1 2 Previous Next 57 Replies Latest reply on Jun 26, 2012 5:49 PM by Noel Carboni

    LCD Monitor Calibration

    StrongBeaver Level 3

      There is an vast amount of information on this topic, that topic being LCD monitor calibration.  Some LCD have presets, theatre, games, etc.  I want to calibrate my LCD so that if someone else is viewing my work on their monitor and they complain it is too light or to dark, I can say it is your monitor.  One of my LCD has two presets that are of interest 'standard' & 'sRGB' my other LCD doesn't have any presets.  What is the best or near best calibration I can manually set both monitors too, if this is even possible on LCD, I hope it is, atleast I hope they have matured from the past.

        • 1. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
          Lundberg02 Level 3

          Manufacturer's presets are not very good. The newer hardware calibrators will do LCDs if they're not crappy 18 bit dithered TNs.

          Are you Windows or Mac? What monitors?  You have to be specific in this forum.

          • 2. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
            Silkrooster Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            I really would not recommend using the monitor preset's. The monitor changes on its own over time. The best way is to get a calibration puck they can be had for under $100. The software probably will allow you to use one of the presets, but its better to manually adjust the brightness, contrast and RGB values. Then the software will calibrate from those values. After a month or two, you will see that those values have changed. Some monitors may change more than others.

            As a bonus, if you have a laptop, you can adjust those values on the TV as well. Though the remaining part of the calibration process may be moot if you do not play video from the laptop. As that part is stored on the laptop not the TV.

            • 3. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
              Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

              Monitor calibration, as supplied by the manufacturer, can only go so far, and will not take into account the vagaries of your graphics card or its driver.  That was something I discovered after moving my 30inch Dell Ultrasharp to a new system, and where the monitor looked little different with the Huey Pro calibrator enabled and not enabled on the old box, it had a strong green cast before calibration on the new box.

              • 4. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                StrongBeaver Level 3

                Are there not any values that I could manually enter in for the monitor ? Can't you carry around with you a software monitor preset that would be universal on all monitors and install it, on another computer, if needed which in my case wouldn't really be.  The problem is most people do not calibrate their monitors, so if they view your work it may be extremly bright, or extremely dark you cannot help this, it would be nice if you could apply something  to a web site and have the web site automatically adjust the monitors brightness, that would require hardware access I suppose, which is not that easy on a computer by computer basis.  My only logical option is a monitor calibrator, what benefit would I have ?

                • 5. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                  Lundberg02 Level 3

                  Nonlinear function for all three colors, so no.

                  You can only calibrate your monitor and tell your critics to do the same.

                  • 6. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                    c.pfaffenbichler Level 8

                    My only logical option is a monitor calibrator, what benefit would I have ?

                    The benefit is that if you view an image on your calibrated monitor in a color managed application, under correct viewing conditions and with embedded profile (or otherwise unambiguously defined color space) it would appear similar on someone else’s setup if that meets the same conditions.

                     

                    Edit: And with regard to products printed according to defined process standards it means that the on screen soft proof should give a fairly good idea of the final result’s appearance.

                    • 7. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                      StrongBeaver Level 3

                      I was just looking at my physical monitor settings and I can adjust the color and the gamma, would there be a way to get the right color and gamma by adjusting these settings ?

                      The benefit is that if you view an image on your calibrated monitor in a color managed application, under correct viewing conditions and with embedded profile (or otherwise unambiguously defined color space) it would appear similar on someone else’s setup if that meets the same conditions.

                      That is the problem, if I have my monitors calibrated perfectly, and I'm at another terminal and view my work online, I could scare myself if it's too bright or too dark.  I'd like to be able to add something to the web page that could at the time of viewing the page adjust the monitors RGB and Gamma automatically, do you think that is a viable solution with the right expertise ?

                       

                      What are two monitor calibrators that you recommend I could get that wouldn't cost me a fortune, if I can't solve this issue by manually adjusting the RGB / Gamma on the physical monitors settings ?

                      • 8. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                        The OSs provide functions for a user to run to get a monitor's gamma and color roughly into the ballpark.

                         

                        You should go read as much as you can about color-management.  What you want is reasonable - proper color everywhere.  The process of getting there will, I think, be more complicated than you expect, and the state of the art is that it just isn't so.

                         

                        Not to throw a monkey wrench into the works, but the displays on most inexpensive monitors fall out of calibration - big time - just by moving your head up and down.

                         

                        -Noel

                        • 9. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                          TLL... Level 3

                          I'm currently using a Spyder 3 Elite, its the second Colorvision product I'm familiar with and have been very pleased with it. I'm responsible for keeping a few dozen LCDs of various makes and ages in line for geospatial data production and they all end up appearing reasonably close. My Samsung T260 and the output from my Z6100 printer are very close and that's what counts most for me. The Spyder's a piece of cake to use too.

                           

                          I'm sure there will be other recommendations coming but if you're serious about color management, hardware calibration is the only way to go IMHO.

                           

                          Good luck!

                          • 10. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                            StrongBeaver Level 3

                            Recently I've been very annoyed with LCD monitor angle, I wish there was a solution to this, unfortunatley there isn't.  What do you recommend for me to read for color-management that would relate to adjusting LCD monitor color ?

                            • 11. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                              StrongBeaver Level 3

                              Any other color monitor calibrators ? What about ICC profiles for photoshop or for the monitor ?

                              • 12. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                Noel Carboni Level 8

                                StrongBeaver wrote:

                                 

                                Recently I've been very annoyed with LCD monitor angle, I wish there was a solution to this, unfortunatley there isn't.  What do you recommend for me to read for color-management that would relate to adjusting LCD monitor color ?

                                 

                                There is a solution for sufficient $$$:  One can buy monitors that don't suffer as much from such shifts.  I have a pair of monitors that have minimal calibration shift depending on viewing angle.  There is a web site Dag Fosse found that does reviews and in part of the review process they take photos from all angles...  I've misplaced it...  The URL had tft in it I think...  Ah, here it is:  http://www.tftcentral.co.uk

                                 

                                As an example, look at their review of the Dell U3011 in the Viewing Angles section.

                                 

                                I honestly don't know what to suggest as a reference for learning the ins and outs of color-management.  I learned it by doing, and then in depth by coding color-managed software, so my background is kind of unique and isn't likely to help much.  Perhaps others can make some suggestions.  I will mention this, however:  There's a LOT of bad information out there.  If something doesn't sound right, or is in conflict with other things you feel you understand, question it.

                                 

                                Best of luck.  It's worth the effort; you'll make better images once you understand how color-management figures into the process.

                                 

                                -Noel

                                • 13. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                  StrongBeaver Level 3

                                  Right now I want to calibrate my monitor so that the colors representing what I see on my monitor, would be true colors, not a little to bright and not a little too dark.  The only option for this is a monitor calibrator, even for photoshop.  I don't need to purchase another monitor so in that sense, I'm out of luck.  Unless there is some kind of hardware you can add, or software. Any more recommendations for hardware calibrators ?

                                  • 14. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                                    I get into trouble with everyone when I suggest using a gamma calibration target and using on-monitor and video card controls to get the monitor calibration close to 2.2 gamma, so I probably shouldn't do it.  But hey, it's not absolutely necessary to spend money to get closer to your goal.  It really boils down to how good is good enough for you.  Better color accuracy than what you have now could be a stepping stone.

                                     

                                    One approach - and I'm not saying it's the best one, but it'll get you closer to your goal without spending money - is to set your monitor to the sRGB preset, set your monitor profile to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 in Windows, then adjust the video driver controls so that the gradients in this target, when displayed at 100% zoom, appear like neutral gray gradients.

                                     

                                    2.20 Gamma Calibration.png

                                     

                                    This is what you want it to look like:

                                     

                                    GammaCalibrationGoal.png

                                     

                                    I wish I could say it's simple to get it to look like this, but unfortunately it's not.  However, if you have the ability to set gamma, contrast, brightness for each of the three color channels in your video drivers (ATI Catalyst drivers offer this ability), then with a little elbow grease it is possible.

                                     

                                    -Noel

                                    • 15. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                      Noel Carboni Level 8

                                      Here's a photo of my pair of monitors where the gamma is pretty much dead on at 2.2.

                                       

                                      PairOfMonitors.jpg

                                       

                                      -Noel

                                      • 16. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                        Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                        Noel there used to be _terrible_ arguments around the subject back in the days of Usenet.  I can't remember the person's name now, but it was European (perhaps eastern European) as I remember.  It was mostly centered around Gama, and went on for months.  I can't find any of it now, as it appears that Google only searches the Yahoo groups, and does not go back to the early days of rec.photoshop etc., but the following links are par for the course.

                                        • 17. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                          Noel Carboni Level 8

                                          Timo Autiocari (that may not be the right spelling), possibly.  He may have been the author of this target.  The site listed on the target is long gone.

                                           

                                          -Noel

                                          • 18. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                            Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                            Timo.  That's the guy!  Absolutely rabid on the subject, and unswayable from his PoV.

                                            • 19. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                              Noel Carboni Level 8

                                              I think he was more rabid about editing at gamma 1.0 rather than monitor calibration, and all the "evils" it caused to edit in gamma 2.2 space - though I can easily imagine he might have argued that everything would be simpler if it all would just be linear, from image to display.

                                               

                                              It's quite possible to edit in gamma 1.0 now.  I have a custom profile I convert to when I want to do so with a 16 bits/channel document.  There are cases in astroimage processing where this can be VERY handy, for example when flattening the luminance across the entire field.

                                               

                                              -Noel

                                              • 20. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                First of all LCD are not created equal.  If you have an inexpensive LCD it most likely is made with TN technology colors will change as you move your head around where your viewing angle changes. Colors on TN panels are not the best TN panels are not well suited for image processing. There are at least three basic technologies used to manufacture LCD panels and there are variations of each of the technologies LCD are being improved all the time.  If your LCD is old and is a TN panel it may not calabrate well.  Which LCD display do you have?

                                                • 21. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                  JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                  Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                   

                                                  I get into trouble with everyone when I suggest using a gamma calibration target and using on-monitor and video card controls to get the monitor calibration close to 2.2 gamma, so I probably shouldn't do it.  But hey, it's not absolutely necessary to spend money to get closer to your goal.  It really boils down to how good is good enough for you.  Better color accuracy than what you have now could be a stepping stone.

                                                   

                                                  One approach - and I'm not saying it's the best one, but it'll get you closer to your goal without spending money - is to set your monitor to the sRGB preset, set your monitor profile to sRGB IEC61966-2.1 in Windows, then adjust the video driver controls so that the gradients in this target, when displayed at 100% zoom, appear like neutral gray gradients.

                                                  Noel "trouble with everyone" no way not possible I'm a bit colorblind calibration hardware for me might be a waste of my money. I've always used Targets IPS LCD edit by the numbers use my wife as final judge and spent my money on a professional Printer that had calibration burnt into it during manufacturing.

                                                  • 22. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                    StrongBeaver Level 3

                                                    Which monitor do I have or noel has ? If hardware calibration is no guarentee then the only solution is to match the profile of your video driver control ? This appears to be a vicious circle with no garenteed results.  There are color profiles you can add to Windows, I am looking at the color management option in Windows7 control panel on this system the follow profiles are installed.

                                                     

                                                    Created: 2/9/1998

                                                    Color Space: RGB

                                                    Device Model: IEC 61966-2.1 Default RGB colour space - sRGB

                                                    PCS: XYZ

                                                    CMM: Lino

                                                    Version: 2.1.0

                                                    Publicher IEC

                                                     

                                                    There is a color display gamma, it looks possible to calibrate a LCD without additional hardware, the question is what area would you do it in, Windows, ATi / nVidia display panel, what would you calibrate it to ? I work in photoshop, usually linear, getting the monitor and the software calibrated is the issue.  If you view your design on a web page and it's awful, atleast you can say, it's the computer / monitor, to get to that stage your work screen or in my case, my work screen must be calibrated exact, not only should it display correct, it should prints correctly as well, if there ever is a need for a carbon copy.

                                                    • 23. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                      Noel Carboni Level 8

                                                      I think you may be looking for a simple answer, but none will be forthcoming.

                                                       

                                                      There's really no part of color-management that's "set it and forget it".  It must be understood and to some extent kept in mind to be effective.

                                                       

                                                      I'm not sure what you mean by "no guaranteed results".  There are well-known ways to achieve particular levels of accuracy.  Some of them involve spending money to get more accurate display devices and measurement devices (which are not all created equal either).

                                                       

                                                      It could be pointed out that calibrating and profiling can actually lead to more inconsistent results, with some applications putting up more accurate displays and some less.  Yes, it's true.  People get confused over why their image looks different in different apps all the time.

                                                       

                                                      Regarding accuracy, there really can be no "exact", just accuracy to a measured tolerance level.  We touched on viewing angle, but haven't even begun to talk about how the color rendering on different parts of the monitor may differ (e.g., corners vs. center), or how much a monitor's accuracy may drift according to ambient conditions or degrade over time.  And of course there should be consideration for the ambient lighting in the area of the display...  It just goes deeper and deeper.

                                                       

                                                      When you split hairs, sometimes you find there are a lot of hairs. 

                                                       

                                                      -Noel

                                                      • 24. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                        StrongBeaver Level 3

                                                        As this thread unfolds it seems that "spending money" is the only way to get near or accurate results and to get a LCD monitor calibrated correctly ?

                                                        • 25. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                          Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                          Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                           

                                                          I think he was more rabid about editing at gamma 1.0 rather than monitor calibration, and all the "evils" it caused to edit in gamma 2.2 space - though I can easily imagine he might have argued that everything would be simpler if it all would just be linear, from image to display.

                                                           

                                                          Timo was a bit of a crackpot but...he did have an impact to a certain degree. When Thomas Knoll worked on Camera Raw, he was mindful of the impact of image processing in a gamma other than 1.0 (linear) particularly for images whose native gamma was linear to start with (like raw files). The fact that the ACR/LR processing pipeline is ProPhoto RGB in a linear gamma (gamma 1.0) wasn't entirely lost on Thomas. There are some image processing routines that are better/easier to do in gamma 1.0. If an image started life with a gamma other than 1.0 linear, Timo tried (and generally failed) to prove it was beneficial to convert to gamma 1.0 before image processing. In the grand scheme of things, that wasn't proven to be true if you are dealing with 8-bit images.

                                                           

                                                          However, if the image processing is being applied to a native linear gamma image, working in linear has some benefits as long as you don't bounce between linear and gamma encoded images. I would be reluctant to attribute this linear way of thinking to Timo...but I think it's accurate to say that Timo did serve a useful purpose in making the engineers look real hard at linear image processing vs. gamma encoded processing. But that's about as far as it went...Timo was an agent for change but it's the engineers that do the work that should get the real credit.

                                                          • 26. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                            Jeff Schewe Level 5

                                                            StrongBeaver wrote:

                                                             

                                                            As this thread unfolds it seems that "spending money" is the only way to get near or accurate results and to get a LCD monitor calibrated correctly ?

                                                             

                                                            Yeah, if you want any real hope of knowing what your image REALLY looks like you need to view the image in a calibrated and profiled environment and that implies a hardware/software profiled display. No real way around that base level minimum...sorry.

                                                             

                                                            The display is how you judge and evaluate and adjust your image...if you can't trust the display then the best you can do is flail about and maybe luck into a good result. Luck? Luck is for rabits...

                                                            • 27. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                              Level 5

                                                              StrongBeaver wrote:

                                                               

                                                              As this thread unfolds it seems that "spending money" is the only way to get near or accurate results and to get a LCD monitor calibrated correctly ?

                                                               

                                                              Yes; you get what you pay for. 

                                                              • 28. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                StrongBeaver Level 3

                                                                With hardware calibration, I will know that I'm getting accurate color and display on my monitor regardless if it's sRGB or linear ? My second question what are a few good hardware calibrators ? I'm fed up with changing my monitors "preset" just to know that it's all an illusion and now my work is too bright or too dark and I keep going around in circles not getting an accurate display.

                                                                • 29. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                  Level 5

                                                                  Hardware calibration is the best way to bring a monitor to a known state—that's what calibrate means.  You calibrate your monitor and you save the resulting profile in order to set it as your monitor profile.  That's the second phase of calibrating and profiling a monitor.

                                                                   

                                                                  1.— An accurately calibrated and profiled monitor is the starting point of color management.

                                                                   

                                                                  2.—You then need a properly tagged image file, i.e, an image file with the embedded profile of the color space in which it was created.

                                                                   

                                                                  3.—Then you need a color-managed application in which to view that image, in this case Photoshop.  Non-color managed applications won't know how to use your monitor profile or to read the embedded profile in a tagged image file.

                                                                   

                                                                  Any hardware calibrator will give you superior results to what you can get with software eyeball calibrators.  There are several good ones available in the market.

                                                                   

                                                                  Google i1 (eye-one), i1 Pro, X-Rite, Spyder, Colormunki, etc.  You'll find a good guide and a good selection here: http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/articles/calibrating.htm

                                                                   

                                                                  A good introduction to Color Management theory in layman's terms is found here:

                                                                  http://www.gballard.net/psd/cmstheory.html

                                                                  • 30. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                    Level 5

                                                                    Of course, you'll need a decent quality monitor in the first place.    Then you calibrate and profile it.

                                                                    • 31. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                      Noel Carboni Level 8

                                                                      Jeff Schewe wrote:

                                                                       

                                                                      Timo was a bit of a crackpot but...he did have an impact to a certain degree.

                                                                      Timo was an agent for change but it's the engineers that do the work that should get the real credit.

                                                                       

                                                                      Yes, exactly.  And it shows (positively) in the image quality.

                                                                       

                                                                      -Noel

                                                                      • 32. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                        StrongBeaver Level 3

                                                                        What is a poor monitor and what is a decent monitor ?

                                                                        • 33. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                          Level 5

                                                                          StrongBeaver wrote:

                                                                           

                                                                          What is a poor monitor and what is a decent monitor ?

                                                                           

                                                                          Are you serious? 

                                                                           

                                                                          Those are hardly scientific terms, but subjective ratings.

                                                                           

                                                                          A poor quality monitor is something like an LG brand or a ViewSonic monitor.  ($90 to $275-$300)

                                                                           

                                                                          A very good monitor is an Eizo ($2,000 to $5,000) or an NEC 2690 or 2490 (or whatever their successor models are today) with the SpectraView software ($3,000 or so).

                                                                           

                                                                          A decent monitor in my mind is something like an NEC MultiSync P221 (around $400).

                                                                           

                                                                          You could say that a decent monitor for you would be the best one your budget allows.

                                                                          • 34. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                            Level 5

                                                                            Here's an example of the above referenced monitor NEC MultiSync P221 bundled with its own first-rate software/hardware calibration solution:

                                                                             

                                                                            http://www.pcrush.com/product/LCD-Flat-Panel-Displays/290212/NEC-MultiSync-P221W-BK-SV-22- inch-1680-x-1050-1000-1-Widescreen-LCD-Monitor?refid=1238

                                                                            • 35. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                              JJMack Most Valuable Participant

                                                                              station_two wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              A poor quality monitor is something like a ($275-$300)

                                                                               

                                                                              A very good monitor is ($2,000 to $5,000).

                                                                               

                                                                              A decent monitor in my mind is something around $400.

                                                                              Do you mean you get what you pay for????

                                                                              • 36. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                                Level 5

                                                                                JJMack wrote:

                                                                                 

                                                                                …Do you mean you get what you pay for????

                                                                                 

                                                                                 

                                                                                That's exactly what I wrote in post # 27, isn't it?   

                                                                                • 37. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                                  StrongBeaver Level 3

                                                                                  The conclusion is, if you don't have a high end monitor, but a mid-range monitor, your best solution is a hardware calibrator.

                                                                                  • 38. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                                    Level 5

                                                                                    What? ??? !!!

                                                                                     

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Especially when you have a high-end monitor, you absolutely need a hardware calibrator!

                                                                                     

                                                                                    You should calibrate your monitors regularly and often.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    I calibrate all my monitors several times a month, and validate the profile (a shorter calibration procedure) daily.

                                                                                     

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Only when you have a dirt-cheap monitor would software/eyeball calibration be warranted.  Why waste money and time on a poor monitor?

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Message was edited by: station_two

                                                                                    • 39. Re: LCD Monitor Calibration
                                                                                      Trevor.Dennis Adobe Community Professional (Moderator)

                                                                                      If only clients took so much trouble over their computer monitors  

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