View Full Version : What is it with Apple LCD Displays?

6th July 2004, 09:30 AM
G'day All.

I run a dual monitor Power Mac setup. The monitors are a Sony CRT and an Apple 17" Digital LCD Display. I calibrate them with Apple's OSX monitor calibrator.

Working with digital photography, my images come up just fine when displayed and printed from the CRT. If my photo is slid across to the Apple LCD all the colours are washed out to be almost just grey scale images with just a touch of muted colour. This after being calibrated, mind you. Messing about in ColorSync doesn't seem to solve the problem. I wish I knew what I was doing in ColorSync, it's a very complicated beastie.

Were I to work with my photos on the LCD and bump up the colour saturation to make them look colour-correct, the subsequent printout is ugly, ugly, ugly.

So, is there something wrong with Apple's calibration utility concerning LCDs or are LCDs just the world's worst crap?

I have in the past, stepped away from Apple's LCD calibration and raised the LCD's colour saturation so that pictures look better, only to suffer wild colour inaccuracy problems when the image is sent to the CRT or the printer.

The big question is, are the new range of Apple Displays any better at faithful colour rendition? In an Apple Centre shopping for displays, I will be forced to ask the attendant to calibrate the display and have it show one of my photos.

I'm a CRT kind of bloke and will remain so until flat panel manufacturers can do their job properly.

Or, is it that I just don't understand the use of the flat panel? :angry: :angry: :angry: :angry:

6th July 2004, 09:40 AM
Actually I find your results surprising in light of the fact that Apple LCD's are the ONLY LCD screens on earth that are certified colour accurate to the SWOP (Standard Web Offset Printing) standard.

I have experienced superb colour rendition and colour matching to output from our Epson printers to the image I see on the screen.

Keep in mind also that NO monitor of any type is a totally accurate representation of your image output. There are three main reasons for this: One os the fact that there are an enormous amount of variables involved that are rarely fully understood.

Secondly the fact that you are comparing transmitted light from the monitor to reflected light of the print. (A screen should only ever be a guide as nothing can beat colour knowledge)

Finally each device (Scanner, Monitor and Printer) has it's own unique colour gamut (a unique subset of the colour spectrum) that they are capable of reproducing. When you look at an image on screen it will always look more vibrant in certain colours than the final print as CMYK colour printing has a more limited colour gamut and therefore can not reproduce some colours....

6th July 2004, 11:12 AM
Thanks for your educated reply, wicked.

On calibration. One is tempted to go with recommended defaults (standards?) regarding colour gamuts. This option seems to give better colour. Choosing the Native Gamma seems to give me my drab colours on the LCD. The use of the Native Gammut pattern exercise seems to be the cause of my problem.

For now, I have settled on Target Gamma as the Mac Standard 1.8, and my Target White Point uses the Native White Point (6507K) which happens to coincide with the recommended D65. These give improved results for my images.

So this is the confusing point. I realise that Native Gamma is not Mac Standard and one or the other must be accepted. The Native Gamma pattern exercise has been giving me my lousy colour. So do I stop fiddling with those patterns and just go with the standards? But if the Native Gamma is so different to the Mac Standard, which is correct? And why do they give such markedly different results? So, it's an imperfect science.

I notice the Sony CRT cannot be calibrated to the same rules that suit the LCD. If I choose a suggested Standard White Point such as D50 or D65, the CRT becomes very dim and yellow. When I chose the recommended "display's native white point" we go all the way up to 9242K but images look better. What generates the "display's native white point"? Is this the result of working through the Native Gamma pattern exercise or is it something which comes with the monitor's basic profiles as provided by Apple's ColorSync for Sony's CRT?

Is it all a case of getting an acceptible picture on screen and hang the colour incompatibilities? I'm more distressed than ever, over this. It seems unlikely that I can have an image appear the same if moved from the CRT to the LCD or back. Is this the result of mixing monitors and that I should tolerate the differences? :huh:

6th July 2004, 12:28 PM
Hmmm... Interesting problem. I have to confess most of the time, the Apple displays give a better representation of what is being printed out then some of the third party products.

Mind you, when I work with video, I always have a TV monitor (generally Sony or Panasonic) hooked up to the editing program so I can see a true representation of the finished product.

Perhaps have your monitor looked at?

6th July 2004, 12:37 PM
On calibration. One is tempted to go with recommended defaults (standards?) regarding colour gamuts. This option seems to give better colour.

I personally never bother to run calibration on any of Apple's LCD's and find the default settings (particularly on the 23" Cinema Display) to give excellent results. My background is in colour calibration etc and it is a very difficult science that I would never pretend to fully understand but unless you have some seriously good grounding in colour it is best not to play with it.

For now, I have settled on Target Gamma as the Mac Standard 1.8, and my Target White Point uses the Native White Point (6507K) which happens to coincide with the recommended D65. These give improved results for my images.

Keep in mind a few points here: In Australia the colour standard calls for 5000K where as in the US and the SWOP standard in particular calls for a 6500K colour standard. The difference? Well you need to understand what 5000K or 6500K means....

To keep it brief, a guy named Kelvin decided to measure the colour of a rock when it is heated, as you know a rock when heated starts out a very bright red/orange colour in the BBQ at least, but as you heat it further and further it's colour will change to a yellow and eventually a white colour and then further still it will go to a blue colour.

Now what Mr Kelvin did was to measure the tempurature of the rock at various stages and thus was born the KELVIN SCALE for measuring the colour of light. The measurements are in "degrees kelvin". So at around 5000K is neutral white, but the US believes it to be more like 6500K.

Like they say, the good thing about standards is that there are so many of them!

Anyway back to your monitor: The reason it looks dull and even yellowish when you change it to 5000K is that it IS in fact more yellow than at 6500K. But if you leave your monitor on 5000K for a few days and then change it to 6500K you will think it looks bluish. It is all a matter of what you are used to etc.

At the end of the day this all relates to offset colour printing more than it does to your Epson inkjet printer, however hopefully this points out some of the complexities of what needs to be understood to start trying to get a global colour experience out of the equipment you have.

My advice, leave it all at default settings and use the monitor as a 'guide' and do not treat it as gospel...you will eventually develop a 'feel' for what the output will be like compared to your display and learn to work with it.

One final point - if you are going to calibrate your monitor - you MUST have a colour accurate light source to view your printed result. There is no point in having your monitor set to 6500K and comparing the results of your printer under a tungsten light bulb which is very yellow as this will affect your perceived colour of the printed result. In other words you need to have a light viewer with neon tubes rated at 6500K as well to view the print.

6th July 2004, 06:23 PM
And here's a chart:

http://www.csun.edu/~hchum001/bookcase/th3...p96/kelvin.html (http://www.csun.edu/~hchum001/bookcase/th361/sp96/kelvin.html)