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new iMac (late 2012) and display configuration

2529 Views 5 Replies Latest reply: Jan 1, 2013 1:54 PM by crh24 RSS
renato696 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Jan 1, 2013 8:45 AM

Dear Friends,


I have bought the new imac and I need your help configure the space color I wish to use on it.


I use a Canon 60D to take photos in RAW (CR2) and it is configurated to use Adobe RGB color space (for both RAW and JPEG). When I checked the imac color configuration, it shows me "imac Profile" and other profies, Adobe RBG including. The problem is, when I select show profiles for this display only, it hides both sRGB and Adobe RGB!


Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 14.38.29.png  Screen Shot 2013-01-01 at 14.42.58.png


Can't I use Adobe RGB the the new imac? If I can, how can I configurate my imac in order to use Adobe RGB. I would like to highlight that, at the moment I selected Adobe RGB, the colors of my wallpaper (the original imac walpaper) gone...


Another question is: can I set my monitor to use Adobe RGB when using Adobe Lightroom only?


Thanks a lot!

iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2)
  • steve626 Level 4 Level 4 (1,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 10:25 AM (in response to renato696)

    System Preferences Displays identifies matching profiles by their mmod tag. That tag is embedded in the profile and it contains the manufacturer, model, serial number etc. of the display. By selecting one that does not match your built in display, you might experience some color or other display anomalies (it sounds like you noticed some already). You can manually embed the mmod tag into a profile so it shows up in "this display only" when you check that box, but that doesn't mean it will work well with your display.


    Those extra Display Profiles are there to be used when you are driving additional (non-iMac) displays with your iMac.


    I think you will be best off starting with the iMac display profile and making a copy, from which you can make a custom version that you create by going through the calibration process (Calibrate ...) button so that your RAW and other formats look right to you and match your printer. Photographers do this a lot - my daughter is a photographer, using a Macbook Air, and we did this for her large external display (but left the built in Display profile untouched).

  • steve626 Level 4 Level 4 (1,395 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 11:39 AM (in response to renato696)

    I don't know the exact reason for that, but I think what you are saying is correct. There is some incompatibility between the iMac monitor and the RGB Profile, although I think you can indeed force the iMac to use the RGB profile even though some colors might show show correctly (or at all). Other external displays might look great with the RGB Profile and bad with the iMac monitor profile. You could look for an external display that is stated to be compatible with the Adobe RGB Profile. Then you could use that profile with the external and the iMac profile with its display (at the same time).


    You can also experiment by making a copy of the Adobe RGB profile and then using that copy with your iMac monitor and try to run through the calibration process to see if that gets the colors to show up properly.


    Display System Preferences is telling you, however, that the Adobe RGB Profile is not compatible with the iMac built in monitor.

  • crh24 Level 3 Level 3 (920 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jan 1, 2013 1:54 PM (in response to renato696)

    renato696 wrote:


    I'm disappointed to know that my new iMac is not compatible with Adobe RGB, mainly because I bought it to use with photos. Anyway, I'll try some configurations and let you know if I have some success. Maybe someone within the Community can give some light for us.


    Thanks a lot!

    You have a slight mis-understanding as to just what a color profile is and how it relates to color spaces, I believe. This can be an extremely complex subject, and volumes have been written about it, but in general...


    Simply speaking a color profile maps individual color elements (pixel) values between color spaces.  Your Canon 60D generates images in one of two color spaces, Adobe RGB or sRGB (I have a 7D and 5D Mk III).  Using sRGB doesn't have as wide a color space as Adobe RGB, but it is entirely suitable for images to be displayed on the web where most of the display devices are closest to sRGB in their native, i.e. uncalibrated, state.  Most users never calibrate their monitors so sRGB is always the best choise for the widest audience on the web.


    I always take pictures in RAW and use Adobe RGB.  When I edit my images in Photoshop or LIghtroom I tell the software that I wish to edit in the color space Prophoto RGB which is a wider color space than Adobe RGB and allows more accurate editing of the colors.  Adobe RGB color values are said to be mapped to the ProPhoto RGB color space by the software.  It is possible to do this conversion very accurately for two reasons.  One, ProPhoto RGB is a wider color space than Adobe RGB, and two, the attributes of both color spaces are precisely defined.


    There are three basic actions you can choose from to get your prints to be close to what you see on your monitor. 


    The first is to use the 'iMac' color profile already on your iMac.  This profile was created to provide proper color space conversion for the average or nominal iMac display and any given display can deviate appreciably from this 'nominal' display.  It is a decent place to start if you're not too picky about color representation.


    The second thing you could do is calibrate your monitor yourself.  The most attractive method pricewise is to use the iMac's built in calibration capability.  This will in all likelyhood not be very accurate as it uses the Mark One Eyeball (yours) to make the color comparisons and the eye doesn't do a good job at this because so many variables that you cannot control have an effect on the process.  It can get you close, though, and may be satisfactory for you (it isn't for me, but I'm extremely picky about color).


    The third thing you could do is purchase a color calibration system.  These range in cost from around $100 US to several thousand.  Look for offerings from companies such as DataColor (Spyder series) and X-Rite.


    Basically a color calibration system uses a hardware device to measure the actual colors as displayed by your monitor vs standard pixel colors. It does this for all pixel color values. From this series of measurements the calibration software will create a profile that will accurately map any color space with a defined profile to be a 'best fit' on your individual monitor (iMac display). This method will get your colors to be much closer than the eye ever could.


    Regardless of which method you choose I suggest delve deeper into color profiles and color spaces.  A good place to start is Jeffrey Friedl's Blog.

    late-2012 27" i7 iMac, 32GB, 3TB Fu, OS X Mountain Lion, iPad '4'; ATV3; mid 2012 MBA;


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