LCD Calibration Issues and “Prints too dark” – one solution

In my Digital Printing Insights #4 (My Prints Are Too Dark!), I discussed the problems of LCD display luminance and calibration which results in prints that are darker than the calibrated/profiled display. This is an issue that many LCD users have struggled with. David B. Brooks, who writes for Shutterbug magazine, has been following this issue and writing about it for some time. In the February 2010 issue of Shutterbug magazine, David tells us about the NEC MultiSync P221W LCD display with NEC’s SpectraView II colorimeter, which appears to be a viable and lowest-cost solution to the LCD calibration issue (the LCD display provides a large color gamut that is 95.6 percent of the Adobe RGB color space!). This 22″ LCD display and colorimeter/calibration system is currently listed on Amazon.com for under $710 USD. If this is an issue you have dealt with and you’re still looking for a solution (besides an Eizo!), I would definitely recommend reading David’s article and placing your order!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website.

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6 thoughts on “LCD Calibration Issues and “Prints too dark” – one solution

  1. This is useful information, Michael. I am looking into the various options here. Carr Clifton uses some kind of specially calibrated monitor when he works on Dad’s images. I would like to have one myself and am trying to learn more about it.

  2. Thanks for commenting, David! BTW, I was in Mountain Light Gallery last week and finally got to take in your exhibit! Congratulations – beautiful display! Love that huge print of the Virginia Creeper!

  3. In Brooks article he makes the following recommendation:

    “I have found that the typical white luminance of now obsolete CRTs of 90.0 CD/m2, in practical terms, provides a display that will reproduce prints that match the display image. (Here, for photography, there may be an apparent difference with the 140.0 CD/m2 that is the SpectraView’s default, apparently based on user photographer preferences).”

    In other words, it seems like Brooks is simply setting his LCD screen darker to compensate for darker prints and then calibrating the darker screen. Why not just use the 90.0 CD/m2 recommendation on any/all LCDs intended to be calibrated printing. Wouldn’t that solve the problem?

  4. Hi Tony: it’s a very good question that you pose, but one that I am not in a position to answer as I do not own or use an LCD. I’d suggest contacting Brooks for his clarification.

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