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Old Nov 21, 2012, 04:09 AM   #1
jaqueh
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Best default LCD profile or best calibration technique?

I love my new rMBP, but i've noticed that shadow detail and gamma seem to be far lower than my previous uMBP from 2009, resulting in significant loss of detail in dark scenes like in photos or movies. I don't think this is due to the LCD, but just comparing the rMBP and my lumia 920 with this demonstrates how much faster the drop off is to just black. I was wondering if there was anything I could do with the default color profiles provided, or that I can calibrate.

What did you guys do? Did you guys encounter such a problem?
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 07:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by jaqueh View Post
I love my new rMBP, but i've noticed that shadow detail and gamma seem to be far lower than my previous uMBP from 2009, resulting in significant loss of detail in dark scenes like in photos or movies. I don't think this is due to the LCD, but just comparing the rMBP and my lumia 920 with this demonstrates how much faster the drop off is to just black. I was wondering if there was anything I could do with the default color profiles provided, or that I can calibrate.

What did you guys do? Did you guys encounter such a problem?
A few of us have calibrated the rMBP with various devices and software .. there are a few threads in the forum discussing calibrating the rMBP to sRGB or L* ..consensus is that it calibrates nicely ( very close to reference) . I have mine calibrated to D6500, sRGB Gamma .. looks great and very nice black levels
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 11:34 PM   #3
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A few of us have calibrated the rMBP with various devices and software .. there are a few threads in the forum discussing calibrating the rMBP to sRGB or L* ..consensus is that it calibrates nicely ( very close to reference) . I have mine calibrated to D6500, sRGB Gamma .. looks great and very nice black levels
I tried finding those threads to no avail.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 12:03 AM   #4
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I tried finding those threads to no avail.
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthre...ht=calibration

If you search for 'calibration' in this forum , you'll find it and a few others.. The thread above has some ICC profiles attached ..
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 01:20 AM   #5
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I use a hardware calibrater.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 02:33 AM   #6
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I use a hardware calibrater.
This or go home failing. Your eyes will lie to you every time.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 07:44 AM   #7
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My experience matches that of the OP. Even with dedicated calibration tools, the shadow detail on my rMBP's screen (Samsung here) is not really that good. The gradient produced by shadows drops off far too quickly. This is absolutely crystal clear in the following test:

http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php

On a reference screen that's been properly calibrated you can see the upper 10 boxes. On my rMBP I simply can't see those unless I set the gamma value close to 1. However, doing this will throw the entire color spectrum off. I've tried calibrating several times with the i1Display Pro, but nothing does. I asked the guy in my company's graphics dept. to perform the calibration for me and he obtained a result that was similar. We tried both basic and advanced calibration modes.

Even in a real-world test, the problem is clearly apparent. When I look at people's eyes in black and white portraits, sometimes I cannot differentiate between the pupil and the iris. Yet if I look at the same picture on a reference screen, I can clearly see the contours of the pupil.
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Last edited by AirThis; Nov 22, 2012 at 08:22 AM. Reason: A word was missing in a sentence
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:51 AM   #8
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On a reference screen that's been properly calibrated you can see the upper 10 boxes. On my rMBP I simply can't see those unless I set the gamma value close to 1. However, doing this will throw the entire color spectrum off.
I can see them all on my rMBP with the Samsung display.

1+2 are hard to differentiate but the rest all become lighter and lighter.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 08:55 AM   #9
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I can see them all on my rMBP with the Samsung display.

1+2 are hard to differentiate but the rest all become lighter and lighter.
Thanks for your feedback. May I ask how you calibrated the screen?
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:17 AM   #10
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You might want to try the BasicColor5 calibration software..I got better results on my LG than with using the Displayrite software ( report is posted in the thread I linked ) .. It's 30 day trial .. I was able to get black 0 down to .3 , and when I execute the Lagom test properly ( in a darkened room) , I get the gray squares in the lower ranges .. In my real world use , the shadow detail and resolution on the rMBP is just as good as my Dell U2410 , and my Apple 24 Cinema ( all calibrated to sRGB, D6500, 120) .. Another poster led me to this software .. he's got a Samsung and has also had excellent results .. suspect he'll join this post ..
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:17 AM   #11
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Spider 3 pro. Now you would get a version of Spyder 4.

The other well known product family I Color Munki.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:34 AM   #12
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Thanks guys, I think I've figured it out using i1Display Pro. There was a 'tearoff' from an iTunes card stuck near the i1's sensor which skewed the calibration! Now it's picture perfect and I can see those 10 boxes. I'm really glad the OP brought this up.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 09:51 AM   #13
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Thanks for your feedback. May I ask how you calibrated the screen?
I used the software calibration built in to the display settings.

I'm on the fence as to wether to purchase a hardware calibrater or not and how much difference it would make might not be worth the cost.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:26 AM   #14
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I used the software calibration built in to the display settings.

I'm on the fence as to wether to purchase a hardware calibrater or not and how much difference it would make might not be worth the cost.
Depends on what your use cases are ..If you're a pro photographer, or graphic designer ( producing graphic works for others) , and the rMBP figures in the workflow someplace, you already know the answer is 'yes' .. If you're a serious amateur photographer, interested in graphic design , or doing web development, etc ..probably a good idea ..then you'll know the colors you're producing are close to some standard that will reproduce consistently .. The Apple 'default' advanced calibration isn't bad to get a 'rough point' , but when it comes to adjusting the luminosity, grayscale, etc .. a colorimeter or spectrophotometer based device with good software is required .. and this machine lends itself well toward that effort (unlike a lot of other laptops ..you need to go for more exotic portable workstations in the Windows space to get acceptable results , and some macs aren't the best , either) ..
From a subjectiive POV , I think calibrated color just looks much better ..I personally can't stand things like 'red push', day glo neon where it doesn't belong, washed out or murky images ... which is what comes from a display or graphics card that's seriously out of whack .. and I shudder at what might be produced as 'normal' on such a display ..
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 10:35 AM   #15
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Depends on what your use cases are ..If you're a pro photographer, or graphic designer ( producing graphic works for others) , and the rMBP figures in the workflow someplace, you already know the answer is 'yes' .. If you're a serious amateur photographer, interested in graphic design , or doing web development, etc ..probably a good idea ..then you'll know the colors you're producing are close to some standard that will reproduce consistently ...
I'm not a pro or amateur photographer but it is one of my hobbies. I think I will purchase one eventually, then at least I can use it on other PCs too.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 06:43 PM   #16
jaqueh
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I used the software calibration built in to the display settings.

I'm on the fence as to wether to purchase a hardware calibrater or not and how much difference it would make might not be worth the cost.
I too am using the built in calibrater, trying to bring out the blacks, what do you have the gamma set at?
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:12 AM   #17
Dyno-Mike
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Its at 2.2 anything below that makes everything to light.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 08:47 AM   #18
bill-p
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Originally Posted by AirThis View Post
My experience matches that of the OP. Even with dedicated calibration tools, the shadow detail on my rMBP's screen (Samsung here) is not really that good. The gradient produced by shadows drops off far too quickly. This is absolutely crystal clear in the following test:

http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php

On a reference screen that's been properly calibrated you can see the upper 10 boxes. On my rMBP I simply can't see those unless I set the gamma value close to 1. However, doing this will throw the entire color spectrum off. I've tried calibrating several times with the i1Display Pro, but nothing does. I asked the guy in my company's graphics dept. to perform the calibration for me and he obtained a result that was similar. We tried both basic and advanced calibration modes.

Even in a real-world test, the problem is clearly apparent. When I look at people's eyes in black and white portraits, sometimes I cannot differentiate between the pupil and the iris. Yet if I look at the same picture on a reference screen, I can clearly see the contours of the pupil.
Here's my calibrated profile for my Samsung display. I didn't use a calibrator, since those seemed to yield results that were all over the place. So I eye-balled the entire thing and spent 2 hours matching color levels on a reference printout in order to get it to this level.

Not perfect. The first few squares are still very dark, but at least now all squares should be visible.
Attached Files
File Type: zip samsung_icc.zip (9.7 KB, 27 views)
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 10:39 AM   #19
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Here's my calibrated profile for my Samsung display. I didn't use a calibrator, since those seemed to yield results that were all over the place. So I eye-balled the entire thing and spent 2 hours matching color levels on a reference printout in order to get it to this level.
Thanks!

Seems to make everything too light, as if the gamma is right down and has a slight yellow hue on mine. Even the stock profile looks better on my panel.

How do I find my .icc profile file? I see all the others but not the one I calibrated.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:06 AM   #20
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Thanks!

Seems to make everything too light, as if the gamma is right down and has a slight yellow hue on mine. Even the stock profile looks better on my panel.

How do I find my .icc profile file? I see all the others but not the one I calibrated.
The "too light" part is expected and actually desirable because stock black level on the rMBP is too low. I can recalibrate it for a slightly higher contrast, but then you'll lose black level details.

And your calibrated profile should be in \Users\[your username]\Library\ColorSync\Profiles\
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:22 AM   #21
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I wonder if my display has a slightly better gamma than some others because in this test
http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php, i can see all the black boxes starting at 1 (barely) and they gradually increase in lightness as expected. This is with the default profile too. So surely this must mean my black levels are ok?

I dont have a (library) in my user folder. At least that i can see.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:41 AM   #22
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I can see all of the test squares in that test as well, but only at very high brightness. Those squares should be completely visible, not just barely. And you should still be able to see them at the lowest brightness.

And to get to the Library folder, go to your user folder (home folder) and press Command + Shift + G in Finder, then type in "Library". It should take you there.

Apple elected to hide the Library folder for some reason.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 11:49 AM   #23
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I can see all of the test squares in that test as well, but only at very high brightness. Those squares should be completely visible, not just barely. And you should still be able to see them at the lowest brightness.

And to get to the Library folder, go to your user folder (home folder) and press Command + Shift + G in Finder, then type in "Library". It should take you there.
Thanks for the tip.

Here is the profile I got when I used the built in calibrater.

Calibrated.icc.zip
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 12:23 PM   #24
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Thanks for the tip.

Here is the profile I got when I used the built in calibrater.

Attachment 379268
Yeah, just as I thought. I think you prefer a higher contrast with more saturation.

It boosted contrast on my screen, but the black squares became a lot harder to see.
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 12:25 PM   #25
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Here's my calibrated profile for my Samsung display. I didn't use a calibrator, since those seemed to yield results that were all over the place. So I eye-balled the entire thing and spent 2 hours matching color levels on a reference printout in order to get it to this level.

Not perfect. The first few squares are still very dark, but at least now all squares should be visible.
Thanks for the upload, it was interesting. However, I managed to calibrate with the i1Display Pro as I said previously.

I think that these screens are all quite different. I cannot see the top row with the profile you provided. However, using hardware calibration I can see those boxes in the top 5 rows.
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