Finally got my hands on a colour calibration tool, the Spyder3pro. This calibrator is now 2 models behind, so I got it for dirt cheap. I started realizing that one of these was important as I started printing my photos. Most turned out ok, but there were also some that turned out completely weird but seemed fine on my monitors.
Calibration itself is very easy, even if you only have brightness or contrast controls. You will however get better results if you have color temperature adjustments too.
Once you’ve calibrated your monitors will feel like everything been muted a bit. Brightness was way down, whites no longer glowing. But after editing a few pics with this setup, and then putting them on different displays, I definitely feel that they look better and more consistent.
There are 2 major manufactures of these, Datacolor and X-rite. Depending on your needs, a new colorimiter will set you back at least $80. If buying used, make sure you are getting all the serial numbers/product numbers for installation. If you’re looking for an easy way out, you can google monitor profiles of people who have calibrated the same monitor as you. Depending on how your monitor has aged, how close it remains to factory spec, or how you’ve cared for your monitor it might work as a great solution too.