Calibrating a display

Started Nov 8, 2012 | Discussions thread
Bob Collette
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Re: Calibrating a display
In reply to alvie, Nov 8, 2012

As others have mentioned, usually if the print is darker than the monitor image, the problem is that the monitor luminance (brightness) is too high for the print viewing illumination.  You have to either reduce your monitor luminance or increase the print viewing illumination.

While there is no absolute optimum monitor luminance, most people find that something in the range of 100 cd/m^2 is in the ballpark.  What luminance value have you calibrated your monitor to?  Generally, monitors come from the factory setup to very high luminance levels (250+).  This makes them look good on the showroom floor (high contrast, bright and vivid colors), but is far from optimum for photographic work (where you want a reasonable match between monitor & print).

I recommend that you calibrate your monitor to a luminance of 100 cd/m^2 and see how that looks.  If your prints are still too dark, then lower the monitor luminance down to 80 (I wouldn't recommend going below 80).  If the prints look too light at a monitor luminance of 100, try recalibrating it to a luminance of 120.  It's somewhat a matter of trial and error to determine the optimum monitor luminance, since it depends upon your print viewing illumination level.

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