Color Calibration Discussion
Interested in monitor calibration? Find out if your monitor needs calibration or read our review of monitor calibration with the ColorVision Spyder2PRO. Use this thread to ask any questions you might have about monitor calibration, the approach we use here at IR, or the reader deal with ColorVision. Just type any question into the large text box below labeled "Message" and then click on the button further down labeled "Post My Message"...

Comments (8)

3 things: Great review of the Spyder2 and great samples to show just how bad my lappy is.. Any plans to review the Huey (Pro) line? Talk to your friends at Colorvision for a better deal! ..Amazon sells it for less.. with free shipping! And I'd guess the AMZ referral pgm aint bad for you either..

Comment #1

Hi dan - Thanks for the kind words. Yeah, laptop screens can be kind of a downer. I have a MacBook Pro, am now glad I went with the glossy screen, it tests out amazingly good on tonal range, and the Spyder2 does a great job of getting the white point where I need it, with excellent grey balance too. (Next thing, we're going to need to be doing reviews of laptops, to say how good/bad their screens are. :-O) Yes, I'll be looking at the Huey line as well as the Gretag MacBeth stuff. The original Huey was *so* bad that I admit I didn't give the Huey Pro much attention.

(Something all the calibrators tend to do, it's just that some seem more likely to do so than others.) Yeah, the whole thing with margins on calibrators is an issue, people are apparently selling them pretty darn close to cost, so there's not much of the pie left to go around. I figured the CV/IR deal was at least on par with other internet offers, didn't realize that Amazon was cheaper. (!) I'll look into it, see if we can do anything. (We are an Amazon affiliate, I can see how that works out for us. In the past though, it's been the case that Amazon *really* cheaps-out on any electronics items, paying a much lower affiliate percentage, and then capped the total at some low amount per item.

- Thanks for pointing that out to us! - Dave E...

Comment #2

Have you seen the monitor calibration review at BeHardware.? The Spyder2 colorimeter gets them to 3 dE (page 6) whereas with a high-end colorimeter they get better than 1 dE (page 8).

Comment #3

Hi Bruce - Thanks for the link, that looks like a good site for monitor reviews, I hadn't been aware of it previously. There's an obvious problem with their calibrator testing methodology, though: They're using the BlueEye Pro colorimeter as their reference standard, and we really don't know anything (objectively) about the BEP's accuracy vs that of the Spyder. So when they calibrate a screen with the BEP and then turn around and check it with the BEP again, of course they're likely to show closer agreement than when they calibrate with the Spyder and then check with the BEP. All their test is showing is that the Spyder and the BEP calibrate screens to different standards. There's no independent, objective measurement that tells how good each is relative to an absolute standard. (Also, the article you referenced was evaluating the Spyder2 Express solution, which has dumbed-down software.

- You'd have to figure out a way to do measurements that would compare what each of the calibrator colorimeters said a given color was on the screen vs what the standards-grade device said it was.) The Behardware piece seems to hold up the BEP as a standard of excellence because it's more expensive than the Spyder, but that simply doesn't follow. Selling price depends on a lot of factors, including cleverness of manufacturing (keeping the bill of materials and manufacturing/calibration labor cost down), sales channels, policies of the manufacturers relative to how low or high a margin they feel they need to make on their products, etc, etc. Simply having a high selling price says nothing about the accuracy of the unit in question. As I said, we faced this same issue in choosing a system to go with. In the end, I had to accept that we didn't have any absolute way to measure performance, but instead had to resort to simply playing with the various devices on a range of different monitors, to see how they stacked up against each other, and how consistent the results were.

The Spyder2 Pro seemed somewhat less prone to getting "lost in the weeds" when faced with a difficult-to-profile monitor, and seemed to produce less variation from run to run on good-quality monitors than the other systems we looked at. This was important to us because I want to get all our writers and editors working to a common standard, and they're scattered across the US and Canada. We'll still need to pass final judgment on color and tone here at HQ, but having all the remote writers and editors working with better-controlled screens will reduce some of the labor involved in getting the evaluative comments edited before publication. - A typically long-winded "Dave" reply, hopefully it shed a little light. Nothing against the Behardware guys, but as I pointed out, there's a basic flaw in their methodology, in that they've arbitrarily picked one unit as a reference standard, without objective outside data to demonstrate that it's indeed deserving of that status...

Comment #4

Thanks much for the article on monitor calibration! I sent a longer Web-page-reply message a few minutes ago on this topic. I have a lot of confidence that you people know what you're doing. Putting the 0..255 digital values on black/gray/white patches is not something that would be done by the clueless! I'm concluding that the best descriptions of light sources, filters, and surface colors (at least) are spectral curves emission, transmission, and reflectance. They aren't necessarily so easy to use, though. Best regards, and keep up the good work!..

Comment #5

I have the Spyder2 and have used it to calibrate my monitor some 4 times over the last 6 months, but somehow the gamma setting seems to be all wrong. The black & white stripes always look brighter than the grey surround in the gamma check image after every calibration, despite specifying a gamma of 2.2. I have also tried an adjustable gamma check image found on the ePaperPress website ( and it looks like my gamma setting is closer to something like 2.95. Any advice on what I can or should do about this? Everything else seems to look OK though...

Comment #6

Oops, I JUST found another problem with my monitor calibration. There is an obvious change of hue in the grey tones when shading from back to white. Greys go from warm to neutral and then warm again, and the tone gradient just looks uneven, with drastic changes in lightness in a couple of zones. Could it be that I have a defective Spyder?..

Comment #7

After reading reviews on Color Calibration Devices for monitors settled on the Colorvision Spyder2 Suite. Unit arrived April 3, 2008 and two weeks later it reminded me to recalibrate the monitor (CTR). In doing so, it will go to "Adjust Color Temperature Preset" and then the next step should be "Attach colorimeter to screen" but it skips this step and goes to "Remove colorimeter" with a box for choosing a sensor. When I click on the OK box that says I don't have a sensor, it then loops back and forth between "Adjust Color Temperature Preset" and "Remove colorimeter" along with the sensor box. It never asks to attach the colorimeter to the screen and I have to click on the "Close" box in the upper right hand corner to end the program, as it loops back and forth. Only way I can do this is uninstall the program and reinstall it as the first calibration asks you to attach the colorimeter to the screen.

Any thoughts or ideas? Thanks...

Comment #8

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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