Calibrated vs Uncalibrated – Does this look right?

Home Forums General Discussion Calibrated vs Uncalibrated – Does this look right?

This topic contains 4 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Florian Höch (@fhoech) 6 months, 2 weeks ago.

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    nosauce (@nosauce)
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    I’m new to Monitor Calibration and was wondering if I did things correctly and my calibrated monitor is displaying colors as intended. I was really disappointed with my new laptop when I noticed that everything looked really washed out, especially when viewing text with a light background. I’m happy that the calibration fixed this issue.
    1) There seems to be more banding when there’s gradation/transition of a color
    2) Windows and the Web is more colorful but the colors are darker,
    3) people’s skin in videos look oversaturated

    I’m not sure if this is because what’s meant to be expressed is being expressed more clearly or if there’s something wrong with the calibration. Please note that this is a laptop display (can only control brightness) which is definitely lower quality vs a decent external monitor.

    I took pictures of noticeable differences with my Pixel 1 phone camera:

    – set 1 (pics 1-4): HP Website:
    Okay, this can’t be right. The color gradiation/transition in the background is very step-wise and noticeably less smooth when the display is calibrated. What’s up with the rings? Is this banding? I mean the rings look ridiculous (calibrated). But is this correct? Clearly, this is not what the author intended for the end viewer. The only explanation I can think of is that the author anticipates most monitors to be crappy and uncalibrated and making these ridiculous rings is how to achieve a smooth gradation? My external monitor (VP2780-4K) is supposed to come well-calibrated the transition is much smoother. Although I can still see lines if I look close.

    – set 2 (pics 5-6): Amazon background gradation, Windows taskbar icons, and FireFox browser:
    I like how everything looks more distinguishable and really appreciate the clear texts. The horizontal area below the line and above the “Product description”… The transition/gradation definitely looks more blocky when the display is calibrated and smoother when its uncalibrated. The top portion of the FireFox Browser and the Windows Taskbar icon colors are darker when calibrated which sometimes make them more pronounced. But for some things the brighter colors of the uncalibrated view looks “right”. What is it supposed to look like?

    – set 3 (pics 7-8): Forum website:
    The calibrated view is a lot more colorful. I always thought the main writing areas were white, but it’s definitely lavendar when it’s calibrated. The Light greys look darker calibrated, and there’s a much darker shading going on with the orange bar. Is my calibration messed up, or is that what it’s supposed to look like?

    – set 4 (pics 9-10): Windows Explorer
    Things look more colorful calibrated, but everything looks a little darker.

    – set 5 (pics 11-12): Folder images for Faststone Image Viewer
    Uncalibrated looks better. It’s smooth and the shading looks natural. Calibrated, you can see some lines going down and across the folders. The shading almost looks pixilated.

    – set 6 (pics 13-14): Lamp shade in a Video Clip
    MadVR setting is “this monitor is calibrated”. It’s not using 3DLUT. Again, the transition from the closer part of the bulb radiates more smoothly in the uncalibrated view. My lamp shades in-real-life looks like something in between the two. The calibrated view looks more distinct – bulb area vs non-bulb area – but the pixelation and jagged edges make things look a little unnatural.

    – set 7 (pics 15-20): YouTub clip (background and person’s face)
    Again, smoother gradation in the uncalibrated background. This looks like banding. You can see concentric rings in the calibrated view. The shading on the person’s face looks more real in the calibrated version, but there’s also a blue tint.

    – set 8 (pics 21-26): Examples of Skin color looking weird when calibrated (saturation?):

    People’s skin colors in video clips (e.g. YouTube) is bizzare and unnatural – the flesh color looks pastel and the shades have a blue tone. Is this because video should be calibrated differently? (different gamma?)

    Calibration information:
    – i1Studio spectrometer using DisplayCAL (with black level drift compensation)
    – Display: White LED backlit, LCD display – 0x0000AF06 AU Optronics, Model: 0x000030EB, AUO30EB, 12523
    Gamut Coverage: 92.6% sRGB, 73.4% Adobe RGB 75.1% DCI P3
    Gamut Volume 148.3% sRGB, 102.2%Adobe RGB, 105.0% DCI P3
    Delta E*76: average 0.65, maximum 21.22, RMS 2.98

    – Laptop: Spectre x360 – 15-df0068nr (Late 2018) – 8565U cpu, MX150 gpu
    – FireFox color_management settings: profile loaded, v4 enabled, management mode = 1, rendering intent = 0

    I want the red pill. I want things to look like they’re supposed to look. Do they?

    i1Studio on Amazon  
    Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


    cremor (@cremor)
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    Wow, that banding looks really bad. Whatever you do, you shouldn’t leave that.

    About the colors: Your delta E maximum value is very bad. Are those the self test values that are shown after calibration and profiling? You should get a maximum delta E*76 of <= 6 (better would be <= 4). Even my uncalibrated monitor has “only” 14, and the self test after calibration gives me < 2.

    (Btw, one question to the DisplayCAL developers: Why does the self test use delta E*76 while everything else seems to default to delta E*00?)

    I’d recommend to do a verification with a large verification testchart. With that you get a nice graphical report of which colors are wrong.

    • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  cremor. Reason: Added question to developers

    Florian Höch (@fhoech)
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    Wow, that banding looks really bad. Whatever you do, you shouldn’t leave that.

    If the display is mediocre and the videocard does not apply dithering, then there may not be much room for improvement. The results do look odd though.

    I think I can identify a possible reason:

    It is not realistic to let a calibration with a spectrometer run for over 4 hours on a laptop and expect the two devices be stable over that long period of time. Increase calibration speed to the default value (“fast”).

    Why does the self test use delta E*76 while everything else seems to default to delta E*00?

    For purely historic reasons 🙂 It shouldn’t really matter all that much, because it’s meant as a quick way to check if the profile came out allright. A (too) high value for avg or peak may hint at botched measurements (i.e. something interfering with measurements). This may change to DE*00 in the future.


    nosauce (@nosauce)
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    Thank you for your inputs. I’ll try to do more calibrations/profiling on the fast speed settings to see if it lowers my Max delta E.

    I also went ahead on ordered a i1Display Pro colorimeter. Apparently I’m supposed to use the colorimeter with my spectrometer to do this properly but I don’t know how. Can you point me in the right direction to do this? Thanks.

    i1Display Pro on Amazon  
    Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


    Florian Höch (@fhoech)
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    You can create a colorimeter correction for your i1Display Pro using the ColorMunki. Click the small “+” arrow next to the “Correction” dropdown. There’s two sets of measurements to be taken, one with the spectro and one with the colorimeter. It is probably a good idea to use the ColorMunki’s high resolution adaptive mode. Then, you can create the correction.

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