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freeware monitor calibration software?

Discussion in 'Help Team' started by nailbrush, Nov 18, 2011.

  1. YPhotography

    YPhotography Active Member

    Who'd have thought that photography would turn out to be such an expensive hobby!
  2. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    The point is being completely missed here.

    Nothing at all has changed with photography (never a "cheap hobby").

    With film processed, whether through Boots or a specialist, there were always issues of colour casts or whatever. AP used to run processing lab comparisions. Even the "develop only" processing of slide film used to generate big differences of colour cast, contrast, density etc. Effort (big effort) is needed to do things right.

    If you just look at images on your monitor for your own pleasure then indeed why bother. The human eye/brain is a wonderful combination and it will tolerate/correct quite severe inaccuracies provided it is not doing a comparison between two versions.

    If consistent prints are required then some effort to ensure colours are managed is needed. And not only that - the colours in prints depend on the light they are viewed by - so to look "accurate" even this needs to be accounted for.

    It costs some money - indeed - the reference point ought to be the cost of a reasonable pro-print from film. Last time I had some 35 mm and 120 processed this was about 13 quid for 36 exposures at 6x9 and 11 quid for 12 exposures printed to 8x8. These are 4 year old prices because I left my film gear in the UK when I had to move for work.

    In late 2008 I had 3 images printed to A4 to test the lab 3 doors down the high street and that was 24 euros and not impressive in terms of quality. I bought an away from home printer instead. For me it is not a true photograph until it is printed.

    Photography is not a cheap hobby. With digital imaging it is possible to enjoy at a lower cost than film if the endpoint is display on your own monitor. For enjoying prints at a quality the high street occasionally delivered first time there is a cost to it and this applies too if sharing images - especially if using non-sRGB colour spaces or/and post processing colours.
  3. YPhotography

    YPhotography Active Member

    I was being sarcastic :D

    I've worked out that I've spent over £4,000 on building up my photographic gear over the last four years. £130 for a well-regarded monitor calibrator isn't much, in the scheme of things. If someone thinks £130 (or £85 for a Spyder) is too much to pay for picture fidelity then they they probably shouldn't buy an SLR either.

    A monitor calibrator (and profiling software) is the least "serious" photographers should acquire, because, without it, you're only guessing at what others will see. I've sat through some pretty weird images at camera clubs, and the weirdness wasn't intentional.

    Luckily, the brain is good at correcting colour casts and hue shifts, and we try to appreciate a photograph for its content, despite sometimes glaringly bad processing. Often it doesn't matter. I appreciate that not everyone has the time or inclination to calibrate their photographic output, just as they should appreciate that others strive for that extra bit of fidelity. In my opinion, the effort can make a significant difference. But that's just my opinion.

    I'm serious enough about the subject to have spent a further £200 on a print profiler. The way I see it, a processing lab would have spent much more on getting good quality prints, and, if I'm going to print my own, I must accept that it costs money to reach a certain quality, or send them out instead.

    I spent £40 on one of those plastic colour cards. I was dubious, but it made quite a difference to my raw conversions. Profiling your camera is a worthwhile step if you can buy or borrow a ColorChecker, if you want realistic skin colour, and skies, for example. It's a revelation to suddenly see your photos in higher fidelity, and not just bog-standard factory-set colours.

    People are prepared to spend huge wads of cash for the sharpest lens, or the latest camera body. The money is wasted, to a degree, when the results fall short in terms of colour and tonal fidelity. It doesn't cost much more to sort it out.
  4. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    No, £1608 beats it by quite a way. :rolleyes:
  5. YPhotography

    YPhotography Active Member

    That might be overkill for your average enthusiast.

    "The i1Publish Pro from X-Rite, offers pre-press and imaging professionals the definitive solution for organising and managing complete RGB , CMYK and CMYK+N (CMYK + any 4) imaging and prepress colour workflows"
  6. Roy5051

    Roy5051 Well-Known Member

    That's fine for a commercial enterprise, but who needs it in amateur photography? If you need (want) to spend that sort of money, you must consider yourself to be more than an average amateur/enthusiast.
  7. Mosstrooper

    Mosstrooper Well-Known Member

    I'm taking your advice, I haven't bought an SLR either, there are other types of Camera out there.

    You are all having a laugh now, £1068 for something that tells me what my eyes are seeing. I thought I was taking part in Amateur Photographer Forum.
  8. Norman

    Norman Well-Known Member

    You're another that seems to equate the amount of money spent on whether they are amateurs or not. Lighten up and notice the 'smileys' people are using.

    This will perhaps convince you that you can't always believe what your eyes are seeing. :)
  9. YPhotography

    YPhotography Active Member

    Sorry. Being sarcastic again. Isn't there a sarcasm smiley in this board?
    No. An £85 Spyder is good enough for most. I bought the Display2 because it was recommended to me for giving better results.

    The expensive kit above is for a photo lab or digital printer's: someone who can't afford to churn out poor quality prints.
  10. Steampunk

    Steampunk Well-Known Member

    Maybe :rolleyes: but if it prints with a green cast you might need to do some calibrating ;)

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