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Thread: Monitor calibration with spyder2pro

  1. #1
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    Monitor calibration with spyder2pro

    Hi,

    I am just starting out at trying to do professional close-up plant photography. I have bought a new laptop (HP ENVY dv6-7300ea Notebook PC) and I have been trying to calibrate with with a spyder2pro. I noticed that all the laptops screens in the shop had eye-searingly bright whites, and so I bought the one that was least bad in this respect. However I am still finding that it is far too bright and hurts my eyes so much that I can't use it.

    I ran spyder2pro and changed the target to 2-2-5000, which helped a lot. However, I wondered if I should also change the luminance. I understand that the value should be somewhere between 100 and 150.

    Do you think I'm on the right track? I'm a bit concerned that I may just have bought a bad laptop and should be returning it. My previous machine is a Satellite pro U400-142 which has very nice muted whites, and I have no problem at all, with it. I have actually never had a problem with bright whites before, so I think it must be a new fashion for laptops to have very bright whites. (The apples were not like that but were out of my price range)

    Thanks!

    J

  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Manfred Mueller

    Re: Monitor calibration with spyder2pro

    I`ve had a quick look at the laptop`s specs and unfortunately, there is no information given about the screen. Given its relatively low price, is suspect you are dealing with a low gamut TN type display that is not particularly well suited for accurate colour reproduction. Ideally you would be looking for a unit with an IPS screen, but these are only offered on some very high end models.

    The fact that your old laptop had muted whites is neither here nor there because we don`t know how accurately it reproduced colours. I personally only use laptops for image editing when haven`t got access to a good desktop. Laptops are primarily built to be portable and have a reasonably long battery life. Unfortunately, a quality display not usually a priority for most users.

  3. #3

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    Have a guess :)

    Re: Monitor calibration with spyder2pro

    I'm not familiar with that particular model, but in general, laptop screens aren't the best for editing images because usually the contrast varies wildly with the viewing angle. If this is the case with yours then you'll get the most benefit from attaching and external IPS-type monitor.

    With regards to your question though, the short answer is "it depends on how you like it". The "book" says to run them at lower luminance levels (like 100), but then again, the "book" also says the surrounding environment should be "subdued" and of "neutral colour" as well. In practice though there can be significant variation on that theme and one can still get good results; personally, I run my main monitor at 200 cd/m2 (I like it bright for better evaluation of shadow detail) - but - I also run it in an 8 x 4m office that has 12x 40w overhead fluorescent tubes (and with yellow walls to boot!).

    So to a large extent it comes down to personal preference. If your current setup is around - say - 170 cd/m2 and you're in a subdued lighting area - and you don't like bright light sources - then it may well be too bright for you. And if that's the case then by all means turn is down.

    The "proof of the pudding is in the eating" though - and if you have it dimmed to the point where it's comfortable - but you can't see shadow detail that you should be able to see - then that's a problem. Remember when you're processing to also keep an eye on the histogram; generally, if it looks "OK" on the screen but the image falls well short of the top end of the histogram then it'll look a bit flat (I say "generally" because there are exceptions, but usually that's the case).

    If in doubt, post some images here that you've processed, and I'll give you some feedback as to what they need to look ideal.

    PS: Small pointer -- you're not just calibrating your screen - you're also profiling it ... there is a difference. Calibration uses hardware controls to adjust things like basic contrast and brightness; profiling then "picks up the slack" by creating a translation table that fine-tunes the other parameters. Ideally, one wants to get the calibration as close as possible before profiling, but because many people aren't comfortable doing this, the manufacturers of the likes of the Spyder II generally just suggest setting the monitor to it's defaults (which is usually "close enough" I might add).

    Hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Andrew76's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor calibration with spyder2pro

    Great advice. I too use a laptop as my primary computer, but I have a calibrated, profiled monitor that I plug into when I do any editing.

    You need something larger, and with better display than what a laptop can generally offer. Also, my large monitor is in my home office, which allows me to control the light in the room, so the calibration is always corrected to the ambient light - which is another problem laptop users face with mobile monitors.

  5. #5
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    Re: Monitor calibration with spyder2pro

    Hi,

    Thanks so much for all your advice. Unfortunately a desktop isn't an option (for reasons related to my main job as a mum).

    I'll have a go at turning down the luminance. :-)

    J

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