BetterPhoto Q&A
Category: Best Photographic Equipment to Buy : Digital Cameras and Accessories : Digital Image Management Software

Photography Question 
Kathryn Massey
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2005
 

Best Color Monitor Calibrator System?


I am in need of a color monitor calibration system and could use some feedback as to which brand offers the best results with minimum installation problems or bugs. Any, and, all advice is welcome!


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8/19/2008 10:13:09 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Hi Kathryn,
I just calibrated my Imac last night (every 30 days), and I use Colorvision Spyder2. I bought it when I used a Windows PC a couple of years ago and the same software works with my newer MAC. It is very easy to use. It will guide you through and you will set up a profile (which I name mine Spyder2) and your monitor will be set to that profile and you can select the same profile for your printer so that your monitor & prints match in color.
Spyder3 is now out, but I have seen no need to upgrade as I am happy with Spyder2. You will need to have your room lit the same for running your calibration as it is when you are editing photos. I keep my room fairly dark and mostly edit during the evening hours as I can see better this way.
Good Luck - Carlton


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8/19/2008 10:22:56 AM

 
Kathryn Massey
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2005
  Thanks for much for your feedback, Carlton! I was looking at the Colorvision Spyder 2. Is yours the pro version?
Kathryn


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8/19/2008 10:27:25 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
Contact Carlton
Carlton's Gallery
carltonwardphoto.com
  Hi Kathryn,
Yes, it is the Pro version. I think I paid $150 for it 2 years ago but prices may be lower since the release of Spyder3.
Carlton


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8/19/2008 10:56:27 AM

 
Giordano 
BetterPhoto Member Since: 9/13/2006
  Kathryn,
I haven't tried Spyder, but I had a bad experience with Pantone Huey.


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8/19/2008 10:57:51 AM

 
Carlton Ward
BetterPhoto Member Since: 12/13/2005
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  Interesting thread Giordano, I have read other complaints about Huey and Spyder seems to get better reviews which is why I bought it in the 1st place. Monitor calibration is an essential investment for photographers IMO.
Carlton


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8/19/2008 11:16:02 AM

 
Oliver Anderson
BetterPhoto Member Since: 11/16/2004
  I LOVE my Spyder3Pro and bought it for $150...I calibrate every 2 weeks at least. It has lots more sensors than the Huey and works great with Canon, Epson and Miller's Lab prints.


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8/19/2008 2:41:54 PM

 
Richard Lynch
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/12/2005
  Some type of hardware calibration is better than none. If price is an issue, the Spyder Express will do. It works to calibrate flat screens as well as CRTs, and I've even tricked it into calibrating dual monitors.
Some of these will take a little practice and really reading the manual - sometimes even a call to support.
Other issues can be your settings in Photoshop and Elements ... if these are wrong (or, rather, incorrect), you will get poor results.
Calibration and getting results is a process. That's why I teach a course, and don't just issue an article. It starts with your camera, and follows through to your image printing or submission to services. Calibration is just one piece.
Hope that helps!


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8/19/2008 3:48:18 PM

 
Kathryn Massey
BetterPhoto Member Since: 6/22/2005
  Thank you everyone for your input. I'm leaning towards the Spyder 3 Elite. I've read some reviews and it seems to be the one that is to my liking. Richard, I'm very interested in your workflow course- perhaps you will see me in one of your future classes! Again, many thanks to all!


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8/19/2008 5:39:07 PM

 
Daniel O   The guys at my local photography store recommended the Huey, (they're pro photographers), and I've been using it for 2 years now and have no complaints. I've never tried anything else, so I can't compare it, but I use it on my laptop and my CRT monitor and it's easy to use and does what it's supposed to. It has a sensor which constantly samples the room light and adjusts the screen color if the light changes.

I'd be curious know why people prefer the Spyder. Perhaps someone who has experience with both could do a comparison for us?


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8/26/2008 5:34:10 AM

 
Marianne Fortin
BetterPhoto Member Since: 1/23/2006
  I also use the Huey and have no complaints, so far. Maybe it works better with some monitors than others?

Another one to look at is the ColorMunki which is a bit pricey but calibrates your printer as well as your monitor. It is reviewed in September's Shutterbug and there is a comparison review in September's Digital Camera (UK mag, but available in Barnes & Noble, etc.). The review compares the X-Rite ColorMunki (90%), the Pantone Huey Pro (87%), the Spyder3 Elite (86%) and the Studio XR2 (81%).


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8/26/2008 5:56:33 AM

 
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