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Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: microchip
Date: February 25, 2009 08:16PM
My workstation at work recently had a melt down, and with it, my 5 monitors. My boss insisted that I move from my 5 monitors to a pair of 30 inchers. I went ahead and set up my new workstation with 2 Dell 30 inchers and a Dell 19 inch.

Since the Dells have built in memory card readers, lately I've been getting into work and taking a look at the pictures I took that day. (I've been carrying my D50 around with me alot more).

Simply put, the color reproduction for whatever reason is just absolutely incredible. My pictures suddenly looked equivalent in color, crispness, sharpness as those taken by my friend's D300. I was absolutely stunned. I thought it was because I changed the vibrancy settings on the camera.

I was surprised when I got home and stuck my memory card in, that I was horribly disappointed. My pictures once again looked dull and uninviting.

At home I run a Dell 20 incher, one of the new ones, it's 6 Bit. I also run an 8 bit Princeton LCD next to it(it's pretty old though. Maybe 4 years old?).
I just can't believe the difference between the two setups. It's insane. Even the 19 inch at work doesn't get close to the 30's.

Are the 30's just that good of a panel, or are they over-exxagerating things? Are mine fine here just calibrated wrong?

What can I do to fix all of this? I'm probably going to get some pictures printed at Adorama, and always share pictures with my friends on the internet and such. I want to make sure that they look fantastic to everyone. At work my pictures look great, at home they look dull and I almost always boost the vibrancy and saturation a bit in Aperture.

Help me get this right!
Thanks!
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 25, 2009 08:23PM
you probably like them on the 30" 'cause you still have the brightness set to 110% - as it comes from the factory. on the dell 2405 monitors you have to nudge the rgb values down because if you just do brightness it still doesn't go down to reasonable levels.

this is not accurate color.

if you want to make prints then you need to calibrate your display to match paper. paper isn't as bright as your display. also, a calibrator could probably make the color on your display a heck of a lot more accurate.

i'm you're paying out for 30" displays left and right, at least get an eye-one calibrator to make them accurate.



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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: February 25, 2009 08:26PM
Your boss told you to pare down to two 30 inchers, so now you have two 30 inchers and a 19" Dell. You listen real well, don't you? You must be very cute, because I probably would have been fired! smiling smiley

I can understand the concern about the difference in the way your pictures display on the various monitors, but, if you're going to print, make sure you take that into account, too. This whole color management thing can become quite complex, and just because something looks great on your monitor or when displayed online doesn't mean you'll get good color prints. Conversely, something that looks bad on another monitor may print OK. You probably need to do some studying up on color management. It can involve monitor calibration, along with settings within your editing software, plus any variation that comes along with printers. Learning curve! Learning curve!

Edit: Oh, yeh, I forgot the paper, because I was still thinking sending them out for prints.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 02/25/2009 08:27PM by AlphaDog.
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: microchip
Date: February 25, 2009 08:33PM
So what is the best way to go about making my display at home(the one that matters. I do my editing here) the most accurate in all mediums?

I have the monitor at about 80% brightness and contrast around 70%. I in theory have it calibrated( I obviously don't know how well I calibrated it. And I know I'm running 2.3 gamma or something like that.)

in my System Preference Color panel I've got all sorts of color profiles. I've got Adobe RGB(looks fairly uncolorful), Apple RGB, CIE RGB, ColorMatch RGB, Epson sRGB, Generic RGB, PAL/SECAM, ProPhoto RGB, SMTE-C, and Wide Gamout RGB.
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: February 25, 2009 08:47PM
Ideally you should get a hardware calibration device, like the Eye One that mattkime mentioned. There is a software calibration tool built into the system, although I've never been able to get decent results using it. You can find it under System Prefs>Displays>Color, then the Calibrate box, or at least that's where it is on this old OS, and I bet it hasn't gone far.

There really is more to it than just calibration, too, so if you want to get into this printing of pics, do yourself a favor and research it. Apple used to have some tutorials on color management, but it's been so long since I've done any digital imaging that I'm not even sure where to find them any more. Maybe you should another thread and ask for resources for learning about color management. Since you have nice equipment and are happy with the composition of your photos, you owe it to yourself to learn how to do the rest of the work properly. You'll be glad you spent the time doing it.
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: microchip
Date: February 25, 2009 09:03PM
Thanks. I'll do some googling and maybe pop open another thread.

This whole photography thing has legs, and I've found a friendly front to be competitive on with my friend: cars and scenery. He shoots solely people. Go figure.
smiling smiley
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 25, 2009 09:07PM
>>I have the monitor at about 80% brightness and contrast around 70%. I in theory have it calibrated( I obviously don't know how well I calibrated it. And I know I'm running 2.3 gamma or something like that.)

unfortunately that doesn't mean anything. brightness can vary quite a bit between monitors and the percentage really doesn't mean anything.

it all depends upon the quality that you need.



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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 25, 2009 09:09PM
i can help you through all the profiling and workflow issues but its all kind of pointless unless you calibrate.



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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: microchip
Date: February 25, 2009 09:20PM
I'm eating dinner right now, but I'll go through and calibrate the Dell per eye and Apple's Calibrate tool. What's the logical step after that?

I'll also see if I can track down a color calibrator like the Eye-One. I wouldn't be surprised if my school's yearbook team has one I can borrow.
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: mattkime
Date: February 25, 2009 09:30PM
>>What's the logical step after that?

Thats most of it.

Is the next step getting your pictures printed by adorama? or on your own printer?



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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: M>B>
Date: February 26, 2009 12:20AM
Good tutorial on the subject...

[av.adobe.com]

A lot of tutorials and other resources...

[www.russellbrown.com]
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: motopsyco
Date: February 26, 2009 10:37AM
Get in touch with Ray Maxwell in Vancouver.

[wiki.twit.tv]

I can't seem to locate a email address for Mr. Maxwell, but you might be able to reach him on Twitter or through Leo Laporte at TWiT. I watched he and Leo discuss color and calibration on their live stream some weeks/months ago. Ray is the guy to speak with about proper calibration.

[twit.tv]
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Re: Monitors: Color Calibration, Reproduction, and overall LCD questions.
Posted by: AllGold
Date: February 26, 2009 01:22PM
Apple's ColorSync calibration in expert mode is the best option if you don't have a hardware calibration device.

But there's only so much you can do since your old, cheap monitors at home are simply inferior to the Dell 30" monitors. Other than Dell's or Apple's 30", you would have to get something like a Dell 2005FPW or Apple 20" (an S-IPS panel) to match that quality.



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