Note: www.cdegroot.com is in rebuild. Please accept my apologies for broken links, missing stuff, etcetera - more
  Home

You've read my page on calibration and profiling and have decided to do something about it. Here are some software (and partially hardware) packages I've come across:

Monitor

A nice platform-independent way of calibrating your monitor is on the website of ePaperPress. If you are on MacOS X, you have monitor adjustment built in the System Settings panel under Display; under Windows, you can use a calibration package like Praxisoft's WiziWYG which is free in the basic version. Under Windows and Linux, there's a program called 'qtmonitorprofiler' available from LittleCMS which should work fine as well (note: you'll have some trouble compiling this on a modern Linux distro - I'll put my compiled version here later on). Photoshop under windows will install a control panel for monitor profiling which is really good.

If you have money to spend, buy a hardware device like a ColorVision Spyder to have it all done for you and be sure it's done correctly. But this may be overkill for amateurs - I certainly don't put it on top of my list, because a good modern quality monitor will be close to the ideal (sRGB) already, except for gamma which is tunable by eye.

Scanner

Even though your scanner is not the most important tool for a digital photographer, you need a calibrated scanner in order to read the output of your printer for calibration purposes. For this, you will need a standardized calibration target according to the IT 8.7 standard. Kodak, Fuji etcetera supply very expensive targets, but you're just as well off with a reasonably priced target from Wolfgang Faust. I bought the C1 target - it's a bit more expensive than the R1 target, but as far as I know it's mostly the same and with the larger size and the thick backing it is useful for your camera as well (it never hurts to shoot a picture of the thing for when you do want accurate color reproduction). For a free solution, you can use qtscannerprofiler from the LittleCMS profiling toolkit, but as you want to profile your printer also and LittleCMS does not understand that, something like Profile Prism which comes with targets and does cameras, printers and scanners is probably a better solution.

Printer

The process here is simple: you print a test image, scan it with your calibrated scanner, and have the profiling software spit out a profile for you. The nag here is that the calibration target and your printed image use different pigments (the target typically is a chemically developed print, not an inkjet print), and scanners respond differently to these different pigments than your eye does (it also responds differently to these different pigments, but in a different way from your scanner - follow it?). So you may still get variations, also depending of course on your scanner, etcetera. There are hardware solutions here and also you can use an external service to measure test prints with a calibrated densitometer, but that's more expensive than trying it yourself.

Of course, you can also send the test image off to your favorite external printing lab and scan the resulting print (tell them not to correct anything, not now nor ever, and you'll have a professional quality calibrated printer to your disposal - I am planning to do this with my local Fuju Minilab, will tell you the results).


 
Copyright (C)2000-2011 Cees de Groot -- All rights reserved.