Monitor Profiler Recommendation

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jwt, Jan 21, 2008.

  1. jwt macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #1
    Hey all,

    I'm looking to profile my monitor. I understand that some calibrators also affect the video card output. I'd like to stay away from that and simply generate a icc profile. I'd like to calibrate my Powerbook G4 and ACD monitors. Can anyone recommend a product or a review site? I'm getting nowhere with google searches. Thanks in advance.
     
  2. art gardiner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Cairo, Egypt
    #2
    Depending on what you're looking to do with the final product (print or web), and how much you're looking to invest in your system - there are plenty of options out there. Which is best for you, depends on your answers to the above questions.

    Here are a few links to some web sites that you might find helpful:

    http://www2.chromix.com/index.cxsa

    http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm

    http://www.digitaloutput.net/content/ContentCT.asp?P=501

    http://www.xrite.com/top_support.aspx

    We use the older Monaco Systems "MonacoOptix XR Pro" or X-Rite's "MonacoProfiler", depending on which system we're on. X-Rite bought out Monaco Systems in early 2005 (if memory serves correctly), and has continued to buyout most of their competition, i.e. GMB, etc.

    While I know this isn't the answer you were looking for - it really depends on what you want to do, and how much you're wanting to invest. I don't know how much you know about color management, and I don't want to come off sounding smug, but color management really does not end with monitor calibration. If you let people know what your end goal is, and a little more about what your workflow entails (i.e.; film/scanner, dslr/p&s, graphics, etc.) - you might get a little more assistance.
     
  3. jwt thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    #3
    OK, well I'm a hobbiest who has started buying quality gear. I do most of my PP on my Powermac G4, and the printed output is not accurate. Furthermore, I recently went to Moab to do some photography, where I did the PP on my Powerbook. I got everything looking just right, and when I got home and looked at it on my Desktop, it seemed washed out. I simply want accurate colors across my monitors. I will likely print via a 3rd party, but I also want accurate output to the web, since my work will mostly be viewed digitally. I know in this field you get what you pay for, but in this case I'd like to spend as little as possible. $100-200 is my price range.

    Thanks for the refs. I've already been to the first two before I started this thread, just so you know I am doing as much leg work as I can, so I don't waste other people's time.
     
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #4
    The "spyder" will do just fine. They make three versions and the only difference is the software. On the low end versions some options are not available. For you needs the low-end "express" version is perfect. Price is about $70. It is fixed with reasonable defaults like gama 2.2 and 6500K.

    Google for ColorVision Spyder2 Express

    or look here http://www.amazon.com/ColorVision-Spyder2-Express-Win-Mac/dp/B000ES4PYU
     
  5. art gardiner macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    Cairo, Egypt
    #5
    As ChrisA mentioned, the Spyder2 will assist greatly.

    In the story you told about Moab, PP on a PowerBook, and looking washed out on your desktop (PowerMac G4) - you were really putting your PP skills to the test. Calibrating your monitor, is very much like calibrating your white balance in the camera prior to capturing an image. What looks to be acceptable under 5000K, will look totally different under 3200K, or 6500K. When you calibrate a monitor (or camera WB), you're calibrating the device under certain ambient lighting conditions - to be used only in those lighting conditions.

    That said, every display will very color renditions (even the same make/model) under the same lighting conditions. (My two 20" ACD's sitting side by side on the desk very slightly when calibrated using the same puck, and software.) Unless your color management software allows for "matching monitor profiles" in a work group environment - there will always be some deviation between your monitors.

    If you were performing the PP on your PowerBook in a different lighting environment than is used in your home - I would expect there to be some varying differences. (Looking over saturated, or muddy would expected - especially if neither monitor were calibrated to their environment.)

    Besides calibrating your monitors, you should also be calibrating your device input (camera, scanner, etc.), as well as the printer to paper/ink you plan to use for any given image. When using a 3rd party printing service - most require that the image be sent to them in a CMYK profile. (Depending on your needs {how a**l you are about color reproduction} you will want the printing service to provide you with the color profile they will be using.) Digital Photo Pro's web site has a couple of great articles on "Crushing CMYK" and "Curving RGB Color" http://www.digitalphotopro.com/tech/curving-rgb-color.html.

    Both of these articles will go a long way in helping you work through color management, and creating an image that will display as closely to what you see on your monitor in other arenas - print, web, etc. The best way to work through this is to do what you're doing now, and maybe look into assisting working photographers in your area to see how they incorporate icc profiling into their workflow. Lastly, calibrating your monitor/printer is not a one time affair, and some of the better software programs out there will assist in creating a schedule to remind you when you need to re-calibrate / evaluate and edit your calibration curves.

    HTH's,

    Art
     
  6. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816

    Mr.Noisy

    Joined:
    May 5, 2007
    Location:
    UK™

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