8 Replies Latest reply on Apr 11, 2014 2:39 AM by Andrew_Hart

    What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?

    Andrew_Hart Level 2

      My 26 inch NEC monitor was 5 years in March this year.


      For the first 3 years or so I was easily able to achieve the Maximum Luminance of 110 candelas per square metre (cd/sqm) recommended by the Match 3 software supplied with my Gretag Macbeth Eye-One Display2 monitor calibration hardware.


      However, over the last couple of years, the Cold Cathode Fluorescent Tubes supplying the monitor's backlighting have gradually begun to dim and now, April 2014, the Maximum Luminance I can achieve is only 84 cd/sqm. Nevertheless, I can still achieve a Color Temperature of 6500K and the Color Curves are also pretty good, all 3 lying on top of each other and positioned directly on the 45 degree axis, with just a slight dip in the top right-hand corner.


      So, 2 questions:


      1. Can I achieve accurate and reliable editing with such a low monitor brightness; and


      2. Will my images developed in ACR (and, processed in Photoshop, for that matter), appear acceptable to others with newer, properly calibrated monitors displaying significantly higher brightness levels?

        • 1. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
          Yammer Level 4

          Just to make matters worse, you may want to think about replacing your i1 Display2. If it's anything like the one I had, it becomes increasingly inaccurate with age. I was told that the plastic covering the sensor ages badly in a relatively short time, and they use special glass in newer gear.


          So, you may find that the screen's brightness is not actually 84cd/sq.m with a new gadget.


          I personally find that the brightness setting works best in the 100-120 region. What works best for you may be different. It partly depends on the amount of light in the room. Obviously, sitting in near darkness will make the screen look brighter, and, with sun streaming through your window, much darker. The same principle applies to ambient light colour temperature.


          In answer to your questions: I don't see why you couldn't achieve accurate rendition with a lower brightness, as long as your room is darker; and, as long as you can still calibrate and profile to your specification, it should translate to any other calibrated/profiled system.

          • 2. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
            Andrew_Hart Level 2

            Well, not unexpectedly, good advice from you , thanks Keith.


            Never even crossed my mind that the puck might not be working properly. Will get myself a new one ASAP, just in case.

            Mind telling me what device and software you're using currently?


            The best news was your belief that my, now only suspected, low brightness should not be affecting accuracy.


            It's what I suspected and hoped I'd hear from some other knowledgeable user.


            I love my (very expensive) NEC monitor and would hate to have to replace it before its absolutely necessary. 

            • 3. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
              Yammer Level 4

              I replaced mine with an i1 Display Pro, which I reckon is pitched at the same market as the Display2. It has the advantage of being more compact and has a built in diffuser, so you could leave it on the desk next to your monitor to pick up variable ambient light. I use the i1 Profiler software which comes with it. It's not perfect, and it asks a lot of questions you might not have the answers for, but it does the job.


              • 4. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
                Andrew_Hart Level 2

                Thanks for the link.


                Looks promising, maybe also the Color Munki. Will look into both more carefully.


                Now to find anywhere in the World to buy one on-line except Australia or the UK.


                Bit like the UK, I think, H/W and especially S/W prices here in the Land Down Under are ridiculously and disproportionately high at the retail level.

                • 5. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
                  Andrew_Hart Level 2

                  Bought the i1 Display Pro - which comes with the latest version (1.5.0) of the i1 Profiler s/w on CD. Also downloaded the s/w from X-Rite.


                  Best Maximum Luminance I could achieve (in both Basic and Advanved calibration modes) was 83 cd/sqm.


                  So it's not my i1Display2 puck at fault but indeed my poor old aging monitor. I can live with that for a bit longer.


                  Not at all impressed with the i1 Profiler software/i1 Display Pro combination.


                  They produced several inadequate and inconsistent results of Luminosity/White Point combinations over a series of 10 or so calibrations.


                  The colours of the monitor after calibration/profiling also seemed slightly muted.


                  There was also just a suggestion of a slight sepia colour cast apparent in some images I am particularly familar with.


                  Disk space footprint also most unimpressive: i1 Profiler - 5997 files requiring 527 MB; Match 3 - 3882 files requiring only 83 MB


                  So I've gone back to using the good old, but reliable, Gretag Macbeth Match 3 s/w with the now, proved functional, i1Display2 puck. 

                  • 6. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
                    Yammer Level 4

                    Oh dear. I feel that I should apologise for setting you off down that route. My own experience was different, and my calibrations improved, so I'm surprised that you've had less than satisfactory results.


                    One thing I might suggest is that your sepia tint may possibly be subjective, based on being used to a slightly different calibration for a long period of time, OR you may need to experiment with the target colour temperature setting. If it's neither of those things, then it's just not very good.


                    Are you using the ADC setting? I found that it didn't work very well with my monitors, and I calibrate them manually. I believe that this is quite common.


                    As for disk space, there are several video tutorials in the installation. You can delete them if not required.

                    • 7. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
                      Yammer Level 4

                      ...I should add that my 5-year-old Display2 had been increasingly producing a slightly magenta cast, which I was told was due to the aging of the plastic lens. When I started using the DisplayPro, this was replaced by what seemed to be a slightly cream-coloured cast. Once I adjusted the target colour temperature back towards 6500, this disappeared.

                      • 8. Re: What Monitor Brightness is required for Accurate Editing ?
                        Andrew_Hart Level 2

                        Absolutely no need to apologize.


                        It was well worth the relatively trivial expense and effort to confirm that what I had been using was in fact adequate for the job.


                        Sorry if you thought I may have been having a dig at you. Nothing could be further from the truth. My comments regarding my unsatisfactory experience were only made for the benefit of others who might be thinking about a similar upgrade and to give them some incentive to check alternatives before taking the plunge. I should have made that clear right at the start.


                        One invaluable thing I learned, by watching a number videos about the profiling exercise with the i1 Profiler s/w, was that your previous advice regarding lower monitor brightness levels being unlikely to affect profiling accuracy was absolutely correct. The videos, several of them from X-Rite itself, made it very plain that it is perfectly OK to choose a Max Lum as low as 80 cd/sqm if that suits your individual taste and/or ambient lighting environment. That confirmation alone was more than worth the expense of the upgrade to the i1 Display Pro. Anyway, there's a very good chance that the i1 Display Pro will be suitable for the task when I come to upgrade my monitor - which, I fear, will not be in the too far distant future.


                        Don't think the sepia tint is subjective. Though slight, it was noticeable in both Photoshop and colour-managed ThumbsPlus 9. As I said, I was very familiar with the test images, which were made from scans of Kodachrome slides and I had a very good recollection of how the colours in each (original slides and the scans) should look.


                        Was not using the ADC setting for the critical calibration/profiling comparisons, although I did initially try it out and, like you, was not happy with the results.


                        Disk space footprint was never anywhere near a show stopper  - just a matter of interest really. Funny how s/w just keeps getting bigger and bigger and often with no significant improvement in functionality.


                        Message was edited by: Andrew_Hart