contents include the Eye-One Pro spectrophotometer, calibration
plate, USB cable, CRT monitor holder, flat panel LCD holder,
positioning target, scanning ruler, and light measurement
Using the current hardware
and software technology available, digital imaging now provides a virtually
unlimited palette of capabilities for photographers. Along with the
various benefits that come with this control, there are also numerous
variables that the user must address in the digital workflow. Understanding
and addressing digital color management is one of the critical elements
involved in producing consistent high quality work.
Calibration and profiling of your equipment is the first step toward
an effective color management experience. By definition, calibration
is the process of returning a device to a known and repeatable state.
Profiling is then performed in order to record the specific characteristics
of a device while it is in this particular state. An operating system
level CMS (Color Management System) such as Apple's ColorSync
and Microsoft's ICM 2.0, or applications with a built-in color
management engine such as Adobe's Photoshop, can use these profiles
to accurately translate color from one device space to another so that
they reproduce effectively throughout the workflow.
the red patch of a Macbeth Mini-ColorChecker yields this
spectral information plot about the captured color. This
describes the luminance
of the wavelengths that create this particular color. Essentially
the "recipe" for this color, data such as LAB,
XYZ, and density can be easily computed
from spectral data.
Most manufacturers provide pre-built or "canned" profiles
for their devices, and in situations where reasonable color matching is
adequate, these "canned" profiles may be sufficient. In a
professional installation that demands both high quality accurate color
output and excellent color matching capabilities, custom profiles will
need to be created for the devices in the system. The benefit of using
a professional color management workflow and custom profiles is tremendous.
A busy photographer or studio should find this technology virtually mandatory
due to the time and monetary savings involved, as well as the increase
in quality output possible by implementing such a system.
The Eye-One Photo color management system from GretagMacbeth is a product
aimed squarely at the photographic market, and provides powerful calibration,
profiling, and color acquisition capabilities at a remarkable price. This
package allows the user to profile their CRT or LCD displays, and create
output profiles for their RGB printing devices. The versatile software
included also provides advanced capabilities for capturing and analyzing
color well beyond the scope of any current competitive package.
Package Contents And
The package consists of profiling software, the Eye-One Pro spectrophotometer
measuring device, and various adapters for accomplishing all of the tasks
that the Eye-One Photo system can perform. As a side note, the package
that the Eye-One components are delivered in is quite sturdy, and as such
provides a secure place to store all of the various parts when not in
use. There is an optional hard case available from GretagMacbeth that
would be a wise investment if traveling with the unit is common.
The installation process is very simple, as there are three separate programs
that the user installs. These include Eye-One Match 2.0, which is the
actual profiling software application; Eye-One Share, which is used for
capturing and analyzing color; and the Eye-One Diagnostics software, which
is provided to help troubleshoot any problems that may occur. I installed
and tested the Eye-One Photo package on both Windows and Mac OS X platforms,
and the software interfaces are both functionally and operationally identical.
simple interface takes the user through each step in creating
an ICC profile for their RGB printing device. The 918 patch
target chart as seen here prints on two separate letter-sized
The Eye-One Pro Spectrophotometer
The Eye-One Pro unit is an advanced spectrophotometer capable of taking
approximately 100 measurements a second. A spectrophotometer is an instrument
that measures the characteristics of a surface throughout many frequencies
in the spectrum. Typically a measurement is performed every 10 nanometers
in the 380-730 nanometer range--this essentially covers the range
of visible light to humans. This spectral capture creates a precise digital
fingerprint of the particular color measured. The fact that spectral data
is captured is where the Eye-One software derives most of its powerful
Included in the package is also a removable ambient light head attachment
that allows the users to take spectral emissive readings from light sources
such as gallery lights, viewing booths, and any other custom lighting
installation. The precision and versatility of this instrument are quite
remarkable and the advantages that accompany working with pure spectral
data will become obvious when analyzing captured color in the Eye-One
Share software application.
Eye-One Match 2.0 is the application used for calibrating and profiling
CRT or LCD displays, and profiling digital RGB printers. Calibrating and
profiling a display is then performed in three steps. The user attaches
the correct adapter to the Eye-One unit for either an LCD or CRT application,
and the software walks the user through calibration of the Eye-One device.
Eye-One Match 2.0 then allows the user to choose a white point and gamma
setting for display calibration purposes. Finally, the automated calibration
and profiling of the display is completed.
The whole process took only a few minutes, and resulted in consistently
high quality display profiles. The gray scale performance of these profiles
was particularly good. After creating a 0 to 255 gray scale gradient in
Photoshop and viewing the gradient at 100 percent, I found no hints of
color or banding anywhere in this neutral gradient. The color performance
was equally fine, and overall this package has given me the best results
to date when calibrating and profiling LCD displays. As usual with CRT
calibration and profiling, the best scenario is to work with a CRT display
that possesses individual RGB gain controls.
RGB printer profiling is quick and easy. In my tests I profiled the Epson
Stylus Photo 1280, 2000P, and 2200, and the Fuji Pictrography 3000. Testing
these particular printers was intentional because each of the Epson printers
uses a different ink set, and the Fuji uses a completely different technology
to output color.
There are two types of profiling targets that are included with Eye-One
Match 2.0: a 288 patch target and a larger 918 patch target. Technically
speaking, the smaller 288 patch target is intended for use on printers
that can either be calibrated (like the Fuji Pictrography series) or a
printer that has an acceptable native gray balance and is generally a
well behaved device. The 918 patch target offers the profiler more sample
points, and is therefore very useful when working with printers and drivers
that cannot be calibrated or that do not respond well to the smaller 288
patch target. Because there are no provisions to calibrate the Epson printers
using their standard drivers, profiling is the only method available to
correct the printer behavior and the 918 patch target was consistently
a better choice for profiling these printers.
Print And Check
In order to profile the printers, either the 288 or 918 patch target is
printed and allowed to dry completely. Typically I allowed the ink jet
prints to dry overnight and read them into Eye-One Match 2.0 the next
day. Reading the 288 patch target printed patches only took around three
minutes, and the 918 patch target averaged about seven minutes. The whole
process is simple to follow and the program will alert you if something
is read improperly. The only learning curve, so to speak, would be acclimating
to the Eye-One Pro spectrophotometer, which you slide across the targets
on a special ruler-like adapter. Making sure that the USB cable has plenty
of freedom and that your desk is clear of obstructions goes a long way
toward smooth operation. After reading in a few targets, it is easy to
establish a "feel" for how quickly you can read each strip
without going too fast or slow. After reading the entire target, the user
can input the profile name and Eye-One Match 2.0 creates and saves the
Eye-One Share is the tool I used to read my Macbeth ColorChecker
and gray cards. Virtually any reflective surface can be
read, and Eye-One Share will give you values for the color.
The analysis that can be performed on ambient light readings
is phenomenal, and provides many ways to learn more about
light and color.
The printer profiles that I created with Eye-One Match 2.0 were excellent,
as even the Epson 2000P with its challenging pigmented ink set was profiled
with seemingly relative ease. There are few profiling packages on the
market that can make this claim. Besides profiling standard media, I successfully
profiled after-market papers from Ilford, Arches, and Legion with the
Epson Ultrachrome and Photo Dye inks.
The spectral data that the Eye-One Pro unit captures is one of the primary
reasons that the printer profiles are of such high quality. GretagMacbeth
also uses algorithms in their software that allow them to detect optical
brighteners in the paper, and, if they are present, compensates for their
affect in the profile. This detection is done by examining the spectral
properties of the media itself.
Another benefit of working with spectral data is the possibility to create
profiles that are optimized for specific viewing conditions. Currently,
Eye-One Match 2.0 builds profiles based on the standard D50 viewing conditions.
This is the correlated color temperature popular in most viewing booths
and the current standard in the graphic arts industry.
Technically speaking, GretagMacbeth offers and distributes the Eye-One
Share application as freeware. Eye-One Share has no specific function
in making profiles, so some users might not find its capabilities of interest.
In my opinion, however, this application is incredibly useful for analyzing
and learning about color and really enhances the value of this package.
Eye-One Share lets you measure color from any reflective surface, or measure
the characteristics of a light source when using the optional ambient
light attachment on the Eye-One Pro spectrophotometer. To measure color
from an object, hold the measuring instrument up to the surface and press
the button on the side of the Eye-One Pro. The colors that you capture
are added to a collection, and these collections can be saved or exported
for use in programs like Photoshop and Illustrator. The tools in Eye-One
Share also allow you to evaluate the color that you have captured.
There are many valuable uses for this application. Once I create a profile
for a printer, I typically print a test file that I have assembled from
various images. One of the elements in this file is simply a gray scale
wedge and a solid black patch 1x1" in size. I measure the LAB values
of this pure black patch and use these numbers to calculate the D-max
of my paper and ink combinations. I also use Eye-One Share to read 18
percent gray cards and values for my Macbeth ColorChecker target. I can
then substitute the values I obtain from my ColorChecker into my digital
camera profiling software so that my digital camera profiles are as accurate