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Everyone should have a monitor callibrator....

JackAllTog Plus
12 6.3k 58 United Kingdom
17 Sep 2010 5:45PM
Not that i'm buying one yet (need spare cash), But my monitor is near a window and during the day i have a changing light from the sun's position. At night i'm lit by tungstan/low energy flourscent bulbs.
I assume I then calibrate for the different background lighting contitions and change the profile througout the day?
I guess this is also true for a laptop that's moved from room to room.

Another question is the LCD screen itsself - its a Samsung and they are pretty good in my view, but it is at the value end of the range, so whilst calibrating it will help, will it be able to adjust in the way thats required?

GlennH 16 1.9k 1 France
17 Sep 2010 11:16PM
The ambient light around your monitor needs to be sufficiently low for you to be able to discern shadow detail on your calibrated screen. If at any time you can't, then you're editing in poor conditions. With calibration being largely about brightness - at least in terms of what you can physically adjust yourself, a gradation test like the one at the bottom of this page is useful.

You don't have to match the screen to surrounding light when you calibrate, you just need a display luminance which matches print-viewing conditions (if prints are your intention). Typically people calibrate to a luminance of between 100-140 cd/mē, although recommending an exact figure is fairly futile - who knows the lighting conditions under which someone else is going to display a photo?

It's worth calibrating and profiling even a low end monitor, which isn't likely generally to be any worse than a laptop screen. Even cheaper screens vary significantly in quality, depending on their dithering capability, for instance. All are less colour-accurate than more expensive monitors, and more prone to banding and dithering artefacts, as well as having significantly poorer vertical viewing angles. Regardless, a monitor profile compensates for colour irregularities in your display and provides a means of communication with other devices - it's useful even if it doesn't do alchemy.

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