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Computer Monitor & color calibration?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by hmpws, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. hmpws

    hmpws Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2010
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I keep running into trouble with color presented on my GF1's LCD and my computer monitor(s)... any easy way of calibrating (as much as possible) without buying the hardwares?
  2. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    I'm not going to be the one to help you out here, but I do think people will need to know what kind of computers you're using.
  3. hmpws

    hmpws Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2010
    Auckland, New Zealand
    True, my monitors are all LCD's. I have a HP dv5 laptop (can't expect much from a laptop) and a Benq E2220HD. They are both running off a Nvidia Geforce 9600M GT.
  4. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    Thanks, show's you how much I know, eh? I am hopeful that you will get some real help as the day/evening wears on.
  5. spark

    spark Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    I am no expert, but to my knowledge (again limited) LCDs are difficult to calibrate. Most marketing/film production uses a CRT for the final colour tweaking. Hopefully someone else can shed more light.
  6. LisaO

    LisaO Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 18, 2010
    New York Metro Area
    LCDs can be calibrated but it is best done using something like the eyeone or spyder. What version of windows do you have? Have you looked in control panel display settings?
  7. franklyspeaking

    franklyspeaking Mu-43 Regular

    • Like Like x 2
  8. hmpws

    hmpws Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 24, 2010
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Thanks for the replies, I gave Calibrize a try, but it didn't work out so well.

    I looked around for a bit looking and came across QuickGamma, as well as a guide on how to use it. It took me an hour fiddling, but I quite like the result at the moment.
    • Like Like x 1
  9. BBW

    BBW Super Moderator Emeritus

    hmpws, I'm very glad you've been able to find a way to calibrate that makes you happy.
  10. ajramirez

    ajramirez Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 16, 2010
    Caguas, Puerto Rico
    My two cents:

    In my experience, camera LCD screens can be quite inaccurate. Calibrating your computer monitor to match your camera LCD should not be your primary goal.

    I would urge you to reconsider the use of an external device. The joy of working with a calibrated monitor (and correctly profiled printer and paper) and getting accurate prints on the first try has no price.


  11. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Anybody has experience with Spyder ? Spyder Pro vs Spyder Express ? I'm currently having a hard time figuring out why my prints (I send my files to internet printing services like Snapfish) are so often so dull - and would like to calibrate my monitor to be at least certain the problem is not on my side...
  12. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 25, 2010
    When you say 'dull' are you referring to something like colour/contrast, or are they just too dark?

    If they're too dark, the usual problem is that the monitor is too bright (so you edit the pictures to be darker). Most monitors with factory default settings are way too bright for graphics use, so try reducing the monitor brightness (a lot!) before you do anything else. N.B. you're probably used to a very bright monitor - if so, you need to adjust it so that it initially looks too dark. You'll soon get used to it.
  13. igi

    igi Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 24, 2010
    There are some simple monitor calibration manuals on the net. You can perform them using your monitor's own control. I use them all the time and I'm quite happy with the results.
  14. pictor

    pictor Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 17, 2010
    You cannot calibrate the LCD of a camera, but you really should calibrate your computer screen. This is not possible without buying hardware like Spyder3Pro, which I am using, or a comparable product.
  15. Boyzo

    Boyzo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Mar 3, 2010
    You can use the Spyder which is inexpensive hardware

    I have one and set up my Netbook and my BenQ 24" LCD

    For my normal critical work I use a EIZO S2243W 24" Pro LCD ($1600)

    this is a pro unit and did not need calibrating and also is a special LCD panel that does not suffer with contrast variation with vertical viewing angle.

    Most LCD's have viewing angle problems

    Dell and HP have cheaper alternatives to the EIZO but only very few models
    they are ~$500 but are really very good way above all others and near as good as the EIZO

    You can get good results with certain LCD"s after using the Spyder (~$100)
    and its dead easy to use.

    Some of the Top MAC screens also have the special panels like the HP and Dell .. most are just garden variety LCD panels
  16. f6cvalkyrie

    f6cvalkyrie Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 12, 2010
    Brussels, Belgium
    Interesting, I had also some problems with prints coming too dark from the print service.
    I just bought a Spyder3Pro from the evilbay, I'm curious to see if my monitor is really way off :eek: 

    And I think I'll be able to calibrate my flatscreen with the same equipment ?

    C U
  17. Rudi

    Rudi Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 16, 2010
    I honestly don't think that there is any accurate way of calibrating your monitor without the appropriate hardware. Our brain, which processes what we see, is extremely good at fooling us. It has evolved, over millions of years, to protect us from harm and to enable us to survive as a species, but it sucks at colour calibration! :smile:

    I have an old image, taken at the Australian Formula 1 Grand Prix several years ago, and whatever I did to try and adjust my monitor (using all sorts of "do it yourself" tips and tricks), the image never looked quite right. A couple of my photographer friends also tried to fix it, and we did get close, but not close enough. Then, since I was already considering a profiling solution anyway, I caved and bought the original Spyder and profiled my monitor - and the image just snapped into perfection! All the colours, everything, it just snapped into place!

    So no, I don't think it can be done accurately despite what others might tell you, and all the self-profiling monitors on the market today. Your eyes *will* lie to you, and even though you might be able to get something "good enough"... you will always struggle to get it perfect. Profiling hardware is the way to go, and it is not that expensive these days (not for one of the basic packages, anyway). Well worth the money in the long run!
  18. Gwendal

    Gwendal Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 6, 2010
    Thanks all - I will, indeed, buy that Spyder thingie, probably the Pro version that isn't much more expensive - and if things keep getting wrong, know the problem is with the printing service. Or my eyes.
  19. I use Spyder 3 Pro and have been very happy with the results when printing on my Epson 1400. The last couple prints came out a little bit darker than normal. I need to re- calibrate and everything should be fine again. Also, if you use an editing program that allows soft proofing make sure to do so.
  20. gcogger

    gcogger Mu-43 Veteran Subscribing Member

    May 25, 2010
    Even with a calibration system, you need to pick the correct target luminance (i.e. brightness) for the calibration, or you'll still end up with dark prints. There is no standard for this, so you need to choose something sensible, ideally based on the lighting level where the prints will be displayed. The usual recommendation is ~120cd/m2, but personally I recommend lower (say 100 cd/m2) unless the prints will be mounted, and displayed with direct illumination. The problem is that not all monitors can go that low while maintaining decent contrast ratios.
    • Like Like x 1
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