Updated February 2012
OverviewThe HutchColor HCT is a high-precision, individually-measured ICC profiling target for demanding scanner and camera users. With about twice as many patches, a better sampling of dark colors and three times as many gray scale steps as standard IT8.7/1 and IT8.7/2 targets, the HCT can characterize cameras and scanners more accurately, especially in rich colors and dark shadows.
For scanner operators the HCT yields more precise color and tonal accuracy, especially in richly-saturated colors and very dark shadows. This translates into more precise scans and better correction of underexposed originals. To compare results from the HCT and IT8 target, click here.
For Photographers the HCT provides a much higher dynamic range and wider color gamut than typical camera targets, allowing a greater portion of the camera's color space to be characterized.
The amount of improvement can be influenced by scanner setup, viewing conditions, subject matter and user-expectations.
As with all camera targets, HCT profiles are optimized for the dyes or colorants in the target itself. If the subject matter's colorants have different spectral curves, accuracy may be limited by "metamerism failure", for which there is no simple solution except manual editing in Photoshop.
Flatbed (CCD) scanners with serious optical flare or uneven illumination may show less improvement than drum scanners, however high-end flat-bed scanner users report significantly improved results compared to profiling with an IT8 target.
Media and format
The HCT is currently available in the following formats.
5x7 inch Fuji Crystal Archive paper.
Kodak Ultra Endura. (Out of stock till further notice)
4x5 inch Ektachrome and Fujichrome.
6x7cm (2 1/4 x 2 3/4 inch) Ektachrome and Fujichrome.
Fujichrome (35mm Ektachrome discontinued until further notice).
Note: 35mm and 6x7 cm targets are cut to size from 8x10 inch sheet film and are not created on actual 35mm or 120 film, however because similar dyes are used in all product sizes, they produce equivalent results.
Choosing an emulsion:
Either Fujichrome or Ektachrome HCT targets reproduce Agfachrome, Ektachrome and Kodachrome originals quite accurately on Heidelberg (Hell) 3000-series and Fuji (Crosfield) Drum scanners, but other scanners like the ICG drum scanner and most CCD desktop scanners require custom Ektachrome or Fujichrome profiles for precise color matching. If only one emulsion is chosen for general use, pick the one on the film type you scan most often.
Differences from the IT8.7/1 /2 scanner target