Calibrating Your Monitors on the Cheap

Doc's Desktop

Graphic Designers, Photographers, Writers and Gamers all crave for the holy grail of computing; multiple monitors in their workspaces. Once you add that second monitor to your workflow it will be very hard for you not to have the luxury of bountiful screen real estate for all your applications and windows to the Web.

Lucky for us, you can buy a monitor or pair of monitors from your local blue box retailers for relatively cheap (around $200). I recently purchased a pair of LG E2350 Widescreen LED Flat-Panels from the “Buy More” for $239.00 each. These monitors are highly recommended all over the blogosphere and I can tell you first hand they are pretty incredible. The only knock you can give this class of LED/LCD monitors is our of the box they are not very consistent in regards to their color settings. I tried for hours to get the two monitors to match up on my Mac Pro and I could get them close but not perfect. I investigated getting a monitor calibration devices but didn’t want to dish out another $229 for a Datacolor Spyder3 Elite display calibrator.

I did a little research and found out my local Shutterbug shop rents out calibrators(actually colorimeters) for less than $20. The software is very easy to use and you can have your monitors matched up and displaying perfect color in minutes. I calibrated my Macbook Pro Unibody and every other machine I could find in the house. Make sure you save your calibrated settings in case you need to recall them later like after a hard drive change or Lion upgrade. Some of the display calibrators even work with calibrating a LED/LCD television as they are just giant iPhones… oh I mean computer monitors… that’s a whole different blog post.

Give your local photo rental shop a call and see if they rent out monitor calibrators. Once your monitor is all trued up you’ll thank your lucky stars you did it.

Quick Tip About Selecting Your Monitor(s)

Don’t get too caught up all the minutia of monitor specifications. They will confuse you and not make that big of a difference in everyday use. Buy your monitors from a dealer with a good return policy and do some real world testing in your very own workspace.

TUAWloha

, , , , , , , , ,

6 Responses to “Calibrating Your Monitors on the Cheap”

  1. Dave9191 January 13, 2011 at 1:32 am #

    The colour profile of a display will change over time. It is recommended that you recalibrate your monitor every 30 days. Depending on the age and quality of your display this may have to be done sooner or later. But having the rent the calibrator every so often will cost more in the long run.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Calibrate your monitors for cheap « Mac City - January 12, 2011

    […] that you can rent a color meter from your local photo shop for somewhat less than $20. He offers a quick but excellent write-up on his personal blog, with hints about the process. (Don't forget to save your calibrated settings […]

  2. Calibrate your monitors for cheap « Geek City - January 12, 2011

    […] that you can rent a color meter from your local photo shop for somewhat less than $20. He offers a quick but excellent write-up on his personal blog, with hints about the process. (Don't forget to save your calibrated settings […]

  3. Calibrate Your Monitors Using A Cheap, Rented Colour Meter | Lifehacker Australia - January 12, 2011

    […] Calibrating Your Monitors on the Cheap [Mr. Doc Rock via TUAW] Tagged:calibrationcolourhardwaremonitors […]

  4. Calibrate Dual Monitors « Daniel C's Tech Beat - January 13, 2011

    […] So you have your screen split over two monitors but notice the colors on the monitors don’t exactly match up, check out this cheap calibration software you can use to get things in sync, check the article out HERE. […]

  5. Calibrate your monitor for $20 « Pixor - January 17, 2011

    […] do by trial and error, but devices like the Datacolor Spyder are pretty expensive. Shawn Boyd has discovered that Shutterbug will rent you a device for […]

Leave a Reply