Wide Gamut Monitor

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I am considering getting one of these when I upgrade my monitor in the near future. For those that have one, is the wide gamut very noticeable or is it a subtle thing?

Also, how much of an issue is it that you are not compatible with almost all the rest of the world that uses standard gamut and possibly non-color-managed software and images.

I'm not asking for suggestions of particular models, just general guidance as to the practicality of going wide gamut at this time.

Thanks.

Barry
 
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"is the wide gamut very noticeable or is it a subtle thing"... I'm not trying to be snarky here, but it really depends on what you're looking at.

Not all things that you photograph (and subsequently edit) will have the range of colors which dictate the need for a wide gamut display. Some do, some don't. An image with highly-saturated colors can look drastically different, whereas other images may look pretty much the same. Example: a sunrise/sunset picture can have deeply saturated colors; it will likely look very different with a wide-gamut display. Portraits of people, on the other hand, may not look all that different (depending on makeup and clothing).

When editing photos, I switch my display to full (wide)-gamut mode. This allows me to see the largest range of colors possible while I'm editing. Depending on the final product desired, I'll ultimately convert an image to the color space which is most appropriate. For me, this is usually either AdobeRGB (for my professional work), or sRGB. Occasionally my clients may require CMYK output, but that's pretty rare. My professional work involves shooting products, and the artwork on the packaging frequently involves spot colors which are highly saturated. This was one of the main reasons that I decided to pay the premium for a wide-gamut display.

When I'm done editing, I usually switch back to sRGB mode on the display (along with the appropriate display profiles in the OS). Otherwise, non-color-managed applications will display colors with more saturation than you normally see, which can make things look "cartoonish".

Until such a time that color management is more mainstream, you really need to stick with sRGB as the final mode of your images that you distribute for casual use. To do otherwise pretty much guarantees that a large number of people will view your images incorrectly.
 
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Thanks David. A couple of followup question if I may...

So far, I have been using Mpix for printing and they use sRGB for all their printers. In fact, they say to not embed the color profile as sRGB is assumed. Are there other print labs that would accept AdobeRGB?

Also, how easy is it to switch back and forth between AdobeRGB and sRGB on the display?

Barry
 
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So far, I have been using Mpix for printing and they use sRGB for all their printers. In fact, they say to not embed the color profile as sRGB is assumed. Are there other print labs that would accept AdobeRGB?
I've been told that certain manufacturer's printing systems ignore embedded profiles (Fuji comes to mind), so it wouldn't surprise me that Mpix says this. In reality, the output of most print labs isn't capable of producing the full color range of anything much larger than sRGB, so it makes sense to target sRGB (or the location-supplied profiles) when using these types of services anyway.

I've used WHCC for some items, and I know that they prefer images having embedded profiles (AdobeRGB or otherwise). They simply convert images you send them to a custom profile created for their printers and papers before printing. They describe this in their FAQ in the section titled "Color Calibration and File Management".

For a better understanding of the use of profiles, check here. There's lots of good information there.

Also, how easy is it to switch back and forth between AdobeRGB and sRGB on the display?
I'm only familiar with the controls of my displays (both HP DreamColor; one external and one built-in for my laptop). I mainly use one of three modes, depending on what I'm doing at the time:

- Full Color, for graphic work using color-aware applications
- Rec. 601, for viewing recorded video (it improves the contrast, and my default setting for that mode is brighter as well)
- sRGB, for everything else

The modes are selected by pressing some control buttons on the bezel of the display for the external unit, and through software for the internal one. Changing the mode is really a two-step process:

1) Set the output mode of the physical display
2) Select the appropriate display profile through the computer's OS

HP has an application that can change the mode for the external display through software, but it's clunky and slow, so I don't use it. It actually takes (at a minimum) 4 button presses to switch modes, and I wish they'd made it a bit simpler. It's a bit of a pain if you do it often, but IMHO it's still better than leaving the display in Full Color mode all the time. The internal display mode is chosen from a drop-down list, so it's not too bad.

I created some custom software to change the display profile settings to make it easier. A couple clicks is all that takes for me now.

I suspect you'd have to do something similar for other manufacturer's displays, but I'm not familiar with how they're designed and couldn't speak to their operation.

Hope this helps!
 

Growltiger

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Barry, you have been given some excellent advice above.

If you are serious about extended gamut printing you will very likely want to think about doing it yourself, using print calibration etc.

Also, you should think about having two monitors, one for wide gamut and one sRGB. Other members here do this. It makes it easy to switch between the two gamuts with no button presses needed.

I have to admit at this point that I chickened out and simply bought a high quality NEC sRGB monitor (NEC LCD2490WUXi2).

A while ago there were several people who bought wide gamut monitors without investigating first, and suffered all sorts of problems as a result.
 
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> If you are serious about extended gamut printing you will very likely want to think about doing it yourself, using print calibration etc.

I don't think I want to get into printing myself. I don't do a lot of printing and would rather off-load that to a print lab. Hence my asking if there are print labs that actually make use of an AdobeRGB image.

> I have to admit at this point that I chickened out and simply bought a high quality NEC sRGB monitor (NEC LCD2490WUXi2).

I may end up doing that too if I determine wide gamut is not practical for me.

> A while ago there were several people who bought wide gamut monitors without investigating first, and suffered all sorts of problems as a result.

That's why I'm asking.

Barry
 
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I've never understood why if you send your photos to a lab to print in sRGB, you would work in a wide color space on your monitor. You just have to convert it down which changes what it looks like at the end of your editing.
 
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I've never understood why if you send your photos to a lab to print in sRGB, you would work in a wide color space on your monitor. You just have to convert it down which changes what it looks like at the end of your editing.
I still think there's a good reason to do your editing in a larger color space: you may later decide to print or display on a wider-gamut device. To me, it's the same reason that I keep master files around that have much more data than the ones that I provide to my clients. If I need to go back to them later, I've got all the masks, temp layers, selections, etc. still there to work with if further editing is required.

Perhaps another description for this is "future-proofing". :smile:
 
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There are a few labs who work with adobe RGB as well as accept 16 bit files.

Bay Photo will accept Adobe RGB, you just need to specify you are using it.
 
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Also, a wide gamut monitor will show you what's really captured by your camera. You'll marvel at some of the blues, greens and reds that a well calibrated wide gamut monitor can display.
 

Growltiger

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Also, a wide gamut monitor will show you what's really captured by your camera. You'll marvel at some of the blues, greens and reds that a well calibrated wide gamut monitor can display.
That's fine if those colours were there in real life. But simply making the world look brighter on your monitor is just making a fake reality.

There are only some light sources in real life that are outside the sRGB gamut, e.g. neon lights, reflective orange jackets.
 
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I have both an sRGB monitor and a wide gamut. When I want to see what Adobe RGB colors wont display properly on the sRGB monitor, I proof the picture using the calibrated sRGB monitor profile in Photoshop. Since I do most of my work during sunset and sunrise, you would be surprised how much is out of gamut in sRGB. For my landscape work, the wide gamut is quite helpful. Other types of photography, maybe not so much.

You can see for yourself by working in Adobe RGB, then proof your finished shot with your calibrated sRGB monitor profile and turn on gamut warning. The out of gamut areas should show up as gray. If there are never any or very little gray areas, a wide gamut monitor may not do much for you.
 
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That's fine if those colours were there in real life. But simply making the world look brighter on your monitor is just making a fake reality.

There are only some light sources in real life that are outside the sRGB gamut, e.g. neon lights, reflective orange jackets.
The colours I was referring to are those that are there and are captured by the camera and can be displayed on a wide gamut monitor in AdobeRGB even if the monitor it's limited to 96% of that colour space. Converting those colours to sRGB and displaying them on the screen is making close to reality more of a fake.

There are only some light sources in real life that are outside the sRGB gamut, e.g. neon lights, reflective orange jackets.
There are many shades of colour that are well outside the sRGB gamut and a wide gamut monitor will let you see them.
 
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