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Thread: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

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    New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Hi photo friends! I'm from Northern California. I have a D90, 3 lenses. I'm just becoming comfortable with dSLR and PhotoShop and loving it. I'd like to pose a question for you. I know I need to get a monitor calibration system and am wondering if some of you would recommend ones with which you have had success and reliability. Reviews of some have been mixed and confusing. Thank you in advance.
    Last edited by Donald; 27th January 2012 at 07:03 PM.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Members

    Corky posted this in the introductory thread. Thought more of you might see it and post up your thoughts, so I moved it into this section.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Good question Corky, I could also do with some advice, thanks for moving this Donald

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    I'm sure members on here will advise what calibration devices they use ( I use Spyder 3 Pro), but can I suggest that you read the tutorial here on CiC. That really spells it all out, making it as easy as is possible to follow.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    I use Spyder 3 pro with Color Eyes Display pro software.Has worked great for me.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    I use a Spyder III colorimeter and software, with no problems. Keep in mind that there is a difference between calibration and profiling though. Calibration is the adjustment of monitor controls so that the monitor profile has to make the smallest adjustment possible; profiling is an on-the-fly correction to even out the differences after calibration.

    Most people mean "profile" when they say "calibration"

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    But do you definitely need to calibrate your monitor, Corky. Are you currently having problems with your colour display or printing?

    These colour improving systems aren't cheap for a decent system and the cheap alternatives aren't worth having.

    If you have a decent monitor which appears to be working OK and your prints are looking fine you may not see much improvement with amateur prints. However, if you are doing professional work, then it is a different matter because you will need absolute perfection.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    I am using the Pantone Huey Pro. If memory serves me right, it was under $100 and works quite well.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Thank you so much for all your responses to my request for feedback. I'm not a pro, but I have reached the level of wanting better print results & bigger prints. While pictures look good on the screen, I have varied results with printing - my own and outsourced - depending on which camera was used. A pro friend suggested I do the calibration. After reading up on the subject, I agree I need to go that route. I welcome all the feedback I can get.
    Last edited by Corky; 27th January 2012 at 10:12 PM.

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    re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Quote Originally Posted by Corky View Post
    Thank you so much for all your responses to my request for feedback. I'm not a pro, but I have reached the level of wanting better print results & bigger prints. While pictures look good on the screen, I have varied results with printing - my own and outsourced - depending on which camera was used. A pro friend suggested I do the calibration. After reading up on the subject, I agree I need to go that route. I welcome all the feedback I can get.
    I suggest you do monitor profiling too

    The other variable here is the printer -- printers need to be profiled too. Monitors use an additive (RGB) process with about a 6 stop effective dynamic range -- printers use a subtractive (CMYK) process with about a 4 stop dynamic range - so they're as different as chauk and cheese.

    If you really want colour accuracy, you really need a couple of things - the first is a copy of Real World Colour Management by Fraser, Murphy, and Bunting (2nd edition) (it's the industry standard reference text for learning colour management), and a colorimeter & specrophotometer kit like the Spyder III Studio Elite.

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    Re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Hi and welcome to the forums, I have used a Spyder3 Elite for about a year but now have an NEC monitor so I use Spectraview II software (free to download) along with it I use the i1 display 2 puck (purchased from Ebay states side at approx a third less than in the UK inc P&P )
    Russ

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    Re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    Corky:

    Welcome to the forum and to printing! You will find that getting into printing presents a whole new set of challenges to learn, but the benefit is that your best photos will no longer be confined to computer screens; you can display them on the wall where all your friends and visitors can see them. A good print, well displayed, is far more impressive than the same photo just displayed on a screen.

    You've come to a good place. There is wealth of knowledge here and plenty of helpful people. Yell out when you need help.

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    Re: New Member Query: Monitor Calibration & Profiling

    I use an eye-one display 2. It has functioned flawlessly, and once you figure out the not entirely intuitive software interface, it is extremely simple to use. My only regret is that I did not buy it sooner.

    IMHO, a properly calibrated monitor is essential. However, be prepared--it may or may not make a big difference. I have calibrated a bunch of monitors, and depending on the monitor and the video card, it may make a huge difference, or it may make only slight changes.

    While pictures look good on the screen, I have varied results with printing - my own and outsourced - depending on which camera was used.
    unfortunately, a calibrated monitor, while necessary, is not sufficient. Prints rely on reflected light, so they are not going to exactly match what you see on screen. Calibration will help you get the color balance more consistent, but it still won't make prints look identical. And apart from that, once you are printing, there is a whole array of other variables in play--what kind of paper you are using, what printer you are using, and how control color for the paper. The best is generally to have software control printing, turning off printer control of colors, and then to use either the paper manufacturer's ICC profile for your printer and the specific paper, or a custom ICC. In my limited experience, some prints come out great the first time with very little fussing, while others take a lot of tweaking, and I have had a few that I never got right. It takes patience.

    But first, calibrate your monitor. Without that, you are guessing.

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