View Full Version : Monitor calibration (again)
July 18th, 2004, 10:53 PM
I am thinking I might need to calibrate my monitor, and was looking for a cheap but decent solution. There seems to be several. My question is this:
Would I miss out if I get one of the low end ones? Like the $100 Colorvision Color Plus? http://images.amazon.com/images/P/B0001P5450.01-A1921S276TP630.THUMBZZZ.jpg (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001P5450/qid=1090207795/sr=1-1/ref=sr_1_1/102-7024586-9934500?v=glance&s=software) COLORVISION Color Plus ("] [url="http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B0001P5450/)[/url]
The next step up is the popular Spyder with PhotoCal software. It's $150. I am not a pro and I would prefer to spend money on lenses, so I want to spend the "right" amount to get prints that are a "pretty" good match to my monitor. Any other things I should keep in mind?
July 19th, 2004, 06:56 AM
I sat through a four hour seminar by a Monaco Color Management engineer last week. Pretty amazing stuff they have. Theirs is the only system that I've seen in action so my opinion may be a little biased.
Monaco has packages to do simply just your monitor or your whole system (printer and scanner, too).
We got to see it in action and the calibration part, for all three devices, takes all of 15 minutes...just the monitor is like 3 minutes. Then you can greate profiles to use in photoshop as well as printer profiles (you need a different one for each printer, type of paper, and ink if you use different types).
I'll buy one of their set-ups one of these days. Amazing stuff.
July 19th, 2004, 10:46 PM
Thanks for replying to my question, Chris.
The Monaco system seems to be $300+, a bit more than I had planned on spending, but I am sure I wouldn't mind to have it. :) Here's my thinking. There are different levels of calibration:
1. Know about calibration and adjust the monitor as well as you can by eye. <-- this is where I am now
2. Get a cheap colorimeter and build an ICC profile for your monitor, but use the one that came with the printer.
3. Get a high-quality system that calibrates both monitor and printer.
My question is, basically, does it make sense going from 1. to 2., or do I need to go to 3. to get great results? What do you guys think?
The cheapest system to get to #2 is about $90. Seems like a good deal, no?
Thanks for any insight!
July 20th, 2004, 06:46 AM
Some correction is better than none, I guess. Will you be able to add to whatever you get for $90 later on or will you have to start over and buy a different system?
July 20th, 2004, 11:43 AM
Going with your third option (calibrating the monitor and printer) will cost you $$$. There isn't a current "cheap" way to do it. You'll get what you pay for. Most likely frustration. :-)
July 20th, 2004, 10:17 PM
Some correction is better than none, I guess. Will you be able to add to whatever you get for $90 later on or will you have to start over and buy a different system? I don't know. It is hard to tell even from Pantone's website (www.pantone.com (http://www.pantone.com)). I think I will go either with the $90 ColorPlus or the $150 Spyder with PhotoCal, though I am not sure what the difference is. It seems ColorPlus doesn't create an ICC profile for the monitor. But do I really need that? Isn't enough that the monitor is well calibrated?
July 20th, 2004, 11:05 PM
I've read a few places that the Spyder/Photocal has some concerns when it comes to older monitors and as the monitor ages, your calibration may not be as accurate as you like. I know there was also concerns about LCD calibration with that particular device, but I think that the latest revision of it took care of that.
Most systems will have you find a baseline on your hardware.. Basically find the sweet spot of the brightness and contrast at the gamma in which you specify. Then you will either adjust the color temperature (cheaper monitors) or adjust the RGB color values (better monitors) for more precise control over the curves of each.
Then the calibration system will provide the ICC profile to use to allow your system to know that's how your monitor is set and the curves/values from the calibration test.
July 20th, 2004, 11:18 PM
Thanks for that explanation, Matt. It sounds like every calibration system will create an ICC profile. I have a ViewSonic P810, which is a decent but rather old monitor.
July 21st, 2004, 02:02 AM
What I'm embarrassed to admit is that I, after all these years, still do not fully comprehend what gamma is all about. OK, it has to do with light, and Macintosh typically defaults to a different gamma than Windows, but then what? Is it just a personal preference as to how bright you prefer your screen to be whilst editing? :confused:
Hmm, I wonder if Magne has covered gamma somewhere...
July 21st, 2004, 07:30 AM
But do I really need that? Isn't enough that the monitor is well calibrated?
Your monitor will drift over time resulting in the need for newer profiles. It was suggested that for any CRT less than two years old and any LCD that the minimum recal period is about once a month. The guy from Monaco does his once a week.
CRT's older than two years goes to at least once a week.
As a comparison, he said he knows of a lot of pro print shops that do it on a daily basis....seems a bit much to me though.
Rune, don't feel bad. Neither do I. I know what Gamut is but I'm not sure if they are related.
July 21st, 2004, 07:58 AM
dpreview recently expanded their glossary... http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Digital_Imaging/Gamma_01.htm