Monitor calibration-profiling packages, your insight

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Hitchkas, Mar 22, 2006.

  1. Hitchkas

    Hitchkas Guest

    I am doing my due diligence to buy a monitor calibration package. My
    purpose is to calibrate my LCD screen that is not a high end and
    expensive one but an ordinary HP LCD monitor.

    After reading the calibration hardware evaluation here

    http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm

    It seems I can't go wrong with MonacoOPTIX XR Pro package, or
    GretagMackbeth One-Eye Display 2.

    A friend of mine who is an excellent nature photographer tells me he
    has an original Spyder and it is enough for him and I should not waste
    my money on fancy packages :)

    The lowest price package is Spyder2 Express for $99 and highest priced
    package is MonacoOPTIX XR Pro package at around $350. GretagMackbeth
    and MonacoOPTIX XR in the middle for around $250 (I won't go to fancy
    stuff in thousands of dollars, just a decent basic package.)

    With more expensive packages you get more software features that some
    of them I know I don't care for like "Monitor drift trending" and
    "Workgroup display matching". Some other features I really don't
    know how effective they are or are worth the extra money.

    If you have experience using these packages I will appreciate your
    insight to followings;

    1- Is the basic Spyder2 Express package good enough for basic and
    reasonably accurate monitor calibration and profiling?

    2- How important are "Table based profiling", and "Calibration
    curve editing" especially for LCD monitors to justify an additional
    $250 in MonacoOPTIX XR Pro package.

    3- In General, which monitor calibration/profiling package under $400
    you recommend for the basic and reasonably accurate monitor
    calibration?

    Thanks in advance and sorry for a long post!
     
    Hitchkas, Mar 22, 2006
    #1
    1. Advertisements

  2. Hitchkas

    Bill Hilton Guest

    Hitchkas writes ...
    I started with the original Spyder and while it was certainly OK at the
    time for CRT monitors it's definitely NOT good enough for LCD monitors
    like you are now using. If you still want one I'll sell you my old one
    cheap :) The newer models do a better job and I would avoid the
    original Spyder for LCDs.
    Here are two more sets of reviews of monitor cal packages that you will
    likely find interesting (and that come to different conclusions):
    http://www.outbackphoto.com/color_management/cm_08/essay.html
    http://www.macworld.com/2005/03/reviews/monitorcalibrator/index.php

    I started with the original Spyder and now have switched to the Gretag
    Eye-One 2, in part so I could get a more accurate profile for my
    laptops (it's also better for the CRT than the older Spyder). With
    that background here are my comments on your Q's ...
    The Spyder2 is good enough, I'm not certain what the "Express package"
    is, but the basic Spyder2 is fine.
    Irrelevant for the type of monitor you're using (and the types most of
    us are using ... I have expensive 21" ViewSonic Pro Graphics monitors
    and don't use these features either).
    I picked the Gretag Eye-One 2, which I think was about $210. I picked
    it in part because if I want to upgrade to the $1,000 printer profiling
    package later on I can apply part of the Eye-One purchase price on the
    upgrade ... most of the reviewers feel the Eye-One, the Monaco Optix in
    the same price range and the Spyder 2 Pro bundle in the $200 +/- price
    range are all very good.
    I would agree with that (and add the Spyder2 Pro) ... I didn't get
    Monaco because I had their profiling software for a scanner and printer
    and didn't think it was very good or easy to use, and the tech support
    was very weak, so I was probably prejudiced against them for those
    reasons, but as you can see from the review links people who try all
    three rate them all as doing a good job.
    I think I've seen them for around $200210 at several places ... if you
    want a link I can check quickly.

    Bill
     
    Bill Hilton, Mar 22, 2006
    #2
    1. Advertisements

  3. Hitchkas

    Bill Hilton Guest

    GretagMacbeth and MonacoOPTIX XR in the middle for
    Typo, should have read $200/210 ... this site has them for $220 and
    $230 so maybe prices rose a bit since I was doing my shopping ...
    http://www.chromix.com/ColorGear/
     
    Bill Hilton, Mar 22, 2006
    #3
  4. Hitchkas

    Hitchkas Guest

    Thank you Bill for very valuable comments and also the link to
    Chromix.com. It is interesting that the review at "OutbackPhoto",
    which is by the way the same as one from "DrycreekPhoto", does not give
    high marks to the Spyder2 Pro Package and says it is not good at all
    for the highlights (wedding photos) but excellent for the shadows and
    black and white work. Also it seems to dismiss the standard software
    package and puts emphasis on the Pro package. The Macworld article
    draws exactly the opposite conclusion and gives the edge to the Spyder2
    package over the MonacoOPTIX XR Pro.

    Also, I think from your experience I don't need the type of pro
    packages having the features I won't use like "calibration curve
    editing" and I should stick with a basic and solid package for monitor
    calibration.

    At this point I am leaning toward the GretagMacbeth Eye-One Display 2
    package that seems to be a very basic and solid package.

    Best regards
     
    Hitchkas, Mar 22, 2006
    #4
  5. Hitchkas

    John Smith Guest

    I'm no technician, and my prints don't need to be absolutely precise, but I
    got the Spyder2 a month or so ago, bundled with a basic program called
    "profilerplus" for around 200 clams and
    found it gives me great results with final prints that to my eye anyway,are
    almost exactly what I see in the monitor .

    Certainly a lot closer than I've ever gotten eyeballing with Adobe Gamma.
     
    John Smith, Mar 23, 2006
    #5
  6. Hitchkas

    bmoag Guest

    I have used all these packages:
    While the original Spyder is not really a full fledged colorimeter it did a
    great job compared to nothing or the Adobe Gamma Applet (which is nothing).
    I learned about color management using the device and I still think, if you
    have an adjustable monitor, it provides serviceable results for most users.
    If you want to advance in color management I heartily endorse the Monaco
    Optix XR package. This is a real colorimeter which does an excellent job of
    calibrating monitors. However the adjustability of your monitor has much to
    do with calibration and, alas, your monitor is just not up to the task for
    even semi-critical color management. Where to go from here is up to you.
    The additional benefit of the Monaco package is a credible but somewhat
    kludgy way of generating your own custom paper/printer profiles providing
    you have a reasonable quality flatbed scanner and a basic comprehension of
    color managment.
    For Epson printers this may not make much difference as Epson makes many
    paper surfaces and includes very good canned profiles with its printers. For
    Canon and HP printers this can be a godsend-particularly for Canon printers
    whose drivers suck and include profiles only for Canon glossy and matte
    papers.
    If you are serious about learning color managed printers I strongly urge you
    to go for it as the improvement in prints is immediately apparent.
     
    bmoag, Mar 23, 2006
    #6
  7. Hitchkas

    Hitchkas Guest

    Thank you,

    Any thoughts on OPTIX XR Pro, vs. OPTIX XR package if one doesn't care
    about workgroup features? Bill mentioned he has not used the "table
    based profiling" and "calibration curve editing" though he has a high
    end monitor. Does these features become terribly important, or they
    are just some marginal improvements not justified the cost.

    Best regards
     
    Hitchkas, Mar 23, 2006
    #7
  8. Hitchkas

    rafe b Guest

    I'll put in a good word for the Gretag Eye-One Monitor.

    I've got an older model, about 1 or 2 years old now, but
    it's worked fine on both CRT and LCD monitors.


    rafe b
    www.terrapinphoto.com
     
    rafe b, Mar 23, 2006
    #8
    1. Advertisements

Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.