Calibrating Monitors for Printing

cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,720
39
#1
Hi all,

I thought I might should set off separate thread from the other one I had that was more dedicated to printing....

I wanted to get ya'll experiences and advice on calibrating your monitors so what you 'develop' onscreen matches what comes out of the printer.

I have a macbook pro, hooked to external keyboards, wacom and a Dell U2711.

This was a pretty hot monitor in its day, cam pre-calibrated and from what I researched in the day, was pretty good.


I'm about to get started trying to print on a new printer I recently got.

I bought the i1Display Pro calibration unit from Xrite. I did the calibration a few times yesterday...and according to it and the after tests, it "should" be calibrated....U65, etc....I did the RBG to neutral grey manually during the tests....

But the monitor now looks much dimmer and bluer than I'd expect.

I'm sure I had been using it a bit warmer, but WOW...this really looks different.

According to the post tests etc..it checks out. The only thing I could not get to....is I could not get up to the recommended 120 brightness...at 100% on my monitor it only gets up to about 99.

I researched and found that the Dell U2711 was backlit with CCFL, so I put in wide gamut CCFL as the lighting...etc.


Anyway, has anyone else run into what seems to be way off what you think a calibrated monitor should look like after tuning it?

Thoughts?

Suggestons?

Thanks in advance,

cayenne
 

cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,720
39
#3
Have you tried printing with it after the calibrating?
Not yet....I'm clearing room right now in the office for a new table coming in Friday, so I'll have a place to put this big Pixma-100....

I hope to actually start testing printing this weekend.

I thought I'd read some places on the internet, that calibrated monitors were perceived by people as darker and bluer.....but wondering if that's the experience of the folks here on the forum....etc.

But I'll try this weekend and update the thread.

Thanks!!

cayenne
 

Mt Spokane Photography

Spends too much time on this forum
Mar 25, 2011
14,749
231
#4
I gave up on calibrating my monitor, it does change slightly, its not the brightness, but the color changes, and its slow to load when my computer starts up. If I buy a new monitor, I'll get one that is designed to have the calibration saved in the monitor. I have the monitor calibration in my Nvidia control panel set to adjust my monitor the way I like it, and prints are pretty good.(I have trouble getting the monitor the way I like it with the monitor setup) I adjust print brightness and contrast in Lightroom to tweak the prints, once I get it right, its good for all prints.
 

YuengLinger

EOS 6D Mark II
Dec 20, 2012
2,025
68
Southeastern USA
#5
Yes, cayenne, in my experience, the calibrated monitor can be surprisingly different than expected. I did use the Dell Ultrasharps for six or seven years, then recently went with a Viewsonic VP3268-4K. I used a Spyder4Pro, and I was surprised how cool the screen looked.

But my prints have never more closely matched what shows on the display.

The opposite was the case with the Dell U2713hm that serves as my secondary monitor, the one that I don't use for actual photo editing. When calibrated, it appeared warmer than I thought was optimal, but the prints matched consistently.

This is why, from what friends have told me, we do much better trusting a reliable calibrator than our own eyes. For so many years I adjusted colors, brightness, and contrast to my own personal taste, but that was before I started printing at home, which has been for almost five years now. I use an Epson 3880 and many different paper types.

Have fun, and don't be afraid to burn through some ink and paper during the learning process! (Seriously, though, LightRoom's Soft Proofing is amazingly accurate and will save many $$ worth of ink and paper.)

And check out Jeff Schewe's THE DIGITAL PRINT. That book and a few websites, such as northlight and ronmartblog, plus a "little help from my friends," helped me develop a consistent, happy workflow.
 
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hne

Gear limits your creativity
Jan 8, 2016
291
4
#6
D65 isn't exactly optimal for printing. It'll definitely look blue next to the print unless you have special light bulbs.

You want a rather dim monitor for printing, with white not much brighter than a piece of paper on the desk next to it.

When you have your entire chain properly colour managed and calibrated, you can take a photo of an object, print it out, place the print next to your monitor with the object on it, take a photo of your desk and have everything match when you go over it with the eye dropper.

To achieve that, you'll need to match colour temperature of monitor and room lighting and while you're at it might wanna paint the walls neutral grey...

Welcome down the rabbit hole!
 

cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,720
39
#7
Yes, cayenne, in my experience, the calibrated monitor can be surprisingly different than expected. I did use the Dell Ultrasharps for six or seven years, then recently went with a Viewsonic VP3268-4K. I used a Spyder4Pro, and I was surprised how cool the screen looked.

But my prints have never more closely matched what shows on the display.

The opposite was the case with the Dell U2713hm that serves as my secondary monitor, the one that I don't use for actual photo editing. When calibrated, it appeared warmer than I thought was optimal, but the prints matched consistently.

This is why, from what friends have told me, we do much better trusting a reliable calibrator than our own eyes. For so many years I adjusted colors, brightness, and contrast to my own personal taste, but that was before I started printing at home, which has been for almost five years now. I use an Epson 3880 and many different paper types.

Have fun, and don't be afraid to burn through some ink and paper during the learning process! (Seriously, though, LightRoom's Soft Proofing is amazingly accurate and will save many $$ worth of ink and paper.)

And check out Jeff Schewe's THE DIGITAL PRINT. That book and a few websites, such as northlight and ronmartblog, plus a "little help from my friends," helped me develop a consistent, happy workflow.

Ok, thank you and everyone else so far on this thread!!

I'm using On1 RAW in lieu of LR these days....and it has soft proofing too. I'm learning about using that....and profiles for paper, etc.

Yep, yet another rabbit's hole to fall into...hahaha.

I've got the long Veteran's day weekend off, so looking forward to getting set up and doing some test prints!!!

From what ya'll have described so far, it sounds like my monitor may indeed be set up properly now....will know when I test a print!!
;)

Hmm...man, does that mean I'd need to go back and re-edit every image I've ever done prior to monitor calibration and printing to make them look decent now?!?!?
:O


Cayenne
 

YuengLinger

EOS 6D Mark II
Dec 20, 2012
2,025
68
Southeastern USA
#8
Ok, thank you and everyone else so far on this thread!!

I'm using On1 RAW in lieu of LR these days....and it has soft proofing too. I'm learning about using that....and profiles for paper, etc.

Yep, yet another rabbit's hole to fall into...hahaha.

I've got the long Veteran's day weekend off, so looking forward to getting set up and doing some test prints!!!

From what ya'll have described so far, it sounds like my monitor may indeed be set up properly now....will know when I test a print!!
;)

Hmm...man, does that mean I'd need to go back and re-edit every image I've ever done prior to monitor calibration and printing to make them look decent now?!?!?
:O


Cayenne
If you didn't process them with the print in mind, I'd say yes, but not by too much. Even printing to a different type of paper normall involves some tweaks.

Did you used to print then step away for a while? I can tell you that is has helped my photography tremendously with composition, lighting, contrast, and more. For example, I have a friend who often talks about "border patrol," making sure there aren't distractions on any of the edges of the frame. But I never became so aware of them until I started printing.
 
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cayenne

EOS 7D Mark II
Mar 28, 2012
1,720
39
#9
If you didn't process them with the print in mind, I'd say yes, but not by too much. Even printing to a different type of paper normall involves some tweaks.

Did you used to print then step away for a while? I can tell you that is has helped my photography tremendously with composition, lighting, contrast, and more. For example, I have a friend who often talks about "border patrol," making sure there aren't distractions on any of the edges of the frame. But I never became so aware of them until I started printing.
Hello YuengLinger!!

Thanx for the reply.

No, I've never printed before, total noob here. I recently bought one of the Canon Pimxa-100 printers with paper for like $50 and decided to give it a try.

I eventually want to start trying to print large format for wall art, possibly even sell it one day (if anyone likes it)....and I figured if nothing else, getting this printer and learning a bit about color management for printing on this smaller format, would be good practice for shooting and printing larger format.

So, just my first step down the proverbial rabbits hole...hahaha.

Interesting you mention that printing has changed how you shoot...VERY interesting, I can see what you mean about the edges.
Can you give any more exampled details of how you shoot now with printing in mind?

Again, thank you for the reply, I'm learning so much here!!

C
 

tolusina

EOS Rebel T7i
Mar 1, 2012
779
0
#10
......and it has soft proofing too. I'm learning about using that....and profiles for paper, etc.

Yep, yet another rabbit's hole to fall into...hahaha......
IMHO, this is the rabbit hole where you'll find the warren.

Calibrate the monitor, then leave it alone.

Soft proof using printer/ink/paper profiles. If you've not (yet) the hardware to create your own profiles. download profiles from the paper manufacturer's web site(s) specific for the printer/ink/paper combination you're using.
Print, smile.

Keith Cooper has written extensively on color management, time spent on his blogs is never wasted.
http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/commercial-photography/training/colour-management/
 

LDS

EOS 80D
Sep 14, 2012
1,377
35
#11
Hmm...man, does that mean I'd need to go back and re-edit every image I've ever done prior to monitor calibration and printing to make them look decent now?!?!?
Depends :) Some processing settings are independent from calibration, others may be dependent (i.e. some color casts, contrast) - and a lot depends how much your monitor was off from a decent calibration. Also, prints are better done from a copy (virtual or not) of the original image, because different papers will need different tweaks to obtain the best result. I usually perform processing to get the best "master" image - then when printing I create a copy for a given paper, and tweak that. Lightroom also automates this step - don't know about On1.

Take also into account printing usually needs a stronger sharpening than monitor display - up to that images well sharpened for printing looks ugly on video, so working on a copy leave untouched the original image. LR can perform that step automatically while printing. for Photoshop there are some plug-ins (i.e Sharpener Pro from Nik Collection, for a review see http://www.northlight-images.co.uk/review-sharpening-images-with-nik-sharpener-pro/) - again, I don't know about On1. If your software doesn't support PS plug-ins some tools may even work standalone (Sharpener Pro IIRC does).

Note that printing sharpening strongly depends on the printing technology - sharpening for an inkjet printer is different than that for a halftone printer or a continuous tone one. The good news is that printing sharpening is pretty deterministic, once selected a printing technology, paper type, and resolution, it can be computed and applied automatically.
 
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YuengLinger

EOS 6D Mark II
Dec 20, 2012
2,025
68
Southeastern USA
#12
Hello YuengLinger!!

Interesting you mention that printing has changed how you shoot...VERY interesting, I can see what you mean about the edges.
Can you give any more exampled details of how you shoot now with printing in mind?
Sure. Not framing too tightly in camera, because I'll want easy options when printing. 4x6? 5x7? 8x10? 11x14?
I used to not care about the final crop size, just cropping in the way that looked most pleasing on a screen. But with printing, life is so very much easier when one of the standard mat and frame sizes works. I found out right away I did not want to deal with custom mats. So composing in camera with readily available sizes in mind saves a lot of work later. There are exceptions.

Lighting. I never got bogged down in too many technical aspects, but it was easy for me to understand that an image displayed on an LCD is perceived very differently from one printed and illuminated by reflected light. So I began relying more on spot metering and partial metering for portraits, looking for more pleasing light that would not only flatter subjects but create more depth for prints.

A lot of the stuff that I had learned from reading and from friends who are better photographers never really registered as well as it should have before I started printing regularly. Leading lines. Depth in the background. Avoiding (or removing in post) elements that didn't add to the "story" or which distracted the viewer's eye from the subject.