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Author Topic: ColorMunki Display calibration  (Read 2980 times)
MrIconoclast
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« on: July 02, 2013, 10:18:57 AM »
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I have had a Spyder 3 calibration device for about three years.  I use it often to Calibrate my 27 inch iMac.  However, my prints seem to always come out on the dark side.  I end up boosting the brightness to get an acceptable print.  I do this by trial and error as the amount of additional brightness varies from print to print.  I do control ambient light so that it is always about the same.  And I keep bright light sources off of the monitor screen.  I am using the latest version of the Software for the Spyder 3.

I am thinking of trying a ColorMunki Display device.  I am a amateur and the professional devices seem very expensive for my needs. 

I am curious what others who have used the ColoMunki Display think of it.  And what your thoughts are on the Spyder 3 device.

Thanks for any help you can offer.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #1 on: July 02, 2013, 10:37:53 AM »
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The problem is how you are setting the calibration targets (for a visual match):

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml
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Andrew Rodney
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Jack Hogan
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« Reply #2 on: July 02, 2013, 12:50:53 PM »
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my prints seem to always come out on the dark side.

Your monitor is profiled/calibrated, but is your printer?  I doubt that changing your 'display' calibrator will improve the brightness of your prints ;-)
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #3 on: July 02, 2013, 01:55:11 PM »
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Here's my setup and how close my viewing lights are to my prints. I don't get dark prints as long as I view them under the same amount of light or close to it that makes the white of my paper match to the white of my calibrated display which is set at 100 cd/m2.

I have two 15watt 18" T8 daylight balanced flotubes in the lamp pictured which gives off about 1200 lumens that are a foot above the table top. I bring the prints closer if they look too dark but I make sure the gray step next to black on that grayramp pictured can be distinguished from black and I can still see separation between the lightest highlights.

It's not difficult to get this to work. Make you a grayramp or drag and drop the pic posted below and print it to check as described above.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 01:59:14 PM by Tim Lookingbill » Logged
MrIconoclast
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« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2013, 02:32:03 PM »
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Yes, my printer is calibrated for each type of paper I use.  I have a Z3200 and I run the color calibration and build the profiles every few months.  More often if I plan to do a lot of printing.
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2013, 02:34:12 PM »
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Here's my setup and how close my viewing lights are to my prints. I don't get dark prints as long as I view them under the same amount of light or close to it that makes the white of my paper match to the white of my calibrated display which is set at 100 cd/m2.

I have two 15watt 18" T8 daylight balanced flotubes in the lamp pictured which gives off about 1200 lumens that are a foot above the table top. I bring the prints closer if they look too dark but I make sure the gray step next to black on that grayramp pictured can be distinguished from black and I can still see separation between the lightest highlights.

It's not difficult to get this to work. Make you a grayramp or drag and drop the pic posted below and print it to check as described above.

I should probably print in lighting conditions closer to what I think will be used to view the prints.  Of course, in reality, the prints will be viewed with daylight poring through the windows, or cloudy skies outside, or by electric lights (all sorts of color temperature there!) at night.
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2013, 02:40:53 PM »
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The problem is how you are setting the calibration targets (for a visual match):

http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml

Thanks.  A great article. I will have to evaluate how my monitor and print viewing area compare to each other. 
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2013, 07:49:33 PM »
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I should probably print in lighting conditions closer to what I think will be used to view the prints.  Of course, in reality, the prints will be viewed with daylight poring through the windows, or cloudy skies outside, or by electric lights (all sorts of color temperature there!) at night.

My posting those images was to clarify Andrew's article which doesn't say...

"I should probably print in lighting conditions closer to what I think will be used to view the prints."

And that's not what I said, either. You need to match the light output you view your prints under with the luminance of your monitor, not to lighting conditions closer to what you think it should be.

Color temperature changes has nothing to do with dark prints or matching luminance between print viewing conditions and your display.

Just a look at that grayramp printed will tell you if your printer is printing too dark as long as you are viewing that grayramp print under light similar to what I showed in those posted images. There's no mystery about this. Look at the grayramp on the print.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 07:54:06 PM by Tim Lookingbill » Logged
PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2013, 04:00:36 AM »
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Rather than a ColorMunki Display, maybe use the full ColorMunki which will cross-calibrate both your monitor and your printer. In other words, what you see is what you get. It may not be "correct" but, at least, it allows you to edit a photograph on-screen and then get the same image when you print. (Remember to do a separate ColorMunki printer profile for each paper type.)
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« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2013, 09:10:26 AM »
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I've found that its the luminance value of your calibration that is key to getting prints (and books from blurb etc.) to closely match your monitor. I calibrate for 100 cd/m^2) and have found that to be good for my workflow. No more dark prints.
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MrIconoclast
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« Reply #10 on: July 03, 2013, 09:40:29 AM »
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"And that's not what I said, either. You need to match the light output you view your prints under with the luminance of your monitor, not to lighting conditions closer to what you think it should be.

Color temperature changes has nothing to do with dark prints or matching luminance between print viewing conditions and your display."

Tim, thanks for clearing that up and keeping me from going down the wrong road. What you say makes perfect sense.   
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2013, 01:05:27 PM »
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There have been many online discussions about dark looking prints that I'm beginning to wonder if folks actually realize just how much "Ambient" light is needed just to see what the print is depicting much less if it's suppose to match even a 100 cd/m2 calibrated display.

So I decided to show exactly how my calendar depicting a landscape photo professionally printed on a commercial press looks like up close just like if you were to view it anywhere in someone's home or in a restaurant or gallery without spot lights but only lit by 6x6' window light 6ft away.

And compare it to what it looks like lit by a combination of the same window light 6ft from the left and a 100 watt daylight balanced CFL at a 45 degree angle 6ft. to the right just as anyone in a home would do to see their prints on their wall.

You'ld be surprised just how dark they look compared to the photos I posted above.

Maybe this will end the "My prints look too dark" discussions.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #12 on: July 03, 2013, 02:27:54 PM »
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I have to wonder how the old masters, heck, even those prehistoric cave painters figured out how to create art over the centuries without all having the issues people today have with dark prints since the introduction of digital.
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #13 on: July 03, 2013, 02:48:30 PM »
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I have to wonder how the old masters, heck, even those prehistoric cave painters figured out how to create art over the centuries without all having the issues people today have with dark prints since the introduction of digital.

Good point I'ld surprisingly never considered since my background was as a photo realist painter back in my youth and now reminded having to deal with how window light changed the look of my paint during the day from the standard 2800K tungsten GE soft white bulbs I used at night.

The way painters got around this was to look at the scene comparing overall blobs of changing tone instead of as one whole image, basically a simplified color sketch.

They'ld first block in all the overall basic tones according to their differing density and hue where for instance in a landscape blue skies started out as one big flat swath of mid gray blue, green trees were flat chalky blobs of forest green that was darker than the sky and so on and so on.

All this under everyday ambient light and sometimes a halogen task lamp clipped to the easel lighting the canvas at night. And before Edison's invention, candle light or window light.

Then they just went back and filled in the detail over the flat blobs of tone to build up the final composition.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #14 on: July 03, 2013, 03:48:20 PM »
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Good point I'ld surprisingly never considered since my background was as a photo realist painter back in my youth and now reminded having to deal with how window light changed the look of my paint during the day from the standard 2800K tungsten GE soft white bulbs I used at night.

I can see that affecting color, but making the work appear too dark (or light)?
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Andrew Rodney
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Tim Lookingbill
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« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2013, 04:34:44 PM »
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I can see that affecting color, but making the work appear too dark (or light)?

Yeah, I should've been more clear on that.

Note the contrast relationship between the two calendar photos I posted. There's a big difference in character of light has on contrast relationships between diffused window light and direct somewhat diffused artificial light in the CFL.

Somewhat low and diffused light tends to dim the surface and change the contrast relationship that compounds the appearance that the image looks dark when it really primarily has lost contrast. It's the same effect viewing matte paper vs glossy prints. Blacks fog up and whites go flat but you can still distinguish between the elements in the image. It just has lost "Pop" or clarity and definition.

Painting with the sun coming through diffused white curtains gave plenty of adequate light that didn't change contrast but throughout the day as the sun moved over the house there was less light but the character of light had diffused even more causing me to rework paintings into making blacks next to shadow detail even more dense and highlights even more brighter with a boost in saturation throughout the image.

When I finished and looked at the canvas under a spot/flood tungsten lamp or in direct sunlight the painting looked gaudy and cartoonish primarily from contrast ratio changes.

That's why I go by a grayramp to examine the gradualness of the increase in tone from black to white just for a reality check.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2013, 04:37:36 PM by Tim Lookingbill » Logged
MrIconoclast
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« Reply #16 on: July 19, 2013, 12:59:05 PM »
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Thanks to all for the help.  I re-calibrated my monitor with my current device not a new one.  One thing I noticed is that the default was set to calibrate the monitor at a brighter level than what many of the responders used.  Once I reduced that level I found the 'dark' print problem was 70% cured.   Being more critical in my own adjustments and the viewing light has helped with the other 30%. 
Thanks again for the help.
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