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monitor calibration

matadorpoeta

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i'm looking to buy some sort of monitor calibration device/software because the prints i get from my lab look different than the files i send them. let me make this clear: i'm not looking for something that will make my images look better on my screen, i'm looking for accuracy. i need my monitor calibrated to some sort of standard.

i looked at the spyder pro which has mixed reviews, but it's hard to gauge because many people seem to say that the device makes there images look great, or look awful, which is completely besides the point, i think.

i know we have some photographers and designers here so hopefully someone can give me some advice with this. tia.
 

GQgeek

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I'd like to calibrate as well. I wonder if there's a place you can rent these things. Don't really want to part with 500-600 bucks for something like this as I still need more glass.
 

brimley

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Look at the Eye One product line. I have one and am extremely pleased. Much stronger reviews than the Spyder line. My cheaper Dell TN at work was pretty much spot on (I had downloaded a color profile previously and gotten lucky), but my older Dell panel at home had drifted quite a bit. Was ~$130 IIRC, but it was worth it for the personal satisfaction. Taking a stand for color fidelity on the internet--it starts here!
 

milosh

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I get my monitor calibrated by a guy who owns a spyder pro. It gets me close enough as I'm not a pro and I have a TN monitor. It costs me ~10$.

I read and heard good stuff on both spyder and eye one products. I don't think you can go wrong with either. Note that a calibrator can only do so much so getting a good panel is essential.
 

GQgeek

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i have the new 24" dell ultrasharp. It's teh shizzle after calibration, and not bad before calibration.
 

NaTionS

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Do these hardware calibration things really make a noticable difference? I have a 22" Samsung monitor and used their software calibrator and am pretty content with the colors atm. Will it make it significantly better?
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by NaTionS
Do these hardware calibration things really make a noticable difference? I have a 22" Samsung monitor and used their software calibrator and am pretty content with the colors atm. Will it make it significantly better?

Don't take this the wrong way, but most samsung monitors use TN panels and don't have very good color reproduction. Not only that, the their viewing angles aren't good so if you have a big screen and move your head a little the colors look different. I have two at work and they are way off. Software calibration might help, but it won't get you the whole way. The way to test it is to have your stuff printed. If it comes from the printer way different from how it looked on your screen, you have a problem. It's not really an issue unless you want to print. I want to print a bunch of my photos which is why I care about hardware calibration. It's simply a lot more accurate than using the software calibration.
 

Brian SD

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Originally Posted by GQgeek
Don't take this the wrong way, but most samsung monitors use TN panels and don't have very good color reproduction. Not only that, the their viewing angles aren't good so if you have a big screen and move your head a little the colors look different. I have two at work and they are way off. Software calibration might help, but it won't get you the whole way. The way to test it is to have your stuff printed. If it comes from the printer way different from how it looked on your screen, you have a problem. It's not really an issue unless you want to print. I want to print a bunch of my photos which is why I care about hardware calibration. It's simply a lot more accurate than using the software calibration.

Samsung manufactures the LCD monitors for practically every company out there. Your Dell monitor's panel is probably made by Samsung. There's no reason to believe the quality would be different between an equally price-tiered Samsung and a Dell, outside of flaws in unique manufacturing runs. Samsung monitors are fantastic, as are LG monitors, who also make a lot of monitors out there. Apple's displays, which are considered by many to be the best available until you get into the super-pro ranges by LaCie, etc., have split manufacturing between Samsung and LG.

In either case, LCDs are still pieces of shit in terms of color representation, compared to any $200 CRT. Calibration's going to help, though. I'd recommend you find someone in the industry who has an EyeOne, because that's the only calibrator I've used that's worth a damn. Other ones end up on-par or worse than what I can do eyeballing Apple's built-in calibration wizard.

If you do some deep searching, you may be able to find someone with the exact same production run as your panel, who used an EyeOne for their monitor and uploaded their ICC profile. I was able to do this fairly easily with my MacBook Pro, which is notorious for having really fucked up color calibration out of the box.

What you need to do, most importantly, is get the ICC profile from the printer that prints your photos, and set photoshop to use that color profile. It will give you a pretty clear picture of how it will print out.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by Brian SD
Samsung manufactures the LCD monitors for practically every company out there. Your Dell monitor's panel is probably made by Samsung. There's no reason to believe the quality would be different between an equally price-tiered Samsung and a Dell, outside of flaws in unique manufacturing runs. Samsung monitors are fantastic, as are LG monitors, who also make a lot of monitors out there. Apple's displays, which are considered by many to be the best available until you get into the super-pro ranges by LaCie, etc., have split manufacturing between Samsung and LG.

In either case, LCDs are still pieces of shit in terms of color representation, compared to any $200 CRT. Calibration's going to help, though. I'd recommend you find someone in the industry who has an EyeOne, because that's the only calibrator I've used that's worth a damn. Other ones end up on-par or worse than what I can do eyeballing Apple's built-in calibration wizard.

If you do some deep searching, you may be able to find someone with the exact same production run as your panel, who used an EyeOne for their monitor and uploaded their ICC profile. I was able to do this fairly easily with my MacBook Pro, which is notorious for having really fucked up color calibration out of the box.

What you need to do, most importantly, is get the ICC profile from the printer that prints your photos, and set photoshop to use that color profile. It will give you a pretty clear picture of how it will print out.


You're right about samsung producing panels for many companies. HoweverI deliberately didn't pruchase a TN panel so comparing the Samsungs I have at work to the Dell I use at home wouldn't be fair to the samsung (the dell is twice as expensive).

It's a good idea to try and find an ICC profile based on productino run though. I'll look in to it.
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by Brian SD
In either case, LCDs are still pieces of shit in terms of color representation, compared to any $200 CRT. Calibration's going to help, though. I'd recommend you find someone in the industry who has an EyeOne, because that's the only calibrator I've used that's worth a damn. Other ones end up on-par or worse than what I can do eyeballing Apple's built-in calibration wizard.

If you do some deep searching, you may be able to find someone with the exact same production run as your panel, who used an EyeOne for their monitor and uploaded their ICC profile. I was able to do this fairly easily with my MacBook Pro, which is notorious for having really fucked up color calibration out of the box.

What you need to do, most importantly, is get the ICC profile from the printer that prints your photos, and set photoshop to use that color profile. It will give you a pretty clear picture of how it will print out.


thanks for this. i'm using an old emac right now which has a built-in crt monitor, and i used the apple calibration wizard but now everything looks orange. i was advised to use a white point of d65 and that standard gamma is 2.2, as opposed to the 1.8 which is apple's standard. i'll see what my lab says tomorrow.
 

A Y

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I have an Eye One and it works great (though I use it more to calibrate my TV), but +1 on getting the ICC profile for your printing process. That is by far the most important factor and you will never get the colors you want if you don't have it.
 

otc

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I think my dad (photographer) uses an Eye One. He does so weekly.

They key to doign it though is to make sure all the profiles work together through the system. You need a true monitor and then you need to be working in photoshop with the right colorspace to save to the printer. Any printshop worth its salt will have the ICC profiles available for you. If not, you can find out what printers they use and as long as they use the same inks, the profiles will be online.

Failing this, you can send them a test print (page with boxes of different colors) and use a calibration tool to generate a profile from the print.
 

otc

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Originally Posted by Brian SD
In either case, LCDs are still pieces of shit in terms of color representation, compared to any $200 CRT. Calibration's going to help, though. I'd recommend you find someone in the industry who has an EyeOne, because that's the only calibrator I've used that's worth a damn. Other ones end up on-par or worse than what I can do eyeballing Apple's built-in calibration wizard.

Only if you have a nasty 6-bit TN display or something. A real display with 8-bit color and good viewing angles (since the shift can and will change color if you dont look at it straight on) can correctly display a far wider color space more accurately than a $200 CRT. The old go-to brands for photographers (LaCie and Apple's nice displays) don't even produce CRT monitors anymore. You can find color space graphs out on the web and compare...a good lcd panel will win.
 

GQgeek

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Originally Posted by otc
Only if you have a nasty 6-bit TN display or something. A real display with 8-bit color and good viewing angles (since the shift can and will change color if you dont look at it straight on) can correctly display a far wider color space more accurately than a $200 CRT. The old go-to brands for photographers (LaCie and Apple's nice displays) don't even produce CRT monitors anymore. You can find color space graphs out on the web and compare...a good lcd panel will win.

Not that any sane person would buy a CRT today, but the quality of components that go in to CRTs is down a lot from when they were the only option and there were high-end manufacturers of them. Having said that, is a CRT better than a cheapo $200 lcd from the point of view of a color representation? Probably, but a good PVA or an even better s-IPS panels can be calibrated to very small values of dE (difference between color requested and color displayed).
 

matadorpoeta

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Originally Posted by Andre Yew
I have an Eye One and it works great (though I use it more to calibrate my TV), but +1 on getting the ICC profile for your printing process. That is by far the most important factor and you will never get the colors you want if you don't have it.
i have to ask, how does the calibration tool work on a t.v.? does it tell you how to adjust the t.v. yourself or does it somehow control the t.v. settings on its own?

Originally Posted by otc
I think my dad (photographer) uses an Eye One. He does so weekly.

They key to doign it though is to make sure all the profiles work together through the system. You need a true monitor and then you need to be working in photoshop with the right colorspace to save to the printer. Any printshop worth its salt will have the ICC profiles available for you. If not, you can find out what printers they use and as long as they use the same inks, the profiles will be online.

Failing this, you can send them a test print (page with boxes of different colors) and use a calibration tool to generate a profile from the print.

i went to the lab today and they basically told me that i should just calibrate my monitor, and that the icc profiles are only for their highest end printer. i can download the profile from their website. for other prints, like proof prints for fuji fronteir and for making books, there is no profile. they said just to calibrate my monitor and be sure to work in rgb instead of cmyk. make sense?
 

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