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View Full Version : Which device do you use to calibrate your monitor?


Thorrulz
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 08:54
Lately my print photo's have been coming back looking quite a bit darker than what is displayed on my monitor. From what I understand, calibrating your monitor is the first step in correcting the problem. I don't want too spend more than I need to, but I don't want to go cheap and wish I had spent the few extra bucks either. My question is what do some of you photographer's use to calibrate your monitors. Thanks in advance everyone.

DC Fan
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 09:31
Pantone Huey. (http://www.pantone.com/pages/products/product.aspx?pid=79) Requires no expertise and works quickly.

RDKirk
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 10:43
Lately my print photo's have been coming back looking quite a bit darker than what is displayed on my monitor. From what I understand, calibrating your monitor is the first step in correcting the problem. I don't want too spend more than I need to, but I don't want to go cheap and wish I had spent the few extra bucks either. My question is what do some of you photographer's use to calibrate your monitors. Thanks in advance everyone.

I use Spyder. However, if your prints are dark, the most likely cause is a monitor that's 'way too bright. Most low-to-moderate colorimeters won't correct for that, and unfortunately there are a lot of monitors of a technology that can't be satisfactorily dimmed.

What you need is a monitor that can be dimmed to around the brightness of a sheet of print paper--about 90 candelas per square meter.

I'm not a monitor technology maven, but the lower end monitors touted as "ideal for gaming" are usually very bright (250-300 candelas per square meter) and are of a technology that can't be dimmed without grossly distorting the color balance. It's a TN technology that's both very bright and cheap. In my recent shopping, most "gamers" monitors in the low-to-moderate price range fell into that category.

The top end "professional" or "expert" monitors ($1000 USD and up) are of satisfactory technology that can be directly dimmed as low as necessary, and you can find some "business" and "enterprise" monitors that you can jockey using their brightness and contrast controls.

Generally speaking, if it's bright and quick enough for gamers and cheap (under $500), it may not be a technology that allows acceptable dimming.

eric.brown
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 10:51
The wife and I have both been using Huey Pro for about 1.5 years. Seemed to work well until recently (Mac 10.6 upgrade?) and now won't keep its calibration on either monitor.

Its worked well up until this point though.

gravy graffix
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 11:16
spyder3

Zansho
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 11:44
EyeOne Match - I love it and it's pretty spot on. Used it to calibrate both my laptop and my desktop and they match pretty closely now.

quijibo69
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 14:33
Spyder3 Elite...

I never knew how far off my monitor was until I used it!

I was quite surprised!

Jon Foster
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 15:05
We have some new flat panels and I really need to calibrate them. I see our work on other monitors and can't get to a computer fast enough to pull them offline.

Jon.

neilwood32
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 15:51
Have to say i have one of the "cheap" gaming monitors that RDKirk is on about and I have calibrated it pretty well with a Spyder 2.

It is certainly a heck of a lot better than uncalibrated and although it might not be "perfect", the difference between the screen and prints is minimal.

nicksan
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 18:18
Spyder

Jim G
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 20:36
Spyder3 Pro. Photos appear on-screen just as they appear out of the printer. I'm super happy.

chrisa
13th of September 2009 (Sun), 20:55
Eye-one

ChasP505
14th of September 2009 (Mon), 08:04
http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=715493

Wilt
14th of September 2009 (Mon), 11:24
Lately my print photo's have been coming back looking quite a bit darker than what is displayed on my monitor. From what I understand, calibrating your monitor is the first step in correcting the problem. I don't want too spend more than I need to, but I don't want to go cheap and wish I had spent the few extra bucks either. My question is what do some of you photographer's use to calibrate your monitors. Thanks in advance everyone.

Calibration is really two actions...monitor brightness + contrast, and color reproduction control.

Many calibration tools don't really adjust the monitor, they tell you simply to start with a certain gamma setting, etc. and go from there to adjust the color reproduction via lookup table (LUT).

Use this to adjust fundamental brightness and contrast first...

http://i69.photobucket.com/albums/i63/wiltonw/grayscalestepwedge.jpg

...maximize the number of segments you can see, with Brightness and Contrast control manipulation.

Jannie
14th of September 2009 (Mon), 12:31
I'm seriously thinking of buying the Spyder 3 Express in the next few days and will be using it on a new iMac 24" with OSX Snow Leopard which just came out, any comments, should I wait a while because it's a brand new operating system?

Lowner
14th of September 2009 (Mon), 13:46
Eye One Display Two.

BluewookieJim
14th of September 2009 (Mon), 14:53
Eye One Display Two.

+1.

Very happy with this.

Had a Spyder2 pro before, but that wouldnt accurately calibrate the wide gamut display (HP LP2475w) I got late last year, so I moved up to the Eye One.

ChasP505
15th of September 2009 (Tue), 07:36
Spyder3 hardware combined with ColorEyes Display Pro software. It makes calibrating a non-frustrating, almost pleasant task. Consistently excellent results.

Jannie
18th of September 2009 (Fri), 12:32
Chas is that Spyder3 Express? I've been looking at that.

Trog777
18th of September 2009 (Fri), 12:39
Eye One Display Two.
yep

Damo77
19th of September 2009 (Sat), 03:54
Have to say i have one of the "cheap" gaming monitors that RDKirk is on about and I have calibrated it pretty well with a Spyder 2.

It is certainly a heck of a lot better than uncalibrated and although it might not be "perfect", the difference between the screen and prints is minimal.
Quoted for truth.

I hate to see people spend more than they can reasonably afford on a monitor, because they've been told that anything less will give poor results. For a lot of folk, an affordable monitor coupled with a reputable calibrator is absolutely fine.

thebishopp
19th of September 2009 (Sat), 04:18
Eye One Display Two.

Yep.

ChasP505
19th of September 2009 (Sat), 10:54
Chas is that Spyder3 Express? I've been looking at that.

I'm talking about the Spyder3 hardware combined with a software called ColorEyes Display Pro. More advanced calibration software, while the Spyder3 Express package is targeted at non-technical casual users.

If someone was interested in the Spyder3/ColorEyes combo, they'd actually save about $35 USD by buying the Spyder3 Express for the hardware, then purchasing the ColorEyes software alone.

ChasP505
19th of September 2009 (Sat), 11:03
For a lot of folk, an affordable monitor coupled with a reputable calibrator is absolutely fine.

Let's qualify that... An affordable "quality" monitor. As a popular example, the Dell 2209WA. My experience is that many merely "affordable" monitors absolutely refuse to be hardware calibrated and are better off used with only some tweaks of the monitor controls.

RDKirk
19th of September 2009 (Sat), 11:35
Let's qualify that... An affordable "quality" monitor. As a popular example, the Dell 2209WA. My experience is that many merely "affordable" monitors absolutely refuse to be hardware calibrated and are better off used with only some tweaks of the monitor controls.

I said this earlier, but some people don't believe it. Different display technologies make a significant difference in how well--and even whether--you can accurately calibrate the display. This is especially true with regard to setting the proper brightness and contrast levels (the primary cause of "prints too dark" is a display that's too bright).

You can get descriptions of the various technologies out of Wikipedia, but basically, the most common low-to-mid priced display uses "twisted nematic" (TN) technology, which is very bright and very fast...but very difficult to impossible to control for brightness/contrast. It's almost ubiquitous on the low end (<$500 USD), especially among displays touted for "gamers."

At the high end--displays designed for graphics professionals--you find "in-plane switching" (IPS) technology, which is the ultimate in automatic calibratability. But you won't find many of those displays much below $1000 USD.

Between $500 and $700 USD, you can find "vertical alignment" (PA) screens that can be adjusted manually (trial and error, for the most part) for proper brightness/contrast, not automatically through the calibration device.

It is certainly true that "good enough" various enormously from person to person...

...but if we're talking about people who spend thousands of dollars on cameras, thousands of dollars on lenses, constantly searching for the "good copy," constantly buying the latest camera and lens technology...it's questionable economics for those people to suddenly get concerned over the $300-400 difference between a monitor that can be properly calibrated and one that can't.

ChasP505
19th of September 2009 (Sat), 13:05
I fully agree with RDKirk. Personally, I look for the maximum return for my investment within a frugal hobbyist photographer's budget, often called the purchasing "sweet spot" or "bang for the buck". Not to be confused with the lowest price. That's why in regard to calibration devices, I can't justify wasting money on anything less than an EyeOne Display 2 or Spyder3 Elite, both selling for around $175-200 USD.

Sticking with this philosophy, I intend to Buy the new Dell U2410 as soon as it's available for $479 again. It has features and specs comparable to monitors at twice the price.

Lowner
21st of September 2009 (Mon), 10:40
Maybe I got lucky by accident, but I've been entirely happy with a "very" cheap Samsung Syncmaster 910n flatscreen monitor bought entirely on price. This is my first flatscreen, purchased as I started to experiment with digital capture and my 30D.

ChasP505
21st of September 2009 (Mon), 13:24
Maybe I got lucky by accident, but I've been entirely happy with a "very" cheap Samsung Syncmaster 910n flatscreen monitor bought entirely on price.

The 910n's were quite good as compared to the junk Samsung is selling now. Do we have to dredge up the old topic of the infamous Samsung S, A, and C panels? I happily used both the 910n and 710n for a long time. They are still in use in my company's corporate office.

camcam
22nd of September 2009 (Tue), 17:11
I tried to calibrate Imac 24" with Spyder Elite and with it's own sofware, but i did not work . The software can not reduce the monitor's brightness under 200ccd/m2, but ColorEyes Display Pro does it.

bohdank
22nd of September 2009 (Tue), 17:27
Spyder 3 Pro on a HP LP2065 (IPS). Perfect.

bryan k
22nd of September 2009 (Tue), 17:31
Pantone Huey. (http://www.pantone.com/pages/products/product.aspx?pid=79) Requires no expertise and works quickly.

Same here...

ChasP505
22nd of September 2009 (Tue), 18:07
I tried to calibrate Imac 24" with Spyder Elite and with it's own sofware, but i did not work . The software can not reduce the monitor's brightness under 200ccd/m2, but ColorEyes Display Pro does it.

Did you try lifting your index finger and pressing the Brightness button? I believe it's F12 on the iMac. What you're talking about is a software that works with DDC capable monitors and one that does not. Saying it did not work is completely incorrect, ludicrous, and misleading. You would have the same lack of results with the EyeOne device and software too.

I happen to use ColorEyes Display Pro with a Spyder3 device, but my monitor's DDC functionality doesn't work with CEDP. I have to exert myself and reach across the desk to push the Brightness button on the monitor.

camcam
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 09:07
The problem with iMac is the brightness even in the lowest possible brightness. Spyder's own software simply can't reduce the the brightness under 200ccd/m2, but Coloreyes really does it. With too bright monitor is difficult to work.

ChasP505
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 11:16
The problem with iMac is the brightness even in the lowest possible brightness. Spyder's own software simply can't reduce the the brightness under 200ccd/m2, but Coloreyes really does it. With too bright monitor is difficult to work.

So you're saying that on the iMac, even with Brightness manually set to zero, it's still over 200cd/m2? That's the first time I've ever heard that. I' have read that imacs are very bright, but I also read that they can go down to about 130cd/m2 just by adjusting the brightness.

Now what ColorEyes is doing, is adjusting the brightness beyond what the monitor is capable of directly at the video card.

Damo77
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 12:46
So you're saying that on the iMac, even with Brightness manually set to zero, it's still over 200cd/m2? That's the first time I've ever heard that. I' have read that imacs are very bright, but I also read that they can go down to about 130cd/m2 just by adjusting the brightness.
No, that's right, Chas. I did a friend's new 24" iMac just yesterday, and it was 207 at 0.

ChasP505
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 14:16
No, that's right, Chas. I did a friend's new 24" iMac just yesterday, and it was 207 at 0.

That's incredible! Sincere apologies to camcam. :o

Lowner
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 14:27
Do they come with a set of sunglasses as standard?

Tareq
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 14:57
Spyder3Elite

ChasP505
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 15:18
Do they come with a set of sunglasses as standard?

Welding goggles...

camcam
23rd of September 2009 (Wed), 17:10
Chas P,
for many non-iMac users the brightness of the iMac is is a surprise.
you have no reason for:oops:
I tried several tricks to
reduce the brightness of my monitor for example the shades (http://www.lifeclever.com/freeware-of-the-week-shades-mac/).
It helped a bit, but actually it makes a a "shadow" in front of the screen.

PM01
5th of October 2009 (Mon), 01:39
MonacoOPTIX DTP94 with Spectraview2 software. NEC 2690wuxi2 monitor. The DTP94 is one of the finest sensors out there, imo.