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Comparing color management devices/software

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  • Color Management: Comparing color management devices/software

    I am researching monitor/printer color management devices for a newly purchased computer/monitor. Using info derived from this forum, I went to Amazon for a quick and dirty view of current offerings. Yikes - a bunch. Further research indicates even more, ranging in price from $60 to $6500 and more. Realizing there is some truth that spending more $$ generally results in a better outcome, is $6500 really required? Also realizing there is a connection between equipment to calibrate and usage, here are the particulars:

    Use: photo editing using LR3 and PSE7 (soon to be 10) for both web and printing using Epson 1280 and pro printing firms

    HPp7-1047 (coreI5, 6gb ram, Intel graphics), Win7 64-bit
    HP2311x LCD monitor, set, as near as I can tell, for sRGB space

    My usual work flow uses LR/PSE in combination to generate an acceptable image, then review on a non-calibrated laptop (for web use images) using Firefox; or print a 4x6 (so the pro printer understands what outcome I expect) and provide with a digital file for final printing. Both usually require a bit of time for acceptable output. Plus, saving different version of the same image.

    My question is: what management system to use? Low cost is an issue, but not the deciding factor, although $6500 is not going to happen.

    Thanks for your input and thoughts. Ed

  • #2
    Re: Comparing color management devices/software

    $6500 for what?

    Get an NEC SpectraView II PA series (you choice of size based on budget). You're not even close to that kind of money. What else do you need?

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    • #3
      Re: Comparing color management devices/software

      Rodney: Well actually only $6000 (GretagMacbeth Spectrolino + ProfileMaker Pro 5.01 software ($6000)). Did take my breath away which probably accounts for the higher quoted amount. Thanks for your suggestion. BTW, really enjoy your webinars on retouchpro.

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      • #4
        Re: Comparing color management devices/software

        I can sell you my old GretagMacbeth Spectrolino for far less <g>. Up on eBay. GretagMabeth isn't even around nor is that made any longer (they are part of X-Rite). Maybe an iSis XL and i1Profiler you'd be able to spend close to that amount but why? You need to build paper profiles for printers?

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        • #5
          Re: Comparing color management devices/software

          My only point was that there is a great price range within this subject and many different offerings all claiming to work. I'm not sure what I need but know $6k is not it. And maybe not even $300. The individual product reviews are all over the map from 'great' to 'just above worthless' for any product you chose to review, independent of price. Which is why I posted this thread, as I know I need to manage the display and would like the input and assistance from a group that I have respect for their opinions.

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          • #6
            Re: Comparing color management devices/software

            So just what are you wanting to buy other than the display (of which I gave a recommendation)?

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            • #7
              Re: Comparing color management devices/software

              Well, I am looking for a color management device/software recommendation. Maybe that price I saw was for a monitor, but I thought it was a device/software since it was included with a bunch of other reviews on color management devices. All the other statements regarding options and reviews are relevant to this subject. Maybe this is better stated as monitor calibration.
              Last edited by eschoon; 10-05-2011, 08:52 PM.

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              • #8
                Re: Comparing color management devices/software

                If you go for a NEC SpectraView (great monitors), recommended calibration software for the monitor is included.
                If you want a low budget monitor (perhaps as a secondary monitor), just make sure the panel type is IPS.

                You will still need an instrument for calibrating it, I'm no expert here, but I have used both "i1 Pro" (costly, calibrates 'anything', several license versions available) and "eye-one display LT" (cheap, monitors only) from X-rite. I can recommend the i1 Pro, but not the eye-one display LT (our three did not last very long before they became inaccurate).
                Calibration software is included; there is usually no need to buy this separately.

                Do you need to be able to calibrate your printer?
                Last edited by Chain; 10-06-2011, 03:41 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: Comparing color management devices/software

                  Chain: I will be unable to replace the HP2311x monitor at this time, so need a calibration system that works for this model. My goal is to calibrate both monitor and printer. I have read Andrew's online info about using a viewing booth to match print to screen so have an idea of how that works. Can not recall whether I have seen a review of calibration device/software that does both monitor and printer. Most of my output is for web use, but some goes to pro print firms. Maybe the thing to do is to calibrate the monitor and follow my current practice regarding printing - manipulate the image for a good 4x6 print from my epson and send that along with the digital file. Will look at the two items you discuss. Thanks Ed

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                  • #10
                    Re: Comparing color management devices/software

                    How to you print today? Do you print using icc profiles shipped with the Epson that match your paper? If so it's probably not too far off, although you would get better results by calibrating it yourself.

                    If all you need is calibration equipment/software, have a look at X-Rite (it's the brand I have used in the past, but I'm sure other brands are good as well).

                    For you I would look at these two options:
                    http://xritephoto.com/ph_product_ove...1115&catid=149 (ColorMunki Photo)
                    http://xritephoto.com/ph_product_ove...1464&catid=109 (i1 Photo Pro)

                    The ColorMunki is cheaper, but I suspect it has a shorter lifespan (I'm assuming it's similar to our old eye-ones). The i1 is a professional solution that includes more stuff, giving more options.

                    For viewing/judging your prints a viewing booth is nice to have as it gives you a "neutral" stable viewing environment with a known colour temperature.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Comparing color management devices/software

                      Chain: Thanks for your recommendations. I do print using the epson ICC profiles, and mostly the results are more than acceptable after some minor massaging but I have not used a view booth, so more room for improvement. Ed

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