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Author Topic: Questions re: NEC Spectraview II Settings  (Read 7992 times)
CynthiaM
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« on: June 22, 2009, 12:33:31 PM »
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Trying to determine what the best settings are for me and what adjustments I should make in the Spectraview II software for a 2690 WUXI2 using the MDSVSensor that came with the monitor (the nec branded x-rite sensor that comes with the spectraview kit or monitor when you order it all together).

Right now, I have it set to the "Photo Editing" defaults of white point d65, Gamma 2.20 and intensity of 140 with the contrast ratio set to default.  The information window shows a Detla E: of 0.53, an intensity calibration of 138.4, a black level calibration of .37 and a calibrated contrast ratio of 369:1.  When I look at prints of target test images printed on epson ultra premium photo lustre, color looks very close to what I see on screen (after soft proof corrections are made, then printed with paper profile) but they seem a tad darker than what I am seeing on the screen and the area that concerns me the most is that in deep shadow detail, I am seeing a bit more detail on screen than in the print.  What do I need to change in the target values to get a closer match in this regard?

Also, I have questions regarding some of the preference settings in the software:
In the Calibration tab, under Calibration Priority, the option to Maximize Contrast Ratio is checked.[attachment=14759:cal_contrast.JPG]Based on how this is defined, should I check Best Grayscale Color Tracking instead or leave it at the default?
Under monitor settings, use ColorComp is checked off (I believe by default?) and the slider is in the middle.  Should this be changed?

With regard to test pattern #17 Black Quality control, with the current calibration, I can see the word QUALITY, it gets fainter left to right, but I cannot see the word CONTROL.  In pattern #1, with regard to the larger rectangles toward the bottom, in the black rectangle, I can barely see the word QUALITY, but not the word CONTROL.  I suspect that the test patterns are telling me that I need to make a change somewhere, perhaps in the target values, but I'm not sure what I should monkey with.  Guidance would be most appreciated.

The ambient light measurment that I am getting is about 85 lux, 2500k.  What does this mean?

One last question; should I be using a monitor hood?
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 01:04:59 PM by CynthiaM » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2009, 06:34:20 PM »
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The ambient light measurment that I am getting is about 85 lux, 2500k.  What does this mean?

Apart from the fact, that colorimeter is not the perfect instrument to measure the ambient light, the result you're getting means, that the light is too dark and too warm. Take a look at the print under bright daylight, or buy Solux light bulbs, Philips Graphica Pro/Osram Biolux tubes, GrafiLite lamps, and - last but not least - GTI or Just Normlicht viewing booth
« Last Edit: June 22, 2009, 06:35:33 PM by Czornyj » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2009, 10:16:44 PM »
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Apart from the fact, that colorimeter is not the perfect instrument to measure the ambient light, the result you're getting means, that the light is too dark and too warm. Take a look at the print under bright daylight, or buy Solux light bulbs, Philips Graphica Pro/Osram Biolux tubes, GrafiLite lamps, and - last but not least - GTI or Just Normlicht viewing booth
He's right.
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walter.sk
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« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2009, 07:59:33 AM »
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Quote from: CynthiaM
Trying to determine what the best settings are for me and what adjustments I should make in the Spectraview II software for a 2690 WUXI2 using the MDSVSensor that came with the monitor (the nec branded x-rite sensor that comes with the spectraview kit or monitor when you order it all together).

Right now, I have it set to the "Photo Editing" defaults of white point d65, Gamma 2.20 and intensity of 140 with the contrast ratio set to default.  The information window shows a Detla E: of 0.53, an intensity calibration of 138.4, a black level calibration of .37 and a calibrated contrast ratio of 369:1.  When I look at prints of target test images printed on epson ultra premium photo lustre, color looks very close to what I see on screen (after soft proof corrections are made, then printed with paper profile) but they seem a tad darker than what I am seeing on the screen and the area that concerns me the most is that in deep shadow detail, I am seeing a bit more detail on screen than in the print.  What do I need to change in the target values to get a closer match in this regard?

Also, I have questions regarding some of the preference settings in the software:
In the Calibration tab, under Calibration Priority, the option to Maximize Contrast Ratio is checked.[attachment=14759:cal_contrast.JPG]Based on how this is defined, should I check Best Grayscale Color Tracking instead or leave it at the default?
Under monitor settings, use ColorComp is checked off (I believe by default?) and the slider is in the middle.  Should this be changed?

With regard to test pattern #17 Black Quality control, with the current calibration, I can see the word QUALITY, it gets fainter left to right, but I cannot see the word CONTROL.  In pattern #1, with regard to the larger rectangles toward the bottom, in the black rectangle, I can barely see the word QUALITY, but not the word CONTROL.  I suspect that the test patterns are telling me that I need to make a change somewhere, perhaps in the target values, but I'm not sure what I should monkey with.  Guidance would be most appreciated.

The ambient light measurment that I am getting is about 85 lux, 2500k.  What does this mean?

One last question; should I be using a monitor hood?

Do not choose Maximize Contrast Ratio.  Check Best Grayscale Color tracking, which will give you more a more accurate result in the darker tones, and a better tonal response curve.  On my NEC 3090 I still get a contrast ratio of some 350:1 which is more than adequate to display the files I work on.  I print on an HP Z3100GP ps and view my prints with a Just Normlicht Color Master III which I have dialed down to match the monitor's intensity.  I get very few surprises when comparing my prints to the soft-proofed images on the monitor.
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CynthiaM
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« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2009, 10:16:38 AM »
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Quote from: Czornyj
Apart from the fact, that colorimeter is not the perfect instrument to measure the ambient light, the result you're getting means, that the light is too dark and too warm. Take a look at the print under bright daylight, or buy Solux light bulbs, Philips Graphica Pro/Osram Biolux tubes, GrafiLite lamps, and - last but not least - GTI or Just Normlicht viewing booth


Perhaps my question about the ambient light was not clear.  What I meant was, what does this mean, if anything, in regard to target settings so that the shadow areas that I see on the monitor show up on a print.

I don't think that the light is too dark, if anything, probably the opposite as the ambient light is 600 watts distributed to four 150 watt undimmed bulbs, in recessed fixtures in a 12 foot ceiling in a room that is about 11x14 feet.  Based on what I have read in this forum, in the days of CRTs, I probably would have been advised to turn the lights out for photo editing.
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« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2009, 02:37:15 PM »
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Perhaps my question about the ambient light was not clear.  What I meant was, what does this mean, if anything, in regard to target settings so that the shadow areas that I see on the monitor show up on a print.

I don't think that the light is too dark, if anything, probably the opposite as the ambient light is 600 watts distributed to four 150 watt undimmed bulbs, in recessed fixtures in a 12 foot ceiling in a room that is about 11x14 feet.  Based on what I have read in this forum, in the days of CRTs, I probably would have been advised to turn the lights out for photo editing.
First of all, under ideal conditions the difference between the image on a monitor and that of a print are different in various ways.  Even if the over-all luminance is the same and the color is as close as possible with excellent profiles on display and printer, there will be differences in the appearance of shadow detail.  The monitor will probably outdo the printer in producing shadow detail.

If your room illumination does not wash out the apparent contrast of your display, and the blacks look black enough for you, and you are able to see shadow detail that you know should be in the image, your room illumination is probably in the ballpark.  You asked about the use of a monitor hood.  If anything, a monitor hood would increase the amount of detail you can see on the monitor.    If the detail seems lacking in your prints, are the prints coming out too dark?  If so you may need to increase the print-viewing illumination.  If the prints are not too dark yet there is less detail, it may be the result of problems with the paper profile, etc.  On the other hand you may just be seeing the difference between a good LCD monitor and what a printer is capable of.

I have my NEC calibrated and profiled at a luminance value of 120 cd/m2.  Over 6 months or so, I have gradually brought it down from the 140 cd/m2 I began with.  It is at D65, has low Delta E,  contrast range of about 340 as of today, and I view my prints with a print viewer (5000Kelvin) that is adjusted to match what I see on the monitor, by eyeballing the illuminated print.  I did it with several test prints, and I have security knowing that I have a consistent and dependable set of viewing conditions.  While the comparison between the print and the softproofed image on the display are eerily similar I can still find differences in detail, inherent in the difference from one medium to another.
 
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CynthiaM
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« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2009, 04:33:21 PM »
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Quote from: walter.sk
First of all, under ideal conditions the difference between the image on a monitor and that of a print are different in various ways.  Even if the over-all luminance is the same and the color is as close as possible with excellent profiles on display and printer, there will be differences in the appearance of shadow detail.  The monitor will probably outdo the printer in producing shadow detail.

If your room illumination does not wash out the apparent contrast of your display, and the blacks look black enough for you, and you are able to see shadow detail that you know should be in the image, your room illumination is probably in the ballpark.  You asked about the use of a monitor hood.  If anything, a monitor hood would increase the amount of detail you can see on the monitor.    If the detail seems lacking in your prints, are the prints coming out too dark?  If so you may need to increase the print-viewing illumination.  If the prints are not too dark yet there is less detail, it may be the result of problems with the paper profile, etc.  On the other hand you may just be seeing the difference between a good LCD monitor and what a printer is capable of.

I have my NEC calibrated and profiled at a luminance value of 120 cd/m2.  Over 6 months or so, I have gradually brought it down from the 140 cd/m2 I began with.  It is at D65, has low Delta E,  contrast range of about 340 as of today, and I view my prints with a print viewer (5000Kelvin) that is adjusted to match what I see on the monitor, by eyeballing the illuminated print.  I did it with several test prints, and I have security knowing that I have a consistent and dependable set of viewing conditions.  While the comparison between the print and the softproofed image on the display are eerily similar I can still find differences in detail, inherent in the difference from one medium to another.


I may have been a little premature in questioning not being able to see some fine shadow detail.  That's what happens when you view the prints at night.  In the light of day, in front of a HUGE window, with daylight pouring in, I'm seeing the shadow detail that appears on the monitor.  So overall, I guess I have to say that the monitor to print match is terrific.  My workspace real estate does not afford the space for a viewing booth but perhaps a SoLux lamp will allow me to view prints nearby the monitor and also give me that daylight simulation even at night.

I find your earlier post most interesting.  You advise the use of Best Grayscale Color Tracking.  With prior calibrations using Maximize Contrast Ratio, I was getting contrast ratios around 360-370:1 and Black levels around .30.  But with Best Grayscale enabled, the contrast ratios drop to around 250:1 and the black level goes to around .50.  Not sure what the numbers mean or which is better and the difference between test prints with each calibration is essentially unnoticeable.  Nor can I detect a difference with regard to what I see on the screen.

Thanks for your posts.
Regards,
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« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009, 08:04:17 PM »
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I may have been a little premature in questioning not being able to see some fine shadow detail.  That's what happens when you view the prints at night.  In the light of day, in front of a HUGE window, with daylight pouring in, I'm seeing the shadow detail that appears on the monitor.  So overall, I guess I have to say that the monitor to print match is terrific.  My workspace real estate does not afford the space for a viewing booth but perhaps a SoLux lamp will allow me to view prints nearby the monitor and also give me that daylight simulation even at night.

I find your earlier post most interesting.  You advise the use of Best Grayscale Color Tracking.  With prior calibrations using Maximize Contrast Ratio, I was getting contrast ratios around 360-370:1 and Black levels around .30.  But with Best Grayscale enabled, the contrast ratios drop to around 250:1 and the black level goes to around .50.  Not sure what the numbers mean or which is better and the difference between test prints with each calibration is essentially unnoticeable.  Nor can I detect a difference with regard to what I see on the screen.

Thanks for your posts.
Regards,
The Best Grayscale Color Tracking will give you the smoothest tonal response curve, which is most suitable for good photographic work.

By the way, I checked out your website and was impressed with your fine art images.  You have a good eye, and the images are strikingly graphic and clean, with care taken to use perspective in a dramatic way.  Very nice!
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« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2009, 08:17:29 PM »
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Quote from: CynthiaM
Perhaps my question about the ambient light was not clear.  What I meant was, what does this mean, if anything, in regard to target settings so that the shadow areas that I see on the monitor show up on a print.\

No, but that would be nice. Currently, all the products that measure Ambient light that I know of, simply tell you "its too light" (based on usually old ISO specs). It would be far more useful if you could measure the viewing booth, then have the correlated or ideal cd/m2 set for the calibration.
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« Reply #9 on: June 26, 2009, 08:10:52 AM »
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Quote from: walter.sk
The Best Grayscale Color Tracking will give you the smoothest tonal response curve, which is most suitable for good photographic work.

By the way, I checked out your website and was impressed with your fine art images.  You have a good eye, and the images are strikingly graphic and clean, with care taken to use perspective in a dramatic way.  Very nice!

Walter:
Thanks for your responses and for taking the time to peruse and comment on my work.  All are appreciated.
Regards,
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« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2009, 08:32:11 AM »
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No, but that would be nice. Currently, all the products that measure Ambient light that I know of, simply tell you "its too light" (based on usually old ISO specs). It would be far more useful if you could measure the viewing booth, then have the correlated or ideal cd/m2 set for the calibration.

Andrew:

Since you are jumping in on this, mind if I do a little brain picking?  I have seen you mention in these forums the idea of creating multiple profiles to be used depending on the paper to which you will be printing.  If I were to try this, could you give me some idea as to what my targets should be for something like Epson premium luster versus Ultra Premium Presentation Matte versus Ultra Smooth Fine Art?  And when do you switch to these specific profiles?  At the time of soft-proofing or earlier in the editing process if you know what you will be using for printing?
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« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2009, 08:46:00 AM »
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I'm also interested in Cynthia's question as well.  One of the things that I find bothersome is the difference in tonality between matte and semi-glossy paper when doing B&W.  I have a nice image of a local stream and have done all the Lightroom corrections so that it looks great on the monitor (which is Spectraview calibrated).  However, the difference in prints between Ilford Gold Fibre and Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth is striking.  Shadows are much darker on the Ilford paper than the Hahnemuhle.  I don't have Photoshop (just Elements and Lightroom) so soft-proofing is not available to me.  I guess my question is whether soft proofing would show the difference prior to doing things by trial and error in my current set up (which would lead me to upgrade Elements to full Photoshop).
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« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 09:14:40 AM »
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Andrew:

Since you are jumping in on this, mind if I do a little brain picking?  I have seen you mention in these forums the idea of creating multiple profiles to be used depending on the paper to which you will be printing.  If I were to try this, could you give me some idea as to what my targets should be for something like Epson premium luster versus Ultra Premium Presentation Matte versus Ultra Smooth Fine Art?  And when do you switch to these specific profiles?  At the time of soft-proofing or earlier in the editing process if you know what you will be using for printing?

Papers differ in their dynamic range (contrast ratio) so this has nothing to do with setting the max luminance to a viewing booth but rather the ratio of black to this max luminance. You can alter this with some displays and their more robust calibration procedures such as the NEC SpectraView II using their software. You can set a contrast ratio for the paper, calibrate and save that target calibration within the software. Then switch on the fly between the various calibration targets and the matching profiles. So something like a Luster paper might be roughly set to 250:1 contrast ratio where a matte paper might be 150:1 (you'd want to test this of course in your booth, with your display using soft proofing). You'd go into the SpectraView II software and set the target when you're about to soft proof to that paper, load those settings and the profile, then do the soft proofing and editing based on that papers contrast ratio.
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« Reply #13 on: June 26, 2009, 09:50:16 AM »
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Papers differ in their dynamic range (contrast ratio) so this has nothing to do with setting the max luminance to a viewing booth but rather the ratio of black to this max luminance. You can alter this with some displays and their more robust calibration procedures such as the NEC SpectraView II using their software. You can set a contrast ratio for the paper, calibrate and save that target calibration within the software. Then switch on the fly between the various calibration targets and the matching profiles. So something like a Luster paper might be roughly set to 250:1 contrast ratio where a matte paper might be 150:1 (you'd want to test this of course in your booth, with your display using soft proofing). You'd go into the SpectraView II software and set the target when you're about to soft proof to that paper, load those settings and the profile, then do the soft proofing and editing based on that papers contrast ratio.
But how do you deal with Dmax?  It's not just contrast ratio (but maybe I'm wrong).  Matte papers don't have as high a Dmax as a paper like Ilford Gold Fibre or Epson Exhibition Fiber do.  Maybe I'm naive but I thought that the reason there is a difference in darkness between the two classes of prints was the darker black.
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« Reply #14 on: June 26, 2009, 07:40:47 PM »
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But how do you deal with Dmax?  It's not just contrast ratio (but maybe I'm wrong).  Matte papers don't have as high a Dmax as a paper like Ilford Gold Fibre or Epson Exhibition Fiber do.  Maybe I'm naive but I thought that the reason there is a difference in darkness between the two classes of prints was the darker black.

I'm not positive, but I think the idea is that if you switch to a display profile that has a contrast ratio more akin to a matte paper, then when you soft proof, you can make adjustments in the way you bump up the blacks which will give you deeper blacks in the final print.  You're never going to get a matte paper to render the richness in the blacks the way something like Exhibiton fiber or Ilford Gold Fibre will; it's just the nature of the beast.  For me, it's a matter of personal preference; I much prefer the look and feel of matte papers.

As for soft proofing and switching to Photoshop, follow this link to a promotion that Adobe is running which will allow you to upgrade from elements to CS4 for $299.  Good deal, because once you have it, the upgrades are way less expensive.  
Upgrade elements to CS4
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« Reply #15 on: June 27, 2009, 06:52:53 AM »
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I'm not positive, but I think the idea is that if you switch to a display profile that has a contrast ratio more akin to a matte paper, then when you soft proof, you can make adjustments in the way you bump up the blacks which will give you deeper blacks in the final print.  You're never going to get a matte paper to render the richness in the blacks the way something like Exhibiton fiber or Ilford Gold Fibre will; it's just the nature of the beast.  For me, it's a matter of personal preference; I much prefer the look and feel of matte papers.

As for soft proofing and switching to Photoshop, follow this link to a promotion that Adobe is running which will allow you to upgrade from elements to CS4 for $299.  Good deal, because once you have it, the upgrades are way less expensive.  
Upgrade elements to CS4
The price you quote, is that for an education discount?  If I go to the Adobe site, I get the normal Elements discount of only $100 so it will cost me $599.  Your link mentions some kind of bundle of Elements.
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« Reply #16 on: June 27, 2009, 07:47:11 AM »
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The price you quote, is that for an education discount?  If I go to the Adobe site, I get the normal Elements discount of only $100 so it will cost me $599.  Your link mentions some kind of bundle of Elements.

Check it out.  It's NOT an education discount.  Every now and then Adobe does this.  Users of elements 4-7 on a pc and 3-6 on a mac can upgrade for $299. Enticing, eh?
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« Reply #17 on: June 27, 2009, 11:28:17 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Papers differ in their dynamic range (contrast ratio) so this has nothing to do with setting the max luminance to a viewing booth but rather the ratio of black to this max luminance. You can alter this with some displays and their more robust calibration procedures such as the NEC SpectraView II using their software. You can set a contrast ratio for the paper, calibrate and save that target calibration within the software. Then switch on the fly between the various calibration targets and the matching profiles. So something like a Luster paper might be roughly set to 250:1 contrast ratio where a matte paper might be 150:1 (you'd want to test this of course in your booth, with your display using soft proofing). You'd go into the SpectraView II software and set the target when you're about to soft proof to that paper, load those settings and the profile, then do the soft proofing and editing based on that papers contrast ratio.

Thanks, Andrew.  I'll give it a shot.
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