Epson LS12000 Quick Dynamic Calibration

Follow-up article here. Use the CMS settings from that article with the below settings or use the two-point white point correction from the new article together with the new CMS settings.

We had 2 hours access to Epson’s LS12000. I did a very quick greyscale calibration for Dynamic to tame the mode and allow us to compare the dimming performance in Natural versus Dynamic. While we didn’t do CMS in dynamic, it really tamed the mode to the level where it looked reasonably accurate and certainly not as crazy as with default dynamic settings. However, please note that this is NOT a reference calibration by any stretch of the imagination. But it will make this mode a lot more usable out of the box.

The below dynamic calibration tames both its SDR and HDR presentation in Dynamic. Since the Epson is tone-mapping to its HDR gamma (and using the same D60 whitepoint for its greyscale), calibrating the mode for 2.2 gamma (with the gamma setting at 0), is appropriate. Of course a tighter calibration could be achieved by doing HDR-specific calibration (e.g trying to target a 1000nit peak PQ EOTF with the HDR slider at 8), but this would be at the expense of configurability. The Epsons need to be calibrated to a 2.4 gamma (at gamma position -2) for the correct PQ curve if someone so wishes.

The impressions article is coming shortly. I wanted to share the Dynamic calibration settings we used.

Picture Mode: Dynamic

Laser: 100%

Dynamic Gamma: 8 (adjust to your preference – recommend 8)

Dynamic Contrast: High Speed (recommend over Normal)

Gamma: 0 for 2.2, -1 for 2.3 and -2 for 2.4. (-1 or -2 recommended for dark-room viewing)

White Balance Menu Adjustments

Color Temp: 9

C-M Correction: 7

Custom Greyscale (two-point):

Offset R: 50

Offset G: 50

Offset B: 50

Gain R: 50

Gain G: 25

Gain B: 25

11-point Greyscale (R / G / B):

Level 11: 0, 0, 0

Level 10: -1, 0, -3

Level 9:-9, 0, 0

Level 8: -11, 0, 0

Level 7: -11, 0, -4

Level 6: -11, 0, -3

Level 5: -11, 0, 0

Level 4: -9, 0, 2

Level 3:-10, 0, 2

Level 2: -8, 0, -4

Level 1: 0, 0, 0

Optional Settings

Just like I did with my ultimate UB6050 / UB5050 / TW9400 Dynamic Calibration for HDR, you can lower the offset controls by 1 or 2 clicks to cut some of the near-black information for those titles that have lifted black levels. As a bonus, this won’t make the dynamic dimming crazy here – unlike on the older units – as laser dimming is pretty instant as opposed to the lamp dimming + dynamic iris on the older units.

Calibration Notes

The unit didn’t lose a lot of brightness after calibration which is very surprising as we lowered green and blue quite a bit.

However, if we had more time, I would not have balanced 100% for the two point then proceeded with multi-point greyscale. I would have tried to balance 80% and then tried to tame the rest with multi-point. However, the issue with such a strategy is that gamma would have looked worse and would have needed custom gamma changes, which means you wouldn’t have an option to change the gamma using the on-board controls based on viewing conditions.

The other issue we experienced was that multi-point greyscale was simply not responding correctly at 80% stimulus, either with the on-board or external patterns. When trying to lower blue, the 80% stimulus was not responding but surround stimulus levels would look a lot worse even by eye. This is a very strange issue and will be reported to Epson.

Now all displays have their own peculiarities and they take a lot longer to work around than a 15min calibration session so would have needed a lot more time to figure out if different strategies would allow us to get 80% to behave itself.

In any case, these settings resulted in a lot better picture than with the default settings and we were ready to watch some content with both Natural and Dynamic picture mode.

If you would like to calibrate your own unit, see some resources here.

Results in Pictures

I forgot to take a picture of the default state. So you see that trying to get 100% balanced, we had to lower red with multi-point. Even though everything was under 3dE, this was a bit red-shifted. This is why I would have balanced 80% so less adjustment would have been needed.

The reason I don’t like to use offset controls is that it messes with near-black gamma in a way that is not correctable. It should only be used as a very last resort, especially on contrast-limited displays. (This is described in both Volume 1 and Volume 2 of the Display Calibration guide in more detail.)

My plan was to tighten gamma with the greyscale controls further, but unfortunately, the controls were not responding linearly. However, I have seen worse – in fact seen just as bad on a JVC right after an auto-cal. Ultimately, it is actually pretty linear considering even a dynamic calibration on a UB6050 / UB5050/ TW9400. This could be brought in line with custom gamma controls, but ultimately we didn’t have the will or the time for this quick showing.

After we did 11-point greyscale, the below is what we arrived at. As you can see 80% stimulus was not behaving itself at all. But this was overall a lot better than what we started with and gave a better visual result.

Gamma tightened up upto 70% then went on a hike down the hill from 80% to 100%. It is not a big deal, as I said. Custom gamma controls – at the expense of configurability would sort this. Trying other calibration strategies might also resolve the non-linearity of the greyscale controls, but I will still report the peculiar behaviour to Epson.

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