Hardware Calibration Targets



We're often asked about starting points to use for defining calibration targets with hardware calibration systems like NEC's SpectraView2 (SV2) or Eizo ColorNavigator (CN).

So - here are some example targets, which are the ones we use here at Image Science and have found to work well. They should be considered starting points and you should feel free to further tweak the settings to get even better results for your particular scenario. For example, if you have very warm interior lights, you will get a better screen to print match with significantly lower (i.e. warmer) whitepoints than those mentioned below.

Gamma should always be 2.2 (unless you're doing something very unusual) - so I won't repeat it every time.

Where 'contrast ratio - maximum' is mentioned, this means set the whitepoint to the level as advised for that target, and then the black point to minimum (CN), or the contrast ratio control to maximum contrast (SV2).

Movie Watching, Slide Shows / Audio Visuals

With this target you're trying to get the monitor to look it's outright best, it's not so much about accuracy for a particular paper or anything - just sheer visual punch while keeping things looking natural.

  • Set your monitor to a whitepoint of 6500K - this is the standard for HDTVs and indeed for general purpose photographic usage as defined by the AIPP, so it's probably the best general purpose whitepoint to use.
  • Set a pretty high brightness - possibly even maximum brightness (LCD TVs and plasmas are typically used at very bright levels, particularly in rooms with a lot of natural light - 400 cd/m2 or more is not uncommon in these scenarios). Since these sessions are generally 3 hours or less, it is not generally fatiguing to use a higher brightness
  • Set your contrast ratio to maximum - you're not trying to mimic paper, and the eye really likes contrast.
  • For movies - use sRGB as the gamut (or REC 709 if available) - this is essentially the standard for HDTVs although with 4K TVs you should probably use the native gamut instead as the new 4K video standards are wide gamut.

Browsing: Non Colour Managed Browsers

(Internet Explorer, Google Chrome)
  • Set your monitor to a whitepoint of 6500K.
  • Set a moderate brightness, comfortable for reading for extended periods - around 100 to 120 cd/m2 suits most situations.
  • Set your contrast ratio to maximum.
  • Set the gamut to sRGB mode if you can (e.g. in Color Navigator when you define the gamut, choose sRGB - with the new NEC PA monitors you use MultiProfiler to do this).

Browsing: Colour Managed Browsers

(Safari, Firefox)
  • Set your monitor to a whitepoint of 6500K.
  • Set a moderate brightness, comfortable for reading for extended periods - around 100 to 120 cd/m2 suits most situations.
  • Set your contrast ratio to maximum.
  • Allow the monitor to use it's full native gamut.

Proofing for Fine Art Papers

  • Around 5500K is usually right for the whitepoint - you can visually refine this with SpectraView, or take measurements in Colour Navigator and SpectraView, but in general you can find the right whitepoint with a little tweaking of this value.
  • Set a lower brightness of around 90 cd/m2.
  • Set the contrast ratio to 150:1 or a bit over (= black point of 0.6).
  • Allow the monitor to use it's full native gamut, or you can load a printer profile to define the gamut target.

Proofing for Gloss & Semi-Gloss Papers

  • Set your monitor to a whitepoint of around 6000K.
  • Set your brightness to 100 cd/m2.
  • Set the contrast ratio to 200:1 or slightly higher (= black point of 0.5).
  • Allow the monitor to use it's full native gamut, or you can load a printer profile to define the gamut target.