Surface color measurement is of importance in a very wide range of industrial applications including paint, paper, printing, photography, textiles, plastics and so on. For a demanding color measurements spectral approach is often needed. One can measure a color spectrum with a spectrophotometer using calibrated standard samples as a reference. Because it is impossible to define absolute color values of a sample, we always work with approximations. The human eye can perceive color difference as small as 0.5 CIELAB units and thus distinguish millions of colors. This 0.5 unit difference should be a goal for the precise color measurements. This limit is not a problem if we only want to measure the color difference of two samples, but if we want to know in a same time exact color coordinate values accuracy problems arise. The values of two instruments can be astonishingly different. The accuracy of the instrument used in color measurement may depend on various errors such as photometric non-linearity, wavelength error, integrating sphere dark level error, integrating sphere error in both specular included and specular excluded modes. Thus the correction formulas should be used to get more accurate results. Another question is how many channels i.e. wavelengths we are using to measure a spectrum. It is obvious that the sampling interval should be short to get more precise results. Furthermore, the result we get is always compromise of measuring time, conditions and cost. Sometimes we have to use portable syste or the shape and the size of samples makes it impossible to use sensitive equipment. In this study a small set of calibrated color tiles measured with the Perkin Elmer Lamda 18 and the Minolta CM-2002 spectrophotometers are compared. In the paper we explain the typical error sources of spectral color measurements, and show which are the accuracy demands a good colorimeter should have.