Preview in RT more saturated than in output image

(Hermann-Josef) #1


colours in the image I see in RT (left) are much more saturated than in the output image viewed in PhotoShopElements (right). Can you please give me a hint, why this is so and how I could match the RT display with the output?

Here is the profile I use:FN_opt.pp3 (10.7 KB)

I already checked the settings in the colour management tab for the monitor. Changing the setting from “no profile” to e.g. “automatically use the monitor profile” or set it to “AdobeRGB” did not change the colour in the RT preview window.

Many thanks!


(Morgan Hardwood) #2

Make sure that the calibration curves for your monitor profile are loaded into the GPU, make sure that both programs use the same monitor profile (set it manually, don’t rely on auto-detection as that introduces a point of failure), and make sure both programs use the same rendering intent.

(Hermann-Josef) #3

Thank you for your reply.

I use an EIZO monitor and in the manual it is stated that one should not load the ICC-profile into the graphic card. If one does this, the profile will be applied twice. I switched in the RT preferences the monitor profile but did not see any changes in the preview window. However, I did not restart RT (since this is not noted in this tab). But if I restart RT, I do see changes in the colour saturation! Now I have to find out, which is the correct setting for my system.

Many thanks for pointing that out.

It should be stated in the monitor section of the colour management tab that changes are only in effect after restarting RT!


(Morgan Hardwood) #4

I had one too. Good stuff.

This depends on how you create the ICC profile. Calibration curves are not the same thing as the color profile. Calibration curves can be included in the ICC file for convenience, or even baked into the LUT profile. From what I read, the latter is not optimal as it could lead to posterization or sudden color changes.

My EIZO had a built-in colorimeter and I had to use Windows to generate the ICC, then I could use it in Linux.
I use a Huey and DisplayCal for my laptop, I include the calibration curves in the ICC profile but they are not baked into it.

Monitor profile changes in RawTherapee are applied immediately.


(Hermann-Josef) #5

Good evening,

This depends on how you create the ICC profile.

I used ColorNavigator with my Spyder4Elite to calibrate the monitor.

Monitor profile changes in RawTherapee are applied immediately.

This is true if you use the panel as indicated in your screenshot. However, if I do this via “preferences - colour management - monitor” I have to restart RT to make the changes effective.



Applying a profile twice has always been one of my fears…
It was the main reason why I at first didn’t get my printer
profile correct.

/Claes in Lund, Sweden
– not to be confused with Santa Claus –

(Morgan Hardwood) #7

Yes, I opened an issue:

(Hermann-Josef) #8


still I do not quite understand the problem. Yes, the colours are the same as in PhotoshopElements if in RT I assign the Adobe1998 profile to the monitor. There is no way in PSE to assign a monitor profile. The colours in PSE and in imageJ (which is not colour managed, i.e. it does not know about ICC profiles) are the same. So what does RT do to the colours, if no profile is assigned for the monitor? Obviously it must do something different than PSE or imageJ do. I just would like to understand the background.


(Morgan Hardwood) #9

I assume all settings are at their default values, especially the color management tool settings in RT. i.e. apply “Neutral” in “Fill mode”.

Unless you discovered some Windows-specific bug, if the monitor profile combobox under the preview is set to “None” then it does nothing. It’s very likely that the same cannot be said for PSE.

No Color Management
Leaves your image untagged. This option uses your monitor profile as the working space. It removes any embedded profiles when opening images, and does not tag when saving.

Using a monitor profile as a working space sounds very wrong! Even if this is unrelated to the issue you’re experiencing, it suggests that PSE could be doing other weird things.

Then PSE is likely using Adobe1998.

To troubleshoot, you can download BGR-Wcs-RBG-Icc-Test.icc, then set it as the monitor profile and check step by step, program by program where things go wrong.

(Hermann-Josef) #10

Hello Morgan, thank you for the detailed reply!

color management tool settings in RT. i.e. apply “Neutral” in “Fill mode”.

In the colour management tab in RT (not in the preferences) I cannot find the “fill mode”. It is set to “apply embedded profile”. I hope it does not apply the embedded profile again, since the data are already rendered in Adobe 1998 RGB. If I chose “no profile” the image becomes very bright and looks obviously wrong.

then it does nothing. It’s very likely that the same cannot be said for PSE

However, I am pretty sure that imageJ does nothing to the colours. Since the appearance is the same in both PSE and imageJ I would conclude that PSE also does nothing. In PSE I have chosen the option “optimize for print output” which according to the documentation implies that the image is transformed to Adobe1998 RGB, in which colour space the image already is.

I will do the test you suggested and report the outcome later.



Moinchen, Jossie!

Here it is:

Claes in Lund, Schweden

(Hermann-Josef) #12

Hello Claes and Morgan,

thanks for the link.

I have now achieved the same appearance in RT and in PSE (and in IrfanView) by turning colour management off in PSE (since the image is already in AdobeRGB) and in RT I have set the monitor profile to “no profile”, which I hope, also makes sense. In IfranView colour management is also turned off. So all seems now to be consistent and I leave the colour management to SilverFast HDR, which renders the scan with the scanner’s ICC profile into AdobeRGB colour space. This is then kept also in RT as the output colour space.

In PSE (and in SilverFast HDR) it does not make any difference if I remove the embedded AdobeRGB ICC-profile or not even with colour management turned on. However, in RT the images are different in the preview and in the output. So it seems that in RT the AdobeRGB had been applied again, although the image is already in AdobeRGB if the ICC-profile is also embedded. I do not know, how PSE and HDR decide if the embedded profile should be applied or not. So this point seems to be an issue with RT.

Thanks again for your help and best wishes


(Alan Gibson) #13

As I understand profiles, applying a profile twice or more should make no difference after the first. Applying (or “converting”) means the pixel values are changed, from the previous profile to the new one, each pixel staying the same colour (aside from out-of-gamut problems) but with different numbers. If the new profile is equal to the old profile, there should be no change. That’s kind of the definition of profiles, isn’t it?

Or have I got that wrong?

(Morgan Hardwood) #14

Requiring that color management is turned off to achieve consistency is a clear indicator that your color management setup is broken. The whole point of color management is to keep things consistent.

Images must have a color profile embedded, or at least a metadata tag which describes the colorspace, otherwise the assumption most software make is that they are in the sRGB colorspace with the sRGB gamma.

I think it is too early to draw this conclusion, not least because the premise could be wrong, and because it seems to work correctly in Linux at least.

It is very difficult to figure out where your setup could be broken without being there. It could help if you uploaded a sample image. Lower the resolution to e.g. 900x900 so that we don’t have to download large files. Zip it before uploading it.

By the way, you are using Windows, right? Because RT’s preview on macOS is limited to sRGB for rotten Apple reasons.

(Hermann-Josef) #15

Good evening,

@ Morgan_Hardwood example files have been uploaded.

There are the original images with and without ICC profile. Both rendered in Adobe RGB (1998) colour space. Then there are these files as processed in RT (profile neutral, use embedded profile). And there are the same files as processed in PhotoShopElements (PSE) with colour management activated.

I am not sure, if my colour management really is broken. Since the images are already rendered into AdobeRGB (1998) there is nothing more to be done by the colour management, as far as I understand the whole process.

@ snibgo: Alan, I think this is not correct. Rendering with the profile does change the colours. That is the whole purpose of this, as far as I understand colour management. However, pixel values are not changed, if the profile is only embedded. But my examples were rendered into Adobe RGB (1998) colour space and in PSE and SF HDR the embedding does not make a difference. Only in RT is there a difference in the output images.



Hi Jossie,
for what I understand there’s nothing wrong with rawtherapee.


1)rawtherapee display wrong color for FN_0123_noICC.jpg, it has not a color profile and it is adobergb but rawtherapee don’t know this and it assume is srgb, so you should manually assign the adobergb

Sorry for my english

(Hermann-Josef) #17

Good evening age,

now I am confused! The PSE-images on my system are identical on the pixel-value level. In the output image from PSE both get assigned the AdobeRGB(1998) profile, because that is how PSE is set up. So I do not understand, why you see them different and with different profiles. I have checked the profiles with EXIFtool and compared the pixel values with imageJ.

Best wishes



ah yes I was wrong! Sorry Hermann-Josef

1)FN0123_withICC.jpg, FN_0123_withICC_PSE.jpg are adobergb with embedded color profile

2 )FN_0123_withICC_RTnoMon.jpg is SRGB.
(if you want an output like PSE you should choose adobergb as output profile)

3)FN_0123_noICC.jpg and FN_0123_noICC_RTnoMon.jpg are identical, they are in adobergb
FN_0123_noICC.jpg is without embedded color profile
FN_0123_noICC_RTnoMon.jpg is adobergb but with the wrong srgb profile assigned

4)FN_0123_noICC_PSE.jpg is adobergb color profile but WITH emedded profile.

(Hermann-Josef) #19

Good morning,

yes, the image FN_0123_withICC_RTnoMon.jpg is in sRGB, but that was not on purpose. It was my mistake that I forgot to switch the output profile in RT to aRGB. I will do the comparison again today.


(Hermann-Josef) #20

Good morning again,

now I have carefully repeated the comparison and uploaded the images again.

First I created new versions of the files with and without ICC-profile by loading them into imageJ and saving them again in imageJ. ImageJ discards all PhotoShop tags, so the development history is completely lost. Then the AdobeRGB(1998) = aRGB profile was embedded via EXIFtool into the file with ICC-profile.

In PhotoShopElements (PSE) I have used 2 settings: no colour management and “optimize colours for print”, the latter implying aRGB as output. In RT I have set the profile to neutral and then only changed the output profile from sRGB to aRGB. Again two versions were created: no monitor profile and aRGB as monitor profile.

All output images have been compared with imageJ by subtracting images to see if they really are identical.


  • in PSE the images are identical, regardless of colour management being turned off or not. There is only a very slight difference (sigma about 1) between original and PSE version, due to different JPG settings I assume.
  • in RT there is also not difference in the output images, regardless of the monitor profile setting. Again a slight difference to the input image (sigma about 2) presumably again due to different JPG settings.
  • Most important as regards the topic of this thread: The RT preview changes its colours when I change the monitor profile setting in RT albeit the output images are identical.

I must admit that I do not understand why the monitor profile should come into play in RT. Isn’t output to the screen just the responsibility of the operating system’s CMM, regardless of the application programme?