View Full Version : Do you really get both monitors perfect?

Frank Petronio
27-Jan-2012, 15:50
Trying to calibrate twin monitors for the first time, the NEC P221W with Spyder 3 Elite 4, and have them close but slightly different in green-magenta. Just enough to notice... probably either one alone would be fine.

Any tips for getting them really really close?

Lenny Eiger
27-Jan-2012, 16:15
You're coming up against it... Monitors don't match, neither do printers, scanners or anything else. They get closer than not doing all the profiling but they don't match. The possibility that you could print something on your printer, and have me print it on mine, without any adjustment and match exactly is 0.
Depending on the color space, a really small one perhaps, like sRGB or CMYK, they can be close, but if you imagine they match, then the tolerance of your eyes is not so good.
I have gobs of color management equipment and experience, and as one example, the best thing I did to get monitors to match between a mac and a pc was to put the same manufacturer's monitor on both.
If they are close, be happy. do the adjustments with your eyes and make some great prints.

Just my 2 cents,


Jim collum
27-Jan-2012, 16:35
I have two monitors, one a high gamut Eizo, the other a 'normal'. I try to keep the image being edited on the Eizo, and use the other for controls and such.. In this case, I only end up needing to calibrate the Eizo... letting the other fall where it may

Frank Petronio
27-Jan-2012, 16:58
Yeah I figured as much. These are the cheap NECs, not Eizos, and I am, umm, amused to see it sort of "wash" from green to magenta across a single screen (subtle but I can see it).

Kirk Gittings
27-Jan-2012, 17:03
I only use the second one for my PS tools so I don't give a hoot much what it looks like. I usually dim it down some so it doesn't compete with the calibrated monitor.

Ron McElroy
27-Jan-2012, 17:19
I do the same as Kirk. Photoshop tools, email etc sit on the "old" monitor and I only try to keep the primary monitor calibrated.

Kimberly Anderson
27-Jan-2012, 17:34
I have run a dual monitor system for years now. I am an old-school Sony Trinitron CRT Snob... :D

I am currently running a 24 inch Trinitron CRT next to a 21 inch Trinitron CRT. Both are calibrated with an Eye-1 calibrator. I can have a window spanning the two monitors and it is almost impossible to distinguish the difference.

Ed Richards
27-Jan-2012, 18:38
Might work with two monitors of the same version, as Michael has, but I sure have not been able to get two different types to match. Try to get one close to your printer. It is easier if you only print black and white.:-)

Peter De Smidt
27-Jan-2012, 18:40
My understanding is that you can match two monitors, but then neither will show a color that the other one cannot produce. This is limiting them to the lowest common denominator. It's preferable to simply calibrate each monitor. They won't match, but they will give the best version of the file that each of them can give. Like Kirk, I use one as my main editing monitor and another for all of my palettes.

D. Bryant
27-Jan-2012, 23:41
I have two NEC Spectraview monitors and use the Spectraview software which makes everything Easy-Peasy. For details visit the Spectraview web page(s).

29-Jan-2012, 17:49
You will need to calibrate both the monitors, as per the specs of the respective manufacturers. That is the closest you will get.

Commercial photographer India (http://www.digitalstudio.in)

Jim Andrada
29-Jan-2012, 21:15
+1 for making one monitor the main one. Photo on the main, menus on the other.

I have two Apple 31 inch Cinema monitors on one PC and hopefully will add an NEC Spectraview 31" sometime this year.

Eric Rose
29-Jan-2012, 21:40
Not related to your monitors, well maybe it is, but I have found that my left eye see colours differently than my right eye. The right eye is more cyan. Just a tad but enough to screw with me.

29-Jan-2012, 21:49
Are you trying to use 2 monitors on your Mac Mini? The only way i could get my monitors to work is 2 color cards install. You can tune each monitor color but not with a Spyder, it my understanding that the color tune happens at the color card hardware level. I use 2 Apple 24 Cinema displays, i got them on the cheap from off lease equipment resale company. I use a Quad G5 16 gig ram with 2 video DVI cards. I run the displays at 1920 1200 resolution. I really cannot tell a difference between the displays. I worked as a printer for 15 years in a color lab, so my eyes are good at judging color...

Frank Petronio
29-Jan-2012, 23:27
Yep running them off the mini server and they both calibrate and run fine. Perhaps the earlier models couldn't do that but these do. But I am running 1680x1050 21" monitors so it isn't as taxing as the larger ones.

30-Jan-2012, 06:21
I use a Dell U2410 display as my main editing display (it uses an H-IPS panel, which maintains consistent color across the screen), and a cheapie HP screen as the second monitor. The HP screen is a standard TFT panel that changes color from top to bottom, and I only use it for utility screens and such.

Using an X-Rite (Gretag-Macbeth when I bought it) i1 Display 2 sensor and i1Match software, I can calibrate and profile both screens. And I set the background color on the desktop to neutral gray (127, 127, 127). The Dell looks neutral, and the HP looks magenta. I can change my angle and find the neutral stripe between magenta and green on the HP, but apparently the Eye One 2 sensor doesn't view it at the same angle I do. I live with it--I can't afford any better.

My beef with the Dell is that it is a high-gamut display and the saturated reds it produces cannot be seen by most of the world, including my Epson printer. It's not expensive compared to an Eizo or even the nicer NEC, but at over $500 it's not exactly cheap, either.

Rick "who sometimes drags the image to the cheap monitor to view it as others will" Denney

30-Jan-2012, 06:30
Starting from identical defaults, the StudioMatch setting in Elite should get them close enough that you can't see a difference. If not, one of them is toast...

30-Jan-2012, 12:14
"...see it sort of "wash" from green to magenta across a single screen..."

This is the key point here. What you are describing is non-uniformity in the screen, where one section of the panel is giving a slightly different color than the rest of the screen. Naturally your display will calibrate to a slightly different color depending on exactly where you place your sensor. Look at your screen with a solid 50% gray or lighter (ie: 75%) and you can usually see the non-uniformity more obviously. This is always a good thing to check on any display that you plan to use for critical color purposes.

Matus Kalisky
31-Jan-2012, 03:59
Frank - part of the color difference could come from slightly different viewing angle. I have realized this when (on my NEC with IPS panel) I have put 2 copies of the same image side-by-side and realized that I can see slight differences in color. It all came down to my relative position against the monitor.

On top of that human eye and brain is pretty poor when it comes to absolute color hues and values (because our brain is genius in automatic color correction), but we are able to see very tiny relative differences in side-by-side.

Of course running the monitor calibration twice does not yield the same result either ...

31-Jan-2012, 08:58
Trying to calibrate twin monitors for the first time, the NEC P221W with Spyder 3 Elite 4, and have them close but slightly different in green-magenta. Just enough to notice... probably either one alone would be fine.

Any tips for getting them really really close?

When you are "tuning" your monitors you are only using one color card. I spent a few moments researching this last night.... even went to mall Apple store and asked one of the Genius Bar idiots about this... no help and a wasted trip. They relayed to me that there OS had color control built in. And that was all that was needed.... ohboy....

But Frank, tuning will only work on the color card memory registers. It makes a "app" that runs on boot that sets your colors, brightness at the hardware level. I have 2 of these that run at startup card1 and card2 on my Power Mac... i dont see this happing on your very capable but limited Mac Mini. Color correct one monitor and the other falls where it may.... or maybe an average between the two.... Forgive me if this conversation is not relevant now ... its my OCD curse in me

neil poulsen
31-Jan-2012, 10:47
I don't know if they have the corresponding settings on the Spyder, but the Display 2 Gretag has an option for Large or Small profiles (Correspondingly, LUT and Matrix.)

If your Spyder has similar options, and you've used the Small (default on Gretag), try redoing both profiles with Large. Prior to giving this a try, make copies of your current profiles aside and check your settings, so that you can return to your current state.

The Large builds a lookup table, and the small uses a matrix approach. The matrix approach assumes a "well-behaved" monitor. I always go large, because it can better handle the idiosyncrasies of a given monitor.