Black Levels - MacBook Pro Retina

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by jnewell, May 11, 2014.

  1. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    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:
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    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
     
    • Like Like x 1
  3. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    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).
     
    • Like Like x 1
  4. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    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:
     
  5. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    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:
     
  6. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Fred
    After clicking the Calibrate button, check the Expert Mode box in the new window that pops up. Then click Continue.

    Fred
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh!!! Will try that.
     
  8. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    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...
     
  9. T N Args

    T N Args Agent Photocateur

    Dec 3, 2013
    Adelaide, Australia
    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.
     
  10. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    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
     
  11. orfeo

    orfeo Mu-43 Top Veteran

    673
    Sep 27, 2013
    FR
    calibrate your contrast levels, something everyone should do, moreso those editing photos on that same screen...
     
  12. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    Boston, MA
    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:
     
  13. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    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.
     
  14. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    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.
     
  15. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    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.
     
  16. ex machina

    ex machina Mu-43 Top Veteran

    806
    Jan 3, 2014
    Northern Virgnia
    Let us know what you find!
     
  17. jnewell

    jnewell Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 23, 2011
    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.