Monitor Calibration?

Started May 28, 2013 | Discussions thread
Eamon Hickey
Veteran MemberPosts: 3,103
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hmmm. got it backwards
In reply to Glen Barrington, May 29, 2013

Glen Barrington wrote:

I'm not saying people shouldn't calibrate, but at its best, all you can do is make sure that YOUR equipment and software provide the same results at all times, you can not guarantee that someone looking at your work calibrated to the same standards as you.  Calibration has nothing to do with cross system display quality.

Hmmm. Actually, you've got it exactly backwards -- the entire point of calibration and profiling is to facilitate cross system display consistency. All of the science underlying it is aimed at that goal.

In fact, if all you're aiming to do is get consistent results in your own equipment, you don't need the equipment or standards involved in color calibration and profiling at all. You can simply twiddle with the color controls on all your screens until they match, then twiddle with the printer driver on your printer until it matches your screens. This is what is known as closed-loop calibration. You'll get consistent results in your universe -- let's call it the Barrington Color Space -- but nobody else will be able to match it.

What ICC color profiling and calibration does is provide a set of properly defined universal standards that everyone can try to match. Then, folks can trade files with each other with some hope that they will look the same, or at least similar, across devices. Obviously, it's not perfect, because display technologies differ, and because some calibration equipment is more accurate than others, and because some people are bad calibrators, and because many (quite a large many) other people don't calibrate at all.

But the same thing could be said of, say, units of measurement -- not everyone can measure a perfect meter and not everyone's measuring instruments are equally accurate. But the idea underlying the meter is that it's a known universal standard that everyone can try to match. So if I buy a boat from you that is supposedly 10 meters long, we both know about how big I need to build my boathouse, even though we also both know that if I measure the boat with a laser micrometer, it will probably be a little bit more or less than exactly 10 meters.

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