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Thread: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

  1. #1

    Default HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    Ok, I've done some searches and this topic seems to have been discussed quite a bit. But I have a question that has not been asked b4.

    I've also read on books and all the authors seem to say the same thing without revealing the real meaning behind it! Grr...

    They always say, if u want to print on high quality ink-jet printers, use RGB. Larger colour gamut. If for web or on screen, then choose sRGB cos that's what the screen is capable of reproducing. Sounds simple!

    BUT! What I'm very puzzled is, if we can edit our images using our computer monitors in RGB in the first place, why should we change it to sRGB and lose many more colours? Whenever I do a conversion of colour space from RGB to sRGB in photoshop, the images look very dull and lack saturation. I'm thinking, why sRGB? Why can't we leave the setting in RGB?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    The colour may come out in Photoshop, but not when you view as a generic webpage.
    Andy Ang :lovegrin: - "A Photo speaks a thousand words. Have you spoken today?"
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  3. #3

    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    you meant aRGB vs sRGB?
    deadpoet
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  4. #4

    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    RGB is the way colour is discribed in monitors...but it is not a standard in the sense that 255,0,0 red is equal to a certain colour in actual physical terms...it just means that it is relative to the monitor in question the most red that it can produce...in other words, the 255,0,0 red of your monitor is probably different from mine...

    aRGB (adobe RGB) and sRGB are different versions of a standard for RGB...therefore, in properly profiled monitors, the sRGB 255,0,0 red should look the same to other properly profiled monitors...that's what profiling of monitors is supposed to do, to standardise colours...

    aRGB describes a wider amount of colour than sRGB...it is just a part of the description...just like there are even wider RGB types than aRGB (like Prophoto RGB)...the thing about this is that for say the case of printing, current printors are not able to reproduce the wide range of colours as described in aRGB or even fully cover sRGB...this is why people (myself included) suggest using sRGB for print so that the final print colours would be closer to what you see on the screen...and in any case, printors are programmed to think of files as sRGB...

  5. #5

    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    Quote Originally Posted by theRBK View Post
    RGB is the way colour is discribed in monitors...but it is not a standard in the sense that 255,0,0 red is equal to a certain colour in actual physical terms...it just means that it is relative to the monitor in question the most red that it can produce...in other words, the 255,0,0 red of your monitor is probably different from mine...

    aRGB (adobe RGB) and sRGB are different versions of a standard for RGB...therefore, in properly profiled monitors, the sRGB 255,0,0 red should look the same to other properly profiled monitors...that's what profiling of monitors is supposed to do, to standardise colours...

    aRGB describes a wider amount of colour than sRGB...it is just a part of the description...just like there are even wider RGB types than aRGB (like Prophoto RGB)...the thing about this is that for say the case of printing, current printors are not able to reproduce the wide range of colours as described in aRGB or even fully cover sRGB...this is why people (myself included) suggest using sRGB for print so that the final print colours would be closer to what you see on the screen...and in any case, printors are programmed to think of files as sRGB...
    Opps, yes, I'm referring to Adobe RGB vs RGB.

    Hmm, this is more confusing to me... Pardon my ignorance.

    So you are saying calibrating monitors is only good for sRGB. For Adobe RGB the colours I see may not be the same as yours even if both our monitors are calibrated?

    And as for printing, this is the first time I see that sRGB is recommended. All along, the recommendation has been to use RGB.

    But I think Andy may have a point: the Adobe RGB colours I see in Photoshop may not be reproduced in the Web, hence I need to convert to sRGB? But just curious, does anyone know why this is so? After all, if RGB can be reproduced on screen why not extend it for the Web too? May be a technical thing I suppose?

    So if I'm interested to do a slide presentation of images on a computer screen, should I save them as Adobe RGB or sRGB?

    Thanks guys.

    Oh.. And I have already encountered a very BIG problem in my workflow. Suppose I wish to do a few things to my images: Display them on the web, print them using high quality photo paper, and all have some adjustments done in Photoshop. Does that mean I will have many different sets of images to archive: RAW, jpg (sRGB), jpg (RGB) and psd??! How do you all handle this?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    To keep it simple - if you always stick to sRGB, you won't run into any problems - sRGB is the minimum standard.

    Note that nowadays a lot of LCD screens can display and a lot of inkjet printers can print a larger range than sRGB, and people may want to ensure their images keep the most colour range as possible, and so people may choose to use Adobe RGB.

    This is what I normally do. I usually capture in RAW in Adobe RGB (actually with RAW you can specify any colour space and change later, but setting it right in camera makes the workflow easier). I keep to the Adobe RGB colour space as I work on the image (RAW conversion, any post processing etc) - you should keep the number of colour space conversions to a minimum. Then, depending on what output I am targetting the image for, I will convert to the colour space appropriate for that target output (eg. if the image is to be displayed for the web, then I will convert to sRGB as web browsers are usually not colour space aware and will assume all images are sRGB - that's why Adobe RGB images appear "dull" in web browsers)

  7. #7

    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    er...from my experience with one of the top end printers in the business, an Epson Pro 4800, I can see that even this printer has difficulty matching the entire range of sRGB...a particular print with deep purplish blue I did last year comes swiftly to mind...so I don't think alot of inkjet printers can print a larger range than sRGB...ditto, in my opinion, on LCD monitors, most of which can do decent sRGB but not aRGB unless we are talking about the high end LaCie or NEC stuff...

    if anyone has difficulty controlling the colourspace, really, my recommendation is to use sRGB...cut down on the number of things that can go wrong...

  8. #8
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    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    Because of SOME browsers (IE, firefox) only view pics in sRGB, and those edited in Adobe RGB will inevitably lose out, with a seeming lack of color saturation.

    Thus I recommend shooting, editing and uploading in sRGB.

  9. #9

    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    Quote Originally Posted by Priscilia View Post
    Opps, yes, I'm referring to Adobe RGB vs RGB.

    Hmm, this is more confusing to me... Pardon my ignorance.

    So you are saying calibrating monitors is only good for sRGB. For Adobe RGB the colours I see may not be the same as yours even if both our monitors are calibrated?

    And as for printing, this is the first time I see that sRGB is recommended. All along, the recommendation has been to use RGB.

    But I think Andy may have a point: the Adobe RGB colours I see in Photoshop may not be reproduced in the Web, hence I need to convert to sRGB? But just curious, does anyone know why this is so? After all, if RGB can be reproduced on screen why not extend it for the Web too? May be a technical thing I suppose?

    So if I'm interested to do a slide presentation of images on a computer screen, should I save them as Adobe RGB or sRGB?

    Thanks guys.

    Oh.. And I have already encountered a very BIG problem in my workflow. Suppose I wish to do a few things to my images: Display them on the web, print them using high quality photo paper, and all have some adjustments done in Photoshop. Does that mean I will have many different sets of images to archive: RAW, jpg (sRGB), jpg (RGB) and psd??! How do you all handle this?
    one thing has not been mentoined: each device (hardware and software) used in your workflow sees colour different, hence the need for colour management.
    1. digital camera: it has its own colour space that may be different (smaller or bigger) than aRGB or sRGB. if you shoot RAW the picture stays in the colour space of the camera and your RAW conversion software must make sense of it. if you shoot JPEG you have the option to choose the colour space, usually sRGB or aRGB.

    2. you graphic software (PS, CS, Lightroom, Corel etc) makes an interpretation of the file. hopefully it understands the colourspace attached to it.

    3. you monitor has its own capability of showing colours that may or may not fall within aRGB or sRGB

    4. your printer at home or in the lab has again different capabilities

    5. webbrowsers have their own limits

    you are right to say that if your monitor cannot reproduce aRGB it is futile to use it. What you see is not aRGB but whatever your monitor can show....

    check out www.drycreekphoto.com for a represantation of colour spaces, you can compare your cameras space with the one of you printer.... yet to find a similar thing for monitors...
    Never forget rule 5
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  10. #10

    Default Re: HELP! Age old question -- sRGB vs RGB

    I think books are wonderful still in this day and age. I'm a newbie and still ploughing through some books. This book seems up to date and is available at NLB:

    Color Management for Photographers
    Hands on Techniques for Photoshop Users
    Andrew Rodney
    Call number: 778.66 ROD-[ART]

    There's a section interviewing experienced folks on how they handle color space management.

    About storing the output files, if the only difference is just the output device color space, I believe just keeping the PSD should be sufficient. At this stage I'm still wondering about the movement towards a standardized DNG.

    Quote Originally Posted by Priscilia View Post
    Opps, yes, I'm referring to Adobe RGB vs RGB.

    Hmm, this is more confusing to me... Pardon my ignorance.

    So you are saying calibrating monitors is only good for sRGB. For Adobe RGB the colours I see may not be the same as yours even if both our monitors are calibrated?

    And as for printing, this is the first time I see that sRGB is recommended. All along, the recommendation has been to use RGB.

    But I think Andy may have a point: the Adobe RGB colours I see in Photoshop may not be reproduced in the Web, hence I need to convert to sRGB? But just curious, does anyone know why this is so? After all, if RGB can be reproduced on screen why not extend it for the Web too? May be a technical thing I suppose?

    So if I'm interested to do a slide presentation of images on a computer screen, should I save them as Adobe RGB or sRGB?

    Thanks guys.

    Oh.. And I have already encountered a very BIG problem in my workflow. Suppose I wish to do a few things to my images: Display them on the web, print them using high quality photo paper, and all have some adjustments done in Photoshop. Does that mean I will have many different sets of images to archive: RAW, jpg (sRGB), jpg (RGB) and psd??! How do you all handle this?

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