2 Replies Latest reply on May 31, 2009 8:22 PM by Ramón G Castañeda

    Color Management - OK to set Monitor color profile to sRGB?


      Is there any problem if I have set my monitor color profile to sRGB, and Photoshop recognizes this, and I am using ProPhoto RGB as my working space in Photoshop?





      I was having a general problem with color management where my photos looked darker in Photoshop then my default Windows photo viewer or in Adobe Bridge.


      I did some research and finally fseemed to fix the problem, but I'm not sure about one of my settings.


      I'm using Windows XP, and the first big help was coming across a color control panel you can download from Microsoft.

      Here's the link: http://www.microsoft.com/prophoto/downloads/colorcontrol.aspx


      This utillity adds a color settings panel you can access through the Windows control panel. A key feature it has is that It lets you assign color profiles to devices, such as your monitor or printer.


      I'm using Photoshop CS4.  If you open the Color Settings dialog box, and look under the Working Spaces section you can choose your working space for RGB from the drop-down list. From my research, and since I'm editing photos, I've concluded that choosing Adobe RGB or ProPhoto RGB is a good choice.


      Also on this dropdown list there is a choice called Monitor RGB. From my research the opinion is that you should not set this as your RGB working space. However, a tip I came across is that if you look at the Monitor RGB choice it will indicate what Photoshop is recognizing as your Monitor's color profile. For example, it will say "Monitor RGB - Dell 217"


      Now, after installing the Windows color utility I am now able to set the color profile for my monitor. What I set will then be recognized by Photoshop if I see it on this list.


      Specifically, in my color utililty I set my monitor to use the sRGB color space. Now when I go into Photoshop, and into the Color Setings dialog, and go to where you set the RGB working space, I click on the drop down list and listed there will be "Monitor RGB - sRGB IEC61966-2.1. 


      Note: I am not choosing this as my RGB color space, I am just going here to check what Photoshop is seeing in regard to my monitor color space. For my RGB color space I set it to ProPhoto RGB.


      My monitor is a Samsung 172T LCD monitor.  In regard to monitor calibration,  I do not have access to a colorimeter device. From my research I have found that using the software calibrator called Adobe Gamma is not designed to calibrate or profile LCD monitors.


      What I did do: I'm using a nVidia based graphics card that has a control panel. The control panel has a display optimization tool. I used that.


      Again, my specific question -


      In the windows color settings utility I set my monitor color profile to sRGB. Was that the right choice?


      I could of  set it to another profile that I have available called "Samsung 172T."  But I'm not sure where that came from. Not sure if it was generated from using Adobe Gamma a few years back or from the manufacturer.


      When I switched to that profile my screen gets darker. Note: when I switch it in the Windows color settings utility, then go to Photoshop, I can see in the color settings dialog box that it now says "Monitor RGB - Samsung 172T"


      I know that if I had a colorimeter calibration type tool I would be able to generate an accurate profile for my monitor. In that case, would you set your monitor to that profile rather than sRGB?






        • 1. Re: Color Management - OK to set Monitor color profile to sRGB?
          bret linford

          Hi, Tom.


          The real issue here is getting accurate color. You can't get accurate color by setting your monitor profile to sRGB. sRGB is a virtual color space that doesn't describe the exact color gamut of any physical device. But, in order to display sRGB or any color space accurately, you need to get a characterization of your monitor.


          Here is an AWESOME way to get access to a colorimeter: http://www.lensrentals.com/rent/pantone-huey-colorimeter Looks like for $32 you can rent this for a week. Go in on this with a friend and profile both of your monitors and hardly pay a thing. If you have a reasonably good quality LCD monitor, this custom profile you make will be fairly accurate for many months. At the very least, this is way more accurate than having no regular calibration at all.


          Hope this helps!



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Color Management - OK to set Monitor color profile to sRGB?
            Ramón G Castañeda Level 4



            Unless you have a crappy monitor that's incapable of being profiled accurately, never set your monitor profile to a device-independent color space like sRGB.


            Calibrate your monitor accurately, regularly and often, and use the resulting monitor as your device-dependent monitor profile.