Mac OS X vs. Windows: Color Calibration and Adobe Applications

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by manuel_zamora_morschhaeuser, Feb 27, 2007.

  1. Hello everybody,

    I am having serious trouble getting the color calibration stuff to work under
    MacOS X. On my older Windows Box, I am successfully using the following setup:
    The display (Samsung Syncmaster 900NF CRT) is calibrated with a Spyder2, this
    profile is loaded at windows startup. Running any Adobe applications (normally
    Lightroom and Photoshop) gives me always the corrected color for my display. My
    color workspace is ProPhoto RGB. Before saving for any web application, I
    convert the colorspace to sRGB. This works consistently and normally flawless.

    I used the same approach for my new Macbook, but this doesn't work out as
    expected. After the calibration of the display (with a gama of 2.2, as in
    Windows) the new ICC profile is selected in the color tab of the display
    settings. When I view any image with my web browser, it shows the same colors as
    my windows monitor. When using any Adobe Application, the situation is
    different. Any picture, in Lightroom or Photoshop, is displayed without the
    color corrections. After I soft proof the image with View->Proof Setup->Monitor
    RGB, the colors match again. This would solve my problem when using Photoshop,
    but in Lightroom there is no such option - but I don't think this is the
    intended behaviour of color management on the mac, or is it?

    I really tried to understand the principles of color management, color working
    spaces and calibration, but I fail to understand why this does not work - it
    does on windows (yes I know, Windows is broken for a lot of color related stuff,
    but this doesn't look broken to me). Please point out any mistakes I made and
    feel free to call me a moron if I oversaw something obvious or didn't RTFM
    enough ;-)

    Thanks for your help,

  2. in OS X where are you installing the profile?
  3. In OS X the color profile is stored in /Library/ColorSync/Profiles/. I can access it via the ColorSync Utility and it does not contain any errors.
  4. I think the key to your issue is your words: "When I view any image with my web browser, it
    shows the same colors as my windows monitor. When using any Adobe Application, the
    situation is different. Any picture, in Lightroom or Photoshop, is displayed without the color

    Web browsers are typically not color managed, but LR and PS are. So when you say the
    Adobe apps are displaying without color corrections - what leads you to that conclusion? In
    other words, how do you know they are displaying without color corrections?
  5. Well, on my windows system I can view any image in a website or by loading into Photoshop, and the colors stay consistently the same, of course only when I take colorspaces etc. in account. But when I do that, colors are consistent.

    When I view an image on a Webpage in Firefox/Windows and compare it to my color managed Mac running Firefox or Safari, colors are the same. If I open that picture with Photoshop on Windows, colors stay the same. If I open the same picture in Photoshop on the Mac, colors suddenly change until I active the soft proofing and select the color profile created by the Spyder software. Then the colors match again.
  6. Presuming that you have the profile set up in System Preferences->Display panel, it
    sounds like you have not set up Photoshop CS2's "Color Settings" (Edit menu -> Color
    Settings) to enforce a color management policy.

    Go there, select the "North American Prepress 2" bundle, then customize it for ProPhoto
    RGB. When you open files, if they do not contain a profile you should let it ASSIGN the
    working colorspace. If they do contain a profile and it does not match the working
    colorspace you should let it CONVERT to the current working colorspace. Then everything
    will look correct in both browser and Photoshop.

    Lightroom does not require this and should look right regardless, if your monitor is
    properly calibrated. I believe all operations inside the Lightroom environment happen in
    ProPhoto RGB colorspace and do something like this: if your image file has a profile
    embedded, it converts to ProPhoto RGB, and if there is no profile it assigns ProPhoto RGB.

  7. Godfrey: I just rechecked, but exactly these settings are active and hopefully working. Unfortunately colors in Lightroom look the same as in Photoshop, as both programs are just ignoring the profile setting from Mac OS.

    I know this sounds crazy, but I checked everything at least three times. I recalibrated the display multiple times, ensured the ICC profile is active and working. Still no effect, the same appearently wrong behaviour from all Adobe applications. As if they don't know the display is using a color profile...
  8. When you soft proof to monitor profile you effectively disable color management. This makes me suspect that on your PC the color managed applications are not configured correctly - they are supposed to display colors differently from non-colormanaged applications.

    If color managed display is really off that means the profile is inaccurate for whatever reason.

    The two main practical difference between Mac OS and Windows is that OS X doesn't need a standalone LUT loader and that it has a color managed browser. But other than that color management works consistantly on all platforms. It even works in Linux.

    Here's a guy with a suspiciously similar problem
  9. Yes, this seems to be the same problem. I'll contact him and will post any results we can work out. Thanks for the hint!
  10. Hmm. You're out of my depth on this one.

    I have checked my own systems (Power Mac G5, PowerBook G4) and my partner's MacBook
    with a variety of image files using sRGB, Adobe RGB, ProPhoto RGB. Using and comparing
    screen renderings using the Digital Color Meter (in /Applications/Utilities, all the colors
    look as expected in Photoshop CS2, Lightroom, Safari and FireFox. All the systems I
    checked against are calibrated and profiled with the same Eye One Display 2 unit for 1.8
    gamma and 5500K white point.

    Something is awry in how you've configured your system(s) OR in the data that you're
    using as a check.

  11. Andrew, who describes the same problem at the luminous landscape forum, suggests that this could be a color management bug related to the Core 2 Duo CPUs. Godfrey, does this Macbook of your partner have a Core Duo or a Core 2 Duo CPU? It's a wild guess, I know, but this is at least a possibility who would point out why there aren't many more people having the same problem, while there are at least two.
  12. The MacBook is a 2Ghz Core Duo with 2G RAM installed. I tested with both its own screen
    and with the Samsung SyncMaster 205bw external monitor.

    However, if this was a problem with ColorSync on the Core Duo 2 versions, I would expect to
    see a lot more people yelling about it. The Core Duo 2 models have been out for some time
    and Apple has sold a *lot* of them to photographers.

  13. I'm sort of sceptical about this issue suddenly popping up yesterday, but over at luminus landscape the guy is pretty convincing describing the problem. I'm still not convinced it's not a simple issue of a bad profiles, though, whatever the reason for it.
  14. I agree. That's why I'm monitoring this thread. :)

  15. To be honest, I am also clueless what the heck is going wrong, but I can assure you, that we are not hallucinating ;) I am having these problems since I got my macbook, back in November but started to look into it just a few days ago as it was driving me insane...

    Bad profiles could be sure the issue. I will try to find an updated version of the Spyder software and investigate in this direction.
  16. Well, if you choose to go the calibration software route in your troubleshooting there are three things you can try:

    I give you guys the benefit of a doubt despite the provocative thread names. If it's a real issue it has to be resolved.
  17. Hm... There are three separate links in my previous post. I keep forgetting the formatting.
  18. My guess is that the problem is in glossy screen.

    I have a similar problem. I have MacBook (2Ghz Core Duo) and I have tried calibration with
    2 different calibrators and and both of them give me awful profiles. Profile is similar to
    what Andrew described in Luminous-Landscapes forum - the blues are becoming violet.

    First I thought that the problem was with my MacBook, but at the local apple store we
    calibrated one other MacBook and the result was same.

    Andrew does not say in Luminous-Landscape forum weather he has matte or glossy
    screen, but I think the problem is that the calibrators are not able to give correct results
    with glossy screens.

    What are your thoughts?
  19. The glossy screen could explain why the resulting profile *looks* awful, but my real problem is the appearant misbehaviour of all color managed applications on Mac OS X. Even an awful looking profile should work like a normal profile. *If* the calibration software produced a profile that is broken, it should *also* not work with the ColorSync Utility. I tried the repair function of that tool, no effect. I will no recalibrate my display using a new version of the Spyder2 software...
  20. I recalibrated using a current Spyder2 version - no effect, the profile looks better though.

    What can we try now? To be honest, I am clueless. Is there anybody here with a Core Duo 2 Macbook (pro), who is using a calibrated screen *without* the problems outlined here? Godfrey's Macbook works as expected, anybody else? An Adobe, Apple developer probably? ;)
  21. At work I will attach an external display and see how that works out...
  22. I just attached an external display and calibrated that - on both displays, laptop lcd and external lcd, the effect is the same, respectively with different color casts of course. Conclusion: Not a hardware but a software issue, whatever that could be...
  23. I use:

    2.33 ghz macbook pro (matte screen), core 2 duo. Gretag Macbeth Eye-One 2 system -
    the best, the spyder is awful - from my experience. an older but consistent CRT monitor
    for all color critical work. epson 2200

    i calibrate to 6500K, gama 2.2, and 100 luminance.
    i never have any color problems.

    i would guess that it is either the Spyder system or a bad LCD or misapplied settings

    are you making prints and getting bad results also?

    btw i have calibrated my laptop screen but thats never going to ever be used for color
    work - its like a big polariod on location.
  24. I heard that Spyder is not as accurate as some other calibration softwares. I use Eye-One. You
    might ave just been "luckier" with your Windows profiling. This is a great link with lots of in-
    depth and hands on tests.

    Hope this helps. Good luck!
  25. In my experience Spyder2 is a very good colorimeter. It works with high end software like
    Basiccolor and Coloreyes, just like the Eye One colorimeter. I own both so I'm not prejudiced.
    If you read the thread on LL it's really hard to figure out what the problem is. It's nothing
    too obvious.
  26. I do now know what the problem on my system is:

    Today I "calibrated" the display with the System Preferences Utility, adjusting apple logos to match the interlaced background and set the gamma value to 2.2. And look - Photoshop/Lightroom behave now *exactly* as they should! Either my colorimeter is not working correctly (but it does when running windows) or my Spyder2 does not like the MacBook display (perhaps it is an older hardware revision?) or the Spyder2 software does not like the Macbook. Either way - I will try the ColorEyes Software trial, if that does not solve my problem it's trying another piece of hardware or keep using the Apple-"calibration" tool...

    Thanks for all your help!


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