Eric Cheng

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Calibrating and profiling a 30" Dell 3008WFP LCD

Has anyone out there successfully calibrated and profiled Dell's 30" 3008WFP LCD? I recently took delivery of one, and am having a hard time getting colors to look right in a way that makes me confident. I'm using a Monaco Optix XR Pro, which I also use to calibrate my older 30" Dell 3007WFP LCD. Because the 3007WFP doesn't have custom RGB control, I profiled the display at a native color temperature @ 2.2 gamma and only calibrated it using brightness and contrast controls. The native color temperature is actually fairly warm and is pleasing to the eye. I'm not working in the optimal lighting environment; my space is full of 3100°K halogen lights, and all I have at the moment is a single 5500°K bias light to light up my desktop area. But I've never been surprised by printed or web colors produced while working on the profiled 3007WFP.

The 3008WFP has custom RGB control, so I thought I'd give D65 calibration a try. Adjusting custom RGB to R99, G95 B97 seemed to do the trick, and the Monaco hummed along, happily creating a D65 profile for me.

I first noticed something strange when Facebook's gray background bars all turned pink.

The 3008WFP D65 profile by Monaco failed miserably. I set the monitor back to the "Desktop" preset, which is presumably a native color temperature, and re-calibrated and profiled using the "native" setting in the Monaco software. The colors look fine now, but are significantly cooler than are colors on the 3007WFP, which sits right next to it.

Dell 3007WFP on left, Dell 3008WFP on right

But which colors are accurate? I have no idea. At this point, I have faith in the color fidelity of either display. I have no idea what the 3008WFP is doing in the "Desktop" preset. I also tried setting both the monitor's preset and Mac OS X color profile to AdobeRGB, but that had the effect of make things look a bit too saturated. Setting both to sRGB made for a very "natural" feel, but again, I am not sure if it's accurate.

I should never I have sold my Sony Artisan.

**UPDATE**: I've broken in the Dell 3008WFP for about a year, and decided to give D65 calibration and profiling another shot. This time, it seemed to work fairly well, although matching the profile to a 3007FP still seems to be impossible. The 3007 calibrates much warmer than does the 3008, but at least there is minimal tint when looking at a grayscale gradient chart.

I hate to say this, but subjectively, I like the 3007WFP better than I do the 3008WFP. This is unfortunate because the 3008WFP cost a lot more to purchase and is supposed to be a lot wider in gamut.

**UPDATE 2**: My Dell 3008WFP has a distinctive green-to-magenta shift to it. The right side of the display is noticeably more magenta than is the left side. Grrrr.