Originally Posted by RichB
To be fair there is another <1K option not mentioned:
The optical Comparitor.
This is an interesting device to have even if you have a meter.
Any idea where to buy one?
I would rate the options in order of cost and quality in the under $1k category to obtain a good color calibration as follows.
I would only consider a spectroradiometer or an optical comparator if you want accurate colors for anything, but a CRT. This is based on several less than stellar experiences with filter based colorimeters. I cannot begin to tell you how satisfying it is to pay over $1k for a colorimeter that tells you a screen is blue when it is red. If you can adjust the color gamut on your display then an optical comparator is not sufficient.
1. Purchase a Kodak gray card as a D65 reference and a good 6500K light source like this http://www.hellolights.com/150wat65iw.html
. This is the lowest cost option and not likely to yield poor results assuming you know how to adjust the cuts and drives to get it right.
2. Hire an ISF calibrator who has a good optical comparator, spectroradiometer, signal generator and test media that fit your sources including possibly DVD, D-VHS and LD. Do not underestimate the importance of quality test equipment and skill.
3. Buy a new Sony PVM-96 D65 monitor and use it as an optical comparator. This is a better optical comparator option and not likely to yield poor results assuming you know how to adjust the cuts and drives to get it right.
4. My software with an Eye-One Pro spectroradiometer for an instrument with excellent accuracy assuming you are unwilling to hire this capability.
You could always sell the Sony PVM-96 or the Eye-One Pro when you are done to reduce the cost if you choose one of those options. You can probably recover more of you cost for the Eye-One Pro than the PVM-96.
Also, don't forget the cost of whatever you are going to use to generate test patterns in the equation.