Flanders Monitors Keep Color on Target

Flanders Scientific’s CM250 multiformat OLED reference monitorORLANDO, FLA.

—As a professional colorist, accurate image display is essential to understanding what our pictures actually look like. The past decade has seen an upheaval from our tried-and-true CRTs with SMPTE phosphor sets to a dizzying array of competing technologies—not all of which are appropriate for professional color grading. Several years ago I finally retired my dying CRT monitor and began the search for a color-critical LCD replacement.

I found there was a wide array of choices available, but none of these really offered a satisfying mix of professional connections, reasonable calibration options and accurate image reproduction. And almost none were offered at a price point appropriate for a single-person color-grading boutique.

Skeptical, but on the advice of colleagues, I called Flanders Scientific. I liked the fact that they listened to my questions and patiently explained the newly evolving landscape of reference monitors becoming available. After evaluating a demo display unit for a week, I was impressed by the solid design of the company’s hardware, the full array of professional inputs and outputs and the onboard customization of features provided.

The main reason I became a customer was Flanders Scientific’s promise to professionally recalibrate my display as often as I wanted, whenever I wanted, with same-day turnaround. I’ve regularly taken advantage of this standing offer—which gives me tremendous confidence in the grading suite and in dealings with my clients. For the price of round-trip shipping I get my reference monitor calibrated by a team of professionals dedicated to accurate image display—this has saved me from having to become a calibration expert. And I arrange the calibrations around my schedule, not that of a freelance calibrator.

During the past few years I’ve invested in calibration hardware and software to help decide when calibration was necessary. Familiarity with these required a steep learning curve and one that FSI has walked me through, guiding my purchases and decisions. They’ve taught me both the why and how of calibration and this has allowed me to teach others about this “darkest of arts.”

What keeps me as an FSI customer (in addition to their keeping their calibrationon- demand promise) is their continuous feature enhancement for both new and existing displays. This has added value to my original investment several times over. Recently, after upgrading to their OLED reference display, I was impressed with the new loudness metering which was released as a firmware update. I expect this will save me thousands of dollars that would have been spent for equivalent outboard loudness monitoring technology that I was considering acquiring for those jobs where I handle final delivery.

One observation worth sharing—FSI is rarely on the bleeding edge of display technology. They won’t be the first to market on the latest gee-wiz technology. They wait until it’s proven enough so that their customers aren’t guinea pigs. As a Flanders customer, this means that I may be a little slower in implementing new technology but when I do, my confidence level is sky-high. It’s a confidence that I’m sure rubs off on my clients.

Patrick Inhofer has operated Fini.tv, a boutique color grading and finishing shop, since 2002. He may be contacted atpatrick@fini.tv.

For additional information, contact Flanders Scientific at 678-835-4934 or visitwww.flandersscientific.com.