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Author Topic: Can you really calibrate a laptop screen?  (Read 7683 times)
Simon Maney
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2013, 07:47:14 AM »
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I use a calibrated laptop (Spyder 3 Pro). It's not great, but I know its limitations.
However, I too experience colour changes between PS CS6 and a colour managed browser eg: Firefox, Chrome or Safari (all sRGB files).
In my case, my images on the web lose saturation, mainly the reds.
Also, if I browse them in windows (7) Picture Viewer, they are de-saturated, but if I double click and open them, the colour is back, same as PS. The best explanation I have come across is that ICC aware PS is using my monitor profile to build the preview, but the browser(s) are not. What I don't understand is why there is any difference when viewing sRGB files on my calibrated monitor - I would have thought my monitor profile was always 'active' for recognised sRGB files.
If I convert my images to the monitor profile in PS, but save them untagged, they come out over saturated in PS, but look fine when browsed on the web or in windows, i.e. like the original PS image.
Anyone know what is going on? Try it maybe - browse some images in windows, then double click to open them and see if there is a difference. It might just be my set up(?)
Thanks.
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Simon Garrett
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2013, 09:30:36 AM »
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To try to narrow down your problems:
  • Do you save files from PS with an embedded profile?  It's important that you do.  When you save a jpeg in PS, there's a checkbox "ICC Profile: sRGB" (or similar) that should be checked.  If you use "Save for Web" there's a check box "Embed color profile" which should be checked.  If you don't have an embedded profile, that could explain your problems.
  • When you open files in PS, what colour space do you use?  Go to Edit menu, Color Settings... and in the "Working Space" box, first line (labelled "RGB:") you should have sRGB, Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB but NOT monitor RGB or any device-specific profile.  In the "Color Management Policies" box, I recommend all the options should be "Preserve...", and I recommend checking all the "Ask..." check boxes (that warns you of mismatches).  
If those two are right, Firefox, Safari and the latest Chrome (in the last month or two) should correctly colour manage the images - provided your laptop has an appropriate monitor profile installed.  But you must have a profile embedded in the images or most programs will not colour manage the file.  You can set an option in Firefox to assume images with no profile are sRGB, but that's not the default setting, and the other two can't colour manage images with no profile.  Forget about IE - even IE11 - Microsoft have made a complete pig's ear of colour management in IE, and IE ignores monitor profiles (more or less guaranteeing that colours will always be slightly or very inaccurate).  
« Last Edit: November 18, 2013, 09:32:59 AM by Simon Garrett » Logged
Simon Maney
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« Reply #22 on: November 18, 2013, 06:01:27 PM »
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Thanks Simon for your reply.
In short, yes I do all the things you mention. I really appreciate the information though, as it backs up that I have been doing things correctly.
The bit about converting to monitor profile and saving untagged was something I found on the web, I tried it out of curiosity but don't use it in practise.
As it is, I trust PS and use the methods you have outlined.
The only time it is a problem, for example, is if I were to show my online flickr collection to someone, on my computer, then I know the images are about 15% de-saturated compared to showing the same images in Bridge (PS). Of course, most people who just want to have a look at some of my photos' don't know, or care, what all the fuss is about! As a mate pointed out, in the real world, nobody has calibrated monitors anyway - who knows what they are viewing!
Thanks again.
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D Fosse
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« Reply #23 on: November 19, 2013, 03:15:12 AM »
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What you're describing is not supposed to happen. Something's broken here, and in those cases the culprit is usually the monitor profile. But in this case I would suspect the OpenGL driver in the video card, affecting Photoshop only. Try to disable OpenGL in the Photoshop preferences and relaunch.

Another possibility could be a multi-monitor setup and the correct profile not being loaded for each display. Yet another possibility is a v4 monitor profile, which Photoshop has no problems with, but Firefox does not recognize at default settings (it has to be enabled).

To sum up and rephrase what Simon Garrett said: As long as there is an embedded profile in the image, Photoshop and the color managed browsers should all display identically. In all cases the source profile is converted to the monitor profile. That's the standard color management chain, and that's all there is to it. "Previews" have nothing to do with it.

In Photoshop, assigning or converting to the monitor profile turns off color management: source and destination profiles are the same, so no change. The RGB values are sent directly to the display unchanged. That's the definition of no color management. (although assigning and converting yields different visual results, since the RGB values are either changed or unchanged).

In Safari and Firefox at default configuration, no embedded profile means there's no source profile to convert to the monitor profile from, so again it's sent unchanged to the display and by definition unmanaged. Firefox has an optional configuration (mode 1) that assigns sRGB to untagged files, thus kickstarting the color management chain back in operation.

Windows Picture Viewer is fully color managed (except in slideshow mode) and should be in line with the others. Windows Explorer is not color managed and all bets are off.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 03:17:34 AM by D Fosse » Logged
Simon Maney
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« Reply #24 on: November 19, 2013, 06:11:54 AM »
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OK, some background as I have pondered over this for a while.
Gateway NV 59 / Core i5 / 8GB ram / ATI HD 5470 512MB. Profiled with Spyder Express 2, and later Spyder 3 Pro (4.0.2) as I thought this might have been the problem.
I've had the same issue with CS4/5/6, so, you're probably right, it is a hardware fault. I have updated the video card driver in the past and ferreted around in the 'Catalyst Cpontrol Center' but can't find 'Open GL'. In PS preferences I can only find 'open CL' which was greyed out. I turned off the graphics processor but no difference.

However, to be clear:  I save a file in PS; jpeg / sRGB (embedded) to a drive, doesn't matter which. I then browse that file in windows(7) picture viewer and it appears de-saturated. I double click to open the file and the colour returns. This has been my 'test' as it is completely independent of Photoshop. When opening the file in windows, my computer is then applying an adjustment and the image appears the same as it does in PS or Bridge.

I found this bloke having the the same issues a few years back -tonysleep.co.uk/blog/the-photoshop-srgb-mystery‎

I really appreciate peoples help but I am not too worried about it, more curious. Afterall, it is a laptop.

Thanks.
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Simon Garrett
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« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2013, 06:40:11 AM »
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OK, some background as I have pondered over this for a while.
Gateway NV 59 / Core i5 / 8GB ram / ATI HD 5470 512MB. Profiled with Spyder Express 2, and later Spyder 3 Pro (4.0.2) as I thought this might have been the problem.
I've had the same issue with CS4/5/6, so, you're probably right, it is a hardware fault. I have updated the video card driver in the past and ferreted around in the 'Catalyst Cpontrol Center' but can't find 'Open GL'. In PS preferences I can only find 'open CL' which was greyed out. I turned off the graphics processor but no difference.

However, to be clear:  I save a file in PS; jpeg / sRGB (embedded) to a drive, doesn't matter which. I then browse that file in windows(7) picture viewer and it appears de-saturated. I double click to open the file and the colour returns. This has been my 'test' as it is completely independent of Photoshop. When opening the file in windows, my computer is then applying an adjustment and the image appears the same as it does in PS or Bridge.

I found this bloke having the the same issues a few years back -tonysleep.co.uk/blog/the-photoshop-srgb-mystery‎

I really appreciate peoples help but I am not too worried about it, more curious. Afterall, it is a laptop.

Thanks.
Have you checked that your Spyder software is creating v2 (not v4) profiles?  I suggest not using v4 if you're having problems.  When you export a file to jpeg, what does it look like if you open it with Firefox?  If it doesn't look the same as the original in Photoshop, I would think either there's a setting wrong in Photoshop, the monitor profile is bad, or there isn't an embedded profile.  Or, of course, a faulty video driver.  Faulty video drivers can have very mysterious symptoms which often affect some programs only - maybe only one program. 
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Simon Maney
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« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2013, 08:11:55 AM »
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I'm no expert (self taught / hobby) but I'll try and answer some of this...

Not sure about this V2 / V4 profiles thing. I remember updating the driver to 4.0.2 when I got the Spyder 3.

My Spyder 3 Utility is V 1.1.9 but I can't find anything under preferences.

In my Windows > control panel > colour management > profile info it says the monitor profile is V 2.4.0 but I'm not sure what this relates to.

I browsed a few images in Firefox and they looked pretty good, close to Photoshop and any difference perhaps due to compression. Certainly better than a couple of years back when I was having my problems browsing my Flickr stuff. At the time my research indicated Firefox was colour managed (sRGB), but there were definite differences so maybe it wasn't enabled or something. Since then I had been using my Windows Picture Viewer test because it mirrored the problems I was having on the web. It may just prove to be have been a red herring.

I have ignored Flickr and even my own website partly because of this for a long time. I'll upload some images and see how I go. Thanks for your suggestions.
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D Fosse
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« Reply #27 on: November 19, 2013, 08:26:24 AM »
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V2 or v4 monitor profile is a user defined option in the calibration software. You get to choose which one you want. V4 is a newer specification, but not supported everywhere, so v2 is the safe choice. If you don't see this option, it's v2.

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I then browse that file in windows(7) picture viewer and it appears de-saturated. I double click to open the file and the colour returns

We need to be precise here. What exactly are you doing? Are you browsing in Windows Explorer and opening in Windows Picture Viewer? The former is not color managed, but the latter is. They are very different animals.

Display color management is all very simple on a fundamental level. Document RGB (embedded profile) gets converted to monitor RGB (the monitor profile). The latter values are sent to the display. That's all; that's the complete chain of events that happen. So for troubleshooting there are three possible failure points: 1) source profile, 2) monitor profile, and 3) the conversion from 1 to 2.

And of course you need to rule out anything that is not color managed at all, and ignore it.
« Last Edit: November 19, 2013, 08:29:20 AM by D Fosse » Logged
Simon Maney
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« Reply #28 on: November 19, 2013, 07:38:08 PM »
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Right, this is where I have been going wrong, with my understanding of Windows Explorer and Picture Viewer. I always felt there was some kind of colour management being applied between the two, but no-one could explain it, even after showing them. Plus, a while back , I was getting the colour changes on the web which added up to more questions than answers.

Everything now makes sense. This has been very useful to me, thank you very much for your time guys.

I want to be confident about my understanding of colour management because there are a lot of people around like me who perhaps know just enough to confuse the issue further!

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D Fosse
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« Reply #29 on: November 20, 2013, 07:19:53 AM »
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That's good. The main thing about color management is to not buy into this myth that it's too complicated for mortals to understand. That's simply not true.

It's actually very simple: there's a source profile, and a destination profile. Each is a description of a color space, and one gets translated/converted into the other. If the description is accurate, the result is accurate.

I took a quick look at the tony sleep blog you linked to. He's overcomplicating the matter so much it's hard to know where to begin. For one thing, he seems to believe the operating system does color management on its own "Windows uses sRGB as the assumed and default colourspace for images without tags, and monitor profiling applies not only in Photoshop but system wide". No wonder he gets into trouble if he thinks that. The reality is that Photoshop converts from the document profile to the monitor profile, on the fly, and sends the result of that conversion to the display. That's all there is to it. Windows has nothing to do with it, except making the monitor profile available for Photoshop.

This idea that color management is a "system thing" is probably at the root of much of the misunderstanding (and is in turn probably rooted in missing the distinction between monitor calibration on one hand, and post-calibration profiling on the other). Applications either are, or are not, color managed, and that goes for "native" OS apps as well. Those that are not can simply be ignored.

And time and time again, you see articles on the internet "solving" color management problems by effectively turning color management off ("now it displays correctly, just like Windows/Internet Explorer...") These "solutions" usually involve using the monitor profile as working space/document profile, which does just that: It turns color management off. Problem solved indeed.

Color management itself is dead simple. Applications without color management causes complications no end.
 
« Last Edit: November 20, 2013, 07:29:22 AM by D Fosse » Logged
Simon Maney
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« Reply #30 on: November 20, 2013, 07:05:21 PM »
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Looking back, my problems started because Firefox (and others), at the time was supposedly colour managed, that is recognise my sRGB files, but it wasn't. This could have been a problem at my system level.

Thing is, I think you're right about people over complicating it. I contacted a well respected photographer who had published articles on colour management, and he informed me that CM was a very in depth subject that even he didn't fully understand, and my problem was using a laptop display.
After this I got bogged down with things like Tony Sleeps article and people who knew what CM was, but not how to explain it as clearly as you (guys) have.

Thanks again.
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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2013, 02:44:14 PM »
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Just to add something to this, there ARE laptops with IPS panesl.  Gigabyte, for example, makes one designed for the gaming market (but it would be a very nice photo editing machine, too).

http://www.gigabyte.com.au/products/product-page.aspx?pid=4626#kf

There are certainly others, but you may need to look outside the "traditional" vendors.
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MirekElsner
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« Reply #32 on: November 28, 2013, 12:23:28 PM »
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Quote
That's good. The main thing about color management is to not buy into this myth that it's too complicated for mortals to understand. That's simply not true.

It's actually very simple: there's a source profile, and a destination profile. Each is a description of a color space, and one gets translated/converted into the other. If the description is accurate, the result is accurate.

Except that getting accurate description with laptop screens (topic of this thread) is very hard. And the translation/conversion is not trivial either.
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katad0t1s
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« Reply #33 on: December 19, 2013, 12:54:42 PM »
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I am considering purchasing the same setup for my desktop (Foris FS-2333 + i1 Display Pro).

I was tempted to get the EIZO CS230 because at first it seemed like a bargain. However, I soon realized that I had to pay for the ColorNavigator AND a calibrating device as well. The cost went off the roof and I dismissed the idea that very moment. I find it unacceptable that Eizo ships their software without a device to use it with!

Anyway, my question is, would I be happy with the Foris option? Or would I be wasting money while trying to save some?
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« Reply #34 on: December 19, 2013, 01:23:46 PM »
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Not sure about this V2 / V4 profiles thing. I remember updating the driver to 4.0.2 when I got the Spyder 3.
Ignore it, there's nothing a V4 profile today brings to the party but perhaps problems with some applications. Until the PRMG is implemented (something you don't have to worry about but it's not), V4 profiles are mostly V2 profiles in sheep's clothing.
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Andrew Rodney
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« Reply #35 on: December 20, 2013, 02:12:05 PM »
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x-rite had a recent and really good three-part series webinar on color management with Joe Brady.  Probably on their website somewhere or maybe Youtube by now.

Basically, he had a Mac Notebook Air (or Retina?) which was bad, feeding into a Eizo monitor.  On the calibration of the LCD screens, he showed some issues of the Mac which showed the screen as not only differing in brightness in 9 different quadrants that their i1 PhotoPro 2 hardware looks at, but also the color (Kelvin) being different as well and by a lot.  Evidently, Eizo somehow adjusts their monitors individually during manufacturing to compensate and even out those issues, but you pay for it dearly.  Plus, he mentioned "No two will ever be alike" for the issues of differing portions of the screen (General LCD notebooks, LCD screens, etc.).

Down the line to the individual or home user, it does make the calibration smoother and easier with their hardware on the Eizo than say a Mac which would be impossible at the home level and maybe doable at the manufacturer's level, just they won't go that far to make the screen perfect in terms of brightness and color issues (e.g. Some can go colder or warmer in the corners.).  You adjust one thing, say color or brightness, and hope the entire LCD screen falls into some norm - which it cannot.

So if you have some high-end LCD monitor (He said his was some Eizo $5K monitor, but an older model.) they can be calibrated and made better than a general brick-and-mortar store monitor, but you end up paying for it too.  I think the line was drawn at the $700 point between the good LCDs and not so goods.

SG
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whatsnwsisyphus
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« Reply #36 on: January 10, 2014, 09:35:31 AM »
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Yes you can, I have an 11" macbook air that I calibrated, and since I am familiar with it, I can actually work on it within a ballpark for sketches, and the difference between it calibrated vs the factory profile is immense
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