Measuring Black level

Measuring Black level

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  • #494

    Not that we need to do this for calibration… but some calibration customers want to know what their black level is, and I’d like to be able to mention credible black levels in product reviews for Widescreen Review. But… it’s not important enough to justify spending $3000+ on a Konica-Minolta LS-100.

    Is there any instrumentation that can measure black levels reliably and down to maybe .001 fL (or lower) that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg? A hand-held light meter for photography perhaps? If it doesn’t read out fL or cd/m2, that’s not really a problem, I’d be willing to do the math to convert units if necessary – small price to pay for saving $2700 or more.

    I use a Konica-Minolta CS-200 meter… it’s color measurements start to get questionable around 0.05 fL or so. Luminance measurements seem to be reasonable down to about .01 fL or so, but get increasingly indecisive below that level. So it’s definitely not useful for black level measurements, especially from projection setups or most newer panel displays.

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  • #2052

    This came from the SpectraCal Forum:

    Chad B:
    I’m looking at an Extech 407026. It has RS232, and can be NIST. It’s stated resolution is .01 lux/fc. If it’s interfaced with CalMAN, will it’s resolution be higher? Will I be able to read .001? And will CalMAN convert the output to footlamberts? I want to read accurate black levels.

    Derek Smith:
    Yes it is supported by CalMAN. No the resolution is 0.01, yes CalMAN can report in fL or fC.

    Here is also a link to a light meter that may fit your needs.

    Meter # 840022 looks like it may work for you.

    Range: 40,000 fc
    Resolution: 0.001/1 fc
    Accuracy: ±(3% + 0.5% fs)

    Hope this helps.



    According to Tom Huffman the upcoming i1Display3 will go down to .001 fL. It looks super nice for the price.

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