Late 2015 Retina iMac Light Bleed Thread

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AusMacFan, Oct 19, 2015.

  1. AusMacFan macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    Many of those who have ordered one of the shiny new 2015 iMacs have either received, or are about to receive their new machines, so I thought it would be appropriate to make a thread where we can share our experiences with light bleed. Why is this important? Well, the first generation retina iMacs (and recent iMacs in general) were notorious for having what seemed to be widespread backlight bleeding issues, and considering Apple's shift to slightly different display tech this year, it will be interesting to find out if they have made an effort to resolve these issues with the new updated panels.

    I myself just bought a stock 3.3GHz 27" 5k iMac, and so far the backlight bleed has not been too much of a problem. Here's a photo of the display at 100% brightness, displaying a black image in a pitch black room. The bleed itself is not very noticeable under normal conditions, in fact at first I thought I had snagged a perfect screen, but after using it for a while the bleed has definitely drawn more of my attention and is most obvious in the bottom right corner.

    So, for those who care about this sort of thing, post a a photo when you get your new iMac so we can get a sense of whether Apple has improved this issue at all.

    Attached Files:

  2. Laai macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Really? Whats next? Complaints that one iMac is 15 microns shorter than the other?

    Joking aside, light bleeding is really annoying and many first gen iMacs had the issue. But don't you think you are going out of your way to find problems here? Pitch black room with black image and light on full brightness only to show a few spots you previously did not notice you even had?

    Honestly, these things tend to get too far. As soon as a product launches and 500 people have a particular problem, threads start popping up and people start saying "many people have this issue" whereas other 2 million do not.
  3. AusMacFan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    Yes, of course these tests are done in an unrealistic environment which most accentuates the issues, and like I said it isn't very noticeable during everyday use. However, there are many people out there who, like myself, care a great deal about the display quality for what is a very, very expensive machine. The retina Macs, and especially the retina iMacs, are computers which are marketed on their high quality displays, so naturally they will attract some buyers who are picky about panel quality. Clearly, the long threads in the past about backlight bleed have shown that there is interest in the topic; I was even asked about it specifically in my impressions thread.

    If there is anyone out there who is on the fence about getting a new iMac but are bothered by backlight bleed, this could be a valuable thread to get more info on the topic, and if I didn't make it clear enough in the original post, this is for
  4. redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    As someone who was following the explosion of threads related to last year's model, your photo looks to have a typical amount of backlight bleed. I don't have a late 2015 Retina iMac to compare it to.
    If you're picky about panel quality, I can guarantee you'll always find issues with the iMacs. Non-uniformity and backlight bleed seem to be present on them all, and I've seen other problems such as a dust particle in the panel and image retention developing over time.
  5. mipo macrumors newbie


    Nov 16, 2014
    ..and I thought this is none issue anymore. I was also one with backlight bleeding issue and returned my iMac mainly for overheating / fan issue year ago, but was pretty annoyed with the leaking as well.

    However, your photos look really over saturated, shadows popped up and tweaked . . . is this really just a snap or did you post process the image with Photo/Lightroom. There are no blacks at all. Even if you had Brightness on full, the mid part of the screen remains black, yours is grey-white . . .

    Still not very happy, that the leaks are there even year after . . . (((
  6. redheeler, Oct 19, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2015

    redheeler macrumors 604


    Oct 17, 2014
    It looks to be slightly over-exposed, as most of the backlight bleed photos are. You can always download it and turn down the brightness/exposure if you'd like.

    Backlight bleed has been present on iMacs for a lot longer than a year ;)
  7. elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    Hi all

    I also have a light bleeding issue on my screen. This is the late 2015 iMac and to be honest, even if it appears as being "normal" to some (my wife didn't notice when I asked her to look at the black screen), I think this is sad for a +3k computer.

    Now the question is: is it average compared to other iMac? It is it worse?
    I am still in the 14days...
    Sending it back is painful and I am worried that it may end up in receiving the same type of screen... or worse..

    Attached Files:

  8. makrom macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2015
    I see why you would take fotos in the dark to "intensify" the problem in order to demonstrate it. But the sheer methodology is flawed if you don't use a given exposure value. Unless you have a screen with perfect blacks, a contrast ratio of unlimited to 1, you will always be able to demonstrate visual backlight bleeding like that.
    There are panels that have perfect blacks, but such a panel isn't used here.
    Essentially, those are:
    - OLED (very expensive for this size and resolution, decreased durability, require much more recalibration for accurate colors)
    - Plasma (somewhat decreased durability, more recalibration, use more energy, get warmer, thicker)
    - Local dimming LED (thicker, more energy, show some light in dark areas next to bright ones)
    - Adaptive backlight (no effect as soon as theres anything bright somewhere on the screen, can't be calibrated propperly)

    Due to the listed disadvantages, none of the above techniques are frequently found in computer displays. OLED will become more prominent in the future though I guess.

    Personally, I have seen some backlight bleed on my screen, both 14 and 15, but it's rather minor. While I have seen better screens on that subject, most are worse. Judging the panel as a whole (price, dimension, color accuracy, resolution, etc.) i still consider it excellent. There are competitive 5k displays available, but none of them is significantly better in any aspect.
  9. Laai macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    This. Like said in my post earlier, sometimes the problem is sitting in front of the computer.
  10. elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011

    I agree. It is not a professional methodology. However, this shows the bleeding.
    And to me, it is mainly due to the pressure that is not homogeneous on panel.

    Now I agree that appart from this issue, the screen is top quality. But I also know that some user don't have light bleeding issue at all.
  11. elromano, Nov 9, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

    elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    Well, actually, the problem is sitting in front of a 3500k€ computer.. and watching a movie in 21:9 ratio hehe
  12. AusMacFan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    I agree with you there about the pressure not being homogeneous on the panel. Applying even a slight amount of pressure on the areas with bleed reduces it significantly. I think effect is also exacerbated by the use of laminated displays, as my rMBP screen appeared to de-laminate on the corner, and light bleed in that region increased significantly over a short period of time.

    I don't think there is any problem with holding consumer products as expensive as this one to an ultra-high level of scrutiny. Is this an issue that effects me a great deal when using the computer? No. Is it enough to deter me from buying/keeping the machine? Evidently not. However, there's nothing wrong with finding flaws, no matter how small they are, in products that routinely benefit from iterative improvement, and demanding more from multinational corporations such as Apple is something that we should all relentlessly do as consumers.
  13. makrom macrumors regular

    Nov 4, 2015
    It shows some bleeding but it's impossible to tell how significant it is, since a similar result could be achieved with any normal LCD.
    This means that we can't really tell whether a) the panels are actually bad in general and we just have low standards, b) you are too picky or c) your panel actually does have an issue.
    For the sake of fomparison, it would actually be more meaningful to have some other light source in the foto that's reproducible without too much effort. Of course that wouldn't be anywhere near common scientific precission, but should be more that enough to demonstrate a defect.

    Besides, I totally understand that you want a decent product. But what i can say is that from what I can tell so far, my 2015 model does have backlight bleed, but nowhere near what I would consider problematic. It's definitely visible on a black picture in a completely dark room, but pretty much insignificant under normal conditions. It might not be a record holder for screen uniformity, but still much better than most other LCD panels I have seen. But as I said, I am very open for the possibility that your panel is actually worse.
  14. elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    Definitely agree with what you said.
    Based on a screenshot, it is not possible to say if mine is worse or better than another one (and that was not the question).

    What I gather from this thread is that it is common to have light bleeding, therefore, I am not an exception. Which is something I did not know before browsing the forum.
  15. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    What is funny about your comment is: "consumer products as expensive as this one"....

    What is your definition of expensive? My point is my parents bought a Macintosh SE back in 1986? for $2900. By today's standards that's over $6k! For $2900 now I can get almost a fully loaded iMac (sans Maxing the memory and the 1TB SSD).

    Just putting things into perspective.....
  16. elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    It IS expensive in the sense that VERY few people put +3k€ in a computer nowadays.
  17. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    Mine doesn't have anything close to what your pictures shows.
  18. AusMacFan thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 31, 2010
    Expensive relative to other all-in-one computers on the market (generally, comparing the costs of substitute goods is an apt way to get an idea of how 'expensive' one good is relative to its competition, and is a more reliable way of doing so than comparing the cost to a good from almost thirty years ago). Yes, this is the only all-in-one with a 5K screen, but Apple computers have generally been a bit more expensive than PCs of an equivalent specifications, hence why they are often held to higher standards.

    In this case, Apple can justify its pricing by touting the quality of the display; but of course, if the display is the feature that demands this premium, it's not unreasonable to then scrutinise it to a high degree.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that light-bleed this minor is in any way a deal breaker for me, nor does it dilute the value proposition of the computer (in my opinion). However, light-bleed is something that has so far been endemic in IPS panels, and the purpose of this thread was to see if the panels have improved in this regard (as I am sure they will over time). Remember that IPS glow was very prevalent on the last generation of non-retina panels, but in my experiences using the 5k iMac after having used a non retina 2012 iMac, they have improved the issue dramatically.
  19. Gr81MB macrumors 6502


    Dec 4, 2007
    I had an even worse backlight bleed on my late 2014, sent it back got a decent screen with minimal spots can't even see when watching movies, if it bothers you send it back but no guarantee the next one will be worse!

    Attached Files:

  20. xmichaelp macrumors 68000


    Jul 10, 2012
    Tests like these are really ridiculous. Nobody will ever notice an issue with normal usage.
  21. elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    Then I guess watching a movie on an iMac is not normal usage..
  22. SBruv macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2008
    The top one's the new one, right?
  23. Laai macrumors regular

    Apr 23, 2012
    Then go ahead and buy OLED screen and then hold them to this high standard.

    Jesus Christ, how much more picky can people be. 3K all-in-one machine and it has to excel at every aspect to absolute perfection, otherwise it is "so disappointing, I'm never buying Apple again". There is a reason it is called "all-in-one". It is suppose to do many things really good, not be perfect in every sense.

    Honestly, to anyone who is annoyed their 5K All-in-One computer is not as perfect they would like to: go ahead and buy a 6-7k special displays and then you are entitled to be disappointed, not now.

    Stop buying an BMW and complaining that Bugatti Veyron is faster. Buy a Bugatti.
  24. kødskjold macrumors member

    Oct 21, 2015

    Ouch. That would annoy me, but only in game & movie settings. I guess the IPS giveth, and the IPS taketh. :p
  25. elromano macrumors newbie

    Apr 7, 2011
    I'm not sure why you participate to this thread. If you're happy with your screen, I'm happy for you.
    And I'm happy for Apple that people like you exist. They can make great margin, selling average product, because people don't expect it to be perfect anyway.
    And you're right. I don't know why I would watch a movie on my iMac... I'm completely stupid (in addition to "picky").
    BTW, it's funny cause I saw you reacting to a post related to fan noise.. Don't be picky man.. it's just noise.

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