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Monitor Calibration  
User currently offlineTomH From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

This subject has been touched upon before, but not in sufficient detail. It is very easy to work up a bunch of images with your monitor's calibration (Intensity/Contrast) set incorrectly. As previously mentioned, contributors to this site have found this can lead to an increase in rejections.
1.What do you do to insure your monitor is calibrated correctly?
2.What contrast/intensity values are normal your monitor?
3.Does your monitor have any color temperature (k) adjustments? If so, which do you use?
4.Do you calibrate your monitor using your image editing application? Do the settings vary from one application to another?
5.Do you attempt to control the environment in which your monitor is placed so the ambient light level is constant?
6.For calibration, video has RGB stripes and pedestal, in photography we have the gray card. What visual source do we in digital imaging have to ensure standardization across the various applications and equipment we use?


19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 63
Reply 1, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Hi Tom

When I work on shots I use the calibration that comes with Corel. I also check every now and then for driver updates for the monitor, which is a Philips.

It also has temperature adjustment but never play around with this unless I am using Flight Sim 2000, which I use one of the presets, which gives me a warmer tone.

But after that, I revert back to the standard.

Monitor calibration is important when working on shots. I have seen slight differences from my monitor at home and the one I use at work.

Regards
Gary Watt
Aberdeen, Scotland


User currently offlineTappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 41
Reply 2, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Tom and Granite I agree.
My last upload here
Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Mark Garfinkel

was worked on at a monitor that had bad color calibration ....I did not know this until I saved the photo (on a disk) and checked it out at my apartment..
Too much magenta, purple, blue.
Good topic
Mark G


User currently offlineTappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 41
Reply 3, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Similiar photos to the one above...taken a day later..almost the same time of the afternoon. Similiar light and sky.
Better monitor...

Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Mark Garfinkel



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Mark Garfinkel



By the way, does anybody know if this may be the same flight...The Alitalia 747 was shot the next day and at roughly the same time.
Cheers,
Mark Garfinkel


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 740 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

This is a real headache, at least I find it so, trying to calibrate everything. If you have a halfway decent monitor, it should come with its own profile which can be used to calibrate the monitor with any of the better graphics packages. In theory this should then also allow the printer to be calibrated to the monitor so you can print what you see. In theory. In practice this doesn't work very well, because the devices use different colour spaces which don't always have corresponding values.

sRGB was supposed to solve all this - I can set my monitor, scanner and printer to use sRGB ensuring consistent device independent colour. HAH!

In short, I've "homebrewed" my system to get some degree of consitency between printer and monitor. The critical part seems to be lowering the colour temp of the monitor - in my case to about 7,600K - the "default" 9,600K seems ridiculously high and is there to make the monitors look bright in the shop!

If you have a really good monitor, the colour channels should be independantly adjustable. You can then get a reference card (or slide) from Kodak (I think) which will allow you to tune your system.

Of course, Mac users will be laughing - calibration across devices is built in and works!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineTomH From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (13 years 9 months 3 weeks 2 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Guys,
Thanks for the input.

Gary, My Corel info relates to monitor/printer calibration. This makes sense, but I'm glad to say I don't print photos at home, so that's one headache (and it appears to be a rather large one) that I don't have to worry about.

Colin, my homebrew intensity/contrast is usually right around 75/60. Works well here at home anyway. SRGB, at a fixed 31% is simply lacking in the intensity level I want. My monitor has 9300K/5000K/SRGB and then a symbol that looks like three dots in a box. I work as an electronic tech but probably right about now I sound pretty ignorant about my own stuff. It appears the independent color adjustments on my monitor are internal, so I won't be messing with them any time soon.

Mark, nice contrail shots. Pretty long lens I'd say. I think it's quite possible to see the same flight overhead on subsequent days. Wouldn't that often be the case if you are under a specified Victor route? I think I see this type of thing where I live.

Check ya later..


User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 63
Reply 6, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Hi all

After my input on this thread I visited the Philips site again and there was another colour profile update for my particular model!

After installing and re-booting Corel made all my shots orange. I used the calibration and hey presto.....all back to normal and with the latest update.

I print shots on my photo printer, A4 size and have been impressed with the results and hard to distinguish from lab processing. The latest shot I did, from Zurich, gave me a slight orange/red tint to the final print.

The screen looks OK but I now alter the colour and use less red. This seems to correct it.

Regards
Gary Watt
Aberdeen, Scotland


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 740 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Getting the printing right sure is a pain! Like Granite, I tend to make compensations for final output, as, although I can get a close proximity on one type of paper, different papers respond slightly differently. Because of the various types of photography I do, my setup produces "pleasing flesh tones" - the problem with this is that it results in "British Airways blue" being printed with a distinct purple cast!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineAdministrator From Sweden, joined May 1999, 3251 posts.
Reply 8, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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SITE ADMIN

I just want to point out that correct monitor settings are extremely important for a good result. Personally I use a Sony Multiscan G400 (the best monitor on the market in my mind) and calibrate the settings using the Photoshop color management wizard and an older program from Nokia.

I'm in the process of adding an entry in the FAQ about monitor calibration. Do you guys know of any good shareware program that I can recommend and does the job as good as the ones from Corel/Adobe?

Thanks,
Johan



Working on the site from morning 'till night that's livin' alright (1997-2007)
User currently offlineTappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 41
Reply 9, posted (13 years 9 months 2 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Johan,
Nice idea. I know not much about the software but will ask at work tommorrow. I use a ViewSonic which I would recommend highly.
Cheers,
Mark Garfinkel


User currently offlineTappan From United States of America, joined Oct 1999, 1538 posts, RR: 41
Reply 10, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

There is a software program called Monaco I think.....I will try to find out more.
Mark G


User currently offlineHenryjr From Canada, joined May 2000, 98 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great to know what type of monitor you use Johan. I just had a good deal a few days ago on a Sony Multiscan 210GS. Calibrated it using the Photoshop color management wizard and had big surprises on a lot of my pictures. I'm glad I finally have my Sony display now.

Trinitron RULES!!!!  

Cheers,

Henry


User currently offlineTomH From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Johan,
That is the exact same monitor I have. There was a higher-priced Sony model with a closer dot pitch but my source sold them all, and I ended up with the Sony G400. I don't regret it at all, really an excellent monitor. I neglected to read the statement about the two horizontal lines that you see against a light background.
At first I thought I had a defective monitor until I took the time to read the manual!

Here's an observation related to monitors. As a hobbyist photographer who has spent many years in a chemical darkroom, I feel that viewing a given image on a monitor is a less critical display technique than getting the same image enlarged as a print to the monitor's deminsions. When viewing the print, you tend to notice grain a lot more, whereas on a monitor it is often invisible. Back in the 1970s, a favorite color negative film of many amateur transportation photographers was Vericolor (ISO 160). In an 8X10" print the grain was noticeable but usually not objectionable. When I first viewed these negatives on a monitor, the grain was gone! Has anyone else noticed anything like this?

TomH


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 740 posts, RR: 16
Reply 13, posted (13 years 9 months 1 week 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I think your observation is true, but all down to resolution - a print will have the resoultion equivalent of about 240-300 dpi - the screen image much less. This reduced resolution has the effect of smoothing fine detail (such as grain).

Incidentally, I've just spent part of the day looking into this monitor calibration problem. As far as I can see there is no way of doing this well without spending quite a bit of money - and to do it very well you need to spend a LOT of money!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 740 posts, RR: 16
Reply 14, posted (13 years 9 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Since TomH brought up this topic, the subject's been bugging me ... my scanner/monitor/printer setup was pretty good, but not 100% ... so I would "make allowances". What I really want is prints that look just like the screen.

What I've learned is that to do a professional job a) you need money b) you should have a specialist monitor and graphics card

Since I can't afford a dedicated photo system (and refuse to give up flight simulator and other "games") I decided to see what I could do on a no cost basis with my Sony E400 monitor, Voodoo 3000 and Windows ME system with CorelDraw/Photopaint 9 printing to an Epson 1270 and using a Nikon LS30 scanner.

All the above components have some form of colour management built in, and the first thing I learned on reading up on the subject is that the various bits are probably fighting each other - eg. the printer driver is "correcting" something that's already been corrected by Corel.

So the first thing I did was simplify - I removed any device profiles, disabled colour management and set monitor and graphics card back to factory defaults. Then using a really useful document I found at

http://www.unleash.com/mikec/color/

I used the chart in figure 5 to get the brightness properly adjusted on my monitor. Next I used another chart I got from

http://home.iae.nl/users/rossen/COLOR/calibration.htm

to confirm colour balance. These were viewed through a web browser - this is important, since a web browser does not attempt to apply colour management.

Next I brought the second of the charts into photopaint with the colour management system turned off - and it looked fine. When I set the colour management to use the icm profile for my monitor, it looked distinctly greenish. I left the management off.

Now the printer. First try (based on previous success) was to print with no colour management. Disaster. OK, next try with the Epson 1270 profile - much much better, but the blues were a bit off. So I decided to create a custom profile in the printer driver. After some trial and error, I was able to produce output which matched the screen pretty closely - in my case, the saturation setting needed to be increased.

Finally the scanner. Laking a reference slide, I used a well exposed slide with a good range of colours. I turned colour management off, and reset the gamma setting to suit my new monitor settings. And it worked.

Now I can scan an image, view it in photopaint, and print it with the image looking pretty much the same at each stage. It took about half a day to do, and quite a bit of ink and paper ... its not quite perfect, so some more tweaks to the printer settings are probably required, and this will need to be done for each type of paper I use, but it's better than it was. The moral, if there is one, is simplify - adding additional colour management tools, profiles etc. is probably complicating things. Get back to basics and use only what you need.

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineGranite From UK - Scotland, joined May 1999, 5568 posts, RR: 63
Reply 15, posted (13 years 9 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
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Hi all

For those of you who can change the colour temperature, what do you use for doing your shots?

I use 9300.

Is that the best?

Thanks

Gary Watt
Aberdeen, Scotland


User currently offlineHenryjr From Canada, joined May 2000, 98 posts, RR: 4
Reply 16, posted (13 years 9 months 4 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Gary!

I think 9300 is the best. That's the only one I have been using!

Best Wishes!  

Henry


User currently offlineTomH From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (13 years 9 months 3 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Colin,
Wow, proper monitor calibration is a bit complicated-just as I thought. Perhaps as graphically-oriented people get serious about this parameter there will be a convenient product with which to perform the calibration. But then, it sounds like it would be a product similar to drivers, in that it would have to be updated to accomodate the myriad changes that occur with video cards and monitors in the course of one year.
I have a book that shows a device that was affixed to the monitor screen and provided color info feedback during the calibration. The book (about 5 years old) made it sound like this was a common practice. I'll try to follow up on that item.

Gary,
I have my monitor set to 9300 as it is the only setting that looks good on my system.

TomH


User currently offlineCkw From UK - England, joined Aug 2010, 740 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (13 years 9 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

TomH - indeed, such devices exist, but unfortunately cost thousands - I'm looking into the possibility of hiring one.

As to colour temp ... I think 9300 is too high - I suspect its a setting used to make monitors look good in the sales room. I can't specify precise temp values on my monitor, but would estimate I have it set to something around 7,500 - I have it in my head that this is closer to the colour temp of daylight, but can't remeber how I got that idea!

Cheers,

Colin



Colin K. Work, Pixstel
User currently offlineTomH From United States of America, joined May 1999, 960 posts, RR: 2
Reply 19, posted (13 years 9 months 3 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

The product I saw in a book was the Radius Precision Color Calibrator. It was a device that was set against the monitor screen during calibration, though no other details of the process were given.

Also mentioned was Daystar's Colormatch. This was in a book that is 5 years old. I spent some time today doing searches for these products and the only hits I got were from 1995. Looks like they may not exist anymore.

I did come across some lengthy descriptions of international color standards committees, mostly related to the printing industry and video. In these professional arenas there has been much assigning and developing color standards, but I saw no indication that any of this has trickled down to an affordable product for the photographer. If someone learns of such a product please tell us about it.

Colin, you may be correct that 9300 K is too high. In my place of work we are highly illuminated in flourescent light. There are several different light tube temperatures to be found. In fact I can see some triple-tube assemblies in the cieling that have three different color temperature tubes inside! Makes it fun trying to figure out which FL filter use.

At home I am not well standardized, either. I have a small flourescent lamp over my desk that shines on my monitor. I use this for viewing negatives and slides. But I have an incandescent light box that I use for viewing/sorting slides. Seems to work for me, but it probably hasn't helped me understand proper color temperatures in regards to photography.

TomH


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