UNRESOLVED Photoshop 22.1.0: Critical problem with colours / hw profiles on two monitors
This is a critical issue for me, which makes the outcome product from PS just unpredictable, in terms of colors and/or brightness of the final images. I have run through lots of similar cases reported in the internet, in discussion groups, etc., with some workarounds proposals, but no stable not ultimate solution so far, so I am just desperate. I am preparing images in PS and I just can’t be sure what quality images will be saved/printed/published/delivered.
The issue regards working with two monitors – one in laptop, the other external, an Eizo one, and it regards apparently hardware monitor profiles, which are being used by Photoshop incorrectly.
I am using Photoshop on Eizo monitor only, so expecting Eizo profile to be used by Photoshop.
I am always using the latest version of PS by now (22.1.0), also always hoping, that Adobe would fix the problem with next version.
I am running MacBook Pro with Catalina 10.15.7, but the issue was present also in previous versions (I have checked 21.2.4 – also errors).
The simple example of this, while working with an image is that: I am having a couple of some simple adjustments layers in the Layer Panel. Now I click on the last layer (the bottom one), and then make a second click on an empty area below this layer – these are just clicks which should change nothing. Instead, each click changes the brightness of the image with each single click. Just a magic.
Another case – I am opening a JPG image and this is being displayed by PS desaturated (just from the very start). I just maximize the PS app window (click on the green circle button in the left right corner – as usual to OSX) and the image gets saturated properly.
Another case – I go to full screen view in PS (F button) and the image gets oversaturated.
Another case – PS displays image properly, I switch to Chrome browser (on the same Eizo monitor) and go back to PS – the image gets oversaturated.
Another case - It is also enough to switch from PS to Chrome on the same monitor, and after that image in PS is desaturated. The for example, clicking F (for full view) restores colors, next F oversaturates, next desaturates again. And so on. Really crazy and whats more, I am never sure which state is correct, so in these terms PS is unreliable. I am not facing any kind of such problems with Lightroom, which I am using also strongly intense.
Generally, some actions destroy displayed color/brightness, some other actions restore from incorrectly displayed
Anyway, PS behaviour is just the behaviour is random. I can never be sure if an image is being displayed properly or not, so I am not sure if my processing is in proper direction (if i.e. PS desaturates, I am going to more saturate, which in turn can make the final image oversaturated). I perform lots of processing also as a service to others, so this is just disaster when I can’t be sure if what I see in PS is correct or wrong.
I tried some other workaround like setting on my laptop the profile od Eizo monitor (even if getting wrong colors on laptop screen) – to deprive PS of a chance of using incorrect profile, but PS is unpredictable, sometimes working correctly, sometimes not. So generally a failure.
You can see an example PS behaviour on sample video screenshot attached to this post.
This problem occurs in many different ways, the video shows one of them.
I have found over internet, that there are lots of cases people are struggling with, the OS (Mac or Windows), the type of external Monitor does not seam to be important.
I have performed many tests - i.e. reset all my PS preferences, made different configurations of Eizo monitor (using LUTs, not using LUTs, etc) - all with the same result.
I have tested the situation with all the same hardware (laptop, Eizo) but I have run PS CS6 (yes - very old version) with OS High Sierra - no problem at all, I have done lots of tests with only positive effects. This would indicate, the problem came with newer versions of PS or OS, however considering the behaviour of PS I have just described, I doubt OS to be the reason.
In this place I will keep up to date the summary what we know at this moment:
1. There is no fix and no workaround, that might be considered as working; the failure appears mostly randomly - after performing some operations in the apps, but some cases are repetitive and quite easy to recreate. The workarounds have different impact on the failure – at the beginning seam to work, but after some time the defect appears again.
It seams that Photoshop CS6 was not affected by the failure, but since Photoshop v 21.2.4 up to current version the problem exists. It appears also in Lightroom.
2. Doing the following:
a) setting the external monitor as primary
b) launching the app there
c) not dragging the app to another screen
d) setting destination external monitor profile before launching the app
e) not changing the external profile while working with app
f) not switching to other apps/monitors while working with the app
g) set on laptop the same hardware profile as on external monitor - to have the same profiles for both screens
= seams to have the best effect, however cumbersome and not confirmed yet, that the failure doesn’t appear, so needs still attention
3. Switching the GPU off – does not help and introduces another problems
- the app behavior is not smooth, it works very laggy
- there are some artifacts appearing on the screen like solid gray boxes – different sizes, places, appearing and disappearing while working with the app
- the paths being created with the Pen Tool change color from blue to black, making paths just invisible on dark areas/images – making the tool unusable or requiring some dedicated workarounds (like inverting the image to make it light)
4. Avoiding using certain features of the app may help – i.e. not switching the app to full view (F key) – most of wrong Photoshop behavior was triggered by this. In Lightroom – hiding left panel was triggering the failure.
5. Changing the hardware connection with external monitor seams to have no positive effect (no influence).
6. The app window size has some influence – the app resized to a smaller than full screen size seamed to have less cases of failure, than the app window set to full size.
Sometimes, with image being displayed with false colors on full size app window, shrinking the app window was making the failure disappear.
7. There were cases where launching Photoshop on external monitor (while external was Secondary and with its destination profile) – the image in Photoshop was desaturated just from the very beginning – after loading the image file. Restarting Photoshop and loading image again – the same false colors effect.
8. Changing parameters of Eizo monitor (like making version 2 and matrix-based profiles, not version 4 and table-based LUT – in Color Navigator) seams to have no positive effect.
9. Setting the same hardware profile for both screens - so setting up on laptop the profile from Eizo, just trying to leave Photoshop with no chance to mismatch profiles from different screens. This is still not fixing the problem, however it is showing up differently.
Also, the downside of this workaround is having wrong colors on MacBook, but if it would have helped, it would be of course much better than having not reliable colors in Photoshop.
Other threads regarding the type of failure:
PS CC 2021 display profile issue
Colors won't display properly since update
PS CC 2021 display profile issue
Photoshop: Colour shifts when switching to fullscreen mode (CS5, Mac 10.7)
Inconsistent color display on external monitors, Photoshop v 22.1.1 and Bridge v 11.0.1, Mac
images color changing on external monitor and MBP
PHOTOSHOP CC 2015 - color management problems with dual monitor setup on a Macbook
Photoshop CS5: Color shift in external monitor when switching to full screen view.
Viewing Photos in Full Screen Mode Photoshop CC on External Monitor Causing Colour Shift