1 2 Previous Next 47 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2010 6:53 AM by Charles_Vaclav

    What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?

      I have recently installed Spectraview II to calibrate my NEC LCD 2180WG monitor but have some doubts on which target settings to use as there are different opinions on color temp, gamma and intensity choices.

      I use my system purely for photo post-processing and printing on color calibrated printers. I use AdobeRGB color space and have no interest for processing images for web.

      - What color temp do you use/recommend? D50, D65 or something in between? I see that some folks use D65 and others swear by D50.

      - What about Gamma choice 1.8, 2.2 or L* ? Same here, no common choice here too.

      - Lastly what about intensity (brightness in terms of cd/mm2)?

      NEC recommends Target Settings for Printing, which are D50, 1.8 gamma and Max. Intensity, but I'm not sure.

      I'd appreciate if you could recommend correct settings for my type of work.

      Thank You
        • 1. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
          I've been profiling about 10 LCD monitors at our photo lab for a couple years now, using Profilemaker 5 and an Eye-One spectrophotometer. I've settled on D50, 2.1 gamma, 95 Cd/m².

          If this results in whites on screen being too dark compared to printed whites, use a higher target Cd/m².

          If whites on screen are too blue, try a lower Kelvin temperature. If they're too yellow, try a higher Kelvin temperature.

          If midtones appear too light on screen, use a lower gamma (raise the gamma if they're too dark).

          Of course, this is assuming your printer is properly calibrated and you're using an accurate printer profile to soft-proof.

          Hope this helps!

          Jim
          • 3. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
            Level 1
            Marco-

            No, it's not a typo. I set the gamma to 2.1 when calibrating our LCDs. Why is that so crazy? I've seen some post that they use 2.2, and others even use 2.0.

            The bottom line is: set it to what gives the best screen-to-print match, right?
            • 4. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
              (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
              I didn't say it was crazy, did I?

              But unusual it is indeed. I understand: you're splitting the difference.

              If it works for you, fine. That's what matters.
              • 5. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                Level 1
                In a color managed application like Ps, there will be virtually no visual difference overall using gamma 1.8, 2.2 or anything in between. There is, however, a real advantage using native gamma of the display, which usually IS 2.2. The advantage is that less correction is done in the video lookup tables, resulting in a monitor that has visibly smoother gradients. This is a particular problem on most LCD displays that use an 8 bit data path.
                • 6. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                  Level 1
                  Thanks for the clarification, Peter. I'm going to recalibrate and re-profile my monitor at gamma 2.2 right now. Although it may only make a small difference, every little bit helps.
                  • 7. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                    (Andrew_Rodney) Level 1
                    If the software allows Native Gamma, pick that. It might be 2.2. 2.1. 2.3, don't know (don't care). Why set an arbitrary value? Any of the above may be close to native but using a Native setting simply leaves that alone and records the value for the profile.
                    • 8. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                      Lou Dina Level 3
                      I find the gamma setting for calibration definitely DOES makes a difference in Photoshop. Native white point and gamma give me some of the worst monitor profiles I have ever made, with either EyeOne Match or ProfileMaker 5, both with an Eye One spectrophotometer. I always confirm my white and black luminance and the gamma setting with a specially designed Lab target that I display in Photoshop after calibration and profiling. There is a noticeable difference in the midtones between 1.8, 2.0, 2.2 and native gamma.

                      I'd have to agree with Digital Jim's original post. My settings are very close to his. I set my LCD to 5100K (measured paper white), 2.0 gamma, and a luminance setting of 85 to 90 cd/m2. I have tried dozens of different settings time and again, but these settings always work the best.

                      I found that my CRT (now dead) worked with the same white temp and luminance, but I had to set it's gamma to 1.8 so that the same Lab test target would display the same as my LCD when set to 2.0 gamma. This is using the same spectro and the same software. And a consistent, accurate monitor output is what I am after. Besides, the monitor to print match is uncannily accurate. I used Solux and Philips viewing lights for all my work.

                      I agree that people should experiment and do what works for them. Try both approaches and verify it for yourself.

                      Lou
                      • 9. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                        How did you arrive at "set my LCD to 5100K (measured paper white), 2.0 gamma, and a luminance setting of 85 to 90 cd/m2."?

                        Specifically how did you get 5100K as a paper white? Did you measure the paper?

                        Thanks
                        cvt
                        • 10. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                          Lou Dina Level 3
                          Charles,

                          I arrived at 5100K by measuring a few of my favorite printing papers with my spectrophotometer. This was a good compromise (most measured between about 4800K and 5300K). I confirmed the results by trying various calibrations them comparing the monitor to prints (using custom printer profiles). Anywhere near 5000K looked great, but 5100K was the best match of the bunch. I used 5000K lighting for viewing (Solux and Philips light sources).

                          Luminance settings were done in a similar fashion. First I compared a ppure white Photoshop document (on the monitor) to the intensity of a sheet of white printing paper displayed under my viewing light. With the monitor luminance set to the 85 cd/m2 range, the two documents look about the same brightness of white. I try to view my prints under "moderate" light levels rahter than ultra bright levels, since I know they won't be lit by spot or flood lights when placed on a wall. If you do have spots on your hung prints, there is a case to use a higher luminance level on your monitor. Anyway, on many LCDs, if you set the luminance too high, your blacks can start to look a little washed out. When set to about 85 cd, my tonal range in the print is a great match to my monitor. If I have the monitor luminance set to 100 or higher, I find that my prints look dark and muddy in comparison (unless viewed under unrealistically bright lights). So, a lot of trial and error, plus some initial brightness comparisons.

                          Gamma is a tougher one. I have a special viewing target that I bring up in Photoshop (Lab based to prevent any possible conversions). When viewed in Photoshop at full magnification, it helps me to set the gamma, which affects mostly the midtone density. On my LCD, I found )again by trial and error) that 2.0 gave me the best tonal distribution. My old CRT worked best at 1.8 gamma, and other LCDs sometimes work best at other gamma settings, such as 2.2.

                          The above settings work beautifully given my equipment, my viewing levels, ambient working conditions, etc. My monitor to print match is excellent from both a color and tonal range standpoint. Hope that helps clarify my thinking and approach.

                          Lou
                          • 11. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                            Level 1
                            I am trying to decide just how much $$.$$ to put into this. We have the Eye1 Photo bundle with the Rev B Pro sensor already. But I have not found anyway to get it to work as a spectrophotometer.

                            What did you use to measure your paper(s)?

                            cvt
                            • 12. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                              (Andrew_Rodney) Level 1
                              When you say you have the EyeOne Photo bundle, that's the EyeOne Pro Spectrophotometer or the EyeOne Display-2 Colorimeter?

                              You can't get the Colorimeter to work this way unfortunately. Otherwise, the EyeOne Display is fine for calibration and profiling of your display.
                              • 13. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                Level 1
                                The EyeOne Pro Spectrophotometer, Rev B.

                                cvt
                                • 14. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                  (Andrew_Rodney) Level 1
                                  That will measure the paper white, the ambient light etc. You need either i1 Share or MeasureTool which will run without a dongle using that instrument with limited functionality (but enough to measure paper white).
                                  • 15. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                    Lou Dina Level 3
                                    Charles,

                                    I use an Eye One Pro spectrophotometer. If I am not mistaken, your Eye One Photo bundle includes a full spectrophotometer, right? If you can build custom printer profiles then you have a spectrophotometer (not a colorimeter) and your device is capable or reading reflected paper white.

                                    Now you need software that can give you Lab, XYZ or direct color temperature readouts. Eye One Share (free download) can give you Lab readings, and MeasureTool can also give you Lab or XYZ readings. Once you have those, you can plug them into the CIE color Calculator at http://www.brucelindbloom.com/ and get a color temperature readout. Most "white" papers will read somewhere between 4700K (pretty yellowish stuff) to 5300K (bright white, usually with optical brighteners). Both of the above software products are made by Gretag (now XRite). There are lots of other software modules that can read your paper white, but one of the above will do the trick.

                                    I use Gretag ProfileMaker which allows me to enter XYZ coordinates directly into the monitor profiling software as a target white setting. Eye One Match software allows you to enter a custom white temperature (in degrees K), but I don't think it allows you to enter Lab or XYZ coordinates. Nonethless, you can set the white point for monitor calibration once you know the desired target temp. From extensive experimentation, I'd say anywhere in the 5000K to 5250K area typically works fine to get the blue/yellow balance correct. I find 6500K WAY too blue for good monitor to print matching.

                                    Lou
                                    • 16. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                      Level 1
                                      Rodney & Lou - thanks!

                                      It, the Eye-One Pro, is a spectrophotometer though it's presentation is more like the older Xrite instruments & suffers for that.

                                      I will get Eye One Share & try that.

                                      cvt
                                      • 17. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                        "I always confirm my white and black luminance"

                                        What is your black luminance value? I'm calibrating with a new Spyder3 Elite and the menu option allows manual input of both white and black luminance. I've found lots of information in this thread and others re: approaches to setting white along with a range of values that seems to run from 85 to 120 depending on ambient light conditions, paper white, and anticipated viewing conditions for the final print. But I have seen nothing about ranges for the black level.

                                        Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks.
                                        • 18. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                          Lou Dina Level 3
                                          Jay,

                                          My black luminance usually comes in at 0.2 and I set the white luminance to 85. I am using both EyeOne Match3 and ProfileMaker 5 with my LCD, and neither program lets you set the black luminance, but EyeOne Match3 tells you what it is when your profile is done.

                                          Lou
                                          • 19. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                            Level 1
                                            Thanks Lou. Much appreciated. Is the black level influenced by a higher white target? I run at 110-120 for white luminance.
                                            • 20. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                              Lou Dina Level 3
                                              Jay,

                                              I'm not sure about other software, but with EyeOne Match and ProfileMaker, if you raise the white luminance, the black tends to follow.

                                              For monitor to print matching, I have always found 120 cd/m2 to be way too high (unless you are using extremely bright viewing lights). I recommend trying a white luminance of 100 or lower, and for my own personal work and setup, I find 85 to 90 to be just about perfect. You want a pure white document displayed in Photoshop to have the same approximate brightness as a sheet of blank paper displayed under your viewing light.

                                              If white luminance is set too high, you will edit more darkness into your files (since the high monitor luminance makes your files bright and washed out looking). These numbers, when sent to the printer will tend to look very dark and muddy, unless you are using a very bright light for evaluation. And if you will display your finished prints under lower lighting, everything will look pretty dark. Everything has to work together.

                                              Give it a try and see what works for you. But if your prints look too dark compared to your monitor, then lower the luminance.

                                              Lou
                                              • 21. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                Level 1
                                                Hey Lou

                                                The lowest my monitor would go with brightness set to 0 was 107cdm which I found uncomfortably dim. Looking at the screen now with it set to 120 it is still more gray than white so I'll have to experiment. Great advice - thanks.
                                                • 22. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                  Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                                  Be aware that all LCD front button and/or OSD settings for luminance behave differently among brands and models.

                                                  120 cd/m2 can look different from another LCD because some brightness adjustment settings combine both contrast and white brightness like my 2004 20" G5 iMac.

                                                  Also the luminance setting for white according to an i1 tech support personnel I spoke with a while back said this number is an average of the entire overall brightness including 1/4 to 3/4 tonal regions of gray which influences the shape of the correction curve i1 creates to achieve a smoothly progressing grayramp within a 2.2 gamma target.

                                                  I can sort of confirm this by comparing the differences of my final i1Match correction curve applied to both the iMac's 118 cd/m2, .2BK at 2.2 gamma and my 21" Samsung 1100p CRT's 105 cd/m2, .1BK at 2.2 gamma. Both produce a very straight RGB curve but the iMac is slightly pulled back linearly starting from black point with a slight shephard's hook shaped gradual slope at the 200-255 region.

                                                  This suggests that whatever you set your display's black and white points at the software is going to correct according to an internal encoded standard appearance of what a grayramp should look like at any given luminance from black to white.

                                                  Follow Lou's direction on setting white making sure whatever settings you adjust on the front panel is enough to get you as close as possible to 2.2 target gamma and is COMFORTABLE looking. Then let the software only adjust for gamma and leave all other custom settings alone. The software will indicate if your front button settings are within specs.

                                                  Specs being 2.2 gamma and 6500K color temp. and whatever luminance number is comfortable for you.
                                                  • 23. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                    Level 1
                                                    Hello Guys,

                                                    I'm still confused with this gamma choice in the Spectraview II calibration software. There is also the "Monitor Native Gamma" choice. Is it a good idea to choose this option besides 2.2 or any other gamma choice?

                                                    Thank you
                                                    • 24. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                      Lou Dina Level 3
                                                      Murat,

                                                      Gamma basically establishes the tonality (brightness/darkness) of the midpoint of your tonal scale. Most people recommend a gamma of 2.2 (which is becoming the standard, and is a good choice). Others recommend native gamma (I don't).

                                                      I use a gamma of 2.0 on my LCD monitor, which is a little lighter than 2.2, but through trial and error I find it gives me a closer match from monitor to print. I use a special viewing target to help me assess the final calibration, including white luminance, black luminance and gamma. For my setup, I use a white luminance of 85 cd/m2 and a gamma of 2.0. Your system may be a bit different.

                                                      For monitor to print matching, I would definitely keep your luminance below 100, and 2.2 is a good overall choice for gamma. I set my monitor to a color temp of 5100K, which is warmer than a lot of people use, but again, it gives me a nearly perfect color match, using industry standard viewing lights.

                                                      Lou
                                                      • 25. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                        Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                                        Native anything within calibration tells the software to do no adjustments the video card to correct for that specific current condition.

                                                        If native gamma of your particular display happens to be 2.0, the software will leave it as such and write it within the profile so CM apps can adjust previews of images tagged with any given gamma written into their profile.

                                                        The issue you'll run into with this approach is nonCM apps are going to display sRGB web color images a bit lighter.
                                                        • 26. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                          Larry Tseng Level 1
                                                          Murat,

                                                          I use Spectraview II on an LCD2190UXi and the native gamma comes pretty close to gamma 2.2 if I am not mistaken. In any case, I don't think you will see any difference with any setting that you choose since SpectraView adjusts the LUT on board your LCD2180WG (and leaves the video card LUT at neutral). The choices, I think, are really for non color-managed situations, e.g., DICOM for medical displays. I leave mine at gamma 2.2 to better match sRGB images on the internet since I don't expect to run into color managed images much.

                                                          If you are using a color managed workflow, just pick something and forget it.

                                                          Larry
                                                          • 27. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                            Tim Lookingbill Level 1
                                                            That's right he's got a SpectraView. I forgot about how they work with display's LUT rather than the video card's.

                                                            Follow Larry's advice because I can tell when I leave my iMac or Samsung at native gamma with the no gamma curve downloaded to the video card both displays are butt ugly both showing duotone grayramps with the iMac so contrasty about half of the highlite region is blown completely white.
                                                            • 28. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                              Lou Dina Level 3
                                                              Larry,

                                                              If you don't object, send me your email address. I'd like to email you something off line. My email address is listed under my profile.

                                                              Lou Dina
                                                              • 29. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                Larry Tseng Level 1
                                                                Second thoughts on what I said earlier (and maybe more -- after Lou sends me his stuff):

                                                                > If you are using a color managed workflow, just pick something and forget it.

                                                                Native Gamma may not be a good choice because SpectraView II can make corrections to as small a step as 1/256 of the intensity range to the on-board LUT. I can see from my LUT correction data that a profile that works off of fewer patches will have trouble accounting for the local spikes and an ugly curve in the very deep shadow region. So it would seem best to provide the profiler with a smooth gamma characteristic to profile.

                                                                I would stay away from the extreme gammas though, say 3.0 or 1.0, since this will wreck your desktop.

                                                                Larry
                                                                • 30. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                  (Andrew_Rodney) Level 1
                                                                  >Native Gamma may not be a good choice because SpectraView II can make corrections to as small a step as 1/256 of the intensity range to the on-board LUT....

                                                                  True! For this unit, not a benefit nor necessary.
                                                                  • 31. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                    Thanks everybody for a really informative thread. I have a beginner's question:

                                                                    If I calibrate my screen to, say, 5100K and 2.0 gamma, what relationship does this have to the colour space I choose in Photoshop? I have read that Adobe RGB (1998) has a D65 white point and assumes 2.2 gamma, whereas Adobe Wide Gamut and ProPhoto have D50 white points.

                                                                    If I have calibrated my monitor to 5100K, should I choose a colour space with the same white point?

                                                                    Thanks,
                                                                    Brett
                                                                    • 32. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                      Lou Dina Level 3
                                                                      Brett,

                                                                      Not required. Pick a color temp that gives you the best monitor to print match for your monitor, viewing lights, etc. For me, that is about 5100K to 5200K. Some people seem to like 6500K, but I find it way too blue. Use what works. If you find your prints are too yellow compared to the monitor, then your monitor color temp is set too high. This assumes, of course, you are comparing your monitor to prints made using a good custom printer profile for your printer/paper/ink combination.

                                                                      I work in a number of different color spaces, including sRGB and Adobe RGB, both of which are 6500K spaces. Using a different color temp for monitor calibration is not a problem.

                                                                      BTW, I have suggested a 2.0 gamma in the past, but discovered an anomoly with the program I was using to load the calibration into the VLUTs and compare gammas (DisplayProfile.exe by Gretag). I now use 2.2 gamma since it is the Windows and internet standard. The profiling software corrects for gamma, so you will get the proper tonal distribution with either gamma in color managed applications, but you'll be better off with 2.2 gamma in non color managed applications.

                                                                      Lou
                                                                      • 33. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                        Level 1
                                                                        Thanks for your quick reply Lou. Would you also recommend 2.2 gamma for non-colour managed applications on Macs? Do you know if Apple has moved away from 1.8 gamma?

                                                                        /Brett
                                                                        • 34. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                          Level 1
                                                                          Just by way of comment - looking over a friend shoulder I was surprised to see that his color settings (in Photoshop) included the monitor profile for his Apple Cinema display(s).

                                                                          My ACDs are similar to his and do not have functional brightness/contrast/color temp settings so for CM/PS I use the "native" setting - while he prints thru a RIP and I do not I may have to try his setup.

                                                                          cvt
                                                                          • 35. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                            Lou Dina Level 3
                                                                            Brett,

                                                                            In general, 2.2 gamma has become more of an accepted standard. Even a lot of Mac users use 2.2 gamma. The internet is based on sRGB and that is 2.2 gamma too. Since there are a lot more PC users than Mac users, this seems like a reasonable approach. Also, monitors native gammas are usually closer to 2.2 than 1.8, and often higher than 2.2.

                                                                            Actually, one reason I calibrate to 2.2 is for non color managed applications. Less tonal shift.

                                                                            Lou
                                                                            • 36. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                              Level 1
                                                                              "My ACDs are similar to his and do not have functional brightness/contrast/color temp settings so for CM/PS I use the "native" setting - while he prints thru a RIP and I do not I may have to try his setup. "

                                                                              With this being the case (no dedicated brightness/contrast controls) how do you calibrate your monitor's white and black luminance points?
                                                                              • 37. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                                Lou Dina Level 3
                                                                                Jay,

                                                                                I use LCDs with a digital video card. Most LCD monitors, except the higher end units, write adjustments to the video card, even when you are adjusting contrast, color, etc, from the monitor controls. The only real analog control is the backlight brightness. This affects mostly the white luminance, but it also can affect the black point. My digital video card knows that there is only one real analog control, and it disables everything but the brightness during calibration, since all other settings get sent to the video card anyway. So, it takes its lead from the profiling software.

                                                                                Some software just allows you to set the white luminance, and the black luminance falls where it falls (EyeOne Match, ProfileMaker, and probably quite a few others). But some software (ColorEyes and BasicColor come to mind) allows you to set the white and black luminance independently. If you want that type of control, you need to buy the right software, or buy a high end LCD monitor that has more adjustments that are handled outside of the video card.

                                                                                Up to this point at least, I am not a big fan of using native settings for either color temp or gamma. I prefer to select my own color temp for a better monitor to print color match. And for gamma, I prefer 2.2 so non color managed applications will render images closer to the original intent (since sRGB is the web standard and is used by the majority of non color managed applications).

                                                                                Lou
                                                                                • 38. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                                  (Andrew_Rodney) Level 1
                                                                                  >But some software (ColorEyes and BasicColor come to mind) allows you to set the white and black luminance independently.

                                                                                  How do they accomplish this considering there's no control over black (just backlight intensity)?
                                                                                  • 39. Re: What target settings for LCD monitor calibration?
                                                                                    Lou Dina Level 3
                                                                                    How do they accomplish this considering there's no control over black (just backlight intensity)?

                                                                                    How? I don't know or care, as long as it works and is reasonably accurate. Both ColorEyes and BasicColor allow you to specify separate values for white and black luminance as targets. I assume the software writes corrections to the vlut to raise the black luminance to the number requested in the software. Of course, it can't give you a lower black luminance than what is displayed, so if black luminance is read as 0.4 cd/m2 during calibration and you ask for 0.25 cd/m2, you are out of luck. Best you can possibly do is the blackest the monitor displays at a given backlight level. I do know that both ColorEyes and BasicColor write a separate black point tag to the profile, (which you can see in ColorThink), which EyeOneMatch and PM5 do not do. Also, they report back the final achieved black luminance at the end of the calibration/profiling process. It usually isn't exactly what you specified, but is usually quite close, and certainly provides more control. Specifying different black luminance values definitely gives a different result, which the software reports, and is also visible in the final display when the profile is activated.

                                                                                    Lou
                                                                                    1 2 Previous Next