Monitor Calibration - Macbook

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jc002, Sep 20, 2010.

  1. jc002 macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010
    Hey guys,

    Am a relative beginner when it comes to this, but I want to calibrate my monitor for digital photography. My current set-up is a 13" Macbook with Photoshop. Problems arise when viewing my photos on different monitors. I have been through the whole color management / save for web research online. I understand that the sRGB IEC619 color space is the way to go. I therefor convert all my photos to this, and save accordingly. This eliminated most of the problems I encountered initially, such as gamma shifts, color inconsistencies etc. However, my photos are still usually too dark on other machines, and a lot of detail in my shadows turn to black.

    The only calibration I've done is the basic one found in Mac System Preferences (I didn't get good results with the expert mode). I'm set to 2.2 gamma and D65 target white space. I realize the problem is most likely monitor calibration. For starters, my brightness/backlight has always been up near the top. I strongly assume this has been contributing to the aforementioned issue.

    Is it worth buying the Spyder 3 Pro for a 13" Macbook monitor? Will it help much? I've read that contrast, for example, will be unchangeable on my monitor. I'm only really interested in photos for the web at this point, not so much printing. Will a monitor calibrator give my photos the best chance of consistency across other monitors?

    Thanks for any help, much appreciated.
  2. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Calibration by eye really isn't a proper calibration at all. You will not solve your problems without using a colorimeter to accurately calibrate your displays. I use the Spyder3 Pro for my MBP display and a Dell 3008 30" display I use as an external. I'm very pleased with the results.
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    First of all, if you want to have any hope of consistent colors, you need to calibrate all monitors you're working with. Selecting a particular color space or monitor profile will do no good.

    There is no substitute for hardware calibration tools. I have a Color Spyder 2 Express and I'm very happy with it. It cost me $65 and the money is a good investment if you're serious about photography as a hobby. If you make money with it, it's a must.
  4. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Another thing to point out (since I've seen people do this). You cannot use a profile someone else created with a colorimeter for their display. Even with the exact same display model, different examples vary how they adjust. I've seen this with two Dell 3008 displays.
  5. jc002 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 20, 2010
    Thanks for the info.

    Specific question: How does a Spyder work in relation to the brightness/backlight toggle on a Macbook? Does it suggest a level or set it for you automatically? I've heard someone recommend 4-5 in normal light, whilst about 2-3 in dim conditions.
  6. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Software-based brightness control handling requires Spyder3 Elite, which is more expensive. My Dell has hardware based brightness and contrast, so the Spyder3 Pro handles that, as well as the RBG controls I have on that display.

    This shows what features the different levels of Spyder 3 have.
  7. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    Not sure how it works with the Spyder, but the i1 Display2 that I have one of the steps in the calibration is the luminance. You set the desired luminance and adjust the monitor brightness until it matches.

    Just saying off the top of my head, if your brightness meter is near the top it's likely that your display is simply set too bright. My MBP is set near half brightness.

    Also realize that calibrating your monitor is only solving half of the problem. It is highly likely that 99% of monitors that "view" your photos online will be uncalibrated, and there is simply nothing you can do to fix that. Your monitor may be accurate but you cannot control the monitor of your viewers.

    This being said, an "eyeball" calibration might actually be good enough?


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