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jonpais

The Quest for Perfect Color

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The search for perfect color is never-ending, but I’ve just added one tool to my arsenal that was long overdue – a display calibrator – which should help bring me much closer to my goal. Two reasons I waited so long are that calibrators aren’t cheap here in Vietnam; and I thought calibrating my display would be far too complicated. The i1 Display Pro sells for $330 here, or around $100 more dear than in the States. As far as it being complicated, few things could be simpler to use. The device plugs into the USB port of your computer and a counterweight on the line allows it to be positioned flush somewhere in the middle of the display. The i1 Profiler software guides you through the steps, a process that takes about five minutes or so to complete. It can also be programmed to take changes in ambient light into account. Which device do you use to calibrate your display? How often do you calibrate it?

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I have pretty much the cheapest option available - the colormunki smile - it is also about the easiest to use.

https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/894645-REG/X_Rite_cmunsml_ColorMonki_Smile_Color_Calibration.html?gclid=Cj0KCQjwu_jYBRD8ARIsAC3EGCI-7VdfrbfT237OCphNTNM9_6Z8znhQ3BcU9dqCJqoWTEh4r8d0jwgaAvkrEALw_wcB#!/?currency=EUR&BI=7367&kw=&c3api=2572,113041916107

What it lacks is....

1) Screen brightness adjustment (which would be particularly important if you want to match prints output to your screen.) But you can do this through 'Canon Print Studio Pro."

2) Advanced features such as setting 'black point' and 'gamma'

I use 2 x screens, so it is important that both screens match. However modern screens dont lose their color accuracy that much nowadays, so a calibration every couple of months seem to work for me.

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Use a Spyder 4 Pro too; have two monitors, with some years of age between them, and even calibrating both, the color (especially saturation) is somewhat different. But since I'm an amateur, did not invested in better ones.

For final color grade I use the newer one, since most of the people see videos on mobile screens nowadays, which usually are more saturated.

Interested in the development of this thread - curious to see how are the solutions that people here have.

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The x-rite i1 is better than the Spyders, but the Spyders are cheaper and their various models AFAIK only differ in their bundled software.

By far the best screen calibration software is the Open Source program DisplayCal. One run to calibrate a screen can easily take 6-8 hours, but yields superb results. So a good budget option is to buy the cheapest Spyder and combine it with DisplayCal. An i1 + DisplayCal is probably the highest-end calibration solution available.

DisplayCal is also a great companion to Davinci Resolve, since it can save its calibration as 3D LUTs (the only way to get correct colors in Resolve's GUI viewer) and can calibrate external video monitors connected via Decklink cards through Resolve.

 

 

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Did exactly what cantsin said. Bought a cheap Spyder when there was a sale on Amazon and use DisplayCal / ArgyllCMS for free.

Have used it to generate profiles for my monitor as well as a LUT for DavinciResolve outputting via a Intensity Pro 4k to a TV. I re-calibrate once a year.

You need good screens tho and different technologies give different results. I tried to use a screen I got for free at work and it was always rubbish, no way to properly calibrate it. Calibration can't fix clouding from bad backlighting or the fact that OLED/Plasma has way deeper blacks than IPS. If a screen only does 90% sRGB, you won't get proper sRGB/Rec709 calibration.

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I've given up with cheap screen calibrators and that includes the better ones like the i1 display. You are better off buying a good screen designed for AV work and using one of the factory settings. Even the best calibration device won't make a poor screen into a reference monitor and the devices the manufacturers use to calibrate are far better than these. Back in the day when screens shipped in such bad shape these things were obviously necessary but these days a proper screen designed for AV should be good to go out of the box. 

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Is there such a thing as “perfect” colour? 

Scientifically, I suppose, yes (the correct wavelength). But artistically? Isn’t it inevitably subjective? 

To what extent will the colour as reproduced by a calibrated monitor be the “same” as that on the viewer’s TV or phone screen or iPad etc? Not an issue if the content is for self consumption but is it an issue more generally?

 

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34 minutes ago, Snowfun said:

To what extent will the colour as reproduced by a calibrated monitor be the “same” as that on the viewer’s TV or phone screen or iPad etc? Not an issue if the content is for self consumption but is it an issue more generally?

 

In real life, colors will be all over the place (just as with music where no producer can fully anticipate how it will sound on end devices from cell phone speakers to car radios). But technically accurate colors on your monitor will ensure that you will hit the middle ground, and see the colors you'd get in a controlled display environment (such as properly managed DCP cinema projection).

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Also unless you have a monitor where the calibration device and software changes the monitors internal hardware LUT you will effectively be applying another LUT to an existing one which can have all sorts of unwanted consequences like banding and highlight color shifts.

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2 hours ago, Shirozina said:

Also unless you have a monitor where the calibration device and software changes the monitors internal hardware LUT you will effectively be applying another LUT to an existing one which can have all sorts of unwanted consequences like banding and highlight color shifts.

True, having a 10 bit or even 10 bit FRC screen helps a lot with that as well. ;)

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1 hour ago, mercer said:

I just close my eyes and hope for the best. 

Now I know why Canon is your first choice!!!!!....Canon is always going to give you the best color without color correction :)

I also use the i1, with a specific lighting set up for the monitor, certainly is not perfect, but close enough to deliver with good quality... 

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2 hours ago, mercer said:

I just close my eyes and hope for the best. 

Yes, technically it is so-called sublime "intuitive poetical" (or, by some other, "deeply inner world") method of calibration with unsurpassable effects and some unexpected collateral result: you may achieve fatal attractive look for opposite sex... you know, "softness of the Moon" etc.

 

 

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2 hours ago, jonpais said:

Anyone here taken this hue test? They say one out of twelve men has some form of color deficiency.

Hue Test

Good link - thanks for sharing.  I got zero - perfect score.

If you're really up for colour matching madness, there's a free iOS / Android game called Blendoku which is like that colour test, but much much more complicated and torturous!!

http://www.blendoku.com

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3 hours ago, jonpais said:

Anyone here taken this hue test? They say one out of twelve men has some form of color deficiency.

Hue Test

I got a 0. I am not surprised. Remember I said I was hired at Western Electric because of my ability to see colors. But I am surprised I am still that good at 71.

One thing has changed though is I have a hard time seeing a Black Keyboard with Whites numbering, letters. I have been using a White keyboard with Black letters, numbers the last 3 or 4 years??

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On the serious side, for my purpose and enjoy, I'm always trying to grade with match-with bluray movies (their shots, scenes, moods) of choice - I've made collection of scenes and overall looks of movies that I appreciate the most color wise. In another words - I believe much more to the colors of high quality movies than to any monitor calibration solution that I could provide. Besides, with such choice I'm forced to play with grading and careful analyzing movie sequences searching for techniques and similarities with my goals - if term "to be forced" could be applied on frog and her idea about jumping into the water.

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