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Thread: Calibrating monitors using Spyder Calibration device

  1. #1
    Alis's Avatar
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    Calibrating monitors using Spyder Calibration device

    I just got this device (Spider III Elite calibration device) and started using it. First of all, I went back to the images I have posted or edited over time and was shocked to see how they look like now that I have managed to somehow calibrate the monitor

    But there was a few problems I had during the calibration itself. Since the device does not come with a good operational manual, I am posting them here for some help.

    Mainly my question is about the values the wizard asks me during the process: the temperature value for example. It is suggesting these numbers and I accepted them but have no idea what it should be. Also there options like need for recertification and automatic adjustment with changes in ambient light.

    Also for measuring ambient light, I am not sure how I am supposed to position the device, should the sensor be facing me or the monitor, or doesnt matter, and at what distance from the monitor should I place it. And are these small details that important in the final result anyway?

    Also, should I recalbrate the monitor every time I start it since the ambient light is never the same at different times during the day.

    I think this enough for start. I appreciate any comments and adivice.

    Cheers.

  2. #2

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    Re: Calibrating monitors using Spyder Calibration device

    Hi Ali,

    Quote Originally Posted by sedali View Post
    I just got this device (Spider III Elite calibration device) and started using it. First of all, I went back to the images I have posted or edited over time and was shocked to see how they look like now that I have managed to somehow calibrate the monitor
    It must be a bit like a blind man who has his sight restored and gets to look at himself in the mirror for the first time!

    Mainly my question is about the values the wizard asks me during the process: the temperature value for example. It is suggesting these numbers and I accepted them but have no idea what it should be. Also there options like need for recertification and automatic adjustment with changes in ambient light.
    Generally the defaults are just fine. Officially, the lighting standard for evaluating images is D50 (all of this will be explained in the Real World Colour Management book when it arrives) (D50 is in essence a 5000 deg light which is quite yellowish), but it's often nicer to work with D65 lighting (6500 deg lighting which is much whiter - but non-standard). My suggestion is that D65 will probably be best for you.

    In terms of re-certification, just ignore it. In terms of recalibration, 2 or 3 times a year will be ample (LCD screens don't change that much).

    Also for measuring ambient light, I am not sure how I am supposed to position the device, should the sensor be facing me or the monitor, or doesnt matter, and at what distance from the monitor should I place it. And are these small details that important in the final result anyway?
    The Spyder III has an ambient light sensor in the opposite side of the device to the bit you place up against the screen (unlike the Spyder II which you had to turn around) - so you'll want to place the business side against your screen, and don't worry about the ambient sensing - it'll do that all by itself.

    In terms of ambient sensing - IN THEORY - you need to re-do it everytime the ambient lighting changes, but in practice it won't make any noticeable difference so long as the changes aren't dramatic (such as the difference between working in your office compared to working outside). You can create different profiles for each location, but personally I wouldn't bother (too much of a hassle to change each time you move).

    The BIGGEST issue for you is to make sure the screen brightness doesn't change - as laptop screens typically do depending on whether or not they're plugged into main power or running off batteries.

    Does this help for starters?

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    Alis's Avatar
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    Re: Calibrating monitors using Spyder Calibration device

    Thanks a lot, Colin. Very helpful as always. I think I have been making the LCD brighter than needed and that is why most of my pictures are a little bit too dark.

    Just to be sure, this is all about printing right? I do not use a personal printer at home, I upload them to online sites and print them there. I mean I have done this all to get the colors right on prints.

    Thanks.

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    Re: Calibrating monitors using Spyder Calibration device

    Quote Originally Posted by sedali View Post
    Thanks a lot, Colin. Very helpful as always. I think I have been making the LCD brighter than needed and that is why most of my pictures are a little bit too dark.
    Yes - that's a common problem. To be honest, I usually see far more benefit come from levels adjustments than colour changes when calibrating and profiling peoples monitors for the first time.

    Just to be sure, this is all about printing right? I do not use a personal printer at home, I upload them to online sites and print them there. I mean I have done this all to get the colors right on prints.
    It's really all about standardisation - if someone doesn't adhere to it then things don't turn out as expected. Printing is "the next" step - meaning that standardisation is still required, but it sounds like in your case it's the printers who are taking case or that part.

    If nothing else, consistency is a major benefit - even if things aren't perfect (as will always be the case when you try to map an image from additive RGB display to a subtractive CMYK process) (and with different gamuts to complicate things even more), you can still learn to compensate. The worst scenario is when printing becomes a "lottery" with different results each time.

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