Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

Started Oct 3, 2007 | Discussions
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bullet1 Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

There are quite a few out there. Dell is almost moving toward that direction. LG.Philip's' newest 30" panel can display 102% of the NTSC color gamut. Their previous version used in Dell 3007WFP-HC model does 92%. The average good ones does 72%.

Given that 92% covers almost all the Adobe RGB color space and 102% probably slightly exceeds that, why would anyone not want to have one of those beauties? After all, we were editing in the Adobe RGB color space all these years without being able to see the real punchy colors before they were printed, right?

The new crop of wide gamut monitors do deliver almost the whole gamut of colors in the Adobe RGB color space as shown by the following screen capture below where the wire frames represent the aRGB color space.

The problem arises once the images are displayed outside PhotoShop, especially the ones converted to the sRGB color space for the web use.

If you are running Windows XP, the desktop color management is limited. The whole system is color managed but with the final output color space set to sRGB. Connecting one of those wide gamut monitors to it, you will first be amazed by the vivid colors for the landscape photos but then suddenly be shocked to see wrong skin tones for the portraits.

What is going on? Well the wide gamut monitors live in the Adobe RGB color space. When fed with images in the sRGB color space, every color will be exaggerated. It has the opposite effect of displaying images in the Adobe RGB color space to an sRGB monitor like we see from time to time.

If you are running Vista, you are in better luck. The system is better color managed. If you are running XP, you can change the system color management ICM file from sRGB to Adobe RGB. I have done that and it worked.

So what is the problem then? Well, the sRGB has become a de facto standard for the images used in Windows and the Internet. If an image is not tagged with a color profile, it is assumed to be sRGB. We know not all images are tagged with profiles. This is where the problem starts. Suddenly the lovely wedding video you created shows excessive red cast over the skin tones. The same thing goes with every icon and every little image you see on your desktop and browser.

The list goes on and on. I have the luck dealing with a wide gamut monitor, the Dell 3007WFP-HC for a week because my 3007WFP broke and Dell sent me a 3007WFP-HC, the wide gamut version. It was not a pleasant week. At one point, I thought about throwing out the Windows system altogether and buy a Macbook Pro to drive my 30" wide gamut monitor properly.

Well then I thought about it and realized that approach might still not solve the untagged content problem. Besides, I would have to double my software cost.

In the end, I called Dell and asked them to send the same monitor I had before, the non-HC, 72% NTSC gamut coverage model. It came today and my life has been restored. I can stop messing around with profiles and get back to work.
--
Nelson Chen
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2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
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Sgt_Strider Senior Member • Posts: 2,258
Re: Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

Are you saying for photo purposes, it's best to have non-HC version of Dell monitors? Or basically stick with 72% gamut monitors? I currently have two Dell 2007WFP S-IPS monitors with 72% colour gamut. I was thinking of getting a third one with S-IPS screens if I get lucky with the lottery. However, I'm not sure if that would be an entirely wise move. Should I?

Another thing is should I just install Adobe Photoshop and activate Adobe RGB? Any other settings I need to configure to get accurate colour tones?

fpessolano Senior Member • Posts: 1,131
I use MAC :-)

I would say that with a MAC is makes more sense.

Francesco

****************
webpage: http://www.thefoodtraveller.com/blog

bullet1 OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
With MacOS

what are the assumed color space for the desktop for the untagged icons, videos and images? Can that assume space be changed globally?

If the default or assumed color space does not match monitor's capabilities, the untagged images will be shown incorrectly. The untagged images in the aRGB color space rendered with the sRGB assumption will be shown flat. On the other hand, the untagged images in the sRGB color space rendered with the aRGB assumption will be shown oversaturated.
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
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2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

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Scott Eaton Senior Member • Posts: 2,195
Re: I use MAC :-)

I think you need to run the OSX 'i-Grammer_Checker' application there buddy. It's in the same drop down as 'i-Market_Share_Inflator' and 'i-Hate_Intel_Until_I_Started_Using_Them'.

Of course being a Mac user I'm sure you now believe that your operating system has control of the physical gamut range of your monitor. Then again we PC users have enough brain cells to pick and choose our own monitors rather than have a laptop bolted on the back on a specific model, and then call it an i-Mac.

As for the topic at hand, while I like to watch football and play Halo3 on a wide gamut display, I hate them for photo editing. Since there's no way I can produce that amount of intensity range in print, I don't see the need to view radioactive reds and blues. The wider the gamut/intensity range of the device, the more destructive the soft proof profile is and more chance of error. So, I prefer a more conservative monitor if I'm working exclusively for printing.

They do look nice though.

Scott Eaton Senior Member • Posts: 2,195
Re: Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

Given that 92% covers almost all the Adobe RGB color space and 102% probably slightly exceeds that, why would anyone not want to have one of those beauties?

Because contrary to color space charts, you can't print those colors. I've worked with the widest gamut range print materials there are, and they can't match wide gamut displays. If my intent is to print, I don't want to see colors that don't exist.

Take the magenta and yellow ink cartridges out of your Epson printer, dump them on a white sheet of paper, illuminate them with 400watt 5000k Metal halide lamp, and the instensity of the color magenta or red won't be nearly as vivid as a wide gamut display. That proves your printer can't match wide gamut displays because the medium itself can't.

Kodak RA-4 materials like Duralife are far, far worse.

bullet1 OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
Re: Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

Sgt_Strider wrote:

Are you saying for photo purposes, it's best to have non-HC version
of Dell monitors?

If you are using the monitor primarily with PhotoShop, the HC or wide gamut monitors will do wonders. But outside the PhotoShop or color managed world, the non-HC version will cause fewer headaches.

In a perfectly color managed world, every media content should be tagged with a proper color space. The untagged images will be shown by the default color space which should match the monitor.

Or basically stick with 72% gamut monitors? I
currently have two Dell 2007WFP S-IPS monitors with 72% colour gamut.
I was thinking of getting a third one with S-IPS screens if I get
lucky with the lottery. However, I'm not sure if that would be an
entirely wise move. Should I?

For the reasons I described above, unless the Adobe RGB extreme color rendering in PhotoShop is an absolute requirement, the 72% gamut monitors are better suited for everyday use including photo editing, especially in the Windows environment.

The 20" world has moved to the commodity stage with most of 20" made with TN panels. Dell 2007WFP has moved from S-IPS to S-PVA and (rumored) to TN for 2008WFP. What left is the (way) more expensive NEC and Eizo brands.

Moving up to a 24" will be more likely getting a non-TN panel. The Dell 24" ones are the S-PVA type which is still better than the TN type. Their 30" is still all S-IPS.

Another thing is should I just install Adobe Photoshop and activate
Adobe RGB? Any other settings I need to configure to get accurate
colour tones?

There are two schools of thoughts on this. One group says to stay in sRGB and another says to use aRGB. I use both.

First of all I shoot 100% RAW. If the files are going to the web without additional editing, the output will be in sRGB and JPEG. Otherwise, if the files are to be tweaked in PhotoShop, the output will be in aRGB and 16-bit TIFF. After the image has been edited, it is converted to 8 bit JPEG in the sRGB color space and tagged as such. If one forgets to convert to sRGB, the colors will be flat because the online world assumes sRGB and most of browsers do not even look at the profiles.
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

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bullet1 OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
That is a good point

I have not thought about printing. I am sure technology will improve and better inks or toners will be developed. Most of my digital images never go to print. That is one of the main reasons I bought the 30" LCD display. Every image can now be shown larger than a 16x24 print. It becomes the new way to enjoy the digital images.

However I was quite bothered by the inaccurate skin tones rendered by the non-color managed browsers and from the untagged images on the wide gamut display.

I would also have trouble watching sport videos with unrealistic skin tones. What we need is the equivalent of PhotoShop CS3's vibrance control, show vivid colors everywhere except skin tones. I can live with that. Until then I cannot stand the wrong skin tones shown by the wide gamut displays when the images are oversaturated.
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

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Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,477
Re: I use MAC :-)

Scott Eaton wrote:

I think you need to run the OSX 'i-Grammer_Checker' application there
buddy. It's in the same drop down as 'i-Market_Share_Inflator' and
'i-Hate_Intel_Until_I_Started_Using_Them'.

Well, I think you need to cut the "non-native English" speaking contributors to the forum a little more slack...

Of course being a Mac user I'm sure you now believe that your
operating system has control of the physical gamut range of your
monitor. Then again we PC users have enough brain cells to pick and
choose our own monitors rather than have a laptop bolted on the back
on a specific model, and then call it an i-Mac.

...and maybe try to resist being quite so patronising.

Just an observation - which, of course, you may choose to ignor.

ianR Veteran Member • Posts: 5,675
Re: That is a good point

Scott's right about the printer colour space being really tiny, and then the result depends on whether the printer makes a good approximation or not. Some would argue that something like Photoshop converting to a calibrated printer profile first would do the best job of it, others that the printer knows best.

But I have question about images which are tagged as having a certain profile rather than actually converted that profile. The question is, are you sure that browsers, printers etc actually take notice of the tag or do they simply ignore it? Some programs like Photoshop certainly do take it into account, but most as far as I know simply ignore it. I'm pretty sure a browser that isn't colour aware will simply ignore it.

So I'm not sure that when you've tagged an image as AdobeRGB your browser will show a difference. Try actually converting them first and see if it looks the same.

By the way, have you seen what the colour space of your camera is? I can't speak for all but the ones I've looked at are really large, much larger than wide gamut and way larger than AdobeRGB.
Ian

theRBK Forum Member • Posts: 83
Re: That is a good point

which is why I normally deliver sRGB files for proof or delivery when doing work for commercial clients especially if its for CMYK process prints or worse, newsprint... printers just cannot reproduce alot of aRGB and some clients just cannot or will not understand the concept of gamuts and limits of reproduceability with current print technology...

but if you are looking for a relatively affordable (compared to its competitor at least) monitor with a really wide gamut, try the Samsung XL20, which is an LED backlit montor with 114% NTSC colour

bullet1 OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
Re: That is a good point

ianR wrote:

Scott's right about the printer colour space being really tiny, and
then the result depends on whether the printer makes a good
approximation or not. Some would argue that something like Photoshop
converting to a calibrated printer profile first would do the best
job of it, others that the printer knows best.

According to this link, having a wide gamut display actually helps printing.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2049206&enterthread=y

"PRINT-TARGET MEDIA PROCESSING (print proofing/Adobe RGB photo editing, Publisher/PageMaker)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • Good text reproduction

  • Wide gamut (92% W-CCFL or > 100% LED) preferred for CMYK/print matching"

But I have question about images which are tagged as having a certain
profile rather than actually converted that profile.

In that case, PhotoShop may ask you if the embedded profile does not match the PhotoShop default. You'll have to know what the color space is supposed to be to make the right decision. Many color-managed apps including PhotoShop may not ask the question and just apply the profile and the images may not be shown correctly.

The question is,
are you sure that browsers, printers etc actually take notice of the
tag or do they simply ignore it? Some programs like Photoshop
certainly do take it into account, but most as far as I know simply
ignore it. I'm pretty sure a browser that isn't colour aware will
simply ignore it.

Most browsers in the Windows environment ignore profiles and apply the Windows default, sRGB unless you change the system profile as I described in this thread.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1006&message=25024413

So I'm not sure that when you've tagged an image as AdobeRGB your
browser will show a difference. Try actually converting them first
and see if it looks the same.

Only the browsers on MacOS and Firefox 3 (alpha version) on Windows understand embedded profiles and use them. Safari on Windows only does that half way.

By the way, have you seen what the colour space of your camera is? I
can't speak for all but the ones I've looked at are really large,
much larger than wide gamut and way larger than AdobeRGB.
Ian

I heard it's ProPhoto RGB or Std Photo YCC Print. Both are much larger than Adobe RGB. Just bring up your Windows color applet and see for yourself. If you are using XP and don't it installed, you are missing the system wide color management on Windows.

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Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
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bullet1 OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
Re: Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

According to this link, having a wide gamut display actually helps printing.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2049206&enterthread=y

"PRINT-TARGET MEDIA PROCESSING (print proofing/Adobe RGB photo editing, Publisher/PageMaker)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • Good text reproduction

  • Wide gamut (92% W-CCFL or > 100% LED) preferred for CMYK/print matching

...

PHOTO EDITING/WEB DESIGN (classic sRGB/web-target photo editing, or web design)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • sRGB (72% NTSC) gamut for better screen matching"

Do you disagree with their recommendations?
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

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PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Yes

People have been using sRGB for years with excellent results.

Why bother switching now? Based on everything I have read, WG displays seem like nothing but a PITA.

bullet1 wrote:

According to this link, having a wide gamut display actually helps
printing.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2049206&enterthread=y

"PRINT-TARGET MEDIA PROCESSING (print proofing/Adobe RGB photo
editing, Publisher/PageMaker)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • Good text reproduction

  • Wide gamut (92% W-CCFL or > 100% LED) preferred for CMYK/print matching

...

PHOTO EDITING/WEB DESIGN (classic sRGB/web-target photo editing, or
web design)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • sRGB (72% NTSC) gamut for better screen matching"

Do you disagree with their recommendations?
--
Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

bullet1 OP Veteran Member • Posts: 6,778
Please read the post and question again

PixelDave wrote:

People have been using sRGB for years with excellent results.

Why bother switching now? Based on everything I have read, WG
displays seem like nothing but a PITA.

They recommended using the Adobe RGB range or wide gamut displays with 92% coverage for print work.

Do you agree with that recommendation?

Is your answer still YES?

bullet1 wrote:

According to this link, having a wide gamut display actually helps
printing.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2049206&enterthread=y

"PRINT-TARGET MEDIA PROCESSING (print proofing/Adobe RGB photo
editing, Publisher/PageMaker)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • Good text reproduction

  • Wide gamut (92% W-CCFL or > 100% LED) preferred for CMYK/print matching

...

PHOTO EDITING/WEB DESIGN (classic sRGB/web-target photo editing, or
web design)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • sRGB (72% NTSC) gamut for better screen matching"

Do you disagree with their recommendations?

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Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

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Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,477
Some observations/clarifications...

Hi Nelson (bullet1) and company,

I've been reading these various "wide-gamut" monitor related threads with great interest, but haven't had the time to be able to respond as often as I would have liked to recently.

I would like to start by commenting/warning readers that there has been a fair amount of misunderstanding/misrepresentation of some of the facts and mechanisms involved - here and there.

As this is one of the more recent threads, I'll jump in here with just one or two observations/comments...

bullet1 wrote:

ianR wrote:

But I have question about images which are tagged as having a certain
profile rather than actually converted that profile.

With very few exceptions, if an image is "tagged" with a particular profile then it should be in that profile - by implication conversion, if there ever was a conversion, has already been carried out.

In that case, PhotoShop may ask you if the embedded profile does not
match the PhotoShop default. You'll have to know what the color
space is supposed to be to make the right decision. Many
color-managed apps including PhotoShop may not ask the question and
just apply the profile and the images may not be shown correctly.

I think there is confusion of different matters/topics here - Photoshop may ask about conversion when the image's colour profile does not match the "working space" - but Photoshop is not asking whether the image's colour profile is correct or not (except perhaps where there is no profile/tag at all).

If the user knows the images colour profile is wrong, or missing, then the correct action is first to "assign" the correct profile - not to convert - although conversion may then follow where required.

The question is,
are you sure that browsers, printers etc actually take notice of the
tag or do they simply ignore it? Some programs like Photoshop
certainly do take it into account, but most as far as I know simply
ignore it. I'm pretty sure a browser that isn't colour aware will
simply ignore it.

Most browsers in the Windows environment ignore profiles and apply
the Windows default, sRGB...

This isn't quite right - the browsers don't "apply default/sRGB" as such - they simply don't apply any profile/colour management whatsoever.

Only the browsers on MacOS and Firefox 3 (alpha version) on Windows
understand embedded profiles and use them. Safari on Windows only
does that half way.

Safari 3 for Windows can use embedded image profiles - but it converts to sRGB, ignoring whatever the display profile is. It is assuming the display is always sRGB (which won't always be right).

As I know you already know - the Firefox 3 (currently in alpha test version) for Windows will (when enabled) both convert from the embedded image profile where present, AND convert to the display profile - just like Photoshop does.

Mark H
Mark H Veteran Member • Posts: 3,477
I think he says "Yes - He Disagrees with their advice" (NT)

(NT)

Undah Veteran Member • Posts: 5,318
Re: Do you really want a Wide Gamut display?

Interest post - thanks for sharing.

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Can't say either.

Well it depends on the scenario.

If you are working in Photoshop ALL day long and are not really using your monitor for anything else then YES this statement would hold true.

Although, this statement is unrealistic for the average person since their computer is used to perform multiple functions. As you already know it has been reported by quite a few about how annoying certain things can look on a WG display.

So if you are a hobiest like myself, and are concerned about color correct but are not interested with tinkering with your monitor to get it to look right when not photo editing, then I am going to have to say NO.

bullet1 wrote:

PixelDave wrote:

People have been using sRGB for years with excellent results.

Why bother switching now? Based on everything I have read, WG
displays seem like nothing but a PITA.

They recommended using the Adobe RGB range or wide gamut displays
with 92% coverage for print work.

Do you agree with that recommendation?

Is your answer still YES?

bullet1 wrote:

According to this link, having a wide gamut display actually helps
printing.

http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=2049206&enterthread=y

"PRINT-TARGET MEDIA PROCESSING (print proofing/Adobe RGB photo
editing, Publisher/PageMaker)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • Good text reproduction

  • Wide gamut (92% W-CCFL or > 100% LED) preferred for CMYK/print matching

...

PHOTO EDITING/WEB DESIGN (classic sRGB/web-target photo editing, or
web design)

  • High contrast at medium brightness

  • Accurate color/gamma curve

  • sRGB (72% NTSC) gamut for better screen matching"

Do you disagree with their recommendations?

-- hide signature --

Nelson Chen
http://pbase.com/nelsonc
http://NelsonChenPhotography.com/
100% RAW shooter with Capture One Pro

2007 Colorado Renaissance Festival photo gallery:
http://www.pbase.com/nelsonc/2007_colorado_renaissance_festival&page=all

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
What apps did you have trouble with?

Can you break down a list of what were the most annoying problems.

Thanks,

Dave

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