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Thread: How to make monitor darker than zero?

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    How to make monitor darker than zero?

    I have come to the sad realization that my Asus PA246Q is too bright and can not be made dark enough by turning the brightness to zero. My prints are always darker than the screen. Are there any other methods to make the screen darker? Is there any film or glare screen type element that I can put over the screen that will remain photographically neutral? FWIW I have a core i7-950 computer with an Nvidia Geoforce GTX 460 SE video card.

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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    Your screen is one of the top ones available in its price range for photography editing. (I am planning on getting one) You don't mention gamma or contrast adjustments or a calibration tool. Some more info would be helpful.

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    If you're using a software such as Light Room, you can softproof images before printing. Light Room also lets you upload the icc profile of whichever printer you're using (and paper in some cases), so that you can accurately see how they will turn out.

    Prints will always end up darker, than images viewed onscreen. It's a isssue of viewing refleceted ambient light(print), vs LED backlighting(onscreen images).

    Andrew's suggestion of a calibration tool would also be useful. With my Huey Pro, I can set Gamma, and Brightness.

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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    I have Basiccolor Display 5 but have found it difficult to use. I use Lightroom 4 and I do softproof. I still can't get the prints to match the monitor. That is why I think the monitor is too bright at its lowest setting.

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    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    Just to confirm, I'm sure you've already gone through all of this, but it's best to start from basics. What printer are you using? Are you sure you've got the correct icc profile when softproofing? Also, are you sure you've checked that little box in LR that says simulate print&paper?

    This is not a limitation of Light Room - I've done quite a bit of printing directly from LR, and have only had an issue just recently with Costco - which was resolved by finding out it was an error on their part at the point of printing.

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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    I have an Epson 1400. I have the printer/paper ICC profile. I checked the simulate paper/ink box. The printer does not control any of the color management, only Lightroom.

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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    Alan - you will never, ever get your monitor to match you printer output. A colour managed workflow means your colours will be consistent, but when you get to printing, there are a number of other factors to remember.

    First of all, your screen uses a transmitted light source that is additive RGB while your print uses a reflected light source that is subtractive CMYK. The two can be close, but certainly not identical.

    Your print using a reflective process has two other issues. First of all, your whites are defined by the paper you are printing on (i.e. I'm pretty sure your printer doesn't have a cartridge labelled "white"). This means the whitest colour you will see is the colour of the paper stock.

    The other issue is the quality and intensity of your light source when you view your prints. Normally one colour balances prints to the colour temperature of the lights you are planning to view them under, and in the absence of any additional colour temperature data, indirect daylight is the "default" value used. When I print in my dark basement office, my images come off the printer looking dark and the colours don't look right courtesy of my fluorescent lighting in the room. If I look at them on a sunny day in my kitchen, where I have large north windows and smaller windows to the east and west, they look pretty well bang on.

    Softproofing is an emulation process and takes into account the paper and printer icc profile, but again, there are some underlying assumptions that look a lot like the kitchen scenario for viewing. They give you an indication, but it won't be perfect. I still find that the best way to get the colours / brightness bang on is to do test prints, based on the light I will be displaying the images under, followed by a bit of tweaking.

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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    Video Card Program Settings - I may be digging too deep but there are many options relative to each program and browser. There are settings for anisotropic filtering, antalising, and more. Does anyone know how these should be set and whether I should be playing with these at all?

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    Moderator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alandb View Post
    Video Card Program Settings - I may be digging too deep but there are many options relative to each program and browser. There are settings for anisotropic filtering, antalising, and more. Does anyone know how these should be set and whether I should be playing with these at all?
    Carefully said, add-on video cards are primarily designed for gamers and a lot of the functionality in the setup programs is primarily designed to let the gamers tune their cards for optimal performance on the video games that they play, and there is little to no overlap for photographic PP work.

    At best, some photo editing software (Photoshop is the one that I am thinking of here) uses OpenGL2 for some limited functionality like rotating images. Any Intel, AMD or nVidia video card (integrated or add-on) will be OpenGL2 capable. If you get into video editing and video compositing, then some software (Adobe's Premiere Pro and After Effects come to mind) take advantage of nVidia's CUDA technology to speed on screen playback by using the GPU rather than the CPU for some rendering functionality. This does not impact your screen display at all.

    For PP work, using an external profiling device to calibrate and profile your screen is all you will need. If you change the video card settings after profiling your screen, you will need to re-profile as you will have changed the settings that you built the profile under.

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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    I think the basic answer is to 1) under the Splendid settings use the Standard Mode as opposed to User Mode. My eye sees this as a better view. 2) boost the brightness in the Print module of LR 4. I will have to accept that it will never be perfect but it is close enough. My thanks to everyone who helped me work through this.

    This question may be off-topic but my calibration software, Basiccolor Display 5, to determine the white and black points, has the option to take an actual measurement. It calculates a white point of 63 and a black point of .19 (I forgot the units). Using these values, it seems to calculate successfully and then validate. Do these values make sense? The other settings are D65 and "l", not gamma 2.2. I don't know about other software, but this one will give error messages and/or fail a validation test if the "wrong" values are put in. This is why I mentioned, in an earlier post, that this software is cumbersome.

  11. #11
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    Re: How to make monitor darker than zero?

    Hi Alan,

    I've been watching this thread. There are lots of misconceptions about color management/calibration/profiles, etc. Here is a link to a webinar by xrite. I have no connection with xrite nor do I consider myself an expert on the subject. But I do use their products and software and they work. I hope you will take a look at it because it describes the problem and solution we all have in getting what we see on the monitor onto a print. Good luck.

    http://www.xritephoto.com/ph_learnin...entdateid=5292

    Paul S

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