Monitor Calibration with £0 budget?

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#1
In short, i take photos as a hobby and rarely print them (except for the camera club exhibitions). I have an old LCD monitor, which as long as it works i will be holding onto. I used to have a free tool which i used to get a basic colour profile and then tweaked the monitor colours, brightness etc to match a photo i had printed.

Recently i upgraded the PC (but not the monitor) and forgot to redo the calibration tool. So for the past couple of months i have been editing based on the over bright and cool default programme. This became apparent when i ordered some prints and they turned out way too dark and over saturated.

I took a couple of these prints yesterday evening and tweaked the monitor settings to match as closely as i could the monitor to the output prints.

I have read about getting a good monitor, using a specialist tool for calibration and matching to the printer profile which i would love to do, but on a £0 budget, does what i have done sound reasonable?
 
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Richard
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#2
Since you're a member of a camera cub, there's bound to be someone with a calibration tool you could borrow.
 
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#4
I checked with Color Confidence when we purchased a ColorMunki Photo for our Club. They were perfectly happy for the Club to own the device and lend it to members. Their view was "you've paid for the hardware"
 
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cmcm789
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#5
I checked with Color Confidence when we purchased a ColorMunki Photo for our Club. They were perfectly happy for the Club to own the device and lend it to members. Their view was "you've paid for the hardware"
That's handy to know, just have to convince the club secretary now that it's a worthy investment lol.
 
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#6
@cmcm789
If the monitor is old as you infer, even with a calibrator you might struggle to 'get it right'.....................why, well if the backlight is very old its output(illumination) may be dropping markedly and the evenness of the light may be sub-par.

Ideally, if you can borrow a fellow club members unit then great :)

In the absence of that have read here and and see how you monitor is performing :-
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/
It may/will highlight any issues that are not obvious to the naked eye by just looking at the screen with non test type imagery displayed.
 
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cmcm789
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#7
@cmcm789
If the monitor is old as you infer, even with a calibrator you might struggle to 'get it right'.....................why, well if the backlight is very old its output(illumination) may be dropping markedly and the evenness of the light may be sub-par.

Ideally, if you can borrow a fellow club members unit then great :)

In the absence of that have read here and and see how you monitor is performing :-
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/
It may/will highlight any issues that are not obvious to the naked eye by just looking at the screen with non test type imagery displayed.
Thanks, i will give that a go when i get home. My monitor is a HP 2211x which came with the PC probably about 10 years ago. To get anywhere close to the printed images i have had to drop the green and blue drastically in colour management and reduce the brightness to 20%. Doesn't make for easy viewing when doing anything other than Lightroom/ Photoshop as everything just looks dull and grey, but as long as i have an idea of what my final image will look like i can deal with it. However, i have read that i should be looking an sRGB compatible monitor to see the correct range of colours as i work and print (online printer) in sRGB.

The monitor specs are (HP2211x):
  • Display Type
    LED-backlit LCD monitor / TFT active matrix
  • Native Resolution
    Full HD (1080p) 1920 x 1080 at 60 Hz
  • Contrast Ratio
    1000:1 / 3000000:1 (dynamic)
  • Dimensions (WxDxH)
    20.4 in x 6.3 in x 15.6 in
  • OSD Languages
    Chinese (traditional), Chinese (simplified), English, German, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch, Japanese
  • Pixel Pitch
    0.248 mm
  • Brightness
    250 cd/m²
  • Backlight Technology
    LED backlight
  • Manufacturer
    HP

I would spend £100-£150 on a new monitor (24inch) if i thought it would help, but would it be much better (i know nothing about specs)?.
 
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Ian
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#8
I took a couple of these prints yesterday evening and tweaked the monitor settings to match as closely as i could the monitor to the output prints.
I have a printer friend who dies this. He's made an (almost) lifelong career from commercial printing.
 
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cmcm789
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#9
I have a printer friend who dies this. He's made an (almost) lifelong career from commercial printing.
Thanks Ian, that gives me some confidence that i'm not completely off the mark in what i've done. I have it as near (for the monitor) as i can but I have noticed that some of the blues look more green (in the sky) when printed and some greens appear on my screen but not on the print. This is only a very slight issue but wondering would a newer screen which has the full (or near enough) sRGB colours solve this issue.

Thanks again.
 
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Bazza
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#10
I had a ColorMunkie Photo and could not get on with it. Matching screen to hard copy was a nightmare. You would do better updating your graphics cardto start with
 
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#11
Well, looking on the HP website, it does not specify the type of panel used in respect of TN, VA or IPS and IMO such brevity infers it could be, bearing in mind the age, a TN panel.

https://support.hp.com/gb-en/document/c02822291
And the viewing angles, this is not an IPS screen!

Further it says this about the Gamut
Color gamut
(typical) 68%

Again brevity...... likely they are referring to sRGB if so even new it was low in what it will display of sRGB gamut.

Again purely IMO and FWIW
You should see an improvement with a new modern monitor..... depending on choice & budget, based on the gamut coverage being at least 95% sRGB and the backlight not suffering from aging effects.

But please do mind you will at the very least need to turn the brightness down as all monitors are typically way too bright "out of the box" and that is can all too common cause of "why are my prints too dark...." ;)
 
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