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General photography questions and answers: Discuss Monitor Calibration Tools...Hi Has anyone used a monitor calibration tool. I've got myself a nice new Samsung 22" LCD monitor and would ...
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Old 12-02-2008, 12:14   #1 (permalink)
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Monitor Calibration Tools

Hi

Has anyone used a monitor calibration tool. I've got myself a nice new Samsung 22" LCD monitor and would like to get it working with the correct colours.

I try following the software steps but never really get it right. Ideally I want to get my prints to look like what is on the screen display. I was wondering if one of the spyder like tools might be worthwhile as it could possible reduce the wasted ink and paper when the colour come out nothing like what I expect due to poor monitor calibration.

Saw some available here

And being a cheapskate was wondering if the cheaper ones would do it or not.
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Old 12-02-2008, 15:34   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

It's more likely to be the printer that needs calibrating, rather that your monitor, and the standard Spyder software is not reckoned to be very good for that.

Most modern monitors to a creditable job without much adjustment, and I calibrate manually using these two sites...

Photo Friday: Monitor Calibration Tool

Monitor Calibration Tests: Black Point

Provided you can see the difference in the blacks and whites in the first one, and you can see a change before about level 7 or 8 in the second, the tonal calibration shouldn't be far off. If the greyscale wedge shows no colour casts and everything looks neutral grey, the colour balance probably isn't too bad either.

On most monitors the Brightness control alters the Black Point and the Contrast alters the White Point. If there's a separate backlight adjustment, that may need turning down because the white on many monitors is too bright and screams at you - looks impressive until you try to type on it!

I'd take a look at QImage for printing. You should be able to get ICC profiles for the paper and printer combination you use (the profile will be different for each type of paper). Some paper manufacturers like Ilford have profiles you can download from their website. Use these with QImage and the results should be quite decent, but you need to read the instructions on how to set the printer driver.

You'll seldom get an exact match between screen and printer because one is additive and the other subtractive, and the balance varies according to lighting conditions etc.
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Old 12-02-2008, 16:06   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

I spent ages faffing with this sony last night pleased to say I just tried the black point test and I can see a difference from 1 onwards phew! lol
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Old 12-02-2008, 16:31   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

I'll take a look at QImage. I do realise that there will be some difference between screen and printer, but photoshop proofing should give a reasonable indication if I have a correctly set up ICC profile for both.

I am just really not good at seeing the differences on the screen with these eyeball methods. It could be my eyesight that causes the probs with this.
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Old 12-02-2008, 19:38   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

One of the difficulties that people get into with colour management is that not all applications are ICC- (or ICM-) aware. In fact, most aren't, so you get different results in, say, Photoshop from what you see in a standard image browser or on the web. It is possible to navigate through this minefield, but that's really why I prefer to avoid software calibration.
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Old 12-02-2008, 19:39   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

I use a Huey monitor calibrator which monitors ambient light levels all the time. It will prompt me weekly to recalibrate. Works fine for me.
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Old 12-02-2008, 21:03   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

Relying on eyesight to achieve even reasonable colour calibration is a very hit and miss affair, as the human brain makes all sorts of adjustments to our color perception, even compensating for example for the very yellow light from incandescent bulbs - we have our own built in automatic white balance control (of sorts).

A monitor calibration tool is a much better prospect, as it will measure absolute colour values, and even the cheapest devices are likely to result in a more accurate calibration than doing it "by eye".

Your printer will also need to be calibrated if you are to have any hope of printed results which look anything like what you saw on screen.

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Old 13-02-2008, 15:35   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

I use a Monitor calibrator as well as using bespoke profiles for my printer/paper/ink. I never need test prints and can confidently print right first time. Remember that your printer may not be able to reproduce all the colours you see on your monitor so use "Proof Colors" in Photoshop to see on screen what the print will look like. Also by colour managing in this way, I can correctly display/print my images by converting to other profiles for web, digital projector or commercial printing.

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Old 13-02-2008, 15:40   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

I use the spider 2 pro and depending on what paper im printing etc use different printer profiles. This really is a minefield as has been mentioned. The differing levels of light in your room at different times of day etc can also make a difference as does where the prints will be displayed. I don't have too many problems with the spyder but it aint cheap.
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Old 13-02-2008, 16:56   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Monitor Calibration Tools

Thanks, have found somewhere where I borrow one from, so I shall try that out and see what results come out.

I have been using the "Proof colours" option, and will l ensure the right calibration is used with the printer.
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