I was wondering if anyone have come across any low cost calibration tools for lcd monitors. I am working with os x 10.3.9. I tried the mac calibration tool but I don't trust my eyes 100%. I recently got a print back from a printer that came out way too dark, they checked it and said actually they made it too light. I am pretty sure it is a problem with them but I want to be more confident in knowing that everything is right on my end in the future.
Any help would be gladly appreciated.
canon lens. I also create illustrations in Adobe Illustrator....
What kind of monitor do you have on your Mac? I have both the Spyder and Macbeth calibration systems, but with the HD monitor and Mac calibration on OS X I don't need them. I also do my own printing on an Epson 7600, so I know how insane it can be trying to get a print that's done right.
Any GOOD photo lab will take your file AND a desktop print you've made from the file and try to match what they see on the print. Usually what comes out of a printer will be darker than what you see on your screen, so you might want to lighten it up a little before sending to print. Your monitor is reflecting light at you, but the print is absorbing light and then shooting back what it doesn't absorb. What you see on your monitor is RGB, but all printing is CMYK. It's totally insane, and you'll never get a perfect match. But one thing you can do is convert your file Mode to CMYK, just to check for clipping that will occur with the printer and fiddle with it a bit.
I'm heading off to Washington D.C. this weekend for a master class in printing with some of the top pro photographers in the game and representatives from Epson. I'm taking a laptop with me and will hopefully be able to start a forum on what I'm learning while I'm there....IF I don't go completely nuts:-)
I using low cost colorymetr from www.colorvision.com in Australia it was about 200A$. Its basic but keeping colors stright on the monitor. There is no way for calibration without colorimetric dentisometr device for monitors and printers. Any others metods just are looks like calibration. I tried everytthing. Even MacBeth color table is almost so expensive here as basic colorimetr conected on USB.
After every attempt to calibrate my monitors, attending TWO Epson academies, and using every calibration tool on the market, I've finally made my peace with the fact that LCD is LCD and that's the end of that. The only LCD that's going to be WYSIWYG with a third party printer is made by LeCie, and it costs a fortune.
I've finally settled down with three different print sources and have tested a couple dozen photos. I have a pretty good idea what the difference will be between what I see on the screen and what I'll get from the printer, then tweak the image accordingly. When making masks and isolations, the only way I can "see" the contrast that is lacking on an LCD is to put a Levels layer above the image, move the middle slider all the way to the right, then continue on with the mask with that layer as a guide.
I've even tried hooking up a small CRT next to my big screen, but there just wasn't enough room.
Good luck. Your best bet is to work with your tools as much as you can until you feel what you can't see.