Spyder2 problem (too dark, too much contrast, too much saturation)

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by alfred_molon, Sep 7, 2008.

  1. I bought a Spyder2Express to calibrate my Lenovo L220x display (22", 1920x1200, PVA).

    Followed exactly the procedure as described in the instructions:
    1. disabled all gamma and display adjustment software,
    2. set the LCD to factory defaults,
    3. switched on the LCD for almost one hour so that it would reach the right temperature,
    4. darkened the room and switched on the light (you have to calibrate the display with your usual illumination
    5. placed the display in a covered place so that the roof lamp does not shine directly on it and
    6. ran the calibration software.

    After the calibration the monitor was too dark and had by far too much contrast and saturation. The colours were
    not significantly different from how I had set the monitor manually before buying the Spyder2Express. Actually I
    could not see any difference at all, except that now there was too much contrast and saturation and the blacks
    were squelched

    Could be a gamma problem, although 2.2. should be the right gamma for this monitor. Any suggestions what I might try?
  2. Alfred, how do you know the monitor now has too much contrast and saturation? Are you comparing by looking at the photographs you had worked on before calibrating the monitor? It would well be that the photographs themselves were too contrasty and saturated, yet this was not showing on your uncalibrated monitor. Just a thought. It is quite possible that the brightness level of your monitor was previously too high which would lead to lower contrast and saturation and brighter blacks.
  3. Well, the general feedback I get is that my pictures are bright, sometimes too bright. Yet now they look dark on the monitor after the Spyder2 calibration.

    I might add that I just bought the Lenovo monitor and haven't used it for image processing yet. All image processing was done so far with an IBM Thinkpad, which does not have a bright monitor.
  4. the possibility exists that ALL your existing pics were pped to an incorrect standard. now, with the monitor calibrated normally the pics look odd.

    my suggestion is to go in your backyard and take a couple of plain shots, include the house grass trees etc. then put those shots in the pp software and see how they look. you should be able to make an immediate comparison since all you have to do is walk outside and look. if those new shiots look fine then it is the other shots that are off.
  5. This is not scientific, but will give you an idea if you're close.

    Go to this page, and download the "profile test images." There will be one image in the folder that is several columns of gray bars that go from dark to light. You should be able to see a distinct difference between each of the bars. If the two on the left, for instance, both look totally black, something is off. Same for the lighter bars to the right.
  6. It looks like you're viewing images on a calibrated monitor, that were originally edited on a non-calibrated monitor. Apple and oranges,
    because there is now way that those images are going to look alike in that situation.
  7. If the monitor were calibrated now, I would have to make my photos brighter (because they look dark on the monitor after the calibration). But the feedback I receive from people is that my images are on the bright side or even too bright.

    This is why I think something went wrong during the calibration process. It looks like a gamma issue - pulling up the curve would brighten the image and at the same time reduce contrast and saturation.
  8. Who is telling you that your pictures are too bright? Is it people who have done some calibration, or is it the typical PC user who just whacks the brightness right up?

    How about posting a couple of your "too bright" pictures here?
  9. I got this comment in the rec.photo.digital newsgroup,where you find all sorts of people, from the beginner to
    the pro.

    Let me add that when I browse (with the uncalibrated monitor) through the sites of professional photographers
    (who likely use calibrated monitors), the images look properly exposed and with the right contrast and saturation
    settings. From that I would conclude that my (uncalibrated) monitor is probably not too far off.

    In any case feel free to browse through my site at molon.de.
  10. Have you tried what I suggested, or are you going to just talk about it?
  11. For my understanding: you want me to check the profile generated by Spyder2Express or the previous profile? And the image to use is RGB Grays Test Image.tif - correct?
    This has two columns of grey bars, one on the left consisting of 16 bars and one to the right consisting of lots of bars with minimal brightness difference between adjacent bars. What should I check - if I can see a difference between the two darkest bars of the right or left group of bars?
  12. >> What should I check - if I can see a difference between the two darkest bars of the right or left group of bars?

    Open the image in Photoshop or another image editing application. You could use this to check either profile, or both, to see if you are close to correct. The way you describe it, one of them is way off.

    Ignore the gradient side of the image, and look at the bars on the left half of the test image.

    The bar on the left should look black, and the bar to its immediate right should look distinctly lighter.
    The bar on the right should look white, and the bar to its immediate left should look distinctly darker.

    If the two (or more) on the left look like they have the same black value, your monitor is "crushing" the blacks-- it's too dark. If the two (or more) on the right look like they have the same white value you're monitor is too bright.

    If all the bars get progressively lighter all the way across that side of the image, you're in the ballpark.

    Again, not scientific, but a little better than looking at other photos, especially in a browser window, because it's hard to know what was done to the images.
  13. Almost forgot-- use the RGB Grays Test Image.tif
  14. One more thing-- the part on the right side should look like a continuous gradient fill, not smaller bars.
    If you see banding in there, you might not be using the 32 bit color setting.
  15. I just took a another look at that image. Zoom in to fill your screen with either the bars section or the gradient section to do this. If you look at the whole thing at once, you'll get some banding from the apparent resolution.
  16. Thanks Damon. I'll do the test tomorrow (it's midnight here and I would have to reload the Spyder2Express profile which hopefully hasn't been deleted).

    By the way, what you are proposing looks like an easy exercise. Even on the LCD of my notebook, with its limited gamut, I can clearly see the differences between the bands.

    And yes, the banding is visible only if you go to full resolution (and no wonder, it's 6000 pixel wide and there are only 256 shades of grey).
  17. Those are printer profile targets, monitor targets. Two different things. Try this grayramp I just created in AdobeRGB with gray densities 2.2 gamma encoded which what you should be calibrated and profiled to. Open in Photoshop and assign your monitor profile. You should see slight separation between 000RGB and the next gray rectangle at the top or at the bottom showing the 21 step grayramp. You should see separation between the top highlight rectangles of 240RGB and 250RGB gray and white.
  18. Whoops! My mistake. The first highlight rectangle should read 245RGB gray, not 240RGB.
  19. Thanks Tim. I was hoping to give Alfred some kind of reference other than other people's photos.
    I just copied your target for my own use!
  20. You're welcome, Damon.

    Nailing neutrality can be determined by examining the highlight rectangles and making sure it's hue tint is just a darker version of
    the white of your display which is determined by the look of the color temp. Then make sure this hue is retained all the way down
    the scale with no other hues like greenish/bluish/reddish etc showing up. If so, you've nailed calibration.
  21. And another thing about viewing neutrality with this target.

    When you assign your monitor profile or (Soft Proof MonitorRGB) in Photoshop to this target there might be a slight tint shift. This
    is OK because color management is correcting for this slight inaccurate response of your display that was read by the puck and
    recorded into the profile by the calibration software.

    All those wrinkles in the RGB correction curve written by the software to correct for color crossovers inherent in any LCD are
    displayed visually by assigning/Soft Proofing through the monitor profile.
  22. What I like about these charts is that I can see I've calibrated my IBM LCD monitor spot on using just "Quickgamma" and the brightness buttons.
  23. But there's another part of the profile other than the gamma setting that contains the colorant descriptors that profoundly affects
    hue and saturation in color managed previews, IF your IBM LCD monitor isn't near sRGB. And I have yet to see any LCD rely
    only on sRGB colorants. CRT's fare better though.

    LCD's need to be measured for their colorant response.

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