The EIZO ColorNavigator software that comes with the ColorEdge range of monitors is very easy to use and produces very accurate calibrations and profiles, but it is let down by the default calibration targets. Three targets are offered: Photography, Printing and Web Design. Unfortunately none of them really suit most users or the industries they are targeted at. By far the best option is to click the Create a New Target… button and set your own calibration targets. In this blog I’ll go through the options you’ll get, what you should choose and why.
Once you press Create a New Target… you’ll be asked how you want to create the target, choose Enter Manually. On most models the next choice you’ll get is Gamut. Most recent EIZO ColorEdge monitors have complex 3D 16-bit look up tables that enable them to emulate other colour spaces, such as sRGB or post-production standards such as Rec. 709, EBU, SMPTE-C, and DCI. Most users should select Monitor Native so that the ColorEdge uses all its colour gamut, this includes photographers (even if they use sRGB as their working space), and pre-press and retouchers. Web designers who will be using un-colour managed applications may want to think about using sRGB, those in post-production may want to select the relevant standard.
The major issue I have with the default targets is the white point settings. The default brightness level of 80 cd/m2 might be OK for a few users but is pretty low and most would be far better off choosing 100 cd/m2. Most photographers and pre-press should aim for 100 cd/m2, at least initially. Web designers and video editors may want to go higher to 120 cd/m2. Choosing the right luminance level for you is down to the level of ambient lighting and if you are trying to match to a print in a viewing booth or another monitor. Generally it is better to start in the middle of the usual range rather than at the bottom.
For colour temperature D65 is a good starting point for most photographers and post-production, as it is the same colour temperature as many common standards and working spaces. Pre-press professionals who are trying to match to a D50 viewing booth will often get a better match at 5800K than at D50. Again there is no right an wrong value and anything between D50 and D65 is generally OK, it can depend on your lighting and what you are matching to but for many D65 will be a better starting point.
Most people should leave the black point to minimum, so don’t check the Set The Target Black Level box, leave it alone. The only reason to set a target level is to reduce the contrast on the screen.
All photographers, designers and those in post-production should choose the default gamma of 2.2. Those in pre-press may want to think about using L*. The Priority should usually be set to Standard, but if you are matching more than one monitor then Gray Balance can sometimes help.
Call the target something sensible or accept the suggested name, check Start Adjustment and then click Finish to start the calibration. Once the process is completed open some images in a colour managed application such as Photoshop and see if the target values suit you. If you feel you’d like a brighter or warmer monitor then adjust the brightness or colour temperature targets accordingly.
You can read more about ColorNavigator here, and see a video version of this post below.