This content has been marked as final. Show 27 replies
I personally think a luminance of approximately 90 cd/m2 is generally about right, but that depends on a lot of factors, including ambient lighting, viewing lights, monitor, etc. I am not familiar with your profiling software, but before buying something else, try the following.
First, bring up blank document in Photoshop and fill it with pure white (255, 255, 255) and fill the screen. Now, take a sheet of white paper and put it under the light that you use to evaluate prints. The approximate brightness of the PS image on screen should be relatively close to what you see under your viewing light. If your screen image is too bright, then use the monitor controls to lower the luminance. If too dull, increase the luminance. Get them in the same ballpark, but don't obsess over it.
Now, calibrate your monitor and try setting the color of your white point at about 5500K or so. I would also use a gamma of 2.2 if the software gives you a choice.
Then compare some prints to your monitor preview. When you do this, make sure you are have the soft proof preview of the image on your screen. For example, if printing on Epson Enhanced Matte using Relative Colorimetric rendering and BPC, make sure you have that specific soft proof invoked on screen. Then look at the match and see how it looks. If it looks great, you're done.
If your print looks very dark compared to the monitor, you probably have your monitor luminance set too high. If your print is too yellow, lower the color temp closer to 5000K. If your print is bluer, raise the color temp of your monitor, moving closer to 6500K.
If you would like to read more on this subject, buy Real World Color Management or read the following article.
Hope this helps.
Lou i will try out your suggestions. Thankyou for the link. Will post on this later.
I jut did a fresh calibration at 6500 2.2 and set the luminance slider when asked to just a titch below the midpoint on Spyder'smoving horizontal bar.
I printed out my photo and I am so fed up with this who;e business after almost 2 months of trying to get it right!!!!!!!!!!!??????????!??? The photo looks good, but the screen's version is much warmer and yellower. My ambient light conditions are UNAVOIDABLE - big window, cloudy, no direct light on the screen, the room is generally a bit duller at this moment. kept lights off during re-calibration and printing and viweing. Viewed photo in natural light by computer. Screen is 120 degrees away from window.
Calibration software tells me (AFTER 3 minutes) ambient light level high. Needs adjustment to Very High. UUGGHHGGUU!!!! Is this because I did not for the first time keep to the rules? I should have set the luminance bar to the middle and not to just below the middle?
If your calibration software allows it, ignore its suggestions for white point, luminance, etc. If your print looks too yellow in comparison to your monitor, then you need to add more yellow to your monitor (ie, your monitor is actually set too blue). If your prints look very dark compared to your monitor, your monitor luminance is probably set too high. These comparisons assume, of course, you are printing with an accurate printer profile. It also assumes you have a decent monitor and viewing your prints under appropriate lighting (light level and color). Laptops monitors can be calibrated, but they generally will not give you the results you can get from a good stand alone monitor.
Read the link I gave you and it will explain the whole thing, hopefully in a clear manner. It explains why I calibrate my LCD monitor to 5200K, 2.2 gamma and 90 cd/m2. Those settings are about perfect for my system, lighting, etc. Your settings may vary somewhat, but give them a try as a start.
Let the software do what it does best, read and report back colors it reads, and build a profile. Again, IGNORE its suggestions (if it will let you).
Very grateful for your persistence here. I read that link that you gave me this morning. I re-calibrated my monitor as follows:
this is ALL that spyder3 pro allows you to do. It's a useless piece of software despite ALL the INDEPENDENT reviews.
My pictures are too yellow, they are too dark compared with monitor.
PROBLEM lies with spyder because IF you accept its suggested readings of 6500 after it has measured the ambient light then you get the opprtunity to adjust the luminance (not by numerics but by a bar). IF however, you stick to your preference of 5800, then it does not allow you to adjust luminance at all.!!!!! The only choices you get are:
gamma native, 1.8 2.2 2.4
Kelvin presets of 5000, 5800, 6500
So obviously 5000 is too low. I can not adjust luminance DURING calibration. Would adjusting the luminance after calibration have an undesired effect?
I can not buy 5000 bulbs, I have no cellar or dark corner and I work with an apple IMAC LCD. My prints are close to the test prints. The greys and blacks have improved greatly they are more like the test print - muddy, that is good believe it or not.. the oranges are more orange and less red now. The blues are slightly more lighter, like the test print, colours are slightly improved BUT there is more saturation on screen than in the printouts. there is an overall improvement EXCEPT that my shadow detail on the prints is still being lost a bit.
thanking you for your help Lou, any comments?
Why don't you try one of the other monitor profile packages that work with the Spyder 3 pro. You could try basICColor's display V4. They offer a 14 day trial that you can download from their site and see if you get better results. I believe the website is www.basiccolor.de.
First, do not assume 5000K is too low. That has been the standard white point setting used in the graphic arts industry for years. Try it, you might be surprised. If your prints are yellow compared to your monitor, moving to 5000K might be just about right. I have always found that a color temp between 5000-5500K was about right, and at least on my systems, closer to 5000K was a better match.
If you view under incandescent light, you definitely want to be closer to 5000K. If your prints are dark overall compared to your monitor, then your monitor is too bright, your viewing lights too dim, or a combination of the two. You can try lowering the luminance after calibration, but I suspect that will render the calibration and profile inaccurate, but try it anyway. What have you got to lose?
I'm not familiar with spyder3, so I can't help you much on the specifics of that package. Try using the 5000K preset. Then, visually adjust the brightness of your monitor so it approximates the brightness of a sheet of white paper viewed under your normal viewing/inspections conditions. Then, recalibrate, leaving the white preset to 5000K and luminance set to where it was, if that is possible with this software. See what happens.
Hi, JD, I had a quick look at the website. As much as I am tempted to try free download I am always suspicious. I can not be sure that it won't interfere with some software already installed. plus i never know what else is being downloaded even if I do keep an eye on the IP transfer processess. It is tempting, but this package is unknown to most professionals that i can gather. Pity.
Lou, i will try out the 5000 though I am going to be very surprised if it works. Plus I have been reading articles about pushing the white point further and further away from monitor's native. I have also been shaken by peoples' comments about this 5200 k settings and the effects that has on colour shifts on the monitor leading to undesired things. I really have no time for statistics mathematics and algebra so please don't ask me to quote. It is an overall impression that us non techs can hope to achieve in order to make decisions.
Anyway i will try the 5000 this evening when it is darker!!!
I understand your concern but I can assure you that basICColor is a very well know company in the European print market place. The basICColor Display 4 software is also used by many OEM manufacturers such as NEC Europe, JUST Normlicht, Barbieri, and a few others. You could download the JUST Normlicht version adJUST monitor Calibration from their website as well. www.justnormlicht.com. Another company you could look at is Integrated Color Corp's (www.integrated-color.com) Color Eyes Pro but I do not know for sure if they support the Spyder 3 yet. They do support the Spyder 2 though so maybe they have the Spyder 3 as well.
>Hi, JD, I had a quick look at the website. As much as I am tempted to try free download I am always suspicious. I can not be sure that it won't interfere with some software already installed. plus i never know what else is being downloaded even if I do keep an eye on the IP transfer processess.
Chris, I only have the highest respect and appreciation for Karl Koch and his software (basICColor display).
The site for basICColor display is at
He also offers high-end software to create output and device link profiles, and much else, and his products are of the highest quality. My exchanges with him have always been fair and helpful.
basICColor display is what I have been using for years to calibrate my own display, and it works very well, better than other packages I have tried over the years. To be fair, ColorEyes Display (from Integrated Color, at ) can be considered a worthy competitor, but I am happy with what I have.
As for your fears about transfers of malicious software from Karl's site, I believe they are completely unfounded. Karl is simply not that kind of person.
>It is tempting, but this package is unknown to most professionals that i can gather. Pity.
You haven't spoken to the right professionals, I'm afraid. I would question the competence of color management professionals who haven't heard of basICColor display.
Hi Marco, OK I will look deeper into what they offer, and I actually mean that - promise, but I am so bogged down at the moment with this whole issue that I would first like to take this as far as I can with you guys and adobe forum and my own efforts. Actually if I am in a relaxing carefree mood tonight (not at the moment I'm not) then I will browse tonight. Hope they have prices. can not stand web sites and ferry firms that make you book first just to discover the price.
Well I have calibrated to 5000K, I just guessed at the luminance by viewing a photo shadow area and adjusting accordingly. It is worth mentioning that I have so many times followed the spyder recomendations and they are so out in ALL instances it is beyond belief. I have travelled through every one of their settings and even defaulted the monitor back to its manufacturer settings as they suggest - it's a crime!!!
Anyway the long and short of it is after guessing luminance values, guessing new settings for beginning the calibration, then setting target to 5000, then guessing the luminance adjustments after it was all over I now have a 100% perfect match in Greys, blacks and whites. Colours are very good, though red and orange are saturated still. No yellow cast. though tomorrow I will probably see a different screen and will switch over to my other save profile of 5800K. Can not switch off the daylight can I? I can not move the computer either! what a business!!!!
Probably will encounter problems tomorrow, I will just make another profile until THE PHOTO FITS THE SCREEN Ugmmmmm! Not a good idea, but what else can one do? sarcasm ok! Don't mean that.
I will not know really the value in all this till day breaks, but I know then that 5000K will be awful.
>Well I have calibrated to 5000K, I just guessed at the luminance by viewing a photo shadow area and adjusting accordingly.
I hope you are not confusing color temperature (5000K) with luminance (which is expressed in candelas per square meter, or cd/m2, or "nits").
Those are two separate things:
COLOR TEMPERATURE determines whether your display will appear yellower (lower temperature, say 5000K) or bluer (higher temperature, say 6500K), regardless of luminance level.
On the other hand, the target LUMINANCE for an LCD, regardless of color temperature, is usually in the neighborhood of 140 cd/m2 in an office environment, and 90 to 110 cd/m2 in a darkened environment. Those are rough guidelines, which you will have to test and adapt to your own specific needs.
>Can not switch off the daylight can I? I can not move the computer either! what a business!!!!
>I will not know really the value in all this till day breaks, but I know then that 5000K will be awful.
In the "old" days, we photographers used to shoot on film and do the processing in a darkroom, the conditions of which were proscribed by the photographic process itself. Film and paper were light-sensitive; the darkroom had to be completely dark for film and light tight lit with a safelight for paper. The point is that to successfully work as a photographer, you had to have a controlled environment in which to process your images, and in which to exercise process control.
Nothing has changed in the modern digital world. Think of your viewing conditions in the same way as you would think of a darkroom. You have to work in a controlled environment. You will be constantly frustrated if the viewing conditions are constantly changing. You've got two options:
1 - Set up your work environment based upon working at night-time only.
2 - Control your work environment by covering the windows.
Any other approach is a guarantee of constant frustration.
I appreciate your frustration, but this is the reality.
Dr. Dina advises you to take 2 or 3 stiff drinks and check it again in the morning. It might end up being be closer than you think. I know you are frustrated, but you are closer than you realize. Once it all comes together, you will be much better off having a calibrated system and knowing how it all works together.
You'll get there. See, you already have a pretty good match on black, white, gray and most of your colors. Hang in.
Hi Rick, and Lou. Well firstly Rick I came from a darkroom background. And I still use film and process at home then off to the darkroom, I appreciate the need for controlled environments. You are right about what you say as regards the work in day oor evening and keep the ambient light down for colour temp on the screen. but this was my frustration. the spyder3 pro measures the ambient light and makes eroneous decisions, that is what I did not expect from a professional piece of software.
Lou, it works!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUT IT SHOULD NOT WORK AT ALL. I am now in the morning, light outside is cloudy but average bright. The big window is to my right, the screen has no dirct light on it at all. Byt natural light is filling the room, but it is not bright. My ambient light measurement tells me that I should set spyder to 6500. But it is at 5000. the luminace is low, I have to guess at this.
the colour cast is gone. te print looks so close to the screen except that colours on screen are little more saturated, this is on soft proof by the way for the paper.
The shadows are better but still titsy bit darker on photo, but much better.
I have written to Spyder people in Zurich explaining the situation and the fact that they over-simplified their answers tome on my first ticket to them over 6 weeks ago, I am not happy with them.
But theoretically according to all the manuals this should not work Lou?
Best regards, Chris.
Marco, no i have not confused it, thanks. But i keep saying to people that I am UNABLE to put in any luminance values numerically. I have only a bar on the calibrator without figures. And even that option WILL NOT APPEAR if I disobey Spyder's recomendations.
man I hate this spyder.
It doesn't surprise me at all that those settings work. I experimented extensively (back and forth for years) before adopting those settings, and they always have worked well on my systems (both at work on a CRT with overhead fluorescent lighting and at home on an LCD with completely different lighting).
Human vision is very complex. Daylight, especially on a cloudy or overcast day, is much cooler than daylight on a clear day, or 5000K lighting, and a lot cooler than incandescent lighting. Human vision tends to self calibrate, but even that is complex. Certainly, your prints will look a bit cooler under overcast conditions than it will under warmer lighting. It's probably more noticeable in the digital realm, since you have a monitor for comparison.
Normally, when you are evaluating prints, you are looking back and forth between monitor and print with a critical eye. We latch onto neutrals, highlights, skin tones, etc. Most printing papers have a measured white point between about 4700K (very warm papers without optical brighteners) and about 5300K (very white papers, often with optical brighteners). That suggests moving toward a warmer setting. I say use whatever works, and 5000-5500K seems to work best for me.
The difference in saturation between monitor and print can be caused by a number of factors. First, you need an ACCURATE printer profile and must be sure to print with the proper rendering intent. If you are printing on matte fine art papers, you will lose some dynamic range (ie, contrast, Dmax, etc) and you will have a more limited color gamut, which shows up in print as less saturated, less pop, etc. The soft proof can help you evaluate this, but the technology isn't perfect at this point. So, you screen may appear more saturated than your print. If you toggle the 'Simulate Black Ink' checkbox on and off in the Proof Preview setup, you will notice a shift in density and saturation, especially on matte type papers. I find the truth usually lies between these two extremes. Like I said, it isn't perfect, and many different factors will affect the soft proof. (read my article again).
If you print on higher dynamic range papers, such as Epson Premium Glossy, Ilford Gold Fiber Silk, etc, you should get a closer match to your monitor preview, since these papers have a better Dmax, higher dynamic range and wider color gamut. So, it is likely your will be able to reproduce all or most of your colors in print. In this case, there is usually no need to check the Simulate Black Ink checkbox.
If you were to make two exact duplicate prints, light one with daylight and the other with incandescent light, and place an effective divider between them, you'd be floored by how different they look. The eye cannot adapt in this situation since you have two different light sources in the same environment. I've done it, and I can assure you the difference is night and day (sorry for the pun). It's complex and always has been. In our film days, we didn't have the luxury of a monitor for comparison, so we probably let a lot of lousy color slide, courtesy of white point adaptation and lack of a comparative original. But, if we wanted good color, we had to pick the right film (daylight or tungsten), use color correction filters, gels, etc.
You're now getting close. Don't expect perfection. The keys to me are a reasonably close white point, a good representation of whites and blacks, and good neutrals. If you've got that, you're in business.
I have two articles on my website in the color management section. Read them both if you want a deeper understanding. Hopefully, it is reasonably clear and helpful.
Hi Loe, i am ploughing through your document about CIE LAB, as an editing space, especially when I convert RGB to LAB temporarily I am familiar, but as a mathematical model I am learning something very helpful. But as i was reading I was wondering about a miracle?!!? Is the LAB space independent of your monitor space? What I was thinking, probably way off here, but it occured to me that if The RGB value of a given portion of my image read that there was a lot of say red, and this was not represented in the print, would analysing the LAB values in Photoshop reveal this or would they also show a saturated red on the screen, i know this is a dumb question. But humour me for the moment.
I am not totally sure I understand your question, but I will try to shed some light on Lab.
First, Lab is a device independent color space (ie, model of human vision). Theoretically, it describes a color unambiguously, since it does not rely on a device. In a sense, it is an "absolute" color space. Since it is a pretty good (not perfect) model of human vision, it has a much wider color gamut than any monitor, printer, press or other output device. It would have to if it is a model of human vision.
All devices, ie, monitors, printers, presses, etc, are different. Even two "identical" monitors will be different due to age, manufacturing tolerances, ambient conditions, etc. So a device profile (ie, monitor profile, printer profile, press profile) is required to describe the boundaries of its color space and to nail down certain color values. The profile has either a lookup table or tone reproduction curves that relate a specific color, for example a bright red, to the reference color space (usually Lab or xyz).
When you bring a Lab color file into Photoshop, no profile is required, since the colors are already established in Lab, which is device independent. BUT, if your monitor profile is inaccurate, the colors will display inaccurately.
If you bring an Adobe RGB file into Photoshop, you need to tell PS that the file is Adobe RGB, otherwise it doesn't know what the red, green and blue coordinates represent. So you need the RGB numbers AND a color space to identify the precise colors. Photoshop keeps track of this in the background by relating everything to Lab.
There could be a number of reasons a red color does not reproduce in a print. First, it could be out of gamut (nor reproducible on that paper/ink/printer combination), you may have an inaccurate profile, your settings could be messed up, etc. Same with a monitor profile.
I use a program called ColorThink to view monitor and printer profiles in 3D. I can bring in a file and see if the colors all fit into a given printer profile (which describes the total color gamut of that printer/paper/ink combination). If not, then the profile has to MAKE the colors fit. This is the purpose of Relative Colorimetric or Perceptual rendering intents. They are different models that allow the source file to be represented in the final print.
So, looking at Lab numbers in PS will not tell you whether your file will reproduce a specific red. That is the purpose of soft proofing, which is good, but not perfect. But, as you now know, you need an accurate monitor profile and an accurate printer profile if the soft proof is to be close.
Hope that sheds some light on the subject.
Hallo Lou,Have just run a simple test keeping consistency with the same gloss paper that I have been using for last few weeks. I filled a 4x6 with two patches of near white and then compared them with the D50 and D65 Profile that I have stored on my computer.
the two patches were:
232 - 233 - 239 and
245 - 245 - 245
Both patches on my gloss paper are much less saturated than screen at D50 and better at D65.
I did this because i had a white swan and noticed that there was better white reproduction in the D65 (though there was indeed a subtle blue cast) than in the D50. (Same lighting as before). Problem was that although ALL my photos are better under The D50 profile, my two patches and the white swan are naturally much more accurate in the D65 profile. (Outside light is very very cloudy and late afternoon. Room is dim.
Can you explain these discrpencies in the near white reproduction. Obviously there is more yellow coming into the near whites at D50, yet I do not understand why my photos in general appear OK yet I have this difference, that means I would have to have different monitor profiles for viwing swans and other profiles for viwing landscapes. Yep I know this is totally absurd and would not do it, but you get my point),
Do you have any color management experts living near you? You would probably benefit tremendously if someone could sit down with you for 3 or 4 hourse and get everything right on your system, make sure all your photoshop settings, printing and driver settings are correct, insure you have good monitor and printer profiles, etc. They would also discover and be able to explain what is going wrong, because something clearly is.
A lot of things could be happening, but without knowing all the variables, I'd be taking potshots. Too much time.
Do you have a recent, accurate, custom profile for the printer/paper/ink combination you are using, or are you using a canned profile? Do you have perfect nozzle checks? Are you sure you are using the right settings to print? If I were there, I could probably uncover the issues.
My two papers explain the entire process fairly thoroughly. If you have done everything I describe and still can't get a good match, then it is time to either study more or call in an expert.
Well Lou, you know, I searched long before I came on to the Adobe forum which is why I am here. There is nobody. All I can say is that I am using canned profiles from Canon Grrr and that all my colour settings do check out. I sent for customer help at Colour vision, they donot reply very well, I am still waiting for confirmation from tem to check that my setup was correct in the first place. But I am sure it is, I have been through it with a fine toothcomb. Printer is clean and nozzles are good. the test images are as near pefect as you can get, red on print little lighter than screen, greys check out so much better, yellows a little more saturated but heh, this is second grade professional paper from canon, I have not bothered opening the top grade yet. Blues are perfect. Shadow detail is so better. Just that little niggly point at what I wrote about my two patches.
But colour could not be better and overall appearance could not be better.
It was just that I had a white swan with light/yellowy brown dirt (light sand colour) on his neck and when I saw the screen, the white was not white (more a slight yellow tinge of white) and the dirt on the neck was/is yellowy brown, a deeper darker brown.
You know what, I have taken so much of your time, I want to thank you for all your help. Without your perseverence I would not have even thought to have tried out D50 based upon the absence of circumstantial parameters in my lighting environment. I appreciate all your advice, and will remeber your website. I am in Ireland so it seems difficult to come to you for profiles should I invest in hahnemuhl or pearl papers. i was even thinking of getting a proper profile for Canon's Pro paper before I used it, but only when I know that this issue is comfortably improved just a tat more.
Ireland isn't very accessible from Alabama, you're right about that. I'm sure there are experts over your way too.
Canned Canon profiles are reasonably good if you are using their papers. But, this assumes YOUR printer is the same as the printer used to build the original profile. If it is the same, the profile will work the same. If you printer is a little different, your prints will be a little different. If you printer is a lot different from the standard, all bets are off. Properly built custom profiles are the best bet, but I understand why you are waiting.
Here's what I would do in your shoes. See if BasicColor or ColorEyes Display software is compatible with your colorimeter. If so, download the trial version of either one. They both do an excellent job and I had zero problems with downloads from either vendor. Then Calibrate your monitor using the following settings as a starting point....5500K, 2.2 gamma, 90 cd/m2 white luminance, 0.3 cd/m2 black luminance. Then compare monitor to print.
If your monitor is too warm, increase the temp to 5800K, if it is too cool, try 5200K. Keep adjusting until it is a good match. Since your viewing light source is a moving target, you will have to find a compromise that is close and splits the difference. I'd say 5500K is a great starting point. Then assess tonal range (black to white). If your monitor is brighter than the print, lower the white luminance to about 80 cd. If your monitor is darker than the print, try increasing it to 100 cd. You get the idea. You can try a different black point too, but I'd leave it at 0.3 cd.m2 until you get the other settings correct.
If that does the trick, then buy the new software and flush your current software down the commode. Good luck (and you are welcome).
Hi Lou, thanks so much for even that. I will look soonest. Yes the whites on the monitor are brighter than the paper, I did another test print of another file and achieved excellent results apart from gray and white. i must say that i did also tests by doing three seperate calibrations this evening under very subued lighting and I set the spyder to calibrate in three totally different ways including measuring ambient light and not measuring ambient light. I then viwed all three profiles unde the same light source and the same printed photo under the exact same light source, I should have had slightly different appearances from my monitor, but gues what, all three profiles were EXACTLY the same, and this proved to me that SPYDER3 PRO is a con.
The canon printer issue, yes I had read about that. But thanks for the web site links, i will look when I can.
In the meantime, the customer support at Spyder have not replied to my ticket, it was a lengthy ticket.
You do not have to reply to this, appreciate your help.
Chris in a wet Ireland in the middle of summer.
As long as you are using the correct print settings and a decent profile, there is no need to reprint your photos for comparison after reprofiling your monitor. The monitor profile is totally independent, and changing monitor settings will have zero effect on the print. Both the monitor display and the print are derived from the numbers in your file and are parallel paths, one goes to the printer and another goes to the monitor. If the numbers in the file don't change, and you use the same printer/paper/ink and settings to print, you should get an identical print every time.
The monitor profile does only one thing....it adjusts the numbers in your file on the fly and displays them on your monitor. So you can use a single print to evaluate numerous monitor profile combinations of luminance and white point.
You probably knew that, but I wanted to make sure. It could save you a lot of paper, ink and time.