Is using a screen color calibrating software worth it?

Discussion in 'Graphics Programs and Photo Gallery' started by Gerardo_G, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. Gerardo_G

    Gerardo_G TPF Noob!

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    Hi guys. Can I satisfactorily calibrate the colors of my computer screen with programs, like Calibrize and QuickGamma, or is calibrating hardware the only real solution?

    Here are the links to the programs I mentioned:
    Calibrize
    QuickGamma


     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2017
  2. 480sparky

    480sparky Chief Free Electron Relocator Supporting Member

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    It depends on what your goals are for the images you take. If you're printing them, sending them to a lab, selling them, then yes, you may want to get into calibration.
     
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  3. SCraig

    SCraig Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Better than nothing but not by much and probably not worth the effort. To get any kind of decent calibration you will need a hardware calibration device.
     
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  4. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Definitely go with a device if you want your prints to match what you see on screen. Well worth the money.
     
  5. Gerardo_G

    Gerardo_G TPF Noob!

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    Thank you guys!

    Actually, I edit pictures for websites not for printing. Does that make a difference?
     
  6. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    If the web sites are viewed on non-calibrated screens, your calibration will have no effect. For web based viewing, I would just avoid colour critical images.
     
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  7. Destin

    Destin Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    It depends who your audience is and how serious you take your work. Is this a site for friends/family/strangers to view your work? If so then calibration probably isn’t critical: just know that they will all see a slightly different image (regardless of whether you calibrate or not.)

    If the site is to try and get noticed by art directors, commercial clients, etc then yes, you’ll still want to make sure you calibrate.

    Personally I keep my displays calibrated and 85% of my images are viewed electronically only. You never know the future for an image; and it’s easier to get the colors right now than to have to re edit it in the future when you or a client want to print it.
     
  8. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    So you're editing images for web sites that aren't your's? You're doing the editing to make some income?

    What type of display do you have - Twisted Nematic (TN), In-Plane Switching (IPS), Patterned Vertical Alignment (PVA)?
    What color bit depth is the display capable of?
    If your display is only a 6-bit display calibrating it isn't going to help much because the range of colors it can show is so lmited.

    As john.margetts points out most personal computer users and non-photography web site owners never calibrate their display(s), let alone calibrate their display on a regular basis, which is what image editing pros do.
    But image editing pros generally have higher end displays that are at least 10 bit displays costing from a thousand to several thousand dollars. some image editing pros use 16-bit displays that are in the $10,000(s) price range.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2017
  9. john.margetts

    john.margetts No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    He doesn't say they are not his and there is no reason to assume they are not. Of course, if he is employed to create/manage websites for others they might not be his images but that goes with the territory. The type of display that he has is not really relevant as he is not viewing the images. He cannot know what display Joe Public has.
     
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  10. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    The OP is viewing the image(s) to edit them.
    That in and of itself makes the type of display relevant.
    Also relevant is the color bit depth and contrast ratio of whatever display the OP is using.

    Of course he can't know what someone else is using to view imagesQ
    Using an el cheapo, 6-bit, 300:1 contrast ratio TN display to edit images is a worst case situation making calibration (of any kind) & color management an almost useless exercise.
     
  11. crimbfighter

    crimbfighter Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    I would say make the one time investment for a calibration device and you'll never have to worry about it. The other calibration component that is important is screen brightness, which you need calibration hardware to set properly. A dim monitor will cause you to push your shadows and darks way too high and when someone views your image on a brighter monitor it will be washed out. Transversly, if yours is too bright your images may appear very dark to other viewers. My opinion is that regardless of whether you're only editing for websites, you should always put your best work out there. You never know when an image you create will come back to you.
     

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