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Life span of Calibration device

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Interesting conversation with a friend today, wondering if calibration devices eventually expire, or stop working to their prime? How long are calibration devices reliable?

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Hi Ashley, yes, that is always an interesting conversation.

They're like computers, in a way.  You certainly expect that they'll last three or four years, and you'd be disappointed if they don't make it that long.

But you also expect that they will need to be replaced eventually.  Some of them literally stop working, because of some kind of fault.  Others become obsolete, because of technology or software changes.  In my time, I have had to replace several devices for both of those reasons.

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6 hours ago, azufelt said:

How long are calibration devices reliable?

That is the hardest part of the question.  Of course, if they suddenly stop working because of a fault, you'll immediately know.

And if you upgrade your computer, and the device simply doesn't work for you any more, you'll know (although of course you'd go to the calibrator's website to see if there was an upgrade or patch.)

And if you upgrade your screen to something fancy and new, and suddenly the calibrator gives you outrageous results, you'll know (although of course if that happens you'd post here for me so we could troubleshoot.)

BUT ...

What if it begins to die very slowly or subtly?  Just a small shift in the results it produces, over time?  That's the worst, because the first time you're aware of the problem might be when you open an expensive delivery of prints from your lab, which are all slightly too pink, or something.

So keep your original test prints safe in a dark place, and compare them to the screen after each calibration, or at least every second calibration, once the calibrator is a few years old.

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