Advice needed in selecting Wacom tablet

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by f1-fanatic, Jul 8, 2005.

  1. Hi,

    I am not sure if this is the right place but here it goes... I am
    looking to purchase my first editing tablet with pen for the PC but
    there are a lot of different sizes and options. I have narrowed my
    choice down to the Intuos 3 by Wacom but do not know if size will be
    an issue or not. Does the size of the tablet matter much for general
    photo editing, retouching, masks, etc. ??? Will the larger tablet
    help resolution wise and therefore be a better choice? If so I would
    love to hear which one might best fit my needs.

    I have never used one before but want to get the right one the first
    time around so any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

    Norman Perkel
  2. I would not recommend the smallest 4x5".
  3. Alan is the middle size adequate or do feel that the largest will be the best and if so why?

    Thanks again,
  4. Norman, I use and have used the 6x8s for years for both a retouching and creation. The
    size seems to be just right for just about everything. The larger ones take up a quite a bit
    of room and are probably overkill unless you want to set it in the middle of the room and
    do Jackson Pollock style work in photoshop or if you want a realistic paint stroke. The 4x5
    on the other hand is just too small. Although you can customize the way the tablet maps
    to the screen, the standard way to work with it in my experience is to have a 1 to 1
    mapping from the tablet to the screen. ( the upper right hand corner of the tablet equals
    the upper right of the screen. an so forth) with the smaller tablets I thought it felt
    unnatural to move for short distances across the tablet to result in large distance on the
    screen. This could just be that I have grown accustomed to the 6x8. I have found the
    mouse that ships with the wacoms, however, is pretty useless on the 6x8 but might make
    more sense with the larger tablets.
  5. Over the years I've used all three of the main Wacom sizes with Photoshop. I find the smallest a little cramped but adequate for all but the most demanding pen or lasso work, IMO the middle size is perfect, and the largest Wacom is way too big for Photoshop, it adds nothing to editing accuracy but has you reaching across a huge acreage throughout every Photoshop session which just slows you down.
  6. I bought the mid-sized tablet first and then sold it to a colleague and bought the Intuos 3 which fits better the way I work and the saved room on my desktop is nice too. But I have very tiny handwriting and so my movements on the tablet are of the same type. I know I wouldn't want to be without it now and wonder why I waited so long to get one.

  7. Guys... This is all extremely helpful. Thank you so much. I think I have settled on the mid size Intuos 3 tablet. I appreciate your quick and honest advice and look forward to posting.

    All the best,
  8. I worked with the 6x8" tablet for a while and found it handy, but the relative mapping of the tablet to my monitor never felt quite right. I now use the larger 9x12" size, and this works perfectly for a 20-21" monitor. It seems to map pen movements just about right to the monitor real estate. I generally work with a wireless keyboard in my lap and the tablet leaning on the keyboard platform above it. Sounds awkward, but works perfectly for me.
  9. Norman,

    This is a frequent question and the answer really depends on you and what kind of training in art you have previously undergone. For most non-artists, the training has been in basic "penmanship" that is the fingers control the pen, brush, stylus or whatever. For artists, the training has been to include the whole arm in the motion for the pen or brush. If you have not had the training for whole arm movements get a smaller pad; if you have had the whole arm training or can adapt to it without training get the larger tablet.

    I personally do not have whole arm skills. I bought the 6x8 tablet but it is slightly too large and therefore doesn't get used as much as I would prefer. I should have gotten the smaller pad; I probably will get a smaller pad some day.

    Mike S
  10. I think all the above comments regarding size are very valid, and for my money the 6x8 is the size of choice for the non-graphic artist. Especially if you ever plan to run dual monitors (otherwise a 4x5 might do).

    Whilst Norman already seems to have decided on the Intuos 3 (good choice), I'd like to add for anyone else who finds this thread while researching graphics tablets that I think the Intuos 3 is a far better choice that the entry level Graphire III. I've used both, and unless you are really on a budget I think the extra for the Intuos is money well spent.

    I think the tilt sensitivity of the Intuos 3 is of dubious benefit to photographers for retouching, but I found the degree of fine control with the Intuos 3 far superior to the Graphire. The other major benefit is the assignable buttons and sliders on the tablet. I've read elsewhere that they 'weren't a great selling point' but I have to disagree - the ability to customise these buttons means that once configured to my liking, I rarely have to take my hands off the tablet, which has improved my hand comfort and efficiency markedly.

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