Color Checker Chart

Discussion in 'Color: Film, Paper, and Chemistry' started by tiberiustibz, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    To test/maximize my color balance consistency, I want a color checker chart like the Macbeth one to which I can match to my print. However they all seem to cost ~$60 which is rather ridiculous for a piece of plastic with some colors on it IMHO. Is it possible to acquire one for any cheaper or am I just stuck paying that much?
     
  2. AgX

    AgX Member

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    Qualities of test cards vary. You can make your own by buying coloured paper and assamble patches of it. Or even print a card out.

    However, if you want certain spectral reflections, longevity etc. you'll probably have to buy something. Over here we even have a guru-of-the-grey who only makes test cards.
     
  3. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Kodak sells a calibrated test chart for about $30, and there is also one with an 18% gray card in their Color Dataguide which is still published.

    Both charts are about 5x7.
     
  4. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    ebay. I got mine slightly used for $15 + shipping, or something close to that. It was a sleeper auction, and ended at 2:30 in the a.m. my time. So I got it for the opening bid.

    craigslist too.

    -Dan
     
  5. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    oh.. are you wanting the full size one, or the smaller, more compact(travel size) one? i gots the big one.
     
  6. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    I want anything really. That's a good idea. I just made one myself using an inkjet printer but I'll keep on the lookout for the real thing.
     
  7. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    The real thing is worth it. It's not just colored plastic. The color chips are made of special materials.
     
  8. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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    Alright I'll build a new piggybank.
     
  9. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    The real thing is calibrated in a way that your inkjet can't be, and the inks/pigments in the ColorChecker are chosen for good metameric properties (look it up, you'll learn something) and resistance to fading and changing over time. I've had mine for about 30 years, and it's still in good useful shape. (It will deteriorate if you leave it out under bright light and sun for long periods of time.)

    The patches are also chosen to approximate common real world colors, darker skin, lighter skin, blue sky, etc, and to show some colors that are particularly difficult to reproduce.

    I also happen to use Picture Window Pro when editing scans. It has a function that allows you to lay a grid over a scan of a Color Checker and then automates a color correction curve. You can save that curve and apply it to any photo shot with the same film under the same lighting conditions as the photo of the Color Checker.

    The Color Checker is a great tool, and an industry standard for decades. Mine has cost me about US$1 a year so far.

    Lee
     
  10. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Very good inexpensive chart

    I say again, this one is not bad. It is also inexpensive!

    PE
     

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  11. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Ron,

    Ran a quick check and found the Q60 5x7 target is listed as discontinued by the mfgr (X-rite/Kodak) at B&H.

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/520747-REG/X_Rite_TGT_RKIT857_Kodak_Q_60_Color_Input.html

    although they do have it used or demo in a set of 35mm film, 4x5 film, and 5x7 print targets for just under $200.

    colormanagement.com has it for $57.00, RPImaging for $47

    I'd guess there are still some in the retail channel for purchase, but you may have to look around. I haven't found any official Kodak info on discontinuance or a replacement product.

    Lee
     
  12. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Trying to find out more about the Kodak Q60 IT8 5x7 chart, I ran across this new set of mini-charts cum case/stand from X-rite which now makes the former MacBeth, Gretag-MacBeth Color Checker.

    http://blog.xritephoto.com/?p=641

    Thought it might be of interest in this thread. About $100 including software.

    Lee
     
  13. Peter De Smidt

    Peter De Smidt Member

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    And does it have the range of tones of the Mac Beth color chart? Actually, I suppose I should answer my own question by measuring them, as I have both.
     
  14. Photo Engineer

    Photo Engineer Subscriber

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    Lee;

    Thanks for the update. I got mine about 2 years ago and I guess it was just in time and at a bargain price. The store here had a stack of them. There was another chart about 2x the price. IDK if I might have gotten one of them. If so, I'll get the number and post it.

    PE
     
  15. tiberiustibz

    tiberiustibz Member

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  16. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Certainly does. It didn't show on a search for Q60 or Q-60 when I searched earlier. The available one is in the shopping category:

    Home / Digital Photography / Printers & Accessories / Accessories for Dye Sub
    B&H# KOQ60 Mfr# 1907914

    The discontinued one is:

    Home / Search:q-60 / Computers & Solutions / Color Management
    B&H# XRT5X7RQ Mfr# TGT-RKIT857

    The Q-60 is Kodak's version of a standard IT8 chart. Others make IT8 charts as well if the Kodak actually does turn out to be discontinued. Be sure you get the printed chart for film testing. The same chart is available in transparency on 35mm and 4x5 for Ektachrome. The transparency versions are for calibrating film scanners, and you'd need to get a version for the specific type of film you're using.

    Wonder if this is another distribution change between suppliers and actual producers. X-rite and Kodak in this case. The version with the X-rite code in the B&H stock number is discontinued. The one with the Kodak code in the B&H stock number is available.

    Lee
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2009
  17. Photo Engineer

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    My instructions with the chart say it is to be used to calibrate scanners. I've used it to set my scanner up to scan reflection prints. It seems to work with film scanning as well.

    PE
     
  18. Photo Engineer

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    Ok, here is the data I have.

    Kodak Professional Q-60 Cat 190 7914, list $39.95

    Kodak Color separation Guide and gray scale (small) Cat 152 7654 $19.95

    Then there is the color chart and 18% gray scale in the Color Dataguide which is still in print. So, Kodak supplies 3 charts from about 3" x 7" (small) to 4x5 (Q-60) to medium (5x7) in the Dataguide. Then there is the checker which is about 11x14".

    The attached photo is of the Kodak Dataguide chart and the checker.

    PE
     

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  19. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I use one or another old kodak Dataguide. I have one from the early 70's like the photo above that Ron has posted, and one from a leter color darkroom dataguide that has 8 white to black squares over 8 different color squares. Both are opposite a grey card page.

    I like the second variant, as when shot so the image fills the frame the resultant squares are large enoygh in 35mm to be read by my densitometer, which I use in lieu of running control strips to determine my batch to batch chemistry aim of uniformity. I have a few rolls of agfa film shot of just these targets in the fridge, and I snip off about 4" worth and load it in the tank along with the first reels thst I process from a new mix of developer, etc.
     
  20. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    Ron, I can't find a new Dataguide anywhere. The last publication date I can find is 1998. None of the films in this book are still made. Where are you able to get a current publication of it? Is it still R-19?
     
  21. Photo Engineer

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    Your information appears correct Greg. I could have sworn there was one from 2002 as well. In any event, that should be it then. Mine is R-19 dated 1996. It is now published by Silver Pixel Press under license from EK.

    PE
     
  22. Greg Davis

    Greg Davis Member

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    That's a shame. I would love to have a current guide, mine did not come with the color chart or gray card since I got it used.
     
  23. DanielStone

    DanielStone Member

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    i guess EK has decided that most people are using colorcheckers anyway, and most people who might need it, can edit digitally... :sad:

    faster turnaround in workflow too. less people to pay too :surprised:
     
  24. Lee L

    Lee L Member

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    Amazon has a number of Kodak color dataguides of several vintages available from US$0.01 and up, plus shipping around US$4.00. I have also seen them at the local Halfprice Books used bookstores.

    Lee