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A few days ago I invested in an X-Rite i1 Display 2 colourometer, as per this answer, although I'm having great difficulty getting a Dell U2412M and a Dell E1911 monitor to the same whitepoint. I've tried the software that the device came with and a demo of another piece of software (I can't recall the name unfortunately). I have settled on a piece of free software called Argyll CMS along with the GUI frontend dispcalGUI, as it seems a little more capable; however, this is simply my impression of it.

I'm aware that there will be differences in quality between the U2412M and the E1911, although I'd have thought that after calibrating the monitor and creating a high quality profile for both monitors that the difference would be next to impossible to detect with the eyes. However, there is a very noticable difference in the colours the two monitors show. The U2412M seems to have a slight red tinge to it, while the E1911 has seems more of a grey tinge.

The calibration settings I've used for both monitors is as follows:

Whitepoint: 6500K
White level: 120cd/m2
Black level: Native
Tone curve: 2.2
Calibration quality: High
Profile quality: High
Profile type: Curves + matrix
Testchart file: Large testchart for "curves + matrix" profiles.

I have control of the brightness, contrast and individual RGB channels, so I'm able to calibrate the monitor before using a profile. I've put up links to the profile verification reports for the U2412M and the E1911. You can see that each monitor seems to struggle with particularly blue colours.

Obviously there is no way you can see the actual colours displayed by the monitors, but as I said, it is quite a noticable difference. I know this is a little open-ended, but could anybody suggest what may be going wrong here, or have I just got bad quality monitors?

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Based on your comment to Paul's answer, it sounds like you might want to return the calibrator you have, and pick up a DataColor Spyder 3 Elite. With the 4.x software, the Spyder is specifically designed to calibrate multiple devices to a common baseline, and has the software to keep multiple devices calibrations in sync (even if they are attached to different computers.) –  jrista Mar 11 '12 at 16:35
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2 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

I used to work for Gretag MacBeth (and later X-Rite when they acquired Gretag.) I've written code for color monitor calibration. Your calibrator is defective and it should not do that. Sadly, the color filters in the unit itself may not ever be able to calibrate your monitor. My i1Display will not calibrate my MacBook monitor... I would contact X-Rite and see if they'll take it back or replace it.

The X-Rite ColorMunki was in development when I left there. It may be a better choice but if I recall it is pretty expensive.

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Hi Paul. Thanks very much for taking the time to comment here - clearly you've got first hand experience with this then. :) Just to clarify when you say it should not do that. what precisely do you mean? Fortunately I bought it from Amazon, although as I'm in the UK (we've very strict consumer protection), they don't have an option other than to take it back... I've since noticed that the i1 is discontinued, even so I still paid around £130 (approx $200); I'm not against paying for quality if it does a good job, although as this is my first colourometer, it has left a bad first impression... –  R4D4 Mar 11 '12 at 14:35
Hi Paul. I have to agree with R4D4 here...your answer is kind of hard to follow, and also feels more anecdotal than factual. Could you improve your answer to be clearer as to what the problem actually is, with perhaps a link or two to either a device or alternative software that might help resolve the issue? –  jrista Mar 11 '12 at 16:33
Sadly, I was deliberately vague on purpose. Remember, I used to work there and am privy to confidential materials which I absolutely cannot disclose. As in "should not work" you can take it to mean many things, I do know that it is possible to get the i1Display to make side by side monitors match. I did it all the time. So if it doesn't, something is wrong. –  Paul Cezanne Mar 11 '12 at 17:19
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Now this is where a monitor color calibration device comes in help. If you need precise color calibration, I would suggest you to go for one. There are many calibrator from Pantone ( http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/category.aspx?ca=2 ) and if you google, you will find others with great reviews. They are easy to use. All you have to do is just install their bundled software, plug your device in USB and put it on top of your monitor facing it :)

Its easy and precise.

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The question is about the use of such a device. –  mattdm Mar 11 '12 at 14:38
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