Michel Joly de Lotbinière wrote:
1) What does the ambient light condition option -a of dispcal actually do to the resulting calibration curve? I'm assuming that as the ambient light level increases, the overall gamma of the curve is increased, since a LCD screen needs a boost in apparent contrast inbrighter surroundings--is this correct?
Yes, something like that. It actually uses the CIECAM02 viewing condition model to make a luminance curve adjustment that compensates for the difference in absolute luminance level and surround between the (assumed) source colorspace conditions and the actual viewing conditions. The source colorspace conditions are guessed based on the type of gamma curve used.
If I use the sRGB calibration curve, is this option ever needed if you are not interested (and don't use) super-accurate monitors and pre-press type viewing arrangements?
You mean ambient option ? It's really up to you to decide what you are after, whether to create a specific gamma curve target, or to create one that compensates for differences in intended and actual viewing conditions.
If I do use it, is the value of 200 lux (a fairly well lit office, I think) specified as "Typical ambient illuminance level" in the sRGB specification a good one to use, although I typically use my screen in slightly dimmer surroundings? (Florian Hoech's dispcalGUI reminds you to specify the ambient light condition when selecting the sRGB curve.),
If you don't have an instrument capable of measuring the actual ambient light level, then it is probably not worth using.
2) Once I've made a profile that seems all right, is there any advantage in terms of further accuracy in using the black and white level luminance target options to set a black target just a tiny bit above the actual calibrated final min black level, and similarly to set a white levels just a bit below the calibrated final max white level, in the interest of providing the calibration algorithm with some fixed end points in the iterative curve fitting dance it seems to do? Say a min black level of 0.15 for a measured calibrated level of 0.1 and a max white level 2-3% below the measured calibrated level of the display?
Maybe, if you intend to do some sort of absolute matching. For many purposes though the assumption is that the viewer will adapt automatically to the white level, and that you can't have too much contrast (ie. that you can't have too lower black point).
3) Would using an existing LCD display profile to condition the colour values output by targen do anything useful for profiling that same LCD display using the minimum 500 patch size chart that seems recommended for such applications? I'm thinking that increasing the number of test values measured that are actually within the limits of the display might be a good thing, and that this is what the conditioning process does.
It can help a bit in getting the most out of measuring a certain number of patches. I'd recommend using the 1.1.0 RC2 release for this though, as the targen behavior should be a good deal better than 1.0.4 in this regard. Graeme Gill.