UPDATED - Question about calibration and monitor brightness
/forum/topic/1165612/0

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DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1552
Country: United States

I just won a Colormunki Smile. The only problem with it as a calibration device is that it does not adjust the brightness, only color. I'm considering selling it unopened and buying either a Colormunki Display or a Spyder4Pro. I hate to spend the extra money though as there are a lot of other things I would like to spend it on but I know this is important and I will if I have to. I don't have much extra cash after buying a D600 recently.

Thus the question - is there a reliable way to set the monitor brightness without a sensor device? Do you consider the Colormunki Smile useless if it cannot set the brightness/luminance?

Thanks.
Brad



JBPhotog
Registered: Oct 10, 2007
Total Posts: 582
Country: Canada

Monitor brightness is a critical step in calibration and should be handled by the hardware and software calibrator. So if your puck and software can't do this, look elsewhere.

Integrated Color make what is considered the best software and they combine it with the Syder 4, http://www.integrated-color.com/



RHPS
Registered: Oct 20, 2010
Total Posts: 53
Country: United Kingdom

You can do it reasonably well with your camera. Take a look at http://www.hermitage-ps.co.uk/monitor_luminance.htm



colinm
Registered: Nov 21, 2005
Total Posts: 1978
Country: United States

You can also often do it reasonably well with your eyeballs. If your goal is to match a print, then it's perfectly fine (and, in fact, often preferable) to visually match the monitor against a print illuminated by your proofing light. It's easier if you're doing your own printing on an inkjet, but you can also do it with lab prints assuming the lab maintains their equipment calibrations.



DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1552
Country: United States

RHPS wrote:
You can do it reasonably well with your camera. Take a look at http://www.hermitage-ps.co.uk/monitor_luminance.htm


Thanks.

brad



Alan321
Registered: Nov 07, 2005
Total Posts: 9950
Country: Australia

There are three ways to control the monitor brightness...
1. The profiling system controls the monitor brightness or backlight settings
2. The profiling system fiddles with the colour levels to simulate changing the monitor setting
3. You do it yourself and note what the set position is so that you can repeat it.

One way or another you will end up needing more than one setting...
- one for normal viewing and editing of photos
- one for previewing or soft-proofing printer output (usually much dimmer but too drab for normal use)
- perhaps another one for non-photo work
Therefore it is best if the colour profiler can do it for you.



tived
Registered: Jan 31, 2003
Total Posts: 1009
Country: Australia

Brad,

if you intent to do your own post processing, then you will need to spend the extra money other wise all your camera gear is worthless

best of luck

Henrik

DigMeTX wrote:
I just won a Colormunki Smile. The only problem with it as a calibration device is that it does not adjust the brightness, only color. I'm considering selling it unopened and buying either a Colormunki Display or a Spyder4Pro. I hate to spend the extra money though as there are a lot of other things I would like to spend it on but I know this is important and I will if I have to. I don't have much extra cash after buying a D600 recently.

Thus the question - is there a reliable way to set the monitor brightness without a sensor device? Do you consider the Colormunki Smile useless if it cannot set the brightness/luminance?

Thanks.
Brad



DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1552
Country: United States

tived wrote:
Brad,

if you intent to do your own post processing, then you will need to spend the extra money other wise all your camera gear is worthless

best of luck

Henrik


I agree that I need to calibrate but this is a complete, utter overstatement.

brad



traveler
Registered: Jan 08, 2002
Total Posts: 3453
Country: United States

I went through this just the other day. Having just purchased a nice new Samsung 27" LED 2ms display I wanted to calibrate it so my prints would be accurate. I use a Epson Pro 3880 for my printing, which is at the level Epson calibrates them at the factory. I use the Spyder product. First I go to the monitor and set the brightness and contrast to 50%, set all other settings to "Standard" or "Normal" THEN and only THEN begin the calibration process. It takes care of setting the white and black points as well as compensation for the amount of light in the room (keep it from directly hitting the screen however). Also set's the gamma 2.2 which is correct for PC.. I followed through and did some prints. They are now dead bang perfect with what my screen shows color and brightness and all. This is what works for me.



iweiner
Registered: Apr 21, 2003
Total Posts: 50
Country: United States

Both the Munki & Spyder prgms will request a brightness level from you or they will measure the ambient light level and suggest one--you can still set your own.
Your basic Smile will ask you set the 'brite' to a comfortable eye level and then run. When finished you can quickly rerun the prgm at higher or lower brite level of your choosing. I do this with my full blown Munki Photo anyway.

I don't know what you use to profile your printer-paper combos. if anything--profiling the monitor is a good start. However, I suggest the purchase of the ColorMunki Photo, this will give you total control from camera image to finished print which may not be critical to you.

If this box is sealed call X-rite and ask for trade towards the Munki. I assume that you have visited their site and watched the info video, do the same for the ColorMunki Photo. A rebate price is presently in offer ($350), sell the Smile and get a Munki!

If you do so, please visit the DpReview site and my and others posts illustrating completing a print profile on 1/2 letter sheet not 2 shots. I may have posted here also, not sure.

good luck irv weiner



anthonygh
Registered: Jan 09, 2006
Total Posts: 1852
Country: United Kingdom

RHPS wrote:
You can do it reasonably well with your camera. Take a look at http://www.hermitage-ps.co.uk/monitor_luminance.htm


Talk about co-incidence....I was going to post on here and ask if anyone had a method for using a camera meter to set monitor brightness.....and came across this post!! And this method.

However, has anyone actually used it? I have just set my iMac according to the the method described and it is far brighter than I have ever used it before. The images are easy to see and I am about to re calibrate the monitor with this brightness level but it doesn't feel right...so would appreciate other opinions on this method!!



DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1552
Country: United States

Irv,

Thanks for the advice. I won this actually from the official Xrite Colormunki Smile Facebook page so I don't think they'll be wanting me to trade it in!

I think I may go ahead and open it and use it just to see how well it works, then possibly try to sell it on Ebay for maybe $60 or so and apply the money towards the $160 spyder4pro. I don't have a printer worthy of calibrating. I have been sending my prints to Bay Photo and having them color correct and I've been pretty wowed by the results.

Thanks, again to you and everyone else for the tips and advice.

brad



RHPS
Registered: Oct 20, 2010
Total Posts: 53
Country: United Kingdom

anthonygh wrote:

However, has anyone actually used it?


It's worked every time I've tried it - different monitors, different cameras, always close to the result from the i1Pro. What camera have you used?



anthonygh
Registered: Jan 09, 2006
Total Posts: 1852
Country: United Kingdom

RHPS wrote:
anthonygh wrote:

However, has anyone actually used it?


It's worked every time I've tried it - different monitors, different cameras, always close to the result from the i1Pro. What camera have you used?


I used a 40D with a 50mm lens...followed the process as described.....far too bright. It seemed better when I used ISO 1600

That brought it closer to the calibration system I am using.....spyder3Elite.



RHPS
Registered: Oct 20, 2010
Total Posts: 53
Country: United Kingdom

Can't say why it doesn't work for you. I've used various Canon, Nikon, Panasonic cameras and all of them worked OK when compared with my i1Pro. Lots of other people have found it reasonably accurate too.

I am surprised that you can get a reading of around 1/125th at 400 and at 1600 ISO - that's a luminance variation of 4x which is pushing it a bit. If the 1600 setting is giving 120cd/m2 than the 400 setting must be 500cd/m2. Does the shutter speed vary with ISO the way that it should or is there some other effect at work?

You haven't got a polariser fitted by any chance....... just kidding!



anthonygh
Registered: Jan 09, 2006
Total Posts: 1852
Country: United Kingdom

I have a fully calibrated monitor and the 400 ISO as per this method wants to up the light level considerably.....but an ISO of 1600 is reasonable.

I intend to try the method again with a 18% grey setting..will report back...




PS: two cameras give the same readings...



DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1552
Country: United States

Interesting.

I received the Colormunki smile that I won from X-Rite and I used the camera method above to set brightness. Then I calibrated with the Smile. I then edited some photos and viewed them on various other uncalibrated monitors and my iphone just to see how they would look to the average viewer and they all seemed to look pretty good. Perhaps later this week I'll post some photos here and get opinions on how they look to you who have calibrated your monitors with Spyder Pros and whatnot.

I confess that I have a certain level of color-blindness so I'm interested to see what you think. It's not severe but it's bad enough that I fail color-blindness tests and cannot see the numbers made of dots in certain combinations of colors.

brad



RHPS
Registered: Oct 20, 2010
Total Posts: 53
Country: United Kingdom

anthonygh wrote:
PS: two cameras give the same readings...


Just out of interest, can you tell us what the readings are/were at f/5.6 ISO 400?



anthonygh
Registered: Jan 09, 2006
Total Posts: 1852
Country: United Kingdom

RHPS wrote:
anthonygh wrote:
PS: two cameras give the same readings...


Just out of interest, can you tell us what the readings are/were at f/5.6 ISO 400?


With my monitor brightness at the level my calibration device set...the settings on my camera (using a G1X at the moment) are 1/20 x f5.6 x ISO 400

I did a print a little while ago.......the print pretty much matches the monitor image.



DigMeTX
Registered: Nov 26, 2010
Total Posts: 1552
Country: United States

Ok, here are a few that I edited after setting brightness using the camera method and then using the Colormunki Smile to calibrate colors. I'd love for anyone with a fully hardware-calibrated monitor to comment on what you think about the colors and brightness that you see here.





































brad


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