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Thread: Monitor Recommendations

  1. #1
    Boatman's Avatar
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    Monitor Recommendations

    In need to set up a second computer in my house so that my brother can work on architectural projects in the evening. Through my work I have access to lots of computer parts and can easily build a system for him. I'm going to need a wide screen monitor for him to use.

    My current set up on the computer I use for photography is two monitors: a 19" LG Flatron 1952-BF and a 15" Kogi. The Flatron has good color and I have no complaints with it. The Kogi's colors aren't so good but I use it for all the Photoshop text boxes - dragging them over there and freeing up the main working space on the Flatron. Sometimes I'll keep a browers open over there if I need to follow some instructions. This is working pretty well. It may not be graphic designer quality but I am getting very good prints with this setup.

    Here is my question. Since I have to find a new monitor should I just get another cheap, wide screen monitor for the architectural use or hand down my 19" monitor and get something more appropriate for photography?

    If I upgrade my wide screen monitor, what should I be looking for? I've seen posts that recommend NEC PA series or Dell Ultrasharp HD screens. These run into the $1,500 range, which is out of my budget, and I'm note even certain what I would be getting out of them. (Or even if my current graphics engine will support them!)

    What should one be looking for in a monitor for photographic processing? Are there monitors that are particularlly favored for this application based on price and performance? Black Friday is coming - has anyone seen a killer deal for a recommended monitor?

  2. #2
    kris's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    Hy,

    look at ViewSonic http://www.viewsonic.com/products/de...raphic-series/

    They have a good graphic series not really expensive.

    Bye
    Andrea

  3. #3

    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    I strongly recommend you get a monitor with an IPS panel. With other panel technologies the colour and contrast tend to change with viewing position. Plenty around at $250 and up.

    To get the best out of a monitor for photography (to get accurate colour), you really do need to think about calibrating and profiling the monitor (with a hardware colorimeter such as Spyder 3 or Color Munki Display). In fact, I'd go so far as to say there's no point in spending more than around $500 unless you calibrate and profile the monitor.

    Read reviews, e.g. http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews.htm and http://www.prad.de/en/index.html

    Consider whether you want a wide-gamut monitor. If you are not fairly clued-up about colour management then you probably don't (and with a wide-gamut monitor you must have the monitor calibrated and profiled and use colour-managed applications or the colours will be wrong).

    Some other suggestions at dpreview.com, especially http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/re...&q=newsyl&qf=m and other posts by NewsyL

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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    Hi, as I always say I am no expert but I used both LG & Samsung then I looked into getting a monitor just for a new computer for photography I did a lot of hours searching the web for advice and as stated above TFT central is a good place to get ideas, in the end I bought the NEC PA231W, cost was also a factor in the choice of the screen size, I thought better to get a good small/medium screen that is not like the shelf bought ones in the local shop, not that are not good for what they are made for, the everyday house hold or works computer. Is the NEC any good? well as far I can say it is so much better on colour, I only have the Spider3 Elite to calibrate but one thing is for sure It was the best move I made to buy a monitor that is for photo editing. As for price I can only say you only get what you pay for. Advice! look around for an ex display model, I found one in Germany that was only 6 months old and had only sat on a shelf in the shop.
    Russ

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    I thoroughly recommend reading up at TFT Central too.
    Yes get an IPS panel, to avoid viewing angle issues.

    I was insistent on getting one with a pivot to rotate vertical for editing those big portrait orientation shots.
    Guess how many times I have bothered?
    0

    I got a Viewsonic V2365 (23"), but I see they only do 22 and 24 now, such is the vagaries of these products.
    I got the Viewsonic because TFT central reckoned they were, apart from having the contrast and brightness set too high, good to go (colour-wise) from the box* and that avoided me gettng into all the colour calibration and profiling malarky - oh dear, I can hear Colin tutting from NZ now

    * I think what they actually said was that the colorimetry results before and after profiling were so similar to each other, that the average user environment, you wouldn't see an improvement by going to the trouble.

    Anyway, it worked like that for me I am blissful in my ignorance

    When you get any new monitor, if you're not doing the full colour calibration and profiling, you will at least want to turn down the brightness and reset the contrast to sensible levels in your viewing environment, this is fairly easily done with reference to a greyscale and gamma references. If you don't, you're liable to be misled by eye (if you don't use a histogram in PP) to produce pictures that are dim.

    Cheers,

  6. #6
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    I have a pair of Eizo CG241W that are coming up on five years old and the calibrations are not showing age variations worth mentioning, so maybe look for used high end monitors at a price you like and you should be fine and even better off than some cheap new monitor.

  7. #7
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Bear View Post
    I have a pair of Eizo CG241W that are coming up on five years old and the calibrations are not showing age variations worth mentioning, so maybe look for used high end monitors at a price you like and you should be fine and even better off than some cheap new monitor.
    Hmmm, except, unless you've already got the cal gear (and you're gonna need it to correct what the previous user may have done while 'fiddling') you don't know what you are getting - at least off the production line, it should be correct, but that said; other manufacturers may not be so thorough, especially at the cheaper end of the market.

  8. #8
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    New, the CGs come with a calibration certificate from the factory. Used, you can just do a reset all on the monitor buttons which should take you back to the factory defaults. In any case, I wouldn't do any photo work without calibration (build in the CG monitors), so it would not cost much for a Spyder thing or a used X-Rite DTP94 puck (still one of the best and you only need a puck for a CG monitor) and you are in business. You can download the Eizo calibration software (only good for CG monitors) at no cost.

  9. #9
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    A little more information... I didn't get my monitor model right; it is an LG W2043T. I have the Pantone HueyPro calibration tool and keep the monitor well calibrated. As stated, it seems to do quite well and I'm having good success with prints from it. But I'm still confused by the jargon for better monitors.

    I'm also leaning towards letting my brother find something on Craig's List and I'll keep the set up I have!

  10. #10

    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    You mention that you use the two monitors to split photoshop so you have room to edit. Have you thought about a TV screen? A decent size (40 inch range) would only run you about $500 new and most come with PC/HDMI connections. (I know someone who got one for just under $300, which seems to be in the range of some computer monitors.) I'm no expert on color reproduction on a screen, but a TV will have brightness/contrast and other standard controls. This would be very spacious for photoshop, and it doesn't hurt that it doubles as an actual TV.

  11. #11

    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I got a Viewsonic V2365 (23"), but I see they only do 22 and 24 now, such is the vagaries of these products.
    I got the Viewsonic because TFT central reckoned they were, apart from having the contrast and brightness set too high, good to go (colour-wise) from the box* and that avoided me gettng into all the colour calibration and profiling malarky - oh dear, I can hear Colin tutting from NZ now

    * I think what they actually said was that the colorimetry results before and after profiling were so similar to each other, that the average user environment, you wouldn't see an improvement by going to the trouble.
    I don't think that's how I read the tftcentral review!

    It says that out-of-the-box default factory calibration gives an average dE (error) of 2.5 and maximum dE of 5.5. In sRGB mode they give average dE 1.9 and maximum dE 4.5.

    However, after calibration, average dE 0.2, maximum 0.5. That's rather better than the default settings!

    For the reviews I've read on tftcentral (not all of them, by any means), the colour, white point and gamma accuracy have always been substantially better after calibration and profiling. Even monitors with factory certificates of calibration are usually much improved by user calibration and profiling with a hardware colorimeter (Spyder, Color Munki, Huey...)
    Last edited by Simon Garrett; 18th November 2011 at 07:36 AM.

  12. #12

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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    I got the Viewsonic because TFT central reckoned they were, apart from having the contrast and brightness set too high, good to go (colour-wise) from the box* and that avoided me gettng into all the colour calibration and profiling malarky - oh dear, I can hear Colin tutting from NZ now

    * I think what they actually said was that the colorimetry results before and after profiling were so similar to each other, that the average user environment, you wouldn't see an improvement by going to the trouble.
    Hi Dave,

    Most monitors I see aren't too bad colour accuracy wise, but where the profiling usually REALLY kicks in is in getting levels right (black point / white point / gamma etc) - that's what can really make or break an image, and those adjustments can be all over the place -- especially if you have kids

  13. #13
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    As a follow up to Doesnotfollow's comment, I did get a HUGE monitor from my son for a while. I think it was a 34". However, the colors were bad and it was incredibly slow. Photoshop slowed to a crawl for reasons I can't explain except that I am using the motherboard video features, not a plug in video card. I think there was something in the graphics required for the device that the on-board graphics chip (GMA X4500) couldn't support.

    The two monitor set up works pretty well. If you haven't used a dual monitor setup, it behaves just like one big screen.

  14. #14

    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    I agree, two monitors are very useful. Some programs such as Lightroom (especially), Photoshop and Nikon's ViewNX and Capture NX2 are designed to take advantage of a 2nd monitor. It's a very powerful way of comparing two versions of an image, say.

    They don't have to be the same size or same type, so when you get a new monitor simply use the previous one as the 2nd monitor. If you calibrate/profile them, they will look the same with colour managed programs.

  15. #15
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    I'll add that the Pantone Huey software has the capability of calibrating both monitors in one calibration session. However, I've not had much success in getting the Kogi to match the Samsung. If I go into the settings after doing the calibrations I can get it pretty close, but it is difficult to get them to really match up. The baseline contrast and brightness always seem to be off and the Kogi tools for setting these don't seem adequate.

  16. #16
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    I've read the posts, thank you, and looked into this more. I'm thinking an HP ZR22W would be nice if I can find one at a decent price. I have a question though. I normally set my camera for sRBG color, which is its default setting. Most non-wide gamut monitors can cover 100% of the sRGB gamut and, in the case of the HP ZR22W, 72% of the NTSC gamut. Laying aside the benefits of IPS technology, backligting and other issues, wouldn't a monitor with a 100% coverage of the sRGB space be sufficient for all the colorations I'm going to need with my camera?

  17. #17

    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    Hi
    If you have not already made your choice this may be of some use.
    I bought a Dell U2311H earlier in the year and paid NZ$380.00.
    The test I read indicated this monitor was pretty acurate straight out of the box and now that I have calibrated it with a Spyder 3 Elite I can confirm that it was not too far off using default settings.
    I have not done much in the way of test prints but the few I have done all look pretty good when compared with the on screen image.
    I did look at the Viewsonic option since it was a bit less expensive when I started looking but when I tried to order it it became unavailable.
    In the end the Dell was slightly cheaper and on some tests may be slightly better than the Viewsonic. Both the monitors I looked at are IPS.
    Graham

  18. #18
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    Re: Monitor Recommendations

    The two monitor set up works pretty well. If you haven't used a dual monitor setup, it behaves just like one big screen
    I also use two monitors and both are 20" wide screens from Samsung.
    One is just a pc monitor and the second one is 1080p connected to a dish receiver with a hdmi connection.
    When working with element 9 for color purposes I like to work on the 1080p.
    I prefer to work on 2 monitors instead on one big screen.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 24th November 2011 at 04:37 AM.

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