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Overall color cast - troubleshooting exhausted.

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Susan Dempster
Overall color cast - troubleshooting exhausted.
on Jun 18, 2015 at 7:51:54 pm

First off, let me say that I have read through this forum and there are numerous posts about FSI monitors looking more green/less red than other monitors. I read them. I don't expect for a minute that any of the monitors in our building will look the same.... Still, I feel the need to post because our brand new Flanders Scientific CM250 is not just a little teensy bit green in a subjective-viewer-comparing-it-to-surrounding-monitors kind of way... it's Very Green in a you-don't-have-to-be-a-colorist-to-see-it kind of way.

That said, we purchased this model for grading precisely because FSI has the $35,000 calibration probe and the research and the science to back their products... clearly something in our setup/settings/cabling/etc is wrong on our end... we just can't figure out what.

We have 3 workstations:

#1 Edit: old-style mac pro tower (12 core), AJA Kona 3G, Premiere 2015, Panasonic BT-LH2550 broadcast monitor (via SDI)

#2 Edit: mac pro tower (8 core), AJA Kona 3, FCP 7. Panasonic BT-LH2550 broadcast monitor (via SDI)

#3 Grade: Promax One workstation, BMD Decklink 4K extreme, Resolve 11. Flanders Scientific CM250 (via SDI)

We tried looking at a grayscale gradient file and dialed down the monitor chroma all the way thinking this might eliminate other hardware/software sources for the cast. Still Green. (Turned off the FSI and looked at the Panasonics with the same grayscale gradient and no monitor chroma and they were a smidgen magenta/red, as expected, but definitely more neutral in comparison.)

So, we switched cabling. We swapped the FSI to the Mac towers with the Kona cards. We have reasonably neutral-gray walls and lighting. We turned off every other monitor in the building so as not to be comparing anything to the FSI (desktops + broadcasts ALL off). We even turned out the lights at one point. We tried different color spaces on the monitor. We moved the monitor to a different room with different lighting and white walls/floor/ceiling/furniture. We looked at it during different times of the day and different levels of caffeine influence ... Green.

Most of us in our studio haven't have any real experience with the BMD decklink up until this point, nor Resolve, nor FSI. Is there a settings combination we are missing somewhere? We tried all the different color spaces on the monitor but nothing changed the color cast even slightly.

Sorry for the long-windedness. We're at a loss for what to try next... any advice greatly appreciated.

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Bram Desmet
Re: Overall color cast - troubleshooting exhausted.
on Jun 19, 2015 at 1:13:14 pm
Last Edited By Bram Desmet on Jun 19, 2015 at 1:14:20 pm

Susan, if you just purchased it and aren't happy with the unit you can of course simply send it back. We'll double check it when it gets here with a good quality probe, if it measures off at all we will let you know and provide a replacement right away. If everything checks out fine then we can simply offer you a refund and you likely want to stay away from OLED (any brand, as you will see the same thing). If you don't measure with a colorimeter with a recently calibrated and accurate OLED matrix or a high quality spectroradiometer then anything else would simply be guess work.

OLEDs do generally look more green/yellow to most, but not all, observers, especially when just calibrated using CIE 1931 CMF. We have a toggle on the monitor to switch to a Judd Modified CMF based calibration, this is what just about everyone uses. Most users find that moving the monitor to a Judd Modified CMF provides them with less yellow/green display that matches the reference CRTs of the past much better. This is also how Sony ships there OLED monitors so if you aren't happy with the monitor in Judd Modified CMF you likely aren't going to like any OLED and LCD monitor may be a better choice for your application.

Also, note the other monitors you have in-house do drift quite warmish/red over time (not a fault, just something that needs to be calibrated regularly as the units age). If you like you are welcome to send in both the OLED and one of your LCD displays and we can double check that display with the same probe as well. Going even further if you really want to mimic the look of the older LCDs we can ignore the standard setup and simply put a calibration LUT in the OLED to match any display you want to send us (profiled match using a high-end spectroradiometer). I wouldn't recommend that as calibrating to an objective standard is of course best, but the OLED can be made to look pretty much however you like and we are happy to setup this way if that is the preference.

We certainly don't want to discount a possible issue with the monitor so we do encourage you to send it in for us to double/triple check, but if you do a search on OLED (even before we got into the game, e.g. Sony OLEDs dating back to 2011) you'll see that this is not an uncommon experience for fist time OLED users, especially if the previous reference was a warmer leaning LCD. Measuring with a suitable probe is the surest way to get a quick objective resolution to your issue, anything else is guesswork.

As an interesting aside it should be noted that while a greater percentage of people see OLEDs as more yellow/green leaning in white balance a significant percentage of users see the OLED's white balance as more magenta or red instead. This percentage of users seeing it as more magenta/red increases significantly among older age groups and has to do with the aging of the eye. This of course hints at the scientific hurdle to overcome here because if we are not talking about objective reference, but rather subjective comparison, it becomes rather difficult to 'remove' the bias in a display if that bias is seen very differently by different people (e.g. Bob says we need to make this display much more red, but Jeff says we need to make this displays much more green).

Feel free to give me a call directly if you like, just ask for Bram. Cheers!

Bram Desmet
FSI (Flanders Scientific, Inc.)

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