I once tried to color calibrate my monitor... It was a disaster.
A few years before I started Fstoppers, I was a wedding photographer. Occasionally, I would print my photos, and I was always annoyed that my prints didn't look as good as they did on my monitor. I purchased a monitor calibrator, and after about 30 minutes, my newly "calibrated" monitor looked worse than it did before. To make matters worse, the "calibration" wasn't even consistent throughout different applications. My photos looked totally different in Photoshop, Windows Explorer, and my web browser. I tried to delete the color profile. I tried to uninstall the calibration software. I tried to use Windows Restore. Nothing worked. After two days of trying, I decided to wipe my entire computer and install a fresh version of Windows. Since that day, I have sworn that I would never attempt to calibrate a monitor again.
Datacolor recently reached out and asked Fstoppers to create a video about color calibration, and my team thought it would be funny if I was the one who had to do it. Datacolor claimed that their new SpyderX is the "fastest and easiest way to color calibrate a monitor." I'll be the judge of that.
The SpyderX comes in a small box with the unit itself, a serial number, and a website to download the software. After installing the software and typing in your serial, the software holds your hand as it asks you a few questions about your monitor. The calibration process itself took less than two minutes, and immediately afterward, you can see the "before and after" effects. I was skeptical, but I'm relieved to say that using the SpyderX was both easy and fast.
Although this is a sponsored video/post, I'm not going to say that everyone has to calibrate their monitors. I know many photographers who make hundreds of thousands of dollars a year who work on non-color-calibrated monitors. I know of a photographer who specializes in fine art photography and who has printed multiple art books who doesn't color calibrate his monitor. It can be done. I've survived for 15 years without calibrating my monitor. But, for me, printing has always been a hassle. Sometimes, I'm happy with the way my prints come out, sometimes I'm not. It can be extremely frustrating.
If you need to calibrate your monitor, you know who you are, and I can't imagine things getting much simpler than the SpyderX. Datacolor sent me the "elite" version that is $100 more and has a few upgrades from the "Pro" version. The details are below.
Keep in mind that this is only a third of the entire calibration process, though. To have totally seamless color from shooting, to editing, to printing, you'll also want a Datacolor SpyderCHECKR to photograph at each shoot, and then, you'll also want to create printer profiles to keep your monitor's colors in sync with your printers.
If you're tired of your prints looking different than your digital files or if you have very discerning commercial clients, give the SpyderX a try. It's not that expensive, and it only takes a few minutes to get your colors under control.