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Author Topic: Color management on a laptop display  (Read 3234 times)
RandomS
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« on: February 22, 2009, 02:50:13 PM »
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I have a Dell Latitude D620 laptop with a typically crappy laptop display. The color gamut is pretty narrow, and the native gamma is all over the map. I've calibrated the screen using my Spyder2express, but of course when I work in a color-managed application, the gamut mapping causes the colors to shift dramatically; in particular, the infamous blue-to-purple shift. Based on what I've read in this and other forums, none of this is new or surprising.

Now, I'm not expecting to be able to do color-critical work on this laptop display; I accept that no amount of calibration will overcome its limitations. At home, I hook the laptop up to a Samsung 204BW LCD that profiles very close to sRGB, and the Spyder2 has done a fine job of calibrating it. But unfortunately, I sometimes find myself away from the nice display and have to do some preliminary photo work on the laptop. It seems to me that I have a few options for wringing the best performance out of this less-than-ideal laptop screen:

1. I can do no color management at all (load the sRGB profile). The gamma and white point are off, but I don't lose any color resolution. There is no distortion due to gamut mapping.

2. I can use the Spyder2 to generate a VCGT table to get the gamma to 2.2, with native white point. I turn off color gamut mapping. The gamma is correct but the white point is off. There is no distortion due to gamut mapping. I lose a bit of color resolution.

3. I can use the Spyder2 to generate a VCGT table to get the gamma to 2.2, with 6500K white point. I turn off color gamut mapping. The gamma and white point are correct. There is no distortion due to gamut mapping. I lose more color resolution.

4. I can do a full profile with the Spyder2 and use gamut mapping. The gamma and white point are correct. I lose color resolution and colors are distorted by the gamut mapping.

I've tried all of these, and so far, I'm liking option 2. For preliminary photo editing, I think the accurate gamma is most important, and it doesn't seem worth it to correct the white point (option 3) unless I'm going to gamut-map as well. Option 4 distorts the colors so much (compared to a properly calibrated display) that it's just not satisfactory.

Anybody else come up with a better solution?
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