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Monitor Calibration Hardware(Spyder,etc) A waste of Money??
I' bot the Spyder Monitor calibaration hardware and according to this gentleman is was a Waste of money? Any comments would be greatly appreciated! Should I take his advice as far as settings in Photoshop, etc??.

Thanks.

Http://www.dtg-forums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1358.

"in short, you wasted your money on the spyder. sorry, but that's how things go sometimes. if you want to talk more about color management, feel free to email me at dwain..".

Here's the basic premise of his post, you can read the entire thread at the above Link!..

Comments (23)

A lot of people got away without one when using CRT monitors..

LCD monitors are a different story, and it's pretty much guaranteed that you won't get correct colors out of an LCD monitor without using a colorimeter. Laptop LCDs are (generally speaking, of course) a total disaster in terms of both brightness and color, and to get proper results from a laptop usually requires a topnotch colorimeter...

Comment #1

Do you recomend downloading this "preference" that he talks about and installing it?.

"sRGB_v4_ICC_preference"..

Comment #2

Mikeobe wrote:.

Do you recomend downloading this "preference" that he talks about andinstalling it?.

That's not a monitor profile. That's a working colorspace profile for Photoshop. You still need to calibrate your monitor so that it will display properly..

Working colorspaces are a whole different story, and there is no One Best Answer. Most people settle on sRGB or Adobe RGB as their working space..

For your monitor, though, you should calibrate it with a colorimeter. If it's an LCD display, you definitely should..

The posting that you referenced is by someone who doesn't seem to have a clue about this stuff. His statement "all of your hardware and software color settings (profiles) must match" is completely wrong. Each piece of hardware must be matched with the appropriate profile for that hardware; the point of the profile is to tell the computer how that particular piece of hardware deals with color. With printers, there are usually separate profiles depending on the type of ink and paper chosen, because different inks give different results and different papers give different results...

Comment #3

For your info-.

Crt monitors age with time, just like a picture tube in a tv set. if, and I do mean if, the crt monitor was ever accurate in it's calibration; then it will not maintain that level over time. the brightness level changes for one thing which throws off the calibration..

I do not know hwre the idea that crt monitors should not be calibrated, but itis just not true. all monitors should be calibrated. the only question is-using what software/hardware?.

Me, I have used colovision for a long time. it is simple and cheap(about 70-80 bucks) and it works. I redo my calibration about the first of every calendar quarter...

Comment #4

How deep are you into color? Do you know your printer's color gamut? Use a Fiery? Match Pantone numbers?.

If those questions seem odd then maybe you don't need to spend your time and money calibrating your monitor. Just a thought..

REd..

Comment #5

Red13 wrote:.

How deep are you into color? Do you know your printer's color gamut?Use a Fiery? Match Pantone numbers?.

If those questions seem odd then maybe you don't need to spend yourtime and money calibrating your monitor. Just a thought..

REd.

I am somewhat confused by your post. Aren't Fiery print servers primarily used in high volume commercial or business printing operations? Similarly for matching Panatone numbers - more relevant for commercial printing?.

If so, are you suggesting that it is not worth calibrating your monitor if you are using an inkjet at home?.

Chris R..

Comment #6

I also am confused by your post. did you read what I wrote? I calibrate my monitor and have been doing it for a long time...

Comment #7

Thanks a bunch! It didn't make much sense to me but just an amateur with limited knowledge here!..

Comment #8

Chris R-UK wrote:.

Red13 wrote: blah, blah, blah.

REd.

... If so, are you suggesting that it is not worth calibrating yourmonitor if you are using an inkjet at home?.

Chris R.

Chris sorry about the delay. I didn't mean to be cryptic or to criticize those who calibrate..

In the beginner forum, particularly with a person just starting out, I'm a bit of a nut about collecting images. I even recommend that people start with a P&S or bridge camera rather than dslr to increase their image capturing and ease them into the art..

So many people get lost in the 'gee-whiz' of the gadgets that they miss the fun of images. I place calibration for a beginner in the 'gee-whiz' category..

I've had employment where calibration was important but, I don't understand what benefits it brings to beginning photographers..

What does calibration bring to your images? Maybe I've been overlooking something..

Again, I wasn't commenting on your practices only trying to help a person get started in digital photography..

REd..

Comment #9

You are making the issue far too complicated..

Photo people calibrate their monitors so that a certain color red in the image file appears as that red on the monitor srceen, and also on the profiled and matching printer. if the monitor is not calibrated then there is no way of knowing what the screen colors are going to be later in the photo process. there is simply no standard to which all the colors are referenced to...

Comment #10

Just my two cents, just go easy on me as this is all new to me..

Having purchased the 40D a few weeks ago, I can say I was one that was not 100% satisfied with my purchase and came close to returning it. It wasn't until I bought one of these CD's at a local hardware store that your able to take a picture of your own room and plug in their colors so see what it would look like. It was then I noticed their reds were pink on my monitor and none of the colors were close. Calling a friend that does magazine pre-press who proceeds to tell me kindly that I really have no business doing any color analysis without a calibrated monitor. So I bought a unit to calibrate my monitor and all I can say is WOW! The colors match for the color swatches! And I now LOVE my camera, who would have thought. I have to wonder how many of these camera problems, underexpose, overexposed, too saturated...

It made me a believer, right or wrong it worked for me. I retouched all my Christmas pictures (again) with MUCH better results : - ).

It must not be a common problem but I will say my monitor was way off...

Comment #11

Little more reading on the subject....

Http://forums.dpreview.com/...forums/read.asp?forum=1018&message=26299523.

TD...Just another dumb a** green newbie!FCAS charter member & Pbase supporterhttp://www.pbase.com/td2/root..

Comment #12

Red13 wrote:.

Chris R-UK wrote:.

So many people get lost in the 'gee-whiz' of the gadgets that theymiss the fun of images. I place calibration for a beginner in the'gee-whiz' category..

I've had employment where calibration was important but, I don'tunderstand what benefits it brings to beginning photographers..

What does calibration bring to your images? Maybe I've beenoverlooking something..

Calibrating and profiling has a number of advantages for the beginner..

If the beginner posts an image on the web that was done with an uncalibrated, unprofiled display, he will have no idea if the image as seen by others looks much like he intended. Calibration and profiling goes a long way to standardize how images look (assuming the viewers have a calibrated/profiled display)..

If the beginner does images with an uncalibrated, unprofiled display, archives them and then looks at these images later with newer equipment, the images could again look rather different. Thus if you want your images to look relatively similar over time as you change equipment, you should prepare them with a calibrated/profiled display. This also applies to printing. If you want a future print to resemble a current prints, then you want to prepare the print with a calibrated/profiled display and also use color management when printing. This means printing with an application that knows about printer profiles..

If you send images out for printing that were prepared on an uncalibrated/unprofiled display, the prints you get back might be way off in appearance from what you intended..

Of course, one of the main and original reasons for calibration, profiling and color management was to have prints look as much as possible like what was on the display and do this consistantly over time..

Leonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm..

Comment #13

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #14

I can't believe his answer is accurate as I understand it..

First off, different monitors have slightly different color qualities. Using a Spyder device will allow you to create a profile unique to your monitor (LCD or CRT). I've profiled a couple different monitors and each has had varying amounts of noticable change..

Second off, color prints can vary greatly based on the printer and media you use. You should have a profile specific to your printer, ink, and paper. I use ones from the manufacturers but you can purchase printer profiling hardware as well..

In my experience, the best setup for good colors on screen and in print are the following:.

1. Profile your monitor..

2. Make sure that your camera and editing software use the same color space (AdobeRGB or sRGB, I use AdobeRGB)..

3. Profile, or download a profile, for your printer and the specific paper you will be using..

4. When you print, make sure your color-aware software (like photoshop) has control of color output and that you disable it in your printer dialog..

For me, printer output could be a mess until I got #3 accomplished..

With all that said and done, I printed my photos using Epson Film factory for some time. Even when the colors where slightly different they weren't usually bad. As I developed a more keen eye, I could see where it was letting me down (but my wife couldn't)..

Everything I write is a personal opinion. Even when I quote facts, they are the facts I personally choose to accept.http://www.pbase.com/mariog..

Comment #15

If you're using Windows and Internet Explorer, or any other non-colour managed web browser, it's still possible to get your sRGB images to look exactly the same in Photoshop and in your own web browser. That's what we all want, right?.

Unfortunately, to achieve that result, you have to abandon colour management, so you're not getting the correct colours anywhere, not in Photoshop and not in your web browser, and you shouldn't do it..

You would turn off colour management in Photoshop. Alternatively, you could assign your monitor profile to the image (don't convert to that profile). The result is the same either way. That would get Photoshop to send the image RGB values straight to your computer's video system without conversion (on the fly) for display. You would be looking at the 'raw' RGB values without conversion to any standard colour space..

Likewise, non-colour aware web browsers just send the image 'raw' RGB values to your computer's video system without conversion for display..

The image you see is exactly the same either way and is wrong both ways..

I've seen web guides telling people to do exactly that, ie to disable colour management in Photoshop so that you get exactly the same image display in Photoshop as you do in your web browser. Don't do it. It's very bad advice. What it means is that you're effectively working in a colour space that's exactly the same as your video system response. Clearly that isn't standard anywhere outside your computer, and is not valid for others to see..

It is MUCH better to choose a standard colour space like sRGB, process your image in a colour managed environment like in Photoshop using that colour space, then use that image for web viewing. You want your image to be in the sRGB colour space for posting to the web to make sure it looks at least reasonable when being viewed even in non-colour managed web browsers..

Regardless of how you create your image, what you see in your non-colour managed web browser and what others see in their non-colour managed web browsers will reflect the response of individual video systems, so we will all see slightly (or sometimes greatly) different images, and none of them will be a true sRGB display as our video systems won't have a true sRGB response..

If we use colour managed apps to view properly colour managed images instead on properly calibrated and profiled systems, we will see the images accurately. We would not be able to do that if the images were created to look right only in the colour space of an individual's video system. There's a reason for standards..

Furthermore, if you don't make sure your image is in a known colour space, your system or the system being used by your printing lab won't be able to convert your image to the profile of the printer for accurate printing..

The statement in the link provided in the first post in this thread that says to set everything to the sRGB profile is absolutely wrong (assign or convert, doesn't matter). Once again, it would mean you are telling the system that your system video reponse is the same as sRGB, which it won't be, and that your printer has the same response as well, which it won't have. There's no way of displaying the correct result if the profiles being used are wrong. If I read it again, I may find other problems with what the guy was saying, but suffice to say his advice is completely wrong and should be ignored..

If your images are only ever going to be processed and viewed on your computer and if you do't print, then by all means turn off colour management in Photoshop and don't bother calibrating and profiling your system and it won't matter. If other people will be seeing your images on other copmuters, web or otherwise, or if you print, you're really compromising image quality if you don't manage colour..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #16

Leon Wittwer wrote:.

Red13 wrote:blah blah.

What does calibration bring to your images? Maybe I've beenoverlooking something..

Calibrating and profiling has a number of advantages for the beginner.If the beginner posts an image on the web that was done with anuncalibrated, unprofiled display, he will have no idea if the imageas seen by others looks much like he intended. Calibration andprofiling goes a long way to standardize how images look (assumingthe viewers have a calibrated/profiled display)...etc. etc.Leonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm.

Leon you hit the problem on the head, "assuming the viewers have a calibrated/profiled display". My point is that in most situations particularly with beginners the image will be viewed on a non calibrated monitor or if printed will be viewed under light that has not been optimized for true color rendition..

There was another poster who said the magic word 'match'. Calibration is very helpful when matching..

I stand by my advice to beginners, forget calibration, take more pictures and spend the money you save by not calibrating on lenses..

REd..

Comment #17

Red13 wrote:.

Leon Wittwer wrote:.

Red13 wrote:blah blah.

What does calibration bring to your images? Maybe I've beenoverlooking something..

Calibrating and profiling has a number of advantages for the beginner.If the beginner posts an image on the web that was done with anuncalibrated, unprofiled display, he will have no idea if the imageas seen by others looks much like he intended. Calibration andprofiling goes a long way to standardize how images look (assumingthe viewers have a calibrated/profiled display)...etc. etc.Leonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm.

Leon you hit the problem on the head, "assuming the viewers have acalibrated/profiled display". My point is that in most situationsparticularly with beginners the image will be viewed on a noncalibrated monitor or if printed will be viewed under light that hasnot been optimized for true color rendition..

There was another poster who said the magic word 'match'.Calibration is very helpful when matching..

I stand by my advice to beginners, forget calibration, take morepictures and spend the money you save by not calibrating on lenses..

REd.

Hi Red. There's something in what you say, but I'd like to offer an alternative opinion and advice..

Without calibrating and profiling, it's not just the source image that might be wrong, but also the viewing experience for both the person creating the image and for others they're sharing the image with via thehttp://www, as already discussed. I'll reiterate that when viewing in non-colour managed browsers, the colours are likely to be wrong anyway to varying degrees, especially on LCD monitors that don't have a colour response as close to sRGB as many CRT monitors, even when calibrated and profiled properly, but failing to calibrate makes that situation worse..

Furthermore, when preparing images for printing without using a colour managed workflow, the printed results can be all over the place..

It can be frustrating even for beginners when prints in particular don't match the computer image, but also when the learning experience can be hampered by a lack of standardisation with others. Feedback may say the image is too dark or light or the colour temp is wrong, but the image creator might not be able to see any of that..

IMO, beginners don't need to learn bad habits and don't need the frustrations of having the colours of their images compromised. I'll qualify that by saying that it's up to each person whether he or she thinks about trhe pros and cons of calibrating and profiling. However, I think it's bad advice to simply advise against doing it..

Using the money for more lenses instead may be more useful, but then again without getting the basics under control, there are compromises anyway. Sharper, more saturated and more contrasty images where the colours and brightness are screwed up may be less useful than softer and flatter images (out of the camera anyway) that are more or less properly colour managed..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #18

Having images appear relatively the same to others and to themselves over time is important to newbies. How could you possible improve your photography with regards to color, contrast, etc. without seeing consistently the same thing? How could anyone reliably provide CC if they do not reliably see what the poster intended?.

No, if a newbie thinks he is going to really get into photography, color management including having a calibrated/profiled display is as important a learning how to use a camera, composition, etc.Leonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm..

Comment #19

I had been using a Hyundai CRT for the best part of 3 years for my photos, it worked a treat and every photo I printed looked exactly how it was on my screen. I eventually decided to upgrade to a flat screen and something a lot bigger so I brought an Acer monitor. After after owning this monitor I can't emphasise enough how important it is to have a decent monitor calibrated correctly..

Someone brought a canvas from me, the original shot being edited on my uncalibrated Acer. I couldn't believe how different the colours were on print compared to what I saw on screen (I assumed I was calibrated correctly). Luckily it didn't look bad but it wasn't an accurate representation of what I was seeing on the computer..

So I got rid of that, brought myself an Apple Cinema Display and Spyder.... voila! I re-edited some of my old photos and they now have far more punch and vibrancy when printed. Bottom line is, if you want to get serious about photography, for a minimum $75 it's a small sacrifice to pay.http://www.guybrownphotography.com..

Comment #20

Guy Brown wrote:.

I had been using a Hyundai CRT for the best part of 3 years for myphotos, it worked a treat and every photo I printed looked exactlyhow it was on my screen. I eventually decided to upgrade to a flatscreen and something a lot bigger so I brought an Acer monitor. Afterafter owning this monitor I can't emphasise enough how important itis to have a decent monitor calibrated correctly..

Someone brought a canvas from me, the original shot being edited onmy uncalibrated Acer. I couldn't believe how different the colourswere on print compared to what I saw on screen (I assumed I wascalibrated correctly). Luckily it didn't look bad but it wasn't anaccurate representation of what I was seeing on the computer..

So I got rid of that, brought myself an Apple Cinema Display andSpyder.... voila! I re-edited some of my old photos and they nowhave far more punch and vibrancy when printed. Bottom line is, if youwant to get serious about photography, for a minimum $75 it's a smallsacrifice to pay.http://www.guybrownphotography.com.

Hi Guy. Your example here shows how different monitors can have different responses, and if you don't calibrate and profile, you don't really know what you have..

Something I was only just made aware of in the last few days is that CRT monitors are more likely to have a response that more closely resembles sRGB than LCD monitors are. It's arguably more important to calibrate and profile for LCD than for CRT, as borne out by your example. However, as there's so much scope to adjust monitor settings anyway, it makes sense to make sure your monitor is at least calibrated for the right white point and brightness. I'd still recommend full calibration and profiling for use with colour managed applications..

Calibration sets the gamma and white point..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #21

John down under wrote:.

Something I was only just made aware of in the last few days is thatCRT monitors are more likely to have a response that more closelyresembles sRGB than LCD monitors are..

There are other differences between CRTs and LCDs. When I made the transition to CRTs, I was amazed by the differences. First, even with dim background lighting, CRTs did less well with shadows than LCDs. Some of the difference came from self-glare. Light from brighter parts of an image would travel between the glass surfaces of the CRT to create glare (or lighten) the darker parts of the image. LCDs don't tend to do this and thus my images immediately looked more "contrasty" on a similarly calibrated/profiled LCD.

This changed the amount of sharpening (more on CRT) to get similar appearances..

As already mentioned, profiling seems more important on a LCD since the primary LCD colors can vary quite a lot from sRGB primaries. Typical CRT primaries tend to be more similar. In fact, sRGB was defined to be "typical" for CRTs..

I have also found that WYSIWYG regarding prints is better for CRTs than for LCDs. Images that I have prepared on my LCDs need a bit more punch (local contrast from the unsharp mask at a large radius) and sharpening to get an equivalent print to one prepared on a CRT. The difference is not large but it is there..

Caveat: Obviously, my comments relate to the particular CRTs and LCDs that I have used.Leonhttp://homepage.mac.com/leonwittwer/landscapes.htm..

Comment #22

Leon Wittwer wrote:.

There are other differences between CRTs and LCDs. When I made thetransition to CRTs, I was amazed by the differences. First, evenwith dim background lighting, CRTs did less well with shadows thanLCDs. Some of the difference came from self-glare. Light frombrighter parts of an image would travel between the glass surfaces ofthe CRT to create glare (or lighten) the darker parts of the image.LCDs don't tend to do this and thus my images immediately looked more"contrasty" on a similarly calibrated/profiled LCD. Also, pixels ona LCD seem more discrete and more "fuzzy" on a CRT.

In fact, sRGB wasdefined to be "typical" for CRTs.I have also found that WYSIWYG regarding prints is better for CRTsthan for LCDs. Images that I have prepared on my LCDs need a bitmore punch (local contrast from the unsharp mask at a large radius)and sharpening to get an equivalent print to one prepared on a CRT.The difference is not large but it is there.Caveat: Obviously, my comments relate to the particular CRTs andLCDs that I have used..

Hi Leon. Thanks for your additional information. There are some things I didn't know, but they make sense..

Cheers from John from Adelaide, South AustraliaJohn Harvey Photography http://johnharvey.com.auCanon 40D, Canon 20D & Fuji F10..

Comment #23

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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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