Datacolour Spyder 3 Print - part 1 of 1 2

by Mike McNamee Published 01/04/2009


This is a dedicated 'print only' profiling tool aimed at professional photographers, fine art printers and 'production professionals'. The complete kit consists of a USB-connected spectro-colourimeter, a guide to assist patch measuring, a calibration cradle and the driving/editing software. The system allows for profile making, profile editing, spot measuring and separate fine-tuning of neutral greys.


This was trivially simple; we 'played' the DVD, rebooted and were ready to start - as simple as that! For the record we were using Windows Vista as the test operating system.


Profile Making

Profile-making is wizard driven and reasonably easy to understand. Datacolour have worked hard to keep things simple. The colourimeter measures one patch at a time; you do not sweep the instrument across a multitude of patches. This is a tedious process which takes about 3 seconds per patch. A big target of 729 patches would therefore take around 40 minutes to complete. It is mind-numbing work but you have also to keep your wits about you. Initially we worked far too fast, missed patches and mis-read others. The resulting profiles were shown to be poor by examining a Granger Chart, using the soft proof facility of Photoshop (see screen grab). Suitably chastened, we slowed right down and worked very slowly and methodically. The yellow patches were the most difficult to align as there was little differentiation between them and their white, dividing strokes. The other problem to watch for is that you must make sure you do not scrape the feet of the colourimeter over the unmeasured portion of the target. The drag of the USB lead is a perpetual source of irritation when moving the instrument around. The measuring guide is one of the better ones we have tried but its roller feet were so sticky that they started by ripping the front of the print clean off!

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