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Thread: Monitor Brightness

  1. #1
    Ausphotography Regular MissionMan's Avatar
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    Monitor Brightness

    Do monitor calibration tools calibrate brightness as well?

    More recently, my photos seem to be a little too dark. Initially I thought it may be the auto brightness on the laptop (external display connected to a laptop) but I'm still not 100% sure.

    Is there any way to calibrate brightness to make sure you are using the correct values?
    Fuji XT-2, Fuji VPB-XT2, Fujinon 16-55 f/2.8, Fujinon 50-140 f/2.8, Fujinon 23 f/2, Fujinon 35 f2, Fujinon 90 f/2, Yongnuo YN560 IV, Yongnuo YN560 TX, Benro C3580T
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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    I think it basically depends on the monitor AND the software you use.

    The software should be able to calibrate the brightness for you automagically, but from what I've noticed better software should guide you to pre calibrate your monitor manually first, then fine tune the rest of the process.

    I have an old Spyder 3, and initially had the Spyder 3 software to use with it, but I then had the option to update to Spyder 4 software(as I purchased the Spyder only a week or so prior to the Spyder4 release).
    Both of those Spyder calibration software versions didn't offer any way to adjust the monitor before it did it's own thing(that is via the monitor OSD menu).
    Due to many issues with the Spyder 3 and 4 software, I looked for other calibrating software and ended up using BasicColor instead.

    The major difference with it, was that the BasicColor software also allowed me to precalibrate the monitors colour balance and also the brightness levels with an easy to use interface.
    The interface consisted of the three RGB sliders to balance colour, and a 4th black slider to balance brightness.
    As I adjusted each individual RGB value, each RGB slider moved about but also the brightness slider moved ever so slightly too.
    I eventually balance the colour, and the overall brightness may be just a tad bright or dark, so the final tweak is to set the brightness slider to it's balanced point.
    It is a little tedious in that there is a little extra work to do, but on confirmation of the calibration, the results are far more appropriate(according to the verification reports).

    Realistically, on a laptop, I would calibrate it for the most likely situation where you would use it to confirm image rendering.
    That is, if you prefer to review your images at home at the end of the night in your study/lounge/whatever .. use that as the main calibration point, and assess your images predominantly in that environment. Alternatively tho if you prefer to review your images outside on the balcony over a coffee during the middle of the day, then it's best to set your main calibration point for that environment.
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  3. #3
    Member Fruengalli's Avatar
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    We've got a Spyder 4 & within the process it asks for a manual adjustment of brightness based on ambient light tests to suit certain limits. This is only for the graphics card settings & not on the monitor itself. (till I spend more money) & does work pretty well.

  4. #4
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Thanks. I'll check into it and see if it's something I missed or whether I can do the monitor brightness separately.

  5. #5
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Hi MM,
    did you mean your prints are coming out too dark relative to what you see on your monitor?
    I'm no expert in this area but I recall an article on Luminous Landscape explaining why prints are usually too dark.
    https://luminous-landscape.com/why-a...ints-too-dark/
    Hope this answers some of your question but IIRC, the gist of it was that many monitors are set too bright as viewing conditions are usually too bright, among other things.

    Anyways, I'm getting a bunch of prints done atm and my laptop's not hardware calibrated so I'll know in a week or so whether I'm gonna get the same too dark print problem.
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  6. #6
    Ausphotography Regular
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    Quote Originally Posted by swifty View Post
    Hi MM,
    did you mean your prints are coming out too dark relative to what you see on your monitor?
    I'm no expert in this area but I recall an article on Luminous Landscape explaining why prints are usually too dark.
    https://luminous-landscape.com/why-a...ints-too-dark/
    Hope this answers some of your question but IIRC, the gist of it was that many monitors are set too bright as viewing conditions are usually too bright, among other things.

    Anyways, I'm getting a bunch of prints done atm and my laptop's not hardware calibrated so I'll know in a week or so whether I'm gonna get the same too dark print problem.
    Nah, more to do with people complaining the submissions look too dark on Ausphoto. I have tried looking at them (generated on my MBA) on my SP3 and there does seem to be merit. They seem a lot darker on my SP3

  7. #7
    Ausphotography Regular swifty's Avatar
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    Ic. I have a feeling the reasons are probably still along the same line and has something to do with ambient light, as suggested in both AK83 and Fruengalli's post. Perhaps strong external ambient light is affecting the perception of brightness which in turn affects the way the processing is done. I know I haven't been very strict, lighting wise where I edit my photos and often find I need to re-edit some due to brightness/darkness as well as colour issues.
    Also many pro monitors also come with hoods, precisely to cut out ambient light which may affect our perception of brightness, colour etc.

  8. #8
    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    I use X-Rite monitor calibrator on my Dell IPS screen and it measures the screen brightness and contrast and you then need to adjust the screen brightness and contrast according to what the X-Rite calibration tool recommends.

  9. #9
    I like my computer more than my camera farmmax's Avatar
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    My Huey calibrator corrects for brightness, and has a little gadget which is supposed to sit in a stand beside my computer to check the room brightness and adjust the monitor for it very regularly. The only problem is that each time it checks, my display flicks for a very brief time. That was annoying, so I didn't leave the auto brightness checker thingy running.

    My monitors always run on the lowest brightness setting they have. The reason is, I spend hours a day in front of a monitor on and off and it makes it easy on the eyes, plus it helps my prints match my screen well. Using other peoples monitors, particularly laptop screens drives me bonkers, because most of them are glaringly bright. I'm not sure how people can look at them for more than a few minutes at a time when they are so bright.
    Last edited by farmmax; 02-09-2015 at 8:30pm.

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