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GretagMacbeth ColorChecker®

The GretagMacbeth ColorChecker® has been around since 1976 when it was called the Macbeth ColorChecker®. Originally proposed by C. S. McCamy, H. Marcus and J. G. Davidson in 1976 as a test for photography, television and printing, it is still being produced and used for a variety of color tests and color profiling.

Description

The ColorChecker® consists of 24 squares of paint applied to paper then mounted to a cardboard backing with a black frame around all the patches. The colors were chosen to represent various natural objects, colors that are problematic for color reproduction, additive and subtractive primaries, and a gray scale.

Originally offered in a 13 x 9 inch form only, the ColorChecker® is currently offered in an 11 x 8 inches size and a pocket sized MiniColorChecker® at 3.25 x 2.25 inches.

Data

  Original Munsell Notation CIE 1976 L*a*b*, D50, 2
Name Hue Value/Chroma L* a* b*
Dark skin 3.05 YR 3.69/3.20 39.07 13.70 14.37
Light skin 2.2 YR 6.47/4.10 66.36 18.08 18.56
Blue sky 4.3 PB 4.95/5.55 50.66 -4.84 -21.44
Foliage 6.65 GY 4.19/4.15 44.03 -13.01 22.34
Blue flower 9.65 PB 5.47/6.70 55.87 8.88 -24.79
Bluish green 2.5 BG 7/6 71.47 -32.98 0.65
Orange 5 YR 6/11 62.37 36.05 56.58
Purplish blue 7.5 PB 4/10.7 40.77 9.18 -43.58
Moderate red 2.5 R 5/10 51.68 48.21 16.75
Purple 5 P 3/7 31.27 20.00 -20.83
Yellow green 5 GY 7.08/9.1 72.74 -22.60 57.15
Orange yellow 10 YR 7/10.5 72.35 19.57 68.76
Blue 7.5 PB 2.90/12.75 29.61 13.63 -49.65
Green 0.1 G 5.38/9.65 55.61 -37.19 31.81
Red 5 R 4/12 42.23 55.32 27.45
Yellow 5 Y 8/11.1 82.65 4.44 80.52
Magenta 2.5 RP 5/12 52.55 49.33 -14.42
Cyan 5 B 5/8 52.24 -28.24 -27.14
White N 9.5/ 96.37 -0.30 3.26
Neutral 8 N 8/ 81.70 -0.56 0.25
Neutral 6.5 N 6.5/ 66.49 -0.33 0.03
Neutral 5 N 5/ 50.67 -1.06 -0.19
Neutral 3.5 N 3.5/ 36.23 -0.48 -0.26
Black N 2/ 20.68 0.17 -0.55

The Munsell data is from the original McCamy et al publication. CIE 1976 L*a*b* coordinates were obtained by averaging spectral measurements from two October 2002 edition ColorCheckers® The charts were measured with a GretagMacbeth Spectrolino® equipped with a D65 filter. The spectral data was acquired, averaged and analyzed with SpectraShop™.

Color Management Profiling

For color profiling purposes, it is imperative that a custom reference file be created for each individual chart. This is especially important for programs that perform spectral profiling because the ColorChecker® colorants have been reformulated several times since its original release and the spectra for many of the patches have changed significantly. It is to GretagMacbeth's (now X-Rite's) credit that they have maintained the appearance of the patches during these reformulations but the profiling packages do not offer reference files for the different ColorChecker® editions. It is up to the user to make a custom reference file by measuring their individual ColorCheckers®.

Spectral Data

The spectral data for many different editions of the ColorChecker® may be downloaded from the Spectral Library. Using these files with the demo version of SpectraShop™ will allow you to compare the spectra for the different editions and get colorimetric values for a large variety of viewing conditions.

Reference

C. S. McCamy, H. Marcus, J. G. Davidson, A Color-Rendition Chart, Journal of Applied Photographic Engineering, Volume 2, Number 3, Summer 1976, pages 95-99.

Updated 27.4.2009

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