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Thread: Screen Calibration Too Dark

  1. #1
    TheArcane's Avatar
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    Joshua

    Screen Calibration Too Dark

    I recently purchased a Dell UltraSharp U2412M 24" LED LCD Monitor - 16:10 - 8 ms, and a Spyder4Pro. I tried to calibrate my screen, and it seems too dark. For example, if I go to amazon or look at any webpage that should be true white, it looks grey. At one point it asked me to turn the brightness of my screen down to mid range, so I turned it down to 50. I'm just wondering if I did something wrong...or if I should calibrate it for when I want to edit photos for printing, but change it back to normal when I want to do normal internet surfing and such.

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Screen Calibration Too Dark

    I don't know about the Spyder4Pro, as I use an i1, but when I develop a profile the first step is with the i1 is to do an ambient light reading to ensure that the measurements are done with the same lighting conditions that I would normally do my editing under.

    If, for instance, your developed your profile for a room with no lights turned on, your screen could have been set to be darker than you would want it under normal lighting.

  3. #3

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    Re: Screen Calibration Too Dark

    Many people have exactly that same problem. With our TV's and monitors we look at images that are way too bright and that will lead to photo problems especially if you are printing. Prints coming out too dark usually means your display is too bright. My calibration option for light is set as low as it will go. My own on-board screen brightness control is set to zero. It doesn't go all the way black, it just controls what little adjustment is available for the user. At first I found it a bit too dark but easily got used to it. At first I took the 10 seconds in the monitor menu to turn it up or down depending on if I was looking at my photos or the internet. Now I'm used to it and don't even bother anymore. Another related thing I did was change out the bulbs in my desktop lamp where I work to ones that are more suitable for the prints. It's not perfect but the 5000K CFL's are far superior to any wire bulb. Funny though I couldn't locate a local lighting shop that carried them. The only place I could find them was Walmart.

  4. #4
    Glenn NK's Avatar
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    Re: Screen Calibration Too Dark

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew1 View Post
    Many people have exactly that same problem. With our TV's and monitors we look at images that are way too bright and that will lead to photo problems especially if you are printing. Prints coming out too dark usually means your display is too bright. My calibration option for light is set as low as it will go. My own on-board screen brightness control is set to zero. It doesn't go all the way black, it just controls what little adjustment is available for the user. At first I found it a bit too dark but easily got used to it. At first I took the 10 seconds in the monitor menu to turn it up or down depending on if I was looking at my photos or the internet. Now I'm used to it and don't even bother anymore. Another related thing I did was change out the bulbs in my desktop lamp where I work to ones that are more suitable for the prints. It's not perfect but the 5000K CFL's are far superior to any wire bulb. Funny though I couldn't locate a local lighting shop that carried them. The only place I could find them was Walmart.
    Andrew:

    What lights did you actually get - I'm interested in looking into them.

    Perhaps a photo of the package?

    Glenn

  5. #5

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    Re: Screen Calibration Too Dark

    No information handy but I'll do some checking and let you know. I also have some information from another site I will forward you. Looks pretty good but a bit $$$.

  6. #6
    ajohnw's Avatar
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    Re: Screen Calibration Too Dark

    There is a bit of info on monitor calibration under tutorials at the top of these web pages. I suspect your problem is setting brightness and contrast correctly. There are test bars in the tutorial to help set these correctly. Practical information on calibrating LCD monitors also mentions making sure that the default contrast setting is used. There is also the aspect of the back light gamut mentioned in the tutorial. I am going to post another topic on that.

    Some sources eg the instructions for my colourimeter say set LCD panel contrast to 100%. Others say default contrast is either 50 or 100% on. Turns out in my case it's actually 70%. If you set your monitor to sRGB mode and then exit it for calibration it may leave the default contrast setting or if you reset to defaults. Another possible source is http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm if they have reviewed your monitor. They calibrate them and give figures for default calibration and what they managed to achieve. In my case that also confirmed that the default contrast is 70% but going on the tutorial test bars that is a little high. I think you can expect to calibrate several times to maximise dynamic range and gamut coverage.

    While nosing about for information I found that there are now some ISO standards for editing on monitors. They have been updated in a fashion which I suspect is aimed at improving the dynamic range of LCD monitors. Ambient 32 Lux max and D50 lighting. Noticing the earlier comment about compensating for ambient I suspect that needs some care. Take my situation. My PC isn't far from my lathe and the lighting there is 220 Lux. The desk the monitor is on receives 92 Lux where it doesn't receive any direct light - effectively reading light from the ceiling. The monitor screen receives 24 Lux on the screen. These figures result in a fair change in compensated gamma values. I've finished up with number ranging from 2.1 to 2.6. Visually I've concluded it's best to profile for a gamma of 2.2 rather than compensated sRGB. It's a question of how far to go really - recipes for neutral grey wall paint exist on the web and ISO mention allowing no source of natural light. I can easily swap the strip light for a D50 type and maybe add lighting to boost the light on the screen to 30 Lux which I suspect may give a sRGB calibration with an actual gamma of 2.2.

    I suspect people will have gone to all sorts of lengths to get round these sorts of problemss ??????????

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