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i1 Xtreme – Update Review

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i1 Xtreme – Update Review

Monitor/ scanner/ camera/ projector/ printer profiling (RGB and CMYK)



The i1 Xtreme is the current top level package for acquiring an i1 spectrophotometer.

We’ve reviewed all the different elements of this package over the last few years and have collected all the relevant information here.

This is an overview of what you get, along with links to our detailed reviews of the constituent parts.

xrite i1xtreme

i1 Xtreme

The changes of name do make it a bit difficult to keep up with what is what – it confused us too. We’ve all the equipment here at Northlight, so please feel free to ask if anything is unclear.

  • June 2012 The current version of this package is the i1Pro 2 Photo
  • April 2011 – Products are now offered with i1 Profiler software

Monitor/printer Profiling

I often get asked about aspects of colour management and profiling.

It’s essentially about getting better and more consistent results when dealing with images, whether viewing them on a screen, printing them out, or sending them to other people.

It’s about getting things right first time — more often. I’m going to assume that if you are reading this review then you’ve probably decided you need some form of colour management…

However just in case you are still wondering just what this ‘Colour management’ stuff is, I’ve a very short guide to colour management page that might be of help – it includes links to other articles on this site and elsewhere. There are also links to further information at the end of this article.

What do you get

i1 XTremeThe i1 XTreme from X-rite comes in a convenient carry bag, containing all the items you need to profile printers and monitors.

The i1 system is designed so that you can add modules and additional devices to increase functionality.

This is the complete set of functionality for the i1 Extreme (from X-rite)

  • LCD, CRT and laptops profiling – for any ambient light condition
  • Unlimited gamma white point and luminance settings
  • Workgroup match for multiple monitor matching
  • Gray balance optimization for more neutral and better defined greys
  • Validate and trend monitor performance
  • Profile reminder to ensure true and reliable colour over time
  • RGB and CMYK printer profiling ensures your output is reproduced accurately from print to print and printer to printer
  • ‘Colourful’ gamut mapping for smoothness and shadow detail in profiles
  • Supports high patch count test charts for the most accurate printer profiles – ideal for fine art printing and proofing
  • Scanner profiling for accurate colour reproduction of analog images to digital images
  • Digital projector profiling for highly accurate projected colour – no more excuses for colour on screen. i1 XTreme includes i1 Beamer holder for virtually hands free use.
  • Digital Camera profiling incorporates simplified features for the most popular photo settings to create camera profiles – contrast, exposure, colour saturation, shadows and highlights. (Requires Digital ColorChecker SG – sold separately)
  • Simple profile editing functions for the most popular editing needs
  • Spot colour measurements to incorporate in your work, or use to make sure the colours in your proof are exact

The i1 XTreme includes:

  • i1Pro spectrophotometer*
  • ambient light measurement head
  • monitor holder
  • positioning target
  • scanning ruler
  • backup board
  • i1 Reflective Scan Target
  • i1Match v3.x software for monitors, RGB & CMYK Output, Scanners, Digital Cameras, Digital Projectors and Profile Editor
  • i1Share software for creating, evaluating and communicating colour
  • Beamer holder
  • Scanner Profiling Chart
  • Interactive Training Modules
  • Digital Pantone library
  • soft carrying case
  • $400 upgrade voucher valid towards any one ProfileMaker solution.

Printer profiling - new eye one ruler and measuring base*i1 XTreme is available in either NoFilter and UVcut. Purchase according to your workflow requirements.

Reviews of specific functionality

This package does an awful lot of things.As such we’ve included links to detailed reviews rather than just copy them all here.

i1 Design
A Spectrophotometer and software for monitor calibration, light measurement and basic printer profiling. (see also i1 Pro ruler update)

i1 printer profiling
More advanced printer profiling with the i1.

i1 pro and beamer attachmenti1 Beamer
A hardware attachment device for using the X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer for digital projector profiling

i1 scanner profiling
Using the i1 with a scan target to get better results from your film or flatbed scanner.

i1 Camera profiling with the SG ColorChecker

i1 profile editing – The i1 Match software from X-rite allows you to edit icc printer profiles. How easy is it to use, and what things should you consider before editing profiles

Conclusions

The i1 XTreme is the top package based on all the various i1 Match software modules

The spectrophotometer is widely regarded as -the- industry standard and is a precision instrument (i.e. take care of it and keep it in the bag when not in use) The device comes in a useful carrying bag with its various accessories.

Color Management book

I often get asked for suggestions about learning more about the nuts and bolts of Colour Management.

My usual suggestion is Bruce Fraser's Real World Colour Management. My own copy is well thumbed. It's my first port of call if I'm asked a question and I feel I don't quite understand an issue well enough to be absolutely sure of an answer.

Check latest price/availability from Amazon.com  or Amazon.co.uk 

RWCM  1st Edition RWCM  RWCM  2nd Edition RWCM Other Amazon sites Amazon France / Amazon Germany / Amazon Canada

See some other books Keith has on the shelf, on our Books Page

The i1 Match software supplied is easy to use and also has interactive training info on the CD.

For monitor calibration it works very well, while the ability to make spot measurements of colours is useful in some areas.

The printer profiling gives good quality profiles, good enough for high quality printing.

In the profiling package, I did find the lack of attention given to finding the best media settings before profiling, a serious omission. I’ve found profiles supplied by paper manufacturers that have been made at the wrong media settings, using much more expensive equipment.

If I’m building my own profiles, I either use the i1 (with the iO) or the i1 iSis to make my measurements, but even if I’m measuring 5000 patches I always do a thorough check for optimal media settings first.

The i1 Share package does have real uses (ambient light measurement and spot readings) but as a former researcher in usability and HCI, I really dislike it’s interface and general disdain for best practice in interface design. It does good stuff but you may have a job finding how to do it in the first place.

June 2012 – X-Rite are shipping updated i1Pro 2 with i1Profiler 1.3
Reviews: i1Pro 2 Basic – i1Pro 2 PhotoApril 2010 X-Rite ship V1.0 of i1 Profiler – Full i1 Profiler reviews and information

May 2010 X-Rite annouce new profiling software for Q4 2010 – i1 Match and ProfileMaker Pro will be superseded by i1Profiler later in 2010.  For purchases after April 1st 2010 here will be free upgrades, along with other offers when the software is available.

Sept. 2008 X-Rite and the i1 range 

From Sept. the range is simplified to two options. The functionality is the same as we have reviewed, but exactly what you get varies. As a result of this rationalisation, the i1Photo, i1Photo SG, i1Proof and i1XT have all been discontinued, and the i1 range now consists of:

  • The i1Basic – i1Pro measuring device with monitor profiling software
  • The new i1XTreme – professional monitor, RGB and CMYK printer, camera, scanner and projector profiling, plus profile editing

With the i1XTreme you can calibrate and profile:

  • Monitors – LCD, CRT and laptops
  • RGB output devices
  • CMYK output devices
  • Scanners
  • Digital projectors
  • Digital cameras*

*Requires Digital ColorChecker SG Chart – available separately.

Buying the i1

We make a specific point of not selling hardware, but if you found the info on our site of help, please consider buying an i1 (any version), or any other items at all, via our link with Amazon.
Amazon UK link / Amazon Fr / Amazon De
Amazon USA link / Amazon Canada link

It won’t cost any more (nor less we’re afraid) but will contribute towards the running costs of our site.

 Purchase From B&H (also helps us)

The range of i1 options may be a bit bewildering, but that’s one of the reasons I’ve included links to all the detailed reviews I’ve written covering different aspects of the packages. One size does not always fit all :-)

Summary

Full option package from X-rite for the i1 Spectrophotometer and its associated hardware.

The software has the following requirements:

Macintosh

  • Mac OS X (10.3.9 or higher)
  • 128 MB of available RAM
  • 125 MB of available hard-disk space
  • Monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or higher
  • USB support

Windows

  • Windows 2000, Windows XP (32 and 64bit), Windows 2003 Server (32 and 64bit), Windows Vista (32 and 64bit)
  • 128 MB of available RAM
  • 100 MB of available hard-disk space
  • Monitor resolution of 1024 x 768 pixels or higher
  • USB support

X-Rite i1Pro Device Specifications

  • Spectral measurement device,supported measurement modes:
    Reflectance single measurement
    Reflectance scanning measurement with automatic patch detection
    Emission: radiance measurement (monitor measurement)
    Emission: irradiance measurement (light measurement)
  • Spectral analyser: Holographic diffraction grating with 128 pixel diode array
  • Optical resolution:10nm
  • Physical sampling interval: 3.5nm
  • Spectral data: Range: 380 to 730 nm in 10nm steps
  • Measurement aperture: 4.5mm diameter
  • Measurement geometry: 45°/0° ring illumination optics, DIN 5033
  • Light source: Gas filled tungsten (Type A)
  • Physical filters: No or UV cut (Filters not exchangeable)
  • Inter-instrument agreement: Average dE*94 0.4, max. dE*94 1.0
    (Deviation from X-Rite manufacturing
    standard at 23°C for single measurement
    mode on 12 BCRA tiles, D50, 2°)
  • Short-term repeatability: ΔE*94 <= 0.1 (D50, 2°), with respect to the mean CIELab value of 10 measurements every 3 seconds on white
  • Data format:
    Spectral radiance (mW/nm/m2 /sr);
    Luminance Y (cd/m2)
  • Measurement range: 0.2 to 300 cd/m2
  • Short-term repeatability: x,y: +/- 0.002 typical (CRT 5000°K, 80 cd/m2)
  • Type: Cosine-corrected diffuse light measurement head
  • Diameter: 6.0 mm
  • Data format: Spectral irradiance (mw/nm/m2), Illuminance Y (lux)
  • Physical dimensions: 6”L x 2.6”W x 2.6”H (151 x 66 x 67mm)
  • Weight: 6.5 oz (185g)
  • Power conditions: Device powered by USB. No additional charger or battery required. USB 1.1 high power device.

Before calibrating your monitor on Windows PC systems, you should check to see that Adobe gamma is turned off if it was installed. We’ve got a short guide to removing Adobe Gamma that might be of help.

More colour management and printing related information

For information about printers, paper reviews and profiling (colour management) see the Printing section of the main printers and printing page, or use the search box at the top of any page.
All colour management articles and reviews are indexed on the main Colour Management page - please do let Keith know if you've any questions, either via the comments or just email us?

Some specific articles that may be of interest:  

  • Why don't my prints match my screen? A short article showing why there is more to getting your prints to match your screen, than just calibrating your monitor. It's the vital first step, but you do need to consider some other factors for best results.
  • Why are my prints too dark - some basic suggestions to this common problem.

 


Buying anything from Amazon (not just what's listed) via any of the links below helps Keith and Karen keep the site going - thanks if you do! [Amazon UK]

 



 

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