Musings on color management, CHROMiX products and services and other relevant topics.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

X-Rite standard for Graphic Arts

X-Rite announces a new graphic arts standard called "XRGA".

Since the merger between GretagMacBeth and X-Rite, the company has maintained the original products in the product lines pretty much as they were. For the pressroom, X-Rite continued producing the X-Rite 530, 938, 939 and the GretagMacbeth SpectroEye, and the i1Pro, etc.

However, each of these two camps of instruments was designed with slightly different calibration standards, and there were enough differences between the two types of instruments that there would be discrepancies when trying to compare the same colors measured using different instruments. To solve this, X-Rite has come up with a matrix of transformation calculations that can be used so that the output from these different instruments will be much more in alignment with each other and provide inter-model agreement. This new standard is called "XRGA".

They are rolling this out in new instruments starting in September 2010. For customers using existing instruments, X-Rite will make available firmware and software updates free of charge to allow your instrument to output the new XRGA standard measurements. This applies to currently-sold instruments only - they will not support instruments that have been discontinued.

In addition, there will be a new version of Colorport (version 2.0) available in or after October, 2010, which will allow you to save data from any of these instruments in either the XRGA standard or the original measurement response.

I have to note also, that the discrepancies we're talking about here are (depending on your perspective) not too large. We're talking about delta E differences of between .6 ∆E to 1.6 ∆E (dE76) or so.

This provides a needed correction for anyone using multiple spectro's. It is unfortunate that X-Rite's testing and the XRGA standard does not cover the iSis chart reader. Since the release of Rev E of the iSis, customers have reported a significant change in the calibration white point of this new rev of the instrument and it would have been good to have a means of making legacy versions of the iSis consistent with the new Rev E version.

We hope to see more from X-Rite on this in the future.

For more information on XRGA see the X-Rite webpage:

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