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  1. #1
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    Using the SpectraView II Calibrator/Software

    First, my thanks to Medley & others for walking me through some of the issues regarding the setup of a new display & color management. With a new NEC P221W display & SV-II colorimeter on the way, I have a couple of operational questions.

    (1) I believe that NEC recommends using the "Photo Editing" target for calibration. (Obviously I plan to use this display for image processing). This target uses a white point = D65 & gamma = 2.2. If you are familiar with the SV-II, does this sound correct? I ask this because it seems that there is some subjectivity & trial-&-error in calibration/profiling.

    (2) This concerns setting the luminance value. Does the SV-II automatically determine this or do I select it myself? For example, I have heard that (for this monitor) that some folks use a value of 90.0 CD/m2.

    I know that these questions are quite elementary. But I am humble enough to admit my ignorance rather than blindly stumble my way through something new.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Medley's Avatar
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    Re: Using the SpectraView II Calibrator/Software

    Hi (again)!

    These settings have less to do with the SVII than they do with the monitor. The answer to the first two questions is yes and yes.

    There are two standard white points in use today. They are D50, which corresponds to 5000K, and D65, which corresponds to 6500K. D50 is a yellowish white, and aside from just being too darned yellow has a tendency to clip the darker blues. D65 approximates the color of natural daylight, and as far as I can tell, is the more-used standard.

    The gamma setting is a bit trickier, because you have a Macintosh. All Macs come from the factory with a video card LUT whose default gamma setting is 1.8, and 1.8 has long been considered the "standard Macintosh gamma." The question is- why? Is there some mystical feature of a Mac that makes 1.8 work better than 2.2? Are the LCD monitors of today's Mac just different from other LCDs?

    Nope. As it turns out, Apple championed the 1.8 gamma 'back in the day' because a monitor calibrated with a 1.8 gamma very closely approximated the dot-gain curve of the Apple Laser Writer. I've taken a lot of flak for this, but I consider the 1.8 gamma to be a "poor-man's color management." An image edited on a monitor calibrated to a 1.8 gamma looked reasonably well on a Laser Writer with little adjustment.

    Today, color is the domain of the color management system, and specifically, the printer profile. The 2.2 gamma has shown itself ( generally speaking) to be the gamma that provides the best gradient reproduction, with the least banding and posterization. But you may want to go into the system preferences on your Mac and go to Displays> Color. There you will find a calibrate button. After clicking on the button, make sure the "expert calibration" box is unchecked, and go through the menu to set the white point and gamma of the Mac's LCD monitor to that of your new display. This will ensure that your two monitors are displaying things more or less the same way.

    Better yet, just cailbrate both monitors.

    As to the luminance, the normal setting is between 85cd/m2 and 95 cd/m2, which corresponds to between 24 and 28 foot-lamberts. So 90 is middle of the road, and would probably work well. However, I'd be (pleasantly) surprised if you have any control over this.

    - Joe U.
    I have no intention of tiptoeing through life only to arrive safely at death.

  3. #3
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    Re: Using the SpectraView II Calibrator/Software

    Thanks (again) for confirming my thoughts. Being a neophyte in the realm of color management, I am humble enough to admit what I don't know & not too proud to ask.

    I already set the white point & the gamma of my Mac's display to that of the (yet to arrive) NEC display. Unfortunately, I don't believe that I will be able to calibrate the Mac's display. According to NEC, the SV-II cannot accurately be used to calibrate "incompatible" displays.

    Thanks again!

  4. #4
    drg
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    Re: Using the SpectraView II Calibrator/Software

    A few more notes on this topic.

    The D50 and D65 numbers have an additional important note.

    The D50 is the graphic standard number, but other than for high end commercial offset printing like a glossy magazine it doesn't really apply. One reason for this is there is a standard OBa number for how bright or white printing stock is and this number works better for a lot of sheet fed web presses. At one time the number was very important for getting color desktop presentations to look right. It still does if you are using a postscript based 4 color to keep the colors from shifting, particularly for transparencies. Photos are another topic!

    Now setting your monitor to a D65 white point (or 6500K) is the best starting point. Then you are set for most current photo printers and services and your images will look the best on the web over a wider range of machines. If you know that only Mac users with default settings are view your photos, well . . The difference in how well a print will match a monitor can cause an all day argument!

    Regarding the built in display of the MacBook Pro. There are two display controllers. There should be an on board basic processor and an Nvidia 9xxx series display controller. To switch between the two requires closing all your apps to allow manual switching. The setting can be toggled from advanced or high res to energy or efficient but unless the control app is the only one running it won't change! Found that out the hard way last summer.

    The Nvidia card and the Spectra-View software both support multiple LUT settings and calibrations. You will just have to select which one you want to use at any given moment. Don't reset anyting in the ColorSync application or it will probably default the machine to the internal, non Nvidia controller. Again a hard lesson.

    The good news is that if you do wind up using the internal LUT table and it is calibrated externally it will still give you a good image!

    Finally I am eager to know what led you to select the Spectra View Calibration tools from NEC? Did you get a really good deal on them with the monitor and if so where from? The prices I saw for the 'set' last fall put them $200-300 above the monitor by itself and a separate colorimeter/calibration package. A vendor I know had used the SV and didn't see any advantage to it over X-rite products and it didn't have the coordinated calibration tools for other parts of the color workflow.


    Best wishes and we'll look forward to you review. I have been very pleased with the NEC monitors I've used, just let them run for a good half hour before doing any critical work as they will truly 'warm' up to calibration in that time period!
    CDPrice 'drg'
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  5. #5
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    Re: Using the SpectraView II Calibrator/Software

    drg, thank you for your comments. I appreciate it. I am just starting to delve into the area of color management. The learning curve is rather steep but, nevertheless, an enjoyable learning experience. After a lot of reading & asking a lot of questions, the NEC P221W seemed like it would suit my needs.

    I initially planned to get either an i1 Display 2 or Spyder3 colorimeter that I could use with other displays in the future. But more concerns started popping up about using these 3rd-party units with the P221W. This is another one of those all-day debates.

    I finally opted for the NEC "kit" from B&H Photo.Total price = $593.

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