Recommended Colour Calibrator?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Commy1, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Commy1 macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    Feb 25, 2013
    #1
    Hey guys and gals,
    I managed to land myself a job as a full time photographer for a camp this summer and I want to do a proper job so I've been going through my check list of equipment to get the job done right.

    Not only do I want to do a good job at the camp but as an artist I want my work to appear properly in prints and websites so I think a colour calibrator would be a wise investment. I'm not really familiar with the options out there so I'm open to recommendations.

    The only one I've considered so far is the Spyder4Elite.
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #2
    The Spyder 4 Elite is okay. The other option worth consideration is the i1 display pro. There isn't much between the two to be honest.
     
  3. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

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    #3
    Along with screen calibration, some consider it overkill, but I really like sensor calibration and use an X-Rite Color Checker Passport. It'll nail clothing, flower and skin tones.

    Don't forget to use fill flash outside (I generally dial mine down about 2/3s of a stop under the balanced fill setting of the camera for outdoor people shots.)

    Paul
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

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  5. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    #5
    What are you using for a monitor? Some solutions work better than others depending on what monitor you going to use. There is no reason to get a 500 dollar solution for a 90 dollar monitor and the opposite holds true as well.

    Props to you for wanting to get the right tools and being prepared.

    Make sure that whatever you choose, you also get a firm understanding of dealing with printer profiles and possible calibration on that front as well.
     
  6. Commy1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    Feb 25, 2013
    #6
    My main target is digital work, being able to print would be icing on the cake but not necessary at this point. A lot of slideshows, website building, portfolio, juried submissions and the like.
    Presently I'm just working off of the stock 13" rMBP screen, but when/if :roll eyes: Apple ever updates their TBD I'll consider one of those for sure. I'm not really familiar with the panels out there. I know there is a Dell monitor with the exact same panel and resolution for less money. I've heard that a lot of LG panels have yellowing and that's about it.

    Luckily this MBP screen is without flaw as far as I can tell, no yellowing, IR, uneven backlight or discolouration anywhere.

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    Thanks I'll do some research

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    Thanks, this is a name I've heard but haven't looked into for whatever reason. I will start reading some reviews on it.
     
  7. Commy1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    Feb 25, 2013
    #7
    I've done some more research and my conclusions are..

    The i1Display Pro seems like a fabulous option, amazon offers it in a bundle with colour charts and white cards, which by themselves are unnecessarily expensive.. these however seem like a little bit of overkill despite the package being temptingly priced.

    However, doing some more digging I found the ColorMunki, which seems to be exactly what I want and a little more compared to the Pro which is way above and beyond. Both are decently priced but money is a bit of an issue, the Munki is the one I am leaning towards.

    Does anyone have an opinion about the XRite ColorMunki?
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #8
    You mean the ColorMunki Photo right?
    Xrite sell the ColorMunki Display which is like the light version of the i1 Display Pro. Then they sell the ColorMunki Photo, which will calibrate your printer & Screen. If you do your own printing, this is the way to go. There is no upgrade path so if you buy the i1, then decide you want to calibrate a printer you are stuffed. It's a bit pricier but you can use it on unlimited machines, so in other words buy it with a friend and both use it. You should only need to calibrate the screen every 4-6 weeks, and the printer less so (unless you change paper types a lot).
     
  9. Commy1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    #9
    That's a very good point, I think you might have just made up my mind.
     
  10. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

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    NY
    #10
    Isn't it early to be thinking about summer camp!?!?!? (no not really, I'm counting the days!)

    Working at a summer camp is one of the best jobs you'll ever have. (at least from a counselor perspective) How old are the kids? I get the "privilege" of doing the teen travel side for my camp. A lot of my great pictures I hate to say it come from the kids themselves. I bought some P&S Sony waterproof/shockproof camera from B&H that if it did break wouldn't be the end of the world. Most of the time I would hand that off to the kids to fool around with and I kept my DSLR. It turned out great. Most teens don't want to pose for the camera, (surprising) but when it's with a friend, o boy the pictures I get back are great. I do the the occasional finger gesture as they are teens but it can easily be dealt with. I was also able to use it at water parks, white water rafting, the beach etc.

    You may also want to think about an all in one lens. if you're shooting the soccer game with a tele and then want to do a group photo/portrait, the kids aren't going to wait for you to switch lenses or for you to fool around with your settings on the camera. Plus on a 95 degree day with a 90% humidity you're not going to want to carry around a bag filled with gear. Plus its there for something bad to happen.

    Once camp starts, I don't know if it is a day camp or a sleep away camp but find out if you can stash your gear in the camp's main office. It will be a lot safer then your car/bunks etc. Then also once you go out in the morning shooting, in the afternoon (when it's deadly hot) you can edit, post photos from the comfort of the A/C office :p

    I don't know if you have to do video but a GoPro might be fun too.
     
  11. phrehdd macrumors 68040

    phrehdd

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    Oct 25, 2008
    #11
    Honestly - forget about Apple's display. There are 3rd party displays that are superior right out the door. Though they may not have the ports of the Apple offering, the main purpose is the screen itself. Also, Apple might share the same basic screen as another maker but that means little as it is the implementation that matters.

    Dell's graphic monitors almost always beats the Apple monitor.
    NEC and a couple of other makers have vastly superior monitor models but at a cost.

    Best to let go of brand names and go for specs and reviews and figure what fits your budget.

    For my needs, I have an NEC PA series monitor that I use for Photoshop work. It serves me well and while it is not the top performer, it is far ahead of Apple's offering and has a fine reputation. (..like another poster said, one needs to calibrate more than once and make a schedule for this process. I calibrate based on hours "on" which translates to weeks of use then recalibrate.)

    Another few peanuts to add to the gallery....
     
  12. blanka, Mar 10, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2014

    blanka macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I would get a ambient brightness adapting factory calibrated sRGB screen anytime instead of messing with calibrators.
    I've used Eizo screens with this for many years now, switched both OSX and the Eizo to sRGB (no monitor profiles!) and never looked back. Flawless workflow and does not take any of your precious time.

    Remember that the biggest problems that were solved by calibrators were:
    - Very unreliable gamma curves on CRT's due to variation in resolution (they had no fixed resolution)
    - Very great variation in phosphor primaries.

    LCD is dead accurate in gamma consistancy over years, and the primaries are pretty nice matching either sRGB or AdobeRGB nowadays (at least if you buy a decent PVA/IPS screen).

    Things that do change over time with LCD is a shift of white-point, which does not matter AT ALL. Your ambient light fluctuates 10-100times more in white point than your screen, so your eyes will adapt and don't bother. And maybe the furthest reach of the saturation shrinks a bit, again, not a big deal. Print for example has far less gamut than on screen, so the perception of that differs anyhow.

    So a calibrator makes life more awkward instead of easier.

    Any Dell Ultrasharp, Eizo Flexscan (no need for the CG line) or NEC PA is great in this respect and all offerings have excellent (under dE 2) sRGB and/or AdobeRGB presets.
     
  13. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #13
    Factory calibrated monitors drift. If they didn't why would Eizo include a built in calibrator on their CG line. Your comment that calibrators makes life more awkward just show how long it is since you used one. Six minutes every 4-6 weeks is pretty easy by my standards, and takes all the guesswork out of your workflow.
     
  14. Commy1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    Feb 25, 2013
    #14
    Thanks for your input, much appreciated I'm very excited for camp this year. It is a live in camp, so I'll be there for most of the summer. I picked up the Canon 18-135mm 3.5/5.6f STM lens as my 'all in one' lens but also have a 50mm 1.8f and the kit 18-55mm lens. If I could afford another lens I may consider a telephoto or a macro but it's hard to say, glass isn't cheap unfortunately XP.

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    This has been on my consideration list for awhile, honestly I don't think 1000$ for a display is unreasonable, but if Apple steps it up then who knows.
    Any way, I'll do some more research.
     
  15. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    #15
    Whatever Apple do it will be a glossy screen and overly bright and saturated. I would choose NEC or Eizo if I was about to drop a grand on a screen.
     
  16. Padaung macrumors 6502

    Padaung

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    UK
    #16
    I agree with others here: Dell screens if you're on a budget (make sure you get one with an IPS panel) and NEC or Eizo if you have the cash.

    I use the colormunki Display on a dual monitor setup. Had it for years and is my favourite of all the ones I've ever used (I've used Pantone Huey (avoid!) and Spyder 4 Elite (also extremely good) in the past).

    I now outsource my printing so don't have a print calibrator.
     
  17. Commy1 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Commy1

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    #17
    This is something I'm considering myself. Where photography is great, I just don't think I could afford proper equipment like a plotter and such. I think I would outsource to save myself the amount of capitol needed for a plotter, paper, ink and any software that would be needed for large scale work.

    Thanks to all for your input and opinions.
     
  18. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

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    Aug 5, 2010
    #18
    There are better choices than Apple for a display at similar price levels.


    I don't see a point in calibrating a printer unless you're going all the way, which means an expensive RIP system. Low end solutions often deliver odd results. Beyond that if you're calibrating a printer, you need a proper print viewer. It's a completely different element with its own set of gear.

    I stopped trying to correct him. He'll inject a couple points with a lot of misinterpretation. For critical work, people work in low lighting. It is basically the only way to deal with the issue of varied ambient brightness. For the OP's uses those auto adjustments are worthless. They're for eye comfort, not consistency in evaluation of color.
     

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