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Thread: help:monitor calibration basic qns

  1. #1

    Default help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Hi, I realised I have a printing problem and seeking ur advice.

    I printed a bunch of pics and they all turn out too dark, as if 2 stops underexposed. But all these look great on monitor. After some research I realized my monitor is wacked, not calibrated, and LCD default settings are usually too bright. Further research tells me itís good to get the monitor calibrated (among other things) to ensure what you see is what you get. Ok, so Iím considering either spyder or i1 display 2 as the first step.

    Some questions:

    1. I read that itís advisable to re-calibrate often. Whatís not so clear is why? Especially so assuming I donít touch the monitor settings at all after calibration, why the need?
    2. Iíve compared Spyder3 Pro vs SpyderExpress and know which features are lacking in Express version. For my purposes of just achieving ďwhat I see is what I getĒ is the cheaper Express version adequate?
    3. i1 Display 2 is much more expensive. I assume itís an overkill for novice like me for the above purpose? (I donít mind investing more if needed)
    4. after calibration, what should I do to reprint those botched up pics? I presume I need to photoshop every pic +2 stops exposure to brighten them?
    5. I expect after calibration, the pics on screen will look darker bcoz the prints are dark. Is my expectation correct?
    6. going forward, do I need to set my camera to overexpose more? (since all pics printed were underexposed although look good on screen)

    thanks for ur feedback.
    D80 | 50 f1.4 | 85 f1.8

  2. #2
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    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    You may want to look at the pics themselves. If you open them up in PhotoShop and use the "info" pallet you can mouse over colours in the screen and get an actual darkness rating of each pixel. You need your values to stay above "15" otherwise they cannot be printed clearly and will lose shadow detail in those areas. Hope this helps!
    Cameras: Rollei 35, Rolleiflex-T, FinePix F700, Nikon D60, D300
    Pics: Churchwolf's Album.

  3. #3

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Are you printing at a lab or on your printer? If yes, it may be a printer problem.
    Monitor out by 2 stops seems unlikely.

  4. #4

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    i dont hav printer. printed at a lab.
    i've checked those printed-incorrectly pics and the info pallet all shows >15 values. ?? maybe i got it wrong. besides, not practical to chk that way for thousands of pics

    advices on questions 2-6 appreciated.
    D80 | 50 f1.4 | 85 f1.8

  5. #5
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    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxkat View Post
    i dont hav printer. printed at a lab.
    i've checked those printed-incorrectly pics and the info pallet all shows >15 values. ?? maybe i got it wrong. besides, not practical to chk that way for thousands of pics

    advices on questions 2-6 appreciated.
    I'm not sure about monitor calibration tools since I do not use them, but from what I can tell it sounds to me like there may be a problem printing. Basically, even if your monitor were out by 2-stops (which is highly unlikely) there would still be 2-stops of lost shadow details that you cannot recover by simply having a brighter monitor. If, on your screen, you can see shadow details that are not reproduced in the printing process I would be looking at the printery as the source of the problem, not your cam or the screen. If you have ever watched the way that photos are printed at a shop you will see that they do not simply open the pic and print it. They adjust a whole bunch of values (including brightness and contrast settings) before they print the image. If you talk to the person at the shop I am sure they would be willing to show you what they are doing. Perhaps you can make sure that they are not dropping the brightness of the image...
    Cameras: Rollei 35, Rolleiflex-T, FinePix F700, Nikon D60, D300
    Pics: Churchwolf's Album.

  6. #6

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    For a very quick and rough test, you may want to visit this site :
    http://www.cnylinks.com/monitor.htm
    If you can differentiate all the shades of grey, I don't think your monitor is 2 stops off.

  7. #7

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxkat View Post
    i dont hav printer. printed at a lab.
    i've checked those printed-incorrectly pics and the info pallet all shows >15 values. ?? maybe i got it wrong. besides, not practical to chk that way for thousands of pics

    advices on questions 2-6 appreciated.
    eyeballing is possible but will not be very reliable. you may get close enough result. btw some LCD monitors are not good for photo touch up.

    try ask the lab not to do any adjustment for your print then you might get a better comparison.

    as for the cam setting you need not overexpose your shot. check the histogram and try to get most of the info towards the right of the histogram but not spiking at the edge.

  8. #8

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Maybe a fast way will be for you to post a pic and get those with calibrated monitors to comment on the brightness.

  9. #9

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by Aspect View Post
    Are you printing at a lab or on your printer? If yes, it may be a printer problem.
    Monitor out by 2 stops seems unlikely.
    Check histogram.. if it's really 2 stops down, the histogram would have been quite skewed.

  10. #10

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    thx for all feedback. i've tried cnylinks.com and can see all shades.

    i sent prints to blurb.com, an online book service. according to them, they print "as is" without any modification.
    i've also sent to Fujifilm brick&mortar shop for printing.. this one i didnt ask but safe to assume they didnt adjust anything either if salesgirl' attitude is anything to go by. prints from this shop also look underexposed.

    test image below srtaight from camera, no PP except resize. bros with calibrated monitor pls comment if it's exposed correctly?

    it looks fine on my monitor but the printout a bit tad too dark.

    D80 | 50 f1.4 | 85 f1.8

  11. #11
    Member Taurean's Avatar
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    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    The photo looks underexposed on my screen.

  12. #12

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns



    the pic is under. you can tell from the info.



    this is corrected by setting white point to 245.(which I use for printing at my regular lab). It will still need some tweaking to get this -



    I assume that your cam was being tricked by the lights behind, hence underexpose your cute subject. In situation like this I will zoom in to the baby face to get the correct reading. I will also use spot metering.
    Last edited by jopel; 14th June 2008 at 08:31 AM.

  13. #13

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Hi,

    your image is underexposed. Your printer should be fine.
    What you need to do is to callibrate your monitor to the ambient lighting that you will most likely be viewing the images in.

    Standard settings will be in the 5000 K setting.
    Your monitor will probably be in the 6500 K region now.

    Cheers.

  14. #14
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Check this little tool to get some basic calibration to your monitor. That already helps a lot to judge pictures and get some basics right. Pros might raise two or three eye brows but I think it's a good starting point.
    Monitor Calibration Wizard

  15. #15

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    thanks all for the feedback. looks like i hav calibration problem.
    couldn't follow the monitor calibration wizard's instruction.. tried 3 times oredy but the instructions still elusive and confusing to me.

    will getting a spyder express help? (back to my original qns)

    5. I expect after calibration, the pics on screen will look darker bcoz the prints are dark. Is my expectation correct?
    6. going forward, do I need to set my camera to overexpose more? (since all pics printed were underexposed although look good on screen)

    TIA
    D80 | 50 f1.4 | 85 f1.8

  16. #16
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxkat View Post
    thanks all for the feedback. looks like i hav calibration problem.
    couldn't follow the monitor calibration wizard's instruction.. tried 3 times oredy but the instructions still elusive and confusing to me.
    will getting a spyder express help? (back to my original qns)
    I can't comment on this tool but I assume it should help in the same way. I use the calibration wizard and it works fine more. Yes, the instructions are not that straight forward but I got it after a few trials.

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxkat View Post
    5. I expect after calibration, the pics on screen will look darker bcoz the prints are dark. Is my expectation correct?
    6. going forward, do I need to set my camera to overexpose more? (since all pics printed were underexposed although look good on screen)
    Your monitor will be a bit darker compared to your current settings. That's normal since many monitors are adjusted too bright and with too much contrast to attract buyers. But for editing pictures it must be neutral.
    To capture properly exposed pictures your camera must be neutral. No need for any general adjustment here. Correct the exposure only when necessary (e.g. backlight conditions like your posted picture).

  17. #17

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    bro since you've done it, can help explain the Color Channel Test (red boxes)

    Step 1 - move the slider for the top box as low as you can and the slider for the bottom box as high as you can before seeing a difference between the two halfs of the boxes.
    which "two halfs" is it referring to? is it the top box bottom half which changes from bright red to dark as you slide the slider to the left? vs the bottom box bottom half? - match these two halfs?

    Step 2 - move the sliders for each box until the inner box blends well with the outer test pattern. (i end up didn't adjust any of the 7 boxes bcoz all already blends well, can't differentiate inner vs outer)
    D80 | 50 f1.4 | 85 f1.8

  18. #18

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxkat View Post
    thanks all for the feedback. looks like i hav calibration problem.
    couldn't follow the monitor calibration wizard's instruction.. tried 3 times oredy but the instructions still elusive and confusing to me.

    will getting a spyder express help? (back to my original qns)

    5. I expect after calibration, the pics on screen will look darker bcoz the prints are dark. Is my expectation correct?
    6. going forward, do I need to set my camera to overexpose more? (since all pics printed were underexposed although look good on screen)

    TIA
    Getting a spyder2express should help.

  19. #19

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by foxxkat View Post
    i dont hav printer. printed at a lab.
    i've checked those printed-incorrectly pics and the info pallet all shows >15 values. ?? maybe i got it wrong. besides, not practical to chk that way for thousands of pics

    advices on questions 2-6 appreciated.
    i have some more bad news for you, your problem might not be solved 100% if you have your screen calbrated. if your photolab unker doesn't his screen calibrated, it's back to square one.

  20. #20

    Default Re: help:monitor calibration basic qns

    Quote Originally Posted by Zohan View Post
    i have some more bad news for you, your problem might not be solved 100% if you have your screen calbrated. if your photolab unker doesn't his screen calibrated, it's back to square one.
    Go to ColourLab at Adelphi.. tell them no correction.

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