i1Studio or i1pro2 (Profiling Service) for ICC Printer Profiles

Angelo G

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Hello, I've recently acquired an Epson P400, I am very satisfied with its print quality but have noticed black and dark tones seem a tad darker than they should. In order to fix that issue and to also be able to use non-epson papers, I am looking to getting custom ICC profiles done for 4 papers. I've used profiling services before and have been completely satisfied with them, they use the X-Rite i1publish system which I assume uses the i1pro2 and i1profiler, and utilize over 1700 color patches to create an ICC profile. The i1studio on the other hand can calibrate monitors and also create ICC profiles utilizing around 100-150 color patches to make said profiles.
At the moment the i1Studio is looking very intriguing to me as it would allow me to create printer profiles and calibrate my display, something that I would like to do.
The cost to create 4 profiles using the profiling service is $100 ($25 each), the cost to rent an i1studio is $75 for one week. A couple of questions

-What should I do? Use the profiling service or rent out the i1studio?
-One can assume that the quality of the ICC profiles made by the i1pro2 is superior to the i1studio. How superior is the quality of the profiles made by the i1pro2 and is there a noticeable difference in quality that one should go with profiles made by the i1pro2 rather than the i1studio?

Thanks!
 

Ink stained Fingers

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-What should I do? Use the profiling service or rent out the i1studio?
that would depend on your experience with the XRite Software, and/or if you want to spend the time to learn its use, and how many different profiles you actually want to create. Only you can judge and decide that.
How superior is the quality of the profiles made by the i1pro2 and is there a noticeable difference in quality that one should go with profiles made by the i1pro2 rather than the i1studio?
It all depends - if you print commercially and you have to meet particular quality standards - e.g. FOGRA - you need technically accurate profiles, but if it is for private use you can choose a lower number of patches. I would not go above 500 patches.
 

Angelo G

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Thanks for the advice!

One more thing, is there any software that will allow an i1studio (or Colormunki Photo) to be able produce and read a printable target sheet with 500 patches? From what I know, the software for the i1studio (or CM Photo) only produces 100 patches.
 

Ink stained Fingers

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No, you are limited to the 100 patches, that's all you get with an entry level package, but there is an option that you can 'improve' the profile in a 2nd run - you have to select specific colors which should be taken care of - e.g. you use a B/W image or a portrait as a reference to cover skin tones, and you can do this iteration several time as I'm aware of.
 

Keith Cooper

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The i1Studio software is a distinct improvement over the old Colormunki software in that you can do batch profiling. With the old system you had to keep the software open whilst your prints dried.

The lower number of patches is not quite so clear cut as it might seem, in that you can run a second optimising step to refine profiles. It will work fine without the option of adding an image for colours.
This can (on well behaved printer/paper/ink combos) give very good results.

I wouldn't choose the 'B&W' profile options in i1S myself - during testing I found them of marginal benefit and definitely not up to driver B&W print modes - YMMV so worth testing

One area where the i1S spectro is different from an i1Pro2/3 is that it's only UV Cut, so may have some issues with strong OBAs

The i1Studio works well for monitor calibration as well

One other thing, the old Colormunki spectro works with the new i1studio software, but not vice versa. This matters if you want to use some of the functionality of the old software (patch measurement) that didn't make it to i1Studio
 

Artur5

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I wouldn't recommend a Color Munki/i1Studio for calibrating modern monitors with LED backlight. It's old harware not ready for the spectrum emitted by those LEDs.
IMHO, the only low cost device performing quite well on current monitors is the X-Rite i1Display Pro.
 

Keith Cooper

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I wouldn't recommend a Color Munki/i1Studio for calibrating modern monitors with LED backlight. It's old harware not ready for the spectrum emitted by those LEDs.
IMHO, the only low cost device performing quite well on current monitors is the X-Rite i1Display Pro.
I have to disagree there... :)

Given it's a spectrophotometer rather than a colorimeter, it depends on the software driving it to a much larger extent. Traditionally spectrophotometers have been noisier at low intensities, so with the older measuring head in the i1Studio you might well get a better shadow/dark response with a newer I1Display (studio/pro/pro-plus). The specs for the i1studio are the same as the colormunki, but it uses a newer measurement device - X-Rite don't give detailed specifications, but when I was testing the i1Studio before it was released I was led to believe that it was 'improved'

However the i1Studio also saves you buying a colorimeter as well, so for the market it's aimed at is a perfectly adequate solution.
 

palombian

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I use a Colormunki to calibrate my CS2420 with Colornavigator 7 and to my eyes it is OK.
Same with my paper profiles.
The Colorpicker application in the old Photo software helped me a lot to test inks.

@TS: try to find a second hand Colormunki, it will be paid back soon since it allows you to print with any ink on any paper.
You may even find a defective one for free.
When the dial position is not detected by the application anymore there is an easy fix for this error.
 

Artur5

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We'll have to agree on our disagreement in this matter. It's not my opinion, but technical reasons. ColorMunki/Istudio aren't able to measure correctly the spectrum emitted by led retroilluminated screens. The fact that it's a espectrophotometer doesn't helps at all, no matter which software we use. It's a consumer grede outdated device which does OK for profiling papers/inks, provided they're no over loaded with OBAs. I use mine solely for this purpose, not for calibrating monitors.
Agreed, it saves buying a colorimeter and always far better than any Datacolor Spyder.
 

Angelo G

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Thanks everyone for your insight! I have ended up compromising with myself. I have sent target prints to be profiled using a profiling service, and I am going to purchase an i1Display Pro to calibrate my monitor. It seems to be the most cost effective solution for me since forums across the board suggest the i1studio is decent but is limited by its software, and purchasing an i1pro is definitely over board for my personal use since this is just a hobby for me.
 
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