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  #1  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:52 PM
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ayobami ayobami is offline
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Default Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

I've been reading a bit lately about monitors and callibration and all that jazz. I've been consigned to using a Dell Inspiron Laptop for a couple of years now (was a Christmas gift) but I know it's a pretty poor option when it comes to editing photos.

So... I'm in the market for a solution. I think going down the road of callibration tools with a laptop screen such as this is not the right path - anyone agree or disagree?

I think buying a monitor and working with a dual screen setup at home may be the best option - since I haven't got the budget to buy a whole new machine at the moment (but oh how nice that would be)! I am feeling extremely overwhelmed by all of the options and want to be sure I get something good without breaking the bank.

Can anyone tell me in Plain English what a monitor for image editing would need to be and suggest anything that's on the market now? I noticed many of the posts on this subject were old (2003-2005) and things have changed a bit since then)

A million thanks in advance for any tips...

Cora
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  #2  
Old 11-27-2007, 07:53 PM
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ayobami ayobami is offline
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

P.S. I'm sitting on a whole load of photos from my recent amazing trip to Oman that I can't bear to touch with this screen/computer and really really want to start playing! :-) Thanks!
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  #3  
Old 11-28-2007, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

For the sake of £60, it might be worth seeing whether the screen on your laptop can be made acceptable.

I had a similar problem with my PC. I could get the photo 'right' on the screen but, when I printed a version, it looked completely different. Then I read about a thing called 'Spyder'. I bought one.

All you do is load the software, fit one end of the kit into the USB socket, dangle the Spyder over the front of your screen and press the go button. The 'Spyder' reads the colours your screen is showing you and compared them against what it should be getting via the screen. Then it adjusts the colour calibration to give the best result. You need to repeat the job about once a month.

I was ecstatic with the difference it made (you get the chance to see a before and after) and it now means I what I get back from the processing lab is as near identical to what I created as it can be.

I'm sure there are miniscule differences that the eye can't see / adjusts for, however, if your laptop screen's working okay, then it's worth £60 to get it optimised. Think of it this way; even if you buy a new, top of the range LaCie screen, you'll still need a 'Spyder' (or similar) to make sure it's properly calibrated.

Best wishes, Paul.
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Old 11-28-2007, 11:17 AM
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

Hi,
I would agree with Paul. I've been using a basic Spyder for a while now and with careful use of profiles have managed to set up a workflow from camera to print which works with no 'surprises'.
I think, after looking at the specs that you may have to spend a lot of money on a monitor that would make a noticeable difference from a 'standard' one.
Regards, Dougie.
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  #5  
Old 11-30-2007, 08:04 AM
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

I have just done 3 days of research on this very subject looking for a LCD replacement for my 6yr old CRT.

I found that there are 3 types of LCD technology, TN, VA and IPS, after reading some threads on the subject at dpreview and photonet it appears the only LCD for photography is the IPS which renders the best color management, these moniters cost at least 2-3 times more than the common TN version.

Good short article explaining the difference:

http://www.lcdresource.com/lcdtech/

"Photo editors will want to stick with the tried-and-true IPS panels. If the price is simply too high for you, VA panels being 8-bit and high-contrast aren't a bad alternative. However, you won't get the natural colors of a quality IPS screen"
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Old 11-30-2007, 08:06 AM
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Wirraway Wirraway is offline
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

I have just done 3 days of research on this very subject looking for a LCD replacement for my 6yr old CRT.

I found that there are 3 types of LCD technology, TN, VA and IPS, after reading some threads on the subject at dpreview and photonet it appears the only LCD for photography is the IPS which renders the best color management, these moniters cost at least 2-3 times more than the common TN version.

Good short article explaining the difference:

http://www.lcdresource.com/lcdtech/

"Photo editors will want to stick with the tried-and-true IPS panels. If the price is simply too high for you, VA panels being 8-bit and high-contrast aren't a bad alternative. However, you won't get the natural colors of a quality IPS screen"
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  #7  
Old 12-02-2007, 08:57 PM
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ayobami ayobami is offline
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

Thanks Paul and Dougie for your responses.

I've looked around a bit for the Spyder and noticed there are loads of different versions, i.e. Spyder2 Express and Spyder2 Suite in the UK - what's the difference between the Suite and the Express versions?

In the US I've seen Spyder3 but it's going for $285 or so which is a bit over my budget. I don't think it's necessary anyway to have the latest and greatest version or is it?

I've also seen the Pantone Huey Pro - how does that compare to the Spyder?

Thanks again for your advice!

Cora
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  #8  
Old 12-02-2007, 08:57 PM
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ayobami ayobami is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

Thanks Paul and Dougie for your responses.

I've looked around a bit for the Spyder and noticed there are loads of different versions, i.e. Spyder2 Express, Spyder2 Suite in the UK - what's the difference between the Suite and the Express versions?

In the US I've seen Spyder3 but it's going for $285 or so which is a bit over my budget. I don't think it's necessary anyway to have the latest and greatest version or is it?

I've also seen the Pantone Huey Pro - how does that compare to the Spyder?

Thanks again for your advice!

Cora
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  #9  
Old 12-02-2007, 11:24 PM
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

Hi Cora. All this sort of gear is aimed at getting your monitor to reproduce what you have in your camera and to allow you to manipulate it in a realistic fashion.

I have the Spyder 2 Express. It cost about £60 (US$120) and works fine. Have a look at my gallery and see if you like what you see (mind you, it might look weird until you've calibrated your screen!)

Spyder, Huey - it doesn't matter. For £60 you'll get a damn sight better version of what you're currently looking at and, if you're happy with it, you've saved £hundreds. If not, you still need one to calibrate whatever you end up buying.

Seriously, it's a no-brainer - but don't buy the most expensive - you don't need it unless you want to produce pro quality prints.

Paul.
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  #10  
Old 12-02-2007, 11:31 PM
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cgrindahl cgrindahl is offline
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Default Re: Getting the right colour and contrast - monitors etc...

Color management is a very deep subject that affects not only your monitor, but camera settings and color spaces set up by the software you use to process images. One of the first things I discovered when I was trying to render my photos to advantage on TE is the simple fact that browsers aren't sophisticated when it comes to color rendition. Although I work in an Apple environment that supports sophisticated color options, I set up my work space and set my camera to match the more limited color options generally rendered by Windows and by most browsers. The color profile is called sRGB IEC61966-2.1. An even simpler version is sRGB. I'd encourage you to check the color settings for your monitor, and if using Photoshop, to create a color space based on this standard for any web submissions. It isn't essential to set your camera to the same color space since processing software will convert it. Remember, however, that these setting really are needed only for photos posted on the web. Folks who print photos extensively, will wish to consider settings that work best for printing. Unless work space and printing color settings are coordinated, it is virtually impossible to anticipate what the printer will produce simply by looking at the screen, no matter how well calibrated it may be.

Good luck. You may wish to check online the subject of "color management." There is quite a bit written on the subject. As I said, it is a deep subject. Good luck.
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