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At wit's end

Discussion in 'Printers, Monitors, and Color Management' started by Neige, Apr 19, 2007.

  1. Sorry to be a pest, but I just don't get this monitor calibration thing. I've gotten a lot of advice which all appears to be good, but that simply doesn't apply to my situation.

    I have a Dell 1901FP with Samsung panel (considered good). The controls on my monitor do not allow for setting specific levels of brightness as measured in cd/m^2.

    I bought the Spyder2Pro with basic software; I don't print my own. When I did calibrate the monitor my prints suddenly turned out much darker than they had before; probably because the controls were set to max brightness before calibration. I tried to set them lower, at defaults, even though the software said not to, with the similar results.

    After advice from Iliah and Charles, for which I am grateful, I tried Coloreyes, Windows version and the outcome was far worse - the monitor's brightness was much higher and the tone curve was completely reversed from the Spyder. I suspect a bug in the Windows beta.

    Then I downloaded basIccolor with a trial license. The software will not recognize the Spyder, so I can't even try a profile.

    Am I that weird that using what is seemingly standard, though definitely not high end hardware and three different software packages that I can't get a profile that will allow me to have accurate prints?

    I thought that the point of hardware based calibration was to take subjectivity out of monitor settings. The Spyder2Pro software does not take brightness into account so that I can't trust the profile. But, as every pro says, I can't trust my eyes. So, where does that leave me? There is seemingly no hardware solution, even though that's the unanimous recommendation.

    The only option I see open to me now is to junk the hardware and go back to eyeballing the settings and have that haunting feeling that my prints will come out low quality.

    If people have suggestions I am open to them. Preferably they will be at an undergraduate level.

    Thank you for listening to a frustrated rant.

  2. afx


    Jan 16, 2006
    Munich, Germany
    Does not matter. Just turn it as low as you can.
    Dells tend to not be able to go low enough from what I gather in comments on various forums and testing web sites.

    Where do you print? Do they do color management properly?
    The EyeMatch (from Gretag) package I use allows me to set a specific target luminance and then has me adjust the monitor brightness until the desired luminance is reached.
    I would expect the Spyder (apart from the Express) to do the same. Maye you have to go into an advanced mode or so?

    It might be user error or the guys you use for printing mess it up on their side.
    And in general, as monitors are backlit and prints are not, you will typically have slightly darker prints then what you see on screen.

    Your monitor does not allow hardware calibration (which would happen in the monitor and is only available on high end screens), only software calibration in the graphics card LUT.
    But that should work as well.

    I gave up on Spyder long ago. I recently played with Printfix Pro from the same company and the results where disappointing compared to what I could get effortless from the equivalent Gretag Tools.
    But, from your description it sounds like you only have the SpyderExpress which does not support calibration but only profiling as far as I know.

  3. You should have no trouble getting an excellent profile done with the SpyderPro 2 as I have done on first my Ilyama CRT and now my Eizo LCD.
    Incidentally the default brightness of the Eizo was so high you needed sunglasses to look at it. For an accurate profile in good subdued lighting conditions the Eizo backlight had to be reduced to 15% !! My prints match my monitor.

    There is an very good and active users group at:
    on which two staff members of colorvision solve people's problems in detail and with great patience. You should give it a try if you have not already been there.

    They also helped me out with Printfix Pro which is producing very good profiles for me. Much better than the Epson profiles for their paper and hugely better than the one Hahnemuhle publish for their paper.
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