MacBook Pro and Spyder X

Started 9 months ago | Questions thread
dmiller62 Contributing Member • Posts: 633
Re: MacBook Pro and Spyder X

Ellis Vener wrote:

rainydiary wrote:

Ellis Vener wrote:

Which calibration settings did you choose ?

I choose full calibration and setting like this tutorial video.

Okay, I watched the video.

two things stood out:

1) He sets his display for 100% brightness. Unless you have either terrible eyesight, work in a high glare situation, or have a very weak display (in which you should get a new one), that is a terrible idea. For two reasons

- it is much brighter than what you want for a photographic purposes. General web standards are 120cd/m(2) or if printing, something in the 80-100 cd/m(2) range.

-if the display is set for full brightness, the only adjustment Range for individual color brightness is lower.

2) at the 9:10 mark he shows how the gamut of the profile he has created is substantially smaller than sRGB. We have 2x MacBook Airs (one is a 2018 model, the other a 2020 model but pre M1), a mid 2015 15” Retina MacBook Pro, and a mid 2014 27” 5K Retina iMac in house. All of them according to i1 Profiler software and BasICColor 6 profiling software have profiles gamuts slightly larger than sRGB.
Now sRGB is the smallest common color working space. It is the most commonly used one because it is small and therefore most easily reproduced. However because it has the smallest gamut, there are lots of colors found in nature and that your camera can record which exist outside of it. What happens to those colors? They are pushed down into the limit of the color space or profile (a display or printer’s profile is a color space specific to that device). This colloquially known as “clipping”

As we see at the 9:10 mark, his “calibrated” profile which is based on the calibration parameters he set, is even smaller than sRGB. That’s not good. But yes it makes the colors look punchier and contrastive.

why is your new profile yellowish in appearance? I don’t know. Which standards did you use for calibration? D65 or D50? Etc.?

But there is another possible factor as well. I do not know if they ever fixed the problem, but Datacolor’s colorimeters (a colorimeter is the sensor or “puck” used to measure the screen) in the past did not have a great reputation for color accuracy. It is possible that you have a bad one. Sorry.

I could watch this video, but if his gamut plot is showing smaller than sRGB after calibration, that implies to me that it's an older MacBook Air. The earliest units didn't have very good displays and they were gamut limited. Later Airs were better, and all of the more modern versions with Retina displays are, of course, P3 gamut.

2018 and later Macbook Airs, for instance, will show P3 gamut in the plot after calibration. That's their native gamut and that's what calibration will (must!) show. If you're calibrating with "anyone's" display calibration software, and you're seeing that a Retina display Mac has a gamut of only sRGB, something is wrong, either in how that software is configured or how the gamut plot of the profile is being displayed. (I'm being technology and product agnostic about this. I routinely test with other sensors and other display calibration software, in addition to our own).

Display calibration profiles won't (or "shouldn't") be clipping the gamut. When you calibrate a display, you measure color patches that are displayed as "raw" "native" on the screen, that will show the full extent of the display's native gamut. Full red, green, and blue will be displayed and measured as such and will define the outermost corners of the triangular gamut plot on the chart.

Actually, I should take the time to watch that video, to see if and what's being done incorrectly. It could simply be a case of "calibrating an older Macbook Air display and that's what the gamut is". But there are other mistakes that can be made, that would affect display calibration on a Mac. For example, these things in System Preferences are remarkably bad ideas to have "turned on" when calibrating and then using a calibrated display:

- TrueTone (on newer Macs, both laptops and iMacs that have ambient light sensors). This needs to be turned OFF completely. It's not compatible with display calibration because the color temperature of the screen will never be stable.

- Automatic display brightness adjustment (again on newer Macs with ambient light sensors). Same reasons as for TrueTone.

- System Preferences: Accessibility: The "increase contrast" checkbox feature should be OK, but the "Display Contrast" slider should be set to Normal all the way on the left, and more obviously, "invert colors" and "use grayscale" would be remarkably bad ideas.


This is really just coming down to the question of "why does my calibrated display look more yellow", and the answer to that is simple: "because it's calibrated". The only way it -wouldn't- look more yellow would be if it was at 6500K out of the box, which it's not. (I have a Macbook Pro late 2016, which has the same display as the 2017 model, which can prove it

The SpyderX (since this was brought up) "is" extremely accurate. The fact that the calibrated display is warmer than the uncalibrated display is the expected result. The default setting for SpyderX with an Apple P3 Retina display (which is what the 2018 Macbook Pro has) is the "Wide LED" backlight setting. After calibration, the expectation is that the gamut plot would show a virtually perfect match to the P3 triangle in the plot, and that the Macbook Pro display would be warmer than it was when uncalibrated.

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David Miller
Senior Software Developer, Consumer Graphics Software

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