Sometimes better gear helps

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by JDDavis, Jun 8, 2015.

  1. JDDavis macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #1
    I'd still call myself an amateur in regards to image editing. The recent departure of Aperture has allowed me a chance to make the decision to up my game a bit in post processing. I'm not sure everyone would agree with the results but I've been pleased so far.

    Point of the post? Just info for others who might be making similar decisions. My old editing setup was Aperture, NIK plugins, and my 2012 Macbook Pro (laptop screen). I have "upgraded" to Capture 1 Pro, NIK plugins, a ASUS Pro 248Q (pre-calibrated monitor), and a Spider 4 Express calibrator (and the 2012 MBP). I'd call this a budget upgrade into a setup that can be calibrated.

    The monitor is working out very well so far and man is it an upgrade from my laptop screen. A lot more detail and the accurate colors really help. Here's two versions of an image. The first was from my original setup and the second is from the new "calibrated" setup. My personal opinion only, of course, but I think temperature, color, and brightness are better on my new setup.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. MiniD3 macrumors 6502a

    MiniD3

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2013
    Location:
    Australia
    #2
    If your shooting raw, PP is always going to be easier
    ......Gary
     
  3. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #3
    Colour management is often overlooked by photographers.
    I use an NEC Spectraview 241 monitor and an i1 Display Pro to calibrate my monitor.
    I also use a Colour Checker passport.
    As for software, I probably do 90% in LR with a bit of DXO or Nik thrown in on occasion.
     
  4. tomnavratil macrumors 6502a

    tomnavratil

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    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Litovel, Czech Republic
    #4
    Shooting RAW will definitely help give you more ability with PP. However having a proper calibrated monitor and colours certainly gives you more accurate colours you try to get.
     
  5. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #5
    Most definitely. I should've mentioned that I use a Nikon D90 and D750 and that I only shoot in RAW (NEF). Both images above started life as a NEF file with the first being processed in Aperture/NIK using my uncalibrated MBP screen and the second was processed in C1 Pro using the calibrated monitor.

    Until now I had only worked with images on a 2007 iMac and my 2012 MBP. I knew the iMac was off. I've never felt the screen was accurate but it was workable. I was pleased with this image on my MBP (the first one) but images I've printed have always been too warm and dark. I was really able to see this once I moved to a calibrated monitor (plus the extra real estate makes a big difference in seeing the detail). I'd guess the laptop screen overcompensates for it's flaws by pumping up the brightness.
     
  6. Attonine macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2006
    Location:
    Kent. UK
    #6
    Isn't the issue setting up the equipment you have correctly rather than "better gear helps"? Better gear can help, yes. But from much of the description here, I think the core issue is simply callibrating the display on the original MBP, which can be done with the Display Utility in OS X or with 3rd party external software and hardware calibration tools, just like pretty much all other displays. Doing this will allow you to get more similar results when using either the ASUS or MBP display, or any other calibrated display.
     
  7. JDDavis thread starter macrumors 65816

    JDDavis

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2009
    #7
    I'm certain you are right. I was never very successful in calibrating the MBP display with the OSX utility. In the end the 15.4 inch display in my MBP is a TN panel which will never be as good as an IPS panel. It's partly my eyes as well but I can see finer details much better on the new 24" ASUS (as well as on my wife's Apple Thunderbolt Display).

    The ASUS Pro series is not a NEC or a Eizo but they do claim a calibrated delta E <5. The panel itself is of higher quality than the MBP panel for sure. As you are saying though, the biggest help (and best money spent) was on the Spider 4 Express. I do plan on trying to calibrate the MBP monitor as well with the Spider though from what I read it will not reach the accuracy of the ASUS panel. The software provides feedback so it will be interesting how it matches up to the ASUS.

    So, I completely agree with you in that configuring the equipment you have correctly (camera, computer, monitor, software, printer, etc...) and knowing how to use it correctly are probably the best things you can do to improve your PP results. Sometimes you might reach the limits of that equipment though and "upgrading" equipment, knowledge, processes, etc... can also help improve results.
     
  8. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #8
    Using the display utility won't get you acurate colours like measuring them with a colorimeter.
    But yes as a general rule, learning how to use the gear you have better, can net better results than just buying something new. But if your monitor isn't a wide colour gamut and doesn't have uniformity, your going to have issues.
     
  9. Robotti macrumors regular

    Robotti

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2014
    #9
    I have the mid 2012 rMBP, which I recently calibrated. Just looking with my own eyes, it never seemed too far off from the other calibrated monitor that I had, and actually the calibration result (by Colormunky) was very close to the original factory calibration. So this one left the factory in a surprisingly good condition. At the moment the laptop is actually far better than my old monitor, which os a TN panel. Even though it is calibrated, if I move just s little, the contrast changes. I hate TN panels.
     

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