Monitor Calibration

Which calibrator would you recommend more, considering the price as well?


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Nov 19, 2010
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#1
Hi guys!

I'm looking at buying a calibrator for my monitors.. but need advice on two things:

1. I'm deciding between getting the Colormunki Smile and the Spyder4Pro. I know the Spyder is quite a bit more expensive ($240 from cathay iirc, vs the Colormunki retails for ~$US90) but calibrates for brightness as well. I want to find out if this is necessary, as I'm wondering if I could just set a specific brightness for my display whenever I'm working on colour sensitive stuff.

2. Where can I buy the colormunki? I tried e-mailing the contacts on the x-rite website, but no reply. It'd help a lot in my considerations if you could let me know where to buy it, and how much it costs (so I can see how big the price difference really is in SG)



Thanks in advance!
 

Dfive

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Nov 20, 2008
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#2
I prefer the Spyder4 Elite.... just more options and I use it on one monitor and to MAC Laptops...
 

soeypixels

Senior Member
Jun 24, 2007
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#3
i am on color munki display
happy with it ..
 

spazzer

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May 5, 2007
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#4
As a spyder user(Spyder 3 to current Spyder 4 pro), I feel that spyder has always been reliable and didnt play me out, no comments on your other mentioned brand as i have yet to try it.
As for brightness calibration, I think its rather vital :D
 

Nov 19, 2010
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#5
Thanks for the replies guys.

dfive - the spider4elite is way out of my budget. I want to spend less than S$200 so even the spider4pro is kind of out too. (but one can stretch a budget lol)

soeypixels - i'd like to know where you got your colormunki display from, and how much? Thanks!

spazzer - do you mind explaining on the brightness calibration? I'm still quite lost about it.. not sure what it does exactly. Thanks! Also, where did you get your spyders from?
 

spazzer

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May 5, 2007
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#6
I got mine from Cathay Photo. Basically from what i know the lcd of the monitor dims after sometime, so the brightness ensures consistency. Maybe some pros can go into further details regarding this as i aint very technical over such things.
 

soeypixels

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Jun 24, 2007
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#7
i bought from amazon shipped via 3rd party courier
 

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#8
Brightness Calibration is vital, similar to colour calibration. It makes sure that the brightness on screen reflects the brightness of the image as digitally coded. Otherwise you will end up with darker or brighter images. Last but not least, Spyder4 has a sensor for ambient light and will guide you accordingly. Ambient light does affect the way we see colours on the screen.
 

Nov 19, 2010
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#9
Thanks Octarine, I think I'll look to get at a Spyder4Pro or similar then.. but it's so expensive! do you have any recommendations for other brands that are possibly cheaper? I'm just starting doing paid photography assignments, and feel that there is a strong need to calibrate my monitor (especially since it's never been calibrated before, and I feel there's a slight blue tint)


Brightness Calibration is vital, similar to colour calibration. It makes sure that the brightness on screen reflects the brightness of the image as digitally coded. Otherwise you will end up with darker or brighter images. Last but not least, Spyder4 has a sensor for ambient light and will guide you accordingly. Ambient light does affect the way we see colours on the screen.
 

Clown

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Mar 24, 2003
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#10
It's not expensive. It's as affordable as any of your lenses and more important than any of them.
Color management is one of the most underrated necessities of photography yet is conveniently ignored.

Just get the Spyder4. It's most likely going to be a one-time investment only (unless you're going to move on to printing), so just bite the bullet. =)
 

tonyep

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Mar 22, 2012
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#11
I went from Spyder 3 to X-Rite i1Display Pro. Reason being the X-Rite can compensate for display surface glare, Spyder 3 wasn't able to do it back then. I'm not sure if it's able to now.
 

#12
Got my Spyder4Pro from Amazon, shipped via ComGateway (It's less than US$20 to ship to SG).
Haven't used the others, so can't comment. Still duno if the spyder works well as I have yet to print anything. =p
 

Kit

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Jan 19, 2002
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#13
My understanding is that the Spyder4 Pro allows you to calibrate the screen. For prints, you'll need a separate print calibration.
 

#14
ok, not to confuse anyone. I'm not printing at home, thus not a need for a printer calibrator.
What I meant was, I have calibrated my screen, but have yet to print out what I have worked on at the shops.
Thus, I don't know if my calibration is correct.
 

Kit

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#15
The shops are not going to know what you see at home either. You can't judge your calibration with a 3rd party print unless you have your printer's profile.
 

tonyep

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Mar 22, 2012
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#16
SkimMilk said:
ok, not to confuse anyone. I'm not printing at home, thus not a need for a printer calibrator.
What I meant was, I have calibrated my screen, but have yet to print out what I have worked on at the shops.
Thus, I don't know if my calibration is correct.
Calibrating your screen does not mean your print is going to be perfect. It just makes editing easier and consistent and it's only the first step to a color managed workflow and this is where most hobbyist stop.
 

#18
hmm... y did my reply to TS's question raise so many replies to my reply instead?

The shops are not going to know what you see at home either. You can't judge your calibration with a 3rd party print unless you have your printer's profile.
Well, they definitely will not know. But at least it's a first step to having corrected colors.
I don't own an inkjet, so I'll never have my own printer profile.
But if my calibration is correct and the printer(shop) I use is consistent, I'll expect to get the same results for every print.

Calibrating your screen does not mean your print is going to be perfect.
That's a very correct statement. That's why I mentioned "Thus, I don't know if my calibration is correct."

In fact, I just did a small qty print today. It didn't turn out good, and I know I tweaked something during calibration due to an overly bright screen.
Thus, I'll have to re-look into calibrating it again.

TS: Adorama having Cyber Monday sale. Sypder4Pro going for US$139.95, free shipping within US.
 

Last edited:

Octarine

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Jan 3, 2008
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#19
But if my calibration is correct and the printer(shop) I use is consistent, I'll expect to get the same results for every print.
And if the staff operating the machine is using the same settings ..
The print shops who mainly print holiday snaps might apply some standard settings (saturation, sharpness) to get these "wow, the sky is so blue" pictures. If your prints turn out fine and as expected then maybe ask for the respective settings so that they can be applied again during next print.
 

#20
Octarine said:
And if the staff operating the machine is using the same settings ..
The print shops who mainly print holiday snaps might apply some standard settings (saturation, sharpness) to get these "wow, the sky is so blue" pictures. If your prints turn out fine and as expected then maybe ask for the respective settings so that they can be applied again during next print.
Thanks for the tip! Never occurred to me to ask for their settings! :p
 

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