Buyer's Guide: 10 Essential Color Management Devices
|The X-Rite Colormunki Display's design incorporates a diffuser panel (top) used for ambient light readings|
One of the more recent additions to the X-Rite stable of color management products, the ColorMunki Display is a screen calibration device aimed at beginner and intermediate users. Intended as a 'no stress' solution it can be used to calibrate a range of displays, from projectors to wide-gamut LCDs, and is provided with both easy and advanced software wizards to suit the user’s technical capabilities and desired level of control.
The colorimeter itself has a counterweight on its cable, and is fitted with a diffusing panel for the measurement of ambient light readings, while towards the end of the calibration procedure it can also be held against the display to measure flare. Once the luminance of the display has been correctly adjusted the calibration process takes little over five minutes, and post-calibration before-and-after examples illustrate the degree to which changes have been made.
The Colormunki is a user-friendly, inexpensive screen calibration device. For more advanced users, or those hankering after a higher level of control, the more expensive X-Rite i1Display Pro is designed on the same lines as the Colormunki Display but offers a raft of additional functionality, including an integrated tripod mount and infinite control of white point, luminance, contrast ratio and gamma.
|The Spyder3Print SR creates and reads a range of different patches for basic or advanced printer
Monitor profiling is relatively easy, but for ultimate control over color there is an extra step. Many photographers probably don't think to take their printer's color reproduction into account, but depending on the type of media that you're using, printer calibration can make a real difference.
If you stick with recommended ink and paper from your printer manufacturer, or you use paper from a well-supported third-party brand which provides profiles, you probably don't need to bother with printer calibration. Where devices like the Spyder3Print SR come in really handy is if you chose to use third-party inks and/or more obscure, less well-supported media, where pre-created profiles are not available, and the generic profiles included with your printer are unlikely to yield accurate results.
The Spyder3Print SR is one of the most popular standalone print profiling devices on the market. It combines a spectrocolorimeter with a platform (pictured) together with software that allows you to print a range of color targets. Once printed on your media of choice, you simply run the spectrocolorimeter along the patches and measure each one to assess your printer's color reproduction. This information is used to create a profile for your specific machine and media, and profiles can be tweaked using the supplied software.
The Spyder3Studio SR package combines the same spectrocolorimeter as the Spyder3Print SR but includes a separate colorimeter for display calibration, at a slightly smaller outlay than the combined price of the two.
- Street price: $69.01 (US) / £52.08 (UK) / €69.70 (EU)
- www.colourconfidence.com (follow link for price/purchase options)
|The Grafilite is ideal for prints up to A4 (8.3 x 11.7 in) in size, although a larger
'Twin Pack' version is also available if you like to make larger prints.
You can have the best monitor and printer profiles possible, but that doesn't change the fact that the appearance of a photographic print is always going to be subject to the conditions under which it is viewed. Colors that appear different under one type of lighting can appear similar same under another (an effect known as metamerism), while neutral areas can easily take on a color bias from the lights under which they are viewed.
The Grafilite, by British color calibration specialists Colour Confidence isn't a color calibration tool as such, but it is a very useful tool in ensuring that your prints look right. The Grafilite kit comprises a folding lamp with an energy-efficient 230V daylight simulation bulb rated for up to 10,000 hours, together with a gray mat designed to be used as a neutral background (the latter being particularly important give that the appearance of colors is affected by what's around them).
The kit as a whole is fairly compact and the lamp can be folded into itself when not in use, while the mat itself measures just 8.3 x 11.7 inches in size. Should you be regularly making prints larger than this, the more expensive Grafilite 'Twin Pack' includes two bulbs, in two separate stands, and a double-sized (11.7 x 16.5 inches) gray mat.
Although Colour Confidence ships internationally, those in the US keen to avoid high shipping charges may wish to consider the Ottlite Folding Desk Lamp instead. Although it doesn't come with a gray mat like the Grafilite, you can supplement it with an inexpensive grey card to act as a neutral background.
Apr 28, 2014
Jan 29, 2013
Dec 2, 2014
Dec 2, 2014
|Carla... by lickity split|
from Beautiful caucasian female faces
|Lunar New Year Fireworks by Michael L NYC 99|
|Vatican Basilica by wam7|
from Street lights
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has a the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.
This crazy custom-built underwater camera shoots 8x10 large format film. It's supposedly "the first successful underwater 8x10 ever made," and it can be yours for $5,800... plus shipping.
Blackmagic just reveled a new accessory for their Cintel Film Scanner. The Cintel Audio and KeyKode Reader can capture KeyKode data and high-quality audio from film in real-time as it is being scanned.
A new Nikon patent shows a lens designed for a curved full-frame sensor. Could this be the high-end Nikon mirrorless camera people are hoping for?
The ability to shoot images at 1,000 fps first appeared in a Sony smartphone sensor. Now the Japanese manufacturer is using the same feature for industrial applications.
Astronomy expert and photographer Dr. Tyler Nordgren thinks you should "see your first eclipse, photograph your second." But if you do plan on taking photos this August, here are a few tips from someone who's been there.
How confident are you that you can spot a manipulated photo? A recent study at the University of Warwick shows that many people are pretty bad at it.
If you purchased a Leica TL2, do NOT attach Leica's Visoflex electronic viewfinder. Leica is working on a fix, but for now, it's possible the viewfinder will break your camera.
Google just released Motion Stills for Android. Unlike the iOS version, the Android app uses a redesigned video processing pipeline that processes each frame of a video as it is being recorded, creating instant results.
A huge copyright lawsuit between photography firm VHT and Zillow Group is heating up again, as both sides appeal a court ruling that granted VHT $4 million in damages.
European Space Agency astronaut Thomas Pesquet spent 6 months on board the International Space Station where he worked with Google capturing spheric panorama images that are now available in Street View.
It's official. PDN has confirmed with parent company Aurelius that 94-year-old lighting company Bowens is indeed going out of business.
The newly launched firmware version 1.06 fixes AF-issues that can occur with some lenses that are not officially compatible with the MC-11 converter.
Voyager is a waterproof smart light stick you can control entirely from your phone. The light has already blown past its $300K funding goal on Indiegogo.
2018 is the last year Photokina will take place during the traditional end-of-September dates. In 2019, Photokina will take place from the 8th to the 11th of May.
The Canon IXUS 50 (known as the SD400 Digital ELPH in North America) was one of a string of high-performing, pocketable PowerShots of the mid-2000s. In this week's throwback Thursday, Barney casts his mind back to 2005.
A close look at the EOS 6D II's Raw files suggest its dynamic range has taken a significant step backwards compared with the company's recent DSLRs. We look at how much difference this might make for your photos.
With a full-production review unit in our hands, we've got over 100 production samples from the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II to share.
Need a break from your day? Kick back and watch the making of a somewhat unconventional mojito filmed on Canon's new EOS 6D Mark II.
The Bonfoton Camera Obscura Room Lens can turn any room into a camera obscura, projecting the view from your window onto the walls of your room.
Adobe just released version 2015.12 of Lightroom CC, adding support for several new cameras and lenses, and baking in several important bug fixes while they were at it.
In this interview, Chiara Marinai, photo editor for VanityFair.com, explains exactly what she looks for in new photographers and photo submissions. Take notes.
Massive corporation P&G is being sued by a Cincinnati photographer for serious copyright violations. If the courts rules against P&G, the company could pay as much as $75 million in damages.
Snapchat's camera-equipped 'Spectacles' aren't so difficult to get anymore. You can now pick up a pair through Amazon for $130.
A group of thieves has made away with tens of thousands in camera gear through a carefully orchestrated scam through Venmo and Facebook Marketplace.