Screen calibration

Tim Pindar

Could I start a thread on options for screen calibration?

Bearing in mind I'm an amateur and not a pro, I wouldn't want to spend a great deal of money on this. I have of course looked at my photos on other people's screens to check they look broadly like they do on mine.

When I have researched this (slightly) in the past, all the devices seemed quite pricey. So, are there any good, inexpensive tools, or indeed any methods which don't involve buying hardware?
Hi Tim,

There used to be a couple of bits of software around a few years ago that would allow you check / adjust your monitor against a printed card. It was a bit hit and miss though (I did try one and it nearly drove me nuts!) and I had a quick look but couldn't see them any more. I use a an X-Rite (Gretag Macbeth system to go from capture / scan through the monitors to printer profiles) but it wasn't cheap (about £1800 if I remember right) and it is used to keep NEC SpectraView monitors in check (as well as laptops etc) using either the SpectraView software or the Macbeth tools. I think the cheapest spectrophotometer out there (that's any good) is the Spyder3 Express (about £75). It would certainly do what you want but you need to think through your process before investing. Do you want absolute accuracy from view, through capture to output, or do you want what you see on screen (which you may have adjusted away from what was seen/captured) to be there in your output (print, web, whatever)? There's not much point in having an accurate monitor if your prints don't match it. However, interestingly when I use the calibration tools on a decent flat panel (not the SpectraViews - we have some low cost BenQ's) and a decent printer I rarely find they are unacceptably out (in contrast to a few years ago with CRT's etc). It seems that the new generation of kit is pretty well profiled and it seems rare that these profiles cause wide deviations from one device to another. We calibrate because we have a scientific need to ensure that the final image matches what we were imaging. The knock-on into my personal work is just a nice to have. I will probably always calibrate my equipment and control colour in the workflow but if you are finding that you don't see significant deviation between devices I would not get hung up about it. You might even be making things more difficult for yourself as you may end up with a monitor that is spot-on only to find there are huge colour errors elsewhere!
hi Tim
i have a colour monki photo, and it is an exceptional peice of kit, but i accept that it is perhaps a bit more than what most people need ... normally i might chirp up with this product or that, but on this occasion my recommendation would be to phone these people
they are one of the best companies to deal with i have come across when it comes to this sort of thing...
when you ring them you dont get some mindless moron with no experience of the products they sell, but someone who is welll versed in the subject and can recommend products based on the specified price point...
i highly highly recommend them and suggest you contact them fo radvice if nothing else :)
Hi Tim,

Just remembered what one of the kits was called (and there is a new version that is about £40) - Kodak Colour Management Check-Up Kit. Colour Confidence seems to have them although they are mainly used for checking rather than attempting to actually profile a system. I have always used Bondoni Systems for both profiling kit and LF printers but I too have heard good things about colour confidence.

Color-Munki. Don't you have to feed them peanuts?!! ;)
A Other Peony Pun. is an anagram of Pantone Huey Pro, Thought Grez might like that.