Dell 2405FPW - worse results with correct ICC profile?

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by cem_c, Jan 4, 2006.

  1. I have what seems to be a strange problem, but it may be just that I'm
    doing something wrong as I'm fairly new to this stuff.
    I just bought a Dell 2405FPW 24" LCD monitor for my PC, and I'm
    getting really horrible color and detail in my RAW photos in ICC-aware
    applications like photoshop or RawShooter (looks really noisy and as
    if it's at a lower than normal bit depth). I'm using the latest
    2405fpw ICC profile from Dell. However, if I go to the Color
    Management panel in windows and add the built-in srgb profile, and use
    that instead of the monitor profile, everything looks correct, in both
    rawshooter and photoshop cs2.
    Similarly, if, while using the 2405FPW ICC profile in windows, I open
    my image in PS and go to Edit->Assign Profile and use the profile
    "Dell 2405FPW Color Profile" instead of the working profile of SRGB,
    it looks correct.
    I have PS set to a working space of srgb.
    What am I doing wrong? Shouldn't the Dell profile be the one to use,
    instead of the generic srgb one?

    Many thanks.
  2. Hi Cem, First of all you don't want to use your monitor profile as your Photoshop working space. Most people use Adobe RGB but there are a few other contenders.

    Second, the profile that ships with your monitor probably wasn't made with photography in mind. Who knows what brightness or contrast Dell chose and why. Since the vast majority of their sales are to businesses they probably made a profile that's very bright and contrasty.

    Third the best way is (unfortunately) the expensive way and that's to buy a colorimeter like a Spyder, Gretag-Macbeth or Monaco Systems. You'd then hook it to your monitor/PC, and run the calibration utility. Once it does, it will create a monitor profile for you that's read when Windows boots up. After that you really don't use it for anything in Photoshop.

    There are a bunch of good books on this topic. I like "Color Confidence" by Tim Grey myself. Good luck!
  3. Thanks for the response.

    I know I need to properly calibrate my monitor, and plan to do so. But something is just totally broken right now in my setup with the "correct" ICC profile, and that's why I'm thinking I'm just doing something wrong. It looks totally off (compared to the srgb one) - I wouldn't think that Dell's profile would be this broken. It's not just inconsistent with a printout, or too bright or something - it looks like a noisy, dithered mess.

    I'm not setting the working space in photoshop to the monitor profile, that was just for testing.

    Thanks again.
  4. jtk


    Be confident that Dell is wrong, whatever they suggest.
  5. "Shouldn't the Dell profile be the one to use, instead of the generic srgb one?"

    Not necessarily. You have no idea how Dell has setup the profile. Secondly, it doesn't matter what "should work," it only matters what does work.

    But, if you want to try to use the profile, make sure you have Adobe Gamma Loader disabled in the startup. (go to "run" type in "msconfig," and then uncheck the gamma loader; save the new startup; reboot the computer). That could be your problem - the system is double profiled. Normally, gamma loader will load Adobe 1998 RGB as the profile, if you're using sRGB, that is so close to Adobe RGB that you'd never see the difference if it was double profiled.

    But, until you get a color calibration system, use whatever profile gives you the best match.
  6. "it looks like a noisy, dithered mess"

    - additional possibilities if the dithering is independent of the profile. If it is profile dependent, then ignore the rest of this response because it won't apply.

    1. an extension cable between your video card and the monitor
    2. an inadequate video card, 3D performance is not important though
    3. low voltage in your house
    4. weak power supply in your computer that is not delivering enough power to your video card. Those $20 power supplies make nice paperweights but they aren't good for much else.
    5. defective monitor electronics / power supply
    6. not using the native resolution of the monitor

  7. Hi Cem, I've been having the exact same problem with my 2405FPW. Prior to using the 2405, I was using the 2001FP with its Dell profile with wonderful results. Now, using them both dual-headed, both are exhibiting the awful problems you describe. Please let me know if you find a solution.
  8. Just for grins to show how really bad a profile can become, I've
    posted a screen shot at the bottom. It's a target file I use to
    calibrate to viewed in PS with the default profile loaded that
    mysteriously appears in the system when a new display is

    It seems Mac OS 9.2.2 Colorsync will read and automatically
    generate a default profile when a new display is connected to my
    Powerbook. Corruption can result when the display's DDC API
    doesn't play nicely with Apple's.

    I know this doesn't apply to your situation but thought I'ld share
    this oddity in case someone else has this happen to them.
  9. Don't use Dell profile at all. You don't know how they got it, like Steve said. A correct monitor profile is dependant on the specific monitor AND on your graphic card. So just don't use it.

    For the time being use a generic srgb pofile as the monitor profile. Use Adobe RGB or better yet ProPhoto RGB as working space in PS.

    A cheap way to calibrate a single LCD is to get a Spyder2Express (2.2/Native/Visual being your only available target - which is what you would choose anyway).
  10. ddf


    I am having the same issue. Did you ever find and answer? Thanks.
  11. I didn't find a solution that doesn't involve using an actual calibration device to build an ICC profile for the monitor. I've been using the sRGB profile for now and proof on my 2001FP.
  12. That sucks. I have it hooked up to a Mac and PC. The Mac looks great and the PC looks terrible. There must be an answer to this. Thanks for the reply.
  13. I also have problems with my 2405 fpw. Photo's, especially those containing portraits, exibit severe noise and color banding in shadow areas. Its as if there are only 256 colors being used. The funny thing is that free (non icc aware) viewer applications display everything correct, while photoshop, nikon capture and bibble do not. This leads to the conclusion that ICC profiles have to mess things up somehow.

    At my workk they also have 21" dell monitors and they display the image correctly. Grrr.

    In bibble you have a 'Color management' dialog with the options 'None', 'ICC Profiled' and 'Monitor proofed (default)'. If I set that option to 'ICC profiled' the image is looking fine again!
    The Bibble documentation contains the following:
    -None: Linear mode
    -ICC Profiled: Provides a conversion to an ICC working space and no monitor proofing
    -Monitor Proofed: Provides the ICC working space that is proofed/calibrated to your monitor

    And there you have it, the dell color profile is busted :(

    Hope this info helps.

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