Your iMac (late 09) screen is NOT fine

Discussion in 'iMac' started by El Jack, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. El Jack macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2009
    And if it is, I'd like to see irrefutable proof beyond 'my screen looks great!'. Thanks but no thanks, I prefer fact over opinion.

    As such I'd like to ask all those that believe they have perfect iMacs to take upon this challenge and actually PROVE to us that their screens are free of any problems. Seeing as some people believe that the yellow hue defect is in the minority, I look forward to seeing a lot of posts proving this.

    - Make sure no other light sources are on.
    - Take a head on photo of your screen with a decent camera and make sure it's exposed well.
    - Use a colour-picker in photo editing software (whichever) and measure the colours displayed in the corners & edges.
    - Take screenshots.
    - Post on here to show off your gorgeous display working as it should.

    If you can't bother to actually test your display, then don't talk about it. Simple as.

    Bottom line - in my findings this screen is unacceptably inconsistent (especially for an 'ultimate display'). Just check the blue levels in top-left & bottom-right in relation to the red & green.

    Uncalibrated original colour profile

    Calibrated with Spyder 3 (both shots below)


    Go on prove me wrong.
  2. wesleyh macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2007
    I'll just keep it and repair it in a few months.
  3. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    Impossible, since you're 100% right. Apple needs to fix this.
  4. Bryan Bowler macrumors 68040

    Sep 27, 2008

    While I will certainly be following this thread with interest, have you considered that folks with good displays are probably not paying any attention to these threads whatsoever? More than likely, the folks that do check their screens closely might make one comment in a thread somewhere that their screen is perfect and then they move on to other things.

    With that being said, I hope we see some examples of good screens. But I wouldn't expect a ton of them just by the nature of things...

  5. JacaByte macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2009
    And you do realize that the image you take is not a perfect representation of your screen, correct? No matter how good the firmware in your $1000 DSLR is it will still display colors in the image off-key to whatever the color is supposed to be in real life. This is because the camera has picked a white-point that all the other colors are based and calculated from. With a really cheap and crappy camera this is very noticeable, but high-end DSLRs like the one you have have it narrowed down to what is perceived as correct, but is never a 1:1 representation of what the human eye sees. The only way to tell for sure that there is a difference between two monitors is to have them side-by-side, because your eyes will play tricks on you and your camera will as well, invariably.

    Honestly, do you not trust your own eyes that badly?
  6. SilenceBe macrumors regular

    Oct 5, 2009
    Doesn't matter as the image proves there is a color distance between the top and bottom of the screen. Different color distance = not the color consistency apple advertises this screens with.

    good try though... .
  7. suburbia macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2008
    Thanks El Jack for taking the time, much appreciated. :)

    Don't take it too personally when there are those that insist the new iMacs are just fine.
  8. craig1410 macrumors 65816


    Mar 22, 2007
    I spent five years working as senior process & design engineer in an LCD repair facility and I don't recall ever using a camera (high end or otherwise) to make accurate colour measurements! To do that you need a purpose built colour analyser.

    Also, if I might add, the tone of your original post is likely to make many potential respondents not bother posting, leaving you with typically only the most opinionated and agenda-laden minority. You would, in my humble opinion, have been better off just asking nicely for anyone with a 27" late '09 iMac to post a photo of their screen and provide a solid white image for them to ensure that everyone uses the same source. You should also have ensured that each screen is switched on for a consistent amount of time before the test (not so bad with LED backlights of course) and that the brightness is set to a consistent value in case any colour variation is caused by brightness level.

    It's ironic that you say, "If you can't bother to actually test your display, then don't talk about it. Simple as." when you could have approached this exercise in a wholly more objective and effective manner with a few tweaks to your tone and methodology.

    Good luck with your experiment, I shall watch with interest.
  9. Maeglin macrumors newbie

    Dec 25, 2009
    Although i agree with the OP , u must keep in mind that a "good" color calibrated monitor its expensive .. alot expensive :)

    Just an example :

    Eizo Nanao EIZO ColorEdge CG221
    LCD display - TFT - 22.2" - 1920 x 1200 - 200 cd/m2 - 400:1 - 30 ms

    Price : $5,689.99

    You aren't expecting that from the apple one are u ? :)
  10. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    To the original poster:

    Take a photo, with your excellent camera, of any large sheet of card (in any light-toned color of your choice) and post it here for our perusal. I'd like to see an un-retouched photo that exhibits absolute tonal consistency right across the frame, that can be examined with appropriate tools. Please add something in the photo to indicate the scale of the photographed image (perhaps a pen or coin).
    Shouldn't be difficult for you to do – after all, you've done it once already with total accuracy, haven't you?
    Let's see it.

    Actually, on second thoughts, why bother? Your original shots aren't even taken from a consistent position, showing varying degrees of tilt and differing amounts of black surround. A consistent position enabled by the use of a tripod might have been useful. What did you do to negate measurable color shifts due to reflections on the screen, from you and your camera, or anything behind you, from the bright screen? Did you set up a large, non-reflective black card with a hole cut in it through which the lens could protrude with minimal additional reflection? Let us know of anything you did do to make your images anything more than valueless.

    Until then, my opinion is that the original images, and the verbage that goes with them, are a lot of rubbish.
  11. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    You've never seen a photo that had consistent whites in it? :p
  12. Travisimo macrumors 6502a

    Dec 22, 2009
    Here's my 2 cents:

    I've had my 27' i5 (week 51) for a week now. I've purposefully refrained from doing any "tests" on my display because I wanted to see what I noticed just in everyday use. And after a week (the computer has been on 24/7 despite a few reboots to do updates and use Boot Camp), I never noticed any yellow tinge.

    But curiosity got the better of me and after doing the "test", there is a very slight gradient from top left to bottom right. And I can see how someone with the need for a perfectly uniform calibrated display would not be happy with this.

    However, it also made me realize that there apparently aren't too many "perfect" screens out there on any device. I looked at my 24" Samsung LCD that I use on my PC and it's not uniform at all. It is noticeably darker closer to the edges and the color is not perfectly uniform either. I have a 52" HDTV in my living room which is very nice but has backlight bleed that is really only noticeable under certain conditions.

    My point isn't to apologize for Apple or any of the panel manufacturers. You spend good money and you want a perfect product. But I'll tell you what... this 27" display is the best looking screen I've used to date and I'll never notice the slight color gradient. That said, mine is not as pronounced as the images you posted (you'll just have to take my word for it as I do not plan on taking screenshots or checking color values in Lightroom).

    In the end, I suppose there's a couple of factors each owner will need to consider:

    - To what degree does your display exhibit a color gradient?
    - To what degree do you deem this as "acceptable"?

    If the gradient on my screen increases over time, I will certainly have it replaced. And if there is a recall or universal fix for this, I'll certainly be partaking in it. On the other hand, all other aspects of the screen are fantastic. There's no bleed, there's no corner degradation, the brightness is unform, the resolution is exceptional, the warm-up time is minimal, and the color/contrast are also very good despite the gradient.

    I just hope the screen on this iMac doesn't completely fail like it did on my 24" (early 2009). LOL. That one went to sleep and never woke back up!

    Note too that I fully support the efforts of those who want Apple to address this issue (even the Gizmodo guy who may be a bit emotional but at least has the visibility to get noticed).

    Thanks for taking the time to pin down this issue.
  13. El Jack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2009
    First off, credit to this forum for not coming at me with pitchforks & fire - I'm not the most subtle guy. :) Yes my test is flawed in so many ways from a completely technical perspective, but it's a good indicator that is achievable by many.

    Also the issue isn't colour fidelity as a Craig highlighted - my camera is a crap tool for this purpose. Rather it can measure colour consistency quite accurately - and that's where this test holds water.

    See people like you should be posting up your screens, rather than further challenges.

    So you expect me to light a scene with a near-perfect consistency equivalent to that which should be achieved by LG & Apple engineers in an LCD screen? Get real, if I could light that well I'd be far too good at what I do to sit on a forum and discuss an iMac issue!

    We're here to judge the iMac screen consistency, not my lighting skills. I am flattered though.

    You're quite right Craig, I approached this with way too large a chip on my shoulder. A result of my youth and passion. ;)

    I just find it arrogant that some (a very small minority mind you) posters shrug off the yellow screen issue and think everyone else is blowing it out of proportion. It doesn't get much more fanboy than disregarding the proven supply of a substandard product. I see a lot of posts & photos of bad screens, yet only a few posts of opinion on 'perfect' screens.

    As do I Bryan, trust me. It would really help to see that it's simply a quality control problem, rather than the fact that the screen just isn't as good as it should be.
  14. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    What I'd like to see is a color, photographed with his camera, at his location, with his setup, and shown to be color-accurate across the frame. Not a portion of the camera frame, but the whole frame. Simple request I would have thought, for someone presenting himself as dealing in (quote) "fact" and purporting to be providing accurate evidence.
  15. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    Good. I'm pleased you took time off from posting inaccurate images purporting to be "fact" and have now admitted to the inconsistent setup used.
    Discussion finished.
  16. El Jack thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 16, 2009
    You're not very good at lighting & consistency are you my dear.

    In your proposal I would have to light a scene with perfect consistency to test my camera's consistency. The iMac LCD however is it's own light source, that ought to be consistent to a certain degree. In this respect it fails that.

    You got one thing right though. Discussion with you over. :)

  17. utahreefer macrumors newbie

    Dec 28, 2009
    Come on Cecil - the guy just wants Apple to acknowledge the problem and get some resolve. Your posts come across as a panic attack any time somebody posts a concern....
  18. Sir Cecil macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2008
    I have a slight yellowing at the bottom of the screen myself. So I am all for accurate tests that show the problem and help resolve it. It's a pity a respected publication hasn't produced such tests and images in a professional environment.
    However, nonsense like the images posted in this thread only serve to tell Apple they should NOT take stuff presented here seriously.
    In any case, the original poster was not addressing Apple – he was challenging people here to post photos of their own screens, and basically accusing those who say they have perfect screens (of whom I am not presently one) of being either fools or liars. I'd say the foolishness lays with the original poster, for even suggesting such loosely-shot photographic evidence, even following his simplistic instructions, is of any value.
    That's nothing to do with being a "fanboy". It's about not being misled by any old tripe that's presented here.
  19. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    True, however the OP states he has a poor screen. The pictures do show he has a poor screen. I guess his mk1 eyeballs show he has a yellowing screen cos if he didn't he wouldn't have bothered taking pictures and posting this thread.

    It would be interesting to see the any positive results though. If people with perfect screens don't want to take part, then ignore this thread. If you have a decent display post a pic. It's the one thing no one with a working display has yet done (using the test pic)
  20. Inutopia macrumors 6502


    Apr 8, 2009
    South of Heaven
    use a spectrometer ffs.. using a consumer dslr to measure colour is just laughable honestly.

    If you are a photographer do yourself a favour and research colour reproduction and measurement before coming up with such a variable prone 'test'

    You really know very little about the way the devices you use work if you think there is any accuracy present in the image you captured.

    This made me laugh today at least.
  21. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    What's the point? We don't need extreme accuracy to see that the screen is yellow toward the bottom. You can see it with your naked eye. Sure, the camera could be off by a little, but it shows exactly what you can see with your naked eye: it's yellow toward the bottom of the display.
  22. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Jun 9, 2005
    The minute discrepancies a high-end prosumer DSLR will create PALE in insignificance to the 10% or greater color differential coming from the problems with the screen.

    If you REALLY want to get clever, go borrow a color temperature meter from someone in film school.
  23. SaSaSushi macrumors 68040


    Aug 8, 2007
    Takamatsu, Japan
    Even the title of this thread is obnoxious. I get the impression El Jack is a big WWE wrestling fan with that sort of approach.

    For those of us with gradient-free 27" panels, apparently our word isn't good enough. Clearly, we're too stupid to detect imperfections ourselves and need their expert assistance, or we're Apple shills that are lying in our blind Apple fanaticism. If we don't post pictures of our screens it's just proof of the same. Further, If we even question the validity of the OP's claims in any way we're coming at him with "pitchforks and fire". It's very clever passive aggression.
  24. TennisandMusic

    Aug 26, 2008
    Why cant you just take a simple picture with all light sources out and a simple camera? If your screen is good it would be pretty clear that it's the case.

    I'm actually DYING to see a good screen, as I really want to like these things. My second one is going back tomorrow and, unfortunately, probably for a refund. Just not sure what else to do.

    Posting a picture of a good screen would actually be doing a lot of people a good service.
  25. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada
    EXACTLY! I just want to see a good screen but nobody with a "good" screen is willing to post pictures. Coincidence? I think not.

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