Optimizing for CalMAN: The i1 Display Pro and SpectraCal C6 for CalMAN

June 30, 2016

Optimizing for CalMAN the X-Rite i1 Display Pro and SpectraCAL C6 is easy. Learn how—and the differences between these colorimeters.


Part 7: Profiling Reference Displays 101

In this Insight, we’re learning the various settings and options you’ll enable when optimizing for CalMAN the affordable i1 Display Pro OEM. We’re also looking at the SpectraCal branded version of that same colorimeter, the C6.

The SpectraCal C6 is a custom modified version of X-Rite’s i1 Display Pro OEM

Both meters are identical, except that SpectraCal licensed from X-Rite the ability to add custom code that improves aspects of the i1 Display’s functionality. Specifically, the C6 has the following functions (which are not included with the i1 Display Pro):

  • Optimized Low-Light Handling – SpectraCal adds additional software directly onto the C6 colorimeter. It improves and optimizes the i1 Display’s accuracy reading dark patches. As you’ll see in this Insight, I’m able to get the C6 to properly read an OLED at zero black. Whereas I’ve NEVER gotten the i1 Display Pro to read zero black on an OLED in either CalMAN or LightSpace. According to SpectraCal – these optimizations also increase the speed of low-light readings, decreasing the length of a full calibration by up to 30%.
  • On-Board NIST Certification – When you buy a C6 from SpectraCal, one thing they provide is a NIST Certificate of Performance (here’s a good explanation of what these NIST Certifications mean). This Certificate is loaded on each individual C6 and provides an expiration date. It’s a convenient feature to help you remember to send the unit back for re-certification.

Note: NIST Certification isn’t necessary for most of us watching this Insight. And when an i1 Display Pro or SpectraCAL C6 is no longer NIST-Compliant due to the aging of its filters—there’s no way to update the components to bring the device back into compliance. You’ll have to buy a new colorimeter. But really, all we need to do is generate yearly Offsets and your colorimeter should be good to use for several years.

After optimizing CalMAN for the i1 Display and C6, you’ll learn how age affects the readings of a colorimeter

I happen to own a C6 that is three years old. We’ll compare the readings of the aging C6 with those from a brand-new i1 Display Pro. You’ll get a sense of why custom offsets are so important. If you rely just on the generic offsets that ship with CalMAN (or LightSpace)—then as time passes your Profiles and Calibrations will be wrong.

Coming Up Next: Finishing up with CalMAN Color Checker and LightSpace DPS

In the next Insight, we’ll finish up the Color Checker workflow by creating a Virtual LUT. You’ll learn what this Virtual LUT does for us (and its limitations). You’ll also learn how to replicate this Virtual LUT workflow in LightSpace.


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Homepage Forums Optimizing for CalMAN: The i1 Display Pro and SpectraCal C6 for CalMAN

  • Simon Tingell

    Hi Pat. Thanks for this insights! When doing a offset read in Spectracal with a i1Pro to a C6 on a LM.2461W. Do you know if it matters what mode I put the FSI in when reading the values? Should I turn of the luts and read in wide gamut or read with the outdated calibration lut?

  • Patrick Inhofer

    When doing a Profile (not for calibration or generating offsets) you want to display set up in your normal viewing setup.

    When doing an actual Calibration (or generating offsets for a colorimeter from a spectrometer), on an FSI you’ll want to bypass the 3D LUT but keep the 1D LUT active.

  • nicolas horne

    searching for neither spectracal, calman, colormatch or color checker, i can’t find this software? i wish there would be an update, and while all the buzz is around HDR, we’ll still have SDR around for years. i also got the impression calman had made this for macOS now, but did they pull it? i hope i don’t need to buy a PC and the most expensive SW package. gotten along with displaycal until now.
    my specifics are a BVM-F250A, an AJA LUT box, i1 display pro and the i1pro, but i guess we all got very different scenarios

  • eric s

    Likewise, been trying to use DisplayCal but would love to try SpectraCal or Calman. Unfortunately it does look as if they’ve pulled the free versions from what I’ve found so far.

  • Pat Inhofer

    Eric – Calman’s free version is gone. Light Illusion has moved on to a new calibration platform called ‘Colour Space’. I think I’m going to pull this series from the Library, as I’m about to start a new calibration series using the latest versions of both platforms.

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