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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Hardware monitor calibration: advice needed...I never used to notice differences between monitors but recently it's started to become slightly annoying. Only slightly but I'm ...
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Old 28-11-2005, 11:42   #1 (permalink)
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Hardware monitor calibration: advice needed

I never used to notice differences between monitors but recently it's started to become slightly annoying. Only slightly but I'm still thinking of buying a Spyder 2 or LaCie Blue eye or whatever.

At the moment I know absolutely nothing about the world of hardware monitor calibration. Can anyone give me a quick intro and an opinion on how the LaCie Blue Eye compares to the Spyder 2 and what the difference is between the Spyder 1 and Spyder 2?

Spyder 1's seem to be fairly cheap on eBay, for second-hand ones. Is it worth getting these? Or is the Spyder 2 far superior.

Also... I don't own a printer. The only real reason I'd be buying one (at the moment) is so that I could get my shots to look as good as possible on a wide range of monitors. Is it a bit frivolous for that? Or is it still worthwhile, do you think?

Cheers in advance.
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Old 28-11-2005, 12:02   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerz
Or is it still worthwhile, do you think?

Cheers in advance.
Absolutely!

I use a cheap nasty one so I won't bother posting it here.
I recently posted a fairly heavily edited bw pic elsewhere and the editing halos/brushstrokes were clearly visible to some viewers.

The problem is even though your monitor may be correctly calibrated, you can't force everyone else to do the same.

I now make a point of ramping my monitor brightness up temporarily to look for potential problems.
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Old 28-11-2005, 12:07   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bachs

I now make a point of ramping my monitor brightness up temporarily to look for potential problems.
That's what I do.
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Old 28-11-2005, 12:10   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bachs
I now make a point of ramping my monitor brightness up temporarily to look for potential problems.
Good tip, I didn't think of that. I may try that in future
Thanks for that
 
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Old 28-11-2005, 12:14   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks guys.

Are cheap & nasty calibration units a decent investment? Is it a case of them being 80% as good as the pro ones or are they worse than that?
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Old 28-11-2005, 12:17   #6 (permalink)
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I think for your own use, which is ultimately what you're using it for, then you can get away with using adobe gamma or similar. Using a spider to calibrate your monitor will only make things correct on your own monitor. From what I've seen of your shots on the web then I think you're monitor is pretty spot on anyway, The shots don't appear to have any horrendous color casts and the gamma is pretty good too. It will not make an iota of difference to someone with an uncalibrated monitor. If my gamma is miles out then it will make all your shopts look wrong. no matter what you do at your end! It's really only needed if you're printing your shots as the whole workflow needs to be color managed then and if your monitors out, then so is everything else
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Old 28-11-2005, 12:59   #7 (permalink)
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I see. I just wondered if it might be a situation where my monitor had a slight tint, which could then be accentuated on someone else's monitor due to the way theirs displayed colours.

Also sometimes I do my photoblog stuff at work and my two monitors both display stuff differently, neither being the same as my home monitor. When we're talking about cheap & nasty units, how cheap are they? Anyone got a link? And has anyone been able to compare them to the good ones?
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Old 28-11-2005, 13:18   #8 (permalink)
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The original Spyder is pretty good and most of the difference is in the software. Mainly being that the original does the job and the "2" version does the job and then tells you what it's done.

Monitor calibration can be a bit of a hit and miss affair at the best of times anyway. Things you need to take in account are as varying as the age of the monitor (apparently a CRT jobbie has a life expectany for 100% correct colour of about two years), has the monitor reached it's stable temp, what is the temp of light falling on the screen, the colour of the walls in the room and the part of the proccess that relies on the users input.

Oh and once you've got all of that lot nailed down it should be done every two weeks, or more often if the unit is on for 16 hours a day or more.

Which is all fine but as has been said already, if you're not going to print out the results then your stuff will only ever look as good as the viewers monitor will permit. It is nice to work on a monitor that is within a resonable range but nothing I've seen of yours has ever suggested you have any issues that need attention.
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Old 28-11-2005, 13:26   #9 (permalink)
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have you tried correcting the gamma on your work monitors? are they CRT or TFT?

There are so many factors to consider, as mentioned above, that it can start to make your brain bleed.

If I was you, I'd gamma correct the monitors you use at work and get them as close to the ones at home as you can. Then let nature take it's course.

Having said that, if I had a couple of hundred quid spare at the moment, the first thing I'd be doing is getting a spyder and having some profiles done for my printer/ink/paper!
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Old 28-11-2005, 13:33   #10 (permalink)
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Home monitor is an iiyama CRT. Work monitors are a Dell-branded TFT and an Eizo-branded TFT.

Will do a gamma test. Thanks for reminding me. When I did the gamma set-up at home I just did a Google for "online monitor calibration" or something and found a website that took me through it. Is there a better way of doing it?
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Old 28-11-2005, 13:57   #11 (permalink)
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I used adobe gamma,

and read the stuff on these sites....


http://www.normankoren.com/

http://www.computer-darkroom.com/home.htm

http://epaperpress.com/monitorcal/index.html


The Norman Koren one was the most useful for me as I found his gamma checking images were the most accurate. IIyama CRT's are normaly pretty good, as are Eizo TFT's. They make some VERY expensive ones for photo use!

Provided they're all properly calibrated there shouldn't be too much difference between them.
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Old 28-11-2005, 14:38   #12 (permalink)
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I donít know if this interests any of you but I am considering buying a Spyder2 and then offering it around the forum members for a small charge. Something along the lines of £10 plus postage, with it being quite small and light I am guessing that insured postage to the next member would be around £5. That way anyone that wishes to calibrate their monitor/s can do so in their own time and for a lot less than it would cost you to buy one outright.

The final details have not been decided but I will be buying one for myself either way. Is anyone interested in this or should I just forget about the idea?
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Old 28-11-2005, 14:42   #13 (permalink)
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You could put my name on the list. I've just a cheap 17 lnch monitor and hopefully getting a good one soon but, I'd still be willing to pay £15 even just to try before buying one myself. Very good of you to offer (all being well).
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Old 28-11-2005, 14:56   #14 (permalink)
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steve, thats a fantastic idea. i was considering doing this with a friend, but neither of us could bring ourselves to part with the cash. if you're sure you dont mind as i know im a new member id love to be on the list and would be happy to pay the postage.
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Old 28-11-2005, 15:19   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fingerz
Is it a case of them being 80% as good as the pro ones or are they worse than that?
80% better than nothing at all mate
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Old 28-11-2005, 15:23   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzajl
the colour of the walls in the room
Martin Evening, the author of 'Photoshop CS2 for Photographers' painted his studio walls a neutral grey and all his lighting is undershelf or behind monitor backlighting to avoid glare on his monitor(s)
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Old 28-11-2005, 16:55   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bachs
Martin Evening, the author of 'Photoshop CS2 for Photographers' painted his studio walls a neutral grey and all his lighting is undershelf or behind monitor backlighting to avoid glare on his monitor(s)
Yes but he's sad and lonely and dreams of having a real girl to stay and keep him company...

The rest of us have to decorate according to insane female decorating directives...
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Old 28-11-2005, 17:12   #18 (permalink)
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Yes but he's sad and lonely and dreams of having a real girl to stay and keep him company...

The rest of us have to decorate according to insane female decorating directives...
Anyone reckon he'd compromise and go for neutral grey with a hint of apple for the right woman?
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Old 28-11-2005, 17:29   #19 (permalink)
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New Hampshire autumnal grey with a hint of Potomac sunset, perhaps
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Old 28-11-2005, 18:04   #20 (permalink)
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Well for what it's worth, I use a Spyder and find it miles better than Adobe gamma. In fact in the instructions it tells you to delete Adobe gamma form you system as they can conflict.
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