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Thread: Help calibrating laptop monitor

  1. #1

    Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Dear fellow photographers,
    I need some help here. I have two monitors my laptop monitor and a good IPS one. I have calibrated both using the Spyder 3 Pro but they look different. I know my IPS (the bigger one you see in the photo) is correct but in the laptop monitor even though there is no colour cast the skin tones are yellowish. I need to travel and I will need my laptop for editing.

    1) Is this a limitation of the laptop monitor which can't render good colour even though the calibration is right?
    2) If so is there a way around.

    P.D. It's not the viewing angle, please help I need to travel and I will be using my laptop for editing.

    Thank you,
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  2. #2
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Try redoing the profile with your Spyder 3 Pro. If the instrument was not sitting on the screen perfectly or you were doing the profiling under some unusual lighting situation, it is possible to get an incorrect profile. I've had that happen on a desktop.

    On the other hand, your laptop may just not let you get close enough. I know mine doesn't and while I have profiled it (with an x-rite i1), the colours are at best close. Don't forget that laptops are built to be light weight and maximum battery life. Things like good colour rendition; well that could be asking for too much. This is certainly the case with my unit (upper end of a mid-range laptop) and it really does not do colours well. I do basic editing on the road, but redo things on my desktop when I get home.

    It's not just laptops; I have a good main monitor that I use for colour work and a cheap secondary monitor to hold the menus, etc. Even though both monitors have been profiled under the same conditions, the cheaper TN display has a distinctive blue cast that I can't eliminate.

  3. #3

    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Thank you Manfred for your answer. I did try redoing the profile but I always get the same results.

  4. #4
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    One other trick is similar to what I use when I print (my screen it too bright and unless I compensate. the prints come out too dark).

    Edit the image on your laptop and get it as close as you can get it. Save your file in whatever format your editing software lets you (*.psd for Photoshop, etc). Load that file into your desktop and add a colour adjustment layer and tweak the image unit it is correct. Jot down the adjustments.

    If you are editing is Photoshop, get the image looking right on the laptop; add an adjustment layer and dial in the correction factors from your desktop. While the image may not look right on your laptop, it should look right on a profiled screen.

  5. #5

    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Great idea, thank you I will do that.
    But you know I don't think my laptop monitor is that crappy as to not being able to reproduce colours decently, I wonder If it is some limitation on my calibration device, the Spyder 3 Pro is kind of "old" already.
    Was thinking of getting the X-Rite ColorMunki Smile
    Last edited by Lightrider; 1st July 2013 at 05:43 AM.

  6. #6
    shreds's Avatar
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    It might be "old" but I would not have expected it to be so different. Or are you just trying to justify the upgrade to the X-Rite?

    Which brand of laptop/monitor are you using? It may not be just the calibration device that is at fault.

  7. #7
    Adrian's Avatar
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    For what it is worth we have two current maxed out spec iMacs, a retina MacBook Pro, a MacBook Air and other stuff that we recalibrate regularly, including a pro graphics screen.

    The laptops always look different to the iMacs and the iMacs look different to the hooded monitor: however, when calibrated the print output is very similar. It is hard to judge by eye from the screens themselves: test it with a quality print.

    I find that the retina laptop calibrates quite well, but the MacAir is hopeless to the eye on screen and the normal (core two due) pros that date back to 2009 are also not brilliant. May differ on Windows machines, but we don't use them for photography or video. Automatic brightness adjustment needs to be off, as typically the calibration instrument will back the brightness off an then the laptop will override it. I find using a calibrated profile on a laptop screen unsatisfactory most of the time, as my viewing preferences differ quite a bit from the screen calibrated profile. Hence I only worry about it if I am printing. And mostly, for printing we will run the images onto a desk top, check them on the pro graphics screen and print from there. Laptop is convenient for workflow on the move but not ideal for print masters. Hence we do not safe TIFF files on the laptops.

    Adrian

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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    [QUOTE=Lightrider;322096]Great idea, thank you I will do that.
    But you know I don't think my laptop monitor is that crappy .../QUOTE]

    Yes indeed they can be that crappy !

  9. #9

    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Ian,
    Actually buying something I likely do not need is what is trying to avoid. I can make mistakes , hope I ma wrong and I can fix this without buying another gadget. Thank you.

  10. #10

    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Thank you Adrian.

  11. #11
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Lightrider View Post
    the Spyder 3 Pro is kind of "old" already.
    Was thinking of getting the X-Rite ColorMunki Smile
    My i1 is a good deal older than your Spyder 3 Pro and still works fine. It's your screen, not your profiling tool for sure. Laptops screens can be that bad.

  12. #12
    Administrator Manfred M's Avatar
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Adrian View Post
    I find that the retina laptop calibrates quite well, but the MacAir is hopeless to the eye on screen and the normal (core two due) pros that date back to 2009 are also not brilliant. May differ on Windows machines, but we don't use them for photography or video. Automatic brightness adjustment needs to be off, as typically the calibration instrument will back the brightness off an then the laptop will override it. I find using a calibrated profile on a laptop screen unsatisfactory most of the time, as my viewing preferences differ quite a bit from the screen calibrated profile. Hence I only worry about it if I am printing. And mostly, for printing we will run the images onto a desk top, check them on the pro graphics screen and print from there. Laptop is convenient for workflow on the move but not ideal for print masters. Hence we do not safe TIFF files on the laptops.

    Adrian
    Apple was using crappy TN screens in their laptops until a year or two ago, so what you write about the older machines is no surprise at all. The desktop Cinema displays were downright awful from a colour accuracy standpoint. Apple seems to have smartened up and put decent screens in their premium priced products lately.

  13. #13
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    Re: Help calibrating laptop monitor

    I had a similar problem some time ago and found that the Nvidia graphics card software was over-riding my Spyder created profile. I would calibrate but it never loaded the Spyder profile when computer was restarted.
    There was a thread in these forums some time ago- might be worth reading if you can find it-

    Forum>Tips & Techniques>General Photography Discussion>Going crazy with Windows 7 .icc colour profiles.

    I am not saying this is your problem-but just another idea to add to the colour match conundrum.

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