iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints
(HBB recommended I repost this here)
Ok, I am pulling what little is left of my hair.
- Have a 2011 27" iMac (latest kind, thank you daughter for wonderful gift).
- iMac is color calibrated with Spyder 3 Elite.
- Checked calibration just before working prints and ordering.
- Ordered prints from AdoramaPix. When I compare the photos, they don't match. I held several up to the screen and they are darker and the whites seem off like a shift to the red. Called Adorama and they are researching it. Took a P&S snapshot of their photo held up next to my screen so they could see the difference.(Their screen and mine may not match but the difference is visible.
As you can see below the difference is very noticeable. So after talking with them, I decided to get some prints at Walgreens (don't groan) just to see what I would get. Picked them up and they look fine but when I hold them up net to the screen they are off like the others.
Yet when I take them down, they look fine.
Influencing factors: All bulbs in the room are daylight bulbs. The iMac is backlit and when I hold the pictures up on to the screen, the light is not shinning directly on them. When I take the photos down, the light is more directly on them.
When I look at the photos flat under light they look fine. (Except that orange tree one, the trees around the orange tree still look a little too brown and not as green.) The flag one looks great.
Could this simply be the fact I am holding them not under direct light and the fact the iMac is backlit? (I used to use a 2003 Mac Powerbook and the screen was as more of a flattened angle. I can see now why laptops are so notoriously hard to calibrate.)
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#1. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 0elcee Nikonian since 01st Nov 2005Tue 03-Apr-12 08:46 PM
Aggravatin', ain't it, Lee??!!
These print issues usually come down to "double profiling."
Did you try printing from Mac's Preview app?
Before hitting Print, use Tools>Assign Profile to see what the Colorsync profile is.
Then select File>Print, change Preview to Print Settings; make sure Color Settings shows as Off.
Click the Print button.
If the image looks ok in Preview, and a print comes out ok, it's not the profile.
If the print is bad, it may be a printer/cartridge issue.
Costco lets you select color correction yes/no; does Adorama?
Maybe you can let Adorama correct colors, see what happens.
#9. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 1Thu 12-Apr-12 08:41 PM
Sorry to all for not getting back but work has been busy.
I didn't try printing from the Mac Preview option as I don't have my printer calibrated. I may try that next week though. I am using the new Canon Pixma MG 8220 for home use.
#2. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 0
>Could this simply be the fact I am holding them not under
>direct light and the fact the iMac is backlit? (I used to use
>a 2003 Mac Powerbook and the screen was as more of a flattened
>angle. I can see now why laptops are so notoriously hard to
Yes, and then some.
I believe the sad truth is that the best lighting for viewing prints is poor for viewing a monitor, and vice versa.
In the book 'Real World Color Managment', they recommend that you never hold a print up along side a monitor to compare. You should have a viewing booth with proper lighting that is off to the side so you have to turn your head and cannot look at both at once. You should also shield the monitor so that the light from the viewing area does not shine on it.
The fact that the monitor is an emmitve device whereas the print is a reflective medium makes a hugh difference.
As to calibrating laptops screens, I believe the main problem with them is that many of the screens are only TN panels which have a limited vieiwing angle, and many of them are only 6-bit devices that use dithering to simulate an 8-bit color depth.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#3. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 2esantos Nikonian since 10th Nov 2002Wed 04-Apr-12 12:18 AM
Pete has the perfect answer except that viewing booths are expensive. As an alternative I bought a reasonably priced Ott Light at my local Hobby Lobby. It works great.
esartprints.com Ernesto Santos Photography
Get my new e-Book "Churches of Texas"
#11. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 3
#10. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 2
This pretty much confirms what I thought. I talked to the people from White house Custom Color (WHCC) at their show in Raleigh this week and they said pretty much the same thing - never hold a print in front of the monitor and don't even hold them side by side and look at them at the same time, look at one and then look at the other. I think that is where the problem came in form.
#4. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 0
What you are trying to do can be very frustrating at the very least, I'm sure many of us here have been down this road! There are just too many variables right down to the color of your walls. At first from the images you posted I thought for sure there must be a problem somewhere as all the images you are showing us while in your hand have a very strong color cast. Your hand however shows the very same reddish orange color cast so now I am not so sure. I hold up images on my monitor form time to time and mine are pretty darn close when it comes to color & white balance. Whats usually off is the brightness, I keep my workspace a little on the dim side. If I still think there is a problem I will take the print over to a window in some sunlight. My gut tells me what you have here are to things going on. One is I think your profile might be slightly off as what you are showing us here is quite a bit different. Two the lighting/color temp in your workspace seems much different then what you have your screen set to. The images I see on your monitor seem a touch cool on this end but otherwise not bad. If you would like I can maybe at least verify what's on your monitor is at least close if you would send me one or two of the images shown here. The other thing you might want to do is check the actual color temp of the so called Daylight bulbs you have. I say this because I went through the same thing a few year ago with the so call Daylight bulbs. I found the ranged in color temp anywhere form 2700k to 6750k. I played around with different color temp bulbs until I found a color temp that worked well for my work space and gave me the best print to screen match. For my work space which has med color stained wood walls 5000k was the best color temp for me.
To send pictures scott@ motionpicturesphotography .com
P.S How do your images look out side in daylight? Do they have that same reddish color cast?
Scott Martin Sternberg
Scotts Fine Art
#12. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 4Thu 12-Apr-12 08:49 PM
Thanks, I check,ed the bulbs rated temp and it is 6500K compared to daylight 5000 - 5500 range. I suspect the light over my desk and the overhead room light are too hot at 6500. I will recalibrate with the room temp factored in. I thought daylight meant 5500, apparently not to the bulb makers.
I took your advice and went over to a window and looked at them and the images are fine.
Thanks for the help.
#5. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 0
In addition to the comments about calibration, etc, I'd say that those are further off than most calibration problems would indicate.
Check your color space. Probably they want sRGB, you may well be operating in Adobe 1998.
If this were coming off of your printer, I'd say that you had the wrong profile or were managing color in the wrong place, but since these are from an outside service I don't know what the corresponding concepts would be.
Brian... a bicoastal Nikonian and Team Member
My gallery is online. Comments and critique welcomed any time!
#7. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 6elec164 Nikonian since 15th Jan 2009Wed 04-Apr-12 04:20 PM
>Good call on the color space Brian,
That is a good observation, but I don’t know that I would judge too much by the examples provided.
Reason I feel that way is that I see it as a WB issue more than actually showing a significant difference between the prints and monitor.
My thoughts are that you have two different light sources, the ambient room lighting and the monitor. It appears the room lighting was toward the warm end where LCD monitors have been backlit with fluorescents at about 6700K usually. The EXIF of the examples state the camera was in Auto-WB, as such it can only balance for one source or the other. And as noted by Scott, the hand seems a bit red’ish which would seem to indicate the camera set the WB for the monitor making the prints and hand warmer looking due to the lighting upon it. So the actual perceived difference by an observer on site might not see such a drastic difference.
If my rational went astray, I would appreciate a correction and any varying opinions.
Visit my Nikonians gallery.
#13. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 7Thu 12-Apr-12 08:53 PM
The photos you see that show both pictures were taken by my Canon P&S in Jpeg with Auto WB. Should have used my D300 with custom WB and Raw.
#14. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 8Thu 12-Apr-12 08:56 PM
Sorry for the delay but I believe so with the help of all the input here. I appreciate it a lot. I have learned not to hold the photo in front of the LCD or even beside it and I needed to have the photo in my hand with more direct light on it and I needed to put a different "daylight" (hah!!) bulb in the room.
Now if I can find my marbles spilt and my mind I lost, I will be in good shape. Again, thanks for all the help.
#15. "RE: iMac LCD screen doesn't match prints" | In response to Reply # 14Fri 13-Apr-12 10:16 PM
Thanks for the update Lee. Good to here you came to grips with it. If you keep working at it, over time, you can come pretty close to matching prints to your screen. You just have to have the right lighting in your working environment.
Scott Martin Sternberg
Scotts Fine Art