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I had had my monitor calibrated by a friend about one year ago, and it now looks as if it needs redoing. Unfortunately, the friend is no longer available. Is anyone using the inexpensive Spyder4Express (I'm on a very tight budget) calibration tool? If so, is it adequate for stock images (e.g. Alamy)?

 

Thanks / Merci Beaucoup

Edited by John Mitchell
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Yes I have used Spyder.. but it was an older one, about spyder2 .. I got a new PC earlier this year and needed to calibrate the monitor but the spyder wouldn't download on the  new PC so I just connected  the new monitor to the old modem and done it that way.. it worked fine...Just have a look at my images see what you think..I do use Light room to convert from Raw and Elements11 """of which I do not like""" ..I had CS3 on my old PC and for some reason I couldn't trans fare  it over and just can't justify paying £600 for CS6 so its silly Elements for the time being.. 

  Barbara

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Yes I have used Spyder.. but it was an older one, about spyder2 .. I got a new PC earlier this year and needed to calibrate the monitor but the spyder wouldn't download on the  new PC so I just connected  the new monitor to the old modem and done it that way.. it worked fine...Just have a look at my images see what you think..I do use Light room to convert from Raw and Elements11 """of which I do not like""" ..I had CS3 on my old PC and for some reason I couldn't trans fare  it over and just can't justify paying £600 for CS6 so its silly Elements for the time being.. 

  Barbara

Thanks for the reply, Barbara. I had a look at your images. They are very nice, but some of them look a bit dark on my monitor. However, as I said, my display now needs calibrating (the gamma is off for sure), so I'm probably not the one to ask.

Edited by John Mitchell
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Yes I have used Spyder.. but it was an older one, about spyder2 .. I got a new PC earlier this year and needed to calibrate the monitor but the spyder wouldn't download on the  new PC so I just connected  the new monitor to the old modem and done it that way.. it worked fine...Just have a look at my images see what you think..I do use Light room to convert from Raw and Elements11 """of which I do not like""" ..I had CS3 on my old PC and for some reason I couldn't trans fare  it over and just can't justify paying £600 for CS6 so its silly Elements for the time being.. 

  Barbara

Thanks for the reply, Barbara. I had a look at your images. They are very nice, but some of them look a bit dark on my monitor. However, as I said, my display now needs calibrating (the gamma is off for sure), so I'm probably not the one to ask.

 

You Know John I know about the dark ones.. I think its just the way I like some images... but I will have to get into "Alamy" mode in the future...

  Cheers   Barbara 

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I bought the Spyder 4 Pro "used in like new condition" on Ebay last year and it works great.  I'm not sure what the difference is when compared to the Spyder Express.

I believe that with Spyder Express, most parameters are preset and non-adjustable -- e.g. gamma 2.2, colour temperature 6500K, etc.

 

Also, the Express apparently has no ambient light sensor. However, the light in my work area changes from hour to hour, so I wonder how useful this feature really is.

Edited by John Mitchell
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I use a Spyder 4 (Pro) and often leave the sensor disconnected and have not noticed a real problem with changing ambient light although I do draw the (translucent) blinds on my north facing window during the day if I am doing serious post production. But then I am not that critical as I am not generally working for print, high end advertising and other clients where colour matching is important. Most of my pix are used small in magazines, newspapers or on the web. Seems OK for standalone images used as DPS or cover as well. I am looking for consistency across a batch, a subject rather than absolute accuracy; and pleasant pictures when they appear on on other people's systems.

 

I should not think the fixed gamma, white point etc of Express should be an issue. I generally take the default anyway as they are pretty much industry standard.

 

My view would be that Spyder 4 Express is significantly better than nothing (I very nearly bought it when I bought my Pro). Probably better than Spyder 2 and the like that we were happily using only a few years ago.

Edited by Martin P Wilson
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I had had my monitor calibrated by a friend about one year ago, and it now looks as if it needs redoing. Unfortunately, the friend is no longer available. Is anyone using the inexpensive Spyder4Express (I'm on a very tight budget) calibration tool? If so, is it adequate for stock images (e.g. Alamy)?

 

Thanks / Merci Beaucoup

 

As mentioned it's limited in it's target, i.e. it's really set up for sRGB. That might be good enough for most monitors and your workflow, however these devices will last for years and not being able to calibrate to native white point etc might become an issue. In the UK the pro version is not that much more expensive and just might be worth considering.

 

The Spyder pucks are now fit for purpose, they were slightly dodgy in earlier versions (pinking of the whites) and AFAIK, this wasn't accounted for in the software (at least with BasicColor techs).

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Also, the Express apparently has no ambient light sensor. However, the light in my work area changes from hour to hour, so I wonder how useful this feature really is.

 

I have the Spyder Elite 4 and don't even use the ambient sensor.

 

 

Spyder4Express will do the job if its only to calibrate your monitor. More expensive calibration tools calibrate screen-printer, beamers and nowadays even iPads, iPhones and Android devices.

I would advice to calibrate always in the same lighting conditions (in the dark or very dim light ........ and in fact you should also work in those same conditions to get the best results) and wear dark clothing if you stay in front of your screen (a bright coloured or white t-shirt might influence the calibration process).

Oh yeah, wait half an hour (after turning your monitor on) before you start calibrating.

 

Cheers and good luck,

Philippe

 

+1 I also edit in a very dark room. Outside of what Philippe has already stated, I'd add be sure to check for firmware updates when you get Spyder before first calibration. Do a full cal. to start and set your display all the way to 100% brightness. Data Color states to set your monitor to your comfort level, but when I did that it didn't work properly. Now my monitor will only get so bright (prolly about 30-40%), so no chance of editing at different brightnesses with it set on the highest brightness, which is what I really like. :) Though it's a pain when I come across dark images cuz I cannot brighten to see them at their potential.

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Thanks very much for all the helpful comments. The last time my monitor was calibrated (not by me), it was in fairly dim conditions, which seemed to yield good results. B&H in NYC has Spyder4Express on sale for $79, which is much cheaper than it is available for in Canada. I'm generally not much for fiddling with advanced settings, but I'll look at the other fancier options as well.

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