ColorVision’s Spyder2PRO Studio
Calibration For CRT And LCD Display

What happens when you go back to the drawing board and redesign a successful product? If you were to base your answer on some of the movie sequels that have come out, the results would not be good. Thankfully, Pantone ColorVision has avoided the Hollywood syndrome and come out with a real winner. The recently introduced new version of the popular Spyder hardware calibration system has been renamed the Spyder2PRO Studio and comes with a new bundle of software and a revamped hardware component. ColorVision claims a five-fold increase in color sensitivity with a new optical system and improved baffling of the photo sensors that improves accuracy. The hardware calibration device, or colorimeter, works with both CRT and LCD displays as well as laptops and includes Macintosh and Windows versions in the same box. The Spyder2PRO Studio supports profiling of multiple monitors on a single system, which anyone with dual displays will appreciate.

The Studio package is designed to meet the needs of serious amateurs and pros and will have special appeal to digital photographers who want complete control over color temperature and gamma settings, offering an unlimited number of choices as well as intuitive curves control for each color channel. While the extra control is nice to have available, most people will not need to delve into this part of the program.

Don't be put off by the number of options though. You can choose a simple wizard that guides you through the calibration process, making the difficult choices for you.

I've used the previous ColorVision Spyder for a couple of years now and have always been pleased with the accuracy of the profiles it creates. Running the new Spyder2PRO Studio was an eye-opener though. The before and after previews showed a major difference with the new package producing much more neutral and accurate grays than before. The new calibration process takes about 20 minutes to complete and should be run every couple of months to ensure consistent display quality.

The Spyder2 calibration software has been greatly improved over the earlier OptiCAL, giving users more control over the calibration process while at the same time being easier to use. Included with the Studio package is ColorVision's DoctorPRO, a Photoshop plug-in that allows users to fine-tune their profiles for specific uses, such as optimizing for black and white prints. PreCAL, which is also included, lets you fine-tune individual color values for precision luminance adjustments. Rounding out the software bundle is Pantone's colorist and nik's Color Efex Pro 2.0 Standard Edition. The nik package features 19 filters including black and white conversion, color toning, and an almost magical Remove Color Cast filter to correct white balance problems.