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Thread: Calibrated monitors

  1. #1
    Panama Hat & Camera's Avatar
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    Antonio

    Calibrated monitors

    What is a calibrated monitor and how do I calibrate my monitor?
    Antonio.

  2. #2

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    Remco

    Re: Calibrated monitors

    Have a look at the tutorials about colour management on this site,
    that should answer your question, and explain the 'why' of monitor calibration/profiling.

  3. #3
    herbert's Avatar
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    Re: Calibrated monitors

    Calibration is the process of setting your monitor to output a specific brightness and mix of RGB to produce white light (colour temperature). For example a luminance of 100 candelas per square meter at D6500 standard light.

    Profiling is the process of determining what colour your monitor produces when you send it an RGB signal. This is done for lots of different RGB signals and a profile is built for your monitor on how it displays colour. The profile allows software to convert an image so that it will be shown the same on different output devices.

    The purpose of calibration and profiling is to make sure we are all speaking the same colour language, e.g. my red is the same as your red.

    Hope this helps.

    Alex

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Calibrated monitors

    Quote Originally Posted by herbert View Post
    Calibration is the process of setting your monitor to output a specific brightness and mix of RGB to produce white light (colour temperature). For example a luminance of 100 candelas per square meter at D6500 standard light.

    Profiling is the process of determining what colour your monitor produces when you send it an RGB signal. This is done for lots of different RGB signals and a profile is built for your monitor on how it displays colour. The profile allows software to convert an image so that it will be shown the same on different output devices.

    The purpose of calibration and profiling is to make sure we are all speaking the same colour language, e.g. my red is the same as your red.

    Hope this helps.

    Alex
    The important thing about calibration and profiling (and I suspect that you are referring to both) is that your monitor, straight out of the box is not reproducing colours accurately enough for post-processing. You need a profiling tool that creates a specific profile for the combination of video care and monitor(s) you are using.

    This means using a profiler like Colormunil, Spyder, i1, etc. These are a combination of hardware that you put on your screen and the software that makes the measurements. Your follow the instructions and the device is placed on your computer screen where it makes meausrements and from these builds a custom ICC profile that loads every time your computer starts up. I use the i1 which has been around for quite a few years.

    The other thing to think about when getting into colour work is the quality of your screen. While any screen can be profiled, the low-end screens do not display colours particularly accurately, so if you are using one you may still have some issues, albeit less so than with a one that has not been profiled.

  5. #5

    Re: Calibrated monitors


    Previous answers good, and the tutorials here are some of the best I've read. A couple of points that trip the unwary:
    • Note the difference between calibration and profiling above.
      • Calibration adjusts the monitor white point, brightness and tone (gamma) curve. It affects nearly all programs (except a few that bypass the monitor driver).
      • Profiling simply measures the characterics (mainly colour space) of the monitor, and only colour managed programs use it. Although nearly all programs get the benefit of calibration, only colour-managed programs get the right colours!
    • Most people don't use calibrated/profiled monitors, so will have random errors in brightness, colour, tone curve and white point. And every (uncalibrated/unprofiled) monitor will be slightly different! You have no control over how your images appear on the web, except on your monitor (and other calibrated/profiled monitors). However, most monitors are very roughly sRGB colour space, so always convert to sRGB for the web.
    • Even if your images go on the web, it's still worth calibrating/profiling your monitor. I mean: why add errors in your monitor to errors in other peoples' monitors?

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