Eyeglass Coating


Today’s Question: I recently got a new pair of eyeglasses for computer use. The optician suggested a coating that reduces or eliminates the blue cast from computer monitors. The sample lens did make things appear warmer. Is this a good option? My monitor is calibrated, but if I get the coating should I recalibrate to compensate?

Tim’s Quick Answer: My personal preference would be to not use eyeglasses with this type of coating when making color corrections based on a monitor display. Alternatively, you could attempt to calibrate the display to compensate for the color shift your eyeglasses produces.

More Detail: I suspect your optician was thinking more about the overall viewing experience and perhaps eye strain, rather than color accuracy. Naturally, if the photos on your display look warmer (more yellow) than they actually are, you’re going to have a tendency to shift the color balance to a value that is too cool (blue).

You could, of course, simply remove the eyeglasses when you need to make a critical decision about color, if you prefer to have the effect of the coating at other times. Another option would be to calibrate to a different white point target for your display. The idea would be to make the display appear cooler (more blue) with a target value that offsets the effect of your eyeglasses.

There are two challenges involved with that. First, it will take some trial and error to figure out what target value will provide a good result. Second, the more entry-level display calibration tools don’t allow you to customize the target you’ll calibrate to for the white point.

If you prefer to calibrate to compensate for the effect of your eyeglasses, I would recommend the X-Rite i1Display Pro (http://timgrey.me/i1prodis), which provides you with the ability to set a custom white point target, among other advanced controls.