M1 MBP with XDR display: Lightroom Classic renders photos too dark

Contributor ,
Jan 14, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

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Hello,

 

One of my friends has asked me for help because on their 2021 M1 Macbook Pro with XDR display, Lightroom Classic renders the photos too dark on screen, in both Library and Develop.

 

The exported photos, when viewed with Preview, are brighter — and, as it turns out, correct: I verified this by exporting the same file on my 2019 Intel iMac. The two exported files side by side are identical.

 

Since there's no difference between what I see in LRC on my machine vs the exported file, I would assume that this has something to do with Apple's new/changed color management on the XDR displays of the M1 MBP models?

 

For what it's worth, in addition to the MBP's internal display there's also an external monitor attached to the machine, and LRC's rendition of the photos is too dark on that one, too.

 

I would appreciate some pointers in the right direction... 🙂

 

Thanks
Alex.

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Jan 14, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

This is not an answer, but an attempt at troubleshooting…do you know if the results are more consistent if they set their Liquid Retina XDR display setting to one of the non-HDR Reference Mode presets that’s closer to the traditional display settings for print and photography?

 

macOS-Displays-for-Liquid-Retina-Display-XDR-Photography-reference-mode.jpg

 

And is the external display calibrated to any particular standard, or running at the out-of-the-box factory default?

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Community Expert ,
Jan 14, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

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This is not an answer, but an attempt at troubleshooting…do you know if the results are more consistent if they set their Liquid Retina XDR display setting to one of the non-HDR Reference Mode presets that’s closer to the traditional display settings for print and photography?

 

macOS-Displays-for-Liquid-Retina-Display-XDR-Photography-reference-mode.jpg

 

And is the external display calibrated to any particular standard, or running at the out-of-the-box factory default?

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Contributor ,
Jan 14, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

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Thank you, Conrad! That's very helpful, I'll try those settings with them and will report back.

 

I don't think the external display is calibrated to any particular standard, it's probably set to 6500K but that's pretty much it. I'll try to find that out as well.

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Contributor ,
Jan 17, 2022 Jan 17, 2022

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Switching to the "Photography (P3-D65)" preset fixed it on the Macbook's internal display.

 

In addition to that, the external monitor's profile must've been shot; after switching to a standard sRGB profile the problem on the external display went away as well.

 

Thanks for your help!

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Community Expert ,
Jan 14, 2022 Jan 14, 2022

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In addition to above comments, you friend may find the procedure in this linked video helps in fine tuning the internal XDR display https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqF_SQWv8x0

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Contributor ,
Jan 17, 2022 Jan 17, 2022

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That was a really helpful video (and way beyond what my friend will need at this point;-). Thanks for sharing it, Ian. Much appreciated.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 18, 2022 Jan 18, 2022

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FWIW, I stopped at setting the 'SDR' value (screen brightness), which is around 4 minuntes 30 seconds through 5 minutes 25 seconds into the video. The value I've calibrated my external displays to is 120. So, that's the value I manually input for the SDR value shown in video at 4 minutes 34 scenonds.

 

If nothing esle, I recommend that your friend does above, especially as the screen is too bright by default.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 18, 2022 Jan 18, 2022

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I did the same as Ian. Generally, this is how most photographers should set up the Liquid Retina HDR:

 

First try the built-in Reference Mode preset for Photography (P3-D65).

 

If the photographer has specific production requirements, create an adjusted custom preset based on that one. Both Ian and I adjusted the Maximum Luminance of the preset to be closer to what is realistic for photos printed on paper.

 

If the photographer suspects that the display is not accurate, then they can consider going through the Fine Tune Calibration procedure covered in the video. But it is unlikely that most photographers should have to do that if they just bought their MacBook Pro M1 Pro/Max a few months ago, because Apple claims the Liquid Retina XDR display is precisely calibrated at the factory, and it isn’t going to drift very far so soon after purchase.

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