18 Replies Latest reply on Sep 24, 2009 9:43 AM by shawnotay

    Snow Leopard brings display profile problems

    Gary Politzer Level 2

      Several threads on Apple Discussions are describing problems with some display profiles after upgrading to Snow Leopard.  My own experience is as follows:

       

      I upgraded 2 machines, a 2007 MacBook Pro 2.33 GHz, and an early 2008 Mac Pro octo 2.8 GHz with Apple 30 inch Cinema Display.  I use the Eye1 Display2 hardware calibrator, and have been calibrating to Gamma 2.2 for years as recommended in the Adobe Photoshop Mac Forum.  The MacBook Pro has no issues with display profiles, and looks the same as before.  The Mac Pro, however, was a different story.  As soon as I upgraded, the display just looked wrong to me.  The screen lacked contrast and looked quite soft, almost blurry.  I immediately booted back into a clone of my old Leopard installation to check, and sure enough, there was that punchy contrast & solid color I'd grown accustomed to.  The comparison was run using the same profile on the same hardware.  Only difference was Snow Leopard.  I went back to Snow Leopard and selected Apple's new default profile for my display, and this looked better, but nowhere near my custom profile on my old system.  I actually took a screen shot of Apple's red, yellow & green interface button controls to show the difference.  Totally noticeable as follows:  Screen shot taken in Snow Leopard captures washed out interface elements.  Same Screen shot opened in Leopard allows comparison of the interface elements in Snow Leopard with those in Leopard.  I'd post it here, but it's back at the office & I'm at home today.

       

      I reported this to Apple Feedback, and am posting here in case anyone else has seen this, or has suggestions.  Obvious next step is to recalibrate in Snow Leopard & compare, but that doesn't explain why the same profile on the same hardware looks quite different under Snow Leopard.  Apple's documentation specifically states that those using custom profiles will see no difference after upgrading.

        • 1. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
          Gary Politzer Level 2

          Here is that screen shot. What you are seeing is a Finder window capture from Leopard being displayed in a Snow Leopard Preview window.  Same hardware, same display profile.  Notice how the red, yellow & green buttons at upper left appear soft compared to the Leopard buttons in the screen shot:

          Screen shot 2009-09-01 at 12.23.10 AM.png

          • 2. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
            shawnotay

            I'm noticing the same thing - all UI elements in Snow Leopard appear "washed out". There is also not as much noticeable difference between active and non-active windows.

             

            After creating a new monitor profile using MonacoOptix Pro, I noticed no difference between my new monitor color profile and my previous monitor profile created in Leopard. The UI just looks too light, not enough "contrast", washed out.

             

            After using Snow Leopard for a couple of days, I finally went back to using Leopard (cloned from external disk using Super Duper). I found myself actually squinting a lot using Snow Leopard. I am not pleased about the "new" UI color at all, very disappointing!

            • 3. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
              Gary Politzer Level 2

              The thing is, I don't believe that Apple changed the UI for Snow Leopard.  I think I'm seeing a difference in the whole screen, using the same custom profile as before on the same hardware.  I am pretty sure we are looking at the same old UI elements being displayed improperly.  To support this, my MacBook Pro UI and screen look the same as they did before the Snow Leopard upgrade.  Only my Mac Pro with Apple Cinema Display is showing the issue.  Both machines were previously running Leopard 10.5.8 with custom display profiles.  After the upgrade, using the same display profiles, the MacBook Pro looks the same as before, while the Mac Pro looks washed out, not just the UI elements, but the whole screen.  Also, I've been unable to generate a satisfactory new custom profile for the Mac Pro using my Eye1 Display2 hardware calibrator.

              • 4. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                shawnotay Level 1

                Interesting. I have not used Snow Leopard on my MacBook Pro yet.

                 

                But, I am also using (2) 23" Apple Cinema Displays on my MacPro. Even after calibrating under Snow Leopard, both monitors appeared washy. Thanks for your comment about the MacBook Pro observation.

                • 5. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                  shawnotay Level 1

                  I am pretty sure we are looking at the same old UI elements being displayed improperly.

                   

                  Hmmm... I just downloaded the new iTunes 9 using Leopard 10.5 and the iTunes 9 UI elements look washed out (like Snow Leopard)... so I'm thinking the UI elements are different in Snow Leopard compared to the ones used in Leopard. Hmmm.

                  • 6. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                    Gary Politzer Level 2

                    Just FYI, iTunes 9 on my MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard is displaying the exact same old contrasty window buttons as Leopard.  I don't pretend to know what is going on here, and also I find it strange that nobody else is jumping in with a Me Too.

                    • 7. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                      DV8OR1

                      I am in a world of trouble with calibration issues with Snow Leopard. Firstly my calibration does not seem to “stick” after restart. I have a Macbookpro 17″ and a 23″ Cinema display and cannot get a decent calibration with a Spyder2 pro. Also, I am noticing heavy pixelation in my photos where there is a gradation between black and dark greys in all programs including Photoshop - lightroom and even Safari. It is particularly bad in photos where I have used the Lightroom brushes to drop the exposure in parts of my images. Apple seems to have royally screwed up on colour. Is anyone else having these kind of issues on calibrated displays? Oh, another related issue is if you try to do a screen recording with a calibrated display with quicktime screen recorder - all the colours are inverted!

                      Marc

                      • 8. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                        drstudio

                        Yes I've rolled back to 10.5.8 precisely for this reason.  I at first thought the washed GUI was a Snow Leopard feature (think white-out, blizzard.)  I use the NEC LCD 2690WUXi with an 09 Mac Pro.  But I was also unable to profile and calibrate the monitor to my satisfaction under Snow Leopard and I feel it's a display calibration issue under SL rather than just the GUI.  My MacBook Pro I've kept with Snow Leopard as it doesn't appear to have this display issue.  Besides I don't use it for color decisions anyway as those displays are a bit challenged for that purpose.

                         

                        I've also been surprised at the lack of comments regarding this, so I'm reassured to be reading yours.

                         

                        Dave

                        • 9. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                          Gary Politzer Level 2

                          drstudio-

                           

                          You'd think that we'd be seeing more responses here if this was a widespread issue.  There are also a few threads on Apple Discussions covering similar stuff, but nothing conclusive or illuminating. Or maybe there aren't a whole lot of people who care about these issues that have moved to Snow Leopard? Perhaps most of the pros are holding off, waiting for issues to be resolved.

                           

                          One question I have is, when you rolled back to Leopard, was there a problem with Mail.app?  I understand that Mail's file storage was updated in Snow leopard, and wondered if it would present a problem going back.

                          • 10. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                            drstudio Level 1

                            After having gone over and come back I can report I see no compelling reason to upgrade right now.  It feels like a transitional upgrade to me that's possibly paving the way for something else.  Certainly any performance gains don't seem measureable if you're already running a finely tuned mac, and in this case I'm launching apps off a solid state drive that's already really quick under Leopard.  No problems with Mail after rolling back with Time Machine.

                             

                            Dave

                            • 11. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                              drstudio Level 1

                              Hi Gary, I should add my mail library isn't on the boot drive that was rolled back, I don't know whether this has any bearing on the situation or not.

                               

                              Dave

                              • 12. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                drstudio Level 1

                                It's occurred to me, and I could be way off base, that if the change is only to the UI (and I'm still not sure about this) could it be an adjustment made so users who were using the previous default gamma of 1.8 will notice no visual UI difference in Snow Leopard's default 2.2?  Possibly the only people noticing any difference are those who were previously calibrated to a gamma of 2.2.

                                 

                                Dave

                                • 13. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                  Gary Politzer Level 2

                                  I have also been wondering if the change is only to the UI.  Your idea is interesting.  There are a couple of possible complications:

                                   

                                  1.  Both my Macs were calibrated to Gamma 2.2, yet only one, the Mac Pro with 30" Cinema Display, exhibits the paler GUI.  My MacBook Pro looks the same as always.

                                   

                                  2.  Some users, you and I among them, have complained that they can't create a satisfactory display profile after the upgrade.  Now I wonder if this just means we were looking at the pale GUI and thinking something must be wrong?

                                  • 14. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                    drstudio Level 1

                                    Yes my MPB doesn't seem to exhibit the effect either, but then I don't trust anything I see on that anyway ;-)  I think I'm still going to experiment with the calibration issue though on the desktop.  I still have SL available to boot from, I haven't given up on it entirely..

                                    • 15. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                      drstudio Level 1

                                      I'm thinking now it is just the GUI, although it would be helpful to see some documentation from Apple so we know we're not going nuts.  My display profile seems to check out:

                                       

                                      http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/gamma_calibration.php

                                      • 16. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                        Gary Politzer Level 2

                                        I am also starting to think it's just the GUI.  Apple is usually slow to admit problems.  I don't care if they admit it, so long as they fix it.

                                         

                                        Thank you for that useful link!

                                        • 17. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                          drstudio Level 1

                                          You're welcome, I've sent feedback to apple although unlike here on the adobe forums where the developers often make an appearance you never know whether you're reaching anyone.

                                          • 18. Re: Snow Leopard brings display profile problems
                                            shawnotay Level 1

                                            Yes, thanks for the link drstudio! I've also sent Apple feedback and I've greatly appreciated this discussion. Mahalo (thank you).