looking for a new monitor and advice

Discussion in 'Digital Darkroom' started by drtphoto, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. I currently have a Samsung Syncmaster 2220WM monitor. Its small and i want to get something bigger with better quality. Which monitor do you use and which would you recommend? thanks in advance for the help.
     
  2. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    If calibration flexibility and 'accuracy' are important to you, any of the NEC SpectraView II line. Consider a wide gamut display.
    Nearly all if not all current SpectraView displays are wide gamut, most other's are not (sRGB like gamut).
    SpectraView uses a high bit internal processing path (at least 10-bit) with internal 3D LUTs. These high bit LUTs allow precise adjustments to be made to the display’s Tone Response Curve without reducing the number of displayable colors or introducing color banding artifacts.
    SpectraView has 3-4 year on site warranty.
    SpectraView panels are hand selected from the manufacturer line (pick of the litter).
    SpectraView has electric technologies like ColorComp, which adjusts and improves screen (brightness) uniformity using individually measured matrices for each display at the factory. All done high bit with compensation for operating time and temperature.
    SpectraView has electric technologies like GammaComp, to adjust the monitor's internal 10-bit gamma Look-Up-Table, allowing various custom display gamma or Tone-Response-Curves to be achieved.
    SpectraView is a smart display system that integrates custom software for calibration including multiple target calibration's which can be loaded to adjust the display while loading the associated ICC profile, (and few other products aside from Eizo) can do this. To quote from the manual:
    SpectraView communicates with the display monitors using Display Data Channel - Command Interface (DDC/CI) which is a two-way communications link between the video graphics adapter and display monitor using the normal video signal cable. No extra cables are necessary. All adjustments to the monitor settings are done automatically using this communications link. It is not necessary to manually configure the monitor as all of the necessary settings are made by the software.
    SpectraView will bundle a custom mated Colorimeter with their software for calibration. The price you pay for software and colorimeter with the SpectraView, depending on what country you live in costs significantly less than buying the hardware and software for a non SpectraView. And that extra money will not provide a fraction of the capabilities outlined.
    SpectraView PA series offer the ability to calibrate WITHOUT a Colorimeter with the FREE Multiprofiler software since each panel is measured with a very expensive spectroradiometer and that data is embedded in a chip in the panel. It can update the calibration as the unit ages to ensure calibration.
    SpectraView can emulate with a single click other behaviors, again on the fly so it can simulate a non wide gamut display (sRGB) among other standardized behaviors (Broadcast Video DICOM, etc)
    SpectraView has internal electronic control over contrast ratio, most units do not. Real useful for soft proofing on media that has differing contrast ratio's (matt vs. glossy papers).
    SpectraView has Network support (Windows only).
    SpectraView has provisions to lock the display controls so no accidental alteration to behavior by mistake.
    SpectraView displays allow the user to raise and lower the display for best viewing position AND it can be rotated 90 degrees for Portrait. Apple doesn't provide this.
    Several SpectraView's support Picture in Picture (you can have two differing calibration's per picture).
     
  3. You need a wide gamut, IPS monitor that can be calibrated. Two reasonably priced monitors to consider are;the ASUS PA249Q 24 inch, and the Dell Ultrasharp U2410 24 inch widescreen. These are the best of the lower price point IPS monitors that can be calibrated and have wide gamut color. The NEC SpectraView is a standard in the industry but more expensive of course. Even more expensive but very good are some of the offerings from Eizo. Whatever you get you will have to budget for calibration software except for the NEC SpectraView that includes the calibration. Good luck!
     
  4. I think you should try and get the largest you can afford 2 of. Having 2x30" is a dream for any image editing or design work. THere is no way I could go back. Having 2 x27 for me would be much better than 1x30".
     
  5. Andrew said it all. He's a widely known expert on color and color management. I took his advice and got an NEC Spectraview 27" monitor with the Spectraview II software and measuring device and have not looked back It just works. I re-profile it when it tells me to and my prints look as close to the monitor as a reflected surface can to a transmitted surface.
    Good luck.
     
  6. Like Gil, I recommend the Dell U2410. Yes, there are better ones out there, but the bottom line is that properly calibrated, I get prints from labs that accurately match what I see on my screen, and that's the most important thing to me. I think the Dells are the best value out there.
     
  7. Dell U2410
     
  8. I have a Dell U2310, a slightly smaller with the same specs and performance as the U2410 mentioned in previous post, monitor. It, correction, mine calibrates to 98% of sRGB with Spyder 4 Express.
     
  9. Thanks for all the input and i will check these monitors out soon and decide. thanks again!
     
  10. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Another vote for the Dell line up. My first 24" from 2004'ish is still going strong! I'm currently running a dual 27" setup but would swap it for a single 30". Keep in mind that a dual monitor setup can be too much travel for your hand with stylus or mouse.
     
  11. I've been really happy with this monitor I bought years ago. It's wide-gamut with 12 bit internal color processing. It's been rock solid for a long time now, and print matching is easy.
    But I might upgrade to the LED version if I was buying now.
    I calibrate with a SpyderPro.
     
  12. Eric, A single 30 over 24" is a bit more comfort, but not like being able to setup your desktop with all the PS tools on one screen with Navigation view, and history, ALL your tools go on the second screen opening up the space for much more viewing of your image. It is also indispensable when managing or multitasking. I often have to wait for files to either Write or Open or wake up a server and these are the times I que up what I need on the second screen, or I check on the jobs coming in. Remote Desktop into email computer, or message with another worker to get up to speed on a job...etc etc.
    But I also love it(would love it more with a few improvements) for having the Library view on one side of LightRoom and having the Loupe view on the main screen. Once/if they make this more of a useful feature by letting the 2 work independently so its not always changed when going into Dev mode, it would be even more useful. CaptureOne allows you to customize your desktop and helps with tether shooting, and all the other tools are dock-able.
    Also purchasing a couple deskmount arms takes the screens off the table and makes them easy to position how ever you like, including one Horizontal view, and the second vertical (software adjusts the screen orientation, came free with an NEC I had).
    I have heard nothing but good things about the new Dell's, but not read much about them head to head with other design/color/image specific monitors.
     
  13. EricM

    EricM Planet Eric

    Phil, I've been running dual monitors since video cards could support it...2003(?) with Lacie 15" CRT's. Thanks for the tips but you're preaching to the choir.
    2 x 27" is MY sweet spot, I wouldn't do 2 x 30" as my hand would be off the desk to much while travelling to tool pallets etc. The amount the hand travels is different for each photographers/artists. A wedding photographer coming home and importing and doing batches and going through 12 gb of files will have different amount of hand travel time than someone spending five hours on a single image and doing 80 layers with a comp
     
  14. What are you using your monitor for? Do you make prints? Do you calibrate images for 3rd party printing? Is it for personal viewing? Is it for viewing by others on their monitors?
    If it is for anything other than printing, spending money on high priced monitors is pretty much a waste. Your monitor might be great, but the monitor the viewer has -- not so much? We all see with different color perception. Even each eye sees color somewhat differently -- my suggestion if you are not preparing images to print -- get what looks good to you at a price point you like.
     
  15. Hahah Eric...Indeed, The first I think was the Matrox G something Dual vga card that I used.
    Thats an important point you mention. To help in that, I have been incorporating a Logitech gaming mouse G500 (It even has weights you can add to balance. Part gimick, part nice to have the heft). This mouse like some others has a 300dpi to 1500 dpi button with increments. What you say is surely a great point. I try and use this mouse to aid in this. When I do spot editing, I lower it to the 3-400 dpi setting etc..
     
  16. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    If you're buying a display today, you want LED! It's more stable than CCFL, last longer, runs cooler, warms up faster, uses significantly less energy. The spectral plots I've measured and seen look a bit better than Fluorescent. If you're working with images, especially from a raw workflow, you want wide gamut! And if you're doing that, you really want 10-bit's from the panel (more is not useful, it's just marketing).
     
  17. Good point EJ,
    Your monitor might be great, but the monitor the viewer has -- not so much? We all see with different color perception.​
    Thats what I use the Shimian and another Samsung TV/Monitor for, making sure the sRGB's look write on more than just one screen.
    And Adrew is totally on point about getting LED's vs any other lighting tech.
    Makes me wonder....I'm not sure if this would be true, but since LED's are diode based with little heat, I want to think that your calibration should last a very long time, or even once set, that maybe all you need. Anyone know more about how the backlight to the panel and how color shift occurs for LED's ?
     
  18. EJ: That makes sense. I've mainly used my old NEC Multisync 90GX2 Opticlear for processing and think it did a great job for on-line and Flickr as well as here. Any color casts were my fault not the monitors. Even my 8 1/2 x 11 prints on an old Canon ip4600 ink jet seems pretty good too. Not sure if they match the monitor, but as long as they look good to my eyes, I'm happy.
    But since I'm upgrading my computer, I decided to go for a top end monitor that I could start to print from drum scans of my 120 medium format film made in a lab as well as print in a lab and home. I'll also be processing digital.
    So, I just bought a NEC Spectraview PA242W-BK 24" Professional Wide Gamut LED Desktop with Color Sensor and SpectraView II Software Kit on recommendations.
    My questions are: should I do my Lightroom 5 processing using sRGB or AdobeRGB, both, when, etc? When CMYK? Any other set-up and operational suggestions for both the monitor and/or computer?
     
  19. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    My questions are: should I do my Lightroom 5 processing using sRGB or AdobeRGB, both, when, etc? When CMYK? Any other set-up and operational suggestions for both the monitor and/or computer?​

    ALL processing within Lightroom and ACR use a variant of ProPhoto RGB (same gamut, different TRC gamma). If you're exporting images to go to the web (or use LR's web gallery or slide show), that data is then converted to sRGB or at least should be by configuring the Export settings for sRGB. If you're going out to a print device, I'd export or "Edit in Photoshop" using ProPhoto RGB as your master rendered image which can of course be sized down and converted to sRGB should a copy be needed in that color space.
    CMYK is a big messy issue but again, you'll convert the finished master and convert to CMYK from ProPhoto RGB outside of Lightroom, it has no provisions for CMYK conversions.
     
  20. Andrew: Thanks for the fast response. So if I understand correctly, I don't have to worry about color space until the end of processing when I decide what I want to do with the edited photo. LR5 processes in ProPhoto RGB.
    When you scan color film, either negatives or positives, what color space should I ask for from the lab?
     
  21. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    I don't have to worry about color space until the end of processing when I decide what I want to do with the edited photo. LR5 processes in ProPhoto RGB.​
    Correct. Raw or rendered data, IF you apply metadata editing, then export, the edits are applied in ProPhoto RGB-like space, so might as well export ProPhoto RGB unless you want to go directly to sRGB or some other space (again, you're sending files to the web).
    When you scan color film, either negatives or positives, what color space should I ask for from the lab?​
    Ideally in the scanner's native color space. Whatever the profile built to define that flavor of RGB is. Then you'd go: Scanner RGB>ProPhoto-Like in LR>output color space.
     
  22. When would I export to ProPhoto RGB? When I want to save a TIFF or what?
     
  23. digitaldog

    digitaldog Andrew Rodney

    When would I export to ProPhoto RGB? When I want to save a TIFF or what?​
    When you're done in LR and want a rendered TIFF to further edit outside LR (in say Photoshop).
     
  24. What format and color space is best to give to an outside printer after you edited the shot in LR5? I suppose it would be best to check with the printer lab.
     
  25. Yes, talk to the press operator regarding profiles.
    There are different print methods. Offset press printing jobs are "normally" done in CMYK color space, and if the printer is careful and manages his/her color accurately, they will likely have a profile for you to use. Many large press operations I see use a standard CMYK SWOP (coated/uncoated) v2 standard. Which works OK for most jobs.But I rather check and ask for a profile when available.
    If your colors have specific saturation in certain blue - purples, and so on..generally those high saturations are limited in CMYK from the inks and likely the combo of the papers used.
    As far as file formats, many prefer a PDF X1a file that follows their specifications, specially magazines. Many take JPEG, and TIF.
    Nevertheless... Always talk to the press you deal with. Look over their specification guidelines.
    And since this post is for monitors and although I trust mine, when printing, I regularly run a contract proof print and see the print sample before sending the job. You can also send this to the press for them to use as a guide. The more you cover on your side the less chance of error, and when it does happen, you have the contract proof to work from. This has been my experience
     

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