Colour Balance

A couple of weeks back I bought a Spyder from DataColor to calibrate my monitor.  I'm not sure - to me, it looks as though it gives it a red hue.  Is this because (a) it's wrong, (b) that's how it should look but I've had it wrong for so long it's just different?

So, I figured having calibrated my monitor I'd see what difference shooting with an over-priced piece of paper makes (though I know you're also paying for the software).

I downloaded the software, propped up the card (colour side up) and imported it into Lightroom.

This is the image straight from the camera.  Shot in my office with just ambient light coming from a couple o sky lights.

Check - From Camera.jpg

I set the software up in Lightroom (really I'd prefer to trigger it from Photoshop) and chose to edit the image via the tool.  Which leads to this.

Using 1.jpg

I then have to align the squares with the one from the image.  Now the grid isn't perfectly square, so we'll see if that makes any difference but I aligned them as much as possible.  Having done that the calibration gets saved as a preset.  Restarting Lightroom I expected to see the preset, but nope - so where is it?

Turns it out it unhelpfully saved it to;

C:\Users\mattw\AppData\Roaming\Adobe\Lightroom\Develop Presets\User Presets

So to get it to appear I have to move the files (on my machine) to D:\Data\CoreCatalog\Lightroom Settings\Develop Presets\Spyder Presets.

and for all this work how different does the image look?

Check - Post callibration.jpg

Is there a difference?  Yes, though you'd need to stack them in Photoshop and flip between them to notice.  Would I go through this process again?  Perhaps if I was a product shot where colours really mattered, but generally?  Nope.

And if I don't use the calibration software and merely use the card in conjunction with an adjustment, and also trying using black/white points naturally in the image?

Really not that disimimlar to my eye, so my question is this.  If you have black/white points naturally in the photo then why would you bother to use this product?

Final Test.jpg