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Thread: ::and I thought my problems were solved:::

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    Thumbs down ::and I thought my problems were solved:::

    Well I ended up buying a Dell 2408wfp which is a wide gamut monitor. I also dropped the cash on a Spyder Pro3 as I read that this monitor needs to be calibrated to get good results.

    Well, even after calibration, for the life of me I can not get the Dell to display good colours. The reds are still way too oversaturated, so all skin tones suck compared to my laptop screen which is handling skin tones quite nicely.

    I have tried all the suggestions on many different forums and many people with Macs seem to have this problem with no apparent solution. I've tried using the Dell preset 'sRGB mode" which does get rid of the oversaturated reds, but it takes it too far and everthing is undersaturated and washed out. There is no "in between" setting.

    Een using the custom RGB mode and setting the sliders manually I cannot get good realistic colours.

    My laptop colour manages fine with Photoshop and Safari (for some reason the recent versions of Firefox, even though "colour managed", have dropped support for ICC v4 profiles and only support ICC v2.

    Well I'm very dissappointed because apart from this issue, the monitor is great, I love the real estate, the extremely solid stand and the variety of connectors, but now I'm going to have to send it back and try and find something with all these features, but as a standard gamut monitor.

    If anyone one has the Dell 2408 and has got it to display skin tones correctly, I'd love to know how!
    I don't understand how this monitor could get so many raving reviews with such a fatal flaw?
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    What video card are you using, unless your monitor hard calibrates, the spyder creates a profile that loads into the video card....maybe update the drivers?
    Other than that, I am not sure.

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    Video card is a nVidia GeForce 9400M. AFAIK they havent brought out driver updates that support Mac OSX. Guessing maybe that the OSX software updates them automatically?

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    What do prints look like ?

    Maybe youve conditioned yourself so much to the flat grey images typical on a laptop that the "correct" colour is too vivid for your taste
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    Nah its definately overaturated to the point that things look "cartoony" on the Dell. Babys skin is blotchy, blown out red in places, thats how bad it is.
    I haven't set my printing up yet, I simply want to try and get similar colours, why has it got to be so bloody hard? Argh.

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    You might not want to hear this but a Mac should have a Mac screen ie one of the Cinema screens. Its what I have used for the past 18 months and I cant fault it. Mind you the printer (Epson R1900) is calibrated to the screen, not the other way round.

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    Yep I'm seriously considering one if thats what I have do to to solve the problem. Trouble is there's so many conflicting answers out there, some people reckon they have fixed it while others swear there is no proper solution. So that's putting doubt in my mind and making me think I've done something wrong.

    I'll see if I can explain it better. The Dell is plugged into the Macbook as an extended desktop display. > Open Bridge / Cs4 on the Macbook. Download NEFs, they look fine browsing on Macbook screen and editing in Photoshop on the MacBook screen. > Drag the Photoshop window over to the dell display, and everything is grossly oversaturated, but especially the red channel.

    For CS4 colour settings I have tried setting the workspace to Adobe RGB, Monitor RGB and the ICC profile created by the Spyder. The Spyder one is slightly better but still too saturated.

    I'd don't necessarily expect to match the two screens as they have different colour gamuts, I'd be happy to run on the Dell alone - if I could get it to display colours more realistically.
    Last edited by kaiser; 20-02-2010 at 2:11pm.

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    Kaiser
    I couldn't stand using the 15" MBP sitting next to the cinema screen as a two screen system. It just didn't flow for me as if it were a two screen with matching screens.

    The MBP sits under the coffee table with the cinema screen, the BT keyboard and magic mouse on top. I only calibrate the cinema screen as thats the only screen I'm prepared to do serious work on. The MBP if its used when shooting is not for checking colour but everything else in the image (composition, focus, DOF etc)

    The cinemas screen is too bright - I know this and its a known issue to all cinema screen users, but with my Epson R1900 I can bump up the brightness of the printed image to match the screen (what I refered to earlier) and is set at +4 on the brightness scale. This system works for me quite well.

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    For several years I used a Dell 2405 on various PowerBook/MacBook Pro/MacBook machines, and in January upgraded to the 2410 (while I was overseas for 6 weeks the 2405 migrated to my wife's machine and I wasn't getting it back!). The U2410 is certainly a wonderful monitor, but even the older 2405 was great (after appropriate tweaking) and I know several people still happily using the 2408.
    With my own setups I have the 24" display as the primary, with the laptop's display as the secondary (with an external keyboard placed between the two). OSX remembers the details of your setups, so when you plug in the external display it will remember which profile to use, whether it's the primary display, etc.

    Don't set your Photoshop RGB workspace to Monitor RGB or to the Spyder profile. It should remain Adobe RGB or some other workspace profile such as ProPhoto. Device profiles are not appropriate to work in!

    The Spyder3PRO is indeed a calibrator which should get you a good result on this display. For a starting point, I'd use a colour balance of 6500K on both.
    First calibrate/profile the laptop's internal display and decide what luminance level you want to use. This can require going through the calibration several times.
    Then calibrate/profile the external display, using the same colour balance and luminance level. if the displays are dramatically different in brightness the colours will look different.

    I'm not sure what the exact controls on the 2408 are, but there may be a "backlight" control separate from a "brightness" control (if so, use the backlight control in preference to get the brightness down to a reasonable level). Most recent displays are WAY too bright by default.
    Again this might involve recalibrating several times to get the settings right (including possibly going back and doing the laptop again at a different luminance).

    Once you've done this you should be OK, with compatible colours on both displays. Note however that the profiles will be different, and the only way the colours of a given image will come out right is when software uses the right profile for the right display. When you drag a Photoshop window from one screen to another, it will initially look wrong, but when you stop dragging and let go, Photoshop will update the affected bits of the window with the right profile (you can have windows straddling both screens).

    Also note that not all programs handle multiple screens properly. Examples include Apple's own Mail and Safari, which have a nasty habit of only using the profile of the primary display (and in fact they grab the profile of the display that was primary when the program started). It's only a few programs like Photoshop that handle multiple screens properly.
    So after you connect the external display (and make sure that it's primary: with the Apple menubar along the top) you may want to restart a few programs. Unfortunately there's no perfect and simple solution yet!

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    Have you calibrated BOTH screens ??

    If one is calibrated and one is not, you are never going to solve the problem.

    If I recall, when installing and calibrating with my new Spyder, you can only calibrate separate screens on the same system if they use separate video cards.

    So maybe the calibration for the new Dell is actually messing with the laptop screen as they would be using the same video card
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkChap View Post
    Have you calibrated BOTH screens ??

    If one is calibrated and one is not, you are never going to solve the problem.
    Agreed!

    If I recall, when installing and calibrating with my new Spyder, you can only calibrate separate screens on the same system if they use separate video cards.

    So maybe the calibration for the new Dell is actually messing with the laptop screen as they would be using the same video card
    This isn't a problem with any of the Apple laptops. In fact I think it's only an issue with Windows machines (mainly with WinXP due to a driver design issue).

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    So if I am to have any chance of success I'm better off just trying to figure out the one monitor, closing the Macbook and running it and clamshell mode?

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    See above: using both monitors works fine for me (with reasonable colour matching between them). You just need to be aware there are a few caveats.

    Even if you mostly work with just the main monitor, having the MacBook screen available for the Photoshop tool windows/palettes and things like mail is wonderful!

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    Kaiser I think the oversaturated reds are a common issue reported on the Dell support forums. Whether it's the monitors fault or simply a colour profile/driver error I'm not sure.

    I ended up getting my 2408WFP replaced due to input lag, the replacement broke after a month (red and green lines down the screen). After a lot of bitching Dell replaced it with a U2410 which solved my input lag problem and a host of others.

    The colour is interesting though, this screen comes with an AdobeRGB preset which has far more red in it. In fact all the presets are quite harsh, for example gaming mode changes bright greens to brown/karky green.

    Cutting to the point though the U2410 will allow you to edit the factory calibration with a bit of button magic so you can access the raw colour profile (apparently calibrated for each screen at the factory though). This *might* solve your issues. If you're within the 30 day refund period this shouldn't be an issue (I can probably point you in the direction of some good prices...maybe). Otherwise perhaps a bit of bitching will pay off, just make sure you get on first name basis with someone. Oh, and bitching doesn't have to mean being rude.

    Oh and perhaps what I was really getting at is that the 2408 seemed to be more neutral whereas the 2410 seems to hit the reds out in AdobeRGB mode, in standard mode its fine though - which is weird as you'd think it would still be utilising the entire colour profile.
    Last edited by Paper_Mache_Man; 20-02-2010 at 7:58pm.
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    Thanks for the replies. I have managed to get Photoshop CS4 and Adobe Camera Raw to produce good colours in the adobe RGB colour gamut. However the images, when viewed in Bridge CS4 are over saturated. Whats ridiculous is that the menu won't let me go into the Adobe Suite Colour settings as I only have Photoshop CS4 and not the whole CS4 suite. I can't believe that you are given 2 programs which are meant to work seamlessly together yet are not able to be colour managed together.

    So I have taken Bridge out of my workflow and am using Lightroom Beta 3 instead, which thankfully seems to be colour managed as the images are identical when viewed in Photoshop.

    So there you have it - colour managed programs look good: Adobe Photoshop ACR/Lightroom/Firefox 3.6
    non colour managed programs look oversaturated - ie the rest of Mac OSX and Adobe Bridge.
    I wish they'd just come up with an easier solution so when you buy a product you didn't have to go around on forums for days and experiment to try and find a solution. Its atrociuous!
    Last edited by kaiser; 21-02-2010 at 3:44pm.

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    I'm glad you've made progress!

    Quote Originally Posted by kaiser View Post
    So there you have it - colour managed programs look good: Adobe Photoshop ACR/Lightroom/Firefox 3.6
    non colour managed programs look oversaturated - ie the rest of Mac OSX and Adobe Bridge.
    I hate to tell you this, but most of the rest of OS X *is* colour-managed. For example Preview, Mail, Safari. As I noted before there are some caveats where it's only guaranteed to look OK on the primary monitor.

    BUT the behaviour of these programs when dealing with untagged data has been changing as OS X develops. It would be nice if all versions assumed sRGB for untagged data, but unfortunately no. If they assume that untagged data is in your monitor's profile (i.e. they send it to the monitor with no change) then sure your colours (e.g. reds) may look weird.

    Lightroom sensibly assumes that untagged files are sRGB. Photoshop's behaviour is dependent on how you've set up your Color Settings.

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    Thanks for the advice. I obtained fairly good results with the EyeOne Display 2 and Match 3.6 software. However I got even better and outstanding colour accuracy results when I used the EyeOne Display 2 puck together with ColorEyes Display Pro software.

    Best results with Match 3.6 software: Average delta E = 4.09
    Maximum delta E = 14.83

    Best result with ColorEyes Display pro software: Average delta E= 0.38
    Maximum delta E= 0.88

    "As experts say, DeltaE (dE) represents a measurement between the color requested and the one really displayed on the monitor. The higher the result obtained, the less true colors are.
    More precisely, here is how to interpret the graphs:
    Delta E > 3: the desired color is noticeably different from the one on the screen.
    2 < Delta E < 3: color quality is satisfactory, but a graphic designer probably wouldn’t be content.
    1 < Delta E < 2: colors are accurate.
    Delta E < 1: the result is perfect.
    " - Quoted from monitortest.blogspot.com

    I would highly recommend the ColorEyes Display Pro software which can be downloaded as a 10 day trial. If offers more customisation, more accurate calibration/profiling and a far better reporting utility than the Match software that comes with the EyeOne Display 2 puck.

    Now I can be confident that my colours are accurate as long as I am using colour managed programs. Yay for me

    If theres one thing I've learnt from all this its that colour management and monitor profiling/calibration has to be one of the most misunderstood topics out there. I can across so much information that was just plain wrong or misguided. (nothing from this forum mind you )

    Key points I have learnt

    1. Buy a good quality monitor calibrator

    I lost count of the number of forums where I'd come across people saying "xxxxxx monitor sucks, I've tried calibrating it by eye and the colours are still way off." If you're serious about getting accurate colours, you need a hardware monitor calibrator. Software calibration alone is not good enough.

    X-Rite EyeOne Display 2 or Spyder 3 Pro/Elite seem to be the 2 most reccomended. I can also highly reccomend ColorEyes Display Pro which is 3rd party software compatible with the above calibrators.

    2. The right environment

    Have your computer set up in a room with neutral colours - ideally walls neutral gray. Have a daylight balanced indirect light source (Solux bulbs are the industry standard) that is not shining directly at the screen.

    3. Make your own profiles

    Again something I got tired of seeing on other forums "Has anybody got a ICC profile for xxxx xxxx monitor that they can send me?" Other peoples ICC profiles will not be accurate just because you share the same monitor. A lot of the calibration happens at the video card level (apart from the Eizos and NECs which calibrate directly at monitor hardware level).
    Add to that different operating systems, GPUs, ambient light levels and colour variation between different screens (even if they are the same batch / model).
    So there are too many variable which are always going to be mismatched. Make your own profile and be confident that it is customized to your screen...not some else's.

    4. Learn about colour spaces and colour management.

    This was what tripped me up many times over - boy did I feel dumb. I won't go into detail here as there is plenty of info on this topic out there. Suffice to say, if you are going to use a wide gamut monitor that covers more than the sRGB colour space, just be aware that you will need to use colour managed programs to achieve accurate colour results.

    Untagged or sRGB images viewed in a non colour managed programs on a wide gamut moinitor will appear oversaturated.

    I hope this post will be of use to someone in the future and save them some of the pain/confusion/frustration and time wading through internet forums as I did.

    Cheers,

    Matt.

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