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Old 28th of August 2011 (Sun)   #1
huzkerpride
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Default Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

I know there are several threads related to this topic on this forum, but I thought I would ask my specific question to see if I could get some solid answers as it relates to my situation.

I will be buying a new monitor soon to attach to my laptop only for use in photo editing. Up to this point, all of my work has been done in sRGB as most of it is just put online, although I do have about one print order per month through my website. I am wondering if it is worth the extra cost to get a wide gamut monitor, such as the Dell U2410 (which has had many issues with a green-to-pink tinting problem in the past and makes me a bit leery) or if I should stick to a standard like the new Dell U2412m. However, I am not necessarily more concerned about the cost, but about the additional workflow and hassle that surrounds working in a wider color space such as aRGB.

So I'd like some input from folks that have been using aRGB for a while now. Since most of my images just show up online, I assume that would mean I would process my images in aRGB through Photoshop/Lightroom, then have to save an additional copy of the image in sRGB to be used for web posting. That's a bit extra work, but still doable even though I will post dozens of photos from a particular photo outing. However, in order to get accurate prints, if someone orders from my website, I would then have to replace the file on the web to be printed with the copy of the photo that is in aRGB. THAT seems like a hassle, but is still doable with my website since I have a few proofing days set.

Or, should I just forget using a wider color space and continue using sRGB as I have been? Of course, the prints may not turn out 100% accurate with what I am seeing on my calibrated monitor, but for people ordering my photos who likely don't have a calibrated monitor, would they even notice? Or would the difference between their monitor and a calibrated one be larger than between a wide and standard color space?

As you can see, I'm trying to talk myself into just getting a standard gamut monitor and continue to work in sRGB. As much as I would like customers to get perfect replications of the colors I see when I process the photos, I highly doubt anyone would even recognize the differences between sRGB and aRGB unless I pointed them out side by side.

What are your thoughts on this? Thanks.
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Old 28th of August 2011 (Sun)   #2
Eric Xu
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

The cheaper standard gamut monitors don't do it for me. Gamut aside, their QC just wasn't there for me. So I got the HP LP2475w, newer models have none of the issues the U2410 has.

It's not extra work since that's what happens already. On export, an sRGB conversion is made in both Lightroom and Photoshop, unless you specify otherwise.

If you're satisfied with your printing workflow, then you're fine. But if you feel like the prints are not matching up to the colors you're seeing on your screen, then upgrade. Personally, I would upgrade.
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Old 28th of August 2011 (Sun)   #3
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

I don't have a wide-gamut monitor, but I've had the same question since I've been looking to get a new monitor. At this point, I don't think wide-gamut is worth the hassle. First, hardly anyone who will view your photos has can see more than sRGB (most can't even see all of sRGB). Second, many print labs still want sRGB (mine does; check yours). What's the point of seeing all the colors beyond sRGB if it won't show up in the print, and it essentially won't show up in an online image, either (hardly anyone can see it)?

You should also take into account your subject matter – most of the additional color in prints is in the greens and cyans, and the brightest and most saturated yellows (and some orange). Most of my work has to do with people, where those colors aren't important. A landscape photographer (for example) might think differently.

The extra work with using wide gamut isn't really in exporting...you only get more editing work if you think you need an sRGB-optimized version. The real trouble is in getting all the other colors right in your OS, browser, and other software, which were largely designed assuming everything is in sRGB. In the future, as more software and the Internet become color-aware, it may be better to go with wide gamut, but right now I'm not sure it is.

As far as monitors, some wide-gamut monitors don't do a good job of simulating sRGB, and all of these simulated modes yield a color space smaller than on a good sRGB monitor. Just another thing to consider if you wanted to look into wide-gamut monitors with an sRGB mode.

Last edited by toxic : 28th of August 2011 (Sun) at 19:08.
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Old 28th of August 2011 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

I'll admit, I haven't worked this out for myself, I use a good quality (non-wide) monitor that serves me well, and I output to the sRGB color space for the Web, and most exteral labs that I know about still ask for sRGB.

So then why go to a wide gamut color space? Well, printing with an aRGB-capable printer is the big consideration. With my monitor, I can see differences within my monitor's limitations, when I switch between aRGB and sRGB in Camera Raw or DPP (or softproofing in Photoshop) and the idea of retaining the richer colors that aRGB for a print is nice. So, the question becomes what is worth the trouble? Can I get those colors good with my present system?

Well, I guess to one degree or another -- I typically print directly out of Lightroom or, occasionally, Photoshop and I've never been disappointed in a print where I could point to the color space deficiency as a problem.

And, at the place in life I'm at, money is in short supply, and so I'm no longer looking to buy "the best thing". In fact I don't like to buy anything, but then that's my personal prob!

So, if my monitor dies, or starts misbehaving in a way that prevents me from using it for my photography in a meaningful way, then I'll be forced to look at the options...dang. But in the meantime, I'm reasonably happy with my setup!
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Last edited by tonylong : 29th of August 2011 (Mon) at 11:39.
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Old 29th of August 2011 (Mon)   #5
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

Just because you can't see a color on your monitor, it doesn't mean it's not there. Unless you're doing critical color matching, or you just like them, I don't see much point in wide gamut monitors for most people. I'm a pro photog and I don't have one, my prints, albums, and files look great.
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Old 29th of August 2011 (Mon)   #6
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

Thanks for the feedback folks. I just have a couple more quick, albeit stupid, questions. If I get a wide gamut, process the image in aRGB, but then post it to the web without converting to sRGB, are the colors going to go to hell for someone viewing the image in a non-color managed browser like internet explorer? Or will they just be slightly muted to what I saw them as on my WG screen? In addition, will the person viewing it in IE see the image any differently than if I had converted to sRGB beforehand?

I'm just having a bit of trouble understanding how using aRGB will affect other people viewing the images on a standard monitor in browsers that are either color managed or non-color managed.

Personally, if it was only me viewing the images I'd get a wide gamut since it will likely only be for photo editing when I hook it up to my laptop. However, if I will be required to convert every image that I processed in aRGB to sRGB before I post it to the web I'm not sure if it's worth it or not.

Thanks again for bearing with me.
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Old 29th of August 2011 (Mon)   #7
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

Well, like I said earlier, I don't have a wide-gamut monitor. If I did spring for one, I think I'd really want to keep a "normal" monitor on hand, one that has a good display, that I could double-check what I was doing for things like you are describing. Despite the fact that increasing numbers of photogs and grahics arts people are more and more "schooled" on this stuff, the fact remains that the vast majority of folks are not, as in friends, family and clients. I wouldn't want to stumble blindly down the path!
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Last edited by tonylong : 29th of August 2011 (Mon) at 23:42.
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Old 29th of August 2011 (Mon)   #8
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

Web images MUST be sRgb. You have to convert, it's not optional if you want people to see more or less what you meant. The color will still vary hugely, because monitors vary so much, and perhaps 0.1% of monitors worldwide are calibrated.
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Old 30th of August 2011 (Tue)   #9
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

In a non-color managed browser on an sRGB screen, an Adobe RGB image will look somewhat desaturated. Converting to sRGB means it will show properly in any browser on an sRGB screen, and in any color managed browser on a wide-gamut screen.
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Old 3rd of July 2012 (Tue)   #10
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

I'm aware that I spend my first post here to open a thread that's almost one year old, but since the topic is exactly about the things that I wonder, I figured I might aswell open this topic up instead of making one of my own.

I have recently bought a wide gamut display (Dell U2711) and this has caused me a lot of problems understanding how color profiles really work and how they affect what I see and what others see.

My question is: If I edit a photo converted from a RAW image and choose the working space sRGB - is there a risk that the colors that I see on my wide gamut differs from the colors that the people on the internet will see when I post it for viewing online?

I mean, since my display can show 96% of Adobe RGB, I'm afraid that there is a risk that what I see is the "wide gamut version" of the image because of my display, even though I edit in sRGB which is a narrow gamut working space? I don't want to be fooled just because I think the image looks good on my display and then I find out that my customers and others find it a little dull (since the colors I can see in the image is not viewable on their displays)

Thanks!
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Old 3rd of July 2012 (Tue)   #11
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

I don't have a wide gamut display, but I believe that if your working space is set to sRGB then you should be good. If you are using Photoshop, you can "double-check" by Soft Proofing and setting the color space to sRGB and checking for "gamut clipping".

Where you might run into problems is if you set your working color space to, say, aRGB to take advantage of your monitor's wider gamut, and then convert to sRGB in the process of saving for the Web and such, without double-checking the colors using the Soft-Proof approach.

But like I say, I don't have the display, so maybe those that do can either confirm what I've said or tell me I'm all wet!
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Old 3rd of July 2012 (Tue)   #12
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

sRGB is contained within Adobe RGB. When you view an sRGB image on a wide gamut device no new colors are invented by the computer. The same old sRGB colors are displayed and not all the available gamut is used. Think of the sRGB image as 500 ml. of water. If you pour it into a 1 liter bottle (your monitor) you have half a liter of water and half a liter of empty unused space. The water hasn't changed just because it is in a big bottle. It hasn't expanded to fit the bottle. If you pour it into a half liter bottle (somebody else's monitor) it is still exactly the same sRGB water. Problems can come if you set Adobe RGB as your PS working space and then change the image colors, especially if you increase saturation or vibrance. You are now possibly creating new colors in the image that are outside sRGB's gamut, even though you can see them perfectly well on your monitor. It's like you are adding a little extra water to the liter bottle, making it 700 ml. of water. When you try to transfer that to a small bottle, it overflows and gets your shoes wet (unless the monitor/viewing app system is color managed, in which case the image colors are compressed to fit.)
So if you are working for viewers with narrow gamut monitors, stick with sRGB, even though it means you are not using your monitor's full abilities.
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Old 3rd of July 2012 (Tue)   #13
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

You don't get as fine a graduation of color in Adobe RGB, it's a trade off with the wider gamut. It's probably not noticeable in practice though.
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Old 3rd of July 2012 (Tue)   #14
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by tim View Post
You don't get as fine a graduation of color in Adobe RGB, it's a trade off with the wider gamut. It's probably not noticeable in practice though.
What do you base that on?

I know you can have problems with sRGB images when converting to aRGB but if your working with a file with enough data in it (e.g. 14bit RAW) there should be no difference in colour graduations.
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Old 3rd of July 2012 (Tue)   #15
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Default Re: Wide gamut vs standard gamut monitor

Quote:
Originally Posted by Moppie View Post
What do you base that on?

I know you can have problems with sRGB images when converting to aRGB but if your working with a file with enough data in it (e.g. 14bit RAW) there should be no difference in colour graduations.
I meant to say in an 8 bit jpeg file. A 16 bit TIFF will be fine, I think.
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