CR-400/410 Series “Decommissioning” Blog

We discussed in a BLOG in July 2017 the many benefits of upgrading your legacy portable Konica Minolta CR-410 Colorimeter, for the new Konica Minolta CR-5 bench top Colorimeter.

A number of customers are naturally reluctant to decommission their legacy CR-400 / 410 series still in operation and this is understandable. This instrument range is robust and has given good service over 10-15 years in many cases.

Inevitably customers who have both models in their system start the debate as to which Instrument is “Right” and typically the older tried and tested CR-400 / 410 series readings are used as a bench mark.

There are two points to consider here:

  1. A colour measurement result is depicted as a mathematical result of a reading under certain settings and conditions. There is no ONE NUMBER for a colour measurement, only a result at that time with those conditions. There are around 14 conditions that may vary and result in different values for the SAME colour.
  2. If you compare COLOUR DIFFERENCE between a target value and a sample value, the DIFFERENCES are comparable between Target and Sample of different Instruments with different Settings and Conditions. This is elegantly described in the free Konica Minolta Download “ Precise Colour Communication”)

For example if you compare vehicles traveling through a speed trap, one using a Kilometer per hour odometer, the other a Miles per hour odometer, the values on each odometer will be very different. The values however of the DIFFERENCE between the speed limit, and the actual speed are comparable. For this reason we always recommend to measure colour standards as a function of the DIFFERENCE between a target and a sample (Relative Values) as opposed to ABSOLUTE values. See our September 2018 BLOG in this regard.



We would suggest that the new CR-5 Colorimeter offers better accuracy, better inter instrument agreement and a better user experience. If you’re CR 400 / 410 is being used in an isolated quality application. i.e. not being compared to other departments or sites, then keep it as long as you can. If you have to standardise results and practices, across many departments or group members, its best to use the CR-5 settings as the “Master” settings. It does not make sense to “Dumb Down” the new instrument to match the older instrument.  That is like taking minimum luggage on a road trip in your new SUV, because you used to travel in a Volksie Beetle!

A Statement From Konica Minolta Sensing.

“A CR-5 is from a complete different era and in absolute value / comparing data in a group is of a much superior level than the CR-410.

Numerous presentations and arguments can be called upon to underline that. It is a true D/8 instrument. It is a fairly new instrument on the market.

A CR-410 is a kind of D/0 instrument to start off with. It is a relative colour checker / A good one and a portable one. As this is using older filter technology it is not so suited to measure a wide range of colours and communicated them in the group. It is possible but you can expect wider tolerances. In order to compensate for these changes in result there is the multi-channel calibration feature. It exists fo a longer period of time on the market and thus works with technology that is a bit more down to earth.

In short. You will never be able to compare one with the other. If they match you are lucky.

Only if you want a robust, relative and consistent control + you want portability with a large measuring spot + you are not so much in measuring a large variety of colour + do not really need to communicate to other group member I would opt for a CR-410. In all other cases a CR-5 is the better.”