3 Replies Latest reply on Jan 14, 2008 10:40 AM by (Peter_Figen)

    Is something wrong with my color management?

      Hi all,

      For the past few years I have taken CM seriously, and have read Real World Color Management, and various other sources. I thought I had a good understanding of what it all entails, but I am not certain about my current situation. In other words, I am simply not competent enough to decide if "all is as it should be" or if something is wrong somewhere :) To my story...

      Up until recently I was using a Lacie electronBlue IV CRT monitor. However, it died on me and I finally decided to move on to an LCD. I ended up purchasing the Eizo CG241W. NEC's equivalent was my other choice but is simply not available where I live. I profile and calibrate using the Spyder 2 and ColorEyes Display (CED), running on Windows XP SP2. I use 16-bit, L* gamma, absolute black (measured to 0.02 cm/m2 IIRC) and D65. Profile evaluation in CED shows a very good profile. This being an Eizo, I use a combination of monitor and video card LUTs.

      Now, the "problem" is the quite large color, saturation and luminance difference being shown using CM aware apps such as CS3, LR, etc and non-aware apps. Before you start screaming "idiot!", hear me out! I understand that non-CM aware apps will show colors slightly differently. But I am comparing the image after sRGB conversion in CS3 and other viewers (take Firefox as an example). The difference is not subtle either, it is huge! Proofing in CS3 using MonitorRGB (or using the monitor profile with the "send RGB numbers..." checkbox active) shows the exact same image as with the non CM aware apps (no surprise there).

      With my CRT, even though I saw slight differences with sRGB images, the differences where small enough that it wouldn't really bother me too much when viewing online images or just quickly browsing with fast image viewers to find a particular image. But now, the differences are very disturbing to me.

      I have a theory as to why this is happening, but one thing does not fit this theory: switching the Eizo from CAL to sRGB does nothing to minimize this difference. I thought that maybe the near AdobeRGB gamut of the Eizo, in combination with "raw" RGB numbers being sent to it could cause this, but wouldn't setting the monitor to sRGB take care of this?

      What IS happening here? Is this simply something I have to live with when using a high gamut display and non-CM aware apps?

      P.S. Rant: some apps for Windows are starting to claim that the are color managed, but guess what? The only do half the job! They do read the embedded profile, but they do not use the monitor profile. What's the point then! Examples include IrfanView, FastStone, Windows Fax & Picture Viewer, etc. Arghhh!
        • 1. Re: Is something wrong with my color management?
          Level 1
          "Is this simply something I have to live with when using a high gamut display and non-CM aware apps? "

          Yes. Your non color managed apps can only assume "MonitorRGB", which, with you old monitor pretty much was sRGB but now is something quite a bit different. The images are still sRGB but the monitor is not. Until all applications are color managed and all images are tagged, this is only going to get worse going forward as more and more displays do not conform to sRGB or thereabouts.
          • 2. Re: Is something wrong with my color management?
            Level 1
            Thanks for reading my long post and responding :)

            This makes sense to me too, but shouldn't setting the monitor to sRGB mode make things much better then?

            However, I have to rectify my OP and say that sRGB mode does make a difference, but it is still far from the correct colors. Much more of a difference than I remember seeing with my old CRT monitor.

            Fortunately, at least Firefox 3 seems to be doing the correct thing with tagged images. I haven't tested, but I'm also hoping it will assume sRGB for untagged images. I think that's the best it can do.
            • 3. Re: Is something wrong with my color management?
              Level 1
              "but shouldn't setting the monitor to sRGB mode make things much better then? "

              It depends on if that really sets your monitor to sRGB coordinates colorwise or just 6500K and Gamma 2.2. My guess is that it would be more difficult to actually affect the gamut but I don't really know what they're doing.

              "Fortunately, at least Firefox 3 seems to be doing the correct thing with tagged images. I haven't tested, but I'm also hoping it will assume sRGB for untagged images. I think that's the best it can do."

              Unless there's a preference for the application to assume one color space over another for untagged images, I think you have to assume that the assumption is going to be Monitor RGB.