passport Kit does.
    Phil, Yes, the school has already said they get special deals through B&H, so no doubt they have just certain products they recommend. But as long as it's a good product, and they know the product, then I'll be able to get help with it at the school. I've also heard good things about Spyder. Thanks!
     
  7. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    If you only need is display calibration, you want the i1Display Pro, best instrument and software for that task. The ColorMunki Display is the same hardware, crippled speed wise and bundled with poor software, that's the difference between it and the Pro. The Passport is a target for creation of DNG camera profiles and for white balancing, nice but not sure it's something you have to have. You can get it separately or if you have a standard MacBeth 24 patch target, you can use that instead (software is free from X-rite).
     
  8. I had a Spyder several years ago and switched to a ColorMunki Photo. It does displays and paper-printer combinations . It's simple, reliable and I'm glad I switched. The newer Spyders may have better software than the older ones, though.
     
  9. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    X-rite's naming is a tad confusing so let's be clear. ColorMunki is the name for a Spectrophotometer which is used to build output profiles and can be used for displays/projectors/Ambient light and the name of a Colorimeter that is only used for a display (or Projector). Go figure. Then there's the fact that ColorMunki Display and i1Display-Pro are for all practical purposes the same hardware. Go figure.
     
  10. just to be extra pedantic :) Andrew is actually referring to the product named 'ColorMunki Photo' because the 'ColorMunki' name includes a variety of products of varying capabilities.
     
  11. I wonder how many swatches the ColorMonki comes with for profiles? I didn't find the info on the site, but there is a photo in the product descriptions showing swatches to read.
     
  12. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I wonder how many swatches the ColorMonki comes with for profiles?​
    Two sets of 50.
     
  13. i1 and the ones I remember you using have many more...Around a 1000 if I remember(I think I ordered a set from you about 6 years ago). Then Rudy from ColorSpace came to my studio and did some further calibrations and setup of the printers I had. That was tedious work!
    Since then I used DataColor Print which is another one I have and that has about 700+ or so. They worked well, until I got a couple RIP's. Thats what I use now. Oris CGI, and EFI XL.

    They both have on screen instructions to follow which Datacolor makes it rather dummy proof.
    Since they both work well, and for screen calibration, I would get whats in my budget.
     
  14. Well, you guys are talking a bit over my head......don't worry, it's easy to do. :) I did look up these products on Amazon and the B&H website, as if I were purchasing them, and I just got more confused. So at this point, it sounds like I'd probably be okay with any of them. But I'll call the school (they said they're very willing to accept questions about the equipment list) and just ask them which one I should buy, taking into consideration that I may need something more in the future. I do appreciate your help. Just think......after I attend this photo school, I just might understand the answers when I ask a question. :)
     
  15. Christal: On another thread you asked about an inexpensive monitor. Make sure that it has all the adjustments you'll need to make with the color checker. Otherwise, you'll be wasting money on the checker.
     
  16. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Christal: On another thread you asked about an inexpensive monitor.Make sure that it has all the adjustments you'll need to make with the color checker. Otherwise, you'll be wasting money on the checker.​
    Confused (Christal may be even more so). The checker being a Color Checker? Has nothing to do with the display. It's a target you photograph to make a .dcp profile or for white balancing.
    So at this point, it sounds like I'd probably be okay with any of them.​
    You'll be OK but there are tools listed that are more ideal. Your call. Now IF you're going to get a cheap display, probably get the least expensive solution above but don't be unhappy if your goal of What You See Is What You Get (WYSIWYG), don't be surprised if that doesn't result. The display is about the most important component of the digital darkroom:
    http://tinyurl.com/kdgutmz
     
  17. Regarding my previous post Christal, I should have clarified...
    this part is regarding back to the monitor calibration...
    They both have on screen instructions to follow which Datacolor makes it rather dummy proof.
    Since they both work well, and for screen calibration, I would get whats in my budget.​
    While this part below was about making print profiles that the ColorMunki can be used for...
    i1 and the ones I remember you using have many more...Around a 1000 if I remember(I think I ordered a set from you about 6 years ago). Then Rudy from ColorSpace came to my studio and did some further calibrations and setup of the printers I had. That was tedious work!
    Since then I used DataColor Print which is another one I have and that has about 700+ or so. They worked well, until I got a couple RIP's. Thats what I use now. Oris CGI, and EFI XL.​
    Yes, either one works, and they both work well. The weak link can be the monitor at this point. Get a decent video card on your system(If using the laptop you mention, that too can be a limiting factor...Check the specs).
     
  18. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    While this part below was about making print profiles that the ColorMunki can be used for...​
    None of the products the OP listed produce print profiles. I don't believe Christal has that need.
     
  19. I guess that might be a different version of ColorMunki
     
  20. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I guess that might be a different version of ColorMunki​
    The Spectrophotometer can build output profiles, the Colorimeter can't. The naming conventions are indeed confusing. Unlike anything offered by DataColor, that Spectrophotometer really is a Spectrophotometer. There's, not so much.
     
  21. I just purchased the ColorMunki Photo and it works great for monitor calibration, printer profiles, and will also do projector calibration (I don't have a projector). It cost more than any of the one's on your list.
    I agree the monitor is the limiting item and you need a good IPS monitor. I find this list very helpful for monitors;
    http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/s-ips-lcd-list.php
     
  22. Glad to hear you got something you're happy with. Enjoy!
    Btw, which screen did you get?
    That link is helpful. It would be great if you could select criterions to filter!
     
  23. Hello everyone.....Sorry it has taken me awhile to get back here. My daughter and her family are visiting from Edmonton. Anyway, I asked a simple question, and did not get a simple answer. :) But your suggestions and the information I learned from you make it clear to me that I'll wait at least until after I go to photography school this summer before I purchase anything. At school they will spend a lot of time talking about all kinds of equipment (I'm waiting to purchase camera or lens equipment because they'll let us try a lot).
    I understand now how important the monitor is (thanks for the link, Robert), so I'll definitely take that into consideration. Now I'm going to ask a silly question. I was planning to get a 24" monitor, which will be huge compared to the little laptop screen I use now. What do you gain in the 3" by buying a 27" monitor? Pros or cons, please, if you have an opinion. Is larger always better?
    Thanks so much for your help!
     
  24. An IPS monitor will make a huge difference. Biggest mistake I made a couple of years ago was not spending a little more money for an IPS monitor. My ViewSonic 24" LED display is great for the money, but the viewing angle is almost as critical as with my laptop display. Makes a huge difference in evaluating whether our photos look to others as we intend.
    Regarding the size, 23" or so vs. 27", again, it would depend on the budget. I'd rather get a slightly smaller IPS monitor than a lesser but larger monitor for the same money. Live and learn.
    Take a look at the link Robert Marvin posted and use that as a shopping guide. I was surprised to see how affordable some IPS monitors are now, compared with just a couple of years ago.
    "At school they will spend a lot of time talking about all kinds of equipment (I'm waiting to purchase camera or lens equipment because they'll let us try a lot)."​
    If the budget is tight, get the better monitor before the calibration tools. And both of those may make at least as much difference as a marginally better lens. For example, keep in mind that while an f/2.8 zoom costs many times the price of a good variable aperture zoom, the actual image quality at the middle apertures may be identical. So if you're shooting primarily landscapes and stationary subjects in daylight from a tripod, a good variable aperture mid-priced zoom might do just as well as the much more expensive f/2.8 zoom. And you can use the savings toward a good monitor and calibration equipment.
     
  25. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I find (with the right aspect ratio) 27" to be just about right. I had a 30" it was massive. I didn't feel I was losing anything going 27" and I can (and do) run dual displays. You'd be far better off with a really good SpectraView 24 than a 27" or 30" IMHO, don't skimp on one of the most important pieces of the digital darkroom. As I like to remind people, there's more to this than size <g>. That said, the PA272W with supplied instrument is nearly impossible to beat.
     
  26. I recommended the colorMuki Display and ColorChecker Passport combination for a simple reason: she's going to be a
    novice student.

    The software for the ColorMunki Display is not as capable as the i1 Display Pro, that is true. However I think unlikely that
    she will be in the business of needing the i1 Display Pro's advanced software features. Andrew is, and as a working
    professional photographer I am, but she won't be. She'll simply need to be able to calibrate which ever display she ends
    buying or using. One thing she needs to be aware of is that unless the display she purchases has its own color graphics
    hardware built in she can create a profile for her laptop's display or her external display but can only use one at a time.

    The ColorChecker Passport (and it's software) will be used for a) setting a neutral WB value when she needs to do that ,
    and for creating a custom camera profile of/ when she uses Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Camera Raw (the raw image
    processing program tat is part of Photoshop and also for clarity, it's the also the raw processing engine that Lightroom
    uses.

    Hopefully the classes and teachers she will have will put an emphasis on learning to find her way as a maker of
    photographs and to use light, that express to the world her thoughts, feelings and sense of what she makes of the people
    of the people and things she encounters in her journey through life. Technology and equipment are necessary for
    photographs to be made but have very little to do with the practice of photography. The more complicated the tools, the
    more you are encumbered by them, the more involved you become with managing them, the further away you get from
    making real photographs.
     
  27. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    However I think unlikely that she will be in the business of needing the i1 Display Pro's advanced software features. Andrew is, and as a working professional photographer I am, but she won't be.​
    She doesn't have to use the advanced controls until she needs them (and she mostly likely will depending on the display and print viewing conditions). It's a bit like suggesting someone buy a new camera that dosn't capture raw because this is an entry level class. But some day student probably will want to capture raw. Now the original purchase causes buyer remorse. You can pay (me) now or you can pay (me) later, your call. Of course we are all aware of budget issues.
    One can't make an informed decision unless they know the facts. The facts are, the added cost in the Pro package is totally market generated which upsets me. You're paying for the same hardware, crippled speed wise but more importantly, you've got inferior software that provides far less useful options that make the hardware and the process of calibrating a display possible. I don't attribute this to a lesser expensive car that will take you to point A then B the same as the more expensive car that does this but has seat warmers. The added functionality in the Pro software can make the difference between a print and display matching and a print and a display not matching. Much like the lesser expensive car that overheats before you can get to point B from point A.
     
  28. I don't know how far I'll be able to go after taking this photography class......it's hard to predict. It is indeed a fine program that IMO takes a comprehensive approach......composition, light, use of all features on the camera, developing your eye, technical issues, equipment possibilities and matching it to our style of photography, and much more. The main thing I'm convinced it will do is help me determine if I have a talent for this. I've been a professional concert violinist all my life, and I'm not sure one art transfers to another. I'll soon find out. I know I have much to learn. Many, many people who attended this photo program as novices are now professional photographers, and many are doing great things. So it's hard to predict what equipment I may need in the future.
    The main thing I've learned from your posts is that I should not scrimp on the monitor, and I won't. Beyond that, since it's much more complicated than I realized, I think I'll let the experts at the school guide me. They'll also have many different monitors, printers, etc., so I may actually get to try some of them before purchasing anything.
    I do appreciate your help.....thanks so much!
     

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