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Monday, August 19, 2013

Need an eye, for color? Check out the I1Pro 2 spectrophotometer!

      That's spectrophotometer: spec·tro·pho·tom·e·terˌ

      Noun

An apparatus for measuring the intensity of light in a part of the spectrum, esp. as transmitted or emitted by particular substances.

Professional Color Management

The new standard of perfection for Color Perfectionists looking for an affordable, professional-level spectral color measurement solution offering display, monitor and printer profiling. Calibrating your printers, monitors, and scanners are essential for print color accuracy. It reduces time and materials wasted while proofing your prints
 
The i1Pro is a ridiculously easy to use tool that will get you professional results right out of the box. We here at Canvas and Paper Warehouse (and our sister companies) have benefited greatly from the i1Pro system. From scanner and printer profiling to even color correcting our computer monitors!

What is the i1Pro 2 system?

When you open the exquisite black case, you'll notice what I like to call the “Monocle” the i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer, along with assorted accessories: Certificate of Performance, USB Cable, Software DVD, User Manual, ColorChecker Classic, ColorChecker Proof, Backup Board and Ruler, Calibration Plate, Positioning Target, Display Holder, Ambient Light Measuring Head, Tripod Holder, Carrying Case, and a security USB chip that holds your software license information.


The Monocle has a solid feel to it, like a small rubberized brick. On the left side of the unit is a measurement button. The top sports a two LED indicators. These indicators assist and guide you through the measurement process.


Solid white – device needs to be calibrated
Flashing white – the device is ready
Flashing Green – Scan accepted
Solid or flashing red lights – Re-scan/Re-calibration needed


Another neat feature is the included UV lamp inside the monocle, this helps when profiling media that contains Optical Brightener Additives (OBA's) The enclosed tripod holder is used for calibrating Projector Displays. Located on the base of the Tripod Holder is a light measuring head that is used for Ambient Light Measurement. The display holder is a nifty device that allows the monocle to rest against the monitor for calibration. The i1Photo Pro 2 package comes bundled with i1Profiler. This software is easy to use and right away we understood the intuitive functions. I1Profiler operates in two modes: Basic and Advanced. In the left panel, there are 3 main options (if you’re in Basic mode): Display Profiling, Projector Profiling and Printer Profiling. Advanced mode offers a lot more options to further dial in the settings and color on your devices. On the bottom of each window, you can see the entire work flow. This gives you a good understanding of which step you’re on and what’s coming up next. Training videos are available from the software, that outline each function of the software. With that even novice users will be able to achieve great color right away.

Scanner profiling 

 
Profiling a scanner have never been easier. In the i1profiler software you simply need to select a target from the list of reference targets (sold separately). Then scan the selected target with all color adjusting settings on the scanner turned off. Once you have the scan, load it on to the i1profiler software and the software will auto target your samples. Continue forward and create a .ICM color profile to adjust for any differences in color. Just add the profile to scanner profile settings and your good to go!


    Printer Profiling

We profile all of our digital fine art paper across multiple printers, including our Premium photo paper. In basic mode the software lets us generate 3 different chart sizes from: Small (400 patches), Medium (800 patches) and Large (1600 patches). In advanced mode you can generate anywhere between 400- 6000 patches. There are great advantages to using a larger number of patches, namely the color reproduction, gradation, shadow and highlight details are significantly improved.



The included Backup Board has a built in clip on the top that holds the printed out chart in place for larger tabloid prints we've found it helps to tape the lower section as well. The included ruler helps the monocle slide effortlessly across the Backup Board letting you scan thousands of patches in minuets.
The profiling software allows us to measure each row in each chart with a single or dual scan. In single scan mode, the i1Pro measures No Filter, UV-included measurement that is equivalent to ISO type M0. In Dual scan mode, the i1Pro uses UV-included (type D50); equivalent to ISO type M1, as well as the UV-excluded, or UV cut measurement that is equivalent to ISO type M2.
We used the large, 1600 patch set to profile our Professional photo paper, Inkjet canvasses, and , Digital fine art paper. The results were stunning. The prints looked crisp; colors were well saturated and reflected what we saw on the screen perfectly. The new profile resulted in sharper, more accurate images.

Monitor Profiling

The process of Display Profiling is quick and easy, simply select your display, white point and luminance. In this window you can also select the option to use the Ambient Light Control. If you select the Ambient Light Measurement option, i1Profiler will display instructions on how to attach the special plate that makes the measurement possible.
The i1 fits well in the Display Holder and the units fit well over the monitor. The profiling process takes about 10 minutes. During that time, the software displays a series of different colors on the screen. i1 measures what values are being displayed and builds the profile.
After the profile is saved, a 3D model of the color space is displayed. You can also see a preview of some test images to compare the before and after results. Seeing these results shows the importance of calibrating your monitors and doing so on a regular basis. Keep in mind, all monitors “drift” over time. In order to keep your images and prints consistent, it’s important to calibrate your screen on a regular basis. A very nice option in the software is an automatic reminder that will prompt you to re-calibrate every 1, 2, 3 or 4 weeks.