Choice of Spectrophotometer


Hiya, I’m struggling with choosing a good spectrophotometer for PiezoDN

I have been told that the i1 pro is the best choice, but this comes in a number of different versions. The i1 pro Rev D is the last model before the i1 Pro 2, but there are also ‘UV cut’ versions. I need some clarification as to what is best for PiezoDN. Jon has suggested that it is much easier to read measurements if you have a reading board. Most on eBay aren’t supplied with one, but does it really justify a £500 difference in price? Can I get by with a Rev. D without a reading board if it will save me some considerable money?




Really, just a white piece of platinum paper under the spectro will work fine.





So you are saying it’s unnecessary to buy the latest model Pro 2. and that a rev D. will work fine? Cheers


Can some explain what is required in a Spectrometer for PiezoDN. I see X-rite “Smiles” quite cheap then moving up in $ to the i1 pros. Do I need all the feature of a high unit to do PDN calibration, what can an hack printer maker get away with or should i just stay with the scanner method?


Thanks Keith,

Maybe something to look into after Christmas. Happy with way things are going ATM.

Would this be OK?

Spyder 2 Pro Kit Colorvision Data Model 1005 Spectrocolorimeter Calibration Tool




The Smile is for displays only, not prints. You would need the ColorMunki Photo.

In my opinion, a scanner will never give you an accurate calibration, not even a really good scanner like my Eversmart Pro II. I am using a DataColor SpyderPrint3 that I’ve had for about 5 years, but only started using 2 or 3 years ago when my old densitometer (X-rite 400) failed. Not knowing anything about LAB, I only used it for density readings until last May when Walker schooled me on the benefits of LAB and how to use the thing properly. I think mine is more comparable to the ColorMunki than the i1, but I’m not really sure having never even seen an i1. Price wise it definitely is.

If that is not in the cards for you, perhaps a used reflection densitometer would work. There is a mathematical way to get from Density to Luminosity (the L* that is used by PiezoDN), Richard Boutwell uses it in his Digital Negative Curve Calculator, but that is only 21-steps. 129 steps is a lot to record by hand so I’d look for one that can connect to the computer. Actually, I think I’d only recommend this route if you already have a working densitometer and want to try it out before investing in a spectro of some sort!

The current SpyderPrint is $249USD from DataColor. The ColorMunki Photo is $510USD from X-Rite. Maybe better prices elsewhere.


Hi it’s time to spend some money and buy a Spectrophotometer, but I would love some Expert user-experience or Walker Jedi-Mastery help. Reading the manual (Section 11, 4. CalibratingPiezoDN, Step D) it seems that SpyderPrint ($250) works well as do the the Xrite i1’s ($1285). The Colormunki ($390) is mentioned as “coming soon”.

Question 1 - Is the Colormunki supported yet?

Question 2 - Is it worth spending the extra money and getting the i1 over the Colormunki over the SpyderPrint? I don’t want to spend all the money for an i1 if it’s not necessary. But I don’t want to feel the ‘6 month later’ regret of not paying the extra, if my results are limited by my ability to linearize , because I saved some cash. So I guess the question is what is a “good enough” Spectro. or is the i1 just that much better that I should remortgage the house and go for it?

I’m really sorry if this is answered elsewhere… I did search on the topic in the forum and FAQ but did not find this question.


ColorMunki is supported. I think it actually has the same hardware as i1Pro so I wouldn’t worry about using it.

The only weird thing about ColorMunki is if you have a PC. ColorPicker (the app you need to use w/ colormunki) really blows.

The screenshots and workflow for measuring with ColorMunki are in the “linearizing Piezography” section and will be added to the piezodn section soon.





Perfect - thanks for the help Walker.

I’ll buy one today and keep a look out for the piezodn update.


Shane! I’m sorry I missed your post from 9/18. I keep forgetting that posting in a thread does not automatically subscribe me to it. Wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve missed a few others as well.

I’m using a SpyderPrint3 which is a generation newer than the one in your ebay link above. You’d have to check on the DataColor website regarding software compatibility. I’m using Version 5.0.2 of the SpyderPrint software.

It seems to work well, though I’ve never had access to a ColorMunki, i1, etc from X-rite for comparison.

I downloaded version 2.0.5 of ColorPort just to have a look at it. Is this the recommended version?

Speaking of X-rite options, Walker, are any of the older devices suitable for our purposes? There seem to be so many. From the ColorPort device list:

        DTP20 (PULSE)
        SP62, SP64
        938, 939, 962, 964
        i1iSis XL


I’ve build charts for:



Very happy with my i1Pro2 performance! Which is rather wonderful considering my hesitancy in buying one, and that was at half the price of a new one. I got it on eBay second hand but still unopened. I’d still be interested in trying out the i1Pro Rev.D (final model) to see if the extra money was actually justified. I might do so if one comes up cheap. It’s assuring to know I’m the first one to use it though as I’ve read their accuracy drifts over time.


Would something like this be a good one?