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Re: Colorimeter vs. Spectro
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Re: Colorimeter vs. Spectro

I've been biting my tongue on this topic for days now, but when yet another
"clarification" muddies the water further I can't just site idly by. For
those of you interested in Colorsync issues I'd tune out now, this is going
to be a long one.

Brant from Gretag brings up the PULSE (where this came into the discussion I
have no idea, when the discussion was screen measurement) and explains that
it is the fact that because it is a "filter based spectrophotometer" that it
can't be used for monitors and goes on to explain in incredible detail why
filter based instruments aren't as good as grating instruments, even though
both science and the market have proved this wrong. I'm sorry but talk about
marketing hype over physics this is a great example. I think it is sort of
like the ads - "buy digital cable and 500 channels will improve the quality
of your TV and your life will be improved"! Not to mention other marketing
and legal reasons the PULSE isn't used on monitors. Sigh The reality is this
these are two different technologies to achieve the same goal, each has its
advantages and disadvantages - but neither (sorry Brandt) can be declared
the outright winner. Heck - you can't even call the 16 vs. 32 band argument
settled given that one of the key reference/benchmark instruments in the
industry is a 16 band filtered instrument (which X-Rite makes incidentally).

Let's be clear then about MY biases, and I'm not talking about the fact that
I work for X-Rite - I'm biased about that too :-) I list some of my biases
below, along with, I hope a bit of clarification. Just to be obstinate,
don't expect a public reply about disagreements, I plan to return to lurk
mode again after this.

1) I vastly prefer tools that are designed to do the best they can at a
single task - I've got both a Leatherman multi-tool and a Swiss Army knife
(well okay several of both) and they are wonderful tools, each with
compromises based on their multi-purpose design. A tool that has to do a
single job, will almost always out perform a tool that tries to "do it all.
Now I can hear the cries of "foul" already - but given the testing I've done
I'm speaking with hard won knowledge - we are talking laboratory testing
(who else has sat staring at spectroradiometer data pointed at LCD's screens
waiting for them to stabilize for 20 hours even though they are on power
conditioned lines - sigh)? I can speak from experience, recent, tiring
experience. EVERY multipurpose instrument out the there does one of its
tasks better than the others in its toolset, and other single purpose
devices out perform them in all cases. Period If a multipurpose instrument
fits your need that's fine, like I said I use a Swiss Army knife too,
sometimes. (that is when I haven't forgotten to take it out of the computer
bag and TSA takes yet another one!)

2) I vastly prefer tools that are made by people who "make the whole
widget". One of the reasons X-Rite primarily makes filter based spectros is
we make our own spectral engines (okay I think we've got 3 instruments that
use gratings, and few with LED's as well - but that is because they are,
drum roll please, special purpose instruments. We do our best to fit the
best technology to the market the instrument is designed for). In general,
X-Rite is the one company that not only designs but also manufactures the
whole thing (yeah sometimes we make the nuts and bolts too!) We don't
outsource the engineering like some of our competitors, we don't outsource
the manufacture like some of our competitors, and if we let them, our
engineers would sign the inside of every one of these things - there is a
lot of pride in the innovative designs that make up these puppies.

3) Oh yeah - Colorimeter vs. Spectro (not filter vs. grating thank you very
much) In short, Marc has made a few points that many were quick to discount
(Spikes in the Red phosphor of CRT's, superior matching to CIE curves etc.
Noise isolation etc.) I could quibble with both Marc and some of the others
(even my other non-X-Rite friends who chimed in) though Marc is actually
pretty much factually on target here, but frankly if you buy an instrument
from X-Rite or buy it from Gretag or... Well anyway, you will be buying a
quality product, and from a pure instrument design I expect they will
deliver good quality measurement data. I can make any instrument fail,
sometimes spectacularly  (I've got one instrument from an old competitor in
my lab where you can measure a narrow band magenta sample and the instrument
says its green...) but overall the instruments today are faster, cheaper,
more stable and yes, more accurate than instruments made only a few years
ago. Both the PULSE and Monaco Optix xr are instruments that *couldn't* have
been made 3 years ago the materials either didn't exist or were so
expensive, only I would have bought instruments made with them :-)

4) So what about... Whatever
As I said above we can argue big or little points all day long but frankly I
don't think its worth the time. There is far more variability in the system
from other sources than just the instrument design. Try the PULSE and OPTIX
xr and compare them to the competition and then we can all stop talking and
start smiling. As a former professional photographer, and now one who does
it for the sure joy, I know my primary goal is reproducing a great image and
using the best combination of affordable, easy to use and accurate tools to
get there.

Then we can go to the bar and start talking about... Whatever.

Back into lurk mode.

Raymond Cheydleur
OEM  Developer Support


X-Rite Incorporated
3100 44th Street SW
Grandville, MI 49418

Customer support:  888-826-3059
Email  email@hidden 


> From: Brant Andreas <email@hidden>
> Date: Fri, 7 Jan 2005 18:02:20 +0100
> To: <email@hidden>
> Subject: RE: Colorsync-users Digest, Vol 2, Issue 3
> in Reply to Vol 2, Issue 3:
>    3. Colorimeter vs. Spectro
> In answer to previous postings, this posting is intended to provide a
> clear understanding of the differences between filter based
> spectrometers, diffraction grating based spectrometers and colorimeters.
> <snip>

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 >RE: Colorsync-users Digest, Vol 2, Issue 3 (From: "Brant Andreas" <email@hidden>)

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