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Monitor calibration tools
Old 09-25-2015   #1
Jan Pedersen
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Monitor calibration tools

Seeking help to get my monitor calibrated better than what can be done with default windows software which is what I have used until now.

Wasting so much paper printing trying to dial it in print after print is no fun, i imagine a good calibration tool could pay for itself quite easily.

What is considered a good calibration tool today, I see quite a few options available. I would like to keep the price below 150$ or thereabout.

Must be good for both color and monochrome work.

What are you using?
Thanks..
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Old 09-25-2015   #2
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DispcalGUI is your friend. The learning curve is slightly steeper than the OEM softwares, but you get in return a lot more flexibility and savings (by not having to buy a "premium" tier of software support).

With DispcalGUI and open-source firmware, the actual device plays a marginal role - obviously, a Spyder 5 is going to be better than a Spyder 2, but you can buy the cheapest one (Spyder 5 express) and get the same results as the Pro version.
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Old 09-25-2015   #3
Jan Pedersen
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So, If I understand you right, Spyder 5 Express and DispcalGUI will be a good combination?
I don't even know enough about the Spyder hardware to know if it comes with software but I imagine that it would.
Thanks.
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Old 09-25-2015   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Pedersen View Post
So, If I understand you right, Spyder 5 Express and DispcalGUI will be a good combination?
I don't even know enough about the Spyder hardware to know if it comes with software but I imagine that it would.
Thanks.
The argument for DispcalGUI is that Spyder deliberately cripples their own software. So you pay for another $100 to get the same hardware but only with a few software options enabled (that allows for vastly better calibration), which IMO is just fleecing customers. Sometimes the original software also limits the number of different screens, which is just deplorable

DispcalGUI is as good (in my experience, better) than the Spyder software and free. I've used it to get remarkably consistent results across 3 monitors and a laptop screen.
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Old 09-25-2015   #5
Jan Pedersen
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Thank you Victor. That is one option to keep in mind.
Hope to hear from a lot of other RFF members and the many other options available.
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Old 09-25-2015   #6
Godfrey
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I use an Xrite i1 Display Pro to calibrate and profile my display. I set up my calibration targets to 110 Cdm^2 luminance, 5600 K white point, gamma 1.8. I print using Lightroom, and use a managed print workflow using paper manufacturer supplied profiles for the Epson P600 for all my favorite papers.

The screen to paper rendering is very high fidelity; I only rarely need to do a test print, and that only for particularly challenging photographs. Lightroom's ability to do paper profiling on screen also makes it easy to see what I'm going to get out.

Remember also to have your room illumination at a reasonable level. Too bright or too dim throws your eye off when you're adjusting your images making it hard for any calibration to work correctly. My office/workshop (an approx 11x14 foot room) has warm-white walls. An incident reading at my desk with typical room illumination on and the blinds closed shows a reading of ISO 100 @ f/2.8 @ 1/30 second. That's pretty much reading light illumination level.

G

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Pedersen View Post
Seeking help to get my monitor calibrated better than what can be done with default windows software which is what I have used until now.

Wasting so much paper printing trying to dial it in print after print is no fun, i imagine a good calibration tool could pay for itself quite easily.

What is considered a good calibration tool today, I see quite a few options available. I would like to keep the price below 150$ or thereabout.

Must be good for both color and monochrome work.

What are you using?
Thanks..
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Old 09-25-2015   #7
photomoof
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Regarding color, a dear friend in the printing biz just died.

At his wake one of his favorite expressions was read -- "that's why we send out proofs."
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Old 09-25-2015   #8
Jan Pedersen
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Godfrey, thanks, Will take a look at that option.
I have until now used QTR for my printer output (Epson 3880) but that could change if something is working better.

Quote:
At his wake one of his favorite expressions was read -- "that's why we send out proofs."
I certainly understand that step of the process but I just don't send anything out of the house. The process to get to a good print from start to finish is the reward that I don't want to miss.
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Old 09-25-2015   #9
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Any good DispcalGUI (Argyll) tutorials from 2014 or later that are aimed at beginners?

I looked into it a few years back when I grew dissatisfied with the Spyder software but I found it a little hard to get into and eventually went back to the stock Spyder software.

Mind you, I have no problems using QTR and VueScan, so I was surprised to find out I could not get going with the Argyll software and the Dispcal interface.

Any good links and simple tutorials for current versions of the software are MUCH appreciated.

PS, for anyone interested, this is a good place to start.
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Old 09-25-2015   #10
GaryLH
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I have been using Spyder myself. At the was choice between xrite and spyder..I just ended up w/ spyder because I found a good price for one. So far I have had no problem.

I remember a long time ago, the epson printers came w/ a simple photo editing sw that had a calibrated sub-function to it --> the printer output by playing w/ the printer output gamma until it match what u saw on the screen by printing out a series of small 2x2 pictures w/ a gamma value associated w/ it. It worked surprising well..

Spyder used to sell a separate printer matching sw. Has anyone ever used it? My printer output is very close to what I c on my monitor, so I never bought it.

Gary
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Old 09-25-2015   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jan Pedersen View Post

I certainly understand that step of the process but I just don't send anything out of the house. The process to get to a good print from start to finish is the reward that I don't want to miss.
Of course, I was only pointing out that gallery printing, even with careful calibration is still an art. Subject to personal interpretation.

Digital has been difficult for me, not like taking a chrome to one's printer.
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Old 09-25-2015   #12
Jan Pedersen
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Quote:
Digital has been difficult for me, not like taking a chrome to one's printer.
I hear you
Darkroom printing has been my output for 40 years mostly but I have had to close my darkroom to make space for a guest bedroom so the digital workflow is now my only choice.
I do admit that the control the digital workflow gives is far better than I have ever mastered in the darkroom but the look of the final print is still not there. Trying though.
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