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Monitor gamma test

Bob Atkins , Aug 01, 2000; 03:01 p.m.

I've been reading up about monitor gamma, but I'm still confused. Not the least problem is that so called "gamma test" patterns indicate my monitor is anywhere from 1.8 to 3.0 depending on the pattern!

Even if I knew MY monitor gamma, I still don't know YOURS and so if I'm trying to optimize an image for display I still don't know how to do it. One day I suppose image formats and browsers will allow gamma to be specified, but untill then we just have to guess.

So, to help my guess I'd like to know which of the 6 frames in the image posted here looks best on your monitor using your web browser. To be more meaningful it would help if you also listed whether you were using a Mac or a PC and any other system details you know (e.g. which browser you use).

For what it's worth, images 3 and 4 look best on my PC using Netscape 4.7. It's hard to pick between 3 and 4 with such small images but I didn't want to make the test file too large (it's 40K).

Attachment: gtest.jpg


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Mike C , Aug 01, 2000; 03:13 p.m.

I'm on a PC, I've calibrated my Trinitron display visually with Adobe Gamma, doing independant R, G and B gamma selections. <P> 3 looks best to me, and I prefer 2 to 4.

Mark Staudinger , Aug 01, 2000; 03:43 p.m.

I'm going to contribute twice - once from work (now), and once from home whenever I get there :). For reference, my work monitor is an uncalibrated run-of-the-mill PC clone running IE 3.02. Images tend to appear a bit on the dark side on this setup. #3 looks the best to me here, with #4 being the runner-up. I suspect #4 will be too bright to be a contender at home.

M F , Aug 01, 2000; 03:50 p.m.

SGI display hardware (and others) has software-adjustable gamma [of course, what really happens is that the OS tweaks the DACs in the video output hardware rather than spraying down a new phosphor layer or something ;-].

The default for me is "gamma 1.7", and I vote for image number 2 at that setting when viewing your test with 'xv', on a Sony monitor of unknown model. At "gamma 2.2", image number 1 is best. At gamma 1.0, number 4 is the winner.

There are image formats (TIFF, PNG, etc) which save the file gamma so viewers that know the gamma of the display hardware can Do The Right Thing. Except for "high end" stuff like PhotoShop, I don't think anyone really cares as much as they should...

Bruce Rubenstein - NYC , Aug 01, 2000; 04:38 p.m.

I'm on a PC, Netscape 3.02, my display is tweaked for printing and 4 looks best.

Jim Strutz , Aug 01, 2000; 04:49 p.m.

#4 (3 is runner-up) - PC (Compaq), IE-4

lloyd chambers , Aug 01, 2000; 04:58 p.m.

#4, then #3 on an uncalibrated Sony 520 GS on a PC>

Gil Archway , Aug 01, 2000; 05:32 p.m.

The best in my monitor are the #3 and #4. I don't kown how to calibrate my monitor. I'm using a PC, Netscape 4.0.

Michael Duplechian , Aug 01, 2000; 05:41 p.m.

No. 4 is best on my PC. IE-5. No. 3 is 2nd best.

Joe Miller , Aug 01, 2000; 06:11 p.m.

Bob, I have a Mac and use Netscape 4.7. I have a "gamma toggle" that I downloaded as freeware and it lets me change my monitor from my saved gamma to a "Mac Gamma" to a "PC Gamma" (or, at least supposedly does). I have found this to be a great aid in deciding upon web images and something like this may be available for a PC.

For what it's worth, 2 and 3 look pretty good on my saved gamma--although I would lean toward 2. Number 2 looks best on the "Mac Gamma" and number 3 looks best on the "PC Gamma".

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