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Calibrated Display

I recently purchased a Spyder3 Pro in order to calibrate my two main displays: an aluminum 23" Cinema Display and the 15" LCD on my MacBook Pro.

When I launched the installer, I was greeted with a CarbonLib error (in the LaunchCFMApp binary), so to make a long story short, I archived and installed Mac OS X, ran some updates, and pretty much threw away my "Previous Systems" folder immediately. Sure, I'll have to reinstall some kernel extensions1, but virtually everything else should be fine. I did have trouble with Aperture today, but a ProKit software update fixed that.

After downloading the latest version of the Spyder3 Pro software2, I installed the app and calibrated my two displays.

I'm now kicking myself for waiting so long.

The difference is stunning, particularly on the laptop. Though your eyes will adjust to see "white" in almost any color situation, it's now stunningly obvious how magenta the display was pre-calibration. I can switch back and forth between profiles in the "Displays" pref pane to see this.

Prior to running the Spyder, I had of course built my own custom profiles using the "Calibrate…" option in "Displays," but wow - how easy it must be to get used to seeing something that's quite purple-ish as neutral.

For $150 or so, I heartily recommend you get your display calibrated. Take it from someone who thought that they were fine not doing so - it makes a HUGE difference.

P.S. Results on the laptop were much less dramatic; the main difference there was in the switch from 1.8 to 2.2 gamma, which I hadn't gotten around to doing.

P.P.S. Also picked up a Canon Ee-S Super Precision Focusing Screen.

Footnotes

  1. USB Overdrive, Parallels already
  2. 3.0.4

6 Responses to "Calibrated Display"

  1. I hear you - picked up a Dell 30" 3008WFP in February and a Spyder2Express. Personally, I don't do much colour-accurate work, but it still makes a difference to the appearance of all my displays, and I use the Spyder on my colleague's displays too [he does lots of Photoshop and video work.]

    It's been an easily justifiable purchase...$70 US for the cheap calibrator? And I can use it for the whole company? They should get Apple+Dell+all other display retailers to offer them as BTO options...I don't know what options the Spyder3 offers above the S2E, but I completely agree - "just get your displays calibrated and you'll be a happy camper!"

    The only thing that I really aren't sure about is "how often should you calibrate?" I've seen "once a month", "once every 2 weeks", "every 3 months". Any ideas?

    M.

  2. Mark said on November 9, 2008:

    The only thing that I really aren't sure about is "how often should you calibrate?" I've seen "once a month", "once every 2 weeks", "every 3 months". Any ideas?

    M.

    From the few podcasts I've listened on the subject, once every 6 months should be enough - and it of course depends on the quality of the monitor.

  3. EriK I have a few questions for you , the first one is why you chose the Spider 3, an what did you compare it to before choosing ?

    Do you also calibrate your printer ? If so have you try things like http://www.profilicc.com/en/accueil.php ? any thoughts on calibrating printers ?

  4. Ludovic said on November 9, 2008:

    EriK I have a few questions for you , the first one is why you chose the Spider 3, an what did you compare it to before choosing?

    Largely recommendations of others. The 3 has a bigger sensor area than the 2 (IIRC), and the only other ones I looked at were about the same cost but either weren't as highly recommended, perhaps had some issues with the software, or something. Basically it came down to "they're all about the same, so just get the one a few more people recognize and recommend."

    The software's a bit odd with the Spyder, too. On three computers the installer asks me the first question (to locate the Utility app it will later install) in a different language: two in French (click "Annuler" to cancel and continue with the install) and once in Chinese or Japanese (just click where the Cancel button would be). 🙂

    Ludovic said on November 9, 2008:

    Do you also calibrate your printer?

    No… but my printer's just a black and white HP LaserJet (laser) printer. No color. My wife gets her prints from Wal-Mart for scrapbooking, and we've never noticed any color issues (though she's not exactly comparing them critically either).

  5. Datacolor (makers of the Spyders) have this nice product selection guide to help you choose. E.g. it says that with a LED backlit monitor you should take the Spyder3Pro.

  6. [...] If you can see each of the shades of grey (black/white) to the right, congratulations: your display is at least moderately well calibrated. [...]


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