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JDHiro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
365
607
Seattle, WA
Yesterday I sprung for a 16" MacBook when I found out my local store had a 32GB model in stock, and I decided to go ahead and upgrade my monitor to the UltraFine 5K at the same time.

I've been using a Dell P2715Q 4K monitor for years now, but I have an early version that freezes often (requiring power cycle), doesn't support HDMI 2.0, and I was never quite happy with the off axis color (until now). The UltraFine 5K seemed like the reference monitor to get, with a price to match. Despite the weird bezels, most reviews rave about the panel quality.

After a couple of days with the UltraFine, however, I'm a bit disappointed I'm not sure what to do with this display yet.

1) Issue #1 - off axis viewing
Out of the box, I felt like the UltraFine was washed out compared to my Dell 4K. As I moved around, I noticed this was because the off-axis viewing seemed to suffer a lot. As a matter of fact, it seems so bad that I get off-axis discoloration in the lower corners of the monitor looking at it STRAIGHT ON.

IMG_3220.jpeg


Most reviewers say this display has pretty good off-axis viewing, but this seems blatantly unacceptable to the point that I'm wondering if there is something wrong with my monitor. If I raise the monitor all the way, and tilt the bottom out to the max distance, I can get the wash-out to go away, but that's an insane angle to use the monitor at.

For reference, here is the Dell from the same angle:
IMG_3221.jpeg


2) Issue #2 - Color
The color of this monitor just seems inferior to the many-years-old Dell. Looking at the MacOS wallpaper both the Dell and MacBook have a deep blue hue, but the LG has kind of a washed-out more purple-is look to it.

59782262164__EFA04225-F04A-4DBF-A3EF-D4EC3224C5E4.jpeg


I have tried all the different color profiles, settings etc. It's a little hard to tweak the LG display since it has no external controls. But I'm wondering... did I get a dud UltraFine? Does this display just suck? Is there something wrong with my eyes? Everyone says this is the "same" at the iMac display, but I've never seen these things in an iMac. I'm having a hard time believing this display is worth 3x the price with the quality I'm perceiving here.

I was wondering if this was a glossy vs matte issue, but this room is pretty dark in the evenings so external glare isn't much of an issue.
 
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Crash0veride

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2016
221
143
Cincinnati
Disappointing to see as I was likely about to purchase one. Looks like a dud though. Most IPS monitors have quality control issues, and it’s hard to get a perfect one but the corners should not be that bad. I can’t tell if LG has more QC issues than others or not, but that’s part of the reason I want to buy it from apple: their basically no questions asked return policy. It’s a shame LG makes some of the better displays on paper, but I’m returning another high end LG today partially from QC issues (partially because macOS scaling is so awful on that 4K 32 display).
 

cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
7,189
3,321
United Kingdom
Yeah I'd replace that, mine has pretty great off-axis colour reproduction.

I did find the default calibration a bit washed out though, especially compared to my MacBook Pro. I think if you hold Option when you click Calibrate in System Prefs, it lets you do a much more detailed calibration. Mine is a lot more pleasing to look at now, not overly saturated but a noticeable difference from the default profile.
 
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JDHiro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
365
607
Seattle, WA
Yeah I'd replace that, mine has pretty great off-axis colour reproduction.

I did find the default calibration a bit washed out though, especially compared to my MacBook Pro. I think if you hold Option when you click Calibrate in System Prefs, it lets you do a much more detailed calibration. Mine is a lot more pleasing to look at now, not overly saturated but a noticeable difference from the default profile.

Whoa, that's cool, nice tip!
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
685
457
You likely have a bad panel and need to exchange.

But before you do, make sure you're not just basing it on that wallpaper. Use a screen test (which is free and quick): https://www.eizo.be/monitor-test/

P3 uses a wider color gamut than sRGB, which allows more blue/green information to show up in photos. Although it doesn't look like, judging by the effect happening off-axis, that is the issue.
 
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JDHiro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
365
607
Seattle, WA
You likely have a bad panel and need to exchange.

But before you do, make sure you're not just basing it on that wallpaper. Use a screen test (which is free and quick): https://www.eizo.be/monitor-test/

P3 uses a wider color gamut than sRGB, which allows more blue/green information to show up in photos. Although it doesn't look like, judging by the effect happening off-axis, that is the issue.

Thanks! Honestly, it looks incredible on those tests on the bright screens.

The issue I'm having is that I perceive a ton of off-axis washing out on darker screens. I'm having a hard time believing that it's a defective panel - it seems to WORK fine, I'm just really sensitive off-axis backlight bleed. I always noticed it on my Dell too, but I think it's amplified with the glossy coating on the LG display.

I guess I just need to wait for micro-led displays.
 

Crash0veride

macrumors regular
Oct 10, 2016
221
143
Cincinnati
I ordered one last week. It had noticeable backlight bleed on the lower left in a decently well lit room which didn't disappear when adjusting viewing angle. It didn't even look as bad as the pictures you put up, though I know from trying to take my own that the pictures exaggerate things quite a bit. I returned it and ordered a new one yesterday. No backlight bleed, just a little normal IPS glow that goes away when you adjust viewing angle. On the second one, the color was a little off (warm), but I calibrated it and it looks great now.

Summary being, there's definitely differences panel to panel from manufacturing. It's all about whether LG's quality tolerances meet your own standards for the price. The first one I purchased didn't to me. The second one did.
[automerge]1577211124[/automerge]
 

JDHiro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
365
607
Seattle, WA
I ordered one last week. It had noticeable backlight bleed on the lower left in a decently well lit room which didn't disappear when adjusting viewing angle. It didn't even look as bad as the pictures you put up, though I know from trying to take my own that the pictures exaggerate things quite a bit. I returned it and ordered a new one yesterday. No backlight bleed, just a little normal IPS glow that goes away when you adjust viewing angle. On the second one, the color was a little off (warm), but I calibrated it and it looks great now.

Summary being, there's definitely differences panel to panel from manufacturing. It's all about whether LG's quality tolerances meet your own standards for the price. The first one I purchased didn't to me. The second one did.
[automerge]1577211124[/automerge]

That's great info! I feel like we're in the same camp. I have backlight bleed from both corners and adjusting doesn't make a difference. I will say that it looks exaggerated in the photos, but does demonstrate the issue. I spent some time with my dads 5K iMac tonight and it's not an issue at all (although, image retention is). I'm going to go ahead and exchange this display.
 

JDHiro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
365
607
Seattle, WA
I went ahead and exchanged this display today, and unfortunately the new display seems to have pretty much the same amount of IPS Glow.

I think my "fix" is just to use wallpapers that don't have dark corners. I haven't seen this amount of IPS Glow on any iMacs though, so it's a bit confusing that this is supposedly the same panel.
 

Royksöpp

macrumors 68020
Nov 4, 2013
2,220
3,700
I went ahead and exchanged this display today, and unfortunately the new display seems to have pretty much the same amount of IPS Glow.

I think my "fix" is just to use wallpapers that don't have dark corners. I haven't seen this amount of IPS Glow on any iMacs though, so it's a bit confusing that this is supposedly the same panel.

My Dell UP2516D which I paid almost $500 for in 2016 had IPS Glow. My LG 4k Ultrafine also has IPS Glow. Luckily I had no backlight bleed so I could deal with the IPS Glow. I've seen it on several high end monitors so I really doubt in can be helped. Could it be possible that the laminated glass somehow diffuses IPS Glow?
 

JDHiro

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2013
365
607
Seattle, WA
My Dell UP2516D which I paid almost $500 for in 2016 had IPS Glow. My LG 4k Ultrafine also has IPS Glow. Luckily I had no backlight bleed so I could deal with the IPS Glow. I've seen it on several high end monitors so I really doubt in can be helped. Could it be possible that the laminated glass somehow diffuses IPS Glow?

Yes, I feel like the glass makes a difference, possibly by adding to the glare? I do think I'm going to stick with it - love the 5K resolution, and photos look really great on it. I don't know there is much that can be done until MicroLED monitors are mainstream.
 
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