Monitor brightness and printing?

Started Nov 18, 2012 | Discussions thread
C Spyr
C Spyr Forum Member • Posts: 78
Re: You are confusing 'luminance' and 'brightness'

Calibrate your monitor to the luminance level that matches your prints. For some, it's 120 cd/m^2. For others, it's 100. For you, it's 107. For me, it's 97.

In theory, what you're suggesting is that there is ONE setting for luminance that would be correct for a given model of inkjet printer.

No, this is where the intensity of the light under which you evaluate your prints comes into play. If the luminance of your monitor is set very high and the light under which you view your prints is rather dim, your prints will always look too dark; a common discussion topic on this and other forums. In an ideal situation, monitor luminance should be set to a level at which a white canvas (e.g. in Photoshop) has the same perceived brightness as an unprinted sheet of paper under the light your viewing it. Described in detail in this excellent article:

But, doesn't one's eyes adjust to whatever luminance has been set. I suppose an experiment would be to stare/work on an image at eg. 140 cd/m. Walk away. Some 'gremlin' resets the luminance to 120 cd/m. Stare/work on this same image for a while.. don't your eyes/brain accommodate this change (physically with pupil dilation and mentally)?

Your visual system will adapt, but only partially. I tried different luminance levels on my monitor and there's a difference in how you edit (exspecially the shadows). You can try it yourself: edit a picture (not a high key one) so that it looks right at a certain luminance level, then print it. Do something else for a while, then calibrate your monitor to a markedly lower luminance level and start over with the editing. Then print it again. Shadows will look different, maybe even the overall brightness of the picture.

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Kind regards

Christian Spyr

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