I’m so annoyed, I could spit.
A few years ago I purchased an Eye-One spectrophotometer outfit, which includes the hardware device plus software. I have used it extensively to profile my monitors, projectors, and of course to make printer profiles.
For the past couple of years I haven’t used it much, if at all, because I have pretty well standardized on a couple of papers, and am still using the same printers. I’m neither a profiling hobbyist nor a professional profiler. Simply a fine-art photographer who enjoys having custom-made paper profiles.
But the other day Epson sent me their first new printer in several years, the Surecolor P600. After setting it up and making some prints with provided Epson papers, I wanted to do more rigorous testing, and especially a comparison with my Epson 3880, using Canson Baryta Photographique, my preferred paper. At first I downloaded a P600 profile from Canson, but it was off. So I pulled out my X-Rite Eye-One Spectro to make a new profile for the P600. This is where the pain began.
In a nutshell, what I discovered is that my device needs a profiling software upgrade. OK, fair enough. But, unbelievably the cost of that upgrade is USD $825.
Sorry X-Rite. That’s an outrageous tax to charge after someone has spent $1,500 just a few years earlier to buy your product. I understand that supporting constantly updated operating systems doesn’t come cheaply. And, new features cost money. But to charge more than a 50% tax after just a few years for software alone, just to keep this device working, is an outrage.
My Eye-One spectrophotometer is therefore now just so much plastic junk. I don’t need or want new features. The software that I have seems to run just fine on my computer, and even does screen profiling, so this isn’t an OS compatibility issue. The software just won’t do paper profiles any longer without a profiling software upgrade. Why? Likely because X-Rite believe that they can make some additional money this way from their installed base.
But not from me. I refuse to pay money to a company which has so little regard for its past customers that they feel able to gouge them on software updates.
Instead I have ordered Spyder Studio from Datacolor. It is available from B&H as well as other retailers for around $450. I will be using this to create profiles for the Epson P600 when I test it, and also for my future profiling and calibration needs, which are quite minimal these days. I don’t know if it will be a suitable replacement for the Eye-One, but I’ll give it a try. But, what I won’t do is give any more money to X-Rite.
X-Rite… due to what I regard as an outrageously overpriced software update policy you’ve just lost a long-time customer and supporter. As my colleague Kevin Raber wrote on these pages just a few days ago, sadly, there are companies who just don’t get it when it comes to respecting their customers. Like AT&T, X-Rite seems to be one of these.
– Reviews of the Epson P600 and Datacolor’s Spyder Studio will follow later this month.
March 9, 2015