garry
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Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:43 am

I realise that elements of this topic have been indirectly discussed but my objective in posting it was to dig a little deeper into how the screening team are calibrating their monitors.

No doubt all photographers who have pictures accepted here have their monitors calibrated and while it is easy to conclude that we all have a properly calibrated monitor there is a degree of variability in what settings the photographer asks the calibrating device to target the monitor to.

For example, if the screening team are setting their brightness calibration to say 130 d/m, while others, like me, have it set to 90 it may be a contributing factor to perceived over exposure, i.e. the screener sees the images as too bright.

Another variable in monitor calibration is the colour setting i.e. the target white balance. My own is set to target 6500K, rather than the native white point of the monitor which is somewhat less. Similar to brightness a variance in this setting could contribute to colour perceptions on one monitor versus another. What are the screening team using as their input?

I’m assuming in this that the screeners, using the same monitors, have agreed the input settings for the calibration and there is no variability.

Cheers
Garry
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leadingedge
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibrati

Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:01 pm

I think I am right to say that the most important factor is going to be the histogram of any particular image as regards its relative brightness and not the monitors brightness setting. Given that we are uploading to the web SRGB is the ideal colour space to use in order to ensure commonality as this is the generally accepted standard. A white point of 6500K is also commonly accepted for calibration purposes I beleive. Using a custom profile for your monitor is more likely to lead to mis-matches in colour when your images are viewed on another monitor with its own (different) custom profile.

I am not sure that the actual brightness level of the monitor is going to make much difference as that will be set according to the personal taste of the user according to the coditions imposed by their viewing environment, (Ie dark room, light room etc.). Its is therfore the histogram that will detremine whether or not the image appears to be relatively light or dark.

Anyone who knows better please feel free to correct me.
 
garry
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:24 pm

Hi LeadingEdge, I can understand your thinking.

You could have a histogram with no clipping at all in the whites but shown on an overly bright screen could make them seem clipped, or indeed the image being generaly too bright - if the screeners have got a default histogram of the images they screen your point is wholly correct.

My point was in the absence of such a tool a change in luminosity will change the perception of brightness. Take that to the extreme and bring up a histogram with no clipping, then turn up the brightness on your monitor, what is actually correct and what is being viewed are totally different.

With regard to colour the colour space at sRGB is consistent but if one image is being viewed on a monitor set at say 6000k even if the target was 6500 the colours will be different, one only has to move the white balance slider on a raw image to see that.

An interesting topic, I hope more will add their views particularly a screener or 2.

Garry
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leadingedge
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:57 pm

Yes I agree, each monitor is different and a the use of a different white point is bound to have an effect.

I have my monitor set to sRGB, process my images in sRGB, ( white point 6500K) and the brightness set to what I am comfortable with. The screeners I am sure are aware of these issues and possibly give a little latitude. It is easy to see if detail is actually there in highlights or shadows by just tilting your screen slightly or making a slight brightness adjustment. There is, or was a calibration tool on this site which easily allows you to check that you can see the full tonal range.

All you can do is hope that when people are browsing images they have optimised the settings on their monitors. As far as uploading is concerned it would be helpful to know if screeners use common settings and if so what they might be so they can be matched.
 
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jid
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:01 pm

Ever monitor is different as said, even ones of the same make. Also the graphic card being used has a bearing on the colour displayed on the monitor.

Depending on what sort of equipment you have to calibrate your monitor, the software should instruct you on how to set the monitors brightness, contrast settings as well as the colour temperature (6500K being the normal setting).

Monitors are not set to resolve a colour space as stated above, they will work with any colour space. The thing you need to consider is browsers like IE (you desktop in windows) can only use sRGB, if they are fed an image with another colour space they will 'guess' at the colours that are outside the sRGB gamut. So if you are uploading to the internet using another colour space you run the risk of your browser, or the screeners browser rendering your colours incorrectly. If you think you are going to need your image for print purposes by a professional printer just save your file as a PSD, the save it as a jpeg (srgb) as well. You can then come back to your PSD file and change the colour space from there.

Having a two monitors that are the same, one calibrated, one not - not only will you see differences in colour resolution but also brightness and contrast which in turn leads to differences in sharpness. I guess all the screeners here having the same monitors will use the same calibration settings, if not the same devises? Otherwise saying they all have the same monitors is really quite meaningless.

Jid
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aero145
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:08 pm

I notice that people here are uploading in sRGB.

I did that once, but nowadays the photos are screwed when they’re uploaded in sRGB, therefore I upload in Apple RGB.

Wondering what is wrong...
 
garry
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:24 pm



Quoting Jid (Reply 4):
I guess all the screeners here having the same monitors will use the same calibration settings, if not the same devises? Otherwise saying they all have the same monitors is really quite meaningless.

This is my point Jid - I totally accept that all monitors are different and some form of calibration should bring consistency but it's the target settings that are the key.

If the screeners are using different settings either collectively compared to some of the community, or indeed, compared to each other it would be very useful to know.

Garry
www.garryridsdale.com
 
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jid
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sat Jan 10, 2009 7:46 pm

Well Garry no crew seem to want to comment on what settings they use to calibrate their monitors, maybe its a secret Big grin
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wilco737
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:07 pm



Quoting Jid (Reply 7):
Well Garry no crew seem to want to comment on what settings they use to calibrate their monitors, maybe its a secret Big grin

I would, if I could. I used a calibration tool which came with the monitor (samsung 24"). It took me nearly 1.5 hours until I was happy with the calibration.

Those tools are pretty helpful and can be downloaded from websites as well.

wilco737
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aero145
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sat Jan 10, 2009 11:55 pm



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 8):
I would, if I could. I used a calibration tool which came with the monitor (samsung 24"). It took me nearly 1.5 hours until I was happy with the calibration.

I think Jid meant the Screeners, Wilco.  Silly

But good to know though.  Smile

Hardtbergsgrüßen,
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wilco737
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sun Jan 11, 2009 12:04 am



Quoting Aero145 (Reply 9):
I think Jid meant the Screeners, Wilco. Silly

Sorry. I can delete my post. I just wanted to help.

wilco737
 white 
 
aero145
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sun Jan 11, 2009 2:36 am



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 10):
Sorry. I can delete my post. I just wanted to help.

Entschuldige Sie! No offense meant and please don’t delete the post. I’ll rather delete mine.
 
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jid
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:08 am



Quoting WILCO737 (Reply 8):
Those tools are pretty helpful and can be downloaded from websites as well.

This is where there is misunderstanding Wilco. We are talking about physical calibration here, not downloading an application that just gives you a few pictures to look at. Physical calibration very simply is where you have a colorimetric device that reads a colour from your screen. So the software sends say a red block to your screen of a known value. The sensor reads this block and because it knows what colour it should be it calculated a difference between what is on you screen and the real colour. The difference is then built into the profile at the end of the process. So there is no guess work involved you just get the real colours displayed when you use the profile you generated.

Jid
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garry
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:05 am



Quoting Jid (Reply 7):
Well Garry no crew seem to want to comment on what settings they use to calibrate their monitors, maybe its a secret Big grin

Hi Jid - I must admit to have written this off given none of the screening team contributed, but many thanks for your own input.

I don't think it's an unreasonable request given it affects everyone. We are encouraged to discuss these topics in the forum and monitor calibration is such a fundamental part of setting up the editing workflow.

BW
Garry
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paulinbna
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Sun Jan 11, 2009 8:27 pm



Quoting Garry (Thread starter):
No doubt all photographers who have pictures accepted here have their monitors calibrated

I would not assume this statement. I have about 2000 pictures on this site that are from a non-calibrated monitor. Though having said that since last Feb. I have been using a calibrated one. It does make a difference but I know I number of photographers that have pictures accepted here that do not have there monitors calibrated.

The thing that I am more concerned with is do all the screeners have their monitors calibrated the same way, because if they are not they are not seeing the same thing.
Canon 50D user; 100-400 MM L IS 10-22 MM, 60MM Macro
 
wilco737
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:45 am



Quoting Jid (Reply 12):
This is where there is misunderstanding Wilco.

Sorry, didn't know that. this was indeed a missunderstanding from me then.

wilco737
 white 
 
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cpd
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Mon Jan 12, 2009 11:23 am

And watch out for some of the video drivers - some can play havoc with your perception of colour. My Nvidia ones on the PC at the moment are completely messed up.
 
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planespot
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Tue Jan 27, 2009 3:08 am

This is an issue that bugs me a little. I work for a large hardware calibration company, and of course calibrate with our top-end product. I also have two 8-bit S-IPS LCDs that I do my photo work on. However, I've gotten plenty of photos rejected for contrast and color issues, when I have exposed the plane properly, and converted from RAW using standard settings. So my only recourse is to either tone down the contrast/change the exposure (which were never changed in the first place) -- or to just move on to other photos. Sometimes on a first rejection for something non-related (like badinfo), my re-upload on the same photo will get a contrast/color issue rejection the second time around. This is a bit frustrating since color/brightness issues are highly perceptual, and need something like hardware to make them a lot more objective.

In a separate thread, Tim mentioned most of the screeners use Dell 22" LCDs. I'm pretty sure there aren't any 22" LCD 8-bit panels in any brand. In my dream world, all screeners would have 8-bit panels calibrated with the same hardware to ensure some amount of consistency.
Cary Liao - AeroPX
 
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acontador
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RE: Is The Devil In The Detail - Monitor Calibration

Tue Jan 27, 2009 1:41 pm



Quoting Planespot (Reply 17):
In a separate thread, Tim mentioned most of the screeners use Dell 22" LCDs. I'm pretty sure there aren't any 22" LCD 8-bit panels in any brand. In my dream world, all screeners would have 8-bit panels calibrated with the same hardware to ensure some amount of consistency.

And in my dreamworld, we would all drink exactly the same amount of coffee before/during screening, our eyes and visual interpretation functions would be equally influenced by the amount and quality of sleep we had last night, we all would also use standard chairs, calibrated to our body measures, we would all look at the exactly same angle towards the screen, we would all have exactly the same amount/direction/type of ambient light...

Yes, using the same monitors and calibrating them is important, but by no means it will guarantee you that we all see exactly the same. Only long training and constant cross-checking in this respect helps us to stay in tune with what the other screeners actually see. And all uploaders get that, too, and free, through our screening emails!
As I have said numerous times before, this system is not perfect, but so far is the best I have seen.
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