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Author Topic: Monitor Calibration - How sophisticated does it have to be?  (Read 2787 times)
WernerG
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« on: August 24, 2011, 05:09:50 PM »
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I recently purchased an 24" NEC monitor and have decided that it's time to take calibration seriously.  I have been using Window 7 control panel display calibration for brightness, contrast and alpha and it seems to work very well.  Whenever I look at on-line charts and tests the monitor seems to be correctly calibrated for those parameters.  Color is guesswork of course, and I'd like to take the guesswork out of it.  Some inexpensive calibration systems apparently only do color, even just one temperature, more expensive systems do multiple temperatures and luminosity as well.    

Given the wealth of in-computer and on-line tools for brightness, contrast and alpha, do I really need any more than the minimum system like the Spyder3express for color calibration?  How much is enough?  At this point I don't think I need anymore than the native temperature of the monitor.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2011, 06:40:26 PM by WernerG » Logged
digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: August 24, 2011, 06:54:45 PM »
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Which NEC?
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Andrew Rodney
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WernerG
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« Reply #2 on: August 24, 2011, 07:01:30 PM »
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MultiSync LCD 2490WUXi2
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2011, 07:09:51 PM »
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MultiSync LCD 2490WUXi2

Then you want to be using the SpectraView II software that was built to calibrate that panel, with one of the supported Colorimeters.
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Andrew Rodney
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WernerG
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« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2011, 09:00:41 PM »
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Thank you digitaldog.   That is not the answer I wanted to hear.  Are you saying that the simpler systems won't work or that the Spectraview II works better?  I looked at Amazon, 4 people reviewed it, 2 of them hated it.  I have printed my pictures both at home and at outside printers and haven't gotten any big surprises.  I don't think my colors on this monitor are so far off that I want to spend $300 on a calibration system. 
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K.C.
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« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2011, 09:14:28 PM »
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I looked at Amazon, 4 people reviewed it, 2 of them hated it.

Which clearly indicates the value of an amazon review.

Spectraview is widely regarded as one the best systems for calibration, particularly for the price.
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Sareesh Sudhakaran
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« Reply #6 on: August 24, 2011, 11:34:08 PM »
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I recently purchased an 24" NEC monitor and have decided that it's time to take calibration seriously.  

My experience is more to do with color grading for video and film, so please excuse any errors if it does not apply to photography or other areas of imagery.

My simple advice is this: Don't take calibrating ONE monitor too seriously. The problem of color calibration is to keep color constant throughout MANY display devices or mediums (like paper, e.g.). It is best not to think of color calibration as an absolute science, and it might be more beneficial to think of it as a fuzzy concept.

Is your delivery objective to show imagery on un-calibrated monitors (used by clients and the masses)? Then surely the end result will widely vary from your intended purpose. The only thing you can do is to have enough experience in grading and hope your calibration is within acceptable tolerances.

Is your delivery objective a print? In that case too, the variables can only be controlled and manipulated by experience - because the greatest and most expensive monitors, color hardware and software cannot understand printers and papers. You still have to use your eyes and memory at the end of the day.

Then what is the point of spending a lot of money on color calibration hardware? Go with the cheapest possible professional solution (by which I mean one that gives you consistent results for your monitor). You will be okay, even in a professional environment.
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WernerG
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« Reply #7 on: August 25, 2011, 05:43:23 AM »
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K.C. -  My current calibration system is to look at my prints.  To my amateur eye they look fine nearly all time.  For the ones that fail, I can review them again on the monitor and realize that I wasn't critical enough, the reason for the color failure was visible on the monitor.  That system is barely adequate.  I'm looking to step up to adequate, not the best.  My OP question is "do the $100 systems work on the NEC".

......Then what is the point of spending a lot of money on color calibration hardware? Go with the cheapest possible professional solution (by which I mean one that gives you consistent results for your monitor). You will be okay, even in a professional environment.

Sareesh, that is exactly the point of my question.  I don't care if it takes 1/2 hour instead of 5 minutes, if I have in do some steps manually rather than fully automatically.  But I understand that some of these simpler systems won't work with some monitors.  So my question is what is cheapest solution that actually works.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 07:15:02 AM by WernerG » Logged
Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #8 on: August 25, 2011, 07:25:24 AM »
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Sareesh, that is exactly the point of my question.  I don't care if it takes 1/2 hour instead of 5 minutes, if I have in do some steps manually rather than fully automatically.  But I understand that some of these simpler systems won't work with some monitors.  So my question is what is cheapest solution that actually works.
The cheapest software solution is ArgyllCMS which is free.  You can buy a ColorMunki which is pretty inexpensive and profile both your monitor and printer.  The only difficulty is in wading through all the Argyll documentation but there is a good listserve.
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WernerG
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« Reply #9 on: August 25, 2011, 08:01:16 AM »
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Thank you Alan,  the ColorMunki seems to come with its own software.  Is the ArgyllCMS necessary?
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Ernst Dinkla
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« Reply #10 on: August 25, 2011, 08:05:35 AM »
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Get the Spyder3 and try the software that comes with it. The upgrade path after that could be Dispcalgui based on ArgyllCMS and that software is free. To improve on that you could ask someone to calibrate/correct your Spyder3 with a spectrometer on your monitor with ccmxmake of the ArgyllCMS suite. To do it good will take more than half an hour.

The Spyder3 did score quite good in the test described in this thread:
http://www.luminous-landscape.com/forum/index.php?topic=53825.0

Separate Spectraview II software is only available in the US to my knowledge. In the EU for some odd reason you have to buy it in a Spectraview bundle with a Spectraview monitor and it differs from the US version.


met vriendelijke groeten, Ernst

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http://www.pigment-print.com/spectralplots/spectrumviz_1.htm







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digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2011, 08:49:42 AM »
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Are you saying that the simpler systems won't work or that the Spectraview II works better? 

The SpectraView system will work with far more control and options than any 3rd party solution because it has full control over the panel for calibration. You can even produce multiple calibration targets (this print type and contrast ratio, that print type and contrast ratio) and load the calibrations and associated profiles on the fly. Not using the full system is a waste of the fine panel and electronics you purchased. And the software is only $89!
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Andrew Rodney
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #12 on: August 25, 2011, 12:01:54 PM »
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Thank you Alan,  the ColorMunki seems to come with its own software.  Is the ArgyllCMS necessary?
ColorMunki is amazing for the price (I had one for a period of time) but Argyll makes slightly better printer profiles.  Easiest way to do monitor calibration is with SpectraView and the NEC supplied colorimeter as Andrew notes.
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WernerG
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« Reply #13 on: August 25, 2011, 12:39:57 PM »
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Thank you Gentlemen.  My neighbor allowed me run a calibration with his simple HueyPro.  As I suspected almost nothing happened.  I wasn't unhappy with the prints I was getting so I didn't expect much to happen.  It only does the color calibration, other basic settings have to be done manually. 

Andrew, I hadn't thought about including printer calibration as part of this process.  It is intriguing.  I will look into making whatever hardware I buy compatible with SpectraView.  At $89 the software is not that expensive. 

Thank you all very much for your help.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2011, 12:42:14 PM »
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Andrew, I hadn't thought about including printer calibration as part of this process. 

SpectraView II software only deals with display calibration. But if you read http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml you will see that its very useful to target display calibration to differing printing types, in terms of contrast ratio and sometimes paper white.
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Andrew Rodney
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