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Monitor Color Calibration

Hi, My monitor needs calibrating and not sure what to buy. Someone suggested using a ColorMunki. Does anyone have any recommendations?


  • Before you buy anything, what monitor do you have?
  • Hi David, It's an optiquest Q91B. I bought the epson R3000 and the color difference between the image on my screen and the print version is nowhere near one another. I've been doing research to find out how to get the two synchronized.
  • That monitor is close to nine years old. A few more questions:

    1) What operating system are you using?

    2) Are there controls on the monitor to make certain adjustments to the settings?

    3) Are you printing using the printer settings in the photo guide?

    I'm going to be offline Sunday, but I can help you out Monday. I have never personally used a hardware calibration tool, but I think if you got a ColorMunki product, the one that calibrates a monitor to your printer is over $400. So it would be best to first make sure you've done what you can without buying it, and depending on your results at that stage, to then consider whether that money is better put towards a calibration tool or a new monitor.
  • David,

    1. Would the age of the monitor make a big difference in color? The color looks good on my monitor. The print version is the one way off.
    2. The adjustments aren't very good and very limited

    Operating System:
    We upgraded the computer to accommodate using PS/LR and the new printer

    Yes, it's set-up per DMP guidelines.


  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited October 2015
    You said your monitor needs calibrating, but now you say it's not your monitor, but your printer that's the problem. It would be easy to figure out what the issue is if I was there in person, but I'm not. Here's what I think is going on:

    The monitor you have is about nine years old and was considered a budget LCD monitor even when it was new. Display technology changes quickly, and consider this: the two monitors we use here at the studio are Dell monitors that are relatively new and were not "budget" choices. Nevertheless, despite being the same model, the colors were very different out of the box, and neither monitor was close to being correct color-wise, and I had to manually calibrate both of them very carefully. They're still not perfect but they're pretty damn close. I can't be SURE your monitor is the problem without being there in person, but I would be very surprised if it wasn't. Just because it looks good to your eye doesn't mean it's correct, and you've gotten used to the way it looks for almost a decade.

    The printer has no way of knowing what stuff on your monitor looks like. That's not how printers work, so the printer is not trying to replicate what you see on screen… rather, you have an image file, and both your screen and your printer are independently trying to represent it to you visually. If you are certain you're using all the printer settings in the photo guide, then by far the most likely issue is that the colors on your monitor are incorrect. People generally assume the printer is the problem when it is in fact their monitor.

    Other possibilities include one or more of the ink cartridges being clogged (there is an ink test you can run to determine if this is the case) or, again, some setting being overlooked. But I'd wager it's your monitor.

    But let's just find out. If you email me an example of an image that you think is not printing correctly, I can help you determine what the issue is. My email is [email protected] and if the image is too large a file to send via email, let me know and I can give you an easy way to send me a large file. Be sure you're sending me the same file you're printing at home.
  • Folks

    Even if you can move the printer and monitor towards a faithful image, eight percent of men and half of one percent of women have some form of color blindness. If there are 1000 members on DMP the liklihood is that eighty five will have problems seeing color.

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] admin
    edited October 2015
    @dencal That shouldn't be relevant here as one is comparing the same photo with what should be with similar colors (assuming you're looking at the print under balanced light as mentioned in the guide). If anything color blindness would give you false positives when comparing, not false negatives.
  • David,

    Thanks, I believe it's the monitor - I think you are right. I just came back from a printer's shop that uses 3 Epson printers large to small. He said, start with the monitor it's too old to be showing good color and can't be calibrated properly. He said the Epson printer was set to a certain standard and he had never had any trouble with his Epson printers.

    After a lot of research over the weekend and this morning and your comments - I am understanding the relationship amongst all these parts better. Learning more every day.

    He said he also uses a software program Qimage for his photo printing setup. He uses PS to work on the image then sends it to Qimage for printing. Do you have any thoughts on this? It's not that expensive.

    He recommended either a Colormunki or spyder for monthly color calibrations. Again any thoughts.

    Do you have any recommendations on monitors? What to look for?

  • I have not personally used any hardware calibration tools, so I can't give you an definitive recommendations on that. I do my calibrations manually (which you can do on Mac OS X, not sure about Windows), although I would like to try a hardware calibrator at some point.

    For monitor recommendations, I haven't looked into this in a while and things change over the years, but Dell UltraSharps are generally good. There are a lot of models, so if you see one you're thinking about getting, post it here or send me a PM or email with a link to it, and I'll let you know if I think there is a comparable one that is a better buy.

    Regarding monthly color calibration, that's absurd. Maybe in a scientific setting with ultra-high end monitors where you have super low tolerances, that would make sense… but you definitely don't need to do that.

    Regarding Qimage, haven't heard of it or used it, so I can't comment.
  • I'm looking at monitors now and will compile a list of a few and run them by you.

    I want to get my system set up so I can just work the process. Right now I'm wasting time, ink, and paper all equalling money.

    Thanks for your help!!
  • Totally understand! It's good to get these things out of the way so you can just get on with it, so to speak!
  • David,

    As you suggested I ordered the Dell U2415 24-Inch 1920 x 1200 LED Monitor last night. It should be here by the weekend. I'll get it installed and get back with you next week.

    Thanks for all the help!
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