luvhavingeyesluvhavingeyes Registered Users Posts: 1 Beginner grinner
edited August 30, 2014 in Digital Darkroom

Ok. Let me say that I am not a technically minded person. If anyone knows these answers I'd be grateful. I am not even sure these are the right questions to be asking.

I have a Sony Vaio from 2009 VGN-FWS10D. I found some ATI control window that seems to control gamma, brightness and contrast. I also have a Spyder 4 Pro at my disposal.

a) FIRST QUESTION: for controlling brightness.... I feel like setting brightness via ATI to about -70 is closest to the print. But that seems to be very low based on recommendations I read everywhere.

b) SECOND QUESTION: what should work better: ATI to control brightness then Spyder to control color??? or Spyder for everything???

c) THIRD QUESTION: what exactly is target brightness in Spyder 4 Pro. Once I calibrate for a brightness does the laptop need to stay at the brightness for correct color? The reason I ask is that we all use this computer and we have brightness hot keys that are very inaccurate and get used regularly.



  • NewsyNewsy Registered Users Posts: 605 Major grins
    edited August 30, 2014
    The Spyder Pro does not allow you to set a target brightness in the same manner as you would with the Spyder Elite. The Elite has a dedicated module for this and it works really well. You set the value you want to see, i.e. 120 cd/m2, and the Elite's software gives an active semi real time (click to update) screen to see what the current value is after you tweak the Brightness control on your monitor/laptop

    With the Pro and when using the Advanced mode of the software, late in the calibration there is a screen where the White Luminance value in "cd/m2" is displayed on the right hand side of the screen. This is the only point in the calibration where the white luminance value is shown. If the brightness is not right at this point, to refresh the value you have to make the change on the monitor/laptop and then go through the entire calibration process again to see the refreshed white luminance value.

    As I understand it, when using the Easy/Simple mode of the Pro's calibration software, this screen may not be shown. The Easy/Simple mode is the easiest mode to use for calibrating a laptop.


    Personally, I would not put a lot of time into calibrating the screen of that laptop. Most laptops of that era have back lights that offer somewhere between 50% and 67% coverage of the sRGB color space. They also have a TN panel on which the gamma/color shifts dramatically as the viewing angle off centre increases. They are simply not very color accurate.

    You would get a much more controlled viewing experience if you bought a cheap (less than $150) 22" 1920x1080 external monitor with an IPS LCD panel and a LED backlight. This is also able to be calibrated much more accurately due it has real controls for Brightness & Contrast and RGB.


    Panel types - so I mentioned "TN" and "IPS". You can read about them here >>

    To see the real world difference, look at the reviews on this site for the "Viewing Angles" section where images of the screens are shown at various angles. Here's links to monitors with these panels:

    TN >>

    IPS >>


    Re "Target" value for Brightness (white luminance cd/m2)

    There is no single correct value. It depends on the amount of ambient lighting you have in the room you edit/calibrate in. If you are in an office with Workmans' Compensation suggested levels of lighting, you may need 160 cd/m2. If you are in you den and like to work at night with all the lights off, it could be 60 to 80 cd/m2.

    Most people edit in a room lit by one or two 800 lumen bulbs and calibrate to 100 to 120 cd/m2.

    The only real true test is to edit an image, adjust the brightness levels in your image to suit your eye and then print that image. Also, print the same image from an original unedited copy of that image. Compare the two. If the edited version is too dark, it means your monitor/laptop screen is too bright for the ambient lighting of the room you edit in.

    There is a real ROUGH way to check if the brightness of your screen is balanced against the ambient lighting of the room. You CANNOT use this reliably in a darkish room. There has to be significant amount of ambient lighting for this rough guide to work.

    Grab a sheaf of white printer paper (several pages thick) and hold it up next to your monitor while it is displaying a white screen and while the room has its' typical lighting used while you edit. If the paper looks brighter than your monitor, then your monitor is too dark. If the paper is darker, then the monitor is too bright or perhaps you need to increase the ambient lighting of the room. If your room lighting uses 2700K bulbs it may make the paper appear yellowish and you will perceive this to be slightly darker so best to do this with 5000K bulbs for better results.

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