A quick overview of calibration of monitors for better photo editing results.
Without a calibrator.
Less accurate than with a colorimeter but cheap/free.
Windows. Quick Gamma. (Free download)
Install and follow on screen instructions
Apple/Mac. ColorSync (builtin to OS).
Launch Displays from System Preferences and click on Calibrate.
Choose a profile as close to standard SRGB as possible if all else fails.
With a Calibrator.
More accurate but also more expensive. Printer matching is at the top end of the price range for the colorimeters and beyond the scope of this quick article.
Spyder – Express, Pro, Elite (version 5 $179-379) (Monitors) London Drug Prices Oct 2017
http://www.datacolor.com/photography-design/ Printer calibration in other models
Color Munki. $659. (Monitors and Printers). London Drug Prices Oct 2017
Other models similar to Spyder are available from the manufacturer
Fstoppers article. https://fstoppers.com/education/ultimate-screen-calibration-guide-8009
Above is a sample of what can be found online. Search for Monitor calibration and you will find many articles and YouTube videos, be sure to look at several different ones before deciding which approach to take. There are as many opinions of the right way to do it as there are about the right way to use your camera.
Basic setup from personal experience and some misconceptions about calibration.
Without a calibration device.
Set your monitor in it’s normal environment (where you do most of your editing).
If you are calibrating it without hardware, set brightness for your normal viewing level.
Follow the instructions in QuickGamma or ColorSync. Some computer graphics cards may have their own software builtin to do the calibration.
On a laptop, plugin AC power (most laptops dim the screen when on battery)
Turn off option to auto-adjust brightness.
Set your viewing brightness to your normal level.
Follow instructions for QuickGamma or ColorSync
With a calibration device.
Same settings as above and follow the onscreen prompts from the calibration software.
Ensure no direct light is hitting the monitor if possible.
Laptops should be plugged in to AC power and turn off Auto-Adjust brightness.
From running calibration with the Spyder 5 Elite on 8 monitors/laptops I have found that the desktop monitors appear more accurate than older laptop screens. Newer laptops (2 or 3 years old should be more accurate.
Example. iMac (27-inch, Late 2013). Builtin screen after calibration. 99% of SRGB
Asus 27 inch monitor. After calibration. 99% of SRGB
MacBook Pro. 2015. After calibration. 99% of SRGB
MacBook Air 2011. After calibration. 86% of SRGB 2 tries
HP Laptop. 2009. After calibration. 87% of SRGB 2 tries
Lenovo Laptop 2010. After calibration 82% of SRGB 2 tries
Type of screen and graphics card will determine the accuracy of the results.
Calibration of a projector does not actually change the projector’s settings. The projector is set for SRGB profile in it’s control panel and the calibrator sets the laptop or other pc to send the best version of the image to the screen. This results in the image on the laptop not looking anything like the original photo. Projecting an image that you have viewed on a 21 or 27 inch monitor to a 12 foot screen image can never come that close to looking like your image from your computer. All you can do is profile the laptop to do the best it can. Using another laptop with the same projector the image will not be colour corrected for the projector.
If you use several computers with the same projector they should all be calibrated with the projector connected. Copying a profile from one machine to another is generally not going to give good results but it might be better than uncalibrated.
Calibrating for a projector has to be done in the room and under the conditions that it will be normally used.
The higher end models of the calibrators can do projector calibration, the lower ones only do monitors. Generally that is the main difference between the different calibrators.
You can do calibrations under different conditions and switch between them as needed such as an office profile, a living room profile etc. Usually laptops only will be used this way.
TV (High Definition)
If you use a modern High Def TV you can often pay to have it calibrated when you purchase it. It generally cost $75-$250 to have done and it has to be done a few weeks after you have started to use the TV. (Burn-in period). The tech person will come out a hook specialized calibration tools between his laptop and your tv to create a custom profile for viewing in your room. The equipment to do this calibration is beyond the purchase price for most of us.
To show your images on a large screen TV from your laptop just use your calibrated profile on the laptop and a standard setting (not Movie or Sport settings) on your TV.