8 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2009 6:00 AM by catpearl

    Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?



      I've got a Lacie320 Monitor and I calibrate it with an EyeOne Display 2. My question is about the settings. I currently calibrate it so the gamma is 2.2, the colour temperature is 6500k, and the luminance is 120. Is this an ideal setting? I don't often print my work, and it is mostly on the web. I work in a very dark room with little to no ambient light shining on the monitor. Should my luminance be lower?

      If someone could tell me if what I'm doing is right or not, that would be great. I always get thrown off when I see my photos on a different computer and they look completely different.

      Thank you!



        • 1. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
          Lou Dina Level 3



          Those settings ought to be fine for web based work since the default internet standard is sRGB and those settings (at least 6500K and 2.2g) are the same).  Most people have their monitors set fairly bright, so 120 is probably a reasonable choice.  Results will vary all over the place since the majority of people browsing the internet do not have calibrated monitors. So, there is no "ideal" setting, but I'd say you are about right.


          For print matching (which appears to be a low priority for you) your settings will likely result in prints that look darker and warmer than what you see on your monitor.



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
            alorne Level 1

            Hey Lou,


            Thanks for getting back to me. What will happen when I do want to start printing? Is there a way of having it so its suitable for web and print?

            • 3. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
              Lou Dina Level 3



              Some people seem happy with their monitor to print match using the settings you posted.  I never could get a good match with those settings.  My prints ALWAYS looked too yellow and much too dark (actually, the monitor is too blue and too bright, so during editing, you pump up the yellow and lower the brightness, which is what shows up in your print....too dark and yellow).


              You can create two separate calibrations, one for the web and one for print.  My main concern is printed results, so I calibrate my monitor to 5200K, 2.2g, 90 cd/m2.  Seems pretty close to perfect for my setup. I'd recommend anywhere between 5000K and 5500K for color, and 85-100 cd/m2 for luminance.  I leave my monitor set there, even for my web based work, knowing that others may see my images brighter and cooler.  I don't worry about the internet much since peoples' monitors are all over the place anyway.


              On a Mac, you can change monitor profiles any time you wish, without any extra software.


              If you are on a PC, download DisplayProfile.exe (free) from the XRite website.  It allows you to load different profiles into your video card on the fly.  It requires the proper profile tags, but both ProfileMaker and EyeOne Display (Eye One Match) have those tags.  They also have a companion program, also free, called Calibration Tester, which shows the curves written to the video card, but that is not necessary unless you are curious and just want to play.




              Open the "Software Downloads" group on the above page and you will see both programs.  Works like a champ.

              • 4. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
                alorne Level 1

                Thanks for the advice. I think I'll just stick to 2.2, 120, 6500k since it is a common default. Does it matter what the light is like in my room? I usually just work with all of the lights off because it seems more clear to me. I actually ran some test prints today where I work and they turned out pretty well. I know they calibrate with the same settings you use. Just embedded an sRGB profile, and they were pretty close. I posted the exact same question on fredmiranda.com and these are some of the answers I got.


                "The sRGB standard calls for 6500K. Gamma of 2.2 is also the standard for web displays, but keep in mind that even if your gamma is off, it will not impact color.
                I don't know about the luminance settings. Gamma is a function of luminance so having the right gamma may make your liminance setting correct. I am not sure this is a standard measurement that can be compared between monitors.

                For LCDs the luminance setting is really a function of the ambient lighting. But also keep in mind that LCDs generally don't calibrate well at luminance levels as low as what we used to use for CRTs.
                120 sounds okay, but depends on your individual ambient light situation. Personally (this is IMO), your room light sounds too dark for the LCD luminance. Instead of taking the LCD any lower, I would bring up the room lighting.

                "You should be calibrating with the same lighting as you would use when viewing images....and yes, use the ambient light measure. It is very important.
                You can't control the monitors of everyone that might view your images. The best you can do is closely control your environement and produce the most accurate images possible."


                I asked: Should I be measuring the ambient light with the EyeOne? I always skip that because I didn't think it was necessary. Should I calibrate with lights on in my room instead? Since I am only doing web based work, I just figured the reccomended settings on the software were ok.

                "I'm not familiar with the EyeOne software, but it couldn't hurt to try the ambient light measurement with lights on to see if that works better for you.
                120, 2.2. and 6500 seems to be a common default, and since you're not printing should be fine."

                Then in another thread I got these answers:


                "What you're doing is fine."

                "It depends on your display, but my first choice would be gamma: 2.2, colour temp: native and luminance 120-140 range (I target for 130). So your settings are already very good. Native colour is often already around 6500K, so you can get a slight quality improvement if you choose native, but choosing 6500K is ok also."



                Please let me know your thoughts


                Thanks again,


                • 5. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
                  Lou Dina Level 3



                  I have my LCD monitors set to 90 cd/m2 with no problem at all.  In fact, many people who complain their prints look too dark compared to their LCDs solve this problem by lowering the brightness of their LCD.  Yes, ambient light and viewing lights make a difference, but I don't use the ambient light feature of my software.  I work in a reasonably dim room, but not a dark cave.  Neither do I turn lights up bright or have sunlight screaming in the windows. I don't agree with super bright monitors and it has not panned out in my experience.   Let your eyes be the judge and use what works.  If it doesn't, then try moving in the direction of my suggestions.  Since most of your important work is internet related, that should take high priority, but remember that most people's monitors are not calibrated and are all over the board.  Also, many web browsers are not color managed, so you are, at least to some extent, chasing a dream.  Stick with 2.2 gamma, period.  White point and luminance can be played with.


                  If you want more info I have an article on my website called Monitor & Printer Profiling.  It is located in my color management section. Click the link on the left hand side of that page, then click the download link.  It is a PDF file which you can read online or save.





                  • 6. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?

                    I just read the paper on your web site dealing with profiling and color management.  Nice piece of work.


                    You and others recommend a luminance setting of 90 cd/m2.  My Samsung Syncmaster 943BM has a "Brightness" slider scaled from 0 to 100.  My NVIDIA display driver has a "Brightness" slider that ranges from 0 to 100%.  I asked Samsung for a correlation with cd/m2; their response (requested twice) was worthless (a tutorial on using Elements to get good color prints).  So, any suggestions on determining cd/m2 or correlating with the cited slider scales?

                    • 7. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
                      Lou Dina Level 3



                      Actually, I can't correlate a slider or dial setting on the monitor to white luminance in cd/m2.  That's the purpose of monitor profiling software and a colorimeter.  I have two different Samsung LCD monitors and the the settings are very different on the two of them to get the same 90 cd/m2   If you are serious about accurate, repeatable color, then it is worth buying a monitor calibration package.


                      If you are just dabbling, or trying to get close, I guess you can play around with settings and try to match your monitor to a good reference print, but that is subject to a lot of trial and error, lighting, etc.  Besides, the eye is not very good at giving repeatable results.  If you aren't willing to spend the money, perhaps it would be better to simply select a monitor 'preset', (such as 5000K or 5500K for color temp), 2.2 gamma, then adjust the monitor brightness so a pure white image in Photoshop is about the same brightness of a sheet of white paper illuminated under a moderate to low intensity viewing light.  Then remember the brightness and contrast settings and leave them there.

                      • 8. Re: Monitor Calibration - Reccomended Settings?
                        catpearl Level 1

                        Thanks for the reply.  Actually, I have been calibrating with a Huey for several years.  That enabled me to pull quality prints with fidelity to the images on my old CRT.  With the new LCD monitor, however, it seems that Huey won't cut it even with the HueyPRO software.  So,,,,,,,,,,,, time to bite the bullet and get a more serious colorimeter.  A friend whose technical skills and knowledge I respect has suggested the Eye-Two.