Monitor Calibration question

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by kmarie, Apr 13, 2008.

  1. kmarie

    kmarie TPF Noob!

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    Not sure if this is the right place to post this question - I apologize if it's not!

    I've come to the conclusion that alot of my post processing issues are due to a poorly calibrated monitor.

    I've thought about buying a calibration device, like a spyder. But honestly, I've spent so much money on other photographic equipment that I'd rather not if I don't have to.

    So I thought I'd go out, buy a 18% Gray card and then create a 18% image (RGB values 128, 128, 128)...post the image on the screen and manually calibrate the screen until it matches the actual card.

    I'd like to know if this is a feasible way to do it? would it be fairly accurate? At least until I can purchase a Spyder? Any other ideas?

    Thanks!
     
  2. kobayashi

    kobayashi TPF Noob!

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    The problem is not with one RGB combination (e.g. 18% gray), but with most of them. If you set up your monitor to correctly display 18% gray, it won't display correctly other RGB combinations.

    The reason is that cheap monitors don't have linear color graphs (e.g. the ratio of 0-255 R/G/B values and the corresponding values shown by monitor are not constant).
    So, the only way is to use hardware calibrator if you want all colors to be displayed as correctly as possible (you can't expect cheap monitor to display 100% true colors, since even some more expensive can't do that).

    Other option is to D/L ICC profile for your monitor (not factory-made, but the one made with calibrator) from here:
    http://www.digitalversus.com/article-424.html
    Althou they claim that their profiles are correct, the problem is that even more expensive panels differ from one to another, not to speak about cheap ones.
    So, if correct colors are of grat importance, go for a Spyder 2 Express. All other ways (calibrate manually, or using ICC from internet) will cause you to always wonder if colors are allright?' during the postprocessing.

    P.S. You can also visit these and some other sites which you may find on Google, if you want to calibaret your monitor manually:
    http://www.normankoren.com/makingfineprints1A.html
    http://www.wikihow.com/Calibrate-Your-Monitor
    http://www.jasc.com/support/kb/articles/monitor.asp
    http://www.jasc.com/support/kb/articles/monitor.asp
     
  3. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    As much as you think you will be able to adjust it by eye...it just doesn't work. Do yourself a favor and get a Spyder.
     
  4. Jim H

    Jim H TPF Noob!

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    At a bare minimum (and i mean bare!) you can use Adobe Gamma which typically installs by default from PS going back to at least v5. You can access it from your control panel. You'd be much happier using a Spyder, Eye-One or even a Huey.
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    The biggest problem in your method is that the grey card will be coloured by the colour temperature of your room lighting. Where as the screen has it's own colour temperature to consider.

    I suggest you play with some gamma curves. Like suggested by Jim use something like Adobe gamma or the Nvidia display calibration wizard. I used these before buying my colorimetre and they worked sufficiently well.
     

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