Black Levels - MacBook Pro Retina

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
I'm using a loaner MacBook Pro with retina display and am having some trouble with black levels. When I look at this page: http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/black.php the whole top row and most of the second row disappear into the black background. Googling display adjustments for retina displays didn't turn up any helpful answers, but I may be formulating the search badly. I am not sure I want to try calibrating the display and my i1Match software doesn't want to run on the Intel Mac anyway.

Suggestions gratefully received. :smile:
 

fredlong

Just this guy...
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
1,752
Location
Massachusetts USA
Real Name
Fred
If you haven't yet, try running the calibration in the Color tab of the Displays Preference Panel. It's not as good as a hardware based calibration, but works pretty good if you squint enough to make the little pictures a blurry mess while you're making the adjustments.

Fred
 

T N Args

Agent Photocateur
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
3,464
Location
Adelaide, Australia
Real Name
call me Arg
Looking at your website link, I thought I was having the same experience as you (I have the same laptop), even though my monitor is Spyder-calibrated. But that was when trying to look at the website.

Once I downloaded the image, opened it in Preview, viewed it Full Screen, and made sure I was in a pitch-black room (i.e. following the instructions on the website you linked), then I could see all the black levels. Try it. (Give your eyes time to adapt).
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
Looking at your website link, I thought I was having the same experience as you (I have the same laptop), even though my monitor is Spyder-calibrated. But that was when trying to look at the website.

Once I downloaded the image, opened it in Preview, viewed it Full Screen, and made sure I was in a pitch-black room (i.e. following the instructions on the website you linked), then I could see all the black levels. Try it. (Give your eyes time to adapt).
Thanks - I did download the image (and also imported it into Lightroom). I saw the note about viewing in a darkened room but to be honest haven't tried a really dark room. :redface::smile:
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
If you haven't yet, try running the calibration in the Color tab of the Displays Preference Panel. It's not as good as a hardware based calibration, but works pretty good if you squint enough to make the little pictures a blurry mess while you're making the adjustments.

Fred
Tried that - I think...all I saw was basically gamma and white point - did I miss something or fail to get a more advanced version? :confused:
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
Unfortunately, if anything, that made the problem worse - the top two rows are basically indistinguishable from the background.

Google shows a fair number of users having the same problem with black levels, but I haven't found any answers (and as I mentioned, using a calibration program isn't in the cards for this machine at this time).

I must be doing something wrong, but I can't figure out what...
 

T N Args

Agent Photocateur
Joined
Dec 3, 2013
Messages
3,464
Location
Adelaide, Australia
Real Name
call me Arg
Well, it's not the computer. I can distinguish every black level including 1.

Perhaps this shows that calibration is as valuable as they say, for users who care about these details.
 

fredlong

Just this guy...
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
1,752
Location
Massachusetts USA
Real Name
Fred
Two things. In the energy saver Preference Pane click the Battery button and uncheck "Slightly dim display while on batter power"

The other thing is, I wouldn't worry too much about any of those blocks darker than about 10 or so as they will be buried in noise and most likely pushed down to pure black anyway.

Fred
 

orfeo

Mu-43 Top Veteran
Joined
Sep 27, 2013
Messages
673
Location
FR
calibrate your contrast levels, something everyone should do, moreso those editing photos on that same screen...
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
Well, it's not the computer. I can distinguish every black level including 1.

Perhaps this shows that calibration is as valuable as they say, for users who care about these details.
As stated in the original post, this is not my machine. I can assure you that I care more than you do about details. This is a borrowed machine and my X-Rite calibration software doesn't work on an Intel-powered Mac - but thanks for your good will and constructive input. :rolleyes:
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
Yes - but currently I'm losing the top two rows, which is a real problem. Comparing this to Windows PCs, the images are completely blocked up in the lower end of the DR.

Possibly calibrating the display with a colorimeter would fix the problem but this magnitude of error shouldn't need that investment to fix.
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
To close this out:

1. Took the rMBP to the local Apple store to compare - all of the displays there (iMac, rMBP 15" and 13", MBA 13") had the same issue; a few of the MBA 11" displays were better.

2. Got ahold of an i1Display Pro and spent a couple of hours fiddling with profiling - issue remains.

I think I'll check in at a few other forums like LL and see if the Mac users there have any thoughts.
 

krugorg

Mu-43 Hall of Famer
Joined
Jul 18, 2011
Messages
2,494
Location
Minnesota USA
Cool test, thanks for sharing. Just a quick test here at the office, but it works better on my MBA 13's screen than it does on my external Asus IPS panel. I will give it a shot at home tonight.
 

jnewell

Mu-43 All-Pro
Joined
Jun 23, 2011
Messages
1,751
Location
Boston, MA
Well, regardless of the Lagom.nl black level test, I spent a couple of hours re-profiling my Dell FHD XPS 13 and this rMBP and I think I'm comfortable that they're quite close. Not identical, but close. Neither really matches my desktop, but that was never expected, even from displays as good as these two notebooks.
 

Latest posts

Links on this page may be to our affiliates. Sales through affiliate links may benefit this site.
Mu-43 is a fan site and not associated with Olympus, Panasonic, or other manufacturers mentioned on this site.
Forum post reactions by Twemoji: https://github.com/twitter/twemoji
Copyright © 2009-2019 Amin Forums, LLC
Top Bottom