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Old Apr 13, 2006, 5:29 PM   #1
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Between the Color Vision Spyder2 and Monarco Optix, which should I consider. What are the strong points of each system. Money is a factor here.... Something about 150.00

Thanks for you suggestions
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 8:56 AM   #2
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The only one that I have used is the Spyder on a Windows system. I have found it to be easy to use and effective, FWIW.


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Old Apr 14, 2006, 9:03 AM   #3
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Thanks for your input. I have been told the two are similiar but just wanted some feedback from those who have used either system.Connie D
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 10:48 AM   #4
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Up front, I want to say it really comes down to your standards. I have very high standards, and therefor I am willing to invest time and money to meet them. Yours might not be as high... I have no way of knowing.

My information is slightly old, so take it as you will.

When I had to decide, the Spyder system was much worse for older monitors. And it wasn't that great on new monitors. It "got the job done" and that was about it.

I read a variety of reviews that universally thought bad of the spyer. One went so far as to not include it in their review and wrote up a separate article about why they didn't include it. (that site talked with spyder about their issues, so maybe they got used to improve the next version?)

Since that time, a new version of the Spyder has come out and people do seem to like it better.

I went for the Monaco Optix XR Pro, and I have been very happy. When I soft-proof my prints using the monitor profile I have and the paper profiles that came with my Epson 4000, I see effectively exactly what the print will look like.

I find the software easy to use and it covers all the aspects that I want (setting gama, white and black ranges, and validates against on-screen color swatches.)

Many people here like the Spyder. The question is how your standards match with theirs. For me, the list of issues with the spyder (at the time) kept me away.

Eric
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 11:08 AM   #5
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Thank you Eric. I am just beginning all this digital stuff so I do not have my standards set where they should be. All I know is when i send a photo or something that I have designed in Photosop to the print lab I am not happy with the color results. Either this is a camera setting issue or printing I am not sure. The lab can color correct the photos and I get satisfactory results. I use the Epson 1280 for printing some of my photos and get the color match from what I see on the monitor screen but when that is printed at the lab I get different colors. So that is why I am looking to buy a calibration system. The lab I use sells the Monaco Optix. Just wanted some feeback from more experienced users. We have an expensive hobby so I probably need to allow spending money to get the best products. Thanks..ConnieD
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 12:00 PM   #6
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I figure I'd give you a bit more info than you asked for and hope that you can find some useful info out of it.

I agree with Eric, it comes down to your standards... As you grow in digi,forsome folks, so do their standards. I used a spyder pro years ago when I first played around with digi (my primary camera's were still film, mainly medium format, shooting weddings, modesl, very high standards). I learned quickly back then that I had to have acalibrated monitor for digi. I was printing my own stuff using profiles that came with the paper I used. I couldn't get the same quality back then with my digital camera as I could with my film camera's so my standards for digital were not high at all, just wanted the print to look okay.

Now, however, I sell my digital prints, some I print myself, some I use a prof. lab. My equipment as grown to some very nice stuff with capabilities to match my Blad with Zeiss lenses and I can get very exacting results. My old spyder just wouldn't do it. After a lot of research, I decided on the Eye-One Photo setup. This allows me to calibrate LCD and CRT, and profile my own paper. I think the Eye-One photo was around 1400.00 (most of this cost is for the spectrocolorimeter to profile paper), you can get a CRT/LCD calibration device of this quality for much less (around 300.00 I'd guess) if you don't want to create your own paper profiles and most folks don't need to bother with this.

What this allows me to do is get a very, VERY close match of what I see on the screen to what I print. My lab has a profile that I use to soft proof my work so that what I send them prints as I see it on my monitor.

I work at a college that teached photography and we have a very nice digital lab. I've spent time talking with instructors and they don't even teach color management in any depth at all since it's a subject that they just can cover in a 45 hour course. (15 weeks at 3 hours per/class).

A fantastic book to get you started down this road is Real World Color Management by Bruce Fraser, Chris Murphy andFred Bunting.

Best of luck, and have fun.

Joe
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Old Apr 15, 2006, 10:35 AM   #7
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And I agree with Joe!

I want to add that I think the solution to your problem might be soft proofing.
The book that he named is very good (I don't have it, but too many people have recommended it for it not to be so.) It would cover what you need to know and lots more.

The 1280 is a very good printer. It doesn't use archival inks, but it has a better dynamic range than what I can get on my Epson 4000. If you can match what that prints then you're monitor isn't really the problem.

The problem probably is that the photo lab isn't matching your monitor.... and this is solved by soft proofing. Do you use photoshop? What you need to do is get a profile of the Lab's printer (any good lab should have a profile readily available for this purpose.) What the profile does it tells photoshop how to simulate in PS the paper and ink of that printer. It also shows when you've got colors in your image that care unreproduceable on that printer. Yes, you can easily have this problem if you print on a matte paper... For example, I have a nice picture of a Black Crowned Night Heron with a lushous green backgroun... that comes out kinda muddy on matte paper but on Glossy (a higher contrast paper) it comes out nearly perfect. The Matte paper just can't represent the image properly.

Look up Soft Proof in the PS manual. Once you get the profile, its quite easy to do. Now, once you enable soft proofing if the image on your monitor doesn't match the results you get when you print at the lab, then you've got a problem and you need to get a calibration system.

If you have reasonably high standards, getting some kinda of hardware profiling device is a good idea. But you don't *have* to get one right now to get reasonably good prints. But if you want good *consistent* results (the monitor will change over time as it ages) then building a profile for your monitor and using it with softproofing should solve your problems.

Eric




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Old Apr 15, 2006, 10:51 AM   #8
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Wow Eric...

You have given me some things to look in to. The book, I will look for at the book store and order if necessary. I do use Photoshop and will look up the soft proofing. I am new with photoshop to begin with so I didn't know that. The monitor and printer match with color, which is what I am trying to achieve with the photo lab. The photos cost more if they color correct them so I am trying to learn to do most of the color correcting myself. Maybe I am a bit over my head for now but I have to learn sometime and why not start now. Thanks for all the info. I meet with the photo lab on Monday and will ask them about the profile from their printer too.

Connie D
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Old Apr 15, 2006, 1:13 PM   #9
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I have Spyder2 Plus and find it to be wonderful.

It can do both CRT and LCD monitors, is easy to use, and the "Plus" is for profiling any printer. All you need is a scanner to profile the printer.
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Old Apr 15, 2006, 2:43 PM   #10
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That may be an option too. I have a scanner so will look into the price of the Spyder 2 plus.

Thanks

ConnieD
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