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What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?
  
 
TANG0F0XTR0T
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


I've purchased a Spyder 5 Pro. I calibrated my monitor with no overhead light other than naturaly light not directly on the monitor. The color is on the warmer side for the completed calibration profile compared to the original iMac color profile.

I re-calibrated with my overhead light on. The light is very white and the color now turned to the cooler side on the calibrated profile.

Whether my office light is on or not I still see a cooler or warmer tint to the monitor depending on the profile I choose.

What is the point of this if the colors change so much depending on the outside light? If I can still see warmer or cooler profile colors then I'll still end up editing according to those colors, not the outside light. I may cool the edits or I may warm the edits and vice versa but I'll do it based on what I see on the monitor. If the profile is cooler because that was done with the light on that means it's not accurate in my mind. If the light is off in the room it is warmer.

I thought the point of monitor calibrators was to give you "accurate" colors. iPad colors look good to my eye. Does it really need calibrating as well?

This calibration now seems pointless if we don't have true accurate colors and it changes my monitor color depending on the extenral light. It just seems like I could end up editing a photo incorrectly and have it come out very biased to either cool or warm depending on the abient light in the room, which has no bearing on what I see on the monitor.



Nov 10, 2017 at 03:24 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


Do yourself a favour. Put the Spyder back in it's web and get an Xrite i1 Display Pro. You will never look back.


Nov 10, 2017 at 03:28 PM
TANG0F0XTR0T
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


Zenon Char wrote:
Do yourself a favour. Put the Spyder back in it's web and get an Xrite i1 Display Pro. You will never look back.


Oh dear, have I really made that much of a mistake? Is it the hardware? I hope so because it seems like the results are across the board.



Nov 10, 2017 at 04:25 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


I don't use the calibration unit that you used, so I cannot say if the following is the case with it, but some calibration systems accommodate to the ambient light, and this will have some effect on the calibration. (My system does do that, but I get to decide if it does or not.)

It is also possible that your calibration unit was slightly ajar and not flat against the monitor, in which case the ambient light was mixed to some extent with the light from the monitor, throwing off the calibration. Try to ensure that it is flat. If you can't, the best option will be to calibrate with all of the lights turned off.

Also, just to be sure, are you certain that you selected the same color curve in both cases? Calibration units and software allow you to choose whether to target specific warmer or cooler settings.

As to the point of calibration, there are two, really:

1. Obviously, a main goal is to get correct color balance out of the monitor. Ideally it will correspond closely to the color balance of prints that you make, whether on your own printer or by sending files out to a service. However, that is trickier than it sounds — arguably even impossible — so see point #2.

2. Something that folks talk about less is the goal of consistent color from the monitor, as differentiated from "matching" the colors you can expect in a print. About that matching goal... because of the differences between how a monitor image is created (it glows from within) and how a print image is created (pigments are printed on a surface, usually paper, with its own color and then lit from above), many believe that you cannot perfectly match any monitor to what you will see in a paper print. Does that mean that profiling is hopeless? No. First, as in #1, it does make the color balance much more accurate. But secondly, if you regularly profile your system, the relationships between what you see on the monitor and what appears in the print will at least be consistent. If so, over time you will get quite good at understanding how the way a print looks the monitor predicts what it will look like as a print.

Dan



Nov 10, 2017 at 04:48 PM
Zenon Char
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


TANG0F0XTR0T wrote:
Oh dear, have I really made that much of a mistake? Is it the hardware? I hope so because it seems like the results are across the board.


I'm not an expert and I don't to give Spyder a bad name but I did not have a lot of luck with it. It was terrible on my NEC so I picked up a Spectravision, which is made by Xrite for NEC and looks similar to the i1 Display Pro. It was like having a brand new monitor.

My Xrite calibrates my MAC screens effortlessly and they are more finicky than others. I had two Spyder's and I was happy to give them away.




Nov 10, 2017 at 05:08 PM
phil hawkins
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


I also use X-Rite. I've had mine 5 years and prints come back looking perfect.


Nov 10, 2017 at 06:34 PM
GumaRodak
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


maybe turn off ambient measuring and auto adjust settings...i do calibration during night...in complete darkness...set the luminance to 100, this will match the print....if there is a bright day when i edit i dimm the windows to have some level of darkness...and dont forget to have correct settings for your monitor panel... it can be a diference in final...for example late 2015 imac retina dispalys are RG phosphor LED, not white LED... etc...


Nov 10, 2017 at 09:05 PM
melcat
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


Most calibration software gives you the choice of setting the white point to what the hardware measures the room to be ("ambient") or to a fixed value. I always choose a fixed value, currently 5500K. (This is lower than the "standard" value used in publishing.)

I no longer use the Spyder software, and in fact it's desupported for my device, but from memory it gave limited control over the white point—maybe 6000K or 6500K only in the version that came with the device.

I have the brightness set to 80 cd/m˛, which is maybe a little low for most people.



Nov 10, 2017 at 10:01 PM
Peter Figen
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


Well, the real purpose of calibrating is to set your monitor to a known and repeatable state without clipping either the highlights or shadows and to have as neutral a gray as possible, but that's only half the story. The other half is to create an accurate monitor profile that describes the state of the calibration to whatever software you have that can utilize the profiles. The specific numbers aren't as important concerning luminance and black/white point, as those will vary depending on other conditions, but the accuracy and repeatability of the process is quite important. Multiple comparison and evaluation studies consistently put the X-Rite i1Display Pro at the top of the top of the affordable solutions, and at $200-$250, it's a bargain for what it does.

As far as your prints go, there's a lot more involved in getting those to match your screen, even after you've calibrated and profiled, as you've got paper profiles and print viewing conditions to take into account as well, but once you get all the variables nailed, which admittedly, can be a frustrating process, your predictability factor will go up considerably.



Nov 10, 2017 at 10:14 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


TANG0F0XTR0T wrote:
I've purchased a Spyder 5 Pro. I calibrated my monitor with no overhead light other than naturaly light not directly on the monitor. The color is on the warmer side for the completed calibration profile compared to the original iMac color profile.

I re-calibrated with my overhead light on. The light is very white and the color now turned to the cooler side on the calibrated profile.

Whether my office light is on or not I still see a cooler or warmer tint to the monitor depending on the profile I choose.

What is the point of this if the colors change
...Show more

I never use any ambient light sensor info for calibration. You should be able to disable that feature, though I don't have your specific calibrator.

EBH



Nov 11, 2017 at 01:21 AM
 

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butchM
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


We have 14 displays in the lab another 6 displays in the studio and I have another 4 for my personal use and we have never had an issue with using the Spyder colorimeters to profile them.

Nothing at all wrong with Spyder colorimeters ... the corresponding Datacolor software doesn't always play nice with all brands of displays. Though, I've had very good luck with ColorEyes Display Pro and the open source DisplayCal software while using the Spyder pucks.

Often it is honing in on the correct ambient light settings before running the software. Keeping in mind, the perception of the results is indeed very subjective to the 'eye' of the beholder. If your prints match (or come very close to what you see on the screen) then it's all good.



Nov 11, 2017 at 01:54 AM
Emile Gregoire
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


I'm not fond of the Datacolor software but have had consistently good results with the Spyder 3 and 4 in combination with ColorEyes Display Pro (alas, they've left the business) and basICColor Display 5 (https://www.basiccolor.de/en/). I calibrate for D65 and 120 lumen and have a profile at 90 lumen as well for when I work in very dark circumstances, e.g. in a hotel room after an event. My prints match what I get on my screen.


Nov 11, 2017 at 03:34 AM
TANG0F0XTR0T
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


butchM wrote:
Often it is honing in on the correct ambient light settings before running the software. Keeping in mind, the perception of the results is indeed very subjective to the 'eye' of the beholder. If your prints match (or come very close to what you see on the screen) then it's all good.


And therein lies the problem....why do I have to adjust the room lights to get it right? I thought the point of taking ambient light into account was an adjustment to keep one from overadjusting colors incorrectly due to ambient light. If I was to look at the profiles in the light they were created in and thought they looked similar in their lighting environment then I could buy-in to the fact it was tricking my eyes to adjust appropriately and that it was not letting the ambient light fool my subjective view on the colors.

I get that concept but that is not what is happening because I see drastic color changes with ambient light.

As you say, it is subjective and at the end of the day we need consistency and know when the monitor matches what I want the print to output. I do appreciated your experience on the matter as you have 14 monitors. I'm just trying to figure out the "calibration workflow" and the point of it.





Nov 11, 2017 at 02:30 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


^^^

Calibration followed by viewing in different ambient light environments poses some very tricky challenges. Our visual system (e.g. - our brains and eyes) are not objectively accurate, but instead respond subjectively to a whole bunch of clues. Try the following if you can.

Adjust a monitor to some objective color balance. Look at it under old-school fluorescent lighting, old-school tungsten lighting, and LED lighting. (For super-extra fun, look at it outside under sodium vapor lights!)

You'll see the potential problem. In a visual environment illuminated by some color-weighted lighting, your objectively accurate monitor can look "off."




Nov 11, 2017 at 03:41 PM
butchM
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


TANG0F0XTR0T wrote:
And therein lies the problem....why do I have to adjust the room lights to get it right?



Beyond a certain point, you shouldn't have to adjust the room lights to get it right. Though, you may need to make some adjustments to the ambient light source to narrow the gap between your display and the room light. Or it could be as simple as dialing in a different target in the software during the profile creation process.

This is all contingent on what your target temperature chosen for the display at hand ... as well as the actual color value of the ambient room light. In some cases, you may be trying to bridge a wider gap than you may be aware of.

The bottom line is not what your personal perception of color when you view the new profile on your display ... but ... do your finished prints closely match what you see on the display. That is the ultimate goal.



Nov 11, 2017 at 05:04 PM
TANG0F0XTR0T
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


butchM wrote:
Beyond a certain point, you shouldn't have to adjust the room lights to get it right. Though, you may need to make some adjustments to the ambient light source to narrow the gap between your display and the room light. Or it could be as simple as dialing in a different target in the software during the profile creation process.

This is all contingent on what your target temperature chosen for the display at hand ... as well as the actual color value of the ambient room light. In some cases, you may be trying to bridge a wider gap than
...Show more

I think you are correct in that I'm really left with trying to achieve consistency and carry that over to print. I was hoping for something more accurate with calibration like the iPad where it looks correct all the time. The colors are consistent and only go warm or cool when you have night-shift on or off.

I need to stick with a printing workflow but I'm still questioning the calibration when there are a lot of profiles already available in the iMac and they are very close to one another in the look they give on the monitor compared with the original defaul. I'll have to play with this some more but I'm very much questioning calibration on something like the iMac when I can just select Nikon sRGB and try that out with prints.



Nov 11, 2017 at 05:54 PM
dclark
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


Even though monitors are emissive devices it is well known that the perceived color depends on ambient light. Some calibration devices try to compensate by having the sensor measuring ambient light, but they are not very effective. If you want consistent color you need to have consistent ambient light. That is why serious color management requires controlled lighting, monitor hoods and color neutral rooms. There is no way to avoid that regardless of the device and software you may use to calibrate your monitor. Matching prints and display requires both control of the ambient light of the monitor and control the illumination of the print (D50, D65, etc). Regardless if you want monitor color to be consistent the ambient light needs to be consistent, regardless of monitor or calibration device/software brand.

Dave



Nov 11, 2017 at 11:40 PM
gdanmitchell
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


I use an iMac and calibration is definitely necessary in my workflow.

Dan

TANG0F0XTR0T wrote:
I think you are correct in that I'm really left with trying to achieve consistency and carry that over to print. I was hoping for something more accurate with calibration like the iPad where it looks correct all the time. The colors are consistent and only go warm or cool when you have night-shift on or off.

I need to stick with a printing workflow but I'm still questioning the calibration when there are a lot of profiles already available in the iMac and they are very close to one another in the look they give on the monitor compared
...Show more



Nov 11, 2017 at 11:45 PM
butchM
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


TANG0F0XTR0T wrote:

I'll have to play with this some more but I'm very much questioning calibration on something like the iMac when I can just select Nikon sRGB and try that out with prints.



'Playing' with display profiles can become quite problematic. Nikon sRGB is NOT a display color profile ... it is an image rendering profile that describes the image data.

I think it would be beneficial for you to familiarize and educate yourself more in-depth on color management. Much more to this than trial and error. You'll be glad you did.

It's like translating languages. Consider your images pixel data profile is written in Latin but your display only speaks French and your Printer only speaks Spanish. You need the proper profile (translator) for each device. If you pick a image profile to speak for your display and a display profile to speak for your printer ... much is going to be lost in translation by the time you get to the actual print.



Nov 12, 2017 at 01:53 AM
R.H. Johnson
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · What is the Point of Monitor Calibration!?


to a degree this correct. however, it is possible to print color accurate on a uncalibrated system proficient efficiently. provided the WB is correct using just the ICC profile of the media to be printed upon.

back to your analogy. Consider your images pixel data profile is written in Latin but your display only speaks French and your Printer only speaks Spanish. You need the proper profile (translator) for each device.. true from a certain perspective. but does not occur with the monitor in the loop. the print is actually being accomplished between the printer driver and the printer. the ICC profile of the media that is being printed upon should be the translator. if the RAW data that is being input to the printer driver is color accurate the print will also be accurate. therein lies the problem. how does one achieve color accuracy of the RAW data in post prior to outputting to the printer driver? one could simply adjust the colors on screen. but will the result be accurate on an uncalibrated monitor? not likely. the profile of the monitor is a translator so to speak between the end user and the image RAW data being displayed devoid of the printer. i have found that color accuracy can be accomplished in post on said uncalibrated system by using the color picker (custom WB). by picking a point within the image where the RGB is equal in all three channels R=G=B; 0,0,0 2,2,2 10,10,10 etc. one has to be careful choosing 255, 255, 255 as the CWB point. blown high lights create a heavily color cast result. the color corrected image can now be exported to the printer driver resulting in a color accurate print.






Nov 12, 2017 at 05:26 PM
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