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Monitor and calibrator recommendations


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Hi. I currently use a spyder 5 elite and my monitor is a viewsonic. The labs I print from are Millers, Bayphoto, and CG pro. I don't feel like I am getting the best results with the monitor and calibrator I use. So I have decided that I need to upgrade. My prints are not up to par (and maybe that's the lab, or maybe it's just me), but I have tried everything I can with what I currently have to work with. My images look completely different on social media and on phones than they do on my computer. The majority of clients view facebook and websites from their phones. So I want my images to be accurate across the board and social media images to represent my actual work and not look off.. I calibrate my white point to 5000k because that's what my labs say to do. However, I tried to set it to 6500k like you recommend, but my monitor won't even calibrate to that. It gives an error message each time. So, my question is, what should I look for in a monitor and calibrator? And do you have any other suggestions on how I can improve this issue? I have read forums and blogs on this, but I still can't find the answers I'm searching for. Thank you so much.  

Ashley

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2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

Hi. I currently use a spyder 5 elite and my monitor is a viewsonic. The labs I print from are Millers, Bayphoto, and CG pro. I don't feel like I am getting the best results with the monitor and calibrator I use. So I have decided that I need to upgrade.

You can't upgrade from the Spyder5Elite.  It's the best there is.  But yes, the monitor could be better.

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

My prints are not up to par (and maybe that's the lab, or maybe it's just me)

Can you elaborate on this?  What's wrong with them, exactly?

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

I have tried everything I can with what I currently have to work with.

You mean these instructions?

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

My images look completely different on social media

Please do this.  Follow it all the way to the end.  Let me know the outcome.

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

and on phones than they do on my computer. The majority of clients view facebook and websites from their phones. So I want my images to be accurate across the board and social media images to represent my actual work and not look off.

Sorry, it's impossible.  Even if it was possible to calibrate a phone screen (it's not), you couldn't possibly visit the homes of every single person who visits your social media, to calibrate their phones for them.

All you can do is make sure you've followed best practice for web photos, and then chill out.

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

I calibrate my white point to 5000k because that's what my labs say to do. However, I tried to set it to 6500k like you recommend, but my monitor won't even calibrate to that. It gives an error message each time.

Can you tell me about this error message?  Or even better, screenshot it for me?

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What specifics do I need to look for in a monitor? 

My prints always tend to come back to dull, in my opinion. The reds are usually brown-ish.. And skin tones are dull even if they look great on my computer. I've tried so many labs. I have used Millers from a long time until I've recently started switching to Bayphoto. Millers can sometimes be inconsistent, I've noticed. After I calibrate, I compare prints. Always. But I'm still not getting the results to be happy with.  And, yes, I have read and followed those instructions on calibrating. But I think I must still be doing something wrong. I will try the troubleshooter in just a bit for my facebook images. I will let you know if that works. I will screenshot the error message in just a bit. I'll run another calibration to get it to pop up again. It does say something about the display curve and the gamma.. But it only does this when I try to set the white point to 6500k. Another question, if my labs use 5000k, and I'm set to 6500k, will that matter? 

Thank you so much for your help. 

Ashley

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Could you post one of your photos?  That you've sent to the lab and you think has printed dull?

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

What specifics do I need to look for in a monitor?

https://www.damiensymonds.net/art_monitor.html

But don't buy one yet.  I haven't yet seen enough evidence that this is a monitor problem.

2 hours ago, AshleyKirkland said:

Another question, if my labs use 5000k

You should avoid any lab that uses 5000K.  Millers is shit for this reason.  Only use labs that use 6500K. 

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Here are a few images that I have either posted to fb or printed recently. All of these look so warm and rich in color on my monitor. But on facebook, they are so dull and even washed out looking. Even when I print them, they are darker and duller in print. 

The image of the two boys in the leaves was actually one that I just received from the lab the other day. It printed the leaves brown, whereas they look nice and red on my screen. The boys' skin tone was green-ish in the print. And then the one of the family, I received it as a canvas from a different lab and it looked fine. 

The senior portrait I did, actually printed perfectly. So I don't know what I'm doing differently in the other images that are coming out dull... I really do feel that it's my monitor and it's not showing me accurate colors. I see one thing, but the lab and everyone else is seeing something else. I really feel that the times they turn out right, I'm just getting lucky... I'm not sure though. 

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I would love to find a great lab. But the fact that my current monitor won't even let me calibrate it to 6500k without giving me an error message, makes me believe that I just have a shitty monitor. And that I could be getting so much better results with something better. It's like having an amazing camera, but shooting in auto and not using it to it's full potential.. That's what I feel like at least... That I could be doing so much better, but something stupid is just holding me back, and I can't figure out exactly what it is. Whether it be my monitor or just a flaw in my editing.. If that all makes any sense. I'm just getting frustrated with poor results. I want people to see what I'm seeing on my computer screen. It's just not coming out that way. 

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Well, if calibrate both of them, shouldn't they look the same? I mean, the light and everything is different. I can't seem to get the laptop to match prints because no matter what I do, it has a blue tint.  I don't even edit on my laptop screen though. Just always on the external. 

Edited by AshleyKirkland
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I have a PC laptop running Windows 7 and Photoshop CC. It is over 2 years old, and has 12GB of RAM. Its hard drive has 697GB free out of 925GB. The last time I shut down was just before posting this thread. I rarely run a cleanup program.

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