Confused with calibration

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
dmiller62 Contributing Member • Posts: 621
Re: Confused with calibration

matt_matt_matthew wrote:

It's an early 2015 model, i've experimented with different options but i can only see gamma, brightness and colour temp to change.

1a. An early 2015 MacBook Air doesn't have a wide gamut display. (I looked it up). They didn't add wide gamut P3 to the Air until 2018. So in SpyderX software, the proper choice would be Standard LED (see #3 below), because it's going to be a standard gamut LED display with an LED backlight.

1b. An early 2015 MacBook Air also doesn't have a "great" display, particularly in comparison to other Macbook Pros of the same era, and even more in comparison to both Pros and Airs of the past few years. The early model Airs had standard gamut displays (sRGB) that weren't as bright as the Pros (to save battery life; thinner Air had less battery) and which also suffered much more from color shift due to change in angle of view. With an Air (and also with the Pro, but to a much lesser extent), you need to be looking "straight at" the display to see the best possible color. Tilting the display up and down and maintaining your head and eye position would prove that to you. (Sensors used to measure and calibrate the screen are always looking at it "flush on", but in the real world, the tilt of the screen with respect to your physical viewpoint changes that.

1c. Are you sure that you're using a SpyderX, rather than an earlier Spyder5 or Spyder4?

SpyderX software always provides a choice of backlight setting, there's a user interface specifically designed for that, with the choices being: Wide LED (the default); Standard LED; General; and GB-LED. Spyder5 (and the earlier Spyder4) software doesn't provide that choice.

I usually leave everything recommended gamma 2.2, brightness around 120 cd/m2 and colour temp 6500, but have tried various and all coming up with a horrible green cast as the result.

Shouldn't happen. Make sure the sensor is flush and snug up against the screen. (I'm trying to anticipate what tech support would tell you if you opened a ticket).

One thing that would be critically important (more so with newer Apple laptops) is to make sure that automatic brightness and color adjustment is turned OFF in System Preferences:Displays. On recent Mac laptops, which have built-in ambient light sensors, you can turn on TrueTone (as with modern iPads) to adjust the color temperature of the screen automatically, to more closely match the color of ambient light in the room. For a calibrated screen, you want to turn this OFF. Even older laptops will likely have an automatic brightness adjustment. Turn that off, too, at least when you're measuring and calibrating. ALSO, in System Preferences:Accessibility:Display, there are additional controls that affect color on the screen, all of which should be turned OFF for a calibrated display, and there's a Display Contrast slider which should be set to Normal.

Also make sure that you're running the latest software. (Versions 5.7 for SpyderX and Spyder5; Spyder4 is 4.5.9 and is no longer supported or updated)

Someone just mentioned i may have the wrong screen type set, i'll try a different one and see if that helps. As i say i wasn't sure if calibrating a screen should just 'tweak' and make slight shifts, where as the results i'm getting make everything green.

It "should" just be a slight tweak, although more so on an older Air. Typically, the color temperature of Mac laptops is too high, in the 7000's, and calibrating to 6500K will warm the screen up slightly. But this wouldn't result in a greenish cast.

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David Miller
Manager/Lead Developer, Consumer Graphics Software

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