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color balancing software

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From phxmom/Lynn (3,023) Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 8:11:03 PM CST

My son wanted a new hp LCD monitor for his birthday and while I like it in some ways, it is in desperate need of color balancing. My older Spyder 2 monitor was a MAJOR pain with my older CRT. I'm not wishing to spend months (literally!) in color balancing with the Spyder 2 I currently own (if it even read LCD screens).

What is the best recommendation to color balance now? Cost IS a major factor in my decision.
(I been absent from psig for a good while, busy with teaching and re-organizing life post-divorce and I promise to do a few more crits this weekend).

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From marshall/Marshall (12,390) Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 9:33:45 PM CST

Hm. Maybe the color munki, which is under $200. There may be solutions cheaper. You may also be able to use the colorimeter you have with upgraded software. That's worth trying first.

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From phxmom/Lynn (3,023) Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 9:48:56 PM CST

B&H has several items to consider. I am now seeing digital camera calibration software (not for the monitor). Is that a new product and a new necessary item as well?

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From robertwallis/Robert (15,086) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 9:55:48 PM CST

It's more important if you're shooting several cameras and identical color balancing is needed. If I use an IT8 test chart, I can use my older Xrite calibrater to calibrate my camera, scanner, and printer. Maybe when I don't have a ton of other stuff to do.

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From phxmom/Lynn (3,023) Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 10:39:37 PM CST

Thanks for the info - it makes sense. This new LCD monitor is crisp and too contrasty for photos and just wondering how much more investments in time and money I'll need to make. It seems the IT8 test charts are no longer available from B&H. I had one from Colormark but that may be long gone. Any ideas on who would have one available?
I found an Oris Test chart, but I'd need a hard copy to compare visually. Any idea on electronic chart with the baby?

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From robertwallis/Robert (15,086) This user is a Premium Member This user is an Administrator Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 11:06:02 PM CST

Silverfast carries them. Just Google "IT8 test target" and you'll get a boatload of hits. Silverfast provides for calibration of the entire system also, so you might check them out.

Regarding the monitor, go through the software or the menu options with it. Most are set up from the factory to be bright, contrasty, and crisp. Most are set up for text which optimizes for max black/white transition, and will give halo edges on contrasty photos. Find a setting for photos if it has one (probably does).

Go here for a B&W test target. Go to full screen (F11 for Explorer based PCs). Lower the brightness until you just start to lose the black wedges and circle targets. Adjust contrast until you can barely distinguish the white circle targets. You'll probably need to go back and forth readjusting each one or two more times until you can see all the steps and the circle targets.

I use the same target for a quick check on my monitors to make sure it's still on calibration. That'll get you very close to the mark, if not right on for the gray scale rendition. Color is bit dicier, and that will have to wait for the hardware calibration. In the meantime, checking the menu selections and running the Photo Friday test target will get you going.

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From phxmom/Lynn (3,023) Send mail to this user on March 2, 2012 11:15:24 PM CST

You are such an incredible wealth of info and a true blessing! I've been looking at the ColorMunki and reviews look interesting. My spyder is so out of date by now most likely that I'll have to buy from scratch, but it's worth looking into. Thanks for the recommendations. The color shift in appearance from black to green ink on this monitor is killing my vision and giving me fits. I know when I refer friends to photosig for info and great learning,they will find excellent resources such as yourself. Sincere thanks to you!

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