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Saturday, May 31 • 11:30am - 12:00pm
(Photographic Materials Session) A Comparative Study of Handheld Reflectance Spectrophotometers

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There is an increasingly varied selection of handheld spectrophotometers available on the market with multiple configurations and price points. Although having more choice is generally a positive development, determining the right piece of equipment to purchase can be challenging, particularly when faced with the problem of data continuity when replacing an older unit.

This talk presents a comparative study of a group of handheld reflectance spectrophotometers manufactured by two leading companies, X-Rite and Konica Minolta. The impetus for the project comes from two sources. One is to determine the best unit to replace the spectrophotometer still in use in the Photograph Conservation Lab at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. The other is to evaluate the variation in data gathered using multiple spectrophotometers on a standardized set of measurement samples with the goal of better understanding the practical margin of error among this range of instruments. An additional objective of this work is to establish standard in-house practices for spectrophotometer use leading to improved color communication between departments within the Museum and, potentially, between institutions.

The group of spectrophotometers comprises units with 0°/45° and spherical configurations, as well as a range of apertures. Measurements will be taken with each spectrophotometer on a range of samples. For data comparison, the older spectrophotometer will also be included in the measurements, as well as a bench-top spectrophotometer equipped with an external remote diffuse reflectance accessory probe in the Department of Scientific research at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Measurement samples include the 130 color squares represented on the X-Rite Digital SG Color Checker, a standard X-Rite ceramic tile, and a group of photographic and painted samples with a variety of surface characteristics. Associated software will also be evaluated.

avatar for Katherine Sanderson

Katherine Sanderson

Assistant Conservator of Photographs, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Katherine Sanderson is Assistant Conservator of Photographs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. After receiving her B.A. from Wesleyan University in American Studies and Material Culture, she worked for Christie's and later spent several years as a Collections Care Specialist at the... Read More →

Saturday May 31, 2014 11:30am - 12:00pm PDT
Grand Ballroom C