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Thread: Spyder4Pro

  1. #1
    whited3's Avatar
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    Spyder4Pro

    Hi,

    To date I've borrowed an older Spyder to calibrate my monitor but these days I find I'm using my laptop with an external monitor (one of two depending on whether I'm at work or home) so I need a calibration device that'll do multiple monitors.

    Any comments on the Spyder4Pro or Elite?

    Any other prsuggestionsswouldwoiuld be welcome too.

    Cheers,

    Mark

  2. #2
    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    I have the Spyder4Pro and use it on my laptop and my wife's desktop. It is easy to use and does a excellent color calibration. When I first got back into digital photography I began to edit images without the display being calibrated. Recently reviewing them they look horrible and will have to be reworked. Now I calibrate my display at least every two weeks.

  3. #3

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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Hi Mark,

    If you're only using one monitor at a time then you don't need the pro version of the software to PROFILE them (not calibrate as everyone keeps saying -- minor gripe for the day!) - you simply need to tell your PC which profile to use for each monitor (easily done).

  4. #4
    whited3's Avatar
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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    Hi Mark,

    If you're only using one monitor at a time then you don't need the pro version of the software to PROFILE them (not calibrate as everyone keeps saying -- minor gripe for the day!) - you simply need to tell your PC which profile to use for each monitor (easily done).
    Thanks Colin. I'm using my laptop in extended desktop mode where I run CS5 on the external monitor and Bridge/Canon ZoomBrowser on the Laptop's screen. Then, just to be difficult, I use a different external monitor at work with the same laptop. Hence why I think I need the Pro.

    Also, my office is very bright where as my study is quite dark, so I think the ambient sensor in the Pro would be helpful.

  5. #5

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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by whited3 View Post
    Thanks Colin. I'm using my laptop in extended desktop mode where I run CS5 on the external monitor and Bridge/Canon ZoomBrowser on the Laptop's screen. Then, just to be difficult, I use a different external monitor at work with the same laptop. Hence why I think I need the Pro.
    Ah - that's a "maybe" then - Personally, I'd just apply a profile and see which screen changes; if it's the external one then "problem solved".

    Also, my office is very bright where as my study is quite dark, so I think the ambient sensor in the Pro would be helpful.
    Personally, it's the first thing I turn OFF whenever I setup a system - great theory - absolutely hopeless in practice, IMO.

  6. #6
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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    If you're only using one monitor at a time then you don't need the pro version of the software to PROFILE them

    Could you just clarify that for me please? I currently have one monitor and Spyder 3. If I add a second monitor Spyder 3 will not allow me to profile each monitor separately and I'll have to get a pro version instead? Thanks!

  7. #7
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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Hi Mark. I used to use Eye One cablibration but after updating my Os to Lion (mac user), i had to change to a diffeerent device, and the one I am using now is Colormonki Photo. It is not expenssive, very easy to use and you can calibrate your monitors (single or dual monitor systems) as well as your printer. Check it out as it is also a good option.

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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Perhaps a silly question but, if I I'll never know unless I ask.
    Does the monitor really matter when using these type of devices?
    I have a LCD and LED monitor setup, both in the middle class range as far as quality goes. Both are non-ips. Im starting to get into LR and photoshop more these days.
    Would it be a waste of money to buy the spyder4pro for my monitors? Or will I see a difference?

  9. #9
    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Mars

    Others with more technical knowledge will, hopefully, also offer their opinion on this. But from my point of view:

    Quote Originally Posted by marstar View Post
    Does the monitor really matter when using these type of devices?
    I think it's fair to say that the monitor does matter irrespective of whether you use a tool such as Spyder. But that does not mean that lower end monitors will not do a good job. It all depends on your demands. So, middle-range monitors are, in my opinion, more than adequate for the vast majority of us enthusiasts.

    Quote Originally Posted by marstar View Post
    Would it be a waste of money to buy the spyder4pro for my monitors? Or will I see a difference?
    1) No it won't. 2) Yes you will. Or to be more precise, we will. If you have your monitors properly profiled and calibrated, then you can be confident that what you are producing will be seen exactly the same by the rest of us that have profiled and calibrated. You will also be producing finished images that are 'correct' as opposed to correct for your monitor only.

  10. #10

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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Thank you for your reply Donald.
    Seeing as I do not want to be wasting my time editing and touching up my photos just to be surprised that the colors are off after printing, I will definitely be picking one up in the near future.
    I guess I could also look into a new monitor... but I assume that is another forum all in its own.

  11. #11

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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    Hi Mars,

    There are a lot of things that can throw colour & levels off -- so it's really just a case of eliminating as many of the variables as you can.

    Some of these are:

    - White Balance (use a grey card)

    - Camera / lens colour inaccuracies (built a custom camera colour profile)

    - Monitor performance (use a colour profiler like the Spyder 4)

    - Viewing conditions (eg walls with strong colours) (use a viewing hood)

    - Printer performance (built custom printer / media / ink profiles)

    As a general rule though, colour management starts be shooting a grey card at the time, and processing on a profiled monitor.

  12. #12
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    Re: Spyder4Pro

    I quite agree with the advice that has been offered. The weakest link in the entire workflow is your monitor, and they only way to get a good calibration on it is to use a profiler. I have an Eye-1 profiler.

    When it comes to monitors, the cheap, bottom end units are built to a price-point and the quality of the colour output is not an important consideration. This is very much related to the technology these units are built on. I use an medium-expensive main monitor where I work and a cheap secondary monitor to hold the various pallettes and other tools I work with. The main monitor profiled quite nicely, and even though I did do a profile for the secondary monitor, the colours are not great. I just can't get the blues right.

    I don't recalibrate all that often. When I was using a CRT monitor, I recalibrated at least monthly, but with the LCD unit, there really is minimal colour drift and when I compare the profiles even 6 months apart, the differences are likely due to measuring error. Don't forget that you should be doing colour correction work is a room with neutral walls and nothing around to throw off your colour vision / sense. I try to work with very limited light in the room. I agree, having a test shot with either a gray scale or white balance target gets you on the right track very quickly, with minor tweaks for artistic purposes....

    As for printers, I've heard arguments both ways on the need to calibrate or not. I belong in the don't calibrate camp, so long as you are running the correct ICC profile for your printer / paper combination. I guess I figure that the ink and paper manufacturers have the technology to profile their product a lot better than my relatively inexpensive equipment. I've never had a problem using the "straight out of the box" profile.

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