How can I tell if my monitor is calibrated well?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by DDar, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. DDar macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #1
    Okay, well I have two profiles right? One that I got from here that is Gamma 2.2 I think, and one I made that's gamma 1.8. Problem is, I can't really tell which is the correct one. Mine certainly looks nicer since the colors seem to be more vivid, however, the other one has better contrast (not sure whether it's that or just saturation though) and the colors seem to be warmer. Yellower, I guess?

    Anyways, I'm using a 20" iMac and, though I know it's not perfect for photoshopping and digital painting, I plan on making a friend a birthday gift. I plan on taking it to a print shop and getting it printed out in a large scale, like a poster.
    They use PCs there though, and I'm having a difficult time figuring out which profile I should use. I tried using that shareware calibration program, but I didn't find it worked well. Anyways, anybody know how I can determine which of the two color profiles are better calibrated? =)
     
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604

    chrono1081

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Isla Nublar
    #2
    You'll never truly know unless you get a monitor calibration device. Cheap ones can be had for around $99. Good ones range around $300+ Pro ones are around the $1000 range and usually will be in a package with a printer calibration device.

    I calibrated everyones monitor at work and wow what a difference. I have the eye-one display.
     
  3. SwiftLives macrumors 65816

    SwiftLives

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2001
    Location:
    Charleston, SC
    #3
    In general - and this is very general - but paper is yellower/warmer than most monitors. Therefore, if you set your monitor to the warmer gamma, it will be slightly more accurate than the cooler/native gamma.

    But it's best to get a calibration device for pro work.
     
  4. Kwill macrumors 68000

    Kwill

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    #4
    Gamma is just one factor. As others indicate, some type of calibration device, even a Pantone Huey, is better than the visual adjustment method included in Mac OS X. Of course software/visual calibration is better than nothing. But you will see a tremendous difference between device and visual profiles once you have your display properly calibrated.

    Searching the phrase "gamma 1.8 vs 2.2" on Google returns over 2 million hits. So you are not alone in your quandary. Some users like the vibrance of 2.2 which is common on PC setups, whereas Apple strives for a more natural balance with 1.8.

    Calibration is generally done with a specific intent - to match what colors will look like when printed. However, some designers rarely printing Web-bound work and may strive to simulate the average viewer's setup. Of course the "average" viewer has an uncalibrated monitor so even this is not possible.

    If you're just going to watch movies and surf the Web, gamma is a matter of personal preference. If you frequently prepare work for print, 1.8 is more realistic. But again, gamma alone is basically a saturation adjustment that does not in itself establish calibration.
     
  5. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #5
    Okay, well here are the two color sync profiles I have:

    http://www.gigasize.com/get.php?d=163yvvhyzsb

    http://www.gigasize.com/get.php?d=lhhwkr12w3b

    Which would you say would be more practical for print editting, or do you guys have a better one? =/
    I live in Pto. Vallarta, a sunny place if that matters. However, I almost no light hits my iMac as it's hidden in a corner where light is blocked off. =/ Soo... Yeah...

    And yeah, I can't quite afford a color-calibrating device at the moment I'm afraid. =(
    I'd love to get one, but... You know...
     
  6. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #6
    I have attempted to calibrate 20" iMacs on three separate occasions.
    My personal observation is that this particular iMac, specifically the type of LCD panel used, cannot be calibrated for acceptable color accuracy, and the viewing angle is just flat-out terrible.
    This blows my mind, since the 20" Apple Cinema Display is one of the best overall LCDs I've ever worked with, and the 20" iMac is without a doubt the worst.

    Maybe I've been working with early versions of the 20" iMac that have since been improved by Apple.
    I certainly hope so.
    The 24" iMac is acceptable in this regard.
     
  7. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #7
    Well, I don't doubt it's not the BEST... But don't you think "the worst" is a little over the top? <.<
     
  8. snickelfritz macrumors 65816

    snickelfritz

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2003
    Location:
    Tucson AZ
    #8
    Yeah, it's probably a little harsh generally speaking, but in my experience it's absolutely true.
    I would not do professional color work on one of these displays.
    It's difficult enough on an accurate display.
     
  9. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #9
    Well, I'm really not at the point were I need to worry about "professional". My main concern is the birthday gift ending up looking good when printed, and my AP portfolio looking good if I end up needing to do it on this machine...
     
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #10
    "gamma" can't be warm or cool. "gamma" refers to a tone curve not a color temperature.

    The only way to know is to buy a colorimeter. For most peole the $70 Spyder is good enough. They sell more expensive versons but the hardware device is the same. In the more exppensive versions more software features are enabled. It's even the same software, features are enables via the Serial Number. When you buy the upgrade all you get is a new number.

    Then if you want to see how well calibrated the imac was you can compare the old and new color profiles using Apple's color sync utility. In may case the default profile supplied by mac OS X has not bad. close but I could see some difference.
     
  11. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Location:
    NYC
    #11
    You can always print out a few versions and compare the printed copies with what you see on your monitor, and adjust accordingly.
     
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #12
    Trading icc profiles on the Internet is about as useful as trading eyeglasses. The whole point of a profile is that every LCD that comes off the same production line is slightly different. icc profiles have to be created for your specifc monitor and even then your LCD monitor changes over time and you have to re-calibrate it about monthly. So even if some random icc file you got works today, it may not work in 6 weeks. This is why people buy colorimeters.

    that said, most iMacs are "close" to correct and good enough for non-critical work without calibration. It's the old CRT monitors that can get way off
     
  13. DDar thread starter macrumors 6502

    DDar

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    #13
    Oh really? Weren't the default settings supposedly "washed out"?

    Anyways, I calibrated it... AGAIN. This time walking about ten feet from my monitor at each image to make sure that the images blend and junk. Also, I modified my Gamma and white point based on how visible the whites were on this:
    http://www.photofriday.com/calibrate.php

    Do you think I'm ready to start working yet?
    Are there any photos around that can help me catch if my colors are out of whack or something of that sort?
     

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