Monitor Calibration on the Cheap with Spyder2 Pro

Musicvid wrote on 1/16/2020, 11:50 AM

Spyder2 Colorimeters can now be found for $20-40 on eBay, Craigslist, and Thrift Stores. Although not indexed for the latest generation of LCD displays, they are quite usable with a few tweaks for Windows 10 display graphics.

  • A few of the reasons to have a calibrated display include:
  • Screen / Printer / Scanner matching
  • Grading using 3D LUTS, which are shareable between your display and applications
  • Handoff between machines with different displays
  • Sharing among forum users, knowing there is coordinated monitor control
  • Production for distribution and broadcast
  • And of course, routine correction, white balance. and effects at the production level

NOTE: This is a medium-advanced tutorial. A knowledge of Windows system boot options, RGBY'cmyk theory and identification, Kelvin temperature, color controls, and the ability to follow exact steps is assumed. Do not attempt calibration if Adobe Gamma, Calibrize, Dynamic Contrast, Screen Enhancements, etc. are present at Startup. Do create a System Restore or Drive Image Backup (recommended) before beginning. Do turn off your touchscreen. Do have a CD ROM drive connected. If you are unwilling to bypass Windows Driver Signature Verification one time to install the open source Argyll CMS drivers, there are a few other alternatives in the jungle. Tutorial follows (14 minutes).

YMWV with other monitors and graphics panels.

Comments

Musicvid wrote on 1/16/2020, 7:31 PM

Corrections and suggestions welcome.

walter-i. wrote on 2/15/2020, 3:59 PM

@Musicvid

I would have a good opportunity to buy Spyder2 Suite.
Is it possible to calibrate 2 different monitors (BenQ G2200W and HP Elite Display E243i)?

Last changed by walter-i. on 2/16/2020, 1:56 PM, changed a total of 1 times.

Camcorder: Pana HDC SD909, Sony FDR-AX53
Hardware: CPU i9-9900KS 4GHz, 32 GB Ram, GTX 1660 SUPER, ASUS TUF Z390-PLUS Gaming, SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB M.2, SSD 860 EVO Series 1TB, Toshiba 3TB SATA, WIN 10 Pro
NLE: Vegas Pro11-15+17, Heroglyph4, RespeedR

Musicvid wrote on 2/16/2020, 2:08 PM

It's possible to get them very close -- their native hardware color temperatures being the biggest factor. This information can be hard to dig up.

walter-i. wrote on 2/16/2020, 2:49 PM

@Musicvid

But in principle could you recommend the Spyder2 Suite to calibrate two different monitors?
Or would the Spyder 2 pro be much more suitable?

Camcorder: Pana HDC SD909, Sony FDR-AX53
Hardware: CPU i9-9900KS 4GHz, 32 GB Ram, GTX 1660 SUPER, ASUS TUF Z390-PLUS Gaming, SSD 970 EVO Plus 500GB M.2, SSD 860 EVO Series 1TB, Toshiba 3TB SATA, WIN 10 Pro
NLE: Vegas Pro11-15+17, Heroglyph4, RespeedR

Musicvid wrote on 2/16/2020, 5:00 PM

Spyder 2 is obsolete, and I wrote the article because it's cheap.

The instrument is the same no matter how it was originally packaged.

New SpyderX is only $129.

NickHope wrote on 3/8/2020, 10:37 AM

I've just bought an LG 43UM7300PTA 43" UHD TV to use as a PC monitor, and an ASUS Vega 64 GPU. I have a Spyder 3 Pro, but Datacolor's own software would not detect it. However DisplayCAL was able to detect and use it, so this tutorial was useful.

Before I ran DisplayCAL, I did a standard Windows calibration, which installed a profile "CalibratedDisplayProfile-2.icc". Am I right to think that while DisplayCAL is calibrating, it disables existing profiles such as that (as opposed to calibrating "on top" of the existing profile)?

Unfortunately I don't have access to any RGB sliders other than at the end of the Windows color calibration, which is a pity. The RGB controls in "Color Management System" on the TV don't seem to change anything (only "White Balance" does), and the Radeon Settings only offer "Color Temperature" and "Hue" adjustment. So achieving a perfect line-up of the RGB bars in the Whitepoint/White Level adjustment was impossible.

Musicvid wrote on 3/9/2020, 11:10 AM

@NickHope

Glad it was useful to you.

* Every profile is initiated or changed starting from ground zero (adapter gamma), not hop-to-hop.

* Start with screen color temperature at Native, even though it will be higher than 5600K. Reason, the controls can only mask the whites and possibly introduce banding. Your eyes adapt easily to color temperature changes, since they do it every day.

* With your HSL monitor, set white point first (luminance), then red arrow using saturation, then Hue to line up green with blue. Understandably, the rgb index points are better suited for crt monitors.

As always, your production eyes will tell you what is best, and it really is ok to make small hsl adjustments afterwards without recalibrating.