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Spectrophotometer Selection Guide

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Spectrophotometer Types

Colorimeters: Standard and microprocessor-controlled units with built-in wavelength filters display concentration directly.

Visible Light Spectrophotometers: Simple spectrophotometers use only visible light (380 to 750 nm) produced by a tungsten lamp. Portable and benchtop models with a continuous wavelength range are most commonly used for routine laboratory work. Choose from analog and digital models that feature optional data acquisition software for your PC.


UV-Visible Spectrophotometers: A second lamp—usually deuterium—turns a visible light spectrophotometer into a UV-visible unit that can measure from 190 nm to 750 nm. UV-visible models are available with a variety of features, including scanning, multiple cells, integral printers, and user interfaces.

Fluorometers: Fluorometers measure the fluorescence released when a sample is exposed to a single wavelength of light. Select one of our compact and efficient fluorometers for unlimited analysis testing in biotechnical, pharmaceutical, and environmental applications.

Infrared Spectrophotometer: Some applications in teaching and research environments require the measurement of solid, liquid, and gas samples. Our scanning infrared spectrophotometer provides data over a full range of wavelengths from 4000 to 600 cm-1 in seconds.

Mercury Analyzing Spectrophotometer: An economical alternative to atomic absorption systems, our mercury analyzing spectrophotometer quickly measures trace amounts (0 to 9 µg) of mercury in potable, surface, saline, or waste water.

Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer: A high-temperature flame evaporates water and dissociates the sample into ions. These features allow for high-precision analysis in environmental testing, toxicology, and Q.C. laboratories. An optional continuous-flow hydride/cold vapor system lets you test for arsenic, selenium, or mercury.

Comparison Table



Color meter and
spectrophotometer models

Painted surfaces

Flat panels

12-mm 45/0 cone, 12-mm hemisphere,
26-mm, 11-mm benchtop

Curved surfaces

3-mm, use foam baffle

Masonry, stucco, cement

20-mm D with window and baffle


Flat areas

12-mm cone

Small parts

3 mm

Curved surfaces

3-mm, use foam baffle

Wire and cable

Small wire and fiber special, 3-mm and fixture

Fibers and small tubes

up to 5-mm D, wire and fiber special

Textured surfaces

20-mm D with window, 12-mm hemisphere


12-mm or 20-mm with window, 30-mm bench top


12-mm with white background

Foods and

Cheese, meats

12-mm w/window, 20-mm D w/window

Powders, flour, sugar

20-mm D w/window, 30-mm bench top

Fruits, outside

12-mm cone

Fruits, inside and fish

12-mm with window

Leaves, small areas

3 mm

Soil and grass clippings

20-mm D w/ window, 30-mm bench top

Coffee, grains, snack foods

30-mm bench top

Opaque liquids, sauces, dips

30-mm bench top

Graphic arts

Litho printing

3 mm

Other printing small

3 mm

Ink proofs, larger print targets

12-mm cone


Finished paper

12-mm, 11-mm bench top

Paper pulp and paper board

20-mm D w/ window


Textile printing

3 mm

Hard weave

12-mm cone

Solid colors soft weave

20-mm D w/window, 30-mm bench top


12-mm cone


Foundation drawdowns

12-mm cone, 11-mm bench top

Skin, cosmetics on skin

12-mm flat head

Powders and creams

12-mm or 20-mm with window, 30-mm bench top


12-mm with thin film press


3 mm

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