How to buy an i1pro on eBay - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 04-15-2014, 05:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Background
I wanted to try some amateur calibration on my new Panasonic VT60 and didn’t want to break the bank on equipment. Many people suggest buying a used i1pro spectrophotometer on eBay, as there are a ton for sale, and they sell at quite a discount to the new equivalent. I decided to try this route and found it wasn’t as easy as just clicking “buy”, and so I thought I’d write a FAQ of sorts about my experience. This isn’t intended to be a “how to use eBay” tutorial, but one about the specifics of how to buy this device.


What to buy
This should be easy right? Well, the i1pro is made by a company called X-Rite, but acquired this product from a company called Gretag–Macbeth in 2006, so you might see this listed as an X-Rite product or a Gretag-Macbeth one. In addition, they sold these as an OEM under a few other labels. The one that I found is the EFI ES-1000.


Also, the model is not just the i1pro. That’s often a shorthand used, but the product is the “Eye-One” on the box and paperwork and “i1” on the device itself. How about the “pro” part? Some are called “pro”, but others that are also acceptable are “photo”, “design”, and “proof”. Those are different configurations of software licensing, but it is the same meter. If you don’t plan on using the included software, and there is no reason to, it won’t matter which one you get.


So you’re looking for a number of permutations: EFI ES-1000, X-Rite Eye-One pro, X-Rite Eye-One design, X-Rite Eye-One photo, X-Rite Eye-One proof, X-Rite i1 pro, X-Rite i1 design, X-Rite i1 photo, X-Rite i1 proof, Gretag–Macbeth Eye-One pro, Gretag–Macbeth Eye-One design, Gretag–Macbeth Eye-One photo, Gretag–Macbeth Eye-One proof, Gretag–Macbeth i1 pro, Gretag–Macbeth i1 design, Gretag–Macbeth i1 photo, Gretag–Macbeth i1 proof.


Still with me? Good, because when you do that, you’re going to get a lot of things that look like they are really close, but aren’t right. You see, X-Rite released another product they called the “i1display” and even the “i1display pro”. Those are tristimulus colorimeters, fine devices, but not what we’re looking for here. You can always tell by the photos if you are getting the right device or not, they have different shapes.


What else to look for
There are a number of revisions of the meter, A, B, D, and E. Rev E is technically the i1pro2, the latest product, and an improvement to the previous D model, but sells for a ton of money. It is still being produced, so you could buy it new, but we’re looking for the i1pro to save some money. Also the i1pro2 (rev E) improvements are generally thought to be limited to reflective (print) measurements, and not worth the large premium. The B and D differ only in that the D is lead-free for regulatory reasons. Revision B differs from A in that it is faster at taking measurements and contains better teflon feet. So most people recommend you get a “rev D”, but the meters themselves are actually pretty close, and all acceptable for display calibration. Now, sometimes meter accuracy drifts over time, and there’s no way to know without getting yours “recertified” by shipping it off to Germany and paying around $200, so there’s an argument that they more recently produced ones are better, which is probably why everyone recommends the “rev D” version.


So how do we check the revision? The easiest way is to look at the sticker on the back of the meter. Hopefully the listing you are looking at has photos, and if you are lucky, they took one of the back. You’ll see the revision in the top right corner, or maybe the bottom right corner for older “rev A” models. If there isn’t a photo, you can try with the part number. Rev D part numbers include 42.17.79, 42.17.80 and 42.50.61, but the easiest way is to google the part number along with “i1pro” and see if other listings come up with photos that include the revision.


Another thing you might see is the term “UV cut”. X-Rite made 2 versions of each meter, one with a UV filter, one without it. The ones with the filter are called “UV cut”. The filter is important when you are taking readings from paper, which is often manufactured with chemicals that enhance the “whiteness” of the paper. These chemicals can interfere with meter accuracy, and so a UV filter is installed to filter out their effect. There was some debate as to whether the UV cut version has any down side in display calibration, but it seems like everyone is using the UV cut version as they are much more common.


Anything else going to show up in the box?
The original retail version of the meter came with a number of accessories, but only some are actually required for display calibration. The most important required one is the calibration plate. It’s shaped similar to the meter, but has a white dot in a circular indentation at the top. The meter snaps into this for calibration. The meter, calibration plate, and a USB cable are all that is required, but a meter mount is going to be helpful. The most commonly used one looks a lot like the calibration plate, but has a ribbon and counterweight at the other end. This allows you to hang it over the display.


Technically the calibration plate is not required either, since it only calibrates against the white dot when in reflective mode, and it is basically don’t a complete black calibration for our emissive mode, so you can use any other black enclosure/surface to do these dark level calibrations. Another note is that the calibration plate is matched to the meter, and has a serial number sticker that should match the meter. Often these are sold as unmatched pairs. Again, this would cause inaccuracy if doing reflective measurements, but shouldn’t cause a problem for our emissive ones.


The original also comes with a storage case with a monitor holder, spot color positioning tool, and digital beamer (projector) holder. There’s a ruler and back-up board, and an ambient light measurement head. There might be software on CD, but most of that can be downloaded if you want it. Not all configurations shipped with all accessories, so few eBay listings are for a complete set. The digital beamer (projector) holder seems to be especially expensive and sells for $150 new.


The better auctions have all included accessories and the case. Many are even in their original plastic wrap because they aren’t commonly used.


What this is going to cost
I set my searches to filter anything over $300 and there were still plenty of listings. I tracked 200 listings over the course of a month, the lowest sold for $159.13, the most $404.00. There are likely ones that sold for more than $400, but I filtered the search to anything starting under $300, so I never saw them. Most sold for between $275 and $350. Shipping was sometimes included, other times extra.


Happy hunting
Hopefully this guide saves you some time trying to buy your i1pro. It’s accuracy is based on my eBay investigation and purchase in February and March of 2014 and resources I found at AVS forum and other websites, but if you have corrections or additions, please let me know so that I can update the information.

I've also posted this information here, to give it a permanent location:
http://chorizo.wikispaces.com/How+to+buy+an+i1pro+on+eBay
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post #2 of 28 Old 04-25-2014, 09:25 PM
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Thanks for this info, just a suggestion if you added some pictures, It would make it easier for someone like me (newbie) to know what to look for..
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post #3 of 28 Old 04-26-2014, 07:29 AM
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BE WARNED: i1pro requires a Calman Control license not Basic, if you decide to use their software. I learned the hard way.
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post #4 of 28 Old 04-26-2014, 09:16 AM
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post #5 of 28 Old 04-26-2014, 11:06 AM
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A point the OP missed on the calibration plate: the plate carries a serial number, and the number must match the serial number on the meter itself. This is necessary for the I1 Diagnostics program to correctly test the meter, and should you ever need to return the meter to X-Rite for recert/repair, they want the calibration plate along with it. smile.gif
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post #6 of 28 Old 08-13-2014, 05:10 AM
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Thanks for this series of posts. I was able to use it to win a bid on ebay for an i1 pro rev D with calibration plate included. ($249) . I will pair it with my i1 display 3 to increase the accuracy of my calibrations.
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post #7 of 28 Old 08-13-2014, 06:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rolls-Royce View Post
A point the OP missed on the calibration plate: the plate carries a serial number, and the number must match the serial number on the meter itself. This is necessary for the I1 Diagnostics program to correctly test the meter, and should you ever need to return the meter to X-Rite for recert/repair, they want the calibration plate along with it.
Sure ... and mine matches, ... but anyone really think that each and every one of those has a different shade of white.
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post #8 of 28 Old 08-13-2014, 01:31 PM
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I think you might be thinking the wrong way. The meter is set to the plate, not the other way around. Probably to account for tint changes from different batches.

I wrote this as fact but it's my speculation. I don't know for a fact
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post #9 of 28 Old 08-13-2014, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
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Sure ... and mine matches, ... but anyone really think that each and every one of those has a different shade of white.
Variation in the shade of batches of the tiles in those plates, if large enough, could well be detected and read as meter deviation by the diagnostics software. You might get lucky with non-matching serial numbers in that the tile was from the same batch as in the meter's original plate, but then again, maybe not. Why should one chance it if accuracy is important enough to use a meter in the first place?

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post #10 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 12:43 PM
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Recently got the i1 Pro2 on ebay, hardware only. Where can I find the manual?
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post #11 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 12:57 PM
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Recently got the i1 Pro2 on ebay, hardware only. Where can I find the manual?
i1Pro 2 User Manual

You may download the i1Pro 2 user manual by clicking the following link: i1Pro 2 User Manual

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post #12 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 01:35 PM
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Hey,

The tile variation is truely a non-issue. I bought 2 EFI ES-1000's Rev D from Ebay for under $200 and both came with the correct plates. I never thought I would win one but won 2 so resold the other here for the price I bought it for.

Now that this guide is here... everyone gonna be sure the base thing is included and we can forget the whole concept. I do wonder if people making a big deal about the way these things match is over-stated... that's all. My thinking is a different base plate would make ZERO difference to anything....But, who knows and who cares because the kit is usually not missing pieces.

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post #13 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 01:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Hampton View Post
Sure ... and mine matches, ... but anyone really think that each and every one of those has a different shade of white.
Would be interesting to test, by using the instrument to measure the spectral reflectance of a number of different plates.
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post #14 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 01:48 PM
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Recently got the i1 Pro2 on ebay, hardware only. Where can I find the manual?
wow, good find.
being such a new meter I am a little surprised.

Loving D65
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post #15 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 03:19 PM
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Originally Posted by ConnecTEDDD View Post
i1Pro 2 User Manual

You may download the i1Pro 2 user manual by clicking the following link: i1Pro 2 User Manual
Thanks!
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post #16 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 03:28 PM
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wow, good find.
being such a new meter I am a little surprised.
Jumped on it on the spot. Looks new.
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post #17 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 05:19 PM
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For those that bough on Ebay, what display type are available with the I1Pro and I1Pro2?
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post #18 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 06:14 PM
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My thinking is a different base plate would make ZERO difference to anything.
I don't know how you figure that - there is manufacturing variation in the plates, and the internal instrument calibration tables are created from that specific plate, so yes, you can expect poorer reflective measurement accuracy if you substitute a plate that it wasn't calibrated against, and the self diagnostics are more likely to fail.
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post #19 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 06:49 PM
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I don't know how you figure that - there is manufacturing variation in the plates, and the internal instrument calibration tables are created from that specific plate, so yes, you can expect poorer reflective measurement accuracy if you substitute a plate that it wasn't calibrated against, and the self diagnostics are more likely to fail.
Each i1PRO is calibrated/certificated by X-Rite using it's own serial numbered matched White Plate, when I send my unit to X-Rite Factory @ Switzerland they wanted to send the Plate also.

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post #20 of 28 Old 08-14-2014, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by avsform1 View Post
For those that bough on Ebay, what display type are available with the I1Pro and I1Pro2?
Can someone answer that? Can the meter be used on any display type?

Edit: Oops, may have misread the question. Personally, just want to know if OLED displays pose any issue for the meter. I understand the green coating on Plasma may have affected the readings a bit.

Also, sorry for going off topic

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post #21 of 28 Old 08-15-2014, 01:31 PM
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Can someone answer that? Can the meter be used on any display type?

Edit: Oops, may have misread the question. Personally, just want to know if OLED displays pose any issue for the meter. I understand the green coating on Plasma may have affected the readings a bit.

Also, sorry for going off topic
The meter can be used, its just what tables are available to use. I.E. LED, LCD WIDE, Front Projector facing screen, Front Projector face Projector. When you purchase or upgrade your meter to enhanced from Chromapure or Calman, you have more display to choose from. So if you by from Ebay you may have to send to Spectracal or Chromapure and have it upgraded. With that said, I think you are better off buy new. Of course that depends on how much you spent for the meter.
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post #22 of 28 Old 08-18-2014, 01:14 AM
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For those that bough on Ebay, what display type are available with the I1Pro and I1Pro2?
Your question is nonsensical. Spectrometers aren't calibrated to produce a particular XYZ value, they measure the spectrum and the XYZ is computed from that.
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post #23 of 28 Old 08-18-2014, 11:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gwgill View Post
I don't know how you figure that - there is manufacturing variation in the plates, and the internal instrument calibration tables are created from that specific plate, so yes, you can expect poorer reflective measurement accuracy if you substitute a plate that it wasn't calibrated against, and the self diagnostics are more likely to fail.
+1. And if the diagnostics DO fail with a mismatched plate and meter, how will you know where the issue is? Is it because the meter itself is no longer good, or because the plate is far enough off the original to induce the error?

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post #24 of 28 Old 08-29-2014, 02:09 PM
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Your question is nonsensical. Spectrometers aren't calibrated to produce a particular XYZ value, they measure the spectrum and the XYZ is computed from that.
True measuring XYZ, however the can have table that best match to read the XYZ. You can tables that best read LED, LCD, Plasma, Projector facing screen or facing the projector etc.

Bottom line... I think if you are going to buy from Ebay and you are going to use it for Calman or Chromapure, you should send to the Spectracal or Chromapure and have it enhanced to closely match the display you are calibrating.
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post #25 of 28 Old 08-29-2014, 05:36 PM
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True measuring XYZ, however the can have table that best match to read the XYZ. You can tables that best read LED, LCD, Plasma, Projector facing screen or facing the projector etc.

Bottom line... I think if you are going to buy from Ebay and you are going to use it for Calman or Chromapure, you should send to the Spectracal or Chromapure and have it enhanced to closely match the display you are calibrating.
Unlike a colorimeter, the technical basis to thinking that you can make a spectrometer more accurate with a 3x3 matrix is dubious - spectrometer errors can be from several different causes, and the resulting errors are not necessarily of a nature that can be characterized by a matrix transform to the XYZ value. As a result, spectrometers don't come with such a thing. If they are inaccurate, you send them back to their manufacturer to be recalibrated, which involves re-setting their wavelength calibration and their spectral calibration curves.

But in any case, the whole point in people being interested in buying a spectrometer is to use it as a reference instrument on a display type that they their colorimeter doesn't have a 3x3 calibration matrix for, in order to create a 3x3 calibration matrix. Such a spectrometer is not useful if it also needs a magic 3x3 calibration matrix for that display type. So you might as well cut out the spectrometer, and send your colorimeter together with your display to someone who can create the matrix for you.
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post #26 of 28 Old 08-29-2014, 06:23 PM
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Originally Posted by gwgill View Post
Unlike a colorimeter, the technical basis to thinking that you can make a spectrometer more accurate with a 3x3 matrix is dubious - spectrometer errors can be from several different causes, and the resulting errors are not necessarily of a nature that can be characterized by a matrix transform to the XYZ value. As a result, spectrometers don't come with such a thing. If they are inaccurate, you send them back to their manufacturer to be recalibrated, which involves re-setting their wavelength calibration and their spectral calibration curves.

But in any case, the whole point in people being interested in buying a spectrometer is to use it as a reference instrument on a display type that they their colorimeter doesn't have a 3x3 calibration matrix for, in order to create a 3x3 calibration matrix. Such a spectrometer is not useful if it also needs a magic 3x3 calibration matrix for that display type. So you might as well cut out the spectrometer, and send your colorimeter together with your display to someone who can create the matrix for you.
Very Interesting.

Many years ago i bought a Color Munki Design ( spectrometer ) that was enhanced by spectracal to their reference spectrometer ( Konica minolta ). when i connect it to calman ver 5 it shows up as enhanced. Right now they are selling a i1 Pro that has been "enhanced".

Would be interesting to hear from SpectraCal. Should be a nice learning experience.
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post #27 of 28 Old 08-29-2014, 07:16 PM
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Very Interesting.

Many years ago i bought a Color Munki Design ( spectrometer ) that was enhanced by spectracal to their reference spectrometer ( Konica minolta ). when i connect it to calman ver 5 it shows up as enhanced. Right now they are selling a i1 Pro that has been "enhanced".

Would be interesting to hear from SpectraCal. Should be a nice learning experience.
Yes, it's not really possible to say anything specific about the SpectraCal scheme without more technical information and/or a unit to evaluate.

But any scheme that optimizes a spectrometer for a specific display or display type is only useful in fairly narrow circumstances: when the spectrometer is your only instrument and you primarily use it with that display type.

If you have a more sensitive colorimeter then you are better off having it calibrated, and being calibrated for a particular display type is of no benefit if you intent to use the spectrometer as a reference for various other displays or display types.
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post #28 of 28 Old 08-29-2014, 07:53 PM
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Yes, it's not really possible to say anything specific about the SpectraCal scheme without more technical information and/or a unit to evaluate.

But any scheme that optimizes a spectrometer for a specific display or display type is only useful in fairly narrow circumstances: when the spectrometer is your only instrument and you primarily use it with that display type.

If you have a more sensitive colorimeter then you are better off having it calibrated, and being calibrated for a particular display type is of no benefit if you intent to use the spectrometer as a reference for various other displays or display types.
So if my Color Munki Design spectrometer was optimized ( enhanced ) using a Konica Minolta cs2000 spectrometer on Plasma display ( brand unknown ) would it ( the colormunki ) taken on the accuracy of the Konica minolta spectrometer on this display type
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