Calibrating an inexpensive monitor is it worth the cost and effort?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by lrlebron, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    I have an inexpensive AOC monitor attached to my ASUS laptop. I am thinking of buying a monitor calibration device (Spyder5Express or similar) to calibrate both monitors. Do you think it would be worth my time and money with this particular setup?

    thanks,

    Luis
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Which model of monitor? Is it an IPS?
     
  3. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    I'm not sure it is an IPS. It may be an LED. I do not have access to the monitor at the moment and I do not remember the model number
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
  4. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    624
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    What is the final output for your images? Web? Lab printed? Printed on your own printer?
     
  5. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    I will be printing on a Canon Pixma Pro-100.
     
  6. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    probably not. Unless you foresee a future use for it. You can manually calibrate to get reasonably close. Then you'll have to make small test prints to check before committing to a big print. With a cheap monitor you'll have to do this anyway, calibrated or not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
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  7. Tenpenny

    Tenpenny Mu-43 Regular

    176
    Mar 16, 2015
    Nampa, Idaho
    Brent Watkins
    This is what I do for my cheap monitor (as if I'll every scrape up enough $$ for anything but cheap lol at least until I get kids through college) I print test images on my favorite printer/paper, then sorta eyeball it with the settings on the monitor to match the print in my hand. The test images are these boring things with CMYK/RGB blocks and lines. That way I have the digital and physical copy to compare. Contrast and brightness take some fiddling.

    Seems to work ok for me. If my images are unattractive it's all on me not my monitor unfortunately ;)
     
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  8. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    Yes. "eyeball calibration". e.g. if my prints are coming out too blue and too dark I make adjustments on the display even if it looks wrong until the print is right. Then for future prints I know to make my edits less blue and lighter even though it looks like crap on the monitor.
     
  9. dwig

    dwig Mu-43 Top Veteran

    624
    Jun 26, 2010
    Key West FL
    This is an excellent approach, especially with marginal monitors. Print a good accurate test image (I've used a standardized test image that came with one of my scanners years ago) and then use the OS's controls along with any Control Panel / System Prefs add-in supplied with the monitor (if one exists) to adjust the display of the same file in your image editor. This can give you a very, very good calibration for a closed system.

    Some image editors (e.g. Photoshop, ...) have the additional ability to "proof" the display using a printer profile. Turning this feature on can help in getting the display close to the printed output.
     
  10. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    As a hint, Canon's print studio pro utility has advanced features for correcting screen tint, which from experience I can tell you is tricky but quite effective.
     
  11. lrlebron

    lrlebron Mu-43 Veteran

    398
    Apr 8, 2013
    Huntsville, AL
    Luis R. Lebron
    I just printed a few prints on the Canon and I do not have any complaints at the moment.
     
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I will be the contrarian here and say that calibration software and a puck is a good long-term investment. Your monitor(s), cheap or otherwise, are your window to all that you do. Yes, you can eyeball things and if you are good, you can get reasonably close. But that takes time and effort (and paper and ink) and sometimes close is not good enough, especially if you are working near the edge of a color gamut. Entry level pucks and software are not that expensive, and they should last for years.

    Try eyeballing for a while and then decide if you want more. And if you think that you would purchase one for an expensive monitor, then consider getting it before. Cheap monitors benefit from calibration as much, if not more, than expensive panels.

    --Ken