Golden Nugget #11 Viewing Booths
While at the show I decided it was time to begin acquiring tools and technology for our new inkjet proofing test site. We have reached a point where we need to be able to simulate customer proofing situations on our office. As time goes on the complete set-up will include; an Epson 4800, AbsoluteProof RIP, Gretagmacbeth ProfileMaker, GTI light booth, and various color viewing tools from Beta Industries.
While acquiring our new light booth from GTI, I learned why the newer (and might I add a great deal more expensive) generation of light booths have a light source which can be dimmed. When I had almost completed my purchase, a friend stopped to say hello, and said “oh great you are getting a new light booth, you did get the dimmable version right?” OK, to say the least this friend is not subtle in letting me know if I did not get the dimmable version I was basically and idiot.
Not wanting to remain an idiot on this subject I asked the classic dumb question (I know there is no such thing as a dumb question, except one which goes un-asked), why do I need a dimmable light booth? I am sure more than 50% of my readers know the answer to this question, but as person who has been focuses on the hard copy proofing market for the last several years I did not. The answer is that if you are doing any form of monitor proofing and want to compare the monitor results to hard copy, you must be able to dim the light booth to match the white point of your CALIBRATED monitor.
Then, Bob from GTI showed me an example of this using an ICS soft proof, and a press sheet. He started with the booth at full intensity. The two did not appear to visually match. He then dimmed the booth to match the white point of the monitor, and basically it was now a perfect match.
Matching the white point is pretty easy too, even on the lower end model we have with just a knob to do the dimming. Simply bring up a white background on your monitor, and then put a blank piece of the paper you are proofing or printing in the light booth. Put the two next too each other and dim until the whites match.
In short, spend the extra money if you ever even think you might want to compare virtual proofs to hard copy proofs or press sheets in a light booth.