Calibration for a 30'' High Color LCD connected to a 15'' Macbook Pro

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by SuperSpiker, Feb 25, 2009.

  1. SuperSpiker macrumors member

    Sep 20, 2008
    I recently purchased a Dell Ultra Sharp Widescreen LCD monitor (the 3007WFP-HC) and I'm looking for suggestions on how best to calibrate this beast.

    This monitor is connected to my 15" Macbook Pro. The 30" display has a resolution of 2650x1600 (when used with a dual-link DVI capable video card, which lucky for me my MBP supports!) That's a four-megapixel viewing area!

    This panel is fantastic for photography as it's 92% color gamut capable rather than the more commonly used 72% gamut. The end result is better accuracy, especially with reds and greens, in addition to a better overall contrast ratio which is 1000:1. It also has Super In-Plane Switching (S-IPS) and proper eight-bit-per-channel (24 bit depth total) color resolution.

    The problem is that out of the box the colors are super-saturated, "cartoonish" default color rendition. Extra-punchy colors are fine for most people and great for games, but they're a disaster in my case as I want to do serious image processing.

    I divulge the specs not to brag but to point out some of the possible calibration issues. For example are there any calibration pucks that are aware and will consider the 92% gamut and calibrate with that in mind?

    I'm rather confused about the calibration stuff but I want to buy a good puck that will properly calibrate this monitor even if it costs me $300 or more.

    I have an old Spyder Express 2 laying around somewhere but I don't think it will do much good with this screen. I was looking at the Spyder 3 Pro but I'm not sure it's designed to calibrate a screen as large as this one.

    What are the other "pro" level calibration pucks that could do this monitor justice?

  2. princigalli macrumors 6502a


    May 27, 2007
    Rome, Paris, Berlin
    I have the exact same problem with my Eizo and my Macbook pro 15 unibody. I think I read something over the internet once about wide gamut monitors not calibrating well on macs. Some people had to resort to software calibration included with some monitors, because even hardware calibration will not work.
  3. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Apr 14, 2001
    Sendai, Japan
    It's not a problem of calibration! It's even less of a problem with your computer being a Mac. It's simply an expression of the fact that your gamut is larger -- and hence, you simply can display more colors.

    If you're used to a screen with a smaller gamut and you switch to another screen, things will seem oversaturated. But actually, it's the other way around, the other screen is undersaturated. Notebook panels, for instance, usually have a much smaller gamut than external screens. On my Samsung lcd with PVA panel, I can clearly make out the line separators in iTunes. On my ProBook, I have to guess them (you can see them, if you look for them). Both are calibrated, mind you.

    Hardware color calibration utilities merely measure the output and you can actually use Color Sync Utility to see your screens gamut after you have created a profile. So yes, with any hardware calibration utility, the size of the gamut is considered.

    So, use your Color Spyder 2 to calibrate your nice 30" screen and that's it.

    BTW, this is why glossy displays `seem' different than matte displays: they have a larger gamut and contrast, because they are missing the compensator foils you need to diffuse incident light. Hence, they `seem to have more pop,' but they're actually simply better than matte displays in that respect, because there is simply less stuff between panel and eyes.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    The size of the screen does not matter. The colorimeter only sees a small patch that is maybe 1/4 inch diameter. The Spyder Express 2 will work very well. Yes you can buy the "Pro" model but the hardware is identical. In fact event the software is identical. If you were to buy the upgrade all you get is a new license key that unlocks more features in the same software.

    Dim the room lights and use the Express 2 and you will get good results. The Syder can "see" even more gamut then your new monitor can display, don't worry. The diference between 72% and 100% of the color space amounts to a few tenths of an f-stop. (Remember that every f-stop is a doubling of the light)

    Your new LCD panel is very much like the Apple ACD. (I think they use the same LCD panel) Thousands of people use the Syder with the ACD and have good results
  5. vga4life macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2004
    I use an HP LP3065 which uses the same (LG) S-IPS panel. The Spyder2 is fine, just be sure to draw the shades and dim the room lights when you're calibrating (and working, at least on images.)

    I find it helps to tilt the screen back to help the sensor lay flat on the panel.

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