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Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

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  #1  
Old 10-09-2006, 12:25 AM
Jeff F Jeff F is offline
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Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

I'm asking this here because I'm currently reading Richard's book on PSE 4. It occurs to me that no amount of calibration can fix a monitor for which the colors at the edge of the screen do not match the colors in the center. And I'm sure that there are other monitor problems which cannot be eliminated via calibration. Since I am unfamiliar with any monitor calibration units, I'm curious as to whether such a device would indicate monitor problems which are not correctable by calibrating. I have a 6 year old computer/monitor setup currently, and I'm looking to get a more up-to-date setup. My monitor is a 19 inch "no-name" CRT which I purchased as a package deal with this computer. Will a calibration device give me the information I need to decide if a new monitor is in order for photo retouching? Is there another/better way to make this judgment? I welcome responses from anyone who has knowledge on this subject.

Thank you in advance,
Jeff
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Old 10-09-2006, 06:48 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

If the monitor is misbehaving so badly that you can see a difference in color between the center and the edges, that monitor will likely never show you very good color -- it is time for a replacement. On the other hand, does the issue resolve when the monitor warms up? I have a monitor (one of two on my main work station) that ghosts for the first 15-20 minutes of operation after being shut down completely. After that it is fine. I also leave it on sleep most of the time, so there is rarely an issue.

I do not believe there are devices that will 'flag a bad monitor'...or I have never heard of one. Replacing the monitor seems like the way to go if the issue does not resolve on warmup.
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Old 10-09-2006, 11:43 PM
Jeff F Jeff F is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

Thanks, Richard, for your quick reply. My question was meant to be generic about determining the suitability of any given monitor to produce good results after calibration. As far as I know, my current monitor is fine; I just wondered whether a calibration device would alert me to problems if they exist.

Thanks again,
Jeff
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Old 10-10-2006, 12:37 AM
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Doug Nelson Doug Nelson is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

I certainly can't speak about all calibrators, but I recently bought a used monitor via ebay (not something I'd generally recommend, but the seller was local and I drove over to evaluate it in person and drove it home). Upon initial calibration with my Eye-One it failed and gave me a message of "unable to read baseline value" or somesuch (probably not even close to what it actually said, but the gist is there). I did some tweaking to the monitor's color guns (one reason I like this particular monitor) and upon trying again it calibrated perfectly to match my main monitor.
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Old 10-10-2006, 03:40 PM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff F
As far as I know, my current monitor is fine; I just wondered whether a calibration device would alert me to problems if they exist.
Sorry, I read "no amount of calibration can fix a monitor for which the colors at the edge of the screen do not match the colors in the center" and assumed you were talking about your own monitor. If that is not the case I am not sure why you include the example.

I have never had an error like Doug has had, but I am not sure that is exactly "flagging a bad monitor". I did have an issue with an earlier, probably beta version, of photoshop years ago that would not open with my ICC profile and I was told be engineers that my profile was not valid "too yellow"...whatever that meant. I might have been assuming the wrong question which I read as akin to "will devices tell me if my monitor just sucks," and I think the idea is that they will do the best they can with what they have to work with. That's my answer for now: "I think the idea is that they will do the best they can with what they have to work with." I guess there may be situations where calibration will fail, but I have not experienced it.

But if I am not answering the right question, I'd be glad to take another shot at it.
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Old 10-10-2006, 07:50 PM
Jeff F Jeff F is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

Once again, thanks for the replies. Sorry about the confusion in my original post; I was simply concocting a problem that would not respond to calibration to illustrate my question. My point was that there must be problems with monitors that cannot be calibrated away, and I was curious as to whether a calibration device would alert me if I had one. I'm not having any obvious problems with my monitor, so I'd like to keep it and save the money if possible. On the other hand, it is old and I don't want it to introduce problems.

Take care,
Jeff
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  #7  
Old 10-10-2006, 10:41 PM
BobJones BobJones is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

Jeff,

A lot of things happen to CRTs as they age and most cannot be compensated for by calibration. These can affect focus, geometric distortion, and color purity/convergence among other things. Also, the geometric center of the CRT (where the calibration sensor is generally placed) is usually where the best image is found.

Calibrators mainly work by reading luminance values and you would probably only get a complaint from the software if a situation such as Doug described occured where it couldn't get sufficient measurements or the measurements were out of range. As Richard said, the calibration software tries to do the best it can with what it has to work with.

I'd recommend to go ahead and purchase a calibration device, it's well worth the investment, and use it regularly. I wouldn't expect it to tell me my monitor is bad, but If, as you say, there are no obvious problems with your current CRT, you will still benefit from a more accurate profile and it shouldn't introduce any problems.
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Old 10-11-2006, 11:43 PM
Jeff F Jeff F is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

Thank you everyone for your thoughts on this. I will invest in a calibration device in the near future. And I believe I'll stick with my old 19" CRT until it proves to be a problem.

Jeff
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  #9  
Old 10-19-2006, 06:37 AM
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Richard_Lynch Richard_Lynch is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

I use a Spyder:

http://aps8.com/spyder.html

19" CRTs are nothing to appologize for -- I have two, side-by-side. They may take up a little more space, but this same landscape would cost me a lot at this quality in LCD. I'm not fixing what is not broke either.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:40 AM
Jerryb Jerryb is offline
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Re: Can Monitor Calibration Devices Flag a Bad Monitor

hi,
I thought I give a couple of thoughts to this... and my thoughts lean heavily on the elctronics of a monitor..
First I think calibration programs are very limited to what kind of malfunction they can check for.

with crt monitors, depending on quality, some common issues..
1. Where there a color tint evenly acrooss the screen and your normal color controls can't remove, may indicate color misalignement of the color guns. Not unusual with old monitors and in cases like this adjusting the internal color guns setting can correct. This also applies to where there issues with focusing and brightness/contrast settings...
Example I had a good monitor but it gave sort of a red tint on the display. I had to open up the monitor and readjust the color guns, that fixed the issue.
2. where there a issue with color spotting, where there, what apears to be color variation on one part of the screen or across the screen, may indicate the builtin demagnitzer not working correctly or a poor ground. what works here sometimes is use a demagnitizer/degausser .... Just like what you had to do with the old tv sets... using a demagnitizer can nuetralize what magnetic build up that has occurred inside the monitor...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff F
I'm asking this here because I'm currently reading Richard's book on PSE 4. It occurs to me that no amount of calibration can fix a monitor for which the colors at the edge of the screen do not match the colors in the center. And I'm sure that there are other monitor problems which cannot be eliminated via calibration. Since I am unfamiliar with any monitor calibration units, I'm curious as to whether such a device would indicate monitor problems which are not correctable by calibrating. I have a 6 year old computer/monitor setup currently, and I'm looking to get a more up-to-date setup. My monitor is a 19 inch "no-name" CRT which I purchased as a package deal with this computer. Will a calibration device give me the information I need to decide if a new monitor is in order for photo retouching? Is there another/better way to make this judgment? I welcome responses from anyone who has knowledge on this subject.

Thank you in advance,
Jeff
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