Leveraging the Speed of SpyderX to Optimize Display Settings

One area most of us ignore in calibrating our displays is checking which On-Screen-Display (OSD) settings provide the optimal results once calibrated. This is understandable, as the time required with most calibration devices for each calibration run is close to four minutes, sometimes more. However, giving the blazing speed of SpyderX, the calibration routine itself tends to run about one minute, making testing multiple options no more time consuming that a single calibration used to be. And this only needs to be done once, so all future calibrations can be both optimized and fast.
The Key Settings
The settings of most interest tend to be in the OSD menu under a name such as Display Mode or Picture Mode. Of the various options that may be listed, its most common to avoid options called sRGB or Rec 709 (both of which refer to the same reduced color gamut), or Gaming (which tends to be quite non-photographic in its color representation), as well as avoiding active or intentionally skewed modes such as Auto-Adjust, or Low Blue Light. Settings worth trying out may include AdobeRGB, P3, or Wide Gamut, all of which are wide gamut settings, or more general names such as Global, Standard, or Photo.

The Benq SW2700, representing the wide gamut class, is equipped with the following presets: Standard, AdobeRGB, sRGB, B&W, Rec.709, DCI-P3, Photo, Low Blue Light and Custom, which can be selected via the input menu of the monitor.


Building the Test Profiles
Once you have selected three or four possible options to test, run the SpyderX software until you come to the calibration screen. Now set the OSD to one of your possible settings, and run the calibration process, leaving the ambient light option off for the time being, to simplify the process. Next, save the resulting calibration with a recognizable name, adding the setting name to the end, such as MyDisplayAdobeRGB. Back up to the Calibration screen, choose another OSD setting, and repeat, remembering to use the same name, and append a different mode description.


Comparing the Gamuts
With SpyderX Pro, it’s important to check (and perhaps take a screen shot of) each calibration’s gamut plot, so that you can see if any of them are larger than the others. With Elite, you can select any two profiles at the same time for gamut graph comparison, simplifying this step.


The AdobeRGB preset of the Benq SW2700 is more or less congruent with the AdobeRGB color space.


Clearly visible is the much smaller color space of the Benq SW2700 with activated sRGB preset.


Finally the comparison of the BenQ SW2700 Low Blue Light Preset with the AdobeRGB color space. Again, there are hardly any differences to the AdobeRGB color space. Consequently, the differences may be somewhere else.


Display Analysis:
To perform an accurate analysis of each monitor preset, you can use the SpyderX software’s Display Analysis function, which can be activated via the lower left pull-down menu “Shortcuts”.


The display analysis can be found in the pull-down menu.


Activate the upper 4 tests in this menu.

After a test run we received the following information

The gamma curves of the single presets of the Benq SW 2700. Interesting to observe is the preset “Photo” which reminds of the density/exposure curves of analog film and photo papers.

Brightness, contrast, and white point of each monitor preset: Clearly visible, the “Low Blue Light” monitor preset differs the most from the recommended 6500k. The other presets are constant and only vary in brightness.

Reviewing the Test Images
While on the SpyderProof screen for each calibration, review the supplied images, with the most emphasis on the black and white test image at the lower right, and the color test image at the top left, which include a stepped gray ramp, and stepped color ramps. You are looking for good neutrality from black to white, an appropriate white balance, good color display, and color distinction well out into each of the color ramps.
Choosing an Optimal Setting
Reviewing each profile based on these criteria should allow to determine if one or more of the settings offer a larger gamut of better color and neutrality than the others. Often, multiple settings, such as Normal and AdobeRGB will produce similar, optimal results, while others, especially Gaming or sRGB, will not.
Reset to that Mode
Note which mode you prefer, reset your display to that mode, set your display profile to the matching profile, and continue to calibrate and edit using that mode in the future. The closer the monitor preset is to our target, the smaller the corrections in the correction/ICC profile created after calibration will be. Ideally, ten or fifteen minutes spent on this process will allow you to know that you are using the optimal OSD settings for your display thereafter.
Further information about SpyderX can be found here:


About the Author – C. David Tobie


C. DAVID TOBIE has been involved in color management and digital imaging from their early days, developing affordable color solutions, and teaching users how best to utilize them. Photographers know him for his writing and tech editing of textbooks and periodicals including Mastering Digital Printing, and Professional Photographer magazine, and his seminars on color and imaging at photo expos and workshops around the globe.


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