Best software for Monitor calibration using i1 Display Pro


just got my i1 Display Pro unit and I’m looking for recommendations regarding which software would be best to use with the i1 Display Pro unit…

I know it comes with it’s own software, which seems to be decent, nut I remember back in the day folks recommended using Lacie’s Blue Eye Pro software with the i1 Display 2…

So what is nowadays the best software to use with the i1 Display Pro ?


  • M

Really depends what screen you’re using it with. For an NEC, Eizo, Quato or just about any hardware calibration screen, I would definitely recommend to use the manufacturers software. This is what I do with my Eizo screen, I use Eizo ColorNavigator 6. I much prefer it to i1Profiler as it has a vast number of functions completely unavailable in any other software from any manufacturer.

If, on the other hand, you have a ‘normal’ screen, as in non-hardware calibratable, then i1Profiler would be the way to go, or perhaps BasICColor Display 5. Display 5 has some very nice features not available in i1Profiler. And you can get a fully functional 14day trial to see if you like it.

But definitely give i1Profiler a go if you don’t have a hardware calibration screen.

Things are always changing in this industry! Just this week, the ColorEyes Display Pro folks released a new version of their software that supports the i1Display Pro. This is a Mac-only version. No word yet on a Window compatible version that supports i1D Pro. This software has always been a cut above the others because of its ability to spend more time scanning colors that are inconsistent. So that’s a new option for you.

But the i1Profiler is no slouch either. It gives you the ability to run larger sets of patches if you want more detail in your profile. It can also make use of your graphics card to reduce the brightness in your monitor if your on-board controls don’t allow you to reduce the brightness enough (some older iMacs had this problem.)

This is one of those areas of life where ironically, if you have a really nice monitor it won’t take much, software-wise, to keep it calibrated. If you have an old, crummy monitor you would benefit more from one of these deluxe profiling programs.

Several years ago I purchased a GretagMacBeth i1 Display 2 which worked very well with my old PC and CRT. Prints were very accurate on the Epson R1800. Then in late 2008 I switched to a 24" glossy screened iMac, updated to OS X 10.5.8, and the problems began.

The last four years have been a tornado of problems, both family and business. Trying to work with Adobe, Epson and Apple has been a huge and frustrating challenge because of conflicts with operating systems, software, and printer drivers. I am persevering, trying to get my little art & photography business back on track. Some advice would be greatly appreciated.

A new Epson R2000 printer arrived this week. I still have the 2008 iMac with OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard). Software includes: Photoshop CS5.1, Lightroom 3.6, iPhoto '09, Color Eyes Display Pro, and SilverFast Ai Studio ME 6.6. i1 Match is v.3.6.3.

So where do I go from here? Will the i1 Display 2 calibrate the iMac glossy screen monitor if I’m also using Color Eyes Display Pro (which I’ve never used before)? If so, are there particular settings I need to use before starting the calibration process?

If the i1 Display 2 has been discontinued by XRite and won’t work with Snow Leopard no matter what other software is used, what would be the best replacement? My budget is very limited - the investment so far has been unbelievable. I think I’m on the right track, but would welcome feedback before trying to calibrate the iMac with the i1 Display 2.

Without any doubt, currently the best device to use to calibreate and profile one’s screen is the new i1displayPro (i1d3). It is very reasonably priced (I think so anyway) at US$250 incl. worlwide postage from some online sellers, comes with warranty, normal retail item, not OEM or similar.

Also, I know it’s hard in these economic times but a somewhat photography oriented screen would go a long way towards ultimately solving the issue of print to screen match. You don’t have to spend a fortune to get something more than decent, such as maybe an NEC PA241 or their smaller 22" model (I forget the model name but you’d be able to find it easily on their site or with google).

The difference between the (admittedly) quite inferior iMac glossy screen when compared with a high quality hardware calibration screen from the likes of NEC or Eizo really is incredible. One can very easily achieve incredibly accurate colours, such that skin tones and items in images are extremely similar to the actual colour of the item in real life. And the match to one’s prints can also be of very high accuracy without too much fiddling around and without causing too many headaches.

Having said that, it does certainly help if one knows how to do what they’re trying to do before they do it. By that, I mean to study, read up on other people’s experience, make yourself very familiar with your profile creation apps and ColorThink and the various options they offer and what these options do, and have a very solid understanding of the theory of the way colour management and profiles work together to help accomplish what one’s trying to achieve. That sort of thing helps immensly.

Just some food for thought.

Thanks for the feedback Aaron. Maybe my questions were too general. My budget at this time prohibits buying a new mac and/or higher quality monitor. If there is a possibility of calibrating the '08 aluminum iMac with the glossy screen without buying the i1 Display Pro, that’s what is needed right now.

Hopefully there is someone out there in cyberspace reading this who can address my questions more specifically.

You shouldn’t have too much trouble calibrating and profiling it with your i1d2. I’ve had one for a good 3-4 years now and in all that time I found it provided better quality profiles for my Eizo CG242W than an i1Pro. Granted, the CG242W is not a glossy screen, but the i1d2 should still be able to profile your screen satisfacorily.

Give BasICColor Display 5 a try. It has some excellent iterative grey balancing algoryhtms and is generally considered to be one of the better screen profiling apps at the moment, along with Color Eyes Display Pro, as Pat mentioned. They used to be the same program actually, not sure if that’s still the case.

Best bit is that you get a free 14 day trial of a fully functional program from BasICColor, so no outlay whatsoever unless you decide you like it. You could also try i1Profiler.

Didn’t you say that the i1d2 will not work with your curent OS version, no matter what software is used? If so, you are going to have to purchase a new measuring device or return to an older OS version. That’s why I suggested the i1d3, as per your original question.

Whichever way you go, you really need to tell us what are the specific problems you are encountering? You have not actually mentioned or listed this anywhere yet, just asking more general questions, saying you’ve been having problems but not elaborating on said problems. Please let us know what the specific issue is (besides the i1d2 not working on your OS, nothing anyone else besides you can do about that) and I’m sure myself or someone else will be able to give you helpful info towards hopefully solving whatever issues you’re having.

Yeah Aaron is probably right - that glossy screen is going to make it hard to see your colors accurately. I just feel bad that Cyndy has all this equipment, and doesn’t want to spend more. Here are a few quick ideas:

Download i1Diagnostic from X-Rite. This is a simple, free utility that will run your i1D2 through its paces and give you some confidence whether it is still in good working order. If so, this instrument should be good for your needs. (The i1Display Pro is much better for wide gamut displays, which your iMac would not be.) … wareID=506

The i1D2 will work with Snow Leopard and you can run it either on the i1Match software you have (i1Match v 3.6.3 works on Snow Leopard) or on X-Rite’s latest app: i1Profiler. I have found you can download the i1ProfilerD2LionEdition and it will run on Snow Leopard. It does not have all the advanced options of the full version of i1P. You can download that here

You also have ColorEyes Display Pro which is very good software. It’s a bit clunky to install and get licensed. So if you haven’t done that yet, you’re going to want to have your serial number handy and be patient.

Do you have the iMac that tends to be too bright? (Described here ) If so, then you’re in luck because CEDP and i1Profiler will both be able to take care of the “too-bright” issue. Not so with i1Match.

@ aaron125: can you explain what you mean by a “hardware calibratable” screen ? Are you referring to a screen that has built-in hardware calibration (more expensive models) or do mean displays that simply offers controls to change brightness / color etc.

In any case, I am calibrating 4 screens (2 notebook, 2 desktop screens). all Windows based. None of them has built-in hardware calibration. The notebook screens have no on-board controls to change anything, the 2 desktop PC screens do have on-board controls.

I have already tried iProfiler on one Notebook screen. It created an ICC v4 profile which did show an improvement but on Windows 7, most native Windows app (e.g. Photo Viewer) only support ICC v2, so that profile is useless with these apps (colors are very dark and incorrect).

When I tried to create an ICC v2 profile, iProfiler crashes every time (tried 9 times). Wrote a support inquiry to X-Rite.

Then tested basicColor 5, which by default creates an ICC v2 (v4 is an option) and that one works across all Windows apps…

I personally feel - that in this example for this one notebook screen - the profile is a tiny little bit too dark. Target was 120 cd/m2 and it achieved 107 cd/m2 with basicColor (106 cd/m2 with iProfiler)…

I did see though that afterwards basicColor gave me the option to refine the profile (adjusting the curves), which iProfiler did not offer… Have not done it yet, as did not want to mess up the profile :wink:

@ Patrick: So as you can see in my first calibration test (notebook screen with no on-board controls) I need MORE brightness… :wink: how can iProfiler use the built-in graphic card to output more luminance ? Is there a setting I need to enable ? I did un-check all the options that asked whether I have manual control over brightness, contrast, color… I think that is what you meant…

If you have any links to tutorials profiling with basicColor or advise on how to achieve a better profile, that would be greatly appreciated !

Thanks again for all responses !

  • M

You have it correct, hardware calibration/calibratable in reference to screens refers to where the calibration actually takes place, not how the calibration is adjusted. So yes, hardware csalibration are the (Often) expensive screens from companies like Eizo, NEC, Quato, Barco, et al. They eacdh have in common a colour lookup table which is similar to those inside ICC profiles, but the screen itself has a CPU and memory and the LUTR is stored in the internal electronics of the screen.

Curiously, a hardware calibration has its adjustments performed by software, whereas a software calibration (when one has access to brightness, R, G, B controls on the OSD, etc) has its adjustments performed by hardware, a human pressing the hardware buttons on the front of the screen. Or there is a 3rd style, pure software calibration, which is what the vast majority of laptoip screens are like, with zero controls and all adjustments occuring in the LUT of the graphics adapter.

BTW, thanks for that bit of info re: v4 profiles causing Win7 to make things look very dark and overly contrasty. I recently got myself a laptop with a 1920x1080 LED screen and have only just started to profile it. Previously, I’ve always had laptops with screens of such poor quality there was never any point profiling them as I never used them for any colour management kind of work. But on this one, I used the same apps as you, and the same result. But I had no idea it was as simple as creating a v2 profile, which I’m about to do. Thanks for that.

For your laptop needing more brightness, why can’t you just type in a higher cdm figure when setting up the calibration? Instead of 120, perhaps try 130 or 135, until you have the brightness where you want/like it to be. Both i1Profiler and BasICColor Display 5 offer the ability to type in the level of brightness you’re aiming for, in cdm.

The instruction manual supplied with Display 5 has some very extensive explanations and descriptions of what each and every feature, function and option in the app does. It is very straight-forward and very easy to understand, IMHO. Give the manual a thorough perusal and you should have all the info you need to be able to create a profile which has the settings you desire.

If there’s anything you’re unsure of or are getting confused by some feature, just let us know and hopefully we can help enlighten you on the subject.

Thanks Patrick & Aaron. Yes, I have and am familiar with i1 Diagnostics. Since you believe the i1 Display 2 should work with Snow Leopard, and ColorEyes Pro software will help dim the glossy monitor, I will try to calibrate it and will keep you posted on my progress.

Mike, there’s nothing the software can do to give you more brightness in the display. Is your notebook screen just maxed out? Some of them don’t produce that much brightness.

BTW, X-Rite just last week released a new version (v1.3) of i1Profiler. Maybe the ICC version 2 profile fix is in that!

Hi, I’m from Mexico and sometimes getting hardware is not only expensive but also almost impossible, so when I got my i1D2 for my Acer monitor I couldn’t wait to try it. Well… it’s been three days now in front of the monitor calibration after calibration, always getting different results. I’ve tried the recommended parameters 6500, 2.2, 120, Native, 2.2,120, etc. but everytime I do it I get awful images, colorless or too dark or too blue. My monitor used to show nice crispy colors with excellent luminosity without reaching the 100% brightness. Now after the first calibration it’s impossible to achieve even 110 with brightness at its top. I reseted the desktop and monitor to default settings and it didn’t help either. I’ve written to X-rite for help, so far no answer. After reading some of your posts I downloded the i1Diagnostics in the thought that maybe the i1D2 was malfunctioning. No error found. So… now, I’m going crazy about this. What should I trust? The monitor profile, the printings I’ve done from 3 different photo labs (all different looking, BTW) or ga back to basics and trust my eyes? Please, any piece of advice? Thanks

Yipes! That’s no good.

It’s especially strange that you should be getting different results each time you calibrate. If you are using the same settings and calibrating the same way, you should at least be getting consistent results. You do have the colorimeter hanging on the front of the screen, right? Maybe try putting a cloth or something over the screen and colorimeter while it is going through its measurements so you take away the possibility of ambient light getting into the measurements.

Of course I can’t see your screen, so I don’t know your definition of awful. But if you are used to your screen looking a certain way, and the software suddenly changes the way it looks - it might look wrong to your eyes, until you get used to the new look. When people first calibrate a new LCD screen off the shelf, they can be surprised at how dark it gets - and that might look colorless & dark like you describe.