8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 26, 2014 11:58 AM by kel858

    color calibrating monitor


      Hello, I am new to the pro photography/editing world and I am looking for recommendations for monitor color calibration systems.  I am currently using a 13 inch macbook air.  There are so many on the market I don't know where to start.  I am looking for something that can automatically adjust the calibration for whatever light I happen to be sitting in at the moment- perhaps something with a sensor?  I am not trying to break the bank.  I see that the Spyder4 and X-Rite are popular.  If you can give me your recommendations/model name that would be great!!

        • 1. Re: color calibrating monitor
          Keith_Reeder Level 4

          Not sure why you'd think this was an on-topic question for a Lightroom forum?

          • 2. Re: color calibrating monitor
            kel858 Level 1

            my bad.

            • 3. Re: color calibrating monitor
              D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Keith_Reeder wrote:


              Not sure why you'd think this was an on-topic question for a Lightroom forum?


              Not sure why you think correct display of your files is irrelevant? Are all hardware-related discussions off-topic? All discussions on color management? If you think that, I suggest you just stay out of those threads and concentrate on the threads you find relevant.


              Meanwhile, I'll be happy to answer.


              Generally, you have the right idea in that your working environment will influence your perception. But an automatic adjustment of your calibration introduces so many uncontrollable factors that it's practically unworkable. It will only confuse you. Some calibrators have an option to adjust display brightness automatically, but the general advice is to disable that.


              Concentrate on controlling your environment as far as you can. It's much more important to tune your calibration targets so that you get a good match to printed output. Ideally, screen white point should be a visual match to paper white - and this is where the environment will influence your perception. Similarly for contrast/black point. Start at 120 cd/m² and 6500K, and a contrast range (if available) of around 350:1. Adjust as needed to get a match.


              Some will probably say a laptop display is not worth calibrating at all. I disagree, but don't expect too much. One basic problem is that most laptop displays are TN-based with very restricted viewing angles, to the point where the top of the screen is too dark and the bottom washed out. But if you get a calibrator now you still have that if you decide to get a better monitor later.


              To be specific, I'd recommend the x-rite i1 Display Pro at around $200. This is generally the best third-party calibrator currently on the market. A more inexpensive solution is the ColorMunki Display, which uses the same sensor but somewhat restricted software. The Spyders are good too, but not quite as reliable and consistent at the same price point.

              • 4. Re: color calibrating monitor
                thedigitaldog MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                I agree with the i1 Display Pro for a solution. The hardware is excellent and you're paying a bit more for robust control over the calibration targets which is pretty critical if your goal is for the display to match something else like a print. X-rite has the same hardware matted with poorer software and a lower price which I think is rather pointless. But controlling the ambient conditions is very critical and no amount of money will fix poor conditions. Some products have an ambient light compensation 'feature' which I think is kind of silly. If your goal is color critical work, the MaBook display isn't going to work all that well, put in differing ambient conditions could wreak havoc on your editing decisions. Put a good external display in controlled conditions on the MacBook, different story all together.

                • 5. Re: color calibrating monitor
                  99jon Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Calibration is not a one-off task but something that needs to be done regularly, when the monitor is warmed up, especially for maintaining consistent results from screen to print.


                  Some monitors such as Eizo are built around photographers rather than gamers and have built-in calibration systems. Some have sensors also, for ambient light. They are not cheap but a 24 inch Color Edge LCD monitor is not unreasonable.


                  This link on color calibration is quite a good resource:


                  • 6. Re: color calibrating monitor
                    D Fosse Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    99jon wrote:


                    They are not cheap but a 24 inch Color Edge LCD monitor is not unreasonable.

                    Best 2000 bucks I ever spent . Seriously. Don't know how I managed before. This thing simply takes the display out of the equation - poof...

                    • 7. Re: color calibrating monitor
                      Ruben Carmona

                      I use a Spyder4 with the EIZO ColorNavigator software and it gives me good results. At the end it's just important using one of these colorimeters and if you have a monitor with hardware-calibration, be sure to use its own software to calibrate.

                      • 8. Re: color calibrating monitor
                        kel858 Level 1

                        Thanks to all, I did purchase the i1 Display Pro.