17 Replies Latest reply on Apr 7, 2008 10:18 PM by (Marco_Ugolini)

    AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor

      A photographer had asked me, whether the offset
      print reproduction of his (originally) RAW photos
      would be improved if he used AdobeRGB(1998)as
      working space and an expensive monitor with
      AdobeRGB gamut, instead of generally sRGB.

      Does anybody know a printed book which demon-
      strates the loss in an sRGB workflow compared
      to an AdobeRGB workflow (not talking about
      ProPhoto).
      Common sense is here not a good recipy. Real
      world photos, for instance landscapes, are
      very different to academic test patterns.

      I'm not much interested in opinions (I'm knowing
      these). I'm more interested in printed examples.

      Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
        • 1. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
          Level 1
          I can't provide a book as reference, but my real-world experience tells me that sRGB vs. Adobe 98 makes very little difference when the final output is offset printing. I've tried it both ways on high-end projects (sheetfed, #1 sheet, annual reports.)
          When preparing images for offset output, you'd be working in soft-proof mode using the CMYK output profile, effectively negating any advantage that a wide-gamut monitor would afford you.

          The two greatest factors in determining the success or failure of offset output are:
          1) The skill of the person preparing the files, and
          2) The quality of communication between that person and the pre-press/press folks.
          • 2. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
            (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
            >A photographer had asked me, whether the offset
            >print reproduction of his (originally) RAW photos
            >would be improved if he used AdobeRGB(1998)as
            >working space and an expensive monitor with
            >AdobeRGB gamut, instead of generally sRGB.

            It seems to me that

            1. Changing your monitor won't improve reproduction on paper UNLESS
            the old monitor means you make bad decisions in editing or accepting
            the files.

            2. These RAW photos must have some (actual or implied colour space).
            What is it? If it is AdobeRGB already, then there is nothing to
            change. If it is sRGB already, then the gamut compression already
            happened, and converting to another space won't put them back. If
            anything, all you'll do is reduce the number of distinct colours
            represented.

            3. IF a camera allows a profile to be chosen before photographing,
            then you'll get a wider gamut from Adobe RGB than sRGB, of course.

            Aandi Inston
            • 3. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
              Rick,

              thanks for your statements. My opinion as well.
              My suggestion to the photographer: use mainly
              sRGB, and aRGB (AdobeRGB(1998) in some cases
              (food, technical products, cloth) but hardly
              for landscapes (main field of the photographer).

              Aandi,

              thanks. The photographer and I are using Nikon
              Capture. The RAW photos can be opened, manipu-
              lated and saved in 'any' color space, for instance
              sRGB or aRGB. A RAW photo contains IMO data
              from the CCD array. These are made visible on
              the fly for the monitor.

              The other question is this: aRGB on an sRGB
              monitor means partly blind editing. Is it worth
              to purchase a very expensive aRGB monitor ?

              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
              • 4. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                Lou Dina Level 3
                Gernot,

                sRGB will clip some cyans, blues and greens, and a small slice of yellow that can be reproduced inside the Euroscale Coated space. But, in my opinion, they are not that significant. ARGB contains all the colors you can get using Euroscale. Either way, blues will generally be weak.

                I have used both ARGB and sRGB in jobs sent to press on coated stock, and always used a standard monitor without any surprises or issues. No need to buy an expensive ARGB monitor based on my experience (hundreds of jobs sent to press). For press work, I would avoid wide gamut editing spaces, but you already know that.

                I agree with both Rick and Aandi. I'd stick with sRGB for most images and reserve ARGB for your your most colorful images. The smaller the editing space, the more gentle the conversions.

                A good way to check it out is to simulate your press profile on your inkjet using good quality, high gamut coated paper (semigloss or semimatte work nicely).

                Hope you are well.

                Lou
                • 5. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                  (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                  >The RAW photos can be opened, manipu-
                  >lated and saved in 'any' color space, for instance
                  >sRGB or aRGB. A RAW photo contains IMO data
                  >from the CCD array. These are made visible on
                  >the fly for the monitor.

                  The CCD does have a color space, even if no profile is made available.
                  Knowing the properties of that space (such as the gamut) can help you
                  make better decisions.

                  Aandi Inston
                  • 6. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                    Lou,

                    we agree. Thanks (though I didn't want to enter
                    into a discussion about opinions, but as long as
                    we agree it's OK ...).

                    Aandi,

                    who knows the gamut of a digital camera without
                    measuring it ? And even then, this measured gamut
                    depends on lighting, target and intermediate color
                    spaces:
                    http://www.fho-emden.de/~hoffmann/camcal17122006.pdf

                    In the context of my basic questions: no,it's
                    not necessary to know anything about the gamuts
                    of modern cameras and scanners. The gamuts exceed
                    always at least in some regions the sRGB volume.
                    Therefore the (on the first glance) reasonable
                    recommendation: use aRGB, and the nonsensical one:
                    use ProPhotoRGB for average stuff.

                    It remains to be shown, how 'average' images are
                    printed, based on original aRGB data and then reduced
                    to sRGB. By offset it's too expensive, but it can
                    be shown by an inkjet. The application is in this
                    case landscape photography.

                    Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                    • 7. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                      Level 1
                      Can't speak for the rocket science, but I just had one of these wide-gamut monitors on an 8-core Mac Pro, and ended up returning it for a 'standard gamut' NEC because of over saturated reds on the Mac browsers...includes link to Apple archive quoting Carl Lang on this subject you may find interesting:
                      >FWIW http://www.gballard.net/photoshop/srgb_wide_gamut.html
                      • 8. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                        (Aandi_Inston) Level 1
                        >who knows the gamut of a digital camera without
                        >measuring it ?

                        But it seems to be that measuring it (and I have no suggestions of
                        how) would give you useful information. Having a profile for them
                        would allow your raw data to remain raw, with maximum number of
                        colours preserved.

                        >And even then, this measured gamut
                        >depends on lighting, target and intermediate color
                        >spaces

                        I don't see that. It seems to me that the gamut comes directly from
                        the optical properties of the CCD. Lighting affects the colours coming
                        in the lens. There are surely neither target nor intermediate color
                        spaces if the data is truly raw.

                        My concern here is, I will admit, theoretical (colour science), not
                        from the point of view of a photographer.

                        Aandi Inston
                        • 9. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                          Gary (Ballard),

                          thanks for your informations. Now let's think
                          about the argument 'in a wide gamut color space
                          we have larger color distances between 1 bit
                          steps'.
                          Correct, but didn't we use (I'm still doing it)
                          8bpc images in the working space AdobeRGB(1998)
                          for many many years ? Very satisfying, therefore
                          it cannot be wrong to send these data directly
                          (or with very tiny changes) directly to such a
                          monitor.

                          The problem how to show raw sRGB data on an aRGB
                          monitor can be solved, for instance like this:

                          1) Adjust the monitor visually by monitor controls
                          very near to aRGB.
                          2) Calibrate and profile for aRGB, but don't use
                          for instance Eizo's ColorNavigator. Do it in
                          the traditional way, which results in modified
                          graphics card LUTs.
                          3) Calibrate and profile again for sRGB, without
                          changing the monitor controls .

                          Choose the respective profile by GMB Display Profile,
                          which defines the system monitor profile.
                          Load the respective profile by GMB Calibration Loader,
                          which affects the LUTs.
                          Check LUT contents by GMB Calibration Tester.
                          The aRGB mode should cause small deviations from
                          the straight lines, the sRGB mode larger.
                          The disadvantage is that one has to choose the mode
                          deliberately.
                          IMO a good argument for sticking to sRGB monitors ..

                          Aandi,

                          I had given a link to a doc which describes the
                          whole workflow for camera calibration, which delivers
                          as well a kind of gamut description.
                          The calibration is valid for fixed camera settings
                          and fixed lighting (here for the reproduction of
                          paintings).
                          The three sensor types R,G,B may have well defined
                          spectral sensitivity functions, but results appear
                          always after a multiplication by the light spectrum,
                          which is not flat and for fluorescent light spiky.

                          There are shown gamuts (planes L=constant) which
                          differ, depending on the intermediate data format,
                          which is in this test, one after the other, sRGB,
                          aRGB and pRGB=Prophoto.
                          These gamuts are not identical. The targets (two
                          different were used) are NOT wide gamut targets
                          (like some printed spot inks). Thus the indicated
                          gamut is IMO to some extend extrapolated, an
                          educated guess by the calibration system.

                          Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                          • 10. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                            Level 1
                            >> The problem how to show raw sRGB data on an aRGB
                            monitor can be solved, for instance like this:...

                            You should pass that along to Eizo. Two levels of Eizo tech support and their top Color Graphics Specialist couldn't answer the theory HOW their wide-gamut panels and X-Rite profile will display untagged sRGB on a Mac (even with the page I linked to simply mouse over and witness the phenomenon).

                            That's WHY I passed on the Eizo monitors and went with an 'sRGB' NEC 24" side car to my Apple Cinema 30" so I am glad there is a good argument for sticking with them.

                            Unfortunately (or fortunately) my pea brain power limits my comprehension of yours and Carl Lang's discussion and thus I am stuck with standard tools and software to build my monitor profile, but I always like reading your stuff, Gernot.
                            • 11. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                              Gary,

                              I've tested my suggested workflow for using
                              the same monitor Eizo CG19 alternatively for
                              D65 and D50 calibration.
                              D65 is my standard, the monitor is manually
                              adjusted near to, with little variations in
                              the graphics card LUTs.
                              D50 requires then more changes for the LUTs,
                              which is theoretically bad because of the reduced
                              number of levels. D50 is for tests only.
                              All this by Eye-One Pro and ProfileMaker, standard
                              tools, not using ColorNavigator.

                              Best regards --Gernot Hoffmann
                              • 12. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                                Level 1
                                Thanks, if you even get one of those wide-gamut Eizos on a Mac OS X Safari browser and can look at the sRGB tagged/untagged rollover, I would be interested in hearing how much saturation jump you see in the untagged (and if the aRGB rollover doesn't change much).

                                I suspect a standard X-Rite Eye-One Display2 profile will show the same goofy reds on the Eizo that I saw in the Dell model...but seeing is believing.
                                • 13. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                                  Ramón G Castañeda Level 4
                                  G B,

                                  The rollover changes on that page of yours are readily noticeable in Safari on my accurately calibrated and profiled CRT monitors (currently a LaCie Electron22blueIV and a Mitsubishi DiamondPro 2070SB).
                                  • 14. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                                    Tarun Chopra
                                    If I understand your question correctly ie printing from a sRGB image and aRGB image would there be a difference? then the answer is yes.

                                    I have in one of the magazines that I was working on got an sRGB image which I converted to Fogra 27L (cmyk color space) and proofed the image the proofing clearly showed the image as dull and kind of life less for the second step just to see the difference I assigned aRGB profile (the difference was huge) and converted to Fogra 27L color space I proofed the image again to verify the results, there was a huge difference between both the results aRGB looked a lot better.

                                    I viewed the image on a wide gamut Quato monitor, the advantage I feel was that I got a very good match between my monitor and my print (basically I was seeing aRGB representation of color in Fogra 27L color space, theoretically the color of color does not change when the colorspaces are changed correctly), I feel that the monitor did make a few decision making points kind of simpler for me (atleast).

                                    What I presume is that sRGB being a smaller color space is unable to give that extra saturation that aRGB was able to deliver. If you are interested I will try and find the data and send the proofed sample along with the image.

                                    Regards
                                    Tarun Chopra
                                    • 15. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                                      Level 1
                                      Tarun -

                                      > I have in one of the magazines that I was working on got an sRGB image which I converted to Fogra 27L (cmyk color space) and proofed the image the proofing clearly showed the image as dull and kind of life less for the second step just to see the difference I assigned aRGB profile (the difference was huge) and converted to Fogra 27L color space I proofed the image again to verify the results, there was a huge difference between both the results aRGB looked a lot better.

                                      What you saw is due to faulty color management. With properly color managed files that are destined for CMYK output, there will be little-to-no difference between starting with an sRGB file vs. an Abobe98 file.
                                      • 16. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                                        Level 1
                                        "I assigned aRGB profile (the difference was huge) and converted to Fogra 27L color space I proofed the image again to verify the results, there was a huge difference between both the results aRGB looked a lot better. "

                                        To add to what Rick said, what you've done is assign a different meaning to the numbers when you assigned aRGB to the sRGB image. Of course it's going to change the appearance. Next time, make a copy of the sRGB image and then convert that to aRGB before converting to your output. Better yet, start with a bonafide aRGB image and convert a copy of that to sRGB, then compare those two. As Rick say, there will be very little if any difference.
                                        • 17. Re: AdobeRGB(1998) working space/monitor
                                          (Marco_Ugolini) Level 1
                                          I would like to mention that, since the image starts off as Raw, using sRGB could clip saturated detail due to its inherent gamut limitations, whereas AdobeRGB or ProPhoto RGB may be able to retain it. Of course this depends on image content: some images will be affected, others not as much or perhaps not at all.

                                          As for the offset print reproduction being improved if one uses "an expensive monitor with AdobeRGB gamut", that is not correctly put, in my opinion. Offset reproduction is not affected *directly* by the monitor's quality -- though one could say that lower-quality monitors may cause the operator to miss or overlook or improperly assess saturated detail in the image, which in turn may *indirectly* affect the quality of the output on press. But there are ways to limit the extent of such errors in judgment even when using these lesser displays.

                                          Also, for added safety, owners of lower-quality monitors ought to make it a routine practice to double-check the results of their image correction by producing a cross-rendered inkjet proof, with the CMYK output profile as a target.