Color Calibaration

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This topic contains 6 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Sablesword 1 year, 11 months ago.

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    What color – or colour 😉 – calibration devices do you use in the RE studios? I haven’t seen mention of any.

    I’m thinking of getting a color-checker card, mostly for the sake of being able to set contrast & saturation values. I’ve had a few cases where I’ve processed images that at first seemed OK by eyeball, but on second look I realized were washed out. So I had to go back, tweak the processing of the RAW files, and generate new jpgs.



    I need to get a new set-up actually.

    I used to use a DataSpyder to calibrate my screen and eyeball it from that, then periodically check it by looking at some of my images on random devices (friend’s windows PCs, laptops, phones, etc.)

    But the workflow got pretty crappy and the thing is so old that I don’t think it runs with modern versions of MacOS. I’ve been coasting on the basis that my Mac monitors don’t seem to drift all that much, and the Hasselblad in particular has very good colour stability

    So I should invest a new system, especially as I’ve just switched to using Lightroom and Photoshop for the raw conversion and skin smoothing steps for Sony files, and Lightroom’s colour treatment is WAAAAAY funkier on skin tones than Hasselblad’s or Apple’s. So I might need to make some custom profiles. I’m looking at the ColorMunki stuff based around a ColorChecker Passport.

    If you go that route, please could you post and let us know your experiences?

    Cheers, Hywel



    Actually I was thinking of getting just a color-checker passport. Getting a colormunki or other gizmo to calibrate my monitor (or monitors, counting my laptop) has been in the back of my mind for a long time, but I’ve been putting it down as mere Gear Acquisition Syndrome.

    If I do get calibration gear I’ll let you know how it works out. Or even if I just get the color card.

    Should I offer condolences for your being backed into using Lightroom and Photoshop? I understood that you didn’t care for Adobe products (and I don’t either).



    You should offer condolences, yes! (And you probably should at least get a colour-checker. It’s very useful to know where you are starting from)


    Lightroom has been made bearable by use of a hardware control surface (Loupedeck+). I use it to do the colour grade/RAW processing step on Sony photos because Aperture has got a bit unreliable there in later versions of MacOS. I still use (and love) Phocus for the Hasselblad shots. For both, I export to intermediate huge 16-bit Prophoto TIFFs.

    Photoshop is only used as a droplet to run Imagenomic portraiture in batch on those TIFFs.

    Then I import back into Aperture, which currently still handles the TIFFs OK. I do keywords, retouch, and a few other things in Aperture. I prefer Aperture’s vignette, LR seems very crude on that, and Aperture’s skin smoothing and retouching tools are way better.

    Then I batch export JPEGs from Aperture.

    It’s workable for now. Capture One is a viable LR alternative for the first step, but I find its default rendition ugly for people shots (C1’d default rendition is great for landscape though, I use it for all my landscape shots). Loupedeck is better set up for LR than C1 for the moment, too.

    I dread the day I have to move away from Aperture for retouch and skin smoothing. I’ve tested a dozen alternatives in the last few months and none of the skin retouch tools are as subtle or as efficient and controllable as the Aperture ones. I *really* don’t want to have to do it in Photoshop, but that’s my fallback if all else fails.

    Cheers, Hywel.



    OK, condolences for having been backed into using Lightroom and Photoshop. 🙁 And it says something that a hardware controller for Adobe products is even a thing.

    I just received an X-rite Passport color-checker, and it turns out that it will be a while before I actually use it. Although I should rig up a “just to test it” test before I go to Fetcon.

    I decided to keep a monitor calibration gizmo on my “someday I may buy one” list for now.



    I converted from Spyder to iIStudio last year and been a lot happier with it… on both Macs and PCs



    OK here’s my first real use (test) of the color-checker.

    First an image processed using the “camera standard” color profile, and the “from camera” white balance (the white balance created using the old “coffee filter to set a custom white balance” trick).

    Standard profile - no color-checker used

    Then an image where I switched to the color profile & white balance created from a shot of my new color checker passport card, taken just before I started photographing the model.

    used color checker

    There is a shift. The color checker profile gave the image more red & green (and/or less blue). And in this image I do like the color-checker profile better.

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