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Looking Blue? Low saturation?

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Evan Seplow
Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:40:59 am

Hi,

I recently bought a 2140 monitor from Flanders and am having trouble with the image I'm getting. First off, let me say I've been on the phone with the company and their people are very wonderful and helpful and I might send the monitor in for them to check. But in the meantime I thought I'd get feedback from people here:

What I'm seeing: I feel the overall image to be on the blue side. If I switch from 6500k to 5600k (as a test), the image looks closer to what I would expect.

On top of that, I feel the image is quite low in contrast and very low in saturation. This is comparing it not only to all the other monitors in my studios (All of varying grades of calibration), but also to my years of experience having been in and out of color correction studios, etc. I fully know that "Calibrated"studio monitors tend to be less bright... but this just feels too much for me.

Does anyone have any input on this? Have you felt that way about these or other calibration monitors. Do I need to rethink this or send it in? I know it's a highly subjective question without you being able to see the monitor yourself - but I'm looking for input based on your experiences about how much different your monitors might have looked against everything else.

I'll STRESS that I am fully aware that the basic settings on consumer monitors are WAY off, very contrasty and very saturated. I'm NOT comparing against those.

I did a color correction on a commercial yesterday and what I did was strike a compromise between what I was seeing on 3 monitors. Trying to make it look decent on the Flanders while not too over-saturated on my recently calibrated Samsung and my sony field monitor. While using judgement on viewing scopes as well.

THANKS FOR YOUR INSIGHTS!


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walter biscardi
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Oct 18, 2011 at 12:51:53 am

[Evan Seplow] "On top of that, I feel the image is quite low in contrast and very low in saturation. This is comparing it not only to all the other monitors in my studios (All of varying grades of calibration), but also to my years of experience having been in and out of color correction studios, etc. I fully know that "Calibrated"studio monitors tend to be less bright... but this just feels too much for me.
"


This is a major problem when you switch over to full calibrated reference monitors like FSI. You can't compare an image across multiple monitors unless every single one of them is calibrated exactly the same way. And even there, you will have variations because the manufacturers all have varying qualities of panels and electronics. The only way to have every monitor look alike is to have the exact same brand / model in every suite. In our case, we now have FSIs in every suite so the image looks identical coming from room to room. Not the exact same model, but all Grade 1 reference monitors and the image holds from room to room.

When I originally considered the FSIs, I put their monitors up against our Sony professional CRT monitors and what I saw was extremely similar to those monitors. In fact, today those Sonys are still in our Machine Room and what we grade in our suites translates to what we see on the monitors and definitely to what I see at home when our shows are broadcast. So I fully trust that the FSIs are calibrated correctly

If the monitor looks blue to you, my guess is either than your other monitors are set too warm (I've seen this a LOT in other facilities) or there is something wrong with the FSI monitor. If anything, the FSI monitors can seem a tad warm when coming from CRT.


[Evan Seplow] "I did a color correction on a commercial yesterday and what I did was strike a compromise between what I was seeing on 3 monitors. Trying to make it look decent on the Flanders while not too over-saturated on my recently calibrated Samsung and my sony field monitor. While using judgement on viewing scopes as well.
"


You have to decide which one you're going to go with. The Samsung I'm guessing is a consumer model as they don't make pro monitors. The Sony, if it's a CRT is going to be warm. If it's their flat panels models, it's going to be blue. That's the worst possible scenario quite honestly for color decisions. Three completely different manufacturers in the same room, they'll never look alike.

I've been using FSI exclusively for over two years now for all manner of broadcast and independent features. Have not had one client or broadcasters say anything negative about the look of our shows, nor have I seen anything out of the ordinary on broadcasts, DVD or BluRays.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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Bram Desmet
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Oct 18, 2011 at 2:04:32 am

Hi Evan,

I think as we discussed pretty clearly on the phone the best thing to do would be to send the monitor in for us to take a look at. We certainly are not so out of touch with reality or stubborn to discount that something may have happened to the unit in shipping and the best way to know this for sure is have the unit come in for us to double check. That being said there are several things to keep in mind:

1. As stated pretty explicitly on our website the LM-2461W is the monitor we suggest for very color critical workflows and at $4,995 this unit is still well below the price of most comparable monitors on the market.
2. The LM-2140W at just $2,495 is about a 99% match to Rec 709 color space and is calibrated with over $50,000 of measuring equipment. If anything the LED backlight on the LM-2140W may give it a warmer/redder feel than something like the LM-2461W with the same exact readings, but certainly not bluer. If you feel it is bluer than what you are used to then either you are used to displays that are much too warm in their setting or as stated there is an off chance that the unit was damaged in transport to you or some other variable is distorting the image.
3. We have never had a monitor loose alignment data in shipping. We have had the occasional unit break (back light, panel), but typically this is accompanied by severe damage to the shipping box. Again, I won't completely rule out the possibility, but testing with the proper gear would be the only way to verify.

So as suggested I would send it in. It is the only way we can be sure that what we recorded as readings when we sent the unit out match what you currently have and that nothing odd has happened to the unit. When we get it we will let you know what our test bed of high-end measuring devices read and if the unit is broken we will replace it with a new unit. If it is fine and the readings are spot on we will also let you know that and you can decide what to do from there.

Bram Desmet
FSI (Flanders Scientific, Inc.)
http://www.FlandersScientific.com


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Evan Seplow
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Oct 18, 2011 at 2:56:38 am

Bram,

I didn't mean for you to have to sit down and write a rebuttal tonight online. That was not my intent. As I said in my first post, you and your other staff members were GREAT on the phone with me today.

My questions are closer in regard to how Walter was responding in a discussion of how, assuming my monitor is working correctly, to best use it. (Or if conversely anyone thought from what I was saying that they felt I should send it in).

I come from a background in the recording industry as well as film. And in an audio studio we constantly switch back and forth between sets of speakers in order to find a middle-ground in a mix that works on all systems. Since mixing for a large speaker might sound awful on a smaller one and vice-verse.

I know that if I used that 2140 monitor yesterday for my color correction that I would have gone too contrasty and saturated with my master. Having several running at the same time helped me find a happy medium that would look good on multiple systems. This is not to say that the 2140 was at fault (I'm leaning towards thinking it's not), but that my eyes have not adjusted to understanding how things are supposed to look on it yet.

Once again, I invite others to chime in about how they go about defining their image on whatever monitor they use.

Once again, let me state that I'm not against Flanders. The monitor I received is well built and their people have been a pleasure to deal with.


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Evan Seplow
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Oct 18, 2011 at 4:18:16 am

Ok, a quick follow-up for what it's worth.

I found that setting the monitor to 5600k, with brightness -8 and contrast +28 looked more like what I was expecting to see. I'm not saying that this is "Correct", I'm just saying that this is how much off it "seems". And that's just right now, tomorrow I may say differently since this is so subjective as opposed to the correct, objective way of doing this.

Does anyone else punch-up their settings a bit? I know this is contrary to the idea of a calibrated monitor, but once again, using the audio studio analogy - We would often add a touch extra bass and treble to our overall EQ so that we wouldn't be tempted to add it into the actual mix.


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walter biscardi
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Oct 18, 2011 at 11:23:43 am

[Evan Seplow] "I know this is contrary to the idea of a calibrated monitor, but once again, using the audio studio analogy - We would often add a touch extra bass and treble to our overall EQ so that we wouldn't be tempted to add it into the actual mix."

Nope, you really shouldn't follow the audio analogy at all. It's apples and oranges. You listen to multiple monitors from high end Genelecs to the Awfultones to ensure your mix sounds good on a high end stereo down to a 3 inch speaker in the old portable radios.

It's not the same for video. You have a single reference that you follow. If you're going to go in and change the settings on your monitor, then there's really no reason to have something like an FSI. Just go get any monitor and set it to your tastes. With video reference, there's only "correct" and "user settings." You've got it set to user settings right now, so no reason to have a correct calibrated monitor.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

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sean pollaro
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Jul 4, 2012 at 2:13:57 am

Did you ever find out what the issue is? I just got my 2140w in today and I'm getting the same blueish image with low saturation and low exposure. The sharpness is a bit dull as well. Is this correct calibration?


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Bram Desmet
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Jul 4, 2012 at 2:30:16 am

Sean, there are defined specifications for sharpness (peaking) with various formats. If you would like to increase these to artificially sharpen the footage you can do so using the Sharpness setting on the video menu. Just be forewarned that setting the sharpness artificially high like this may make your footage look sharper on the monitor, but your footage will likely still look soft when viewed on other properly set monitors.

As mentioned in a previous post if anything the LM-2140W may look warmer/redder than CCFL backlight monitors set to the same settings. If it looks bluer then one of two things is likely the cause:
1. You are comparing to a display in the room that is set much warmer. Most older LCD monitors drift warmer over time (especially those with CCFL backlights).
2. The content was graded on a monitor that was set much too warm or red. If you start with such a display and correct the footage to look neutral then when viewed on a display that is setup properly it will look bluer/cooler by comparison.

The LM-2140Ws are all professionally calibrated with a combination of a Minolta CA-310 colorimeter and Photo Research Spectroradiometer to well defined industry standards. You have all of the controls on the monitor to change white balance, sharpness, contrast, saturation, etc. to whatever settings you like to achieve virtually any subjective look, but objectively speaking any adjustments made from default will make the monitor less, not more, accurate.

Bram Desmet
FSI (Flanders Scientific, Inc.)
http://www.FlandersScientific.com


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sean pollaro
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Jul 4, 2012 at 2:57:14 am

I'm using the monitor as a 2nd monitor on my Mac pro connected via dvi. The content I'm viewing is the Mac desktop. It looks overly dark washed out and blue. I just need to make sure this is right. Do i need to adjust this monitor in any way? Or is this accurate out of the box? Can i boost the backlight or will it take me further from the truth? My 1st monitor is an LCD apple cinema display that is much brighter sharper and vibrant.


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Bram Desmet
Re: Looking Blue? Low saturation?
on Jul 4, 2012 at 3:41:31 am

A few issues here:

1. Make sure that the DVI Pixel Format selection on the System Menu of the monitor matches the output type you are sending from your Mac Pro. You can select between RGB and YCbCr.

2. The Cinema Display is not much of a reference and will likely look quite different than a properly setup broadcast monitor. We ship the LM-2140W with a default peak white luminance of 35fL (appropriate for subdued lighting in an edit suite) and most consumer computer monitors are going to be substantially brighter than that (often times 3 to 5 times brighter) as they are designed to work in brightly lit environments like a typical office space. Again, there is a broadcast standard for this and we adhere to it, but you can increase the luminance of the monitor substantially if you are using it in a bright environment by increasing the backlight setting found on the Monitor's system menu.

3. DVI is not ideal for professional broadcast monitoring. If you are going to be using the monitor for day to day broadcast monitoring from color correction or editing software I would highly recommend a professional I/O card with Serial Digital or at least analog component outputs to more accurately monitor your content.

Bram Desmet
FSI (Flanders Scientific, Inc.)
http://www.FlandersScientific.com


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