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Author Topic: Calibration devices + software  (Read 10617 times)
Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2006, 05:20:07 AM »
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Don't know if anyone remembers this thread:

I'm now selling my ACD 20" and going back to CRT. With one thing or another I hadn't been doing a lot of printing, went out to print a large amount of photos and was horrified with how they looked (not that the client would notice!).

The colour was off, the contrast was off and the brightness was off. I recalibrated with the Monaco, I sat there for an entire afternoon trying to tweak the curves in the video display driver to match the prints sitting in front of me. No luck. I couldn't get the contrast or brightness to match, either the shadows, the highlights or the midtones were too contrasty or over under contrasty. Especially the highlights. The CRT was PERFECT! Tried it with the monaco software and the Coloreyes and a spyder 2.

So I've given up, just bought a similar CRT (Compaq V700 the other is the V70) from ebay for the bank breaking price of 29 and now I will have two screens which are a doddle to calibrate, can be adjusted using my test print for room brightness at the beginning of each session and match the prints perfectly for brightness and contrast, highlights, shadows and facial tones.

I'm a photographer by profession and since I have a 100% digital workflow I cannot afford not to be able to match screen to print, I can't afford it! I thought to myself, can I afford this expensive screen which is far less accurate than the older CRT sitting next to it that also cost me 30 2nd hand? The answer is that for all the 'prettyness' of the widescreen flat panel, I don't have the time to deal with it.

I used to manage a lab. The difference between the LCD and the CRT in facial tonality, especially in the highlights, is the difference between  Agfa paper from a 1 hour lab, and Fuji Professional from a pro lab.

Yes I'm sure I might have gotten better results from a >1000 Eizo or whatever but considering that the highly regarded ACD is not giving me the results of a consumer level CRT costing 29 quid 2nd hand, is flat screen at all worth the bother? I think I'll wait it out for the next few years till things get better and prices cheaper on top end units.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #21 on: May 10, 2006, 09:23:45 AM »
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The ACD is an excellent screen and I am positive your experience wouldn't have been any better with an Eizo considering the discourse in this thread. The ACD can provide excellent results matching prints with soft-proofing but you essentially wanted a display that was soft-proofing all the time without the need for the actual soft-proofing in PS. I think what it comes down to is that your expectations of the LCD were not realistic.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #22 on: May 10, 2006, 09:33:07 AM »
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fair enough, but that brings me back to the original question of this thread - how do photographers using a similar workflow to myself, editing in ACR (with no soft proofing available) or Aperture/lightroom prepare large amounts of images for print?

Saying that your screen matches perfectly for print, but only when using soft proofing which is only available in PS is incredibly limiting and give or take impossible for any type of batch work. Am I the only one who finds this a crippling limitation? With a CRT I can dial down the brightness and get perfect screen to print colour, brightness and contrast in every program I use. I tried doing in in ACR with the LCD's calibration and the image looked nothing like the print, how the heck can I adjust brightness over hundreds of photos when the screen isn't accurate to print?!  How on earth can you adjust images when the only way to see how it will look is to open it in PS and adjust there?
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TimothyFarrar
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« Reply #23 on: May 10, 2006, 10:58:23 AM »
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Perhaps someone should start marketing neutral density filters that are sized fit over LCD screens!

This would solve the LCD brightness problem.

In my experience, 61Dynamic is exactly right in that with LCDs the best compromise to get around the brightness problem is to keep the LCD at its natural brightness and up the brightness of the viewing booth to match (and to buy a LCD that isn't too bright in the first place).

I use Color Eyes Display for calibration which has the option of setting the maximum brightness for the calibration. I've tried calibrating both ways (keeping maximum brightness, and the much lower CRT ideal brightness) and the results of lowering the brightness to a traditionally acceptable level reduces the quality too much. The problem being that as brightness is reduced the number of shades and colors the LCD can reproduce is also reduced. So you start with say 256 shades per RGB channel at maximum brightness and cutting the brightness in half on an LCD with a natural LCD gamma of 1.8 would leave you with only 100 shades. So image quality drastically suffers from reducing the brightness on very bright LCD displays.

The same problem of reduced shades, is also caused by white point adjustments. If the LCD has a natural white point of over 7000K and the calibration target is 5000K, in calibration the brightness of the maximum Blue and Green's will have to be reduced to meet the warmer white point target.

So when choosing an LCD display, my priorities are,

1. good uniformity of brightness across the entire screen
2. naturally low brightness LCD
3. naturally warm LCD white point
4. 8bit per channel (not a 6bit dithered) display

Pom,

One thing that seems a little wrong however, is that in manually adjusting the video cards curves will completely destroy any color calibration done using the hardware device. The hardware device calibrates by adjusting those same video card curves.

Getting good results with an LCD using non-soft proofing software would require at a minimum that the LCD LUT or video card curves are calibrated to the sRGB colorspace, white point, and most importantly gamma, and then also using the sRGB colorspace for all image editing.
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Timothy Farrar
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TimothyFarrar
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« Reply #24 on: May 10, 2006, 11:18:08 AM »
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Here's an idea,

Perhaps Michael would be interested in hosting an article with reader supplied LCD calibration results showing actual deltaE graphs, maybe with a few CRT's thrown in for comparison?

If enough people contributed I'm sure it would be a very valueable resource.

Say with the following info for each display,

1. Display Name/Vendor
2. Calibration Device Used to Calibrate Display
3. Calibrated White Point
4. Calibration Gamma (or L*, etc)
5. Calibrated Maximum Brightness
6. Calibrated Black Point Brightness (can be looked up from inside the ICC file)
7. Screen shot of graph of deltaE values from calibration software.
8. And perhaps the ICC file for download.

I'd contribute my results, anyone else interested?
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Timothy Farrar
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Serge Cashman
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« Reply #25 on: May 10, 2006, 02:30:01 PM »
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Why would you want to see all of that information? I see the point of publishing Native white point, and black and white luminance. Especially luminance, since this seems to bother a lot of people.

Not all software (cheaper Spyder2 packages for instance) display all that information BTW. One would have to look at the profile using some other tools.
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #26 on: May 10, 2006, 03:45:42 PM »
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Is this brightness problem not more of an issue with some (perhaps most) LCD's than with others?  I have my new NEC 2090uxi calibrated with Eye One Display 2 to 100 cd/m at about 35% on its brightness slider.

Nill
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Serge Cashman
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« Reply #27 on: May 10, 2006, 04:33:52 PM »
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It looks that way. My Dells (2001FP) are 130 at factory default but can go from 92 to 150. I don't mind 130 though. I use Spyder2 Pro.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2006, 04:42:44 PM by Serge Cashman » Logged
jlmwyo
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« Reply #28 on: May 11, 2006, 01:38:07 AM »
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The ACD is an excellent screen and I am positive your experience wouldn't have been any better with an Eizo considering the discourse in this thread. The ACD can provide excellent results matching prints with soft-proofing but you essentially wanted a display that was soft-proofing all the time without the need for the actual soft-proofing in PS. I think what it comes down to is that your expectations of the LCD were not realistic.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=64994\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

61, my friend is having a hell of time matching prints with his ACD as well.

You seem to be saying that the only way to do it is to use the Proof Colors setup in PS, do I have you right?  Proofing for the paper you intend to print to?

Its been a lot of people's experience that if their LCD is too BRIGHT, they will adjust images to make them darker, and VOILA: darker prints than intended. So, in a scenario like that, how does soft proofing in PS help?

What about printing B&W on something like the R2400, where you can't use "Proof Colors".?

I'm glad I was able to get a nice new 21 inch CRT here recently is all I can say. With
calibration I get a match.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2006, 01:49:08 AM by jlmwyo » Logged

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61Dynamic
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« Reply #29 on: May 11, 2006, 10:05:52 AM »
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61, my friend is having a hell of time matching prints with his ACD as well.

You seem to be saying that the only way to do it is to use the Proof Colors setup in PS, do I have you right?  Proofing for the paper you intend to print to?
Correct.
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Its been a lot of people's experience that if their LCD is too BRIGHT, they will adjust images to make them darker, and VOILA: darker prints than intended. So, in a scenario like that, how does soft proofing in PS help?
It doesn't. If the problem is a monitor that is too bright (beyond 140cd/m2), then the solution is to return it and buy one that isn't too bright.
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What about printing B&W on something like the R2400, where you can't use "Proof Colors".?
That's the problem with using the print driver for BW. It's trial and error. Adjust settings, make a print, adjust settings, make a print, and so on.

Jeff Shewe and Bruce Frasure showed a soft roofing profile they made for the Epson BW driver at the Epson Print Academy that provides a solution to that. Jeff said that they'll release an article in the future explaining how people can make their own BW driver profiles for whatever paper they use.


Just as important as a good display is the light you are viewing the print under. If you are trying to soft-proof by holding the print next to a window for example, you are not going to get matching results. A viewing booth with a dimmer switch is the best solution.  Outside of that, you should not be expecting to get a print that matches your screen since they are inherently different mediums with different ranges of color and tonal reproduction. CRT or LCD.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2006, 10:16:23 AM »
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Correct.

It doesn't. If the problem is a monitor that is too bright (beyond 140cd/m2), then the solution is to return it and buy one that isn't too bright.

That's the problem with using the print driver for BW. It's trial and error. Adjust settings, make a print, adjust settings, make a print, and so on.

Jeff Shewe and Bruce Frasure showed a soft roofing profile they made for the Epson BW driver at the Epson Print Academy that provides a solution to that. Jeff said that they'll release an article in the future explaining how people can make their own BW driver profiles for whatever paper they use.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65099\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Daniel, this has been a very useful thread for me, as I may need to start working with an LCD. For now I'm still CRT. I'm printing with an Epson 4800. I don't use Epson's B&W capabilities in the Epson driver. If I want to convert an image to B&W, I use Oscar's "Convert to B&W Pro", which I think is an excellent plug-in for the control and results it gives. Doing it this way, the soft proofing feature of Photoshop is still useful, because at least it simulates paper white and tonal range to the extent soft-proofing can emulate this difference. How well this will work on an LCD I may get a better appreciation of this evening, as I shall be visiting a friend using a good one to do some tests before I buy.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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TimothyFarrar
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« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2006, 11:50:10 AM »
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Why would you want to see all of that information? I see the point of publishing Native white point, and black and white luminance. Especially luminance, since this seems to bother a lot of people.

Not all software (cheaper Spyder2 packages for instance) display all that information BTW. One would have to look at the profile using some other tools.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=65009\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I think that we all agree that the maximum brightness is important.

The deltaE graphs and the other info lets you know exactly how the display performs in terms of calibration.

It gives you an objective view of what display to choose.

For example, if the deltaE graph is really bad when the white point is set to 5000K and the brightness is reduced to acceptable levels, then you know it will not meet your goals. That same display may perform great when brighter and at a bluer white point like 6500K.

Having all the facts brings the truth into focus.

The alternative without the info, is to guess.
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Timothy Farrar
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2006, 05:08:39 PM »
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Timothy, I don't know how to use a delta E graph (at least the curve I get from spyder2 pro) to come to conclusions about the display quality. From what I see delta E in my case is just a difference between measurement results taken during profiling and the measurement results taken during verification. Which does not say much really.

I can get some calibrated/uncalibrated/target curves displayed but without Delta E values, just as an illustration.

I'll look at Coloreyes as soon as their PC version supports Spyder2 (or as soon as I get a mac...), but for now I'm a bit short on that kind of in-depth information.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #33 on: May 12, 2006, 09:03:44 AM »
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Just got a batch of prints back from the lab, 280 of them all PERFECT colour, brightness and contrast. Editied them on my old non special Compaq CRT in ACR only and then batched to jpg. LCD is just too expensive and time consumng to get anywhere near that ease of use.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #34 on: May 12, 2006, 10:05:15 AM »
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Yesterday evening I visisted a friend here in Toronto who does fine photography and critical printing. He uses a LaCie 321 LCD. He calibrated and profiled it with  ColorEyes Display. I loaded a bunch of my own raw files whose appearance I know well onto his computer, and I was impressed with the smoothness of tonal gradation, quality of detail and dynamic range that I saw on this display. We didn't produce any prints, but he uses a dimmable light booth and assures me that he is getting matching results between the display and the print at the viewing luminance he would correspond with "normal" viewing conditions (i.e. not overly bright, nit overly dim). I found looking at this display very restful on my eyes compared with my CRT. Like me, he does use soft proofing image by image (neither of us are professional photographers doing weddings and Bar-Mitzvahs), so this experience would not necessarily address pom's concern about whether one could batch correct and accurately preview a bunch of raw files without opening them in Photoshop. Nonetheless, perhaps sharing my experience viewing images with the LaCie could be of interest to some readers.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #35 on: May 12, 2006, 11:17:24 AM »
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For what it's worth, I've had a similar experience recently. Previously I only used CRTs for image editing. Now I have a Samsung SyncMaster 930B LCD which I've calibrated/profiled with Monaco Optix XR Pro, and as a reference I have a CRT I use at work calibrated/profiled with same.

Colors and midtones/highlights look about the same on both systems, but shadows are a completely different experience. On the LCD I see an enormous amount of shadow detail, that on the CRT often turns out to be just a dark, almost indistinguishable mass.

Both monitors are profiled to 6500K, gamma 2.2. On LCD white point is about 125cd/m2, black point 0.17. CRT white point is 90cd/m2, black point is 0.3.

Is this just simply a function of the contrast ratio being so much higher on the LCD (about 700-1 as opposed to about 150-1 on the CRT)? I don't print so I don't have that as a reference, but from my limited forays into printing I have reason to believe the CRT representation of the shadow detail would be a more accurate predictor of what I would see on the print.

I believe 90 and 0.3 are pretty standard white and black points for a CRT, but haven't found much to guide me on what settings should be on LCD, though there seems to be some agreement on white point of about 120-125. Are there discussions of this that I've missed?
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #36 on: May 12, 2006, 11:19:55 AM »
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I found looking at this display very restful on my eyes compared with my CRT
Just going off a hunch, but if the CRT is causing eye-strain check the settings and make sure the refresh rate is running at 75 hertz or higher. Windows will default at 60 hertz which is just fast enough the refresh of the screen isn't readily visible, but slow enough where it can cause eye strain.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #37 on: May 12, 2006, 12:00:05 PM »
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Thanks Daniel - I checked - it was at 72 rather than 75, so I bumped it up a notch. I'm not sure that will make a difference but will see when I reboot. I think the root cause is that CRTs flicker invisibly regardless of refresh rates within the range we're discussing.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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jlmwyo
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« Reply #38 on: May 12, 2006, 02:33:57 PM »
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61, can you recommend a particular brand of booth?
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