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Spyder 4 Express or Spyder 4 Pro?

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mick183
mick183  5 South Africa5 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2013 - 2:35 PM

Recently I posted a request for advice on what calibrator to buy (http://www.ephotozine.com/forums/topic/recommendations-for-a-budget-monitor-for-image-editing-please-103527/p-0#comment_2373629).
As a result of members' recommendations I have put the Spyder 4 Express at the top of my shortlist . Before I place an order I would much appreciate members' views on whether it is worth buying the somewhat better specified Spyder 4 Pro? As I understand it, the Pro can set a targetted level of screen brightness, but the Express cannot. How desirable is this facility and is it worth the additional outlay? As mentioned in my previous post, I am on a fairly tight budget and I am about to shell out for a Dell monitor as well as a calibrator. Thanks in advance for your recommendations. Chris

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3 Jun 2013 - 2:35 PM

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GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2013 - 2:59 PM

The thing about monitor luminance is that there is no 'ideal' setting, so to some extent being able to target a particular brightness level is pointless. If you search Keith Cooper's review of the Spyder 4 Express on Google you'll see him say something similar in his 'conclusions'.

The attraction of the feature is being able to return the monitor to exactly the same state each time you calibrate, which is something you can't achieve with monitor OSD controls because the meaning gradually shifts. However, most people don't need this level of consistency. Really it depends on your intended output - fine art printers tend to calibrate a monitor to match a dedicated print-viewing area, whereas many amateurs send their pics to an online lab and the photo gets mashed anyway.

pulsar69
pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2013 - 3:32 PM

It has to be questioned just how much need there is for some of this calibration hardware. As an example I have been using Spyder3Pro for years on my Samsung Syncmaster and it was calibrated to the room light ambience etc and there was a very obvious shift as it kicked in with the machine start up and the screen changed from a bluey hue at start up to a more natural colour as the calibration kicked in.

However I have just purchased a 27Inch IPS monitor. Uninstalled and uncalibrated the spyder stuff and put the new monitor in , absolutely perfect colour reproduction without any calibration at all .... So is it more down to how good your monitor is rather than actually having to calibrate or am i missing something ?

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2013 - 4:49 PM


Quote: However I have just purchased a 27Inch IPS monitor. Uninstalled and uncalibrated the spyder stuff and put the new monitor in , absolutely perfect colour reproduction without any calibration at all .... So is it more down to how good your monitor is rather than actually having to calibrate or am i missing something ?

Maybe, although I agree with the basic premise that calibrators are a little oversold. A new monitor might come supplied with a fairly decent canned profile, but that profile relies upon a predetermined calibration state, so over time and/or if you make any adjustments to the monitor the profile becomes increasingly irrelevant. If you're not using a profile supplied with the monitor you'll instead be using the default system sRGB profile, which is only ever a loose representation of an LCD at best. In either case a custom profile is preferable.

The colour shift you see at startup is the gamma/tonal response curve and white point calibration data kicking in, which corrects colour, neutralises greys, and defines the colour of white. With more advanced calibration software you can leave these calibration settings at 'native' and the profile mitigates for the differences in colour-managed programs, which theoretically results in less likelihood of banding.

One good thing about the Spyder pucks is that you can use them even with 3rd party software - BasICColor Display plays nicely with them in my experience for about 100 bucks.

Last Modified By GlennH at 3 Jun 2013 - 4:50 PM
Gundog
Gundog  1624 forum posts Scotland
3 Jun 2013 - 9:34 PM

I notice that you have placed this thread in the "Printing" section. Calibrating your monitors wont help if you printer is not also calibrated. Maybe have a look at the Color Munki, which helps you produce prints that match what you see on your screens.

Railcam
Railcam  7477 forum posts Scotland
3 Jun 2013 - 9:42 PM


Quote: Uninstalled and uncalibrated the spyder stuff and put the new monitor in , absolutely perfect colour reproduction without any calibration at all .

Most monitors are too bright and too blue straight out of the box. The images look better and are aimed at gamers.

It is interesting that you declare it has "absolutely perfect colour reproduction" when not using any standard reference, only your eye. Are we to assume you have "calibrated eyes" Wink

cameracat
cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2013 - 9:58 PM


Quote: It is interesting that you declare it has "absolutely perfect colour reproduction"

LOL...Grin That had me wondering to...Wink

Perfect and then colour reproduction, Until these have been analysed by a device that bases its results on known values, Are at best a guess or a shot in the dark....Smile

Just how long is a piece of string if you do not have a tape measure to hand....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh! Its about this long guvnor....!

As Gundog has eluded to, Getting your colour workflow absolutely right, Does not just rely on screen calibration alone, It helps though.

That said you may get away without some sort of a clue on colour management in some photographic areas, But when it comes to product shots, Customers generally prefer their products to look as they intended, Especially paint manufacturers and the like.

For wedding shooters I guess the odd pinkish/brownish/tanned bride will go unnoticed.....Blush

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Jun 2013 - 10:19 PM

Colorimeters do a better job of measuring monitor dark tones than Spectrophotometers, so that in combination with the OP's budget (stated elsewhere) makes the Spyder4 Express package a fairly natural choice. The rest of it you can deal with a bit at a time when money allows; on a tight budget you can always have a custom profile made for a few quid if the generic printer profiles don't suit—either that or get a freebie from one of the paper manufacturers.

Last Modified By GlennH at 3 Jun 2013 - 10:20 PM
mick183
mick183  5 South Africa5 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2013 - 8:14 AM

Thanks all. While this debate has been raging Smile I downloaded the free Calibrize software and attempted to 'calibrate' my laptop screen, with moderate success. I managed to adjust screen brightness so that the mid tone luminance of an image corresponds quite well to the printed output. However, 'blues' on the screen appear over-saturated compared to the print. Should I expect that a Spyder will improve perceived colour matching between print and screen (although another possibility is that my laptop LCD is clapped out)? I have decided to go for the Syder Express which I think will meet my requirements.

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2013 - 8:35 AM

With Calibrize you're tweaking the RGB tonal response curves (aka Gamma) to hopefully achieve neutrality in mid-tones and correct colour, but it's a hit-and-miss process because you're depending upon your eyes and nothing is being measured. Without question the Spyder will do a better job, and the Spyder will provide you with a profile based on your calibration settings.

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2013 - 11:40 AM


Quote: Should I expect that a Spyder will improve perceived colour matching between print and screen

P.S. No, not specifically. This is what others have touched upon on this thread: for screen-print matching you need a decent printer/paper profile as well, and ideally software that enables you to softproof (preview) that printing profile on your screen (Lightroom, Photoshop CS, Qimage, Gimp). There is always some potential for disconnect at that juncture, since inkjet printers have a tendency to be able to produce colours outside of the gamut of standard LCD monitors.

Buying a monitor calibrator is a good place to start - the rest might fall into place quite easily. A lot of photographers don't bother with the complete colour management process - depends on how much accuracy you want or need.

mlewis
mlewis  91476 forum posts United Kingdom
6 Jun 2013 - 12:55 PM

The Spyder 4 express is too crippled to be worth using. get the pro version.

The luminance target feature is needed to make sure the monitor is set at the brightness level you have chosen whenever you recalibrate. If you don't have it you cannot be sure if your monitor has changed in brightness which can throw other things off.

GlennH
GlennH  91918 forum posts France1 Constructive Critique Points
6 Jun 2013 - 1:13 PM


Quote: The Spyder 4 express is too crippled to be worth using. get the pro version.

Nonsense, Meredith. What are most people calibrating to? Do you really believe the average photographer needs to return their monitor to exactly the same measurement of candela at each calibration? For most people the setting is never anything other than arbitrary.

pulsar69
pulsar69  101611 forum posts United Kingdom6 Constructive Critique Points
7 Jun 2013 - 8:55 AM


Quote: It is interesting that you declare it has "absolutely perfect colour reproduction"

LOL...Grin That had me wondering to...Wink

Perfect and then colour reproduction, Until these have been analysed by a device that bases its results on known values, Are at best a guess or a shot in the dark....Smile

Just how long is a piece of string if you do not have a tape measure to hand....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh! Its about this long guvnor....!

As Gundog has eluded to, Getting your colour workflow absolutely right, Does not just rely on screen calibration alone, It helps though.

That said you may get away without some sort of a clue on colour management in some photographic areas, But when it comes to product shots, Customers generally prefer their products to look as they intended, Especially paint manufacturers and the like.

For wedding shooters I guess the odd pinkish/brownish/tanned bride will go unnoticed.....Blush

Since i have been editing photos for years day in and day out , any difference in the colour of the shots on the new monitor from the previous monitor would be easily apparent and whilst there is no such thing as calibrated eyes my eyesight is as good as it gets as i have regular tests since my work relies upon it. I have also since recalibrated it ( new monitor ) with the spyder pro and that just confirmed there was no change.

Any and all photographer of ALL fields would wish for perfect colour reproduction, my point is that a lot of people are sucked into an endless circle of calibration marketing gone mad just to pay out good money for nothing and with a lot of things in the photographic field its easy to get far too technically lost in the finer detail and forget the bigger picture, and in my case the bigger picture is an awkward one as wedding photos are viewed on everything from phones to tablets to laptops to monitors of which i would say more than 90% will not be calibrated at all ! So if wanted to be technically perfect in the production of photos for my clients i would have to produce photos that looked right on their monitors in a lot of cases factory set far too bright ! Some clients never even print a photo which is the way these days.

keithh
keithh e2 Member 1023041 forum postskeithh vcard Wallis and Futuna33 Constructive Critique Points
7 Jun 2013 - 6:21 PM

Do they test analytical color perception during the eye test?

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