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Inkjet FAQ 001: My Monitor is Too Bright, Even After Calibrating/Profiling. What Do I Do?

I’ve decided to launch an Inkjet FAQ on InkjetTips.com, and this is the first entry. Look for more soon, and to see a full list of the Inkjet FAQs, just click here, or choose Inkjet FAQs from the Category List at the top of the center column on inkjettips.com. In all cases the FAQs will cover topics that relate to inkjet printing, but many of the tips will be more broad in scope. This one is a good example. A well calibrated and profiled display is an important step in any inkjet printing workflow.

Inkjet FAQ 001: My Monitor is Too Bright, Even After Calibrating and Profiling. What Do I Do?

After working with a client recently who has an Intel Core 2 Duo iMac 24″, I wrote an article about how to adjust the contrast in a way few people realize is available. The iMac 24″ does not have a specific on-screen display menu with Contrast, Brightness and specific that is common on virtually all CRT monitors and many LCD monitors. For monitors that do have adjustments, you can often tone down the display brightness with a combination of adjustments to the Contrast, Brightness and in some cases, individual RGB color controls.

Here are a few excerpts from another article I wrote on the topic:

After adjusting the contrast bar to a point nearly all the way to the left, and then calibrating and profiling, the iMac’s screen was still too bright (even at minimum brightness), so I installed a freeware application by Charcoal Design named Shades. Just a small adjustment did the trick. I recommend turning on Shades (you’ll find it in System Preferences after installing) after doing a hardware calibration with a device like the Spyder 3 Colorimeter or the X-Rite i1 Display 2 Colorimeter. It is important to only run shades after you do a hardware calibration. You can also use the built-in calibration/profiling options on your  Mac, or Adobe Gamma on Windows, but a hardware calibration is better.

I recommend using a standard image that contains a range of color images, plus a neutral gray step wedge to determine how well your monitor is displaying images. You can find one that I assembled at www.andrewdarlow.com/calib.html. If your screen is well calibrated and profiled, you should be able to distinguish individual tones in all of the 21 boxes of the step wedge.

Andrew Darlow
 

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JACK LARSON - October 4, 2008

This is exactly what I needed for my NEC LCD2690WUXi. I use an i1 Display 2 Colorimeter; after running it, it reads that I have a Luminance of 120, which is standard. However, my screen seems way too bright. The Shade software is terrific. My hunch is that my softproofing will prove to be better.

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