|Input/Output/Workflow Scanning, printing, color management, and discussing best practices for control and repeatability|
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Technical background info: D5000, NEF files, tone and color work done in LR. Macbook with an HP ZR 24w monitor. Spyder3Elite which I use religiously, including the ambient light monitor.
Problem: My prints (mpix and a local professional lab) are coming out dark. I emailed with (unfortunately, he wasn't there when I went in) the technical guy at my local lab and with mpix. I never got to a place of resolution with either of them and have some questions before I go back to them again.
I am working in 2.2 gamma, which I understand to be native to the computer but not necessarily to the monitor but also not necessarily the biggest issue in terms of the darkness problem. Using sRGB. I was calibrating the white balance to 6500K at the request of the Spyder. Both places seemed somewhat surprised at that and thought it should be more like 5000 or 5500K. So, for an order that needed to get out I did that, (can't remember which because I'm not in front of the monitor now but only one was available) lightened it up a bit in LR (if I remember correctly in the tone curve) - still looked a little bit bright to my eye on the monitor but printed ok. I didn't think, in my rush, to print one of each (the original done on the 6500 and the other).
So, what temperature is appropriate?
Also, what about adjusting the brightness for while I'm working. The spyder wants me to bring it way down for the calibration but I'm just unable to work at that level and remember reading (in my long search for which monitor and calibration device to buy) that it was ok to calibrate an then move to where you're comfortable working. Even tho that doesn't make a lot of sense to me. I've started not following the spyder's directions to bring it down but that doesn't seem to make a difference in the final product.
Sorry for rambling on so long. Truly appreciate any advice.
Re: setting temperature
The color temperature you want and the brightness of the monitor for calibration (and editing) should be the same as the environment in which you will view the prints.
The lower color temperatures were often base on the fact that much of the lighting in this world for viewing prints was tungsten with that color temperature. These days there is a bigger variety including a lot of viewing that is just on the screen (no prints) and prints viewed in office environments with more fluorescent/CFL/LED lighting set to a higher temperature.
As far as monitor brightness. Guidelines for calibration/editing are often in the 100 to 150 cd/m^2 range.
Here is what happens if you have your monitor set quite bright (lets say 400 cd/d^2. You make adjustments for the black areas of the image until it gives a good black impression to you. You make a print and go view it in a 100 cd^m2 room lighting. Guess what, it will look 2 stops underexposed because you are viewing the print with 2 stops less of illumination than the environment with which it was created.
Here is a link to an article on the topic by Andrew Rodney that may "enlighten" you
All IMHO of course. Hope this is useful.
Re: setting temperature
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