Anyone else have color deficiency, does it affect you?


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May 20, 2013
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As someone in their late 30's, I only recently discovered that I'm actually partially red/green color deficient.

I can see red, and green, and obviously it's never been an issue for me to get to this age without knowing something was wrong.

It wasn't until I saw some Ishihari color dot tests that I was like "what number?", while other people could see them clearly.

I just wonder sometimes how it would affect me when post processing and adjusting color.
All the more reason to have a color-managed workflow. Grab a gray card (most cameras these days are calibrated to 12% gray even though 18% gray cards are probably more common. The percent is only important if you use the card as a "light meter" because it reflects a known percentage of light that the camera is calibrated to recognize. Any perfectly "neutral" gray (regardless of percent reflectivity) will work for color camera either in camera or on the computer.

You can also color calibrate your monitor so that you know you can trust the color accuracy when doing adjustments. You can also color calibrate the printer (higher end calibration tools do printers as well -- though print calibration would change if you change either brands or types of ink or types of papers that you use.)

At that point you'd know that you don't need to worry about the red/green color accuracy because your workflow is color-managed.

Ambient light in a room will throw off what you "think" of the colors on your screen. E.g. suppose you have perfectly calibrated white balance on your camera and monitor... but all the lights in your room are incandescent/tungsten bulbs. Those give off a warm/yellow-orange cast. Your eyes adapt to this somewhat. So when you see something that doesn't fit, your eyes will "think" that it's cool and too "blue"... causing you to mis-adjust. I've done this myself. Now I color-calibrate everything.
I'm not, but my father was; it kept him from qualifying for flight crew in the Navy. It is not uncommon.
Yes, for white males its close to 10%.

Any recommendations for a color calibrator for Mac? There seems to be a bunch.
Yes, for white males its close to 10%.

Any recommendations for a color calibrator for Mac? There seems to be a bunch.


I have a Mac. I use an X-Rite ColorMunki Photo. It'll do displays (as well as projectors) and printers. The ColorMunki Display doesn't do printers -- it does display and projector calibration only.

It's pretty easy to use. Install the software, plug it in, and just do what it says.

It'll have you connect the ColorMunki and put it through a self-calibration (it has an internal calibration target. You rotate the camera to it's internal calibration target, click it to let it calibrate, then turn it back to monitor calibration mode.)
It'll prompt you to rest the ColorMunki on the middle of your display.
It has a soft case and lanyard. The lanyard has some heavy counterweights. You drape it over the top of your display and the counterweight will hold the ColorMunki in place.
Just leave it alone and it'll take over control of the graphics card and start testing various color and brightness levels. This takes a minute to complete.
When it's done it will create a profile and prompt you to name & save it.

The profile is stored in the Mac OS standard location which is ~/Library/ColorSync/Profiles (that directory already exists on your Mac) There's also a system level version of the directory at /Library/ColorSync/Profiles (if it's saved in the system Library then the profile will appear for all users of your Mac. If it's in your user's Library folder (~/Library...) then it only shows up when YOU are logged in.

It will make it's own profile active. But you can change profiles at any time. If you go into "System Preferences" -> "Displays" -> "Color" you'll see all the profiles... including the one the ColorMunki created.

Once nice about the fact that it creates OS standard color profiles is that once your display is calibrated, the ColorMunki software isn't used (you could technically delete the software... although leave it on so you can re-check your calibration from time to time.) It will install a utility which will remind you to re-calibrate from time to time. While CRT and florescent-backlit LCD displays can drift quite a bit, I find that the LED backlit monitors hardly drift at all. When i re-test in a month there's no perceptible change. Now I test substantially less often.

The printer, on the other hand, might need more frequent calibration. Every brand and type of ink will be different. Also... every paper will absorb that ink and reflect color differently depending on paper type. That means your "profile" of your printer is really more of a profile of your print/ink/paper combination. If you change anything (e.g. buy a different brand or type of paper) then you need to make a different profile for that new combination. I save my profiles with name of the paper in the profile name. I only use one type of ink, but I might change paper. That way I can flip between paper profiles (as long as I've made a calibration for that particular type before) without having to recalibrate.
Great information, thanks! Sounds like the ColorMunki Display is what I need (I never print photo's anymore).
My wife's father was and at least one of her brothers is colorblind, and she is very nearly so.

I used to think I was better, and perhaps I was in my younger years, but after taking an online color acuity test, I realized that i'm not as good as I thought I was.
I'm from Maine and very pale. So yes, it's somewhat difficult for me to get a tan.
I'm from Maine and very pale. So yes, it's somewhat difficult for me to get a tan.

That doesn't count! You can get plenty of color... red.

Yeah most people aren't really "colorblind", only "deficient'. It's very rare for a woman.

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