Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?  (Read 455 times)

kimballistic

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 28

Hi all, I've still got a 2011 ColorMunki Photo colorimeter that I use with DisplayCAL/argyll-cms to calibrate my displays (currently 2x 2019 LG 4k 24" thunderbolt mac displays).

Am I good to go, or could an 8-year old colorimeter have aged out of spec, or otherwise be way worse than modern alternatives?
Logged

smthopr

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 562
    • Bruce Alan Greene Cinematography
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2019, 01:27:04 pm »

Hi all, I've still got a 2011 ColorMunki Photo colorimeter that I use with DisplayCAL/argyll-cms to calibrate my displays (currently 2x 2019 LG 4k 24" thunderbolt mac displays).

Am I good to go, or could an 8-year old colorimeter have aged out of spec, or otherwise be way worse than modern alternatives?
Isn't the color munki photo a spectrophotometer?  In that case it would be best for creating printing profiles, but not as good as a colorimeter for creating display profiles.  My guess is that it would be inferior measuring the darker patches of a display.

If you get a modern colorimeter such as an iOne display probe, you might still be able to use your color munki to measure and create "offsets" to accurately measure your display's light source and combine that with the new colorimeter when using displaycal to measure your display.  I bought a used iOne Pro 2 spectro a few years ago to do just this when making display calibration 3D LUTs for use with video color grading and it works quite well.  With the plus that I can now make printer profiles as well!
Logged
Bruce Alan Greene
www.brucealangreene.com

Pat Herold

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 157
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2019, 01:18:31 pm »

It would probably work okay to give you a good color balance.  Any drawback would be in the measuring of the shadows areas.  You might not end up with a nice, dark black in your calibrations compared with a modern colorimeter.  This is a rather old article, but it gives more explanation about the difference between colorimeters and spectrophotometers:
http://www.colorwiki.com/wiki/Profiling_Devices_for_Monitors
Logged
-Patrick Herold
  Tech Support,  chromix.com

Pat Herold

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 157
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2019, 01:36:08 pm »

You could also run the Munki through the X-Rite i1Diagnostics app.  A "pass" will not necessarily tell you that the instrument is in good shape, but at least a 'fail' will tell you if it isn't!
https://www.xrite.com/service-support/downloads/i/i1diagnostics_v4_1_2
Logged
-Patrick Herold
  Tech Support,  chromix.com

kimballistic

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 28
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2019, 02:08:27 pm »

Great information.  Thank you Pat & Bruce!
Logged

Simon J.A. Simpson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 418
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #5 on: October 09, 2019, 11:01:31 am »

Just for fun I gave the i1 diagnostics a spin with my ColorMunki Photo.

It seems only to check that the connections to the various sensor positions are working, and you have to be pretty quick moving the ColorMunki dial/switch gizmo or you will get a 'FAIL'.  After several attempts, and mostly all 'failures', I gave up and then used the Munki to profile my display.  All worked fine.

In answer to the OP's question my guess would be that the hardware is probably OK because it self-callibrates anyway.  The software might need to be updated to work with the latest operating systems.

One thing to be aware of with some Mac Systems is that, for some obscure reason, having the Chrome browser open will interfere with the ColorMunki software.  Just quit Chrome and all will be well.
Logged

GWGill

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 540
  • Author of ArgyllCMS & ArgyllPRO ColorMeter
    • ArgyllCMS
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #6 on: October 09, 2019, 07:02:03 pm »

In answer to the OP's question my guess would be that the hardware is probably OK because it self-callibrates anyway.

Not really. Self calibration works for reflective measurement only, since there is a white reference for it to calibrate against. There is no self calibration for emissive (i.e. Display) measurement, since there is no reference source it can use. The accuracy depends on the initial factory calibration and the instrument remaining stable over time and any abuse.

The good news is that diffraction grating based spectrometers such as the ColorMunki/i1Pro/Spectrolino spectro's seem to be relatively slow to drift, as long as they aren't given a severe knock (which could displace the optical path, causing a wavelength shift), and as long as they haven't got excessively dirty or dusty etc.

This is in distinct contrast to dye filter based colorimeters, that have a reputation for markedly drifting over a few years.
Thin film based filter colorimeters (like the i1d3 series, SpyderX or possibly the ColorMunki Smile) are likely to be much more stable.
Logged

Doug Gray

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 1869
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2019, 10:01:06 pm »

Not really. Self calibration works for reflective measurement only, since there is a white reference for it to calibrate against. There is no self calibration for emissive (i.e. Display) measurement, since there is no reference source it can use. The accuracy depends on the initial factory calibration and the instrument remaining stable over time and any abuse.

The good news is that diffraction grating based spectrometers such as the ColorMunki/i1Pro/Spectrolino spectro's seem to be relatively slow to drift, as long as they aren't given a severe knock (which could displace the optical path, causing a wavelength shift), and as long as they haven't got excessively dirty or dusty etc.

This is in distinct contrast to dye filter based colorimeters, that have a reputation for markedly drifting over a few years.
Thin film based filter colorimeters (like the i1d3 series, SpyderX or possibly the ColorMunki Smile) are likely to be much more stable.

Well stated. This corresponds exactly with my experience with spectros and older colorimeters. They all age but colorimeters age faster. Worse, colorimeters XY white points drift far more and that's a killer. Spectros tend to just drift lower in luminance and xy (color tint) drifted much less.
Logged

Simon J.A. Simpson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 418
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2019, 04:28:20 am »

Whilst I accept that all scientific instruments drift to some extent and that the self-callibration of the ColorMunki Photo only calibrates to a reflective target, the problem remains for users like the OP and me how to tell whether the instrument has drifted and whether it matters.

Also, we need to know how much drift is likely over what time period and at what point the drift is likely to affect the accuracy of the profiles generated.

These are the questions that need answering; anything else is, I am afraid, just unhelpful speculation.

Of course, there may be no way to know unless we have access to scientific establishments that can measure and calibrate our ColorMunkis.    Any offers ?
Logged

Lessbones

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 17
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2019, 12:46:25 pm »

Well stated. This corresponds exactly with my experience with spectros and older colorimeters. They all age but colorimeters age faster. Worse, colorimeters XY white points drift far more and that's a killer. Spectros tend to just drift lower in luminance and xy (color tint) drifted much less.

This is really the most important point here--  A colormunki being a spectro with a grating isn't going to shift color as badly since it's not relying on interagreement of multiple different color filters.  I would say you're well into the world in which scientific precision begins to break down and some element of subjectivity needs to be taken into account.  You'll never have a perfect match of any screen to any print, or any screen to any other screen using a different backlight/phosphor technology.  IMO, if the grey tones look tinted, change them until they look good to your eye and calibrate for that.  Or pick a paper you'll be printing on most of the time and do a visual match of the white point.  But if you're using your monitor for doing print proofing, video color grading, DICOM viewing, etc. all at the same time, then you've just got to pick a happy medium (or be insanely diligent about switching built in LUTs).

I'd keep your current spectro, but add an i1displaypro3 or colormunki display, and use the spectro to create a correction matrix for the colorimeter using displaycal.  Colorimeters are MUCH better at seeing detail in dark tones (SNR gets too high for spectros to accurately read near-blacks in emissive/transmissive modes) but your spectro will be more accurate at obtaining accurate values for color primaries, as explained by Pat earlier.

besides getting better at reading dark values, the only way I can see spectrophotometers really "upgrading" in the near future would be to decrease the space between the grating steps, therefore measuring in higher detail to deal with very spikey spectra, but a better solution for that would be for our display technology to just get better at providing a smooth response.

There's a post on AVSForum talking about the recently released i1pro3 and how it basically doesn't improve upon the previous versions for profiling displays.  Also see: https://www.argyllcms.com/doc/i1proHiRes.html
Logged

GWGill

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 540
  • Author of ArgyllCMS & ArgyllPRO ColorMeter
    • ArgyllCMS
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2019, 08:36:17 pm »

Whilst I accept that all scientific instruments drift to some extent and that the self-callibration of the ColorMunki Photo only calibrates to a reflective target, the problem remains for users like the OP and me how to tell whether the instrument has drifted and whether it matters.
If you want the ultimate assurance that your instrument remains accurate, then it's an expensive exercise. You need to compare it to an instrument with a current traceable certification from a reference laboratory. With such (relatively) low cost instruments as the ColorMunki, it's hard to justify such expense - it would probably be cheaper just to buy a new instrument!

Of course if you happen to have access to other comparable or more high spec. instruments for low cost, it's worth comparing. But the most pragmatic approach is simply to take it as given that diffraction grating based instruments are pretty reliable, and if the end result of using it looks sane, the assume it is within tolerance.
Logged

Simon J.A. Simpson

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 418
Re: downside to using 2011 colormunki hardware for 2019 display calibration?
« Reply #11 on: October 14, 2019, 10:30:04 am »

I've checked with X-Rite and here is their reply:

"There is no official way of telling if a ColorMunki Photo is out of spec or not as it isn't applicable for a formal re-certification process as it is intended for home use rather than a professional ISO compliant environment.

In other words, although your device is from 2010, but if it is working fine and you're happy with the results, all is well.

Again, just to give you an example, for more professional products the suggested re-calibration period is between 12 to 18 months. It is described in more detail here:

https://xritephoto.com/ph_product_overview.aspx?ID=24&Action=support&SupportID=3207"


I hope this helps.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up