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Thread: Monitor advice

  1. #1

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    Monitor advice

    Hey guys

    I'm after any advice about monitors.

    I recently purchased a second hand Epson R2880 printer and was struggling with my printed image being different to the image I am seeing on screen.

    I have purchased a Spyder calibration device and it made a massive difference, but not quite 100%.

    The problem I am having now is that my calibrated monitor is a lot darker than I used to have it set and my other hobby of online gaming now shows a very very dark image.

    I'm thinking of running a 2 monitor set up with one dedicated purely to photo editing and the other for general use.

    I have been reading up a little on IPS monitors and from what I can understand they are a lot better with the amount of colours etc than my TN monitor.

    As much as I would love to get an Eizo monitor the cost is just too much.

    Does anyone have any advice to a decent monitor for photo editing that is not going to break the bank or send the wife into cardiac arrest

    I've seen some quite reasonably priced LG or AOC monitors but just not sure what they are really like.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Cheers

    Gary

  2. #2

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Quote Originally Posted by Gaab View Post
    ...Does anyone have any advice to a decent monitor for photo editing that is not going to break the bank or send the wife into cardiac arrest ...
    Ah, that old chestnut! It's a contradiction in terms. The cheapest truly decent monitor is likely to be the Dell U2412, better still is likely to be Dell's latest offering the U2413 but neither of these are truly cheap.

    Having said that, truly cheap monitors from LG, as long as they are IPS panels will be good.

    The thing you have to ask yourself is what am I going to do with the photos? Simply edit them on screen then post them as web-ready jpgs? In that case the Dell's are probably overkill. Or am I going to polish them on screen and print them out poster size / make money out them? The Dell's probably would be the minimum you'd need.

    One man's decent is another man's hopeless.

    Ken

  3. #3
    Tony M's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor advice

    Hi Gary,

    I just got a new IPS monitor - it's an ASUS PA238Q 23". My previous one died while under warranty, which was timely because now that I'm doing a lot of PP I had decided I wanted an IPS monitor.

    But I can't say much about its performance yet, as I haven't had time to evaluate it. It's a reasonably priced monitor, costing €230 plus tax. I like that I can rotate the screen 90 degrees and have portrait photos use (nearly) the full height of the monitor.

    Good luck on your choice.

    Tony

  4. #4

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Thanks guys.

    I'm looking at printing the images out after pp. I find it difficult trying to judge what a monitor will be like when looking at one in store.

  5. #5

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Monitor calibration & profiling often dims the display by default (typically to 100 cd/m2 or less), but it also assumes that you're working in a subdued lighting environment (in which case it should be fine). If you're working in a brighter area and you'd like a brighter monitor then don't hesitate to over-ride the suggestion and run it much brighter (I run mine at 200 cd/m2).

    If you run a bright monitor in a dim area though you'll reveal too much shadow detail - over-compensate - and end up with dark photos.

  6. #6

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Hi Gary,

    I also have a massive problem with what you actually see on a monitor. At work I have a Samsung and an LG. At home I use another Samsung (same as at work) and my laptop is na Asus with LED backlit monitor. Three different screens, three different results on images.

    I had images printed at a professional lab, on metallic paper, and adjusted my Samsung at home according to the printed images. What I see on the monitor at home is now much closer to what I see in printed images. That is what I want, my printed work to look like whatever I see on my monitor. I will rarely print my own work.
    You can calibrate your monitor to your printer, if you then have images printed at a professional lab there might be a difference.

    I am no monitor expert, what I have heard from the sound and vision guru's is that Panasonic is the best. Open an Asus monitor and you will probably find Panasonic inside, I have.

  7. #7

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    Re: Monitor advice

    One answer, that I hardly ever see mentioned, is to turn it on its head and calibrate the printer to the monitor.
    i.e. get the photo looking as you want it on the monitor, then do loads of test prints with different print settings until you get the result you need. It works for me !
    What's wrong with that approach that nobody suggests it ?

  8. #8
    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Monitor advice

    Hi Gary,

    This was my situation about 4 months ago! my major issue was images printing way darker than my calibrated monitor was showing. getting correct profiles for the printer/ink/paper combo helped a lot. in the end i decided to try a new monitor rather than the matte screen on my mac book.

    This site gave me loads of info http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/nec_pa271w.htm and in the end it came down to a choice between a dell or NEC (i couldnt justify the Eizo to the wife.... i picked the NEC PA271w in the end and am very happy with it, but again not the cheapest option.

    mark

  9. #9

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Quote Originally Posted by AB26 View Post
    Hi Gary,

    I also have a massive problem with what you actually see on a monitor. At work I have a Samsung and an LG. At home I use another Samsung (same as at work) and my laptop is na Asus with LED backlit monitor. Three different screens, three different results on images.

    I had images printed at a professional lab, on metallic paper, and adjusted my Samsung at home according to the printed images. What I see on the monitor at home is now much closer to what I see in printed images. That is what I want, my printed work to look like whatever I see on my monitor. I will rarely print my own work.
    You can calibrate your monitor to your printer, if you then have images printed at a professional lab there might be a difference.

    I am no monitor expert, what I have heard from the sound and vision guru's is that Panasonic is the best. Open an Asus monitor and you will probably find Panasonic inside, I have.
    Andre,

    From what you've said, I take it that you haven't calibrated and profiled your monitor using the appropriate hardware and software. If this is indeed the case then your results will always be a "lottery". If you're serious about prints being in the same ballpark - and colour correction consistent then there's just no getting away from it I'm afraid.

  10. #10

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisletts View Post
    One answer, that I hardly ever see mentioned, is to turn it on its head and calibrate the printer to the monitor.
    i.e. get the photo looking as you want it on the monitor, then do loads of test prints with different print settings until you get the result you need. It works for me !
    What's wrong with that approach that nobody suggests it ?
    Because it puts the cart before the horse. In essence it'll only work for the prints you do yourself; if you display work on the internet then what others see with correctly calibrated and profiled equipment won't be what you're seeing - and if you get anything printed elsewhere it also won't be what you're expecting.

    The ONLY way to get it close and consistent is to calibrate & profile your monitor & printer with the appropriate hardware and software.

  11. #11

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Ah - point taken Colin - I always do my own printing and frankly I don't think its worth my worrying about what it looks like on the internet since I'm sure 90% of people who see it haven't got a calibrated monitor anyway.
    I VERY MUCH support your last sentence "calibrate & profile your monitor & printer" - most calibration discussions seem to focus on just the monitor, whereas I've always believed if you're going to calibrate, you need BOTH to get the right result.

  12. #12

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    Re: Monitor advice

    Quote Originally Posted by chrisletts View Post
    Ah - point taken Colin - I always do my own printing and frankly I don't think its worth my worrying about what it looks like on the internet since I'm sure 90% of people who see it haven't got a calibrated monitor anyway.
    Calibration and profiling of your screen is still beneficial though because at least what the un-profiled masses see will only be the difference between a standardised monitor and their monitor where as if both are non-standard then one might be under by, say, 1.5 stops - and the other over by the same about - so to the end user it's a total of 3 stops out -- and that can turn a white into a middle gray or vice-versa (or totally crush shadows - or even blow mid-tones and totally nuke highlights).

    I VERY MUCH support your last sentence "calibrate & profile your monitor & printer" - most calibration discussions seem to focus on just the monitor, whereas I've always believed if you're going to calibrate, you need BOTH to get the right result.
    For sure -- assuming that you have a printer

  13. #13

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    Re: Monitor advice

    It is funny how we spend thousands on cameras and lenses but what cheap editing kit. As far as monitors go make sure it has even illumination and a good viewing angle, otherwise you will struggle to get images right. Calibrate yes that to is important and the right kit is not that expensive, considering the time we spend in front of the monitor.

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