Good monitor

Discussion in 'Classic Manual Cameras' started by donald_miller|5, May 1, 2018.

  1. Do not know the best place to ask but since I like classic cameras the most I guess I can get the advice I need here. My son says my monitors are badly outdated in not any good for displaying photos. Looking for some recommendations. I do most of my work with a Dell desktop with a terabyte sad. And sometime on my laptop which I assume I can use an external monitor.
  2. Probably you would get more response in the Digital Darkroom forum, though that doesn't mean we can't help here :)

    It would help to know which screen(s) you are using today, to see if they're really limiting in any way. Problem with most LCD screens from several years ago is that they are so-called TN-panels, which tend to have poor colour fidelity, and poor viewing angles. The latter means that if you're not seated directly in front of the screen, but instead look at it from an angle, that you get noticeable colour shifts.
    Much better are so called IPS-panels, which have become much more the norm in the last few years. In addition, spending a bit extra on calibration hardware to create good colour profiles for your screen is also worth it.

    Recommendations is hard: a lot depends on your budget, and on your needs/expectations. If you're involved in serious editing, and need high accuracy for prints or pre-print work, then you should consider an ample budget and aim for screens that can display 99% of the Adobe RGB colour space, and calibration is pretty much a must-do. If your editing requirements are a bit simpler, and your printing doesn't require the utmost in colour precision or you only post to the web, you can easily get away with somewhat more moderate screen (100% sRGB coverage, but something like 95-98% of the Adobe RGB colour space).
    Beyond that, screensize and resolution are more about what you find comfortable, plus again, budget plays a role.

    The screens on most laptops aren't very good, but indeed you can connect an external monitor to them, which normally takes the same connectors as a desktop would - so you can share your screen between the two, so to speak.
    Julio Fernandez likes this.
  3. I wouldn't just assume your son is right, based on what you've said. Outdated how? Compared to OLED screens? Is it a green screen? Too small? What's his actual complaint? Dell's larger screens used to be among the most-recommended for photo editing on anything without an apple badge on it. At least if you wanted to spend less than $3000 on a LaCie.

    I would say, if you're looking to seriously improve your situation, buy a calibrator first. See how your existing monitor does after calibrating it. If it can't be calibrated to within acceptable limits (which vary depending on who you ask), then maybe it's time to shop for a new monitor. You'll want to calibrate whatever you buy, anyway, so the purchase of the calibrator is not wasted money.

    And I would second Wouter's advice to look for an IPS screen if you do buy a new one, and don't do any serious color editing on a laptop. They may look beautiful, but their color accuracy is generally horrendous. There are calibrators that can handle laptops, too, but they're so bad that most calibrators can't adequately adjust them to provide accurate color.
  4. Well, I can say that he has a little expertise. He is a team project leader for Microsoft in softwarware development and now working on a major collaboration with a major graphics entity that has presence on the internet. He just looked at the monitors I was using and had some witty things to say. I am canvassing photographers since photography specifically is not his forte. Some of the advice given it close to what he said but there are some suggestions that differ from his. So to me the isssue is not the state of my equipment but what is the best to replacement. I find your advice invaluable. Thank you. From what her old me I do not question that I need a monitor but in the sense that when I have a toothache I go to the dentist and when I want a monitor best for photos I ask a photographer with more experience in this area.
    Thanks again.
  5. Donald,the problem with giving an advice for replacement is still that a lot depends on how much you're willing to spend, and how much accuracy you expect. It's easy to say "get a NEC with SpectraView", and for sure such monitor would do the job very fine, but at a serious cost. Likewise, a Dell UltraSharp could do the job just fine, but not if you need the utmost possible accuracy in colour reproduction - of course, the cost reflects that and makes them a lot more affordable.

    It's not a toothache where the dentist is the obvious go-to solution. It's closer to buying a car: if you need speed, a sportscar makes more sense than a truck, but of course may cost a bit too much or you need some capability to move stuff around .... at which point, it becomes a game of compromises, trying to find the right balance between cost and capabilities.
    So, without understanding budget and your priorities, there is no clear, simple recommendation.
    Last edited: May 3, 2018
  6. Understood. I wood be looking at $200 max but prefer around $120. A screen size of 24 to 28 inches. Right now I am using an Acer that is about 6 years old and a Dell that is even older and about 20”. I have a dual monitor set up but do not plan on buying 2 so I may have to just have one dedicated to the computer. So probably anything I buy is a step up. May $200 is unrealistic and then again Dell puts a lot of their stuff on sale at considerably lower prices all the time. It
  7. No one questioned his expertise.
    And, you and he are clearly very proud of that. I used to work for MS, too. It's irrelevant.
    And THAT is why I said not to assume he's correct. Anyone can toss off a wisecrack about "your ancient monitors", but that conveys no meaningful information.

    If neither of you can define in what way your current monitors are inadequate, how is anyone supposed to know what would be better? I have an ancient NEC in my closet because, while it outperforms any current $200 monitor, it's too small for the kind of photo editing I do on my 28" monitor, which cost a good bit more. Age is not the issue.

    Your 6+ years old monitors may have degraded a bit over time, and that can usually be compensated for by calibration. But it's unlikely that, spec for spec, they are much worse than anything you can buy today for $120, or even $200, apart from size (maybe). You're unlikely to find a 4K screen for that price, and even more unlikely to need one.

    Based on a quick look around, I'd recommend either of these two, based on your budget. I believe you'd have to at least double your budget to get 100% color gamut coverage. 84-85% is probably adequate for most purposes.

    Dell SE2717H 27" 16:9 IPS Monitor SE2717H B&H Photo Video
    Dell SE2717HR 27" 16:9 IPS Monitor SE2717HR B&H Photo Video
  8. Thank you. I was hesitant to state what you accurately described I am proud of. Nor was I stating that working MS makes him the end all of all knowledge since as you would know that working for MS covers a wide range of expertise. I was just saying that he is not some cowboy. But when he gave me input I decided to go to people who use monitors for this purpose. I should not have used the term "witty things" that is kind of a private bonding joke between us since from the age of 12 he thinks I am the dumbest thing on 2 feet. Actually he was quite specific and constructive. I thank you because you suggestions are exactly the answers was looking for.
    Thanks again
  9. "since from the age of 12 he thinks I am the dumbest thing on 2 feet"

    Don't worry Donald, the older I get the smarter my father gets! so I am sure he will come around
  10. While they exceed your budget, I would recommend the Dell UltraSharp screens; for example the U2412M doesn't cost a lot more than $200, and it has the advantage of a bit more vertical resolution (16:10 instead of the regular 16:9), and it's a very good monitor for the money.
    Still, calibration is a good idea, but adds another cost to do it right.
  11. +1 -- I have an earlier, slightly larger, version and it works quite well for photo editing for the web at least.
  12. Also to be considered if you're replacing your monitor is the technology: TN, VA or IPS. Here's an explanation from the good site.

    I'm currently using a Viewsonic 24" LED IPS screen and it's a giant step up in terms of clarity and viewing angle from the screens I was using 5 years ago.
  13. And, if you're not up for purchasing a calibration device, check out this page.
  14. Thanks everyone. your input has helped a lot!
  15. Another question is if you need an extended gamut monitor. If not, I've been happy with my Viewsonic VP2468.

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