Monitor Calibration Devices

With holiday sales just around the corner, this is the time of year that I tend to make a list of the things I’ve been putting off buying for most of the year so I can take advantage of discounts. Seeing as my old Spyder4Express has been giving me constant error message, I think it’s time for an upgrade on my monitor calibration tool.

Does anyone have any strong preferences for a certain brand or model and why? My processing setup includes a Lenovo laptop hooked up to a Dell Ultrasharp U2717D monitor. Thanks in advance for any insight!

I did a lot of research before finally investing in the X-Rite i1 Display Pro. The Sypder’s are adequate, but if you want something that is reliable, accurate, and fast, it’s hard to beat.

Also, consider using DisplayCal instead of the manufacturers software, it is light years better.

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I use a spyder which seems to do the job.

However what helped me just as much was ensuring that my monitor brightness is consistent and is set not too bright. I use an iMac and by default the brightness changes with the ambient light in the room. Changing to manual brightness and running the monitor at bout 50% brightness has been good for me.

I have a NEC PA302 which came with it’s own calibration system, so I can’t specifically advise you on what to pick. But, if you do printing, it’s important that the device and the software allow you to set the brightness, the units of which are "Cd/m2. Most monitors are way too bright and your prints will come out dark unless you lower the Cd/m2 to a 100 or below. For my monitor, I have found 85 Cd/m2 to be ideal.

Thanks all. Agreed that keeping the monitor brightness low is important for printing. I’ve mostly been able to dial that in over the years mostly through trial and error, but I think it’s more colors that I want to make sure are consistent. The Spyder did a fairly good job of that in the past, but didn’t account for ambient light and is now just giving me error messages to the point that I don’t think I’m getting the results that I used too.

@David_Kingham the X-Rite i1 Display Pro was one of the ones that had been recommended to me that was on my list, so good to hear that you’ve had a positive experience with it. I had not heard of DIsplayCal before though. Thanks for the tip!

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I also have an NEC monitor and it’s (proprietary) Spectraview software. The colorimeter is X-rite, albeit an older version. My point is that X-rite’s hardware is very reliable, and extremely accurate. The i1-Display Pro recommended by David, will fill the bill.

I second keeping brightness at around 100-110 Cd/m^2. Also, you don’t want a very high contrast ratio; mine is set at 200:1 with Gamma of 2.2, and white point of 6506 K (D65). ( I get a good screen/print match with these values)

@Kevin_D_Jordan If you already have good numbers, recalibrate with those once you get the new tools. You may have define new calibration target values since you’ll be using a different system.

Let us know how it works out for you.