Retina display uniformity and tint

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by laurihoefs, Nov 28, 2013.

  1. laurihoefs, Nov 28, 2013
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2013

    laurihoefs macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #1
    There are many, many threads concerning tint, backlight bleed and uniformity issues of 13" and 15" Retina panels. One thing that repeatedly comes up in those threads, is the question whether a single photo of the display is really representative of real life, or not.

    I did this quick and dirty demonstration to show you the issue. I've taken some pictures, and made a composite for easy comparison.



    Take a look at the picture below. Which one do you consider the better display, the one on the left, or the one on the right?
    [​IMG]

    Here are my thoughts.
    On the left: Purple tint on top, and dark corners, horrible uniformity. Might be a tad yellow too. Horrible backlight bleed, and the rainbow in the dark is quite awful.
    On the right: pretty much perfect uniformity, no backlight bleed to speak of. Whites pure as snow.

    After you've done the comparison, I'll let you in on a secret. All four images are of the same screen.



    Why are they so different then?

    The ones on the left are taken with an iPhone 5. It's an OK camera for a smartphone, but it still suffers from many of the issues all small cameras suffer from, like vignetting caused by the small objective, and noise caused by the small sensor. The pictures are also taken at point blank range, so the edges of the display are suffering from color shift caused by the viewing angle. These are straight out of camera JPGs, just cropped.

    The ones on the right are taken with a Sony NEX-5N and a Voigtländer 35mm f/2.5 @ f/5,6, ISO 200 and a 1/125s exposure, two meters away. These are RAW-images, processed in Adobe Camera Raw, where only white balance was set, no other corrections were applied.

    These images exaggerate the issue on purpose, the ones on the left are taken about as badly as I could manage, kind of a worst case scenario. But they actually bare shocking resemblance to many pictures I've seen posted in the threads, and that have been used to judge whether the display in question is good or not.



    I know there are people with real display issues out there, and by no means am I downplaying or trying to dismiss them. If a display has clearly visible uniformity issues or image retention, then it should be replaced, no question about that.

    TL;DR: What is the point of this post? It's this: if you don't see any issues with bare eyes, you most likely don't have any. If these issues are only "revealed" by taking a picture of them, then the problem lies more likely either in the method, or camera, not the display itself. By looking for problems, you might actually be creating them out of thin air. So stop looking for "hidden flaws", and enjoy your computers :)
     
  2. Fzang macrumors 65816

    Fzang

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    Jun 15, 2013
  3. nospleen macrumors 68020

    nospleen

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2002
    Location:
    Texas
    #3
    They all look invisible to me. Must be something wrong with my air...:D
     
  4. laurihoefs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #4
    Sorry, fixed it.

    I have no idea why the image I attached to the original post is now gone. It's now in Dropbox instead, so should work :)
     
  5. samuelk0814 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    #5
    Pretty legit. Could you provide the 5th digit of your serial number?
     
  6. laurihoefs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #6
    I already did ;)

    It's a mid-2012 model though, so I don't know if it's actually relevant to your statistics.
     
  7. samuelk0814 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2011
    #7
    Ah didn't see that thanks :D
    It does confirm that 2013 screens seem to have worse screens than the 2012 ones...
     
  8. Constantine.T macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    #8
    I also found out that iPhone camera aggravates the real state of affairs.
    In real life many retina screens look much better.
     
  9. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    #9
    Thanks for linking this thread. More people should read this. I'm so tired of people using horrible metrics for deciding that their actually-fine display is sub-par.
     
  10. Chizzled macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2009
    #10
    Thanks to this thread I felt more confident about my purchase while I was waiting for it to be shipped due to being on back order.

    I received my 15" rMBP yesterday evening and the first thing I did was take a good hard look at the screen. To me it looks perfectly fine. The color may be a tad bit warmer than my 2007 MBP, but it looks nice and bright with a uniform screen. I even performed the screen test, and everything seemed good to go.

    To those who are worried about buying a rMBP due to issues others have had on this thread, buy with confidence. If all else fails, I'm sure Apple care will take care of you.
     
  11. john123 macrumors 68000

    john123

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2001
    #11
    This. Unless you're neurotic and swap your laptop a half dozen times or more. In that case, Apple can't help you, but a good psychologist probably can!
     
  12. Shmanky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #12
    I don't get the point of this thread. Many people have had the following experience: they bought a 2012 15" Retina MacBook Pro and got a display with amazing colour and contrast. It developed image retention. They got the display replaced and immediately noticed a yellow tint compared to the display they just had. This is well documented on the Apple support forums. I'm one of them. A photograph of just the display isn't great but a photograph of their new yellowed display sitting next to a display showing colours as they remembered them is a good demonstration that Apple is selling displays with a bizarre yellow tint. These displays are used as replacement displays and on brand new machines. So I agree: a single shot of a single display is not as good as a shot of two machines side-by-side such as mine below. If you're in doubt whether or not your display is yellow tinted, take it in to an Apple store or other electronics retailer, set it next to a machine on display, and take a photograph. The difference with a yellow tinted display will be extremely obvious.

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Jerzup macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    #13
    My first rMBP from mid 2012 had yellow tint, and so did the 3 replacements that followed it. Not entirely sure if it's related to production date because I pre-ordered my laptop and it was one of the first weeks in production.
     
  14. Shmanky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #14
    What were the reasons for the display replacements? I'm sorry you never got a non-yellowed display because they really are stunning if you're lucky enough to get one. It's like finding a unicorn.
     
  15. Jerzup macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    #15
    Mainly because of IR. All of them had this problem.

    I knew the screen was yellow tinted because I also had a MBA at that point in time. Upon my unboxing of my first rMBP I knew it looked yellow.
     
  16. Shmanky macrumors regular

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    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #16
    You had 3 or 4 displays with both image retention and yellow tint? I am just astounded. This is the first time I am hearing that a display can have both of these problems.
     
  17. Jerzup macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2013
    #17
    Yep. Ended up selling my rMBP in a month.
    Convinced that ever since Steve Jobs died, Apple's QC has gone down the drain.
    I was also convinced it was LG's panel that are faulty. All 4 of my rMBP's had LG panels.
     
  18. tubbymac macrumors 65816

    tubbymac

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2008
    #18
    This is what happened to me except I luckily didn't have any image retention. I did my research with the first 2012 rMBP that I purchased and ended up with a near perfect Samsung display and absolutely no other issues. Best notebook I've ever had and in retrospect I should have kept it.

    I've since upgraded to the Haswell 2013 model and again got a Samsung display. But this time it isn't as uniformly bright. Between the two notebooks I've had, the 2012 was a better screen. Thinking of taking mine in to the Apple Store when I get the time, but it's still useable for work as long as you are wary of the problem areas on the display. On top of that my machine has the creaking issue that other's unlucky like myself got fresh out of the box.
     
  19. Mattvids macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    #19
    Is there a way to measure color uniformity (not talking about just looking at the display)?
     
  20. Shmanky macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Toronto
    #20
    Maybe you can measure colour uniformity by using a tool like the Spyder4Elite. Here's mine below. But it doesn't really mean anything to me because I don't know what values a properly uniform display, like my first one, should have.

    [​IMG]
     
  21. AirThis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    #21
    Thanks for posting this little lesson in white balance/photography. :)

    We've been trying to explain to people that their eyes are a better judge than a photo taken with a smartphone. But sometimes it's hard to get the message across.
     
  22. Jerz macrumors member

    Jerz

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2013
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #22
    If you read the whole thread, I think you'd find the method of comparing two screens better than just taking a single picture and cropping the background out.
     
  23. AirThis macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2012
    #23
    That not at all what I said. You entirely missed the point....
     
  24. laurihoefs, Dec 21, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2013

    laurihoefs thread starter macrumors 6502a

    laurihoefs

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2013
    #24
    Yes you do, because right after this you say:

    ...which is exactly the point.

    TFTCentral has a huge amount of display reviews with measurements included. They also explain the concepts behind their measurements quite well.

    Also a very good read is Rob Griffith's book Practical Colour Management, available as a free PDF download.
     
  25. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #25
    Some are better. That isn't atypical at all though. There are things they could probably do to improve uniformity, but I would not expect absolute perfection. The closest I've seen to perfection has been in the domain of desktop displays aimed at various media professionals.
     

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