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DPChallenge Forums >> Hardware and Software >> calibrating monitor
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03/31/2008 11:30:11 PM · #1
My monitor seems to be calibrated strangely, since whenever I go and look at my photos on someone else's screen after having made them just right on mine, they look different --- usually a little more saturated, and a little darker (incidentally, it's a Dell 24 in., and I'm running Mac OS X Tiger)

I can't afford to buy one of those fancy hardware calibration things that calibrates your screen perfectly, so how do I get good results just in software? I've used the color calibration tools to get it just right, but apparently my "just right" just isn't the same as everyone else's.

What have other people done to get their monitors calibrated?

~Andrew
03/31/2008 11:48:52 PM · #2
It's extremely hard to get it right just by software and your eye. I'm guessing your monitor may be closer than the other ones you're looking at, but you'll probably have to buy the calibrator. They cost a few bucks, but are worth every penny.
04/01/2008 12:22:49 PM · #3
Fair enough....in that case, what do you recommend in terms of a calibrator? Poking around on Amazon turned up mixed results --- for almost every product, people seemed to either love it, or were convinced it made their monitor look terrible. I have a pretty low budget (I'm a student), but I have a birthday coming up, so I might be able to convince someone to pick up part of the tab ;)
04/01/2008 12:25:29 PM · #4
I have the Huey Pro and am pleased with it. I believe it was about $89 when I got it. I think somebody else has a model with a similar price. Search the forums here for a thread on it.
04/01/2008 12:27:42 PM · #5
Hey I have one that is only used once. Check out this thread.

If you are willing to spend a few bucks I will sell it to you. I paid $124Us and I am willing to part with it for $80.

//www.dpchallenge.com/forum.php?action=read&FORUM_THREAD_ID=752790

Everything is in the box... instructions, calibrator, cd, monitor wipes.

PM if you are interested.

Message edited by author 2008-04-01 12:29:33.
04/01/2008 12:27:58 PM · #6
Not to be rude, but have you done a Forum search for "monitor calibration"? This question come up at least once a week, so there are many discussions on the various options available.

I have a Pantone Huey. Cost me $60 and does great, but no frills.
04/01/2008 01:08:15 PM · #7
I am using Pantone Huey (Standard) and I find it makes the colors a little warm. I have heard that comment by others as well. However, I do like the appearance of my photos (heck everything) after the calibration. The colors are more vibrant and the contrast is better. Of course that might be because its more accurate.
04/02/2008 08:45:20 PM · #8
I have a Spider 3 Elite and it does a wonderful job. I would have been fine with the cheaper models too, but I really liked the shiny thing :D
And yes, on most cases everything looks a little warm. That's because common color spaces are defined around the 2.2 gamma 6500k white point temperature. While working in a very low light environment, the warming effect is unnoticeable, but in a fluorescent light environment, like the usual office, your eyes get tired after a while with the screen calibrated that way. At home, where it's dark most of the time I have the screen calibrated at 2.2 gamma and 6500K white point while at the office I find that 2.2 gamma and 7500K is a lot easier on the eyes.
When carefully calibrated the warming effect goes usually unnoticed and the color do not suffer from it.
And another thing, higher white point temperature requires a higher brightness of the screen to display the proper way. Most consumer screens are not able to do a good job after 7500k white point temperature. The problem is usually that after 7500K the screen can't go from pure black to pure white.

04/02/2008 09:12:11 PM · #9
I was considering this question myself, as I just got a new monitor for my birthday. The one at work is calibrated with an EFI ES-1000 spectrometer, a fairly expensive accessory for a Fiery print controller.

A lot of desktop printers have an eyeball calibration that gets it in the neighborhood and I was thinking perhaps there is something similar you can do with a monitor. Essentially the way they work you make the adjustments so that a process grey patch is as close as possible to a true neutral grey, with no color cast. I'll let you know if I come up with anything.

Or, I may just borrow the spectrometer one evening.
04/02/2008 09:23:38 PM · #10
Originally posted by yospiff:


Essentially the way they work you make the adjustments so that a process grey patch is as close as possible to a true neutral grey, with no color cast. I'll let you know if I come up with anything.


That would work if the all the screens would have the same color response through the spectrum. And they rarely do. The neutral grey patch should bring you around the desired result, but only a hardware calibrator can adjust the color curves as they need to be adjusted.
04/02/2008 11:29:05 PM · #11
Originally posted by drmario:

That would work if the all the screens would have the same color response through the spectrum. And they rarely do. The neutral grey patch should bring you around the desired result, but only a hardware calibrator can adjust the color curves as they need to be adjusted.


Agreed. and it's the same way with printers, especially once they get some wear on the internals. Such an adjustment is not exceptionally accurate, but it provides a ballpark adjustment that is more accurate than just cranking up the brightness till it pleases you.
04/03/2008 02:59:57 AM · #12
Spyder 2 pro.

Visual calibration can get you close as far as brightness is concerned, but when it comes to colour, you need special hardware. Theres little point in editing on a monitor that isn't hardware calibrated... do yourself a favor and make your next purchase a calibration device.

04/24/2008 02:14:55 PM · #13
I needed to dredge up this thread from a few weeks back, as someone in a Flickr group discussion posted a link to something along the lines of what I was talking about. It's not as good as a true color calibration, but for less serious users, it should at least get your brightness and contrast in the ballpark:
Monitor calibration page on Photo Friday
04/24/2008 02:24:31 PM · #14
First of all, make sure you are only viewing your photos in color managed software. Photoshop will apply an sRGB profile by default which is good, not too many other software applications (including all web browsers) actually do this correctly and it can make a HUGE difference - especially with a high gamut monitor.

I have both a Huey Pro and Spyder 2 Pro and, based on the gamma charts I've been using, the Huey Pro blows it out of the water! I may purchase a third calibrator down the road for comparison, but I'd go with the Huey for sure.

Oh, and if you are using an LCD monitor, check out the following site for some good calibration images: //www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

Message edited by author 2008-04-24 14:24:54.
04/24/2008 02:33:18 PM · #15
Fry's Electronics is selling the Huey for $39.99 after rebate.

//shop3.outpost.com/product/5085995?site=sr:SEARCH:MAIN_RSLT_PG
04/24/2008 03:31:23 PM · #16
That's a really good price. I have a Fry's close to the office. I wonder if they are selling it with that deal in the stores?
04/24/2008 05:41:25 PM · #17
i have a spyder2 express. seems to work just fine.
took a couple tries intially to get it working right, but slick as butter everytime now - with no fussing.


04/24/2008 08:29:59 PM · #18
Originally posted by yospiff:

That's a really good price. I have a Fry's close to the office. I wonder if they are selling it with that deal in the stores?


My local store was sold out but they were offering it at that same price. However in reading the packaging on the Huey Pro is appears that the standard version only works on CRTs not LCDs. Need to purchase the Pro for LCD monitors. It's $109 after a $20 rebate. So now I have to think about it.
04/24/2008 10:14:50 PM · #19
Originally posted by Moose408:

Originally posted by yospiff:

That's a really good price. I have a Fry's close to the office. I wonder if they are selling it with that deal in the stores?


My local store was sold out but they were offering it at that same price. However in reading the packaging on the Huey Pro is appears that the standard version only works on CRTs not LCDs. Need to purchase the Pro for LCD monitors. It's $109 after a $20 rebate. So now I have to think about it.


If you are interested check out my earlier post in this thread. I am willing to sell my Huey Pro. Its brand new it comes with all the packaging. $80.
Let me know.

Message edited by author 2008-04-24 22:16:01.
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