Why should I calibrate my LCD

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by carbonmotion, Apr 21, 2005.

  1. carbonmotion macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #1
    My second powerbook 15 aluminum will arrive tomorrow (the first one suffered a illness :( apple replace it for free) anyways, I'm do graphic design and flash sites for pay and I always wondered what the big deal about calibrating the LCD is? I mean isnt the default Apple calibration the right one? I know the 12 inch and the 15 inch look different, but isnt that just because the 12 inch has a shtty screen? Anyways, if possible, someone explain to me the significance of calibration vs apple's default profile and some good solutions to approch this if need be.
     
  2. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    #2
    I think part of the issue with LCD calibration is that your eyes are different from everyone else's. That's not why you recalibrate two different screens to match each other, though. Agreed, that should, in principal, be done for you already by the mfr. If you don't want to, of course, you don't have to. But it takes less than 15 minutes, you only have to do it once, and the software is included in system prefs (unless you want supercal). So I kinda wonder, is there another issue underlying this? You seem awfully angry about something pretty insignificant.
     
  3. angelneo macrumors 68000

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    #3
    I believe the calibration is done so that the screen color would match the print color as close as possible. If you are doing mostly print and publication, these would be very important as different screens would produce different color differences with the same color code.
     
  4. James Philp macrumors 65816

    James Philp

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    #4
    For things like web design and graphic design, screen calibration is only essential if you plan to print out previews and the like.
    You need to make sure that the color on your screen is as colse as possible to the color out of your picture.
    Subtle diffeneces in tome or hue can make or break a deal.
     
  5. Bear macrumors G3

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    #5
    Reasons to calibrate...

    If your screen is calibrated, everything you design will look better on calibrated screens and in print.

    Also, even if the other screens people use aren't calibrated the odds are that your stuff will look better. Imagine if your screen was off in one direction and the person viewing had their screen off in a different direction? Imagine how bad your design could look in that situation. If your screen is calibrated it will look okay on a wider range of displays.

    Calibration is fairly easy, there are some inexpensive devices that elp you calibrate and it should be done every few weeks.
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

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    May 19, 2002
    #6
    Let me be lazy and point you to a thread that can be found with a simple search...

    Color Calibration makes a huge difference for LCD!
     
  7. sjpetry macrumors 65816

    sjpetry

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  8. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #8
    Also, the display just looks better. I find the default settings to not be so good because the colours look washed out. While calibration can't make a bad screen look good, it can make things better.

    I don't know why, but the colours look better and more vibrant. Maybe its the placebo effect and I just think its better because the calibration did something. Not necessarily "worked," but something was different after the calibration and so I think its an improvement.

    The one problem I have with calibrating an LCD is that I don't know if I made it better or worse. I don't know if I'm even doing it right. :eek: I don't even know if the colours are more accurate.
     
  9. Bear macrumors G3

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    #9
    Thats why I got a ColorVision Spyder2 to do screen calibrations. It really helps when correcting photos for printing.
     
  10. carbonmotion thread starter macrumors 6502a

    carbonmotion

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    #10
    lol not angry, no inflection ... neutral like pooh bear
     
  11. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

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    Location:
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    #11
    'kay, sorry! :)

    That thing about font smoothing and screen calibration in Sun Baked's post was really interesting. I never thought about that, but I found the font smoothing in many Linux distros on my KDS LCD to be very distracting...I wonder if it was just cuz the calibration of the screen was off.

    Anyway, if you're doing creative work on two computers, I'd definitely take the time to get them looking as similar as you can via calibration, just to save you the headache...otherwise, won't it drive you crazy when things look drastically different on the two?
     
  12. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #12
    Is it anything like SuperCal? Never heard of ColorVision Spyder2. :confused:
     
  13. 604macguy macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #13
    As I gather, everybody has a different idea about calibration. I'll try to explain it as best I can.

    Let's start off with Calibration vs. Profiling. They may mean the same to most people but they are very different.

    Calibrating: Setting up your monitor to a standard to maintain consistency.

    Profiling: Determining the characteristics of how your calibrated monitor displays colours to be able to translate a standard colour space to look the same on different monitors.

    Calibration is like calibrating anything else. Such as a scale, where you zero it. That way it's always the same when you use that scale. Whether it will match another scale, that's a different story. At least you know that if something weighs more on that scale, it must be heavier.

    Calibration for any monitor is the same. All calibrating does it make sure that the colours, brightness and contrast match a given standard and is repeatable over time. It makes sure that everytime you look at it, it looks the same. So the same picture/colour will look the same everytime you look at it on your monitor, therefore consistency. Monitors will shift in colour over time due to a number of factors. The colours may shift from one day to the next or even over a few hours. LCDs are more stable but should be calibrated once a month, if you have the time. For the average home user, this isn't important.

    There are many devices out there that will help you calibrate your monitor such as the ColorVision Spyder2 mentioned above. It's a little device called a colorimeter that measures the colours on your screen.

    If you calibrate, you will know that what you see on your tmonitor will look the same everytime.

    What calibration will not do is, make 2 monitors match in colour.

    In order for 2 monitors to match, you have to profile it. But first you have to calibrate.

    What profiling does is it "fingerprints" your monitor as to how it displays certain colors to a give standard. The colorimeter such as the ColorVision Spyder2 will probably also profile your monitor. What profiling is, after calibration is done, is determine how your monitor displays certain colours (RGBCMY) compared to a table of set values. Once your monitor has been profiled, you now have a set of instructions of how your monitor displays colours. It acts as a translator for colour.

    Where profiling comes in for matching 2 monitors is this. If you are using, say, Photoshop, you can select the colour space in which you are working in (sRGB, Adobe RGB (1998), etc...) What profiling the profile will do is translate the colour space using the instruction in the profile. And because your profiles were set up to a standard, then what appears on screen should match.

    However, all this only works if you monitors are calibrated. If your profile is correct for a certain calibrated setting, then if your monitor is out of calibration, then the colours displayed will be different and therefore the colour will not match.

    It's a little confusing but hopefully this makes sense.

    Cheers.
     
  14. 604macguy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2005
    Location:
    Vancouver
    #14
    Supercal may calibrate your monitors so that colours will look consistent over time but will not provide create the monitor profile to translate colours to match.

    You can only get that if you profile your monitor with a device.
    There are ways to calibrate with the naked eye, but then you lend yourself to the human factor. You will see colour differently depending on surrounding lighting, mood, time of day, what you had for lunch, 3 cups of coffee, what colour of car drove infront of you, etc... you get my point.

    The ColourVision Spyder2 is a colorimiter, a hardware device that connects to a USB port to measure colour from your monitor. High end devices are available from X-rite & Gretag Macbeth but they are in the area of hundreds to thousands of dollars. Lacie also makes monitor calibration devices. http://www.lacie.com/products/range.htm?id=10042

    I'm not endorsing anything, just that there are many options out there and you should get one that suits your budget.

    Cheers.
     

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