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Dual monitor calibration woes...sort of.


CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2014 9:12PM
Hang in there..its a bit boring but here goes...........

So.... My primary screen is an iMac.......eventually the shiny, reflection of myself started to get on my nerves coupled with the fact that the screen hides any processing flaws, so I decided to buy a Dell Ultra sharp.

Unfortunately there was a glitch in the Colourmunki calibration software so it crashed as soon as I tried to calibrate the second monitor. That is now fixed so thought I'd give it a go.


I read somewhere that the best setting for an iMac screen was 'native'....I'm assuming that you use the same setting for both monitors?....both monitors now look good and show up the known flaws on certain photos so I'm assuming I've cracked it...


any additional advice would be much appreciated. Ill link to a photo that I know to be blocky in the corners although that didn't show before on the iMac....is everyone seeing what I see?

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GlennH 14 1.9k 1 France
30 Apr 2014 10:34PM
Native settings reduce the amount of calibration data loaded into the GPU LUT, which means less likelihood of banding. Generally it's advisable, although a lot of calibration programs don't offer the choice. There are one or two drawbacks - native gamma can make images appear different (usually darker) outside of colour managed programs. Native white point may make the monitors more difficult to match, although matching two monitors precisely is often needless anyway.

The lion pic is very dark in the corners--almost pure black.
CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2014 10:43PM
So is my iMac set correctly using Native / 100 or should I use the recommend setting. Also do you calibrate both monitors with the same setting. The second is a Dell Ultra sharp. What would you recommend ?
JJGEE 14 7.6k 18 England
30 Apr 2014 11:00PM
I have an iMac and use D65 / 120 when calibrating.

Why ?
Because that is what the the calibration software " tips " advise for general usage and as my technical knowledge of this is minimal I go along with their suggestion !
GlennH 14 1.9k 1 France
30 Apr 2014 11:06PM
I'd calibrate them both to the same settings, without overly worrying about them precisely matching. That's what I do with my two monitors, just using the one that is objectively better to do my editing on.

Native settings are never a bad idea, but you could just go with a standard 2.2 gamma and 6500K white point and see how you get on.

Luminance (brightness) is up to you, though it's worth at least ensuring the monitors aren't at retina-frazzling maximum levels. Contrast can often be set at 100% as a starting point, but brightness shouldn't be, typically. A luminance level of between 100-150cd/mē is normal.
CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
30 Apr 2014 11:09PM
I think I tried that one. The trouble is when I compared that setting to the Dells standard profile it was way off and I understood that the ultra sharp profile was spot on out of the box. I think I will phone x rite in the morning.
GlennH 14 1.9k 1 France
30 Apr 2014 11:49PM
In fact, 6500K is not a precise colour when applied to a monitor. Kelvin temperature only accurately describes colour when it represents a physical temperature, which would mean a monitor hotter than the sun. Otherwise a 'correlated colour temperature' is used - which is essentially a specific range of colours.

On the other hand, the 'D65' measurement that Jeff mentions is a precise colour, if you can find a calibration package that genuinely targets it. The trouble is, 'D65' is often erroneously used interchangeably to mean 6500K (I have a feeling Apple are guilty of this).

Other things prevent two monitors from looking the same, such as differences in gamut.
1 May 2014 8:39AM
Sorry Cathy, I missed the point. Was it that you wanted some sort of universal setting for both Mac and Dell monitors? Or you wished the image looked exactly the same on both?

If it is the first case - factory default settings for both will do the trick, but that will be hardly optimal for a workflow that involves printing. And images will look different on them, maybe close, but different. I would like to remind here that you bought Dell because you wanted the image to be different.

If it is the second case - I wonder if that would be possible at all on two screens with different resolution and screen surface. I personally would prefer matte screen over gloss one too, and make it a primary one for photo work while leaving other as a window in Mac world looks of your image.
For that you only need to calibrate Dell to comply whatever your standard is, and leave Mac at default settings. Switch it off if it annoys you during photo editingWink

That is my practical commonsense outlook at the problem, I do not pretend to be a Mac guru in any way.

As for the image - it is lovely and it works, looks fantastic on any of my computers. Cannot notice any banding or artefacts, this little cute cub simply leaves me no chance for it.Smile

Cheers,
CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
1 May 2014 10:27AM
Just spoke to a lovely chap at X-Rite.

His advice was for the iMac calibrate at D65 . 100 would give a duller look but would show up and flaws on the shadows etc whereas the 120 setting would give a punchier look....

I'll try again I think.
CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
1 May 2014 12:03PM
...but in the preferences the iMac was set to "white LED" and the Dell set to "Wide Gamut" both on 100
GlennH 14 1.9k 1 France
1 May 2014 12:59PM
You can always see flaws in shadows providing the light around your monitor is sufficiently subdued. D65 is a specific colour, which would be impossible to achieve through many calibration solutions--definitely any software-only calibration. Various people misuse the term, and the difference is significant.

I don't know what the 100/120 figures are? You don't want monitors set at 100% brightness, typically, unless they're nearly dead. But you might calibrate a monitor to 100 or 120cd/mē.

White LED refers to the backlighting (a blue LED + yellow phosphor to produce white). Wide gamut provides indication that colours will often look slightly different between your two monitors. Colours outside of the sRGB gamut will be noticeably different.
CathyT 13 7.3k 18 United Kingdom
1 May 2014 1:28PM
Yes it was the 100 - 120 cd/m2...I think the screen brightness for 100 was 25% on the monitor and for 120, 32.....anyway, so far so good....it all looks great.Grin

Thanks for all your help.
GlennH 14 1.9k 1 France
1 May 2014 3:02PM
Grand - glad it's working out. Smile

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