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Antraman

Budget methods of calibrating a monitor?

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I am wondering if there are any cheap and easy ways to calibrate a monitor, rather than using those special gadgets, or the rather dodgy software method that Windows 7 does in Control Panel/Display/Calibrate Colour...

 

Can't you do something like get a photo of an object you are familiar with, or have with you that you can hold up next to the screen then play around with the monitor's gamma controls etc to match the colours and lighting or the item?

 

I just spent ages playing around getting a photo to look right on my ASUS VK266, then when I viewed it on my laptop (Sony Viao with a Clear Bright screen), it looked shite. I am reluctant to do any more serious editing until I can be sure that what I am seeing on my main monitor is how the pics are pretty much going to turn out.

 

Maybe one day I will have to invest in a Spyder...

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You mention serious editing. You can't calibrate a monitor by hand and get professional results. Perhaps you can borrow a ColorMunki or Spyder off someone.

Maybe I'll have to, but I am just wondering if there's anything I can do easily in the meantime. Why can't you calibrate a monitor by hand and get a decent result? Whether you do it with a gadget or by hand, the adjustments made are all still within the range of the parameters of the controls on the monitor...

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Try this site: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

It seems pretty good.

 

You can do it by hand, but the human mind plays tricks when it comes to colour differentiation. It also introduces bias since you're used to seeing your monitor display an image a particular way, and a calibrated monitor will often look 'wrong' until you adjust to it.

Edited by .:Cyb3rGlitch:.

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Try this site: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/

It seems pretty good.

 

You can do it by hand, but the human mind plays tricks when it comes to colour differentiation. It also introduces bias since you're used to seeing your monitor display an image a particular way, and a calibrated monitor will often look 'wrong' until you adjust to it.

Thanks, that site is pretty helpful actually.

 

I'm a firm believer that its your eye in the end, that is the final judge. I think there's no point in doing a complicated and expensive adjustment, when the images always turn out crap in the final print process. These things are all tools we use to produce the final product, so even if our final judgment of what looks good flies in the face of logic then so be it.

 

Of course there's the issue of educated taste, but I am working from the perspective that I have that already.

Edited by Antraman

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yeah, nice.

 

I was wondering was there like a colour chart you could get that also has an online copy, and you hold it up next to your monitor so you can play with the controls and try to replicate the colours and lighting on screen to the chart...

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as cyb3r has mentioned, your mind can play tricks on you which can possible give you false calibration results. Unfortunately the best way is to a proper calibration tool.

 

One extreme is the Cornsweet illusion

 

Cheers

Rob

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Interesting effect.

 

But I don't really see how that is relevant to my situation here...having a hardcopy colour chart and placing it next to your monitor, and viewing same chart image in a graphics program on the monitor in order to change the monitors gamma etc to match the handheld chart. All I'm saying is compare the 2 images side by side and adjust to match. I don't see how the cornsweet or colorcube illusions are gonna prevent you from matching your monitors settings to an hardcopy. Just being picky...

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Interesting effect.

 

But I don't really see how that is relevant to my situation here...having a hardcopy colour chart and placing it next to your monitor, and viewing same chart image in a graphics program on the monitor in order to change the monitors gamma etc to match the handheld chart. All I'm saying is compare the 2 images side by side and adjust to match. I don't see how the cornsweet or colorcube illusions are gonna prevent you from matching your monitors settings to an hardcopy. Just being picky...

but having a colour chart standing next to your monitor and your monitor showing the same colours doesn't necessarily mean when you print the picture it comes out the way you expect. Perhaps if the colour chart was printed by the printer. ...and then there are all the different printing papers all with slightly different shades of white...

 

Even with a colourimeter it's unlikely you'll get perfect results unless you use a special screen with direct hardware control of colour. I'd admit I was looking for it but am having difficulty obtaining it even using a Colormunki - which profiles the screens, reads Pantone strips perfectly, prints them perfectly, then shows the "readings" differently on the screen.

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but having a colour chart standing next to your monitor and your monitor showing the same colours doesn't necessarily mean when you print the picture it comes out the way you expect. Perhaps if the colour chart was printed by the printer. ...and then there are all the different printing papers all with slightly different shades of white...

 

Even with a colourimeter it's unlikely you'll get perfect results unless you use a special screen with direct hardware control of colour. I'd admit I was looking for it but am having difficulty obtaining it even using a Colormunki - which profiles the screens, reads Pantone strips perfectly, prints them perfectly, then shows the "readings" differently on the screen.

You have a point there, but that's a further area of concern...the printer. Printers need calibration too. I'm not so concerned about the printer at the moment, because face it, if you don't get the digital copy on your PC sorted out first...a printer is just going to add to the problem.

 

I think what I will try is take a photo of a colour chart with a neutral white balance preset on my camera, then play with the monitor controls to match the digital version up with the colour chart. Then I'll view it in my other monitors (2nd LCD, and my Vaio).

 

Dodgy I know, but I have to see for myself. 8-)

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