#)%(#$% Monitor Calibration

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by manaheim, Aug 31, 2008.

  1. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I hate these stupid cheap fast LCD panels. The color on a lot of them is horrific. I'm constantly fiddling with the stupid calibration, and I never trust it because it never seems right, so then I'm like "ok, did I just screw it up? What about the fact that these pictures all look right on all my other monitors? Are they just screwed up?"

    aaaaaaaaa!!!
     
  2. tirediron

    tirediron Watch the Birdy! Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2005
    Messages:
    37,322
    Likes Received:
    10,639
    Location:
    Victoria, BC
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Have you got a calibrator?
     
  3. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah, I have a spyder. It claims I'm currently calibrated. It probably is, but I think I had it just sliiiiiiiightly off for a while, so now the image I've been staring at as my desktop background looks slightly wrong to me.

    I also have it up on my laptop next to me (not calibrated), and it looks sliiiiiightly different on that.
     
  4. epatsellis

    epatsellis TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2008
    Messages:
    522
    Likes Received:
    17
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    If it's really important to you (I can tell you that it is to me) you really should be using CRT monitors in a light controlled environment. With a good quality CRT, you can pre calibrate, setting the gray scale and whitepoint quite readily. You can't do that with most, if not all LCD monitors. Any calibrator will only get your grayscale tracking and (hopefully) the gamma right, it can't do a thing about a reduced gamut, and while to a point it can linearize a display, the further off it is before you calibrate, the more likely you are to need more frequent calibration.

    erie
     
  5. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    That may have been true in 2006, but LCDs have come a long way these days and have overtaken CRTs in terms of colour fidelity. The question is only what LCDs.

    It's all about the panel and the backlight. The super fast LCDs you are talking about are TN Film panels. Often they are only 6bit, they don't even display all the 8bits. They just process in 8bits and thus are advertised as such. That and their chroma depends on viewing angle along with their brightness etc. I think a minimum for any photographer would be a PVA, S-PVA or H-PVA panel. These are the middle in terms of speed and colour accuracy and are less dependant on viewing angle. Vertical angle doesn't affect chroma, only lateral does and is often a slight red/green shift in the dark areas of the panel. I think this would be a minimum screen for proper calibration to work, and it can display 8bits.

    Now to the proper CRT replacements (for photographers anyway). You're after IPS panels, such as Apple Cinema displays, NEC SpectraView displays, and some other high end displays from Eizo, Samsung, and even Dell make a few (upper end of the ultra sharp series). Even the cheap ones have a wide viewing angle with no notable colour change. The expensive ones have 12bit colour processors and internal colour lookup tables so that calibration is done on a hardware level and no monitor dynamic range is lost through adjustment. These screens are great in wide gamuts too.

    But they suck for movies and games. (most anyway, some newer IPS panels are acceptably fast and are used in high end TVs) My panel (NEC Spectraview LCD2690WUXi) gives me motion sickness when playing games, and if you're into fast moving objects AND precision colour then CRT really is your only option. Otherwise CRTs are only likely to ruin your eyes.
     
  6. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah, the problem I have is I also play games, so I have one of the stupid fast panels. I am once again drifting towards needing two completely different machines at home but I really really really don't want to go back down that route again.
     
  7. notelliot

    notelliot TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    Messages:
    827
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    why not a second display? one for photos, keep the current one for gaming.
     
  8. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2007
    Messages:
    6,111
    Likes Received:
    15
    Location:
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Having 2 LCDs, you need to consider a few options:

    - Its not mandatory, but it "looks better" if the 2 are the same size/make/quality.

    - Watch your brand/make/model of video card, some let you calibrate each screen seperately, some do not.

    - Space is a consideration, but take quality over size if you plan to do something on the screens that requires colour accuracy. A high quality 14" LCD is better to work on than a 27" crappy quality LCD monitor.

    - CRTs still are nice, but *man*, are they ever hard on the eyes in comparison!

    For playing around, I have 2 computers, one is with a dual LCD display, the other with a 19" CRT (the other 16 computers I have are for work use only). I often borrow my friend's spyder to calibrate the monitors and results are more than acceptable and close to consistant results between the LCD and CRT. However, I only calibrate one of the LCDs for photo work, the other is for general use and where I place the menus and what not when doing photo work (I set the "menu" LCD a little brighter and higher contrast, makes it easier for me to see the menu selections).

    I'll look into getting my own monitor calibrator soon, but not sure which one I will get. More than likely the Spyder Pro 3, as it can do 2 monitors.
     
  9. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Yeah that seems like the logical answer, I just hate the idea of it.

    You'd have to understand where I've come from to understand my strong resistance to seemingly simple solutions. :lol:

    I'm an IT guy by trade and 5 or so years ago I had no less than three monitors on my desk and about 5 machines running in my office. Plus two (sometimes three) servers running in the basement, and my wife's machine. I had computer parts in piles all over my office, and occasionally it would spill into an empty flat space like the dining room table (which invariably became (and becomes) my crash/build spot).

    It was crazy, it was loud, it was hot.

    I actually built my last house specifically designed to handle this load with a dedicated cooling unit for my office and a dedicated power circuit as well.

    At some point, I decided I had absolutely had it. I wanted my office to be an office, not a datacenter. Over the course of a year, I whittled down the infrastructure to one machine in the office and one server. I worked myself down to one monitor, keyboard, and mouse. I cleaned up the mess, made a nice organized repository for parts and cables in the basement, and bought some nice furniture. I even painted the walls with that faux suede brown finish you see at Home Depot all the time. It looks @#$)(# awesome.

    Now I can focus my energy on getting my ONE machine to work the way I need it do... and I actually have space on my desk for things I actually need to work on! Obviously, however, this means that I have to make some sacrafices that more specialized hardware would handle better... such as gaming rigs vs. photoprocessing ones.

    There is another benefit... invariably the game machine I run is the most powerful machine in the house, and therefore is very attractive for other purposes, such as running Photoshop. This usually results in pretty much everything except office running on the game machine anyway.

    So the thought of even going one tiny step back towards that chaos literally streses me out. In the end, I'll probably have to do it anyway... I just reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeally don't want to.

    Good tips, Jerry. Thanks.

    Now I need to go find a semi-economical LCD with good color reproduction.


    BTW, after another 2-3 tries, I think I have the monitor I have pretty much spot-on... I think. I'm relatively convinced that a couple of my images were just corrected out of whack. I misunderstood a step when I color corrected it last, and last night went "oh god no, I didn't realize what it meant and I've been running this way for two months!"

    It's all in the blues with this panel. They're horrible. The reds seem fine.

    *goes off to newegg to look up some panels*
     
  10. Sandspur

    Sandspur TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Messages:
    241
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Pensacola, FL
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Chris,

    I don't think you're gonna want to hear this, but the best deal on a really high quality monitor for photography is a refurbished 20 Apple Cinema Display direct from Apple.

    Originally around $1300 i think, you can get one for $499.

    I've got one and it's ... well, incredibly accurate - right out of the box.

    If I remember correctly, you have a thing about Apple. But, hey! You can always put duct tape over the logo and pretend it's a Dell or something.
     
  11. manaheim

    manaheim Jedi Bunnywabbit Staff Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2005
    Messages:
    14,394
    Likes Received:
    3,261
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    :lol: Wow, you remembered I have an Apple issue. That's scary. I need to be less vocal about my issues. :lol:

    That's a possibility... I may look into it. I did take a peek at displays earlier today and Apple was on the list. I did wince most painfully at the thought, but...

    ...gah. I can't even do them because it wouldn't match all my nice black equipment! :lol:

    I was looking at a 24" NEC IPS display. LCD2490WUXi. Goes for about $1000. 8ms GTG, which isn't amazing for games, but it's at least doable. Worst case I'll dual display it (ugh) and run the games on my existing Samsung panel.

    I've already started softening up the wife a bit. She hates it when I try to buy big stuff, but I'll win in the end. :)

    'course this will probably put my big expensive lens plans on hold for a bit...
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Messages:
    9,713
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Brisbane, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit

Share This Page

Search tags for this page

i hate monitor calibration