This article is for designers and photographers who are struggling with colour calibration issues on the Dell 2408WFP. Having bought a Dell 2408WFP 24 inch LCD in the last few months I decided over the past few days to calibrate it. The main problem with the 2408 is that the colours are over saturated and the monitor at least to my eyes seems ridiculously bright. At first I tried calibration through the Apple Calibrator Assistant which can be found under Display > Color > Calibrate – but having no luck there I tried a combination of using both the LCD settings and found that the Wide Gamut setting in the colour profile manager seemed to solve most of my issues… or so I thought.
I recently was working on a redesign of our site which has a number of red elements and noticed upon sliding the palette onto my Macbook Pro that the colours in the red hue were most definitely off on my 24″ dell display. Perplexed I tried further calibration steps – but with no luck. Utterly frustrated I zipped down to my local mac reseller and bought a Spyder Elite 3 hardware calibration unit.
The following are the settings I adjusted my LCD to before running the hardware calibration:
Colour Settings Mode: Graphics
Preset Mode: SRGB
I know that the brightness seems terribly low but this seems to be a relatively normal adjustment for this particular monitor after finding a number of posts on the topic at MacRumors and on Adobe’s forums. I have also tried manually setting RGB values to both 60 across the spectrum and also tried 70 for all values. I chose SRGB as it seems that it’s the closest least saturated match to my MacBookPro.
Next I ran the Spyder Elite 3 software and ran through the hardware calibration and it seemed to behave a little better. The reds were still a few shades off what I thought the MacBookPro would be but at least they are reasonably close now.
Then I found this comprehensive review of the Dell 2408WFP. The author notes:
For those who need to simulate the standard sRGB space rather than use the monitor with its extended gamut, the 2408WFP offers an sRGB simulation mode via the OSD preset modes. Considering many users will not have extended gamut sources or content, this feature is nice….in theory. I switched to this mode, while leaving all other settings at their defaults to establish whether the colour accuracy or other settings were any better than in the ‘Desktop’ preset. As you can see, gamut and luminance remained a long way out from the desired levels, and colour temperature was actually a little worse at 5831k. dE was sadly not improved at all, in fact, it was worse with an average of 7.3 and a maximum of 23.0. As you can see from the CIE diagram on the left, the gamut triangle for the monitor now only just stretched outside the sRGB space, and was now pretty much in line with normal CCFL backlighting (72% NTSC coverage). If nothing else, at least this mode accomplishes that!
Then I noticed this comment:
Firstly I calibrated the screen using LaCie’s software suite while also changing the monitor to the ‘Custom’ preset mode, affording me access to the RGB colour controls. During the calibration process the screens brightness was adjusted to 20%, with contrast being left at 50%. RGB values were altered to 92, 90 and 98 respectively. It should be noted that OSD adjustments only form part of the calibration process with the majority of changes being made automatically at the graphics card LUT level.
So I decided to give this configuration a shot. Brightness, contrast, and RGB values were once again adjusted. I found blues to be oversatured and grays just a little too bluey as well – but I’ve now been staring at this screen looking at colours for 2 hours and it’s time to take a break.
Despite what the article says about SRGB I still find that my initial calibration I mentioned earlier in this article has provided me with what I feel is better colour correction. If anyone has found a better way to calibrate this LCD I’d dearly like to know. [UPDATE] I just found another good series of questions and answers here.