Article retained for archive purposes - hope it's of use!
As mentioned in some of our colour management articles, we use Apple Macs, so we don't always get to check out the detailed behaviour of software on PCs.
That said, most of the software and hardware that we have reviewed on the site works just as well on either platform.
There are a few differences that have caught people out sometimes. After some recent reviews of monitor calibration and profiling hardware, Keith was asked by several people about how to profile dual monitors on a PC.
Thanks to Serge Cashman for sending us some of the info (and the second screen shot) below. We always appreciate comments and feedback on our articles...
The Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet
If you are using Windows XP SP2 then you can use a piece of Microsoft software to allow you have a monitor profile for each monitor in a multiple monitor system.
||FYI: I've set up a LinkedIn group (~4700 members) for people interested in all aspects of Digital Black and White photography: Digital Black and White
The video card needs to be configured to assign different settings to each monitor (how it's done depends on the videocard drivers).
More importantly on a dualhead card under Windows XP one would need to download a Color Control Panel utility from Microsoft and set it to be launched on start-up (with an /L switch as stated in the Help file) to load LUTs, plus disable other colour utilities to avoid conflicts.
Serge additionally commented:
- --Technically only dualhead AGP card owners need to use the appet to be able to assign separate profiles. Some PCIe cards don't need it since Windows XP sees them as two cards in the device manager (and obviously systems with two separate cards don't need it either). However the applet lets you see your color management in a much more organized way that makes much more sense no matter which configuration you use. It makes the adjustments much easier.
- Another important aspect of the color applet (which can be regarded as a separate application actually) is it's optional startup LUT loader.
- My general suggestion for XP dualhead card users would be to replace their LUT loaders in the Startup folder (Adobe Gamma, Colorvision, Eye-One) with a shortcut to Color Control Panel Applet LUT loader. It won't hurt in any case and it would work with dual-monitor aware software like Spyder2 Pro without any further configuration.
- Normally the shortcut would be to:
"C:\Program Files\Pro Imaging Powertoys\Microsoft Color Control Panel Applet for Windows XP\WinColor.exe" /L
- The "/L" part you can add by right-clicking on the shortcut and adding /L it in the Target field. " --
Not all calibration software supports dual monitors, so you may have to run your system with each monitor on it's own to get profiles that you can then select when working with both.
Amongst the features of the control panel:
- Install and uninstall ICC colour profiles
- Inspect, rename, and compare two different colour profiles
- Associate colour profiles with devices such as printers, monitors, and scanners
- Apply custom colour gamut adjustments to one or more displays on the fly
- Set up display calibration reminders at intervals you specify
- View a 3D graphics plot of colour profile colour gamuts
There is more information, and you can download the software from:
I discussed some profile editing issues in the review of the Spyder2express, where you need to rename a profile's internal name for dual monitor support. The Applet can be used for this.
Useful discussions about this subject on the web
There are (many) more technical discussions about it on this message board (Rob Galbraith) and there has been a lengthy discussion in the ColorVision Yahoo group about using a Spyder2 for matching two monitors. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/colorvision_group/message/316?threaded=1
We've got lots of additional colour management information on our site, with articles and comprehensive reviews.
Colour management information on this site
General Colour Management
- Adobe utility for printing profiling targets (CS5) with no colour management.
- CMYK for photographers (1)
Some considerations when a client asks for images to be submitted in CMYK
- CMYK for photographers (2) - Press management
An overview of colour management for when your work is destined for large scale printing.
- Why don't my prints match my screen?
A short article showing why there is more to getting your prints to match your screen, than just calibrating your monitor. It's the vital first step, but you do need to consider some other factors for best results.
- Why are my prints too dark?
One of the more common printing problems we get asked about. Addresses some of the steps you can take to produce more consistent prints.
- Dark prints revisited - If you're having problems adjusting your monitor, Keith has some details of an experimental approach, using adjustment curve layers that may be of some help.
- Choosing a working space
There are a number of popular choices for working colour space when editing images. Keith shows examples and discusses his personal choices for different applications. One size definitely does not fit all.
- Room and office decoration and lighting for photo editing
Some information on what to consider when setting up a space to work on digital images and evaluate prints.
- The very simple guide to 'what is colour mangement'.
Is the red in RGB the same as a London bus, or a UK Telephone box? A very short explanation of what colour management is, and why you use it.
- Colour management introduction
- Beware the colour management Tar Pit
Know what levels of colour management (and expense ;-) suit the needs of your work... A personal view from Keith covering some of the things it is good for, but also why you should be careful to understand why you are doing it in the first place.
- Printer test images
- Media settings and profiling for third party inks
Keith recently converted an Epson Stylus COLOR 1160 to third party inks. In describing the profiling of a this set-up with a third party glossy paper, he shows how that often neglected aspect of profiling -driver media settings- can make all the difference between a so-so print and one that he would be happy to send out as a sample to his commercial clients. Test images for media selection.
- Adjusting your monitor 'by eye'
Not the best way, but better than nothing at all
- Colour management and the web - why getting good colour on web sites is not as easy as you thought
- Removing Adobe Gamma - Adobe Gamma is often installed by default on Windows PCs, this short note describes how to deactivate it.
- Dual monitor profiling under Windows XP SP2 - A brief note on profiling and calibrating dual monitor systems under Windows XP SP2.
- Camera Profiling for ACR with the DNG Profile Editor
Using a ColorChecker card, we've created custom camera profiles for the Ricoh GX200. Used for processing RAW camera files with Adobe Camera Raw. Applicable to any camera producing RAW files that can be opened in ACR.
- Using the ColorMunki for black and white with QTR
A special version of our black and white test print for reading linearisation data for QTR
- Using QTR and PrintFIX PRO for better black and white prints
By using the PrintFIX PRO to take readings from a greyscale test target, you can create luminance only icc profiles that can give a noticeable improvement to black and white print set-ups. It can even be used to improve the results from the likes of Epson's new 'advanced black and white' print settings.
- Colour Management
Links to articles and sites we've found useful.
(Please do let us know if you find something useful that we've missed)
Equipment and software reviews
X-Rite (ex GretagMacbeth)
- i1Profiler - scanner profiling review - The latest V1.4 update to i1Profiler adds scanner profiling, using a range of specialist targets for film and flat bed scanners. The review shows how the output of even a basic desktop scanner can be greatly improved.
- ColorMunki Smile - Review of the basic level monitor profiler.
- i1Photo Pro 2 - Review of the i1Pro 2 for printer profiling.
- i1Basic Pro 2 - Review of the i1Pro 2 spectrophotometer kit.
- Using i1Profiler to measure QTR linearising targets.
- Using the i1Pro 2 for linearising B&W printing - Making use of ColorPort and QTR.
- ColorMunki Display - Review of the monitor calibrator from X-Rite and an explanation of why monitor profiling is a good idea.
- i1Display Pro - review of new monitor and projector calibration colorimeter.
- i1 Profiler - overview and links to information and more detailed reviews of functionality.
- i1 Profiler - Printer profiling (RGB)
- i1 Profiler - Monitor calibration
- ColorChecker Passport - test card for photography. Also allows DNG camera profiles to be built for the Adobe ACR raw converter
- i1iSis OBA compensation - Optical brighteners can cause problems in profiling some papers. Article shows why, and reviews X-rite's approach to building corrected profiles for different lighting conditions with the iSis.
- ColorMunki Printer profiling - A detailed review looking at the ColorMunki ICC printer profiling system from X-Rite. This expands on this particular aspect of our initial review of the ColorMunki. Covers making and optimising printer profiles, with notes on profile evaluation.
- ColorMunki - an initial review of this printer/projector/monitor calibration/profiling device.
- i1 Beamer - A software upgrade and hardware attachment device for using the X-rite i1 Pro spectrophotometer for digital projector profiling
- i1 Display 2 - Monitor calibration and profiling device from GretagMacbeth - also allows ambient light measurement. (see also updated Pantone version)
- i1 Match update - updated monitor calibration functionality
- i1 LT (i1Basic) - review
Basic X-rite i1 spectrophotometer package for monitor calibration, light measurement and basic printer profiling.
- i1 XTreme - review
Complete i1 profiling package, printers, cameras, projectors, scanners.
- i1 Design
A Spectrophotometer and software for monitor calibration, light measurement and basic printer profiling.
- Measuring ruler - update to measuring ruler for the i1 design.
- i1 scanner profiling
Using the Eye One with a scan target to get better results form your film or flatbed scanner.
- i1 Camera profiling with the SG colorchecker
- i1 printer profiling
More advanced printer profiling with the Eye One.
- i1 profile editing - The Eye One Match software from GretagMacbeth (now X-rite) now allows you to edit icc printer profiles. How easy is it to use, and what things should you consider before editing profiles.
- The Eye-One iO automated scanning table - review - An automated solution to improving the quality and accuracy of target measurement for printer profiles when using the i1 (ex Eye One) spectrophotometer.
- i1 iSis - advanced measuring device for printer profiling.
An automated whole chart reader for printer profiling test charts. A3 and A4 versions provide spectrophotometer readings for both UV and UV-Cut (filtered) measurements.
- X-Rite are shipping updated i1Pro 2 with i1Profiler 1.3
Reviews: i1Pro 2 Basic
- i1Pro 2 Photo
April 2010 X-Rite ship V1.0 of i1 Profiler - Full i1 Profiler reviews and information
May 2010 X-Rite annouce new profiling software for Q4 2010 - i1 Match and ProfileMaker Pro will be superseded by i1Profiler later in 2010. We have some notes and press info in the X-rite information section of the Northlight blog. For purchases after April 1st 2010 here will be free upgrades, along with other offers when the software is available.
Sept. 2008 X-Rite and the i1 range
From Sept. the range is simplified to two options. The functionality is the same as we have reviewed, but exactly what you get varies. As a result of this rationalisation, the i1Photo, i1Photo SG, i1Proof and i1XT have all been discontinued, and the i1 range now consists of:
- The i1Basic - i1Pro measuring device with monitor profiling software
- The new i1XTreme - professional monitor, RGB and CMYK printer, camera, scanner and projector profiling, plus profile editing
With the i1XTreme you can calibrate and profile:
- Monitors - LCD, CRT and laptops
- RGB output devices
- CMYK output devices
- Digital projectors
- Digital cameras*
*Requires Digital ColorChecker SG Chart - available separately.
Datacolor (aka ColorVision)
- Spyder4TV HD - Review of Datacolor's Spyder based TV and home cinema calibration kit.
- Spyder4Express - Review of basic monitor profiling and why you need it.
- Spyder4Pro - Review of monitor profiling and calibration package (multiple monitor support)
- Spyder4Elite - Full review of the (multiple) monitor and projector profiler from Datacolor.
- SpyderCheckr - Colour test target for creating camera adjustment profiles for better colour reproduction.
- Spyder3Elite V4.0 - Review of the improved and updated software for the Spyder 3 elite - Monitor and Projector calibration.
- Spyder3express - review of Datacolor's basic calibration equipment and software
- Spyder3Print SR - Full review of the latest printer profiling system from Datacolor. Updated spectrocolorimeter allows for strip and patch reading.
- Spyder3Print - printer profiling package for creating icc printer profiles. Allows considerable optimisation of profile qualities, including black and white.
- Spyder3Pro - monitor profiling with multiple monitor support and ambient light measurement.
- Spyder3elite - review of the comprehensive monitor and projector profiling system with multiple monitor support and ambient light measurement.
- Spyder2express - entry level monitor profiling system from ColorVision for Macs and PCs.
- A review of the Spyder 2 pro monitor calibration system.
- Projector profiling with the Spyder 2 Pro.
- Spyder2PRO Ambient light measurement
The Spyder2PRO now allows you to measure your ambient room lighting conditions before deciding on monitor calibration settings.
- PrintFIX PRO
A considerable upgrade to the PrintFIX. The new version uses a Spectrocolorimeter to let you create printer icc profiles (Not sold directly any more - you can ugrade the software for free to Spyder3 Print)
- Updated PrintFIX PRO - better colour printing and B/W too...
- PrintFIX PLUS The software only version of PrintFIX PRO that allows you to create icc profiles without your own patch reader.
- The original PrintFIX review. Printer profiling system (not sold directly any more)
- Pantone Eye One Display LT - monitor profiling. The mid range monitor profiling solution in the trio from Pantone. The measuring device is an Eye One Display LT from GretagMacbeth, and uses the Eye One Match software.
- Pantone Eye One Display 2 - monitor profiling. The measuring device is an Eye One Display 2 from GretagMacbeth, and uses the Eye One Match software. This review has additional information to that in our original GretagMacbeth Eye One Display 2 review, and compares features between the Display 2, Display LT and Huey.
- Pantone Huey Pro - review
Dual monitor support and and improved set of options compared to the basic huey.
- Pantone Huey - review
The Huey is a new and relatively inexpensive addition to the monitor profiling market. Keith looks at how it performs, including its novel capacity to modify your monitor setup in response to changing room lighting.