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  1. #1

    Default iMac Calibration Advice

    I have a 27" iMac 2.8ghz Intel Core i7 (late 2009)
    OSX Lion 10.7.2
    Im using PSE10 for mac for my image processing.
    I shoot with a Canon 60D in RAW format.

    My photo work is to print not web.

    So recently I printed off a number of 10x15 at the local CameraWarehouse printers and whilst the quality, sharpness and overall output was great the colours where a lot darker than is displayed on the screen.

    A few emails to a PC/Nikon friend on mine and he said "CALIBRATION" in a single word reply.

    Hours later of trawling thru the net it's obvious this is at least the start of my problem.

    I am looking for advice from fellow iMac users who have had similar problems and have used calibration hardware to correct their problems. Recommendations for the Spyder3 are everywhere. And for a price tag of $250 this is somewhat okay although probably the limit of what I wanted to spend.
    I have however rad that the Spyder3 isn't all that great with the glossy iMac screens.

    I have also seen the the display profiles in the Mac settings;
    /Settings/Display/Color

    They have an iMac default setting and then 3 others;
    AdobeRGB 1998
    generics RGB
    sRGB IEC...

    Has anyone played around with these to the effect Im looking for?

    Any suggestions and help is appreciated. Thanks.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    May 2009
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    Have a play with the built in calibration in system preferences, create a new profile and see what you can come up with. I've never calibrated my iMac because it's pretty good and I don't do any pro work, though I did play with the calibration and ended up sticking with the default.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2008
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    iMac screens can only be calibrated to a certain degree. For critical colour work, you really need a secondary screen, and good calibration. I use a Spyder3 at work and home and find it good enough.

    On my iMac, the Spyder does make colours better, but not really up to the quality of our Dell monitor (at home) or the Eizo (at work - EXPENSIVE!!!).

    I highly recommend borrowing a spyder unit, or get a second hand one if you can (even a Spyder2) from eBay or forums.
    :)

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
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    Newcastle
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    5,616

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    I found exactly the same thing on my iMac, and have switched to the sRGB profile (and havent printed anything, since.) I think its more likely to give you what you need, but I agree with the others, a separate screen of better quality is required. I've been considering a Dell 23-24" (I've decided 27" is lovely but way too overwhelming)

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Adelaide
    Posts
    1,442

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dutts View Post
    I have a 27" iMac 2.8ghz Intel Core i7 (late 2009)
    OSX Lion 10.7.2
    Im using PSE10 for mac for my image processing.
    I shoot with a Canon 60D in RAW format.

    My photo work is to print not web.

    So recently I printed off a number of 10x15 at the local CameraWarehouse printers and whilst the quality, sharpness and overall output was great the colours where a lot darker than is displayed on the screen.
    The problem with your prints being too dark is that your screen is way too bright. The only way to fix this properly is with some kind of calibration tool. I reckon the iMac screens are good enough, if calibrated properly, for the average user.

    Do you intend to print images yourself? I had a Spyder2 and I was never really happy with it. I sold it and bought a Colormunki Photo which also lets me build profiles for my printer. A Colormunki might be a bit beyond your price range but in the end it can actually save you a lot.

    I have calibrated a few recent iMacs (and also MacBook Pros) for a few people with my Colormunki and the results have been great.

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NE Vic
    Posts
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpjallan View Post
    The problem with your prints being too dark is that your screen is way too bright. The only way to fix this properly is with some kind of calibration tool.
    Dark prints is by far the most common problem for people who haven't got a calibrated system and rpjallan is correct that it will be because your screen is, like nearly everyone else's, way too bright.

    If you can't afford to buy a jigger to do it for you, then use the inbuilt system which can be accessed from the Displays module of System Preferences. It's only just OK and won't help with the brightness, but is better than nothing. Before you do that though, turn your screen down as much as you can cope with. You'll get used to it. Once you've calibrated it with the inbuilt system, get a few more prints done and keep adjusting the brightness and then recalibrating until you get it close enough to be acceptable.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    SA
    Posts
    877

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    If buying a hardware calibrator, ensure that it will work with LED backlights.
    Outside of a dog, a book is manís best friend. Inside of a dog, itís too dark to read. Groucho Marx
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