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Old September 27th, 2010, 08:41 PM   #1
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Advice on callibrating dual monitor setup

Hello all,
I recently purchased two Dell U2410 LCDs.
Over all, I'm very satisfied with the monitors, considering their price.
My problem is there is a very blatant color difference between the monitors.
I realize 100% perfect color matching out of the box is not realistic, but I did not expect such a dramatic mismatch between two identical model monitors. Attached is a photo of both monitors side by side at the sRGB settings. The mismatch is obvious at all presets.
I tweaked the monitors as best I could under the custom color preset, however the monitors do not have any way to control gamma (at least none that I can find) through the menus. The mismatch is a lot less pronounce, but even without objective calibration it is still obvious enough to bother me.

I would really appreciate your advice:
1. Is this example out of the ordinary? Should I send the monitors back for replacement/re-calibration?
2. I was hoping not to have to purchase a hardware calibrator at this time, since I'm currently not working on anything for print/broadcast. However I want at the very least to have properly matched up monitors! If I must purchase, I would be grateful for recommendations on what hardware calibrator to get. Budget is not great at the moment, but I'm not one for getting worthless gear just to save a few $, so I'm looking for the most basic option that is still reliable.

Many thanks in advance :)
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Jon Shohet is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 27th, 2010, 10:36 PM   #2
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The Spyder 3 Pro is relatively affordable, and it really does a great job. Few LCD monitors have much beyond backlight hardware controls these days - even the really good monitors, so a hardware calibration is pretty much required if you want to trust what you're seeing in terms of color and luminance.
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Old September 27th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #3
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Second the spider 3. Works great!
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Old September 28th, 2010, 12:03 PM   #4
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The Spyder is pretty good for the price. The only other calibrator to look at in that price range is the X-Rite Color Eye.

If you do get the Spyder, make sure you get it with either the "Pro" or "Elite" bundle. The Lite bundle doesn't support multiple monitors.
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Old September 28th, 2010, 05:50 PM   #5
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Thanks guys.
Just to make sure : since no one directly responded to the attachment I posted, am I to assume that it is unfortunately common for "twin" dual monitors in the Dell's price range to be so badly mismatched without hardware calibration?

Thanks for recommending the Spyder. A quick price check shows that both the Spyder Elite and the X-rite i1Display 2 can be found for almost the same price, under 200$, definitely reasonable.
Is there any objective, technical reason to choose one over the other? (in terms of calibration precision, build quality, ect.).

Cheers :)
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Old September 28th, 2010, 07:22 PM   #6
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The X-Rite can be used with a HP Dreamcolor.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 03:17 AM   #7
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I have an older pair of Dell 24's, they are similarly mismatched... one with pronounced red shift, one leaning towards blue, pretty much like yours!

I used to use a Pantone Huey with decent results, but it wasn't to friendly with dual monitors (I think the pro version of the Huey is, but not sure?). Adjusts for room lighting, which can be nice.

I recently ran across a colormunki (the cheap "create" version with the white puck) - does dual monitors, quite well matched, and for the sub $100 price (BIN on FleaBay), not bad, although I wish it had some user control - the "standard" setting seems well balanced enough though.
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Old September 29th, 2010, 02:13 PM   #8
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spyder3 PRO will get you dead on with calibration. Best $140 I've ever spent!
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Old October 28th, 2010, 06:16 AM   #9
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i have been using Matrox mini and also a spyder pro to calibrate a Dell U2410, and i am sorely disappointed to find the Matrox apparently does NOT actually calibrate the monitor (Matrox MXO2 Mini Calibration Issues : Matrox Video Systems), and also, the U2410 has the pink tint problem (google it!) which the spyder pro does NOT compensate for.
i am beginning to understand why the Matrox does not work, but the spyder pro, which takes a direct reading from the monitor output, *should* compensate for this pink tint and give me accurate colors for print media. or am i missing something? i drag a white window between a spyder pro calibrated iMac screen and the spyder pro calibrated Dell, and the Dell is clearly PINK tinted!!
why?
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