Using Monaco Optix Pro software

I am trying to get prints from my epson stylus photo R1800 to reasonable match the image as it appears on my Dell 20" Flat panel LCD. I have a monaco OPTIXxr calabration device. I have read the helpful articles on your wiki.

To match a white image on the monitor to a piece of print paper requires that I turn the brightness of the monitor all the way down to 0.

When I use the calibration software I am using the advanced mode. It asks for white and black luminance target values. How can I determine what these should be?

The default values are 100 for white and 0.6 for black. With the monitor brightness control set to 0, I measure using the software and hardware device. I get 60.8 and 0.13. Pretty far off the default target values. With the monitor brightness turned up to 20 after measuring I get 96.7 and 0.19. This is however a brighter setting than will match the photo paper I hold up.

I have gone through the calibration process a number of times previously. I have been using a profile that I created back in June. If at the “enter target luminance values” step I choose load from profile and select my profile from June it gives target values of 139 and 0.24.

My problem is that while my colors come out pretty well the prints are definately too dark by a very noticeable amount. So per the wiki I’m thinking I need to get the monitor brightness turned down. Should I use lower luminance values to accomplish this? How low of a value is “reasonable”?

Also I am using correct color managed printing workflow via photoshop with epson icc profiles for the Epson paper I am using.

I bought the hardware calibrator and new printer and new monitors hoping to have my prints match my monitor (or vice versa). I tried hard to get it all working but ran out of time available to deal. Now I’m trying round two. Sorry for such a long post. Any advice or insight will be greatly appreciated!


Although the Monaco Optix XR product was a very good product (in its day) it had more relevance for CRTs than LCDs. The controls and underlying software don’t go far enough.

Two non-technical suggestions I can make:

  1. Buy ColorEyes Display Pro ($171 at CHROMiX). It is what we regard as the best calibration software on the market. Although advanced, it has a new and very logical interface in Advanced or Guided mode. This product can take control of your luminance and get it where you need. Most important for you, it has compatibility with your DTP-94.
  2. You can take an iterative approach by manually adjusting the monitors backlight control, and then target theluminancevia calibration. You may have to go back and forth several times to dial it in to where you want.

Typically you don’t want to go below ~70-75 cd/m2 or until your shadows lose too much detail, or too much above ~140-150 cd/m2 as your highlights (and other tones) get washed out or compromised. But this of course will vary depending on each unique monitor,itsnative brightness (luminance) and the gray balance you can achieve on it.

Hope that helps, if at least a little.

Rick Hatmaker


Thank you for your reply. If I understand correctly the monacoOPTIXxr that I have is the same as a DTP-94. Is this still a usable device? I only got it about 1.5 years ago.

I may buy the new software if you think it would be a big improvement. I’d like to get this all going and move on to other things and would be willing to spend some $ to achieve that. Is it compatible with Windows XP 64 bit?

Is your suggestion number 2 what I described as having been doing? Repeatedly run the calibration software and enter progressively lower white luminance values untill my prints start matching?

Also my monitors have a brightness control and I can adjust red, green and blue. Nothing else. No contrast etc. So when using the software the white and black luminace values are locked together. i don’t have the ability to control white or black luminance independent of each other. I’m not sure I’m explaining this correctly or if it matters

I am not a professional color person. I use high end 3D software (3D Studio Max and Vray) and photoshop to produce photo-realistic architectural renderings. These often include background photographs that I take. I sometimes supply prints to my clients so that they can hand the print to a print shop and say, “make an enlargement that looks like this”. A hard copy proof for color etc matching.

Thanks again for your help!

Hi Mark,

I like the Monaco Optix. It has a noise reduction circuitry that improves measurement of blacks and can make shadow detail more accurate. It should still be fine if it’s that new.

With your Dell monitor there’s not much you can do to adjust your black luminance. When you turn up the white luminance, the blacks will get brighter too. So, it’s best to just concentrate on the white. If you’ve read the wiki articles ( you must have heard about the white paper test. That’s a great way to figure out what luminance value is correct for your screen when you are trying to match a print. You shouldn’t need a lot of iterations if you start with comparing paper white to screen white.

Rick’s suggestions for a cd/m2 range is right on. The Coloreyes software is considered by many to be the best monitor profiing software out there, and the current version is a lot easier to use than it used to be, and it is compatible with Win XP 64. I can’t say whether it would be a big improvement or not - that probably depends on what you’re getting now.


Thanks for your helpful reply!

One more question. I have one computer with a single graphics card (nVidia Geforce 8800) using dual monitors. I have a second computer with a single monitor. All the monitors are the same Dell monitors and were all purchased at the same time.

I have made my monitor profile on one of the dual monitors and saved that profile. When I calibrate the other monitors I load that profile for the target luminance. Is this the correct process to get the monitors calibrated the same?

Close. The one thing I would add is to check what result you get for White Luminance at the last page of the Optix software (the Create Profile page). The will show you your actual luminance instead of just the luminance you were aiming for.

You will be wanting all three of your displays to be putting out the same luminance in order for the color, brightness, etc to match. This may require a bit of fine tuning with your brightness control in order to make sure the final luminance matches.

Thank you!

I’m hoping that one of you is still monitoring this thread.

I have gotten my profile made and calibrated the monitors using the saved profile. As time goes by and I re-calibrate, should I continue to use the previously saved profile vs. creating, saving and using a new profile with each subsequent calibration?

Thank you.


I would not recommend using an old profile unless nothing else was available, but instead, use a new current profile if at all possible.

‘Typically’ you should re-calibrate using the same set of parameters (White Point, Gamma, Luminance) from month to month. Once calibrated, the software will then make a new profile for the monitors ‘state’ at that calibration moment. Then replace your system profile with the new one.

Also for maintenance, calibration once a month is usual on a new monitor, but as monitors age you may need to increase calibrations depending on degradation rates.

Hope that helps.

Rick Hatmaker

On Feb 17, 2009, at 3:00 PM, markf wrote:

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I believe that answers my question.

When I recalibrate I load the previous profile as the target. Go through the calibration routine and save the new profile. Then I use that profile for calibrating the other two monitors.

2-4 weeks go by, repeat the process.

Thanks again.


Sorry for the delay. I noticed some flaws in your statements.

You would profile each monitor separately and independent of any previous profile. Keep in mind that typically, you should have the calibration parameters consistent from calibration to calibration for each monitor.

See other responses below…

Rick Hatmaker

On Feb 17, 2009, at 3:58 PM, markf wrote:

No. The previous profile acts as a historical set of parameters for a period until the next calibration. It can also serve as a way to track or trend the monitor historical performance. Your target points should be the calibration parameters you’ve chosen for White Point, Gamma, Luminance.

Yes. Correct.

No.Again, each monitor will useitsown unique profileestablishedby the calibration parameters for each.

More or less depending on age, grade, any noticeable shift or drift.

I hope that clarifies better?

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