Mac Calibration Vs. Spyder 3 Pro

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Omrithekat's picture
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Mac Calibration Vs. Spyder 3 Pro

I used to calibrate with my Spyder 3 Pro, but I got a Mac about a month ago or so. I used the Mac internal color calibration. I figured I was about due, and decided to use my Spyder 3 this time. I could not believe the HUGE difference that the Spyder was giving me when compared to the built-in color calibration. So now, I just don't know what to believe!! I re-did the Mac calibration and again, it reverted back to mostly on the very cool side of things. The Spyder calibration is erring on the side of very warm color profile (it very well be the correct profile, but what I am saying is that comparing the two, the Mac calibration looks extremely cool when compared to the Spyder calibration.)

So..... help!

This is with Spyder:

Photobucket

This is with the Mac calibration:

Photobucket

Can anyone help me out and tell me what their screen sees? The first edit is technically correct with the RGB % values, but when I switch it back to the Mac calibration, it looks wonky (and vice versa).

So which looks "better" to you, skin tone wise?

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I'm not calibrated, and no absolutely nothing about it, so I'm not sure that I'm going to be much help. On my uncalibrated screen, neither one of them look "right". The first one seems too magenta and almost purple. The second one seems a little too yellow/green.

Are you using an action?

Omrithekat's picture
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Oh no! No, no actions. Just sliding the rulers until I get the percentages right on the first one.

On the last one, I used the Mac calibration, but it looked wrong, so I adjusted it the way that it "looked right."

That stinks. I wonder what to believe. I am afraid to post anything until I figure it out. All day, all the pro photog's photos on Facebook look off, too, so the calibration that I just re-did certainly didn't work, either. All their work is too yellow. Sad

Ugh! I need to figure out what I am doing incorrectly with the Spyder. I wonder if it's because my screen is matte now? I never had an issue with it on the PC.

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I agree with Steph 100%. One looks magenta, the other looks yellow. That's got to be frustrating!

Omrithekat's picture
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Okay, I just found a link that could help me maybe. I am going to try to use CMYK values and see if that helps, using the Spyder calibrated screen and see if that helps. Maybe RGB values are throwing me off. I will come back later tonight and see if this helps:

SmugMug | How to get pleasing skin tone

If it still looks weird after that, please let me know. Will post later. Going out for a couple of hours. Thanks!

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I'm gonna say just post this over in CM. I'm sure you would get responses right away. Wish I could help!

(This post took me a half an hour, so, sorry that it doesn't quite fit now lol!)

EL2
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I have a macbook pro and I have never once calibrated my computer. I figure the color I see is pretty good and close to realistic. Can you reset to factory setting on your mac? Do you have an iMac?

Omrithekat's picture
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I also have a MacBook Pro, with the matte finish or whatever terminology they use for it. I did reset to the internal color calibration, and that was so incredibly cool that I was sliding my yellows over too far in order to get a decent skin tone (or so I thought).

I am thinking that the Spyder must be the closest to what Steph and Tracy are seeing, because with the Spyder calibration that bottom edit definitely is YELLOW (but top edit looks pretty good, so I don't know what's wrong exactly.)

Anyway, I just got home, so the re-edit using CMYK will have to wait until tomorrow. I really hope that it helps. I appreciate the input. And yeah, if that doesn't help, I will post over at CM, too.

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Hard to say which calibration is more correct as your eye for color has a lot to do with the way you edit. To my eye (and photoshop CMYK percentages) the first one is way too red, the 2nd is too yellow and has a duller quality overall.

EL2
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"AmberBella" wrote:

Hard to say which calibration is more correct as your eye for color has a lot to do with the way you edit. To my eye (and photoshop CMYK percentages) the first one is way too red, the 2nd is too yellow and has a duller quality overall.

I agree with Amber. I am looking at your picture on my macbook - I also have a matte finish - never change factory setting or done any calibration.

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I agree with Amber too. I am on my uncalibrated work computer but I too see what they see.

Omrithekat's picture
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I am so frustrated. I played with that photo for an hour using the guide that I had posted. No luck. I just can't trust that that is correct.

I put it back to the factory settings, and that is definitely way off. There's no way that the world is that blue.

I started to play with a different pose of that same little girl (our friend's daughter), and I played with that for a long time before I just gave up. I'm coming back to it, but I need a break. My eyes are playing tricks on me now, and my children are whining. Wink

I'll come back to it, though.

Thank you, thank you. I'm trusting that the Spyder is giving me the best results, at least, between the two calibration systems. The mac calibration (and factory settings- they seem to be the exact same profile) definitely does not show magenta on top and yellow on bottom.

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I agree about the colors looking both off too. But the photo is beautiful! Smile I hope you can figure it out easily.

Omrithekat's picture
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What about this skin tone? I got C= 8 M= 23 Y= 30 in the middle of her forehead.

Photobucket

Omrithekat's picture
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Am I targeting the incorrect portion of her face? Should I be targeting the shadows? Ugh.

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Well, I know that you need to be aware of the brightest part of the face so you don't blow it. So I would check off the cheeks. As far as general processing of the image, I'm not sure. I'm on my phone right now. So it's hard to tell what it looks like being so small. I can look later on the computer if no one else says anything in the mean time.

EL2
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Try this technique for calibration Calibrating your Mac or laptop screen with the Spyder4Express

I know it is spyder4 I am assuming it is somewhat still the same.

EL2
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Also, I am viewing your second picture on uncalibrated computer and it is still looking yellow.

Omrithekat's picture
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THANK you for that.

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There are several problems with the histogram of this photo that need attention before you even think about color. The blacks are WAY off. I hope you don't mind, but I pulled it into photoshop to do a basic clean edit on it. The blacks were the first thing I fixed and that improved things a TON. Then I was able to do a color balance to get rid of the extra red in the photo.

There appears to have been some blowing in maybe the red channel of the original photo....hard to tell, but there is some banding in the skin that indicates there may have been a problem with clipping. Did you try to recover blown skin? If so, I'd give it another attempt. Hopefully you have this image in RAW so that you can save it.

Because of the blotchy color on the skin it's really hard to get a good clean edit. Here is a before and after to try and compare. Rather than try to check your color by editing...it's better to take a photo that you know has good color already and see which calibration it looks better with. There are a couple of good color checking photos out there. This is the photo I use:

Here is the before and after of your photo....it's uploaded in private mode to my flickr. Will gladly take down at your request.


Untitled-1 by amberbella, on Flickr

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Yes, I have it in RAW. I played a LOT with both of them before these posts and I was really hung up on the calibration, so I was neglecting a lot, I guess, while trying to figure out the skin tone.

Thanks for the reference photo. I will save it.