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Thread: Viewing angle for monitor

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Trevor Reeves

    Viewing angle for monitor

    I just calibrated my monitor (Spyder Pro 4) and now I have a question on something which has confused me for a long time . When I am viewing the monitor, the angle at which I view the monitor (an iMac) changes the colour, brightness and saturation of the image. So: what is the best angle relative to my eyes for optimal accurate rendition?

    For a reference point for discussion assume 90 degrees is when the monitor is parallel to my forehead.

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    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    The rule of thumb for televisions is that you should be eye-level 1/3 of the way from the top of the screen. Head and neck straight for the measurement. This puts you more or less at at "eye level" with the characters on the screen, reducing neck strain. That's not a bad starting point if you do a fair bit of video work too.

    That's probably not a bad rule of thumb for portraits either. For landscapes, I wonder if might want to go a bit higher and have the middle of the screen at eye-level.

    I use the 1/3 from the top rule and it seems to work fairly well for me, but sometimes I wonder if I should move things up a bit. From a left to right standpoint, I would suggest the middle of the screen would be ideal.

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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    I think it's entirely dependent on two things. The first is what is comfortable for you. We are all different. Factors such as screen size, brightness, fonts, external light sources, your posture, etc can all have an influence. Be far enough away that using the screen whether it be for work or photos does not make you strain your eyes by forcing you to look too far up, down or side to side. Too much movement to the extremes will cause eye strain, headaches and a stiff neck/shoulders. For me, straining up is the worst. For my own settings here my eyes horizontally are about 3 inches higher than my screen. The screen is tilted back so that my line of sight perpendicular to the plane of the screen is about 1/3 down on a 11.5 inch vertical. Try this. Sit as you would using the computer with your hands on the keyboard. Close your eyes and relax them for 30 seconds. Let them rest. Open your eyes and in that comfortable relaxed position you should be looking an inch or two above the area on the screen where you do most of your work.

    The second consideration is picture hue and luminance consistency top to bottom. Raising your head up and down or tilting the screen will give you an idea of what is best. Look for the up and down angles were you can notice a marked difference then average them out for an optimal angle. Play around with settings and you'll come up with the right one for you.
    This might help as well http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/viewing_angle.php

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    tbob's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    Gentlemen; The help was much appreciated and bang on. I think I finally have a grasp on this. I have adjusted the two computers I use to be optimal at least to my eyes. The difference is marked and I am shocked that I used a computer screen for close to twenty years and had never before twigged to this aspect (pun intended) of viewing. I suppose until colour rendition became a matter of concern I ignored it.

    Thanks again

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    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    The following image works for me (I think I might have posted this before but I can't find it here). When the monitor is tilted optimally, a very faint slightly lighter square is visible in the black square, while simultaneously a faint slightly darker square is visible in the white square:

    Viewing angle for monitor

    Philip

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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    Am I missing something here? The Spyder or other calibrator measures the light from the screen at a 90 deg angle. So it would seem that the only correct viewing angle is one where we are looking at the same 90 deg. Depending on viewing distance the angle is going to change as we look around the screen. I make it a practice to move my head back and forth scanning the screen at 90 deg for a final check after editing.

    I finally gave up and bought a NEC PA241w which has an excellent viewing angle. Now I'm unhappy with my notebook.

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    Black Pearl's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    Am I missing something because I'm sat here in front of my iMac bobbing about like a loony and I can't get the colours to change, nor do the squares above alter.

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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    http://www.lagom.nl/lcd-test/viewing_angle.php might help showing what happens when you change the viewing angle...

    Remco

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    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by black pearl View Post
    Am I missing something because I'm sat here in front of my iMac bobbing about like a loony and I can't get the colours to change, nor do the squares above alter.
    Now there's an amusing image


    I tend to agree - and I'm not even a Mac person. I have always noticed (in showrooms), that Mac screens are usually excellent and assumed they are IPS variety which "don't do that".

    Most laptop screens are not IPS and are consequently very tricky to 'safely' use for photo editing, you must get perpendicular to them both for setting up and subsequent use. Up/down/tilt angle affects brightness horrendously, left/right may affect colour.

    I supposed that Mac 'laptop' ones were IPS and didn't/shouldn't exhibit this behaviour.

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    Administrator GrumpyDiver's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Now there's an amusing image


    I tend to agree - and I'm not even a Mac person. I have always noticed (in showrooms), that Mac screens are usually excellent and assumed they are IPS variety which "don't do that".

    Most laptop screens are not IPS and are consequently very tricky to 'safely' use for photo editing, you must get perpendicular to them both for setting up and subsequent use. Up/down/tilt angle affects brightness horrendously, left/right may affect colour.

    I supposed that Mac 'laptop' ones were IPS and didn't/shouldn't exhibit this behaviour.
    Having used both Mac and PC, I will say that Apple does not fool around with cheap display and they always seem to go back to their roots in the media business and build in class displays.

    That is not saying you can't get a good monitor for for PCs, but you have to be willing to spend the money, just like you would for a Mac. The low end TN displays are never going to give you good colours; so look at the cheapest display for a particular size and double that cost. That will start getting you into the price range of something you can use for photo and video work. Of course, for all of these units, you also have to spend the money on a tool to calibrate them. An expensive monitor that has not been colour calibrated does not buy you anything...

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    MrB's Avatar
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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    Not everyone is either willing or able to pay out 2 or 3 times as much for an Apple system (compared to a typical PC). My experience with PCs is that the picture on both my laptop screen and my desktop monitor is markedly affected by their angle of tilt. The black and white squares image gives a simple and effective method of finding the optimal tilt for any seating position or monitor placement. Hope some of you also find it helpful.

    Cheers.

    Philip

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    Re: Viewing angle for monitor

    The Acratech Viewing Angle Gauge: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...ge_Silver.html

    This is a tutorial regarding the use of the gauge: acratech.net This is the video instruction manual and tutorial for the Viewing Angle Gauge.
    A very rudimentary video that gets the point across.

    When I process my images the screen is tilted back using the gauge; when I look at my images and the screen is vertical the images are washed out, brighter, and lose fine details.

    Others looking at my images and not understanding the need for positioning the screen so that it is square/parallel to your eye report all kinds of problems with my images that I do not see.

    When I look at the images posted by Mr.B I can just barely see the internal squares when my screen is tilted as determined by the gauge.

    What is the correct angle for processing your images?

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