ColorVision Spyder 2 Plus review - LetsGoDigital Camera Magazine
Member of DIWA Awards ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System for CRT and LCD displays
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System for CRT and LCD displays
ColorVision Spyder2 Plus Review
ColorVision Spyder2 Plus
Introduction
Colour management is still a subject for many of us, professionals included, that is just not reality. We all know, that calibrating your monitor is one of the tasks that keeps your editing skill on a stable level of quality. But, in reality we all work on non-calibrated monitors. How about changing this habit, and start creating your own work environment that includes accurate colour resulting in a print that is produced more accurately? Pantone Colorvision offers a tool that is able to get the job done. We received the Spyder2 Plus software package, a bundle that consists of Spyder2 Colorimeter, Spyder2 software, Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0 and Pantone colorist software. Our experience? Well, continue to read and learn more about Spyder2 Plus colour management software!
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System for CRT and LCD displays
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System for CRT and LCD displays
ColorVision Spyder2 Hardware installation
Every monitor, cheap or high-end, needs some help to get the best results. If your monitor doesn't display accurate colours, it is very hard to get prints right like you have seen them on the screen. It goes like this, you take a digital camera, you like to edit your own shots via a monitor (LCD or CRT), and print them out. Those three need to work together and at least your own eyes need to get the best help they can get, and this is where colour management introduces itself.
Spyder2 Software installation
Spyder2 program welcomes you - click next to proceed.
Spyder2 program welcomes you - click next to proceed.
To begin the installation process choose the directory to install to.
To begin the installation process choose the directory to install to.
Installing the software will update the register of your OS.
Installing the software will update the register of your OS
After calibration process you can select the profile Spyder2 made from your monitor by activating the ProfileChooser program.
After calibration process you can select the profile Spyder2 made from your monitor by activating the ProfileChooser program.
ColorVision Calibration Spyder2 Plus
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System
Doing it the easiest way you adjust your monitor just by the eye and set the contrast and brightness. However, this is far from accurate. There are various tools on the market, most of them software based, but to get the job properly done you need hardware. The software on CD-ROM (Spyder2 software and ProfilerPLUS Plug-in) of the Spyder2 package needs to be installed first. ProfilerPLUS 2.3, a plug-in for Photoshop, is installed within seconds, and the Spyder2 1.0.5 software follows with a minute extra. Installation process goes flawless. During installation you need to enter your code that is mentioned on a small sticker, and after that the job is almost done. Just plug-in the USB cable of the Colorvision device, wait for Windows to automatically recognize it, and double-click on the Spyder2 icon on your desktop.
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System
Before you run off to start installing the software you need to take some precautions; make sure that no light source is shining directly onto your screen. This means no desk lamps, etc. Just minimize ambient light. Second important fact is that you should calibrate your screen in the same room lighting conditions as usual when you use the same screen. For the best result it is wise to turn on your screen and let it warm up for about an hour, the Spyder2 sensor should at least be active for 5 minutes to reach the most stable condition, colour depth of your screen should be set to 24 bit colour or higher. Other than that, like some possible USB connection errors, it should work without any hassle. The software works, of course, with Windows and Mac machines.
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System
Spyder2 Plus Box content
Spyder2 Box content
ColorVision delivers more Spyder2 versions than the one we received. Our Spyder2 Plus package came with Spyder2 software, Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0, Pantone colorist software and the Spyder2 Colorimeter. Another package is the Spyder2 Pro Studio version aiming at the professional or enthusiastic amateur.
It features all the software you need to calibrate on a pro-level and creates precise ICC display profiles from your screen (CRT, LCD or notebook). Beside the Spyder2 and Pantone colorist software the package contains extra software including nik Color Efex Pro 2.0 Standard Edition and ColorVision DoctorPRO software to enhance, edit, correct, and specify colors on your images, screens and printers. Nik Color Efex contains several filters that can be used to create superb and creative effects. The Spyder2 Pro version supports multiple monitor calibration and matching. A basic version is the ColorPlus package containing the sensor, ColorPlus calibration software and Adobe Photoshop Album Starter Edition.
ColorVision products are available worldwide. At the website of ColorVision you will be able to select your product and purchase it, or choose via the 'Where to buy' feature a store in your region.
Go to the ColorVison website to find out more about the entire line of PANTONE ColorVision products. To find the nearest retail store in your country click on "Where to buy
Placing the sensor is easy. Using the counterweight, attached to the USB cable, you balance the weight of the sensor. To work precisely you can slide the counterweight along the cable. When the Spyder2 sensor is used to calibrate a CRT monitor you have to remove the filter attachment in order to let the suckers hold the device in place on your CRT monitor. With LCD calibrations you leave the filter attachment just where it is and lay the Spyder2 sensor flat against the screen. When you slightly tilt the screen you make sure that the sensor makes contact.
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System
Now that we have set the device and installed the software we are ready to run the calibration process. During the check there are some questions to be answered. It all makes sense and is clear for everyone and also to the point. I made the choice of calibrating my screen with a gamma value of 2.2 and a white point of 6500K which is the most common choice. I used the Spyder2 for calibrating my LCD screen. It is important to check if your settings for contrast, gamma and brightness are set to standard before calibration process starts off.



Spyder2 Placing on LCD screen
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System
After placing the sensor on the screen it is a matter of a mouse click to start calibrating. The screen shows a black square and the sensor starts reading the black point, then goes through all the different colours the monitor can display. After verifying the colour temperature the calibration process finishes. It takes about 12 minutes "The next software update will reduce this time" and results in a fresh calibrated screen and a monitor profile that will be stored in the system to be used by applications that automatically check monitor characteristics. On the next screen the program shows the differences of the calibration before and after, and to put it mildly: it is a difference. In my case, richer colours, deeper contrast and less brightness. From now on it will only be a matter of taking some time to recalibrate on a regular base, and leave the settings of your LCD screen just the way they are then.
ColorVision Spyder2 Calibration process
1). First, choose the type of monitor you wish to calibrate. In a straight forwarded presentation an explanation is given. Just click the option and continue the process. 2). Which color temperature and Gamma level is suitable for your work flow? In normal conditions a Gamma of 2.2 and temperature of 6500 will do the job. Try to start of with these figures, you can always change the profile if needed.
1). First, choose the type of monitor you wish to calibrate. In a straight forwarded presentation an explanation is given. Just click the option and continue the process.
2). Which color temperature and Gamma level is suitable for your work flow? In normal conditions a Gamma of 2.2 and temperature of 6500 will do the job. Try to start of with these figures, you can always change the profile if needed.
3). Some monitors or LCD scan adjust multiple settings like brightness, contrast and backlight. If your screen is able to manage those settings select some or all of them and proceed. Otherwise select none and continue. 4). The white luminance level ensures that your screen is displaying a true range of whites. It is very important in order to calibrate successful, to leave your screen set to its factory default settings.
3). Some monitors or LCD scan adjust multiple settings like brightness, contrast and backlight. If your screen is able to manage those settings select some or all of them and proceed. Otherwise select none and continue.
4). The white luminance level ensures that your screen is displaying a true range of whites. It is very important in order to calibrate successful, to leave your screen set to its factory default settings.
5). The same procedure needs to be done here. Leave your screen set to its factory default settings (Open configuration mode, select monitor and reset to default settings - Windows). This way it will give the best results. 6). The check boxes need to be select or not at all to ensure color calibration. Some monitors are able to manual set RGB levels or Kelvin values. Check your monitor specifications before you proceed!
5). The same procedure needs to be done here. Leave your screen set to its factory default settings (Open configuration mode, select monitor and reset to default settings - Windows). This way it will give the best results.
6). The check boxes need to be select or not at all to ensure color calibration. Some monitors are able to manual set RGB levels or Kelvin values. Check your monitor specifications before you proceed!
7). By selecting RGB adjustment option the captured screen above shows the RGB levels. Together with the Spyder2 software you will be able to adjust the RGB levels as preciously as possible to achieve the desired result of the color temperature you choose in the start of the calibration process. 8). The sensor of the Spyder2 placed on a LCD screen with the Spyder2 software running. The counterweight of the USB cable is behind the screen to ensure a stable position for calibration.
7). By selecting RGB adjustment option the captured screen above shows the RGB levels. Together with the Spyder2 software you will be able to adjust the RGB levels as preciously as possible to achieve the desired result of the color temperature you choose in the start of the calibration process.
8). The sensor of the Spyder2 placed on a LCD screen with the Spyder2 software running. The counterweight of the USB cable is behind the screen to ensure a stable position for calibration.
ColorVision Spyder2 Before and after
ColorVision Spyder2 Advanced Color Calibration System - Before and after Before and After, setting the right RGB values.
The Spyder2 package is very easy to use, and shows a remarkable difference in going from an uncalibrated screen to a calibrated one. I also tested the Spyder2 to see the difference between a "software calibrated" screen and the same screen calibrated using Spyder2. Using the 'before and after' calibration feature shows a vast difference between the two. At a glance it seems that colours are more saturated, more accurate and shades become somewhat more detailed.
I am satisfied using the Spyder2 and from today on I use the monitor profile created by Spyder2 for my screen that handles the numerous images that pass the screen all day. The software is very user-friendly, using the sensor is easier than using a mouse. The Spyder2 Plus package is definitely worthwhile to add to your standard equipment. Working with a calibrated CRT or LCD screen is much more convenient and gives you the end results that you are looking for, especially when you are working with images like the ones that are captured on your flash card right now. Looking for an easy way to calibrate your screen(s), the Colorvision Spyder2 is the right solution for you!
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