X-Rite’s Pulse ColorElite; Color Manage All Your Input And Output Page 2

The black and white output from the Pulse-generated profiles is the best I've had without using a RIP (Raster Image Processor) such as ImagePrint. Particularly with the Epson 4000, which shows a color cast using the generic profiles, the Pulse did a much better job of creating a neutral print with good shadow detail.

Digital Camera And Scanner Calibration
With the included IT8 calibration target, you can profile your flat-bed scanner. Anyone who has used a scanner to convert film to digital will understand how useful this is. While some scanners include profiles for their devices, many people are surprised by how far off the color is from the original film to the scanned digital file.

Digital photographers can also create profiles for their cameras. By shooting a color target, such as the common GretagMacbeth Color Checker, you can fine-tune the output from your camera for complete control and accuracy. While this will appeal more to studio situations with controlled lighting, you could in fact shoot the Color Checker as your first image while in the field and use that to build a profile for the remainder of your images shot in those lighting conditions.

I've created a set of profiles for my Canon EOS-1D Mark II at all the ISO settings I typically use and in each lighting condition, making it easier for me to get an accurate starting point for image processing. The included Gamut Viewer utility is a great way to see whether the colors in your image will fit within the color space supported by
your device.

Accessory Kit
The optional accessory kit includes a power adapter for the Pulse, a board with guide rails and black and white backgrounds for use with the Pathfinder, and a nice case to hold everything in place. Although it's sold as an optional kit, I recommend adding this if you'll be using the system for anything other than monitor profiles. The board for the Pathfinder makes scanning individual lines much easier and should be considered standard equipment. The kit also includes ColorShop X, which is a complete suite of programs to calibrate and adjust color over a wide variety of areas.

Conclusion
Regardless of whether you shoot digital or you are working with scanned film, if you have a digital darkroom you need color management. Pros and serious amateurs will want to control both input and output quality for the utmost control over the results. For that group of people, the X-Rite Pulse ColorElite is hard to beat and will handle every calibration task you can throw at it. Highly recommended!

The ColorElite with OPTIXXR and Pulse costs $1195; the accessory kit costs $189. The system requirements are Macintosh OS X 10.2 or later; Windows 2000 or XP; USB port.

For information, contact X-Rite, 3100 44th St. SW, Grandville, MI 49418; (800) 248-9748, (616) 534-7664;
www.x-rite.com.

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