by W.A. Steer PhD
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You should be able to see 17 distinctly different greylevels in the panel above. On a conventional monitor you would adjust the 'brightness' control to make the black  just black (the  should be noticably brighter), and then the 'contrast' control to get a comfortably bright picture without 'clipping' the whites - i.e. keeping [f0] distinct from [ff]. Many LCD screens have a separate 'backlight' control which I consider to be a good thing. Other monitors adjust the backlight with the 'brightness' control, so some experimentation may be required.
How neutral is the greyscale? Do all the patches have comparable tint, or perhaps part of the scale is somewhat murky-greeny, and another part more steely-blue? For colour-critcal work, software utilities such as Adobe Gamma can be used to optimise the purity of greyscales.
The 'gamma curve' (brightness of mid-tones) is often highly dependent on the vertical viewing angle with LCD screens; try bobbing your head up and down and see if you notice the change! Ideally you should set up the greyscale while viewing the scale at normal incidence (ie looking 'straight-on' to the screen, at the height of the greyscale).
This viewing-angle dependence is also nicely demonstrated on a colour test page available from my LCD main page.
The Colour Temperature of your display should normally be set to 6500K or sRGB. Setting too high a colour temperature (eg 9300K) will result in images which are rather blue ("cold", artistically-speaking), while too low a colour temperature (eg 3200K) will make the display look very yellowy. Bear in mind that the level of ambient light in the room, and any strong colours in your decor, will affect the way images look on your screen.
©2004 William Andrew Steer