1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

Monitor Color Calibration?

Discussion in 'Printing' started by Harvey Melvin Richards, Jan 11, 2019.

  1. I have a new Pixma Pro 100 that I still haven't set up. I keep reading about calibrating the monitor, but I am unsure on what all is involved. I am also red green colorblind, so I don't know if it will help to calibrate my monitor, or if I can even do it properly. If I decide to calibrate it, what will I need?
     
  2. dlentini

    dlentini Mu-43 Regular

    126
    Jul 26, 2015
    You need a good monitor and a monitor calibrator (another hardware).

    An example is the spyder monitor calibrator.
     
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  3. My monitor is a Dell ST2420L, I have no idea of it's quality.
     
  4. I have a Spyder. Gives you a good starting point. Biggest problem with monitors is that they are at least a stop too bright on the default settings.

    Viewing in proof colours gives me as accurate a match from screen to print as I've ever had so long as I use glossy paper.

    Worth watching some youtube videos on colour gamuts to get an idea of what you can achieve before paying for a calibration tool.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Ron
    If I remember correctly, Dell has 4 monitor lines - U series are the top of the line ultra-sharp ones, the P series are the professional grade, E series are the economy / value ones which leaves the S series as the high level consumer grade and includes everything from gaming monitors to higher quality consumer monitors.

    The following should give you a basic no tools calibration:

     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. Every monitor will benefit from colour calibration. It doesn’t have to be a high end monitor. It works on normal $200-$300 monitors as well as expensive ones - depending on calibration unit, projector tv’s, flat screen tv’s and laptops. I use a MacBook Air for all of my work, and I calibrate it so I know other calibrated monitors are seeing the images the way that I have prepared them (that’s the key - if the viewer isn’t using a calibrated monitor, it isn’t going to necessarily matter).

    Now the misconception often is that you need colour calibration in order to obtain accurate colour. And that is not really what you are trying to attain by setting a profile. There really is no such thing and every person has a preference on what they think is accurate colour. What you are doing is adjusting the monitor to a predetermined “standard” that will look close (because they may have far expensive and precise monitors compared to yours, so can’t be exact) to any other monitor that has been calibrated to that standard.

    That is important because if you send your image files to a print lab, you want them to be seeing the same colour, contrast and density that you see on your monitor. The resulting prints should not be a surprise then. Same if you are sending an image to say a commercial client for use or approval. If their monitor has been colour calibrated, they can make a judgement based on a screen image that looks the same or similar to what you saw when processing it.

    The process is quite effortless and simple - but it will cost a bit. I personally use the Xrite i1Display Pro and the Datacolor Spyder5 is also popular among others. Both brands offer less expensive units that will work - the difference is their lack of some custom settings if you are wanting to calibrate all kinds of devices.

    The usb puck sits on your monitor, and you run the included software (a few settings and adjust monitor brightness) and let it sit as the screen displays every color and makes a reading of each of those colours. Then a profile for your monitor is automatically created and generally set. At the end of the process, you can click a button that toggles between images with profile applied and without. Often you will notice the profiled monitor to be more yellow and darker - and will easily identify the unprofiled monitor as really blue, bright and harsh in contrast.


    ——
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Agree Agree x 1
  7. dlentini

    dlentini Mu-43 Regular

    126
    Jul 26, 2015
    Just want to add two things.

    You should also use a soft proofing profile for your printer, it is this that will try to match what you see on your screen with your printer.

    The other thing is that the standard “brightness” for a print is mid day sunny, so if you hang your print somewhere darker you might want to brighter up your photo before printing.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  8. StephenB

    StephenB Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    622
    Aug 29, 2018
    Somerset UK
    Steve
    I use a Dell P grade 24" monitor, although I've never calibrated it ( I wouldn't know how other than do a shade check) the prints I have done from UK firm DSCL come back very true to the colour and blacks of the monitor. Just read the above post, I do tweak the brightness a tad.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  9. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    I use X-rite color Munki. Is simple and can be used everywhere,even your TV set. I am sure some super sophisticates could find something wrong with it,but it works for me.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  10. You are correct. Colour calibration is not necessary. What happens with a majority of places that make prints, is that they make colour and density adjustments as part of their process. So you would likely never know the difference.

    I use White House Color Lab and they do not make any adjustments to the file before printing. So if the file is too dark or too light or off colour, that is what the print will look like when it comes back. The thing is that I want it that way so that I have full control over how I want the final image to look - it needs to be my judgement, not the person at the lab. So for that my monitor must be calibrated and I also have been provided with printer profiles for the papers that I use at the lab - and use those to Soft Proof for more accurate rendition on my monitor of how the paper print will come out (generally duller looking).

    For years I printed all of my work on my Epson printers, without colour calibrating my monitor. It works. It’s just that you have to really know what colour, density and contrast adjustments that you need to added to the file when printing so it comes out to your standard. Because with those adjustments to get a good print, your monitor will likely look quite different. So it is just a lot more work to create your own working standard. Colour calibration will make the differences between screen and print less noticeable. And of course the advantage of having a calibrator with more customizations settings, is that you can tweak the profile to look even closer between the monitor, your working environment and your printer if you prefer. Of course that only works when everything is in-house. Sending a file to someone else will not then be calibrated to their standard, so you would want to switch profiles on your computer, depending on needs.


    ———
     
  11. StephenB

    StephenB Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    622
    Aug 29, 2018
    Somerset UK
    Steve
    I don't want to get into a technical discussion I know little about, but the lab I use did/does have a 'pro' processing option where they print as the file received. I always used to use this function, however, my work is very simple and I'm more than happy to have it processed with the printer tweaking for a better looking copy. Using add-ons like Viveza in PS means you wouldn't want anything added saturation or sharpness wise. They have (DSCL), as a lab, gone very commercial (which most have to do to survive) and I'm not so sure the option I mentioned is still available. I'll soon find out as I'm getting some family portraits ready for printing.
     
  12. Yeah - I’m not a technical person either. I agree with what you stated. If you are getting the results that you are happy with, then that is all that matters. Most people never calibrate their monitors and get along just fine.

    ——-
     
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Mike Peters

    Mike Peters Mu-43 Regular

    103
    Jun 19, 2016
    Mike Peters
    The process is effortless, but you do have to decide what parameters you want to put into the software. A calibrated monitor is easy. Calibrated to what is the question that most everyone disagrees on. You will calibrate the brightness of the monitor and the color temperature of it also. The hardware part of it will determine the color depth of the monitor and take what it gets into making it behave properly.

    Personally I calibrate my monitors to a brightness level of 120 LUX and a color temperature of 5500° Kelvin. The bulk of my work is seen on the internet, but a good proportion also goes to print on all variety of media. I find this setting works across the board. I also output my images in sRGB which is best for monitors and also fits quite nicely into the mechanical reproduction realm of printing presses of all types and maintain color fidelity and saturation levels as per the file.

    When I print on my Canon Pro 1000 using Canon paper and the factory profiles, my results are very close to what I see on screen. If I'm going to process my files specifically for fine art printing, I'll output them at 16bits and Adobe RGB to take advantage of this printers ability to reproduce most of that color gamut.

    As far as the brightness, 120 LUX mimics a printed page quite nicely, so when something does go to press, it's not printing dark or light, but just right. It also works on the web too on all kinds of web sites. When you see work that shows up as consistently dark, the photographer has probably edited on a very bright monitor that is set at the factory at 240 LUX. Or if the work is too warm, their monitor is probably at the factory default of 9300° K.

    Calibration is important, but calibrated to what is even more important.

    Hope this helps.
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  14. relic

    relic Mu-43 Top Veteran Subscribing Member

    717
    Oct 21, 2010
    North Carolina, USA
    I don't know much about the subject but I want to address only one point you raised: I recently bought Color Munki Smile X-RiteColorMunki Smile Color Calibration Solution
    and calibrating the monitor with it does not involve any color judgement on your part, so being color blind does not matter. I just run the program and it runs different colors and does its calibration, with no input required from me. At the end, it shows me a photo "before" and "after'. That is it. I don't know if more sophisticated devices require you to make decisions or not as this is the only device that I've used. In my case, the yellow color on my monitor used to be almost indistinguishable from white, but after calibration it shows as distinctly yellow. I am very happy I got it.

    Edit: In case the hardware button on the monitor does not allow you to bring the brightless to a sufficiently low level (mine did not):

    Yes, my monitor was much too bright, and I couldn't get the brightness low enough with the button on the monitor, so I googled and found out that there is a Windows monitor calibration utility that allowed me to reduce the brightness well below what the hardware button provided. I did this before running the calibration with the Color Munki. I think, if I remembered correctly (although now I think it was some other Windows utility so what follows may not be the way I did it***) I right-clicked on the desktop and brought out the Graphics Properties, then reduced the brightness of all three colors trying to keep the proportions the same, which reduced overall brightness. Then I ran the calibration.

    *** I think I found how I reduced the brightness in fact: I clicked on the Start menu, and in the search box I typed calibrate display and clicked through the various "pages" until I got to the brightness page, and I adjusted that to show good detail in the white shirt without the glare of the original brightness.

    Apologies for my bad/confused memory.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2019
    • Informative Informative x 1
    • Appreciate Appreciate x 1
  15. Michael Schneider

    Michael Schneider Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    72
    Sep 28, 2017

    There is some latitude on the monitor. It is really nice if you have a decent monitor. You will want to calibrate the monitor. That way the color you see on the monitor, is the color you will print.

    I use Spyder 5 and displaycal open source software to calibrate.
     
  16. Mike Peters

    Mike Peters Mu-43 Regular

    103
    Jun 19, 2016
    Mike Peters
    Any monitor can be calibrated to good effect.
     
  17. I use the Spyder 5 Express for calibration, both on my desktop and on my laptop.
    @Michael Schneider@Michael Schneider I tried the displaycal open source to run the calibration but found it to be much harder to use, requiring much more time and effort from me.
    So I stick with the Spyder 5 Express program, it takes maybe 5 minutes to run the calibration and I rerun every quarter.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. Michael Schneider

    Michael Schneider Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    72
    Sep 28, 2017
    I would agree the Spyder 5 Express is quick and easy and does a good job.

    I use windows for photos and Linux for videos. I just use displaycal on windows because it also runs on Linux.

    It is better to have a basic monitor that is calibrated than a high-end monitor presents the wrong colors.

    Happy Printing,
    Michael
     
  19. Brownie

    Brownie Mu-43 Regular

    95
    Sep 3, 2018
    SE Michigan
    • Informative Informative x 2
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.