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Images, Graphic Design, and Digital Photography Discussion of all things graphics.

iMac monitor color calibration: third party worth it?


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fleurya

 
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I've been doing some looking around at monitor color calibration tools for my new iMac and looking at reviews for a few like Colormunki, Spyder Pro and Eye One.

While reading reviews on Amazon for Spyder I saw one reviewer say this:

Quote:
I wouldn't buy it again. It did not produce profiles for me that were nearly as good as those I can create manually with Apple's manual display calibration system in Advanced mode.

To be fair, I think this says more about how good Apple's system is than about this particular unit.
I'm not familiar with Apple's manual display calibration, but I wouldn't mind using it and saving $100-200 if it can get me pretty accurate results for an amateur like me. (I'm no pro photographer)

If anyone is familiar with this can could explain/recommend it, I would appreciate it. If you like/use a particular calibration tool, I'd like to hear what you think of it.

Thanks!

"Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"
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infocusinc

 
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I don't use an I-Mac but I do produce color critical work.

If you want quality color and the ability to repeat the calibration process with a decent degree of accuracy you can't rely on your eyeballs. That's what the Apple system uses...your eyeballs and not a dedicated instrument reading color patches.

All the tools you listed above are good ones. I've not used a Spyder for many years but it gets good reviews. I currently use a Color Munki with a NEC 2690 and NEC Spectraview software. Best color I've ever had bar none.

Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

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chappers

 
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I have a 27" iMac and have had other monitors before. I wouldn't consider using any without getting them calibrated.

I've not used a Spyder for years and when I did I was not over impressed.However I understand that the Spyder 3 is a much respected model. I currently use a Eye-One with Colour Eyes Display Pro software. This gives very accurate display calibration. However I would think that the default software that comes with either of the units you mention will do an excellent job.

One thing to bear in mind is that by default the iMac display is very bright. Some devices have trouble taming this. Go into Sys Prefs and reduce the brightness down to around 50% ( depending on ambient illumination) before calibrating and this should help.
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El_Pablo

 
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i ALWAYS calibrate... always.
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fleurya

 
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Sounds like I'm going to get something then. Any reason why a second-hand product from ebay or something wouldn't be a good idea?

"Give so much time to the improvement of yourself that you have no time to criticize others"
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AJF

 
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I use a couple of Mac Pros to shoot at my studio with EIZO monitors and Eye One calibration, but I often do much of my retouching at home. I just bought a new iMac 27 and I tried Color Eyes with my Eye One but it doesn't seem to set the contrast and luminance level.

I thought that program allows you to adjust those parameters which you can't normally access on an iMac and keep them in the profile it comes up with?
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Mac Math

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by infocusinc View Post
I currently use a Color Munki.
Any reason why you preferred Color Munki and not Spyderproof or isn't their any reason?
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infocusinc

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac Math View Post
Any reason why you preferred Color Munki and not Spyderproof or isn't their any reason?

I just wanted to give the munki a try, and I use it to profile my inkjet printer to different papers. It creates great paper profiles.

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chappers

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AJF View Post
I use a couple of Mac Pros to shoot at my studio with EIZO monitors and Eye One calibration, but I often do much of my retouching at home. I just bought a new iMac 27 and I tried Color Eyes with my Eye One but it doesn't seem to set the contrast and luminance level.

I thought that program allows you to adjust those parameters which you can't normally access on an iMac and keep them in the profile it comes up with?
The latest release of ColorEyes r.36 should set the brightness level for you. In fact release r.32 did this last year. The luminance level and contrast are set as part of the initial set up of Color Eyes so why it's not doing it for you I can't understand. However I did find that going into Sys Prefs and setting the brightness there to around 50% gave a much better result.

Your contrast could be set to a function known a L* which is different to gamma settings. I've used this setting and found it to give excellent results however if you want to change to gamma 2.2 you can do it within the options
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jbv

 
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I have a year old iMac with Radeon HD 5670 graphics and an Epson 3880 Pro printer. With a HueyPro-calibrated monitor, my prints do not match the screen: the prints are warm and saturated but the screen is cool and unsaturated. With the uncalibrated monitor, my prints match the screen very well irrespective of whether the printer or Photoshop CS5 controls color management. I am thinking about getting a Color Monki to calibrate both screen and printer but I am concerned that I may encounter the same issue of print mismatch, or not see much improvement over the uncalibrated monitor. I would appreciate comments on what could be causing the HueyPro issue and whether it is worthwhile to upgrade to the Color Monki. Thanks. jbv.
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infocusinc

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbv View Post
I have a year old iMac with Radeon HD 5670 graphics and an Epson 3880 Pro printer. With a HueyPro-calibrated monitor, my prints do not match the screen: the prints are warm and saturated but the screen is cool and unsaturated. With the uncalibrated monitor, my prints match the screen very well irrespective of whether the printer or Photoshop CS5 controls color management. I am thinking about getting a Color Monki to calibrate both screen and printer but I am concerned that I may encounter the same issue of print mismatch, or not see much improvement over the uncalibrated monitor. I would appreciate comments on what could be causing the HueyPro issue and whether it is worthwhile to upgrade to the Color Monki. Thanks. jbv.

The proper method is to match your monitor to your prints and print viewing conditions.

The color munki is a fine piece of kit, and it makes decent printer profiles and I'm also very happy with the monitor profiles.

What settings are you using to calibrate?

For example I have a NEC 2690 with Spectraview and I can choose with a mouse click any number of calibrations. I have, among others a pre-press print profile that is 5000k 120 cd/m2 2.2 which is a perfect print match with my Epson 2200. On the other hand I also have a 6500k, 150cd/m2, 2.2 for web work that is blue and unsaturated compared to my prints.

Match the monitor to the prints.....

Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

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jbv

 
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Thanks for the advice. The settings I am using to calibrate concern me. I cannot adjust monitor brightness and contrast to match the recommended initial images since there is no contrast slider in Preferences for the display. Do you think the end result is adversely affected by this?

After the calibration is completed, I have three choices for temperature (D50, 65 and 75) and three for gamma (1.8, 2.2 and 2.4), but the best match is achieved using the iMac profile, which has a default setting of 2.2 and a native white point that is very close to D65.

I view my images using an Ott-Lite with a Super D-5000 bulb. There are two background lights with 6000 bulbs. To match the monitor to the prints and viewing conditions, are you suggesting that the monitor also be set at D50 before making adjustments?

I will probably upgrade to a Color Monki but I am concerned that the first thing it will tell me to do is adjust my contrast to match the image shown.
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infocusinc

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbv View Post
Thanks for the advice. The settings I am using to calibrate concern me. I cannot adjust monitor brightness and contrast to match the recommended initial images since there is no contrast slider in Preferences for the display. Do you think the end result is adversely affected by this?

After the calibration is completed, I have three choices for temperature (D50, 65 and 75) and three for gamma (1.8, 2.2 and 2.4), but the best match is achieved using the iMac profile, which has a default setting of 2.2 and a native white point that is very close to D65.

I view my images using an Ott-Lite with a Super D-5000 bulb. There are two background lights with 6000 bulbs. To match the monitor to the prints and viewing conditions, are you suggesting that the monitor also be set at D50 before making adjustments?

I will probably upgrade to a Color Monki but I am concerned that the first thing it will tell me to do is adjust my contrast to match the image shown.
My settings might not be the right ones for your situation, I just gave them as a point of reference. The correct settings for you are the ones that produce a monitor to print match.

I don't have any experience with an I-Mac. I'm a windows guy ( still do all my production work on a home built workstation) who just got into Mac with a MBP back in March. I will say the MBP works great with the NEC and Spectraview.

I would suggest asking around in the color management section of the Luminous Landscape forum. Lots of very expert advise there as well as those doing what you are doing with the same equipment.

Luminous Landscape Forum - Index

Best of luck to you.

Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

www.craiglamson.com
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jbv

 
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I will do that. In addition, Xrite has advised me that the Color Monki program allows the brightness to be adjusted automatically by the look-up-tables in the video card so my initial setting issue will go away. Looks like my Huey is an antique (like me). Thanks again for your help. jbv.
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fava

 
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Hi everyone.

New to the forum and got a question for you to help.

I need to buy a device to calibrate my imac 27'' for my wedding photography job.
Would you think Colormunki would do the job or should I spent another 70 euros (100usd) in order to get the I1 display pro?
Thanks everybody
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