View Full Version : Calibrating a LapTop and an LCD to match?

8th September 2008, 13:06
I am sure someone here can help me get this straight. Out of necessity...Carolyn is producing a book for the Women s Golf Association....I had to look at her Apple Book today. The color was off and it was flat....similar to a print when you use the wrong ICC profile . She is using Aperture and its direct likage to Apple s book publishing. So I set out to eliminate the variables ....yikes her macbook was never calibrated. So here is the punch line and question...after calibrating (eye-one pro) our 30in Apple LCD is warmer than our two macbooks? These are golf course pictures (lots of yellow and green)..is this because of differences in the what they can display or should they be the same? :confused:

8th September 2008, 14:32
It could be your white point setting. Just to be sure, check and make sure it is the same for each monitor. I recommend 6500 or D65 for white point, brightness at 120, and a gamma of 2.2. Finally, make sure the new profile is actually the one selected for the monitor -- under Preferences>Displays>Color on the Mac. In the end, your MBP should match your 30" Cinema appearance pretty well, but the MB has a lesser graphics card and may not calibrate as well as the MBP. Both laptops will probably have an issue with the overall contrast compared to the Desktop.

8th September 2008, 15:38
Thanks Jack.....WP.6500-yes;brightnessLCD 120...MB & MB Pro 90..per GTMB...will adjust to see if it makes any difference :gamma 2.2 ..yes. Verified using new profiles ..will double check ...Since both MacBook match exactly I am thinking maybe the image I am using has some yellow/green which shows on the 30LCD and is out of gammet on the MacBooks . I will use the color checker files next..just wondering if I am hitting a moving target. With the LCD just displaying a fuller range than the Macbooks can handle. I have to get this right 300 lady golfers will see this book in about 2 weeks.

8th September 2008, 17:04
LCD brightness can affect the "perception" of saturation, which in turn can affect our perception of absolute color. Try setting the MB's at 120 and see if that helps.

9th September 2008, 05:08

Also keep in mind that the MB screen is a 6-bit TN panel. In my experience, no laptop screen gives truly accurate color. The backlight (if you are using CCFL instead of LED) changes in color temp as time goes by. We had a calibrated MBP screen side-by-side with an Eizo at a color management demo we gave at the local Art Institute. After 5-10 minutes the color was very different on the laptop screen. Another 10 minutes later, it was different again. CCFL backlights get warmer and brighter as they heat up. Even your 30" ACD will suffer from this problem to some extent, though no where near as much as a laptop screen.

Sad to say, but you might just be tilting at windmills, my friend....

Another thought here is that the Apple book is printed CMYK on an on-demand hi-speed laser system or digital offset press. Greens and yellows are really hard to nail on these devices, even with accurate profiles. Greens are generally muted due to out-of-gamut issues. Yellows, and gold tones, especially have issues and go muddy due to the use of black added to darken the yellow ink. Color management aside, you could just be facing poor print quality or device limited color.

Good luck with the project.


9th September 2008, 07:10
David/Jack Thanks so much for the insights. I think the biggest issue we have is the difference between the the book produced with Aperture and Carolyn s experience with iPhoto books. Since the trip to Germany last year Carolyn has produced a dozen books thru Apple. They have in general all been excellent and not to far off from the screen rendition. The blacks are really black,the contrast high and the colors saturated and clean. This of course is because the entire workflow is setup to work together. Shoot jpegs make modest adjustments and let it fly to Apple. These aren t pro quality but almost everyone that sees them has that same reaction as seeing a camera screen rendering.

The Aperture book started with raw files which should have greater potential but of course allow you greater range in the adjustments. (so it could be on our side). The book ,however, has that muddy look you get when you use the wrong ICC profile to print. I expect that the iPhoto books may also interject some preprint processing to pump up the contrast and color ..where the Aperture books are trying to be accurate to your files.

So I started with the file preparation..screen calibration etc and am working thru the workflow. Thanks again for the insights. Roger

9th September 2008, 09:02
The small gamut of sRGB translates -- meaning converts -- pretty darn well to most CMYk printers, so I suspect that's why the iPhoto books looked good. OTOH, anything larger than sRGB starts to get really gamut limited when converting to CMYk, so you probably should be soft-proofing in CMYk for this Aperture book. The print house should be willing to supply you with the appropriate CMYk profile to soft-proof with.


9th September 2008, 15:58
Ok here is what we did . Apple provides a turnaround PDF that approximates a "soft proof" of what they will print.(I looked at a book and the PDF ..close enough). Apple does not provide a profile for soft proofing. By comparing the processed 16bit TIFFs with the PDF(on the calibrated 30 Apple Display) ..we found almost no gamut issues. We did get a very slight reduction in contrast....white balance was identical. Since we can get free turnarounds on the PDFs .....we judged the PDF and made very small fine tuning to the originals . Keep in mind that this is cheap,on demand printing and I will be surprised if they ever purchase 20 books. They will rather post a PDF on the Clubs website . Not exactly a industrial strength workflow ....but its done!

Once we adjusted the brightness of the macbooks to match the Apple Display (120) the differences became small enough to work with. They are not exact but neither is much else in this process. Once Carolyn could see how her adjustments were reflected in the PDF and actually see the work (verse her MacBook)..things started to come together . Oh darn the 30 Apple Display doesn t work with the small MacBook s card.

But the original advice was all correct and got things going.. thanks again Jack/David

9th September 2008, 16:24
All this talk about calibrating a laptop makes me wonder how well the new Lenovo W700 (or Dell <whatever it is named>) will perform, as compared to the stock desktop. ?