“Late 2008” MacBook Pro display color profile calibration

I spent most morning messing with color profiles of my MBP. The “late 2008” MBPs come with 2 different panel models so far: 9C84 and 9C85. I have the 9C84, probably because I got mine on the release day. I’m not sure which model is better, but it’s more important to have it calibrated correctly than which model number it is.

I really should get a hardware calibration device to calibrate my screens and printer, well, I already have an ICC profile for printing with my printer (Canon i9900) and my photo papers (Ilford Gallerie Pearl), if you use Ilford papers you can download profiles here. I spent more than an hour looking at comparisons and reviews of the different hardware calibration devices, they are pretty confusing as it’s not just the hardware that matters, the software makes a huge difference too, obviously. Doesn’t seem like I can get anything I will be completely satisfied with without spending over $1k. If I were to get something now I’ll probably go with the Eye-One Display 2 by X-Rite. If you’re interested in that here’s a link to get it from Amazon.

I googled to see if I can find profiles calibrated with different devices and software, and I found this thread on MacRumors forums that is exactly what I needed. I tried pretty much all the uploaded profiles there and these 2 looked the best to me. I am using the D65 one, but most people will probably like the native whitepoint one better. (I’ve shared these 2 profiles here and here).

btw, for my photography, I shoot in Adobe RGB, RAW, and open them at 16-bit in Adobe Camera Raw (CS4). I never convert them to sRGB before I publish my work online. I do embed the Adobe RGB profile in the JPEGs, so if you view them in applications that support color management they should look fine. If you don’t, the colors will look really messed up. Safari in Leopard uses ColorSync, so if you use Safari you’ll be fine. If you use Firefox 3 in Leopard, you need to enable color management yourself, as it is disabled by default. To do that, you can either edit the settings in about:config, or install this add-on. If you’re one of the unfortunate few who are still on Windows, I believe Vista has color management built in, if Vista sucks too much and you’re still on XP (good choice!), you can try to download Microsoft Color Control Panel.

Now my profiles from display to prints are pretty close, so I’m okay as long as I shoot and sell my prints. But I upload a lot of images to Flickr, I think maybe I would start converting the profiles to sRGB so they won’t look ridiculous on browsers that don’t support embedded color profiles or color management at all. Any color management or digital workflow tips you’d like to share? Please post them in the comments.

If you’re new to color management, René Damkot wrote a great post about the topic at Canon Digital Photography Forums.

2 thoughts on ““Late 2008” MacBook Pro display color profile calibration

  1. Kavin Du

    I use WHCC for my printing. I scan my film in 8 bit using Adobe 1998 and send it to print using the same profile. They did a fairly good job matching my prints. But I still have no luck with jpeg upload. One thing you may consider doing on the cheap is controlling the color of your light source. During the day daylight is around 5000K and most home lighting is not, so there will be a different when you view your print during the day and at night. Consider investing $15 in a 5000K florescent bulb http://www.amazon.com/SPIRAL-SPECTRUM-COMPACT-FLUORESCENT-ENERGY/dp/B000STI5WS/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=hi&qid=1227074275&sr=8-1 or tube as that will eliminate variable from your printing process.

  2. Portnoy

    Hey. I just got the idea to search again for a profile and I am really thankful, because everything looks natural now. I am using the one with the native white point. All colors look more naturally now. Thanks again.


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