The purpose of monitor calibration is to enable you to get predictable results for your output (prints). By calibrating your monitor numerically using a colorimeter and software, you are helping set up a system, that when done properly, will give you predictable results.
The third level of calibration is dependent upon having good monitor calibration software such as the x-rite photo’s i1Display Pro.
For accuracy when doing this level of calibration, you must have either a good quality CRT monitor or LCD monitor. At the time of this document creation, H&H would recommend looking at either the Eizo CE or CG series of monitors.
This method is imperative for studios doing economy printing and raw processing!
Before beginning the calibration process with the software, it is very important when using the Windows OS that you go to the Start, Programs, Startup menu and check to make sure the Adobe Gamma Loader is not loading when you start up your computer. If you see Adobe Gamma Loader in the Startup folder, right click on it, and then choose Delete. This does not delete the actual software, but just keeps the software from loading when you start your computer.
During the calibration procedure, the software will ask you for a White Point value and a Gamma value to set the calibration software to. Below are the recommended settings:
White Point - 6500° K (may also be listed as D65)
Gamma - 2.2
After completing the calibration steps as outlined by the software you are using, verify the calibration by opening up the enclosed calibration image into Adobe Photoshop and look carefully at the highlights, shadows, overall chrominance and luminance of the image. Keep in mind that your interpretation of the print will vary based on the environment you are viewing the print in. In addition, you are trying to compare a transmitted light image (your monitor) to a reflected light image (your print).
It is recommended that you also have a good quality print viewing light for this step. An economical light that we have tested is the OTT-LITE® TrueColor (TM) Portable 13W Task Lamp. (approx. $45-70)
You may see some chrominance and luminance differences between the print and your monitor screen. Depending what variances you see, further adjustments in brightness and / or White Point may be needed. Lower the white point value if your screen is too red or warm. Raise the white point value if your screen is to blue or cool. Adjust your White point values in 250 °K increments during these fine tuning steps.
Limitations of this system may be the light that is in the room where you are viewing the print, the type of monitor you are viewing the print on, and the age of the monitor. Many LCD flat panel displays are very difficult, if not impossible, to calibrate for both good luminance and chrominance. Most CRT monitors have a life span of 3 to 5 years depending upon the amount of use the monitor has had. In many cases, it is better to use an older CRT monitor than many LCD screens.