Here is my setup:

X-Rite CMUNDIS ColorMunki Display Calibrator

30" IPS LED Backlit LCD Panel WQXGA 2560x1600 hooked up via HDMI

15" Retina Macbook Pro

I first calibrated the retina macbook pro monitor, and it was pretty much on the money out of the box, little to no difference. I then used the X-rite to match the color profile of the macbook pro monitor. Everything is sorta okay, except the whites seem a little reddish. This is especially apparent if you take a picture of the screens side by side. The LCD is brand-new, not sure if that makes a difference.

Red Color Cast

To the naked eye however...

To my eye AND when you take a picture of just the 30" display in question up close without any other screens in the shot it looks like the white is normal. However most colors seem super neon-like on the 30" display. The frustrating thing is that using a digital color meter the colors are being resolved correctly, but the colors are rendered on the screen are not.

Reference website: http://flatuicolors.com/

enter image description here

I know it does not look this way perhaps when captured on a camera, but when actually looking at the screen with my eyeballs everything labeled "WRONG" is far too neon colored. Everything labeled "CORRECT" looks the same across both screens AND is the correct color I am supposed to be seeing.

30" Display:

Picture of the 30" display in question close up:

30" display closeup

Side by Side with Retina Macbook pro

Side by side

Side by Side with Retina Macbook pro (calibrated) and iMac (uncalibrated)

imac mbp

My question is: given the symptoms, where would I start to match up the colors between the two screens?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Hi Austin, the symptoms are not clear yet. From the picture there's more than a "little reddish" cast going on here. Is this image accurate? \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2014 at 18:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for taking the time to respond! I added some more pictures and details to see if that clears anything up. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2014 at 20:17

4 Answers 4


If the image is accurate for color there can be a few things going on here. None easy to fix. As I had mentioned in an earlier answer about LED display technology, this is more than likely a metameric match produced my your measurement device from the narrow band LED backlight.

The problem with LED backlights (or any backlight for that matter) is that the measurement device must be able to decern the peaks and valleys of the spectral bands in the monitors backlight then integrate them to a standard value. Usually D50 or D65. But in reality the measurement devices see only pieces of the spectral bands, and in the case of the X-Rite CMUNDIS ColorMunki Display Calibrator it see's only what it's Custom designed RGB filter set provides. So if the RGB LED's don't fall perfectly into what the ColorMunki was designed for, it will miss a good portion of the colored light. That is more than likely what is happening here. TFT backlights are far better for color accuracy, but even with a full on spectro like the i1Pro2 getting a numerical white point match between two different display types rarely produces the exact same visual result.

It is not completely clear if the above is the issue, but If the calibration process completes and can be checked as passing, chances are that is the problem.

The other issue could be polarization. Both the measurement device and the monitor are polarized, so try turning the measurement device 45 degrees and re-calibrating the panel. If that doesn't produce vastly different results, choose another measurement device like an i1Pro2 to see if that is your problem. If not it is more than likely the technology used in the LED backlight. Tough stuff to calibrate and fraught with all kinds of metameric and CRI issues. Form my money it's TFT until that technical hurdle is leaped.

Adjusting my answer based on the updated information in the question: Since the camera has also recorded another more extreme cast, and the real case is quite subtle, then the issue could be simply that the closest XYZ value match to the aim white point on the Retinal display is not the same as the closest XYZ values to the aim white point on the LED display. To over come this you can use the set of targets I produced and posted here: Using this tool will allow those with patience, good hardware and software to adjust their displays removing the metamerisem caused by backlight differences. Have at it and have fun with it. :)

  • \$\begingroup\$ One more variable that might make this interesting: the display is most certainly capable of producing the correct colors: i.sstatic.net/cbtbe.jpg Camera white balance issues aside: if you were in the room with me you would agree that everything labeled "CORRECT" looks the same and more "correct" than everything labeled "wrong" which looks blown out and neon-like. The red tint in the photo is not visible to the naked eye. I edited my post with this information. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 18, 2014 at 20:24

Hope this helps..

I used to get a Cyan cast which is a similar kind of situation as you have here ( I think ). It turned out the measurement of ambient light during calibration was contaminated by the fact that the walls behind me were painted red. This would explain why the calibrator added a little cyan to compensate for the red.

You might want to do calibration in front of a neutral coloured wall or make sure walls behind you a neutral colors - for example white or grey or black.


I've got a similar situation and could equal my screens.

I don't know how that would work exactly with your tool. I use a Spyder. There, there is a step in the calibration process where I can define which monitor I have by choosing the make and the backlight-technology. You can then share your calibration with the manufacturer of Spyder (Datacolor) automatically and as far as I know, they analyze the calibration made with the same conditions to optimize their database of monitor profiles they create.

In dark ambient light conditions, my monitors show the same colors.


Somewhere in your graphic card or monitor settings you have your RGB range set to 16-235 instead of correctly to 0-255.


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