LCD monitor calibration

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 31, 2007.

  1. Hi.

    I bought a new computer and I am making the jump from a Sony CRT to
    an LCD display for photo editing. I bought an alienware
    computer (duo core 2) and have 1.75 terabytes of disk. But the choices
    for LCD were low so I just opted for the default monitor
    (samsung 204B 19 inch). I've calibrated it with spyder 2
    but it is still very contrasty and I do not like the look of
    images. I then recalibrated with a gamma of 1.8 but images
    still seem too contrasty (this is a window system).
    I plan on buying a second monitor. such as a Lacie 321 or
    apple cinema for photos, but until then I will use the samsung.
    So, for those who calibrate LCD monitors, do you use a gamma of
    1.8, 2.2 or something else? Anyone run a dual monitor
    system with two different brands of monitors (I really will only need
    one calibrated)?
    Any other advice/help is appreciated.

    Roger
    (Just returned from Africa and have lots of images to process--I had
    the new computer all ready except monitor calibration.)
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Jan 31, 2007
    #1
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  2. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Mike Russell Guest

    Hi Roger,

    The Samsung 204B is a gorgeous monitor, and after getting it set up, and
    getting used to it a bit, I think you'll find it much more agreeable. You
    may be reacting to the brightness of the display, rather than to the
    contrast as such. Try toning down the brightness of the display, to 100
    candela or so, and see if it's more like you were used to with the CRT.
    Also make sure the color temp is set to 65K or less. If your video card
    does not support digital output, you might consider getting one that does -
    this is not a big investment as digital video cards start in the under 50
    range.

    Gamma affects overall brightness, and a higher gamma value trades away
    contrast in the shadows for contrast in the highlights, but does not change
    the overall contrast as such. Depending on your editing software, it may
    make no difference at all in the appearance of the image. Programs like
    Photoshop and Paint Shop Pro will compensate for your display, and give the
    same image appearance for all gamma values.

    Anyway, try cranking down the brightness.
     
    Mike Russell, Jan 31, 2007
    #2
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  3. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Mark² Guest

    For someone as serious about photography as you, I'm a little surprised you
    were a little more picky about your monitor. :) I assumed you were already
    using a colorometer, but if not, that really should be your first move. A
    Spyder 2 will make the best of what you've got in a jiffy, and you'll be
    able to calibrate any second monitor you get with it also. I have used two
    monitors in the past that were very dissimilar, yet it handled them both
    extremely well. I've got a perfectly (or close enough) calibrated Viewsonic
    20.1" monitor (VP 201S) but I don't think they sell that one any more. With
    most LCDs, you have to be careful about brightness--even after
    calibration--because not all LCDs adjust accurate for (or with full control
    ever) brightness/contrast.

    I've been tempted by the Lacie 321 also. It seems to have no equal in it's
    price range. But regarding the Apple, I've read nothing but compmlaints (at
    least from those chiefly concerned with accuracy, rather than simply being
    wowed by it's size). Ya, it's huge and pretty, but wildly uneven for
    critical color-matching. I've heard similar complaints about the 30" Dell.
    It's pretty, but inaccurate. The Lacie seems pretty well unbeatable until
    you get into many $Ks more than the Lacie's already steep price. If I buy
    another large LCD, it will likely be either the Lacie, or this much cheaper
    Viewsonic (if I can still find one).

    Before you do anything else, I'd get the Spyder 2 and see where that takes
    you. At this point, I can differentiate every level of this:
    http://www.pbase.com/markuson/image/45959621 and actually better, using
    other more finely graduated charts. If you're not able to see both the
    first and last squares separately form the adjacent ones, you'll have to get
    to work. :) Even then, you may be too bright...

    I've been getting literally perfect matching between screen and print ever
    since moving to the Spyder 2, and using proper profiles for printer, paper,
    and screen.

    Mark²
     
    Mark², Jan 31, 2007
    #3
  4. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Mark² Guest

    By the way... I didn't mean to imply that your monitor was bad... It may
    be fine- -I'm not familiar with that one and have no specific opinion. It
    just sounded like it wasn't given much thought. :)
     
    Mark², Jan 31, 2007
    #4
  5. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Ken Lucke Guest

    Welcome back, looking forward to see a few of those pix.

    Sorry I can't help on the main question, the built-in monitor on my
    iMac, with Spyder calibration, is right on, so I've never had those
    problems.

    --
    You need only reflect that one of the best ways to get yourself a
    reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating
    the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the struggle for
    independence.
    -- Charles A. Beard
     
    Ken Lucke, Jan 31, 2007
    #5
  6. message : Hi.
    :
    : I bought a new computer and I am making the jump from a Sony CRT to
    : an LCD display for photo editing. I bought an alienware
    : computer (duo core 2) and have 1.75 terabytes of disk. But the choices
    : for LCD were low so I just opted for the default monitor
    : (samsung 204B 19 inch). I've calibrated it with spyder 2
    : but it is still very contrasty and I do not like the look of
    : images. I then recalibrated with a gamma of 1.8 but images
    : still seem too contrasty (this is a window system).
    : I plan on buying a second monitor. such as a Lacie 321 or
    : apple cinema for photos, but until then I will use the samsung.
    : So, for those who calibrate LCD monitors, do you use a gamma of
    : 1.8, 2.2 or something else? Anyone run a dual monitor
    : system with two different brands of monitors (I really will only need
    : one calibrated)?
    : Any other advice/help is appreciated.
    :
    : Roger
    : (Just returned from Africa and have lots of images to process--I had
    : the new computer all ready except monitor calibration.)

    Hi Roger...
    My wife has a Samsung 204B and she no longer has any eye strain problems.
    Whenever I use her PC to print to her dye-sub printer (an Olympus sRGB
    printer), I always see more detain on her screen than the printer produces.
    I think Mike is right in this... Take the time to get used to it.

    My personal preference for a video card is the 2D Radeon work station card
    hefty hit at $500+ but after paying out $5k for a camera, what's another few
    hundred matter?

    I myself use an old Viewsonic G90f+ (which is as old as the hills) for
    working detailed images. I have a spare, new one in a box under my desk for
    when it finally dies. I also have an Apple cinema which to be quite frank is
    a little disappointing.

    If I had to choose again, I would not have bought it. Instead, I'd have
    opted for a screen with a very high (1000/1+ perhaps) contrast ratio,
    regardless of who made it. I'd also take along a test image to see if it
    really could display the detail I get from the CRT screens.

    Now, all the cinema screen does is hold PS tools and menus so I have a clear
    screen on the CRT. A waste I know. I would have liked it the other way
    around but everything to do with image editing on a PC is a compromise of
    some sort.
     
    Doug MacDonald, Jan 31, 2007
    #6
  7. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Mardon Guest

    I've run a Philips Brilliance 202P4 CRT and an HP2335 LCD in spanned mode.
    I calibrated them both with a Spyder2. I don't think I'd want to calibrate
    only one. Because Windows XP doesn't support 2 different monitor profiles
    directly, on boot-up I'd see the CRT without the calibration loaded into
    the Video card's LUT for that monitor. I had to use the Spyder software to
    load the profile into the LUT for the CRT. Once loaded, both displays
    matched great but I'd hate to have to use them in the unmatched state. The
    colour difference would be pretty disconcerting.
     
    Mardon, Jan 31, 2007
    #7
  8. Gee, Mark, I did say I was using a spyder 2. I also said I was planning
    on getting a monitor more useful for photography. With the holidays
    and planning for the Africa trip, I simply ran out of time upgrading
    hardware so I would have the disk space and processing power for
    the new images. I've returned with about 60 gbytes of images
    from a stunning trip: >85 individual lions (I lost count), 13 cheetahs,
    1 leopard, dozens of birds and other animals. Many mosaics to assemble,
    even mosaics of cheetahs and other animals (3 to 4 frames to cover an animal).
    Also, 3 frames to cover a bird with depth of field from tail to beak,
    which will make for some interesting processing.
    I'm still trying to choose the best of about 8,000 images.

    I previously ran a spyder 2 calibrated sony CRT, but perhaps its the
    10-hour jet lag (been home less than 24 hours) but I can't remember
    my settings for the sony + spyder setup.

    Following Mike Russel's advice, I reduced the brightness and the calibration
    now looks better. In each case, I could see all steps in your brightness scale,
    as I could my own scales, but images on my web site with any browser looked
    way too contrasty. After reducing the brightness and recalibrating, things
    look better (I may tweak some more). I used gamma 1.8 native in the spyder 2
    setup. I tried a 6500 K color temperature but could not get a calibration
    to reach that color temperature; but "native" worked ok (not stellar).
    For example: this image:
    http://www.clarkvision.com/galleries/gallery.large_format/web/c071099_L4_10_1e_taryall.html
    still has blocked up reds on my LCD (see the enlarged flower below the main
    image); reds that I could easily discern on my sony crt, and which print fine
    on cibachrome and fuji crystal archive papers. This concerns me.
    Maybe contrast is not the issue; perhaps its color gamut of the monitor?
    Are LCDs that much different than CRTs in color gamut (lower)?

    But it does make me wonder, with all the uncalibrated monitors out there,
    how people perceive images on web sites. The factory settings for my
    monitor were awful.

    Roger
     
    Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark), Feb 1, 2007
    #8
  9. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    gowanoh Guest

    Often, as posted above, the brightness of LCD panels compared to CRT and
    reflective prints is the main problem calibrating for WYSIWYG printing.
    Color matching per se is not as difficult. Also the ambient lighting in
    which you view your monitor and your print can be significant factors
    influencing your judgment.
    The simplest solution is to calibrate your monitor in your preferred way and
    print a test print (use your own suitable image or one of the many available
    for download). Then turn down the contrast and brightness of your monitor
    until there is reasonable match to the print. This may require a few trials.
     
    gowanoh, Feb 1, 2007
    #9
  10. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Mark² Guest

    ?!?!
    I'm sick with the flu this week... Fever must have gone to my eyes!!
    What the heck?

    LCDs are notoriously WAY too bright at default settings. I assume they do
    that so they'll stand out to untrained eyes in the stores(?).
    When I run the Spyder on my LCD, I actually end up cranking the blues WAY up
    via the monitor controls, for example, followed by the monitor profile
    compensating on start-up. Kinda strange, but it works. I assume that the
    blues were simply far too weak at default settings, so the Spyder needed me
    to over-compensate to get within an output range it could work with. -Not
    sure exactly how that works, but it does work.

    But ya...in general, color gamut is why Lacie can charge so much for their
    321... :(

    BTW--I'm getting a non-blocky rendition from that flower close-up...
    That's likely at least part of it. Does that monitor allow you to make
    custom adjustments for each color in its set-up menu (on-screen)? If not,
    you'll be unable to do what I described above (and that was only at the
    prompting of cues from the Spyder regimen).
    That is so sadly and SEVERELY true--about the public viewing photos under
    horrible settings. I remember my horror to see how crappy some of my
    "carefully calibrated" images appeared on-line using
    friends/co-worker's/family's computers. That's why critique on-line is
    always iffy--since who the heck knows what sort of monitor they're looking
    at. It's not really their fault (ignorance), but it's a real problem to
    those of us who care. With the amazing popularity of digital cameras these
    days, I wish there'd be more emphasis on pushing the general public to think
    about accuracy, but judging by the ridiculous focus on 10MP sensors about
    the size of a square mm :) ...I'm not holding out much hope.

    -Mark
     
    Mark², Feb 1, 2007
    #10
  11. Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)

    Bryan Olson Guest

    I use a 20 ince Samsung 204B, which replaced an Iiyama 20"
    CRT that developed problems. The 204B is at least as good at
    everything except color rendering.

    [big snip]
    Yes, and it worked fine. For photo editing, I think there's
    a good case for running dual-monitor with a high-res LCD and
    a color-calibrated CRT. (Though I have not yet set that up.)
     
    Bryan Olson, Feb 1, 2007
    #11
  12. "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    wrote in message SNIP
    I'm using a Lacie 321 (couldn't afford/justify the EIZO with Adobe RGB
    gamut), and like it a lot. It covers almost the same gamut as my prior
    Trinitron CRT did, and it is rather insensitive to viewing angle.
    There is a slight non uniformity in the black levels but that's
    probably inherent to the current technology.
    Strictly gamma 2.2, and it calibrates to near perfection with the
    EyeOne Pro.
    I suggest verifying the calibration result with a Gamma evaluation
    test
    target, like the 2.20 in the left frame from:
    <http://www.aim-dtp.net/aim/evaluation/gamma_space/index.htm>
    You can also compare with the 2.10 and the 2.30 to see which one is
    closer, but the 2.20 should be the aim.

    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, Feb 1, 2007
    #12
  13. "Roger N. Clark (change username to rnclark)" <>
    wrote in message SNIP
    The Reds are very saturated on my Lacie 321 (similar sRGB gamut to my
    prior Trinitron CRT), but not blocked up.
    Might well be, since LCDs are quite different from CRTs. As you
    presumably know LCDs selectively block light from a uniform backlight,
    unlike CRTs which emit light from exited phosphors. That also means
    that calibrating to native LCD backlight color temperature will give
    the widest gamut, but for ICC conformity, 6500K should not be too much
    of a sacrifice.
    Some are, not necessarily your Samsung, but it might.
    My Toshiba laptop has issues with Red reproduction, despite
    calibration. It is also much more sensitive to viewing angle, so I'll
    do my serious color work on the Lacie 321.
    Most images will look nothing like they were intended to ... :-(
    It's not what I would call progress, but it is something to be aware
    about.
    It can be overcome with the more expensive offerings from NEC/Lacie
    and Eizo (Graphic series).

    Looking forward to your safari results,
    Bart
     
    Bart van der Wolf, Feb 1, 2007
    #13
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