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Calibrating my iMac monitor

I would like to calibrate my monitor on my new iMac.
I've never calibrated a screen before and wondered how often you need to do it. I would have thought once it's calibrated the jobs done for life. So is it worth paying 150 or more for a calibrate device thing or can you just borrow one.

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fstopshere 8 43
10 Feb 2012 10:15AM
Screen calibrating devices can be obtained for less than 150, but more versatile ones often allow printer profiling. The screen needs profiling about every month if you are going for accuracy and consistency. Definitely no a once and for ever event.
Usually best to have been using the screen for about 30 mins or so before profiling to make sure things are well warmed up
GlennH 13 1.9k 1 France
10 Feb 2012 10:19AM

Quote:Usually best to have been using the screen for about 30 mins or so before profiling to make sure things are well warmed up

That probably doesn't apply to an iMac, because if they're LED backlit the usual warm-up time doesn't exist. You are meant to allow the calibration device time to warm up, however, for around 5 mins.
fstopshere 8 43
10 Feb 2012 11:16AM
The OP did not say which 'vintage' iMac, ones up LED are LCD so will, of course, require stabilisation.
fstopshere 8 43
10 Feb 2012 11:19AM
Noticed someone selling a monitor calibrator for 35 in the 'classifieds' it may still be available.
If I'm going to do it ill calibrate it for printing. Can you set more than one calibration. say one for my home printer than another for an out sourced print. or would i have to recalibrate each time.
Prior to this i was so used to my screen that i new what the image would print like on my own printer and what adjustments i needed to make for out sourcing. I could adjust the image on screen to suit. but with a new screen to takes some time to get your brain used to it
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 12:17PM
You calibrate your monitor for viewing, not printing. Then when preparing photos to print you use the appropriate printer profile for your printer/paper/ink combination. When sending photos to a professional lab they will more often than not just ask you to send them in RGB, though some do ask for CMYK. They will then use their own printer profiles to print them.

cameracat 14 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
10 Feb 2012 12:22PM

Quote:calibrator for 35 in the 'classifieds' it may still be available

Yes it was a Spyder 2, Unfortunately according to the owner of another Spyder 2, The accompanying software is NOT compatible with the latest MAC OS.....!!!

Hence they are selling it.....!!!

Quote:LED backlit the usual warm-up time doesn't exist

Its not just the backlighting that needs time to warm and settle, Its all the other components that need time to warm up, 30 minutes is a minimum for chips and stuff to reach ideal operating tempratures......Grin

Bottom line, Unless your display is calibrated to a known value, You have no idea what others may see, When looking/viewing your images, For that matter you have no idea what your looking at with regard to accuracy be that colour or black & white, So making a comment on someones uploaded image by saying its a tad dark, Or burnt out, Might only apply to the way " Your " uncalibrated monitor/display is set up, Everyone else with corrected calibration will be seeing it as it was meant to be......Smile

If you are a Pro photograher with any pride in your work, You will want to work with and display your images at thier best, Until such times as monitors come with built in calibration ( Its on the way ) Then you have to use calibration tools & software......!!!!!!!

keithh Plus
14 25.4k 33 Wallis And Futuna
10 Feb 2012 12:33PM

Quote:built in calibration ( Its on the way )

Some of the ColorEdges are already there.
sherlob Plus
12 2.9k 129 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 1:39PM
Weird - I have a Spyder 2 and the latest iMac - calibrates just fine (although I am using Snow Leopard)
I agree with some comments but let's not get too bogged down on relying on IT solutions. I've Been a pro for a number of years starting in film. I am looking into screen calibration as I've just up grade to an iMac. And was really looking for a quick solution. But you don't need a perfectly calibrated screen to print accurate photos. Or the exact printer profiles. Although I do use them.
Your printer will print at a constant setting and the paper you use has qualities that are also constant. Your screen will also stay pretty constant even when not calibrated. It is quite easy after using for a while for your brain to compensate what needs adjusting for the required output.
Take fuji archive crystal paper. This always produce images with a slightly enhanced green tint. Just like its films. If I new I was printing on this paper I would make an adjustment to reduce the greens in my image. I use the same approach in how my images are to be displayed. If they are be on the web and viewed on screen then I would reduce the level of saturation, but if I was printing an image I would increase the level of saturation.as long as your brain is calibrated, that the important bit.
My old canon 450d was always set to under expose by a third of a stop, for me it was prone to over expose a little so I prefer not to loose detail so adjusted camera to suit
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 1:51PM
That's fine but it depends upon experience and money/time to find the correct settings for each combination.

IT solutions remove the trial and error.

User_Removed 14 3.3k 4 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 2:38PM
It would be great if you could calibrate once and that would be it for life, we'd all just borrow or hire a really sophisticated device. However as the screen gets older the performance changes. Also the performance in the heat of summer may be different to that in the cold of winter. Installing OS updates and new programs may cause the calibration data to be thrown off.

You need to calibrate regularly for consistency.

Some people will ask "Why bother? The photos are going to be seen by friends and family on uncalibrated monitors anyway".

The way I see it is if your monitor is true then you avoid an additive effect. If your uncalibrated monitor has a tendency to be too blue you might boost the reds too much when processing, you may also reduce the saturation of the blues too much. If your friend's uncalibrated monitor makes things a bit too red your processed photos are going to look very, very red on his monitor.

At least if your monitor is calibrated you only have the inconsistency of his monitor affecting your photos. There's no cumulative effect.

CathyT spent a bit of time looking into Mac calibration recently. IIRC she ended up with a Color Munki because Spyder software for Mac was fussy about exactly which Mac you had.
digicammad 15 22.0k 39 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 2:43PM
What he said
mikehit 8 8.0k 13 United Kingdom
10 Feb 2012 3:23PM

Quote:The way I see it is if your monitor is true then you avoid an additive effect.

I remember reading an article by someone who judges photo competitions and he was saying that colour balance was one significant reason for throwing pictures out of the competition: even ones that are possible winners, if they were not done on calibrated machines the judges do not have the time or inclination to optimise them and throw them out. And sometimes it can happen with calitrated machines where calibration on one doe not match calibration on another.

it was so much easier with prints: it is either right or wrong. Smile

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