Andrew Trembley (bovil) wrote,
Andrew Trembley

A few notes...

LCD displays are pretty cheap these days. Yeah, some of the "pro" color LCD displays are still expensive (as in $1k for a 22" unit), but there are some under $500 and a normal 22" display will come in under $200.

Now I've got an old (probably 6 years at least) LCD monitor in the studio that has seen better days. I could have replaced it for around $350 with a high-gamut display. Still, I went out and spent $500 (well, $450, and in the end $400) for a monitor & printer profiling and calibration tool.

ColorMunki Photo is a simple spectrophotometer. It comes with simple software to profile and calibrate displays (including projectors) and profile printers. How simple?

Display calibration is practically magic. Just hang the device in front of the monitor and run the automated profiling routine. At the end it shows you "before" and "after." Chances are the difference will be drastic. A background task on your computer uses this profile to adjust your display colors.

Print profiling is almost as easy. Print a sample page, wait for it to dry and scan it. Print a second sample page wait for it to dry and scan it. It generates and installs an ICM profile from the collected data. There's an "AppSet" tool that will even automatically set up CS4 apps to use the profiles automatically.

Mind you, the software isn't perfect. There can be a bit of twitchiness involved in getting the spectrophotometer drivers to load (they're in the program directory, if your machine can't find them to install). There's a bunch of additional crap (like .NET 3.5 and some other SDK pieces) that are poky to install.

Still, $400 to calibrate displays on 3 computers (the license is good for 3 computers, Mac, Windows or a mix) is a pretty good deal, particularly if some of them have integrated displays that you can't switch out for something better.

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