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Author Topic: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty  (Read 4089 times)

Mike Guilbault

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New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« on: January 28, 2017, 03:50:59 pm »

I have my new NEC PA272W-BK monitor and  have calibrated it several times using an i1 Display Pro sensor and the SpectraViewII software. My target settings are D65, Gamma 2.20, Intensity at 80.0 cd/m2 and the default monitor Contrast Ratio which calibrated at about 835:1,

The images look great on the monitor, but still coming out too dark - not by much, but still dark - and the contrast is really high.

Am I missing something in the calibration?
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Mike Guilbault

howardm

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #1 on: January 28, 2017, 04:33:11 pm »

I think you should be shooting for a contrast ratio of somewhere around 200-300:1 instead of the 800+

PeterAit

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2017, 04:41:44 pm »

I have my new NEC PA272W-BK monitor and  have calibrated it several times using an i1 Display Pro sensor and the SpectraViewII software. My target settings are D65, Gamma 2.20, Intensity at 80.0 cd/m2 and the default monitor Contrast Ratio which calibrated at about 835:1,

The images look great on the monitor, but still coming out too dark - not by much, but still dark - and the contrast is really high.

Am I missing something in the calibration?

You are soft-proofing, right?
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Peter
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Jim Kasson

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #3 on: January 28, 2017, 04:59:03 pm »

I have my new NEC PA272W-BK monitor and  have calibrated it several times using an i1 Display Pro sensor and the SpectraViewII software. My target settings are D65, Gamma 2.20, Intensity at 80.0 cd/m2 and the default monitor Contrast Ratio which calibrated at about 835:1,

The images look great on the monitor, but still coming out too dark - not by much, but still dark - and the contrast is really high.

Am I missing something in the calibration?



Your surround should be white, and should be generous. Is it? Don't make the picture so big it fills the monitor. I'm assuming you have soft proofing turned on.

Jim



Doug Gray

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #4 on: January 28, 2017, 05:00:12 pm »

I have my new NEC PA272W-BK monitor and  have calibrated it several times using an i1 Display Pro sensor and the SpectraViewII software. My target settings are D65, Gamma 2.20, Intensity at 80.0 cd/m2 and the default monitor Contrast Ratio which calibrated at about 835:1,

The images look great on the monitor, but still coming out too dark - not by much, but still dark - and the contrast is really high.

Am I missing something in the calibration?

Monitor profile settings doesn't affect printing at all except if you make adjustments to the image based on what you see in the monitor. For a good overview of solutions on this often asked question see "Why are my prints too dark" at Andrew Rodney's site:

http://www.digitaldog.net/
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howardm

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #5 on: January 28, 2017, 05:38:09 pm »

I agree w/ Mr. Kasson.  I used to have the surround the usual fairly dark grey but I've moved over to white or the lightest grey possible.  This prevents me from seeing into the shadows as much as I would w/ a dark surround and forces me to bump up w/ Shadows/Blacks which I always seem to need (esp. w/ non-linear Epson behavior in the very dark tones).

Doug Gray

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #6 on: January 28, 2017, 06:58:48 pm »

I agree w/ Mr. Kasson.  I used to have the surround the usual fairly dark grey but I've moved over to white or the lightest grey possible.  This prevents me from seeing into the shadows as much as I would w/ a dark surround and forces me to bump up w/ Shadows/Blacks which I always seem to need (esp. w/ non-linear Epson behavior in the very dark tones).

That matches this post by Marcin:  http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=113411.msg933194#msg933194
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Mike Guilbault

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #7 on: January 28, 2017, 10:41:55 pm »

Thanks guys. The surround may very well be a major part of the problem. I have it set as dark as it'll go. Andrew's "why are my prints too dark" has given me some ideas and I'm going to try to build a profile for my different applications. My problem, as I see it, is that I'm using one calibration/profile for everything. I do a lot of commercial work which is all delivered digitally, but also do portrait and fine art prints on various papers and canvas. Time for me to sharpen my colour skills and follow through with a proper calibration/profile for each area that I work in. It's going to take the two things I often find in short supply... time and money. ;)

I'm sure I'll have more questions, so please bear with me.
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Mike Guilbault

Czornyj

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2017, 05:10:56 am »

Remember also to put more light arround the display, it also has influence to what we see in darks and near blacks. I always strive to achieve neutral background that is visually close to 50% grey on the monitor (RGB 120,120,120 for TRC ɣ2.2 calibrated display)

Jim Kasson

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2017, 11:19:16 am »

Remember also to put more light arround the display, it also has influence to what we see in darks and near blacks. I always strive to achieve neutral background that is visually close to 50% grey on the monitor (RGB 120,120,120 for TRC ɣ2.2 calibrated display)



This is difficult to do if you are using a monitor white point of 6500K without affecting viewer adaptation. There are 6500K LED sources available, but I don't know of high-CRI ones, although they're probably out there. There are high CRI 5000K sources (both LED and fluorescent; I use the old Macbeth tubes), and that's one reason to calibrate your monitor to 5000K. It used to be that that gave a dim display, but today's monitors are so bright that you more often have trouble getting the brightness down than getting it up.

Then there's the reduction in contrast that ambient light causes, which is difficult to calibrate out.

All in all, I'm in favor of working in dim ambient light, and turning it off (I use a desktop remote) for critical judgements. I also work with a dark gray surround to make it easier to see into the shadows, and a white surround for those critical judgements. Having two different monitor brightnesses for the two cases is also OK in my book.

Jim

Wayne Fox

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #10 on: January 29, 2017, 12:50:43 pm »

I am surprised with a cd/m2 at 80  you are having issues.  I've never seen a flat panel display with a setting that low that wasn't too dark and end up with light prints.  I've also calibrated many displays for many people, and to get a white point match I never end up with a white point at D65.  How are you evaluating the print in comparison?  Calibrating and profiling a display is intended to allow you to predict how a print will turn out, but the starting point is having a standard viewing area in which to evaluate the print.

I have 3 NEC displays, two 30" displays at my home side by side, and one 27" at my work.  My target white point is always manual, which I tweak until my colors match the print on my viewing wall.  It never ends up that cool.  Currently my main display where I do most of my critical matching the white point is set to custom, x=0.356 y=0.373, 122 dc/m2 and contrast at 350:1.  I have enough confidence in this display that my initial test prints are usually 24x30".

My 2nd display which sits side by side is set to emulate a "typical" consumer display ... basically what most displays look like if you buy one off the shelf . I know many who look at the images just bought a computer, turned it on, and have no clue as to setting up color or even brightness.  So my second display is set up to emulate sRGB at 160 cdm/2, 6500k, native gamma and native contrast.  I use this display to evaluate images I plan on posting to websites.  i realize that there is no "standard" for all of those out there looking at these images, but I also realize that none of them are set up to emulate a printing environment so I know this is at least closer to the "average".  Fortunately it really doesn't make much difference much of the time.  Some of them look a little washed out so I'll add just a little density and perhaps saturation.

The challenge of calibrating and profiling a display to me is understanding that there are no "magic" numbers to set the display up with.  The only thing you can do is keep tweaking things until you get a match.  There is no specific intensity, contrast ration, or color settings.  The only way you can get a "match" is to have a standard place in which to view the prints.  Sometimes if you don't get a match it's because this evaluation  area isn't setup correctly.  Additionally many try to set the two side by side.  I find it better to set them up so you can't actually see them at the same time. I have to turn my head to look at the print, then back to see the display.

Just some thoughts
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Czornyj

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2017, 04:37:42 am »

This is difficult to do if you are using a monitor white point of 6500K without affecting viewer adaptation. There are 6500K LED sources available, but I don't know of high-CRI ones, although they're probably out there. There are high CRI 5000K sources (both LED and fluorescent; I use the old Macbeth tubes), and that's one reason to calibrate your monitor to 5000K. It used to be that that gave a dim display, but today's monitors are so bright that you more often have trouble getting the brightness down than getting it up.

I use 5000K High CRI LED (Ra >95%). It gives similar tone to D65 calibrated display. The 6500K light would be perceptually cooler than D65 calibrated display due to chromatic adaptation issues, caused by the different way our eyes react to narrow band spectra (like display) and wide band spectra (like daylight) stimuli.

Czornyj

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #12 on: January 30, 2017, 05:01:12 am »

I am surprised with a cd/m2 at 80  you are having issues.  I've never seen a flat panel display with a setting that low that wasn't too dark and end up with light prints.

I am surprised that you're suprised, as we all know it's relative. There's no "luminance of truth" or the universal level of monitor brightness. Furthermore, the average level of daylight in living rooms is... between 60 to 120lx, which is equivalent to ~20-40cd/mē (lx/∏=cd/mē) of monitor brightness, so way less than 80cd/mē

Jim Kasson

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2017, 12:45:25 pm »

I use 5000K High CRI LED (Ra >95%). It gives similar tone to D65 calibrated display. The 6500K light would be perceptually cooler than D65 calibrated display due to chromatic adaptation issues, caused by the different way our eyes react to narrow band spectra (like display) and wide band spectra (like daylight) stimuli.

Please explain that. I  don't understand the point you're making. Feel free to be technical; I worked as a color scientist for IBM for six years.

It sounds like you're saying that the viewer of a 5000K LED-illuminated work is in the same state of adaptation as the viewer of a screen with a D65 white point. But that can't be right. So I'm missing something.

Jim

Doug Gray

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2017, 02:38:11 pm »

Please explain that. I  don't understand the point you're making. Feel free to be technical; I worked as a color scientist for IBM for six years.

It sounds like you're saying that the viewer of a 5000K LED-illuminated work is in the same state of adaptation as the viewer of a screen with a D65 white point. But that can't be right. So I'm missing something.

Jim

For what it's worth I did a test with a Solux running at 4200K v monitor.  The right hand side of the monitor was covered with a highly flat reflectance paper and illuminated at 45 degrees by the Solux. The left hand side was adjusted so that the XYZ from a spectro matched that of the right hand side reflected light from the Solux. The perceived chromaticity and brightness between the left and right side were quite a close match. At least within less than a couple hundred Kelvin max. If the narrow spectra of the monitor v the broad spectra of the reflected light on the right side created different color temps (like D50 v D65) then I would not have expected them to match,

That said, I'm somewhat astonished at the perceptual similarity of D65 monitor image v a D50 illuminated image. That motivated doing the above test. I'm not sure exactly what causes the perceptual similarity but when an broadband illuminated white object is brought within an inch or less of a screen patch with the same measured XYZ values there is a sudden perceptual jump to a match. When they are distinctly separate physically, the two look way different. 
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 03:57:44 pm by Doug Gray »
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Mike Guilbault

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #15 on: January 30, 2017, 07:21:46 pm »

I downloaded DigitalDog's reference print (with the white dog). I calibrated fine to match Epson Cold Press Natural and Enhanced Matte. The Epson prints were done using the Epson ICC profiles for the respective papers. I'm now trying to match Breathing Colour Lyve, using BC's profile.

The red is coming out orange. Does that mean the profile is off?
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Wayne Fox

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #16 on: January 30, 2017, 09:14:20 pm »

I am surprised that you're suprised, as we all know it's relative. There's no "luminance of truth" or the universal level of monitor brightness. Furthermore, the average level of daylight in living rooms is... between 60 to 120lx, which is equivalent to ~20-40cd/mē (lx/∏=cd/mē) of monitor brightness, so way less than 80cd/mē
yes it's relative, I think my post was pretty clear about that. but I'm surprised because the challenge is the prints are too dark even at that dim of a setting. I've calibrated dozens of displays for myself and others over the years and I believe the lowest number I've ever used is 95.  If 80 is too bright, meaning the relatively correct number would be more in the line of 65-70 to get a match, I think at that point it would be difficult to get any decent saturation on the print, resulting in a pretty washed out print in many viewing environments.

I'm not sure how Mike is evaluating the prints themselves, but rather than dimming the display even further, I would see about getting a little more light on the prints.

Regarding your numbers, for the heck of it I set my display at 30. While it may match a dim living room, I can't imagine trying to work with it.  There wasn't enough light to see any detail even in lower midtones.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 09:50:43 pm by Wayne Fox »
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Mike Guilbault

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2017, 08:27:36 am »

I evaluate the prints under different light. Unfortunately, my studio is lit by fluorescent, but I check under an OttLight at my work station as well as natural light coming in through large windows and glass doors at the front of my studio.
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Mike Guilbault

Garnick

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #18 on: January 31, 2017, 09:06:57 am »

Hi Mike,

I've just read this thread and I think I might have an answer of sorts to your problem, although you may have already followed this procedure.  The NECs are excellent displays IMO, but there are some settings you have to take care of before you do you first calibration with Spectraview(or any software).  It's been a long time since I've had to do all of this with a new NEC, although I have three of them currently.  You will find all of this info in the NEC manual as well as the Spectraview Guide.  Since I have neither here at the moment, as I'm in the process of moving, I cannot readily recall the exact settings to take care of, but you will find the procedure in the manuals as mentioned.  The idea here is to make sure all of the user available display settings should be set to neutral before calibrating.  Then you lock out the possibility of anyone changing any of those settings, including yourself of course.  It may be tempting, under certain circumstances, to tinker with the display settings to lighten, change contrast etc., but of course that would negate the calibration settings.  Please take a very careful look at the manual and guide Mike, since your numbers seem to be in the range of a good calibration, although your prints would seem to indicate otherwise.  And as Wayne mentioned, make sure you have at least the minimum illumination for your prints.  I've learned in this thread that there are apparently 5000K LEDs with a CRI perhaps as high as 95.  I'll be setting up a new viewing station at home, so I'll certainly be looking into the possibility of the LEDs instead of fluorescent, since the new energy efficient 5000K bulbs cannot get any higher than CRI 80.

I hope this helps in some way Mike.

Gary             
 
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howardm

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Re: New monitor - calibrated - prints are still dark/contrasty
« Reply #19 on: January 31, 2017, 09:09:37 am »

if someone has a URL for a 5000K (or adjustable) LED lamp w/ high CRI, pls post it.
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