Now that I’ve figured out how to use it, I think the I1 Pro is adequate for making profiles that require reading 1000 or 2000 patches, if you don’t have to do it too often. While I’ve been impressed with the profiles that I1 Publisher produces from as few as 800 patches, I think I need an automated spectrophotometer. The reason I’m making my own profiles is to get better color than I could with the profiles supplied by the printer and paper manufacturers. In the last five or six years, these free profiles have improved from mediocre to quite good. In order to do appreciably better myself, I’ll need to read a lot of patches.
As I’ve mentioned before, there are two ways to get automated spectrophotometric measurements that are compatible with I1 Publisher: an XY table for the I1 Pro, which X-Rite calls the I1 Io, and a sheetfed spectrophotometer that comes in two flavors, the I1 ISis, which can read letter-size sheets, and the I1 ISis XL, which can read tabloid-size paper.
I was originally biased in favor of the XY table, which is cheaper and more versatile. However, someone whose opinion I respect has said that, because the angle of the spectrophotometer to the paper surface (which is ideally 90°) can vary as the XY table moves the spectrophotometer around the surface of the paper, the accuracy of the I1 Io is inferior to that of the ISis.
There is a problem with the ISis. Ihe maximum paper thickness is 0.45 mm, which is 450 microns or 17.7 mils. I did some research on how thick some of my favorite papers are. Hahnemuhle specs the thickness of 308 gsm Photo Rag at 19 mils – too thick for the ISis. Arches smooth finish 230 gsm Infinity is 425 microns thick – OK – and smooth finish 355 gsm Infinity is 475 microns thick – over. Epson Exhibition Fiber is 13 mils thick, which is OK.
I borrowed an ISis XL for a test drive. It read the Arches Infinity just fine. I think I’m going to go with the sheetfed spectrophotometer, and keep the I1 Pro and its ruler in reserve in case I run into paper too thick for the Isis.