Monitor Calibration - really bad colour cast

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by BonusBear, Dec 8, 2005.

  1. BonusBear

    BonusBear Guest


    I've wanted to join a digital photography group for a while and now
    i've finally found one, so hello to everyone, and this is my first

    I've just bought color plus monitor calibration software and spyder, it
    seemed to work ok on the laptop (though i thought it was a little too
    red) but after calibration my crt desktop looks dire - really really
    red and the contrast has really flattened off, something's very wrong.
    I've been to the colorvision website and have followed all the
    instructions correctly and don't understand why it's so badly out.
    Anyone got any ideas?

    I'm running windows xp and the monitor is a (pretty old) taxan
    ergovision 2160 - is it possible that the monitor is so old it cannot
    provide enough luminance for a correct calibration...???? (just a wild
    guess - i'm feeling somewhat clueless at the moment). The RGB controls
    are all still very adjustable........

    Thanks in advance

    (ps if this isn't the right forum for this kind of post can you point
    me in the right direction - from google groups i though this was
    probably the best place)
    BonusBear, Dec 8, 2005
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  2. BonusBear

    Bill Hilton Guest

    I've just bought color plus monitor calibration software and spyder, it
    Sometimes the monitor is so old you can't get a good white balance and
    keep high enough luminance. Sometimes the Spyder is bad or needs an
    update (I went thru three of them), but if you got the laptop looking
    OK then that's probably not it. I have a program that displays the
    gamut of the profiles and one guy sent me one that didn't have any info
    in one of the channels, indicating the Spyder was bad, for example. He
    got a replacement from them after they saw the plot.
    Yes ... there's a step with some of the Colorvision software (not sure
    about yours) where you adjust the r, g, b guns separately to get the
    best white balance while keeping the luminance between 85-95 ... are
    you able to do this step (if it's in your software)?

    Bill Hilton, Dec 8, 2005
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  3. BonusBear

    bmoag Guest

    I presume you have a CRT monitor.
    Most likely you are misinterpreting the Spyder software instructions. This
    is not your fault, because the software asuumes you already understand color
    management and what is the intent of the calibration software.
    However the Spyder unit, although I no longer use it, is an excellent
    introduction to the great, great benefits of color management.
    Even if your monitor is old and dim as long as it has individual adjustments
    for the RGB guns you should be able to calibrate the monitor. Calibration is
    not intended to correct your monitor's problems but to translate your
    monitor's actual measured output to the software specificed gamut of your
    printer (which is pretty good for Epson, dubious for several other brands)
    via Photoshop. The settings for the RGB guns that the Spyder software
    directs you to encompass a very wide range of monitor performance, if you
    understand what you are doing.
    However if your monitor is so bad that you cannot obtain the minimal
    necessary luminance you may need to get a new monitor. If your monitor is
    that bad you cannot read this message anyway.
    The good news is that low to middling CRT monitors, all of which are better
    than all but the best flat panel monitors for photo manipulation, are an
    amazing bargain. Just make sure you can make adustments to the individual
    RGB guns before you buy. I have tried many flat panels (except for the very
    expensive specialized graphics panels) and find I can go through two or
    three CRT monitors for less money, less aggravation and more accurate
    WYSIWYG printing. WYSIWYG printing is what color management is all about.
    Laptop notebook screens can be calibrated but they are uttterly unreliable
    for color manged printing. Look at your notebook screen from different
    angles and you should immediately understand why this is so. If not you need
    to read alot more about color management.
    Once you understand monitor calibration and Adobe style color managment and
    how to use your particular printer driver (my preference is Epson) and its
    built in printer/paper profiles you should see an exponential improvement in
    the reliability of reproducing what you see on your monitor in the finished
    I encourage you to persevere.
    bmoag, Dec 9, 2005
  4. BonusBear

    BonusBear Guest

    Hi Bill,

    Sometimes the Spyder is bad or needs an
    That's interesting - so you could tell the spyder wasn't working by
    another software programme - that would eliminate one potential
    problem, can you tell me what the software is?

    Yes - that's precal and i've got that and tried it (after i'd removed
    the ridiculous profile colorplus had created and gone back to the
    start) - i can balance rgb very accurately but the luminance (max) is
    around 50 - which seems pretty far off.. So maybe that's the problem? -
    though i don't understand why the lack of luminance should affect the
    colour balance, surely that would just affect the brightness...??????

    To the eye, when adjusted using either precal or adobe gamma the
    monitor looks fine, (and i've sent work to printers that comes back
    pretty spot on) therefore, i was expecting to be able to improve it
    with calibration, not make it worse.

    I'm panicking because i'm about to shoot my first job (70 shots for a
    brochure) entirely on digital and of course i won't have a transparency
    original to refer to - so i will be making adjustments relying on my
    "colour numbers" being very very accurate - but what if they're not. I
    can kind of work reading numbers in Photoshop - but only to a basic
    level, i'm no Bruce Fraser.

    So do you think my monitor's headed for monitor heaven? - i know it
    will need replacing imminently but i don't have one of those lovely
    money trees and i need to put it off for a few months.

    I've written to colorvision (their freephone number goes through to the
    British School of motoring, how useful) to see what they say, i hope
    they reply soon.
    BonusBear, Dec 9, 2005
  5. BonusBear

    Bill Hilton Guest

    Bill wrote ...
    This particular profile had no response on one color axis, meaning one
    of the sensors was plugged when it did the screen measurements. So
    basically you could tell it was a totally invalid profile (he was
    seeing a massive color shift on screen). This is pretty rare but once
    Colorvision saw the ICC plot I sent the guy they sent him a new Spyder.
    I'm using Color Think, but there are some freebies out there as well
    .... look for something that plots ICC profile gamuts, so you can plot
    the monitor profile against say sRGB or AdobeRGB or against other
    monitor profiles. If you want to email me a copy of your profile (it
    should be very small) I'll plot it against a typical profile from one
    of my monitors and show you the differences. Here is what I posted for
    the guy I mentioned, showing how his profile has no response on one of
    the LAB axes ...
    To me this says your monitor is nearly dead :) Sorry ... what color
    temp are you using? If 5000 K then change it to 6500 K and it should
    improve a bit. If you are already at 6500 K then you can go to 9300 K
    but the white point will look very blue. But maybe you can get useable
    results at 6500 K (if you aren't already there) or 9300 K.
    Yes, sorry ...

    Bill Hilton, Dec 9, 2005
  6. BonusBear

    BonusBear Guest

    eeeeeek! - got any good news......??? - i sort of know the monitor's
    got to go but have been putting it off....but thanks for the reality

    Anyway, i got a call from Colorvision and apparently the problem is the
    colorvision software will update windows but has been blocked from
    updating my graphics card by ATI, the manufacturers, so i have to try
    the latest card drivers and see if that works, if not i have to install
    "catalyst 4.6" drivers (whatever they are - some prehistoric drivers i
    presume) and this will allow the update. So basically there's a colour
    cast because i'm effectively running half a correct profile and half
    the previous one (i think that's what the guy meant). Shame that info
    wasn't on the website (at least i couldn't find it) i also now have
    their phone number and the guy was very helpful, so i can't fault their
    support, i feel like i might be getting somewhere.

    It's getting late and my eyeballs are burning, i'll sort that out
    tomorrow and report back! (will start researching a new monitor too)
    BonusBear, Dec 9, 2005
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