Maybe The Most Boring, Yet Critical Piece of Kit In Your Photographic Life

Sure, we all look at the latest camera bodies, glass, tripods, lights, bags (oh, the bags!) and more.
When it comes to your final output, what everyone will see, it’s about the tonal quality and color.
All of your post production adjustments are based on what you see on your monitor(s).
A little while back, I reviewed the Datacolor Spyder X colorimeter, and it has served me well.

When I am working on one monitor, that is.

So if that is your case, or if you work only on a laptop, that option is a great call.
I have begun the work on an upcoming book, and using multiple monitors, I needed to have the color match across them all.

Whether it is the post production on an image, or the layout of the book, having consistent colors across them all was critical.

That’s when I knew that the upgraded DatacolorSpyder X2 Ultra was the unit that would serve the project best.

Sure, they look the same, but the guts and software are the upgrade that was required.

What you see in the photos above is the lens that sits on you monitor to read the color/light; the red lens above the datacolor name reads the ambient light, and the other image with the 2 parts shows how the unit is stored, as the 2 pieces clip together, as well as acting as a counterweight so when hanging the colorimeter over the screen it stays in place.

When I first took it out of the box, I was a little non-plussed, since it looked exactly like the SpyderX Pro.
Once I downloaded and installed the software, I understood the difference.
Made for a more professional workflow, this software interface had a different design.

So the Studio match was the main software I was after. Yes, the base model will let you calibrate more that one monitor, but the Studio Match is what I was looking for.

And it works great! Matched my main working monitors super fast.

So: Fast, easy to calibrate, and gives a reminder based on your needs. I go for a once a month reminder to re-calibrate, because, nothing is forever, and yes, monitors do age.

One thing to note is that both calibration devices have a lens on them to read the ambient light where you are working, ( you can see that pointed out above.) as that will affect your calibration.

Another critical feature on the Ultra is softproofing. If you print at home, have you calibrated you printer with the correct ICC color profiles? If you send out your files for printing outside your place, you want to know that the prints you get back, or drop ship to buyers, has the same color quality you crafted in your studio.
You can ingest your profiles and insure that the monitors are matched to those profiles. Make sure the product you are putting out, has the high standards your adhere to.

This additional feature of the Ultra is the proper investment to maintain the high quality of your vision.

I know the above may look like a lot, but the way the Datacolor software simplifies your process, and calibrates in 2 minutes, don’t worry.

You got this!

And it’s as easy as hanging the colorimeter over your monitor in a specified location, and running the program! That simple!

OK, you do have to adjust your monitors, brightness & contrast, as requested, to make the color profile the best.

Plus the Ultra is also perfect for video color correction. I have been in many grading (another word for video calibration) and the light in the room is set so what you see on the monitor is as good as possible, and adjustments you are making have that baseline.

Basically you need a baseline to be that starting point for all of your post production adjustments.
If you are working with the one monitor, or laptop, The less expensive Spyder X pro may be the perfect unit for you.

When you move to more robust and complex projects, and especially of you need consistency between multiple monitors, the Spyder X2 Ultra, with enhanced software, and capabilities is the one to buy.

And here is another take on why you should be calibrating your monitors:

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