How would you calibrate a screen on a budget?

Are there simple, affordable devices, methods, or printed kits that help achieve at least some degree of colour correctness on a modern TFT monitor?

Assume that there is no colour profile from the monitor's vendor to work with. If the operating system is relevant, mine is Windows; But Mac and Linux hints would be very welcome, too.

2 Answers 2


Get a used Spyder, see Amazon to get one for $40. Or if your budget is a bit higher, get one for $75 that'll be a bit better. Most of these solutions will work for a Mac, Linux is a bit trickier...

  • 1
    Oh, looks nice! And is really affordable. +1
    – Pekka
    Jan 5, 2011 at 22:37
  • 1
    some photo supply stores rent them as well. Notes: some older spyder software is not totally compatible with up-to-date OS and/or multi-monitor setups. You can use the spyder profile software to profile each montior individually and then assign the saved color profiles manually using the OS rather than using the spyder profile management software.
    – horatio
    Dec 30, 2011 at 16:03

OK, I admit that it's a late, late, late reply, but there's nothing really tricky about calibrating/profiling devices on Linux. All you need is a recent version of Ubuntu or Fedora. It usually already has GNOME Color Manager. So you just plug your colorimeter in, press a button, and it does everything for you.

  • 1
    I think the "just plug your colorimeter in" part here could use more details. The question is about how to do this cheaply, not just how to do it. Mar 21, 2018 at 12:10

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