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| p.1 #15 · Calibration that works with MacBooks |
Alan.....I think you may have just driven her to the scotch bottle...... that answer even scared me!!!!!
Is there a nicer version for her? How likely is the LUT thing likely to be an issue? I dont think you can access the LUT on the Asus, its all just a case of plugging the puk into the computer? To be honest I never even looked at that when I got my dell, I just plugged spyder into computer and got ripping results straight away - it has actually cut my production time in half and hugely improved my output consistency.
I don't think I can do a nicer version that will mean much to anyone. This reply is even longer but might be easier to understand. Maybe.
I don't have a modern profiling device yet but I will definitely buy an x-rite i1 Display Pro next time I order some other stuff from the USA - it's way too expensive here in Australia. I'm in no rush because where I live at present I do not have either of my external monitors available
Previously I found that a simple old Gretag MacBeth EyeOne Display 2 device seemed to work ok with my Eizo external monitor but that was *only* because the Eizo profiling software was tweaked to use it - not because the generic EyeOne software was compatible with the Eizo. i.e. if I used the Eye One software instead of the dedicated Eizo software to drive the device then it did not work at all well.
On another occasion I was using an NEC Spectraview monitor and found that the old EyeOne Display 2 was simply not compatible with it. Nor was my then new ColorMunki but at least I could use that one to make printer profiles. Luckily for me I found that simply switching that particular monitor to its default settings for Adobe RGB gave a great result - but that was no doubt because that monitor was an up-market job that had already been calibrated internally and tested prior to delivery.
The internal LUT on these up-market monitors has a higher precision and it is used along with a built-in processor to make the large screen relatively uniform in terms of colour and particularly brightness so that it looks far less blotchy than cheaper screens can. I did not want to by-pass that capability by using an 8-bit per channel graphics card LUT when the internal LUT had I think 10 or 12 bits per channel plus a dedicated processor. However, not all external monitors have that capability and for them using the graphics card LUT is the only option. Very few graphic cards offer more than 8 bits per channel.
I didn't see which external monitor Sharona is using but to be frank I'm not at all familiar with most of them anyway. I just know that I ran into limitations with using old-technology calibration tools on my monitors. There are a few basic reasons why such tools might let you down:
- They don't like wide gamut screen technology
- They don't like LED back-light technology
- They don't know how to interface with a monitors internal LUT and processor
- The monitors own software does not know how to interface with the device
- Some brands/models of profiler are inconsistent from one unit to the next, or from one occasion to the next
- If you have two monitors going at once then you want a profiler device that works with both even if you have to use different software fro each one.
Here's a link to a review of several profiling devices:
It's a bit technical but if you cut to the chase and look at the tables and read the conclusion you'll see that the x-rite i1 Display Pro is a modern unit that works very well - among the best available in terms of accuracy and repeatability - on all monitor technologies. It is not the cheapest but given its capabilities now and for future monitors that you might own it is highly recommended. The new ColorMunki Display (not to be confused with older ColorMunkis) is cheaper and slower but otherwise just as good and is probably the best value for money. To get anything slightly better you need to spend far more money. At the time that review was done the Spyder 4 was not tested.
So now you know that if you get either the x-rite i1 Display Pro or the new x-rite ColorMunki Display then you cannot go far wrong in terms of monitor technology. What I don't know is whether or not these units will play ball with the NEC Spectraview II calibration software or the Eizo software. It doesn't matter if you don't have an NEC or Eizo monitor but the principle applies to all monitors - if the monitor has its own software to properly use the advanced internal hardware features then you need a profiling device that is compatible with it.
Then there's the matter of what sort of profiles you produce with your new profiler and software.
There is a mob called the International Color Consortium that standardized the .ICC colour profile format. Over the years they have produced a few different versions of that format, with the latest being version 4. With any calibration/profiling device you can produce a colour profile and you probably have some control over which version of the standard it adheres to. Unfortunately some of the programs that we use for photography do not know how to deal with version 4 icc profiles. Firefox web browser was one of them but I don't know if it still is. Use an older version profile and it works ok. (For those who don't know, MS Internet Explorer is not colour managed software and cannot benefit from a profiled monitor. Firefox can. So can Apple Safari but it's slightly limited compared with Firefox).
But can a Mac "read" it ?
I'm pretty certain that every monitor profiler has Mac-compatible software. There were - and perhaps still are - incompatibilities arising from time to time when Apple updates the Mac OS to a new version such as the recent "Lion" 10.7. You can bet that applied to Windows too when it was upgraded. Eventually the software catches up or else the profiling hardware is retired. There may also be generic problems with the colour management within Lion but that should also have been fixed by now. I chose to stick with the previous Snow Leopard version 10.6 until my camera shop / Apple shop advises me that Lion is stable with colour management and photographic software - neither of which are mainstream categories as far as Apple's market is concerned. Once I made that choice I stopped paying attention to the current state of play and so I'm out of touch, but my dealer still reckons I should avoid Lion for now (though be aware that the problems are at least partly down to the application software not catching up with Lion). You might think it is better to use an older profiler to avoid such OS issues but then you have to put up with the monitor technology limitations that I mentioned above.