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Excellent Calibration Software: Available Free


Chris_L 5 5.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 1:02PM
Last year I replaced my Spyder Software with a free open source alternative called DisplayCAL . WOW!

I take it for granted now. It just works, it works with Spyder, ColorMunki etc

Has anyone else tried this out?

Initial installation can be tricky for some; but if you are the kind of person who easily unzips files, moves them about then you will have no trouble.

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JJGEE 14 7.5k 18 England
4 Sep 2018 1:21PM
Never heard of it before Sad


Quote:It just works,

But how does it compare with what you were doing previously, in terms of colour etc.

Chris_L 5 5.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 2:35PM
When I had colour critical work (some interior stuff that I used to shoot had to be 100% accurate colour) I was going backwards and forwards between camera colour target and calibration devices - battling the Spyder software on laptop and desktop. Last year I discovered DisplayCAL and never had another problem.

I'm selling Spyder and ColorChecker Passport, not planning on any more commercial work.

With DisplayCAL the calibration experience is much more comprehensive and the profiles seem far more accurate.
saltireblue Plus
9 9.3k 35 Norway
4 Sep 2018 2:38PM

Quote:It just works

What? As in, it works, but only just?WinkSmile


Quote:With DisplayCAL the calibration experience is much more comprehensive...

Can you explain exactly what this means, Chris? What is 'a far more comprehensive experience' in terms of this product?
Chris_L 5 5.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 3:43PM
You are able to control more aspects, more elements of the calibration process, for example choosing whether to have a dozen patches, a couple of hundred or go crazy with a thousand, balancing speed against quality.

Here's an overview






also part 2 of this covers DisplayCAL




Philh04 Plus
13 2.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 4:21PM

Quote:I was going backwards and forwards between camera colour target and calibration devices - battling the Spyder software on laptop and desktop

That sounds more like you were doing something not quite right...

DisplayCal is said to produce accurate monitor profiles and can be particularly useful if your bundled software is on the more basic side or is no longer supported by an OS update. However its usefulness is limited to monitor profiles. As my need is broader I continue to use a Spectrophotometer along with i1 Studio Software.

It is possible to create 'printer' characterisations using ArgylleCMS (DisplayCal is a front end to this) there is far too much lingo involved in the command line interface one would have to use.
Paul Morgan 18 19.3k 6 England
4 Sep 2018 4:24PM
Not used this bit of software Chris, just the default that comes with the hardware.

Are you sure that you no longer have any use for the colorchecker, its dead handy for colour matching video from different devices and sensors before grading etc.




Chris_L 5 5.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 6:34PM

Quote:It is possible to create 'printer' characterisations using ArgylleCMS

Never used it for home printing, it was accurate colour for web and commercial brochures. Screens and cameras had to sync, they did after I got rid of the outdated Spyder software and installed DisplayCAL - YMMV
Philh04 Plus
13 2.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 6:54PM

Quote:Never used it for home printing, it was accurate colour for web and commercial brochures. Screens and cameras had to sync, they did after I got rid of the outdated Spyder software and installed DisplayCAL

Don't quite understand screens and cameras had to sync, they are both different gamuts etc... different software isn't going to affect how an image displays or have anything to do with colour accuracy of the file.

A good monitor profile is only a part of the equation and accurate colour in your file can be achieved even without a good monitor profile its all about the numbers.

All academic really as both web and cmyk printing have limitations....

Colour accurate reproduction is a whole different school needing specialised and highly skilled technicians who can assess and know how to use and interpret colour patches.
Paul Morgan 18 19.3k 6 England
4 Sep 2018 7:51PM

Quote:Don't quite understand screens and cameras had to sync, they are both different gamuts etc... different software isn't going to affect how an image displays or have anything to do with colour accuracy of the file


Imagine both yourself and Chris working side by side shooting the same wedding for one album and style of prints, Chris with his Sony and you with you 5D or what ever, somehow its likely that your going to want to match the colour response and base line from the two different camera`s before editing, this is were the colorchecker comes in, no academic`s or highly skilled specialised technicians needed.

Its not about accuracy, its all about getting to a standard working baseline.

Screen calibration is only one small part.
Philh04 Plus
13 2.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 8:33PM

Quote:Imagine both yourself and Chris working side by side shooting the same wedding for one album and style of prints, Chris with his Sony and you with you 5D or what ever, somehow its likely that your going to want to match the colour response and base line from the two different camera`s before editing, this is were the colorchecker comes in, no academic`s or highly skilled specialised technicians needed.

Paul, I know precisely the uses of a colour checker... and it has nothing to do with screens and cameras synching... it is all about numbers.

I have been involved, not in a small way, with accurate colour reproduction, in particular facsimile reproductions of historic and valuable artworks and yes skilled technicians are involved.

Perhaps read what I post.
Chris_L 5 5.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 9:16PM
I'll try to make it as simple as possible for you Phil.

I was working with a high end Asus laptop with a decent IPS screen and working with a PC with a decent IPS monitor as well as with two, sometimes three cameras and several lenses each with their own characteristics.

I created several profiles for the cameras using Lightroom and the ColorChecker Passport (mentioned in my second post above)

I set about calibrating both of the screens using Datacolor's Spyder and the Datacolor software. No matter what I did, there was always a colour shift, especially in the reds, between the same image on one screen and the same image on the other screen.

After hearing about DisplayCAL I decided to install it and ran a comprehensive calibration using that software.

Voila, the problems disappeared.

I actually forgot about the software, just left it running in the background and only remembered about it today when I was sorting through my camera gear to sell some stuff I don't use much now, saw the ColorChecker Passport and the Spyder and remembered about DisplayCAL and thought to myself it was worth posting about.
Philh04 Plus
13 2.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 9:35PM
Chris, admittedly the Spyder and it's software are not the best, the differences were not differences in the file and to be honest if colour fidelity was the aim it is probably best not to work visually. DisplayCal simply provided a more consistent profile for both devices.
Chris_L 5 5.0k United Kingdom
4 Sep 2018 10:48PM
The Spyder is a decent colorimeter when driven by decent software. Not only was it more consistent, it was far more accurate. It became possible to tweak the colours, contrast and wb in Lightroom, see the same result on both computers, see the same result on the web design studio's monitors and in the printed brochures as well.

Anyway thanks for your input of "That sounds more like you were doing something not quite right..." and "to be honest if colour fidelity was the aim it is probably best not to work visually. DisplayCal simply provided a more consistent profile for both devices", forgive me if I take no notice of you.
JJGEE 14 7.5k 18 England
4 Sep 2018 11:15PM
How do software companies manage to develop what Chris believes is Excellent Software then they give it away for free, stay in business ?



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