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  1. Stephen Kunz
  2. General Wetland Topics
  3. Tuesday, June 18 2019, 04:12 PM
Does anyone have any experience using the new Munsell device being sold by Forestry Suppliers, called CAPSURE?

I recently bought a new Munsell Soil Color Book from Forestry Suppliers to replace a very old version. It came with a postcard advertisement for a CAPSURE device, which it advertises as allowing "users to make accurate soil color evaluations in the field quickly and easily".

A few weeks later I ordered a CAPSURE. (It is not cheap – listed as being $845, but mine cost a little over $700).

After it arrived, it occurred to me to check the Munsell soil color chips of my new book with the new CAPSURE device. What I found was alarming. Many of the color chips on the pages I use most often in my wetland delineation work (10YR, 7.5YR, 5YR, and 2.5Y) were not being read accurately by CAPSURE. And the erroneous readings are consistent: for example, the 10YR 5/1 consistently is read by the CAPSURE as 2.5Y 5/1.

I cannot determine if the CAPSURE device is reading the chips incorrectly, if the chips are out of tolerance, or both.

I have contacted both X-Rite/Pantone (who now owns Munsell and makes the device and the field color books) and Forestry Suppliers about the problems I have found, and both tell me they are “looking into it”, but they’ve been looking into it for over a month now even though I keep bugging them to respond

I am very skeptical about the CAPSURE as a field tool, because the User Manual says it is intended for “indoor use” only (most of my wetland delineations take place outside!); the soil sample ideally should be “smooth, dry,” and of a solid color; and it cautions against getting the lens wet or dirty (again, not too helpful if you are mucking around wetlands). The folks at Forestry Suppliers assure me it can be used in the field (of course -- they want to sell these things), but the Manual says the warranty will be invalidated if not used accordingly.

Forestry Suppliers told me they've sold a hundred of these devices this year, and haven’t had any complaints.

Anyone out there ever tried CAPSURE?
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