Help profiling monitor with Spyder2, problem in shadows

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Bob, Jan 24, 2005.

  1. Bob

    Bob Guest

    I've just purchased a ViewSonic P225fp monitor (CRT) with the new
    Spyder2 from colovision. When I use soft profiling in Photoshop CS the
    color rendition seems to be correct, but not the brightness in the
    shadow areas. Despite trying several different papers, each with its
    own printer profile, there is considerably more shadow detail seen on
    the monitor than in the print.

    Have others had a similar problem? Is there a way to see more accurate
    shadow detail on the monitor? I'd prefer not to go out and buy another
    product, but are the Monoco or Gretag-Macbeth colorimeters
    significantly better?

    Many thanks.
    Bob, Jan 24, 2005
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  2. Bob

    bmoag Guest

    It has been my experience that soft proofing is not very reliable,
    particularly with regard to the minor differences between relative and
    perceptual settings.
    I use Canon and Epson printers.
    Soft profiling for the Canon printer shows some qualitative differences with
    different settings but they do not absolutely relate to the final print.
    With the Epson printer soft profiling seems to show no differences
    regardless of setting.

    You must realize that nothing you see on the monitor will relate exactly to
    what you see in the print due to differences in color gamuts, paper
    surfaces, reflectivity, etc. Good color managment gets you a fairly good
    print on the first try but it is not the best print possible. Much of the
    art of printing depends on understanding what different paper surfaces will
    reproduce and what tweaks particular types of images will likely need.

    Rather than worrying about soft profiling be sure you understand how color
    management should work with the proper PS settings and the correct settings
    in your printer driver.
    bmoag, Jan 25, 2005
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  3. Bob

    Bill Hilton Guest

    When I use soft profiling in Photoshop CS the color rendition
    If you're getting a good color match then you should count your
    blessings, this is more than most people get.

    When you soft-proof are you setting 'paper white' or not? This will
    dim the monitor view considerably as it tries to match the more limited
    reflectivity of the paper compared to your monitor's brightness. You
    might try this and see if it gives a closer match.

    Also, how are you viewing the prints? With a very bright,
    color-balanced light you might see more shadow detail in the print than
    with dimmer light.
    Soft-proofing ... indeed, the entire ICC color managed work flow ...
    gets you most of the way but you simply won't get a 100% match. Even
    the top guys in the field (at least those not selling color management
    tools) will agree with me on that. If you're getting a close color
    match then you're doing very well.
    My understanding is that the Monaco is similar to the Sypder and that
    the G-M Eye-One is better than either, especially for LCD calibration,
    but not "significantly better" for CRT's, which is what you have. I've
    taken advanced printing classes with some of the top guys, like Bill
    Atkinson, and that seems to be the consensus. I'm using the Spyder but
    if I bought an LCD I'd get the Eye-One, based on what Bill said during
    a workshop. So I think you're OK with what you're using, especially
    since you're getting a good color match everywhere but the shadows.
    Bill Hilton, Jan 25, 2005
  4. Bob

    BobS Guest

    It's a bit late to go into it tonight but in the am I'll see if I can't find
    the site URL that had a good tutorial / review on the 3 brands (Spyder,
    Monaco, G-M) and what their findings were. In short - you're seeing what
    they found.

    I purchased the suite which has the Spyder2 and the PrintFix scanner and
    software. Just went thru "tweaking" the mechanics of the scanner (with
    ColorVisions blessing) and I may make a post about that if there's any
    interest. The last time I posted anything about the printer profiling there
    was no interest so I probably won't waste the bandwidth.

    Bob S.
    BobS, Jan 25, 2005
  5. Bob

    BobS Guest

    BobS, Jan 25, 2005
  6. Bob

    Biggles Guest

    I'd be interested to hear what you did to the scanner and what were the
    results. Mine refuses to draw the print through staight most of the time.

    Dave Stewart
    Biggles, Jan 26, 2005
  7. Bob

    Bob Guest

    First of all - Thank you. You certainly did not have to take the time
    to reply to my question, or to look up the site you referred me to. I
    do appreciate it.
    Secondly - I was interested to see that what I complained about (shadow
    detail) is where my Spyder 2 is supposed to be at its best compared to
    other calibration tools. I guess that switching to Monoco or G-M is not
    likely to help, so I guess I'll have to learn to live with what I have.

    I am curious whether it would be worthwhile trying to run a profile
    with the brightness of the monitor turned down lower than recommended.
    With the Spyder software you are instructed to set the black luminance
    by lowering the brightness to the lowest level that still allows you to
    distinguish between 4 blocks from black through 3 shades of dark gray.
    I assume that setting it even lower will reduce the shadow detail on
    the monitor that I find is not indicative of what I get on paper. I
    wonder, though, if it will affect color accuracy. Guess I'll just have
    to give it a try.

    Thanks again,

    Bob, Jan 26, 2005
  8. Bob

    BobS Guest

    You're welcome and I'm sure the guy's and gals at Dry Creek photo would like
    to know that their info is helpful. Can you imagine what they went thru to
    compile all that? I simply pointed you to what I think is a good reference
    site - they deserve the thanks.

    Bob S.
    BobS, Jan 26, 2005
  9. Bob

    BobS Guest

    Okay, again it's a bit late to go into it tonight - been a long day. But I
    will get out the emails I've been swapping with ColorVision and compile them
    into a "How to Fix" the scanner. Please bear in mind that what I did may not
    work on yours (my disclaimer) but the steps I did should at least get you to
    the source of the problems (there are 3 that I find).

    They did send me another scanner and although it's not as bad as the first
    one - it skews like crazy. I don't have their permission to open and tweak
    this one as I did on the first. My tweaks cured about 99% of the skewing
    and that's based on running over 100 prints thru it - with and without the
    plastic sleeve. So the difference from it initially not being able to get a
    calibration print thru it without jamming to a slight skewing 50% of the
    time is a significant difference. What took me several hours to figure out
    and do can be done in less than 5 minutes. So for only $19.95, I'll sell
    the magic smoke............;-)

    Look here for a rather long posting tomorrow sometime.

    Bob S.
    BobS, Jan 26, 2005
  10. Bob

    BobS Guest

    See my new post "Very Long - How to Tweak the PrintFix Scanner - (Followup
    to another thread)" posted at 10:51am, 26 Jan.

    Bob S.
    BobS, Jan 26, 2005
  11. Bob

    andrew29 Guest

    This sounds to me like you may not have an accurately profiled printer
    -- not than anything to do with your monitor.

    andrew29, Jan 28, 2005
  12. Bob

    Bob Guest


    Maybe I don't understand soft proofing, but I thought it was supposed
    to show what a particular printer profile would produce regardless of
    the "accuracy" of the profile. For example, I have 2 different .icc
    printer profiles for Epson Velvet paper using black point compensation
    and relative colormetric rendering on an Epson 2200 printer, and the
    profiles do produce somewhat different results on the Epson Velvet
    paper. Soft proofing works reasonably well in demonstrating the
    difference that I get on paper, so I often use it to decide which
    printer profile to use. However, with both profiles (as well as other
    profiles for other papers) I have the problem described above with more
    brigtness and detail in the shadows on the monitor than on paper.

    Bob, Jan 29, 2005
  13. Bob

    andrew29 Guest

    To the extent that is possible; a monitor can't simulate everything.
    Did you set "ink black" in the soft proof dialogue?

    andrew29, Feb 4, 2005
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