Color/optical characteristics measuring systems and methods are disclosed. Perimeter receiver fiber optics/elements are spaced apart from a central source fiber optic/element and received light reflected from the surface of the object is measured. Light from the perimeter fiber optics pass to a variety of filters. The system utilizes the perimeter receiver fiber optics to determine information regarding the height and angle of the probe with respect to the object being measured. Under processor control, the color measurement may be made at a predetermined height and angle. Various color spectral photometer arrangements are disclosed. Translucency, fluorescence and/or surface texture data also may be obtained. Audio feedback may be provided to guide operator use of the system. The probe may have a removable or shielded tip for contamination prevention.


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