Affordable monitor calibration device advice and suggestions (Linux, Cross platform)

(Danas) #1


I came across an interesting headache and am wondering what would be your advice.

So I am considering to get a calibration device to calibrate my computer’s monitor. I fear my current ICC profile while being okay might be outdated now. And from available options I picked two.

One is open source hardware called Colorhug2 and the other one is Spyder4Express.

Which one would you choose and why?
I am leaning towards Colorhug2, but Spyder4Express now is on sale at a local store and I can get it 5 euros cheaper than Colorhug as well as I am sure that I get no trouble with guarantee service should I need repairs. However there are some things on Colorhug website that seems to indicate it might have some advantages like ambient light capture (lux and XYZ) as opposed to Spyder pro only Lux and I think Spyder4Express has this option stripped away.

So if you were in my shoes which one would you pick? Colorhug2 or SPyder4Express. I am full time Linux so Linux compatibility is a must.

Thank you so much for your time!
Kind regards,

PS. I think it would be great if there was a forum dedicated for hardware related things like recommended stuff for opensource imagery. :smile:

Monitor profiling under Ubuntu/Linux

There has already recently been some discussion at exactly that topic: Which Color Calibration Hardware Recommendations. While you will not get a clear advice, there is a lot of information about different devices in this thread. Unfortunately, I cannot give any advice concerning your choice since I only own a ColorHug v1 and a Spyder 4 Pro. But I thought the other thread could be interesting.

(Jonas Wagner) #3

I ended up with a Colormunki Display in the end. Worked ok. But I actually still need to find a decent solution so I can use my screens full color gamut without uncolormanaged applications hurting my eyes.

(Danas) #4

@chris my apologies, didn;t see that thread. And thanks for the link. Well that thread made me more confused about which one should I pick regarding my budget. But the not so exciting responses about colorhug is for version1 while version 2 should have addressed the issues. Hmm.

@Jonas_Wagner Colormunki Display looks like a very interesting and good device, unfortunately out of my budget.
But it would be interesting to hear more about your experiences with it and Linux (assuming you use it on Linux)

Some time ago I was googling about Monitor Calibration devices and Linux and got an impression that X-Rite is the last recommended for Linux users cause the support is very mediocre and it is difficult to make their products work on Linux if I am not mistaken.

(Jonas Wagner) #5

I installed dispcalGUI via package management, plugged in the colormunki and it worked. I messed up some of the settings on my first attempt and the calibration took at bit long (~1 hour) but apart from that it really just worked.

(Pat David) #6

I heard through pascal (darktable) that the Colormunki Display is supposed to be mostly identical hardware to the well-regarded X-Rite i1 Display Pro. Maybe you could find a used colormunki display for a better price?

(Jonas Wagner) #7

The Argyll CMS documentation states the same:

(Danas) #8

yea, I went to read the dispcalgui supported devices and many x-rite devices are listed as supported :slight_smile:

(Danas) #9

Patdavid, unfortunately I couldn;t find any used X-rite product for sale in my country :smiley:
The max I can spend is 109 euros, so that leaves me to Colorhug2, SPyder4Express, Colormunky Smile

Colormunky Display left me the best impression, But not to my current budget.
Colorhug2 is still popping to my head.

(Danas) #10

The more I read, the deeper the dark wood becomes.
So my conclusion is this, the best selection would be the X-Rite Colormunki Display which is completely out of my budget.

X-Rite Colormunki smile is a no go, read some terrible reviews about its senor or filter which makes it sound like it would have lots more troubles than ColorHug1.

also discovered many negative experiences about Spyder and their organic filters fading leaving the impression that Spyder Express might not be a long term device.

So practically it looks like Spyder4 and Colorhug2 should be considerably equal products in terms of display support, read many unhappy customer responses that Spyder4 (affordable offerings) has same issues of red shift and need for correction matrices to make it work on higher end displays.

Ideal would be to get X-Rite i1 Display Pro or colormunki display (will attempt finding used ones)
But to my budget it is either Spyder4Express or ColorHug2, due to many notices about fading organic filters of Spyder devices, Maybe ColorHug2 seems more attractive.

Okay I am off to search for information about X-Rite Colormunki and i1 displays and their lifetime performances.

(Morgan Hardwood) #11

There are Huey (Pro) colorimeters for sale on ebay for ~50$. I have one, works fine with dispcalGUI/argyllCMS. The “Pro” part means you pay more for their software even though the hardware is identical, so don’t get “Pro” if possible since dispcalGUI is better.

(Danas) #12

Hi @Morgan_Hardwood, thank you for your suggestion! Looks interesting, although it looks like X-Rite bought this company and their later products were based on this one, I fear it may not be wide gamut displays friendly device since this one is pretty old one. From reading about displays etc I came to a conclusion that my computer belongs to the ones with a tricky display for a colorimeter. But that is an interesting device, pitty that with shipping included, the prices jumps from $50 to about $75 so basically, I am better to buy from shop a new device.

After lots of lots of reading I was leaning towards Colorhug 2 since there is quite a lot of information about its Jencolor sensor which by many papers sounded to be impressive and maybe more attractive than the one of Spyder (because there is no detailed information about it available to the public). But my joy was crushed after reading a paper which indicated that it still needs correction cmmx files to work best. later on I read that every colorimeter till now seems to need those correction matrices. If I am right, I got an impression that devices like Spyder4 works with these correction matrices that were calibrated in factory using different types of displays to make their devices work well on majority of wide gamut displays, like creating some sort of common characteristics for certain types of screens etc. which makes me think that if Colorhug developer and manufacturer had the resources to calibrate those correction matrices in house like Datacolor can then Colorhug 2 would be completely awesome.

So for now I came to a conclusion that X-Rite Colormunki Display is the best economy choice for calibrating complicated wide gamut displays since it is the one that gets the most positive user feedback. If I will succeed to borrow some funds I think my goal will bee the Colormunki Display.

I am still temped by Colorhug 2 and wish I could borrow one to test it. Quite positive articles about Jencolor sensors made by Maze gives confidence, however I can;t afford the lottery of having to buy another device in case Colorhug 2 can;t handle my screens without special correction matrices that I would have no way to create (I don;t have an expensive spectrometer),

color calibration is a really deep and dark wood

(Morgan Hardwood) #13

You can ask the Colorhug community whether anyone made a correction matrix for your wide-gamut display:!forum/colorhug-users

It’s impossible for me to find a list of available correction matrices. Issue opened

(Danas) #14

somehow didn’t realize that i can join the group conversations, :smiley: although my all e-mails are on gmail. thank you for the hint :slight_smile:

hopefully I will get an answer which will leave less questions, so far all this monitor calibration stuff rises more questions than answers. well at least I got to know that Colormunki Display is this one device that can be considered a safe area since majority of its users report very good results and their glass filters seems to have quite a long time.


How is your hunt for a calibration device going?
Did you finally settle on the Colormonki display or the ColorHug2?

(Danas) #16


Well my hunt is over now since I have ordered Colormunky Display. ColorHug got a bit more expensive recently making it on par with other offerings at local stores. And I saved a little bit more funds for calibration device. And have decided to go with X-rite and later with Colorhug spectometer once and if it comes out (assuming I will be able to afford it). Colormunky seems to have the best reviews and more success stories among different types of screens. ColorHug gives me a lot of questions and not many answers while Datacolor Spyder doesn’t give me lots of trust with their organic filters and lots of stories about fading of these filters. So I decided to go with a tool that seems to leave majority if its users very happy.