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Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Hi everyone smile

I've been trying to calibrate my macbooks but I've got a problem with them and I have no idea how I can fix it. I've tried googling it, I've looked on the Apple forums, I've looked on the website of the calibration software,... But I can't find anything useful. I was hoping someone on here could tell me what I'm doing wrong or what I can do to fix this problem.

After calibrating I've lost all detail in the darker areas. I know for sure there's detail there, I've also done some of those online contrast tests to double-check and something has clearly gone wrong. I can't see anything on the top row here: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php
On my uncalibrated screens I can see them.

I use a i1 Display Pro. (Had a ColorMunki before, same problem. I don't think  something's wrong with the calibration software... Maybe I'm just missing something. ColorMunki also gave me problems with the colours but that's better now with the i1)

One of my macbooks is about 4 years old, the other one is two weeks old (I haven't changed anything about the settings of that macbook yet) Both Macbook pro, no retina displays. New one is mid 2012, other one is a mid 2009. Both are running on OS X 10.8.3 (Not sure if this is useful information, but you never know)

(I know that they are not good for retouching, and I don't expect the colours to be absolutely spot on. So you don't have to tell me that I should probably retouch on a better screen etc, I'm fully aware of that. I just want this problem fixed as I'm on the road a lot and I sometimes start working on jobs or do smaller jobs on my macbooks. If I can't see anything in the darker areas it's quite hard to retouch those. I do my serious retouching & colour work on my Eizo screen.)
Apr 08 13 11:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Krunoslav Stifter
Posts: 3,843
Santa Cruz, California, US


When you calibrate with a hardware calibrator device you are typically presented with three options to set as targets.

Luminance: How bright the brightest point will be.
White point: What color will the brightest point be.
Gamma: The distribution of tones in between the Black point (darkest point) and Brightest point.

Depending on your workflow and output destination these settings may vary. Can you tell us have you chose those settings and what values did you choose please? And you say you also use Eizo screen, what settings do you use there?
Apr 09 13 12:46 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


If you're retouching on the road, I'm willing to bet the problem is your brightness levels are too low and/or you may have an issue with glare. You want your screen to be brighter than the ambient light around you which isn't always easy to do if you're retouching in broad daylight, by a window or in a brightly lit room.

Take a look at your screen in a darkly lit interior and see if the problem still persists. If so, try increasing the brightness of your screen until the upper row is just visible.
Apr 09 13 01:45 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


My Luminance is on 120 CD/M
White point D65
(Also tried setting both to native but I got exactly the same results)
Contrast ratio is on native (I've also tried 287:1, but that didn't really change anything)
Gamma is on 2.20

I'd have to check on the Eizo when I get home. I did the easy calibration on that one, just let the i1 do its work and it was immediately quite close to the colours of the print lab I'm working with. Most of my work is for applications and the web at the moment so I decided to keep it like that for now and fix my macbook problem first.

I've only been self-employed for about half a year, I've always used a computer that was already calibrated before that so I've never really had to worry about all that. Still in the process of setting everything up so any tips are welcome smile
Apr 09 13 01:45 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Ruben Vasquez wrote:
If you're retouching on the road, I'm willing to bet the problem is your brightness levels are too low and/or you may have an issue with glare. You want your screen to be brighter than the ambient light around you which isn't always easy to do if you're retouching in broad daylight, by a window or in a brightly lit room.

Take a look at your screen in a darkly lit interior and see if the problem still persists. If so, try increasing the brightness of your screen until the upper row is just visible.

Done all that. I usually work at night, in a completely dark room. I travel a lot, but I really prefer to work at night, even when I'm traveling. It doesn't make a difference I'm afraid. They are the same computers, when I put them next to each other in a dark room, one screen calibrated, one set back to factory settings, I can't see anything on the calibrated one. The other one gives perfect detail.

Apr 09 13 01:49 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


Laura Abigail wrote:

Done all that. I usually work at night, in a completely dark room. I travel a lot, but I really prefer to work at night, even when I'm traveling. It doesn't make a difference I'm afraid. They are the same computers, when I put them next to each other in a dark room, one screen calibrated, one set back to factory settings, I can't see anything on the calibrated one. The other one gives perfect detail.

Are you having the same problem at a higher luminance setting as well?

Apr 09 13 01:55 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FLEXmanta
Posts: 1,001
Madrid, Madrid, Spain


With a laptop, given the results you are already having, I would not even try calibrating and i would only let the program profile the monitor in order to have an ICC that color managed programs can work with.

We call calibration to the combination of 2 things: Calibration and profiling.

Calibration is the fiddling with the "signal" that is sent to your monitor to accomodate the color profiles you're gonna be working with. That is, if you decide to use ECI_RGB_v2 as your main working space, then you'd calibrate to 120cd/m, L* for the tone response curve and 5000K for the temperature.

Afer calibration is done, then the colorimeter's program will proceed to PROFILE the device and produce an ICC file that color management needs, in order to know what RGB values to send to the monitor so that you see the colors that look as close as possible to what the RGB values in a document at a specific color profile mean. That means, maybe, in order for your monitor to show AdobeRGB full red (255,0,0), it will also have to show a little blue and a little green. Who knows, that's part of what color management it. It's done automatically.

So what happens with most laptop monitors? They have these native values (temperature, tone response curve and luminosity), and they don't like being asked to be forced out of those natives through calibration. What you're left with is the possibility to leave all those values native, that is, not calibrating, and then profiling the monitor.

This all means that, without calibration, the set state of the display will not "help" color management, but you've seen how bad a job it'd do, and then profiling will create the ICC file that will tell photoshop and all those color managed applications how your monitor is and how it needs to be dealt with.

So, don't calibrate, profile.
Apr 09 13 02:00 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Ruben Vasquez wrote:

Are you having the same problem at a higher luminance setting as well?

Yes, tried setting it to 160, didn't make a difference. I've also just tried setting it to 250 to test your theory. (although they've told me most screens are way too bright, so I shouldn't go too bright) ...Still no change.

Apr 09 13 02:05 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Krunoslav Stifter
Posts: 3,843
Santa Cruz, California, US


FLEXmanta wrote:
So, don't calibrate, profile.

I guess that is the other solution. Curious to see the results.

Apr 09 13 02:21 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


FLEXmanta wrote:
With a laptop, given the results you are already having, I would not even try calibrating and i would only let the program profile the monitor in order to have an ICC that color managed programs can work with.

We call calibration to the combination of 2 things: Calibration and profiling.

Calibration is the fiddling with the "signal" that is sent to your monitor to accomodate the color profiles you're gonna be working with. That is, if you decide to use ECI_RGB_v2 as your main working space, then you'd calibrate to 120cd/m, L* for the tone response curve and 5000K for the temperature.

Afer calibration is done, then the colorimeter's program will proceed to PROFILE the device and produce an ICC file that color management needs, in order to know what RGB values to send to the monitor so that you see the colors that look as close as possible to what the RGB values in a document at a specific color profile mean. That means, maybe, in order for your monitor to show AdobeRGB full red (255,0,0), it will also have to show a little blue and a little green. Who knows, that's part of what color management it. It's done automatically.

So what happens with most laptop monitors? They have these native values (temperature, tone response curve and luminosity), and they don't like being asked to be forced out of those natives through calibration. What you're left with is the possibility to leave all those values native, that is, not calibrating, and then profiling the monitor.

This all means that, without calibration, the set state of the display will not "help" color management, but you've seen how bad a job it'd do, and then profiling will create the ICC file that will tell photoshop and all those color managed applications how your monitor is and how it needs to be dealt with.

So, don't calibrate, profile.

18 year old me decided to put her macbook pro on "Adobe RGB (1998)" 4 years ago, because it looked close to any other computer I had ever seen. The standard Color LCD profile has got the same problem as my calibrated profiles. Too dark. So just leaving it on Adobe RGB is fine then?

How do I profile without calibrating? That profile is obviously way too blue. When I set everything to native in my calibrating program it will still produce a too dark screen and I don't really see an option to skip the calibrating.

Apr 09 13 02:27 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
FLEXmanta
Posts: 1,001
Madrid, Madrid, Spain


Laura Abigail wrote:

18 year old me decided to put her macbook pro on "Adobe RGB (1998)" 4 years ago, because it looked close to any other computer I had ever seen. The standard Color LCD profile has got the same problem as my calibrated profiles. Too dark. So just leaving it on Adobe RGB is fine then?

How do I profile without calibrating? That profile is obviously way too blue. When I set everything to native in my calibrating program it will still produce a too dark screen and I don't really see an option to skip the calibrating.

Oh... in that case I wouldn't know how to help. The programs I'm familiar with offer the option to not calibrate and only profile (Basiccolor5).

Apr 09 13 02:57 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Okay, that clearly isn't working.
The natives are probably the ones from the "color LCD" profile.
But that profile is completely off on both my computers.

Adobe RGB is spot on when it comes to contrast & details...
Checked it in photoshop, all the others are showing 100% black, even though photoshop is telling me that there's detail.... The moment I switch to Adobe RGB I can see the detail again. Am I right in thinking that it does indeed mean that the others are off when it comes to contrast etc because the information is in the file and not related to what profile I'm using on my screen?

So theoretically I need everything from the Adobe RGB profile but with the right colours because that profile is way too blue.

... Does that make sense?

Does anyone know how I can get something like that?

I will never again say that Macbooks are easy to set up
I do find it a bit weird though that I appear to be the only one with this problem, on two computers from two different years, with two different screens...
Apr 09 13 03:10 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


FLEXmanta wrote:

Oh... in that case I wouldn't know how to help. The programs I'm familiar with offer the option to not calibrate and only profile (Basiccolor5).

It won't let me skip that step, so instead of letting it take the natives of the LCD profile, which is wrong, I should find a way to let it take everything from the Adobe RGB profile and then profile... Does this happen to normal people or is it just me again? -_-

Apr 09 13 03:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Ruben Vasquez
Posts: 3,088
Puyallup, Washington, US


Laura Abigail wrote:
Okay, that clearly isn't working.
The natives are probably the ones from the "color LCD" profile.
But that profile is completely off on both my computers.

Adobe RGB is spot on when it comes to contrast & details...
Checked it in photoshop, all the others are showing 100% black, even though photoshop is telling me that there's detail.... The moment I switch to Adobe RGB I can see the detail again. Am I right in thinking that it does indeed mean that the others are off when it comes to contrast etc because the information is in the file and not related to what profile I'm using on my screen?

So theoretically I need everything from the Adobe RGB profile but with the right colours because that profile is way too blue.

... Does that make sense?

Does anyone know how I can get something like that?

I will never again say that Macbooks are easy to set up
I do find it a bit weird though that I appear to be the only one with this problem, on two computers from two different years, with two different screens...

All the other what? Other programs? But Photoshop is displaying fine?

The only other option I can think of that may help is to change your gamma setting to 1.8. That's a little unorthodox these days but if I remember right, that used to be the native gamma of the Macintosh operating system until recently.

As an aside note, if your work is getting published, it would be better to calibrate your screens to 5000k (D50), instead of 6500k (D65) as it makes color management easier for publication to offset press. Just a suggestion.

Apr 09 13 04:26 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Ruben Vasquez wrote:

All the other what? Other programs? But Photoshop is displaying fine?

The only other option I can think of that may help is to change your gamma setting to 1.8. That's a little unorthodox these days but if I remember right, that used to be the native gamma of the Macintosh operating system until recently.

As an aside note, if your work is getting published, it would be better to calibrate your screens to 5000k (D50), instead of 6500k (D65) as it makes color management easier for publication to offset press. Just a suggestion.

The other pre-installed & calibrated profiles on my macbooks.
No, Photoshop isn't displaying fine either. It's a bit better than some other programs though, but still a lot too dark. I was comparing the histograms of my pictures to what I could see on the screen in different colour profiles. Only Adobe RGB (1998) shows the images correctly for some reason.

I've tried calibrating to 1.8 on my new macbook, didn't make any difference. I literally tried everything I could think of before posting here. Didn't try it on the old one though.

Thanks for the tip, will calibrate my Eizo to D50 smile

Apr 09 13 02:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sean Baker Photo
Posts: 8,036
Silver Spring, Maryland, US


Have you tried using DispCalGui?  It's much slower, but I find the results to be far better, and it does allow you to use native brightness + color temp (both of which would be recommended for a laptop screen).
Apr 09 13 05:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Pictus
Posts: 957
Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


DispcalGUI RuleZ!
But it wont calibrate the Eizo programmable hardware internal LUT(if the model have this feature) I made a tutorial at http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17806610
As she is getting some type of black crush, in DispcalGUI config better use the
"Profile Type" to "curves + matrix" and enable the "Black point compensation"
Apr 09 13 08:07 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Sean Baker Photo wrote:
Have you tried using DispCalGui?  It's much slower, but I find the results to be far better, and it does allow you to use native brightness + color temp (both of which would be recommended for a laptop screen).

Haven't tried that one yet. Will give it a go tonight, thanks smile

Apr 09 13 10:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Pictus wrote:
DispcalGUI RuleZ!
But it wont calibrate the Eizo programmable hardware internal LUT(if the model have this feature) I made a tutorial at http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17806610
As she is getting some type of black crush, in DispcalGUI config better use the
"Profile Type" to "curves + matrix" and enable the "Black point compensation"

My Eizo is looking great after calibration with its own software (ColorNavigator6 & i1 Display Pro) so I'm not going to calibrate that one with any other software. Made a few profiles for it last night, no problems at all with that one. It's just my macbooks.
Will take a look at it all tonight, thanks! smile

Apr 09 13 11:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Faze1 photography
Posts: 558
Lawndale, California, US


I had the same exact problem!!! I had to go back to the Mac store to fix it. They said something about the mac getting stuck on one color profile. Sorry, I'm not a tech-head. When I got to the Mac store, it took them 30 mins to figure out what the problem. They pulled their hard drive and add color profiles and made sure to save them in the right place.
Apr 09 13 11:57 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Faze1 photography wrote:
I had the same exact problem!!! I had to go back to the Mac store to fix it. They said something about the mac getting stuck on one color profile. Sorry, I'm not a tech-head. When I got to the Mac store, it took them 30 mins to figure out what the problem. They pulled their hard drive and add color profiles and made sure to save them in the right place.

It does get stuck sometimes. When I change the profile a few times in a row it sometimes adjusts the colours and keeps the contrast of the previous profile. Resetting the PRAM usually fixes it. Just seems weird to me that both my computers have it... One is four years old, the other one is two weeks old... Even though they're the same kind of computer, they can't be 100% the same. Apple must have changed things and made improvements over the past four years. They've also got a different screen... After calibrating they look exactly the same. (Which kind of is the point of calibrating, but they've both got the same problem. Which makes me think that maybe I'm doing something wrong)

I suppose I could take them to the store, but as my computers look identical they'll probably just tell me that they are clearly supposed to look that way or something like that.

Apr 10 13 12:14 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


** Double post **
Apr 10 13 12:14 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Sean Baker Photo
Posts: 8,036
Silver Spring, Maryland, US


Pictus wrote:
DispcalGUI RuleZ!
But it wont calibrate the Eizo programmable hardware internal LUT(if the model have this feature) I made a tutorial at http://www.modelmayhem.com/po.php?threa … st17806610
As she is getting some type of black crush, in DispcalGUI config better use the
"Profile Type" to "curves + matrix" and enable the "Black point compensation"

Right, but it's the MacBook screen which is the problem, right?  If not, then please simply ignore my decaffeinated self smile.

Apr 10 13 01:07 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Laura Abigail
Posts: 66
London, England, United Kingdom


Sean Baker Photo wrote:

Right, but it's the MacBook screen which is the problem, right?  If not, then please simply ignore my decaffeinated self smile.

Yeah, both of my macbook screens have the problem.

When I work on my Eizo with my macbooks attached to it I don't have any problems. I just have to get my macbook screens right as well because I travel a lot and having a macbook is pretty useless if you have to attach it to a big screen in order to be able to see your pictures the right way. (It doesn't have to be 100% but I'd like it to be close so that I at least have an idea of what they'll look like)

Apr 10 13 02:07 am  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Pictus
Posts: 957
Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


IF dispcalGUI with the settings I mentioned do not fix, try with http://www.integrated-color.com/cedpro/ … splay.html you will have 10/14 days for trial...
Apr 10 13 11:47 am  Link  Quote 
Photographer
ontherocks
Posts: 22,180
Salem, Oregon, US


i can't get my macbook pro calibrated well enough to use it for anything that matters, even with colormunki. my iMacs calibrate nicely, but not my macbook pro. in particular it's wonky on the highlight side making properly exposed photos look blown out. it's like i need to be able to change a gamma curve but macs don't provide that.

i have a 15" early 2008 model.
Apr 10 13 12:00 pm  Link  Quote 
Retoucher
Pictus
Posts: 957
Teresópolis, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Do not give up!
Try dispcalGUI the way I mentioned and ColorEyes, there is hope...
Apr 10 13 12:12 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Faze1 photography
Posts: 558
Lawndale, California, US


Laura Abigail wrote:

Faze1 photography wrote:
I suppose I could take them to the store, but as my computers look identical they'll probably just tell me that they are clearly supposed to look that way or something like that.

Lucky for me the guys at the apple store was photographers and knew what to do already.

Apr 11 13 06:36 pm  Link  Quote 
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