External Monitor color sync?

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  1. #1
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    External Monitor color sync?

    I just got a 22" Sceptre LCD monitor to use with my G4 laptop. I have both monitor profiles set to "color LCD" and Photoshop is set to the same.
    The problem is that colors seem washed out on the bigger screen when viewing images in PS. The brightness is all the way down and the contrast is all the way up. I have fiddled with both as well as the RGB balancing in the new monitor to no avail. Images still look better on the G4. More contrasty with richer colors.
    Perhaps I have had crappy colors with my G4(old, not very bright display when compared to newer models) and have adapted my working to them in PS. Perhaps the new monitor is more on point but I cant see it cause my eye is used to the G4...

    A pal of mine said he has access to one of those color calibrators you hook up to your monitors. I suppose this may be a solution.
    Any thoughts?

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  3. #2
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    A hardware calibrator would be the best solution, but you can calibrate by eye using the Color tab in the Displays control panel.


    Tristan Elwell
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    I tried my best doing that, but the laptop colors still seem
    "richer". May I ask, what makes a good LCD monitor?

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    Do you have both screens set to the same target gamma?


    Tristan Elwell
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    yes. I believe the Mac standard gamma. If thats what setting it at Color LCD would do..

    Last edited by MEMPER; January 31st, 2009 at 09:59 PM.
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    One major issue that I see is that when an image that has color blending, say from a blue to a yellow, on the laptop the blending is fine. But on the big monitor the blending is not smooth. Its more "patchy".
    What gives?

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    But on the big monitor the blending is not smooth. Its more "patchy".
    Some possible explanations:
    1. You have a cheap TN type lcd monitor with a 6bit look-up-table (trust me, they're ubiquitous, if you paid a "reasonable price" for a 22" monitor, chances are, you have exactly this). Meaning it can't even display 8bit colors - it has to either dither them or leave them banded, or as is the case with more advanced monitors of this type - flicker them: let's say you want 201? You only have 200 and 202, the refresh rate is 60hz... what do you do? you guessed right - alternate between 200 and 202, so you get the impression of 201.
    2. You adjusted the colors by software, in the graphics card settings - that's a workaround that only works with the 8bit colors that are available and change the brightness/contrast/gamma digitally to correspond to different values within the limited 255 steps. Meaning... if the adjustment is far from subtle, banding will be clearly visible because you will be working with a narrower range of values.

    And be careful about that "oh, but these colors aren't as bright and vivid and colorful! I want saturation, LOT and LOTS of SATURATION!!!" attitude. The situation may be quite the opposite here - the laptop may be showing exagerated colors, which, after doing enought research, I noticed, have silently become a norm for cheap monitors - way too many of them have exagerated colors and contrast, to catch the eye of Average Joe. The sad part is that sometimes it can be awfully hard getting rid of the unnatural saturation without a hardware calibrator. There's a difference between Exact and Exagerated colors.

    Mac default gamma is 1.8. Windows - 2.2. But recently most monitors have the gamma of 2.2, you should probably calibrate it for that. Read more about it here. Lower gamma means "darker" tones, meaning the colors may appear more saturated. If you have one monitor calibrated for 2.2 and the other for 1.8, there'll be an obvious difference. (Provided you're looking at a non-color managed application.)

    Color isn't exactly simple in the digital world.

    I advise you take the calibrator for a test run. It'll atleast give you a taste for what the exact colors should look like. Calibrating by hand without having seen what the color charts are supposed look like can become a hit-or-miss business, especially in the <20 darks, midtones (often the gamma ends up all strange) and pastel colors, still some improvement, sure, but nothing stellar.

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    If you have an art book (non digital) try comparing the art on the page to googled versions. Its not perfect and you have to find the closest match on google not just the first one. It will give you reference to work from. Or the hardware calibrator, which is your best bet.

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