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Frequency of monitor calibration for non-professionals

Hoggy

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Well, I was recently having some 'fun' with graphics cards (well, AMD APU) after the Win10-FCU update - and long-story-short, I realized that my monitor profile is a year old! I know I keep meaning to break out my i1Display Pro, but still - I didn't think that I've kept meaning to do that for that many months. :laugh:

Once I finally got that profile installed again via Displaycal/Argyll, and working automatically after each reboot, I noticed that the color already looked much better than the 'unprofiled' state - or whatever was being used during the problem period... Which, along with another recent thread, pushed me into asking about the frequency issue.

I'm not a professional. I don't do art reproduction. I'm only a hobbyist mostly into landscapes that has yet to even show any of my 'fine art' type of work - but may do so at some point. I think I've read calibration should be done every 2 weeks or so, but I would think that's a bit overkill for a hobbyist. I would think for a hobbyist not doing art reproduction, maybe every 2 or 3 months should be fine IMO. I mean, even in a year there shouldn't be TOO much of a change, right? Reds aren't going to become purple, are they? I would think the biggest thing to account for would be the gradual dimming of the LED backlight, or am I wrong on that point?


.... Which reminds me --- I'm going to go in my closet and finally get that damn calibrator out - right NOW! :D
 
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I have never properly calibrated a monitor. The most I have done is twiddle with the colour / brightness settings. The purists will no doubt disapprove but I suspect that the majority of LR users do not calibrate.
 
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Hobbyist. I have reminders set to monthly on both my systems....I tend to be disciplined about re-calibration on my Mac system, less so on my Windows system as the latter is primarily used for testing purposes. Editing of my personal images is done on the Mac system.
 
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Color Edge and I believe iProfiler offer reminders to update the profile after a certain number of hours use. Color Edge recommends 400 hours. In practice I will actually create a new profile about twice a year. For me that seems to be around 500-600 hours of monitor use.

-louie
 

tspear

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I have a reminder for every two months. Not sure how often I actually do it.

Tim
 
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Your answer is somewhat like "how often do I need to clean my sensor".

It depends on the camera, the environment it is in, and your tolerance for dust (or off-color in this case).

Some monitors hold their calibration very well; my NEC's do, I have sometimes gone 6 months, calibrated and compared, and extremely little difference. Some monitors would show vast variation over days or weeks.

The simple answer is: calibrate again in 2 weeks and see if it's visibly different. If not, do it again next time in 2 months. Eventually you'll come to know what the answer is for your monitor. If you can't see a difference (flipping back from prior calibration to current), then it doesn't matter.

Note it's far more common for monitors to be off color when first turned on (including come back from sleep), so do all your comparisons after 30-60 minutes of use.
 

Ad Astra

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Some calibration profile software tools show a before and after, if your software does that it would be easier to judge how often to calibrate.

I tend to calibrate my monitor whenever starting a new editing project that will involve producing prints. This works out about once every 1-2 months for me.
 

Hoggy

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At least it's good to know I'm not far off from my intended profiling frequency - or lack of sticking to it. And yes, I do always wait at least 30 minutes after the display is on before doing it.

I did the check 'before&after' with DisplayCal, and it turns out I can't notice a lick of difference between now and a year ago. Guess my LCD panel ain't too bad, after all. :) (Of course I did do 5336 patches with "XYZ LUT + Matrix" both times, so maybe that has something to do with it.)
 
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Hoggy

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I have never properly calibrated a monitor. The most I have done is twiddle with the colour / brightness settings. The purists will no doubt disapprove but I suspect that the majority of LR users do not calibrate.
I may end up selling some images in some fashion, at some point - so the profiling may help out in the end. But really, you might want to do it regardless. ALL colors just look SOOO much better when using the calibration profile as compared to whatever the generic default is. Even the Windows desktop alone, which I don't think is color managed, looks so much better. Everything becomes so vibrant and 'crisp' so-to-speak.

But I guess it is down to preferences... If there's no pressing need, others may not notice either. I think us lot care more about it than others, most times. But you really ought to borrow someone's calibration device at some point if that's possible - even if you only ever do it once for your monitor.. As I said above, I don't notice a lick of difference after a year - so you might get lucky with your display too. At worst it should likely always remain better than the default. Also of note is that DisplayCal (& Argyll) are completely free, with no-nag donations possible - and I think is far more advanced than the IProfiler, or whatever the software is that comes with the i1Display Pro.

Although I think exactly the opposite is true of how many LR-Classic users calibrate & profile. I would think that most do it, whatever their frequency ends up being.
 
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Dave Miller

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I started a trial of a new (to me) paper for which I had to create a printer profile, I realised that I hadn't checked my Mac 27 monitor for nearly a year. After reprofiling the monitor I used the before/after facility to see what the change was and found that there had been hardly any change at all, in fact it was very difficult to see. However I still considered it a worthwhile exercise.
 

Bob_B

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Once a month on my two monitors. The before and after images are usually quite similar, varying mostly in brightness. I agree that it's a worthwhile exercise, especially as it only takes a few minutes.
 

Hoggy

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especially as it only takes a few minutes.
Well, I guess it depends on how many patches are done. :)
With DisplayCal set to "XYZ LUT + Matrix" doing 5336 patches, it takes about 45min to an hour for the patches and then computing for a fair while after that. I usually let it go overnight, so I'm not exactly sure how long the computing phase takes, but I think it could be somewhere around an hour or so for that IIRC.

I couldn't really notice any difference after a year.. So maybe it's the number of patches I do, or maybe my eyes just aren't attuned to noticing extremely minor differences. Either way, I think my new goal might be once or twice a year, just for the heck of it, if nothing else. After all, I paid ~$200 for the thing, so might as well use it! :cool:
 
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Most modern monitors don't drift - even over a number of months. So the practical side is for most people, monthly or even quarterly calibration is fine.

The initial calibration is really the key. Most monitors are far too bright and too cool/blue compared to a calibrated monitor. If you calibrate initially, and then verify the calibration a week or two later, you should be pretty close.

For serious prints an updated calibration would make sense before a big job.
 
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Am I allowed to admit I usually do it when the calibration gear falls out of the cupboard and reminds me? Not the most scientific, I will admit. When I was doing color critical stuff, I did it a lot more frequently.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

Vixster

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Hi

I haven’t got a calibrater but it’s always in the back of my head to get on so l can check both my monitor and Laptop, running Win10.
Which Calibrated does everyone use and does anyone recommend a freebie download that l can try first?
Many thanks. Btw l am so glad l found the forum!!
 

Hoggy

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I haven’t got a calibrater but it’s always in the back of my head to get on so l can check both my monitor and Laptop, running Win10.
Which Calibrated does everyone use and does anyone recommend a freebie download that l can try first?
Many thanks. Btw l am so glad l found the forum!!
Welcome to the forum!

A calibrator isn't just a piece of software.. It's a hardware device (sometimes called a 'puck') that will end up resting on your display (with soft felt pads) in which the calibration & profiling software displays a bunch of color patches while the device reads and the software records them. Most people seem to have the X-rite i1Display Pro. I think there are some cheaper options if you don't have any wide-gamut displays. But it might be best to get one such as the i1Dsiplay Pro if you ever think you could end up getting a wide-gamut display at some point. If you can borrow (or rent?) one from somebody, that might be a good first option to try - as I think that first calibration and profiling is the most important.

The i1Display Pro comes with software called i1Profiler (if I'm not mistaken), but a supremely excellent one can be had for free (with encouraged no-nag donations accepted) - called DisplayCal (now also installs the Argyll back-end automatically). I personally think it's a better choice since it has much more advanced features (but you can keep advanced features hidden at first). DisplayCal also has a profile loader that will install that resulting profile at each boot, supposedly for better quality than letting Windows install it.

Also to note is that you don't need the hardware device plugged in at all times to run the software.. So if you rent or borrowed one, the software will still work and you can do things like check your monitors' gamuts against various known color spaces. The only thing you wont be able to do without the hardware is run the patch testing.
 
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Vixster

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Thank you for your detailed advice, and I’ve got some looking into to do.

Just one more question.

You take a picture in RAW import to Lr work on inputting all the detail and then you export to a competition or for coursework. This been you HAVENT calibrated your computer first.

What you see in Lr before you export, will the receiver see different if they HAVE calibrated ie maybe colour is too much when you think it’s just right because your monitor wasn’t calibrated.

Thanks again for any advice.
 
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If your monitor isn't calibrated and the recipient's is, you have no way of telling what they'll see. Likewise, if yours is calibrated and their's isn't, you can't tell in advance what they'll see. The best you can do is calibrate your monitor and export in sRGB. That way, you have the best shot at having the image look good on the other computer.
 

Vixster

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Thank you for your advice Hoggy & Hal.
I will certainly be looking into a calibrater.

Great forum and speedy reply’s!
 

Zenon

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I was going to be diligent and do it every month but my Mac screens don't drift much. I had to with my NEC because of fluorescent style tubes that got weaker over time.

Try it in a month, in 2, 3 and so on and see if there is any visible shift.
 

Frances

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I just bought the Spyder X elite to calibrate my MacBook Pro. I have never done it. I ran the system and I am not sure what happens next. I just had completed the editing on a recent trip and had a couple of sample prints done before calibrating. They appeared more saturated. So I calibrated. Do my images change magically since I calibrated or do I need to re edit. My other question is since I have calibrated am I still able to add saturation. I am so confused. Help.
 
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The images themselves won’t change. Calibration just tries to make your monitor match to a standard. Think of when you walk into a tv store and all the TVs are different colors and brightness. Calibration tries to make them look the same.

The photos may look different or “wrong” so you may need to re-edit now your looking at a more accurate preview.
 
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Most modern monitors don't drift - even over a number of months.
I've found the same thing as Eric. A few years ago I purchased an Asus ProArt monitor. I was presently surprised about the little/barely noticeable calibration needed. It's another story for the two stock Dell companion monitors I have. What I can't tell from the before/after is how much they've drifted from the profile, if at all since I suspect the before is without any correction.

Bottom line, I calibrate when I'm getting into serious editing. My barometer is how my prints compare to the Asus ProArt color.
 
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Some Calibration Apps (i1DisplayPro) can also adjust the monitor for changes in ambient light in the room. This will vary through out the day as sun enters the room, different lights (of different color temperatures), shadows on the sensor, etc.
Also, I use a dual monitor setup and can never get the two monitors to show the sam image identically (close, but never identical). My ASUS was supposed to be the same screen as the iMac when I bought it. But I could never get an exact duplication of color profile. And Apples P3 profile is pretty awesome by itself.
As a result, I calibrate less and less. My i1DisplayPro isn't even connected atm. I haven't recalibrated since February. If I am going to be printing, I will re-calibrate both monitors and Soft-Proof in Develop.
One other thing. I'm starting to use Lightroom (Cloudy) on an iPadPro more and more for initial develop. As far as I've determined, there are no calibration options in the iPad Settings making adjusting to an accurate color profile less important.
 
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