MacBook Pro calibrated with Spyder3 Express - How do I know it's correctly calibrated?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by chris_walters|2, Nov 8, 2011.

  1. Hello! I just purchased a new 15" MacBook Pro (LED Backlit high-res antiglare) and quickly realized that the default calibration wasn't going to cut it for professional editing. So I purchased a Spyder3 Express, installed the software and ran the calibration. So, I now have a calibrated work space but how do I know that it's calibrated correctly? I also have an iPad 2 and an iPhone 4, and when I edit images using my newly calibrated MacBook pro, and view them on the iPad 2 and iPhone 4, the colors look noticeably different. The images look warmer and more saturated on the MacBook pro, while bluer and less saturated on the iPad and iPhone.
    I want to make sure that I'm working in a neutral editing environment so that what I'm seeing on the MacBook is as close as possible to what most everyone will see on uncalibrated monitors. How can double check my calibration to feel more confident that my display is now properly calibrated? I set the brightness of the MacBook to 2 notches less than full brightness which is where I keep the brightness when editing. I also made sure to move the mouse to keep the auto dim feature from coming on during calibration. Thanks for any and all tips!
     
  2. Try viewing them on some other calibrated display and see if there is a difference. I assume you do not have a calibrated iPad or iPhone ...
     
  3. I don't have another calibrated display to check it on and since the Spyder3 Express only allows you to calibrate 1 monitor, I won't be able to set that up. No I don't have a calibrated iPad or iPhone, but I want my images to look as good as possible on uncalibrated displays because that's what most of my wedding photography and portrait photography clients are going to be using. An uncalibrated display.
     
  4. Chris,
    What have you calibrated it to? If it is stand alone and just to see what others do on their computers you don't have a hope, everyone's screens are different.
    The main reason to calibrate is to maintain consistency across other calibrated devices and to create a WYSIWYG printing workflow. If your viewers are not using screens calibrated to your preferences, not just calibrated, it must be to your preferences, then the images will look different.
    Your screen brightness is almost certainly too bright too, I have my MBP brightness set with 7 blocks blank, this gives a luminance value around <110 cd/m2 in the upper levels of optimal screen brightness.
    You are better off sending the Spyder 3 back and using the inbuilt screen calibration built into System Preferences-Display-Color-Calibrate-Advanced Mode.
    Having said that laptop screens, even good ones like yours, are not very good for colour critical work, for instance open a nice image full screen, now move your head around, the image will warm up off axis.
     
  5. While not an answer, Datacolor does make an app for calibrating iPads. Not sure if it works with your Spyder, but it worked with the Spyder3Pro I had. At least then you'll have consistent color from your computer to your iPad, but not necessarily to others' iPads on which they may view your images.
     
  6. I'm not as familiar with the new MacBook Pro displays and they might be better than the previous ones but generally a laptop is not where one should do critical work. With my own MacBook Pro, which is calibrated, I do not trust much more than knowing that my exposure is essentially correct. For critical work, most people connect a graphics grade monitor to their laptops.
    I am not sure where Scott is going, but having been a professional photographer and creating images to send to printers and clients, a well calibrated monitor should render an image the same on another well calibrated monitor--assuming the monitors are all graphics grade monitors. If this were not the case, then it would be impossible for me to shoot and work on an advertising image and expect it ever to look the same when in print--that just isn't an issue.
    Some may adjust their monitor color to produce prints that look optimal under one light source or another, but this is rare. Most people calibrate to a standard set of parameters with the only variable being the light intensity of their working environment. Otherwise, there would be chaos once an image left someone's personal workflow.
    MacBook Pro LED displays may be different but if you know any professional photographers or designers who have top graphics monitors, you might want to compare your calibrated monitor to theirs with the same image. (Also be sure that you are comparing images in sRGB if you are looking at your iPhone or iPad. I don't know their color management capabilities but since they are oriented towards the web, sRGB is the norm there.)
     
  7. "I am not sure where Scott is going, but having been a professional photographer and creating images to send to printers and clients, a well calibrated monitor should render an image the same on another well calibrated monitor--assuming the monitors are all graphics grade monitors."
    In the calibration process there are several parameters that are user defined, there are international graphics standards but nobody other than high end graphics businesses have the time and money to set up to those levels, they include room illumination and ambient bulb spectral characteristics, but even then they have to choose what standard to adhere to. Different backlight systems have different spectral characteristics, there is a good reason graphics grade CRT monitors hung on a long while after flat screens were readily available.
    The user defined parameters include gamma, brightness and white point, there are many reasons for using different levels from the most common settings of 2.2, 90-120 cd/m2 and 6500k, but if your calibrated monitor has user parameters that are set differently to another calibrated screen, the images will look different. Hence the question, calibrated to what? For sure Chris' clients are unlikely to have those settings even if we all do.
    That aside, laptop screens, even the best, are not very good tools for accurate calibration due to the colour shift evident when you view off axis. I have a MBP and use it all the time for editing, it is calibrated to my monitor that is calibrated to my printer, my prints look very close to my monitor, but unless you view the laptop screen at exactly the right angle the colours shift. That is not enough to concern me, and is well within the boundaries of others uncalibrated monitors, I was just trying to point out the futility of attempting to "see" what others will especially when they are using uncalibrated screens.
    I recently photographed a house, it was bright yellow, and I was asked to change the colour, I shifted it in hue to a light brown/beige, similar to the other houses in the street. On my system the houses were all the same colour, I sent the files to the client, when he opened them on his uncalibrated monitor he said the house was now pink! His graphics department and I both said it was brown, I did a re-edit.
    Calibrating your screen to try to "see" what others will on an uncalibrated screen is an exercise in futility, commendable, but futile. Wedding dresses are a nightmare too, white is the most difficult colour to render by a long way, the subtlety of hues in a white dress, the fact that everybody has a memory or opinion of what those hues were all add to the problem. When I was doing weddings I was taught to maintain dress colour and let anything else fall where it may, digital has made it much easier to control skin tones and dress tones independently but it can be very problematic on occasions.
    All that aside, unilaterally calibrating a monitor won't help Chris achieve his goal. He is just as well advised using the very good built in calibration tools.
     
  8. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    So, I now have a calibrated work space but how do I know that it's calibrated correctly?​
    It matches your prints (see:http://www.luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/why_are_my_prints_too_dark.shtml)
    Ignore all calls for specific settings, so called standard settings etc. The settings that produce a match to a print is the correct setting and that depends greatly on viewing conditions and environmental conditions around your display.
     
  9. And the Andrew arrives in his hobnail boots :)
    Chris is not interested in prints, he is interested in what others are seeing on uncalibrated screens.
     
  10. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    Chris is not interested in prints, he is interested in what others are seeing on uncalibrated screens.​

    Impossible. You can’t calibrate to something that isn’t calibrated or profiled.
    You have to calibrate to match something, print or another display, the way to do this is the same and explained in the URL.
     
  11. That is what I have said repeatedly in the thread!
     
  12. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    That is what I have said repeatedly in the thread!​

    Excellent grasshopper...
     
  13. Just for an experiment -- look at any scene with one eye and then the other -- you will probably notice color perception differences between each of your eyes. I wonder if we aren't all just fooling ourselves with some "objective" calibration standard when we all come equipped with "subjective" Mark 1, Mod. A eyeballs.
     
  14. Scott, you make it sound like rocket science or grossly moving targets-and that is not the case! Certainly, someone might have their monitor calibrated to some specific odd settings, but even off the shelf monitors, good ones, are well within a standard ballpark--even things like iMac native profiles for instance.
    As I said, it would be futile to work on image and deliver them to clients if there weren't some specific standards--which are generally those you mentioned above. I have sat in color houses, advertising agencies, design firms and looked at my images on other's monitors and they look essentially the same as on my own. Certainly, every medium is going to be slightly different if you look at images side by side, but monitors will not be that far off as the OP is suggesting--not good monitors.
    I can attest that lower end monitors will be way off and are essentially useless in this regard. I have one I use with a PC for uses other than graphics. It is a good "cheap" monitor but no amount of calibration will get it close to my graphics monitors--(two of the latter are in house here and different models but images look the same on each). If things were as non-standard as you suggest, the commercial photography industry would be a total mess--as would the retail business (imagine sending your files to pro labs and having no idea of what you might get back!). But certainly, we can't control on-line viewing by others, we can make sure an image is as it should be though by having good monitors that are calibrated to the basic standards.
     
  15. MacBook Pro + for professional editing dont go very well in the same sentence.. you have to realize that due to your angle of vision and other factor what you see is good, but for pro work nothing beat a external display (even if this monitor is really good i agree with you).
    Depending of the setting you use (i use 6500k, gamma 2.2 and 110cdm2) what i have on my imac monitor (calibrated), and what i see on my ipad (strange enough) is pretty close.. not perfect, but close enough so i dont find anything out of control.
    I want to make sure that I'm working in a neutral editing environment so that what I'm seeing on the MacBook is as close as possible to what most everyone will see on uncalibrated monitors.

    sorry, that will not append, as everyone can see different thing due to there monitor quality, angle of vision, system, web browser.. tehres no way up till now to make sure that what you see is what people will see.. specially on a uncalibrated monitor.
    I set the brightness of the MacBook to 2 notches less than full brightness which is where I keep the brightness when editing.
    on a normal viewing condition, normal being a big word since everybody can have a different number, but in general, your mac brightness should be at around max the middle, and 1-2 notch below the middle.. but since you are using a express version, you have no way of setting this correctly.. other than just making it append as i say. The monitor will look obviously too dark compare to what you are use to work on, but this is where after a calibration the monitor should be (if you had the pro version you will end up around there)
    I also made sure to move the mouse to keep the auto dim feature from coming on during calibration.
    just plug your laptop, and set the timer to 15min let say.. you will save on mouse movement ; )
    ___
    but even off the shelf monitors, good ones, are well within a standard ballpark--even things like iMac native profiles for instance.
    i dont agree with that with general monitor, NEC or EIZO maybe.. but certainly not any mac monitor.. they are wayyyyyy too blue and wayyyyy to bright to start with.. according you need 110cdm2 to work, the normal mac / imac montior are around 240cdm2.. 2x brighter than what one need (well, if you are working under a 200watt light, the imac monitor set to default is perfect ; )
     
  16. What color space are you outputting. If you output your photographs in a color space that is not supported by all devices you will have color shift. Even if you use a calibrated monitor. I always output my photos in sRGB if they will be displayed on electronic devices.
     
  17. Scholasticism ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scholasticism )
    from which we see
    As a program, scholasticism began as an attempt at harmonization on the part of medieval Christian thinkers: to harmonize the various authorities of their own tradition, and to reconcile Christian theology with classical and late antiquity philosophy, especially that of Aristotle but also of Neoplatonism. (See also Christian apologetics.) [emphasis added, JDM]​
    except that now, instead of angels, we are disputing about how many pixels (pixies, as some would have it) can dance on the head of a dot.
    ;)
     
  18. John A,
    Scott, you make it sound like rocket science or grossly moving targets-and that is not the case! Certainly, someone might have their monitor calibrated to some specific odd settings, but even off the shelf monitors, good ones, are well within a standard ballpark--even things like iMac native profiles for instance.​
    No I am not, I have said repeatedly that to achieve his personal goal Chris is better off just using the Advanced Calibration mode within his computer.
    Just go into any computer or TV shop and look down the line of monitors, every one is a completely different colour, brightness and density, you are so far off on that point John it hardly seems worth pointing out. Every single screen is different out of the box, most people, Chris' clients, will never touch the calibration tools and will not be using high grade monitors.
    As I said, it would be futile to work on image and deliver them to clients if there weren't some specific standards--which are generally those you mentioned above. I have sat in color houses, advertising agencies, design firms and looked at my images on other's monitors and they look essentially the same as on my own. Certainly, every medium is going to be slightly different if you look at images side by side, but monitors will not be that far off as the OP is suggesting--not good monitors.​
    There are very specific standards, but I can assure you you are not meeting them, neither do I, nor do the vast majority of print labs, but for all practical purposes we don't need to. However you do need to know the output device profile to know how your image will look to anybody else, be that a screen or a printer. If you do not know your ultimate output devices profile you cannot know what that output will look like, Chris cannot know the profiles of his customers screens so he cannot know what they will see.
    Unless your monitor is sitting next to the other monitors you mention, you can't know how close they are, they could be miles different but look the same to the eye, the eye will correct for all kinds of things even when they are next to each other, place them in different buildings and you are barking up another wrong tree. Further your assuming Chris' clients will be using good monitors, why?
    I can attest that lower end monitors will be way off and are essentially useless in this regard. I have one I use with a PC for uses other than graphics. It is a good "cheap" monitor but no amount of calibration will get it close to my graphics monitors--(two of the latter are in house here and different models but images look the same on each). If things were as non-standard as you suggest, the commercial photography industry would be a total mess--as would the retail business (imagine sending your files to pro labs and having no idea of what you might get back!).​
    You can only know what you are going to get back in print if you use a printer profile from the printers, you then put that onto your calibrated screen and you then get an idea of what the print will look like if you proof it. Pros know how to do all this and they are happy to pay the likes of Andrew good money to make custom paper/printer/ink profiles, indeed if you are using Epson printers and you use some of the paper profiles you are using some of Andrew's teams work. Unless you have the output profile you don't know what the output will be. It doesn't matter if that output is a printer, a projector, a screen or anything else.
    But certainly, we can't control on-line viewing by others, we can make sure an image is as it should be though by having good monitors that are calibrated to the basic standards.​
    That is my main point, we can't control or "see" others screens, Chris can calibrate his screen to well within a basic model/"standard" using the computers own software.
     
  19. Scott, I didn't read this... but whatever.....
     
  20. John A,
    " I didn't read this" That is why your "advice" is so flawed.
     

Share This Page