Monitor for Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rappar, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. rappar macrumors member

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    Canada
    #1
    I could use some suggestions...
    I have an iMac that I use for editing photos in CS5 and Lightroom3. I'd like to purchase a second monitor to use with it that might be a bit better than the one built into my iMac. My understanding is that it could be calibrated better and some have a wider gamut than the monitor with my iMac.
    If you are doing something similar and have suggestions as to what to purchase, I'd certainly like some input. I was hoping for a screen size of 24" or larger if possible.
    Thanks,
    Ron
     
  2. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #2
    What kind of iMac do you have? If you owns large-screen iMac (24"/27"), then you already have an excellent screen. The reason is that Apple uses high-quality IPS panels* and such monitors are quite expensive.

    Having a second monitor when editing photos is a good thing: I use my MacBook Pro in conjunction with an Eizo monitor (22" with an excellent S-PVA panel). The big screen is used to view single photos in Aperture while the small screen shows thumbnails of photos in a project.
    The first point is incorrect (I assume that refers to the urban myth that glossy displays cannot be calibrated), the second one depends on the panel that your iMac uses. If it is a modern IPS panel, then you already have a screen with a wide gamut.

    If you want a high-quality screen, avoid TN-panels (TN stands for twisted nematic). Those are the cheapest and while sufficient for most things, they are inferior to IPS, PVA and MVA panels. The easiest way to tell whether or not a screen uses a TN panel is price: last time I checked, I couldn't find any non-TN panel screens (new) for under 400~500 €. As brands, I can recommend NEC (e. g. NEC MultiSync P221W is a relatively inexpensive 22" monitor with S-PVA panel for 400 €), Eizo (e. g. Eizo S2233W with S-PVA panel for 500 €) or LaCie. I have an Eizo S2231W. You will note that these screens are 22" `only', but larger ones with quality panels are more expensive.

    Please don't buy a cheap TN panel monitor, expecting it to beat the screen of a large screen iMac, in all likelihood, it won't.


    * I think Apple uses either TN or IPS panels, but perhaps they also use other panel types. I'm not 100 % sure on this.
     
  3. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    #3
    Hi. All of the above is very good info, so I won't add much too it. If you want to know what type of monitor your iMac uses, check out this link to EveryMac.com - find your year and model and look through the specs at each link. from what I see, every iMac from late '09 on has an IPS panel. Besides good color, these screens have a wide viewing angle. Dell has reportedly good IPS monitors, but watch out for the label. Only the UltraSharp screens are IPS. My second monitor is a Samsung SyncMaster P2320. It's either PVA or S-PVA and has excellent color and contrast.

    I currently use one 23' monitor with my 2008 MBPro. If I ever upgrade, I will probably go with a 21' iMac and use my Samsung as a second monitor. One for a full frame image and the other for tools (depending on which looks best).

    If you like the color of the iMac screen and just want to use the second monitor for tools, go ahead and look at the lower cost monitors.

    Dale
     
  4. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #4
    This is a very good tip.
     
  5. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Unfortunately this statement is incorrect. The type of panel does not determine the gamut, it is the backlight. iMacs use standard white-LED backlighting, which only covers the sRGB colorspace ("standard gamut"). Wide gamut monitors are better for photo editing, since they can cover ~98% of the AdobeRGB color space. The reason you care is because printer ink (particularly inkjets) can print colors beyond the sRGB colorspace and even a little beyond AdobeRGB in some cases. So by using a wide gamut monitor you can more accurately utilize the full color gamut of the printers. If you do your printing on a lightjet (or Chromira, etc) that uses the more traditional silver chemistry, the gamut of those outputs is usually just about sRGB so it is not as big a deal.

    Some good monitors you can consider are the NEC PA- series (24 or 27") which feature hardware LUTs and 10-bit output support, if OS X ever supports it. They are IPS monitors with a wide gamut backlight. A cheaper alternative is the Dell U2411 or 2711- both are IPS displays with wide gamut backlights as well. The LCD panel in the 27" versions of these monitors are the same as in the 27" iMac, but the displays themselves are better because they feature better backlights. HP also makes a couple good monitors with 10-bit output, and wide gamut too but the model numbers escape me at the moment. Also these are all matte finish monitors, a good or bad thing depending on your preference.

    You'll also make sure you buy a calibrator, and one that works for your type of display. Some of the existing colorimeters are not optimal for calibrating LED backlit or wide gamut displays. There is a newer generation of products though (like the X-rite i1 Display Pro or ColorMunki Photo) that were designed to accurately calibrate LED and wide gamut monitors. The NEC PA monitors come with an option to buy a monitor+colorimeter combo, with one designed specifically for the monitor.

    Ruahrc
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I always thought the way the panel `filters' the backlight (i. e. how much is absorbed at what wave length) was a major factor in determining the gamut?
    How is a `wide gamut monitor' defined? >98% coverage of AdobeRGB?
    Really? Judging by the color profiles in Color Sync Utility, I always thought the gamut of a modern monitor is way larger than what most printer/paper combinations can achieve? For instance, the Average_McCoy_gloss profile that emulates the print/paper combo Apple uses for its photo books has a much, much smaller gamut than both my screens.
    Seconded, color calibration is a must. And it's not expensive nowadays.
     
  7. Ruahrc, Jul 29, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 29, 2011

    Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #7
    But since the backlight is the source of the light, the total color gamut is determined by the gamut of the backlight. The panel is only subtracting from the spectrum offered by the backlight, not adding to it. One would guess that the color filters in the LCD panel are tuned to match the backlight, so I guess technically the real answer could be "both the backlight and panel affect the gamut", but practically speaking you can tell what gamut your monitor will have by looking at the backlight technology used. white LEDs and CCFL will give you standard sRGB, whereas WCCFL (wide-gamut CCFL) will provide wide gamut. Also there are a very few examples of RGB-LED monitors that I think provide the highest gamuts available (slightly edging out WCCFL) but they are very expensive and very rare (Eizo and LaCie only I think).

    Generally, yes this is the current definiton of "wide gamut monitor". It may not necessarily be exactly >=98% AdobeRGB, but a monitor that is capable of displaying well beyond the gamut of sRGB.

    In terms of total area on the CIE chart covered, yes a monitor probably has more total gamut than printers. However, modern photo inks can produce hues outside of even AdobeRGB in some areas.

    Here is a great link with visual comparisons between various real world devices and how they compare to the AdobeRGB colorspace. Take the HP DesignJet and Epson K3 examples- while they do not come close to completely filling the AdobeRGB gamut like a wide gamut monitor, they both have regions that extend clearly beyond ARGB. By utilizing a color managed workflow, and taking advantage of soft proofing, gamut warning feature in PS, etc. you can take maximum advantage of the full gamut of the inks you use when your pictures call for it.

    http://itadmin.creative.auckland.ac.nz/FAQ/Procedure/Colour/colourGamuts/

    The link also has some good visuals of standard vs wide gamut monitors (very first section vs. very last section). It does not have the newer LED lit iMacs, but you can find other reviews/links that demonstrate the gamut of the LED iMacs only covers the standard sRGB colorspace.

    Ruahrc
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #8
    Thanks for your explanations and the link in particular.
    Makes sense. And since non-TN panels are more expensive, they'll use more expensive backlights as well and thus their gamut is greater.
    Ah, ok. I just remember creating a book in Aperture for the first time and I had to re-edit all of my photos, because they would look too `flat and pale'.
     
  9. legreve macrumors regular

    legreve

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    #9
    One short answer for this... you get what you pay for.

    Therefore, Eizo all the way, everything else is inferior.
     
  10. Randy McKown macrumors member

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    #10
    At the studio I have a 32" LCD 1080 HDTV .. bought it on sale at Best Buy for $350 .. produces dead on prints from the lab every time. I use the same setup when editing at home but it's on a more expensive 46" .. I wish my desk at the studio was big enough for the 46" because it's awesome to edit on.
     
  11. edwins macrumors newbie

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    #11
  12. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #12
    I definitely advise against using a TV as a computer screen, especially if you want something color accurate. TVs have a rather low resolution given the size. That translates to a low pixel density and less than optimal working conditions. Needless to say that a $350 TV is in no way better than a cheap dedicated computer monitor.
     
  13. TheGenerous macrumors 6502a

    TheGenerous

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    #13
    I use a Dell ST2310 (23') and i'm pleased. However the iPad is brighter than this monitor, I guess because it has different technology since it's a smaller screen
     
  14. Randy McKown macrumors member

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    #14
    I got the smaller one on sale for $350 .. I don't recall the original price .. $500-600. The 46" was around $1900. However, in terms of quality both of them calibrated to a perfect match. What you see on the screen is exactly what the client sees in their prints. Will just any old TV work? Of course not. You have to shop around and try them out hands on for yourself just like you should do with any piece of equipment.
     
  15. whiteyanderson macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Wrong. NEC and the NEC LaCie panels work just as well. Of course Eizo's are very nice but sometimes people have more money than brains. If the OP is using an iMac monitor in the first place, I doubt they have the need for an Eizo at $5000. You can pick up an NEC or LaCie for 1/3 of the price and get stellar results.
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #16
    Where did you get the idea that Eizo only sells $5k displays? Mine cost 600~700 € new (got it used for 350 €), I think. The prices for NEC or LaCies are in the same league if you compare similarly specced displays.
     
  17. MSM Hobbes macrumors 6502

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    #17
    So, to tag onto a thread regarding similar topic, what would be the recommendations for a price-conscious photographer to hook to his new 15" MBP 2.2GHz, AMD Radeon HD 6750M 1024 MB, etc.:

    ViewSonic VX2250WM-LED 22" [$150]
    ViewSonic VP2365WB 23-Inch IPS LCD Monitor [$280]
    ASUS ML239H 23-Inch LED Monitor [$180]
    or something else?

    This NEC has great reviews,,, but having hard time justifying the price:
    NEC LCD2490WUXi2-BK 24" [$700]
     
  18. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

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    #18
    I'd pass on the first viewsonic since it is a TN panel. The other two look like decent budget options.

    Also have a look at Dell's offerings. They have top notch monitors at very competitive prices. For example the U2410 or U2711 (both of which may have '12 versions now).

    Ruahrc
     
  19. -hh macrumors 68020

    -hh

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    #19
    I've been running a Dell ultrasharp (22") for ~5 years. Been reasonable, but I believe that the Apple 24" I have at work is nicer.

    Just priced the Dell on their website..... $949 after 'savings'. Sounds IMO worth getting the Apple Thunderbolt 27" for $999 instead ($969 at MacMall).

    The 24" is now the u2412m and is listed as an IPS display; $349 at Dell. Reviews there look favorable. Given that I don't think Apple sells a 24" anymore, this looks to be like a reasonable choice if that particular size is required (larger displays can have "doesn't fit under overhead cabinet" issues in cubicles, at home, etc.


    -hh
     
  20. bzollinger macrumors 6502a

    bzollinger

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    #20
    I really wanted to get the NEC, but couldn't drop the $$ so I bought the Asus PA246Q, and a spyder calibrator. The first one from Amazon was DOA, but they quickly paid for return shipping, and 2 day shipping back to me with a new one, and it's great!

    I really love the 19:10 aspect ratio, and extra resolution. That really made the biggest difference from my previous viewsonic. Also the viewing angle is really great! So far after calibration I've had ZERO problems getting prints to look like what I see on the screen.

    By far the best monitor unless you step up to the NEC monitors....
     
  21. whiteyanderson macrumors 6502

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    #21
    First off, you're handing out weird advice. Glossy screens are not used for photo editing, they cannot be calibrated accurately enough. How can you expect a puck to accurately pick up the color range when there is a sizable space between a pane of glass and the actual screen? It cannot. Second, an iMac screen while looking nice and having some "popping colors", cannot be calibrated accurately either. There are no apple screens being made today that are worthy of being used for retouching. Especially considering the price. If you go into a professional editing house, you will not see a single glossy screen. Well maybe the receptionist has one? What may look nice is not necessarily accurate.

    Anyway, specs or no specs, an Eizo under the price point of $2.5 - $3k U.S.D. is not suitable for the professional job. Sorry. When I mention $5K I am being slightly sarcastic. But for the 1/2 the price of the $3K Eizo you can walk away with a fine 26" NEC or Lacie, with hood and calibration software, and even the puck. I personally use a 26" LaCie 526, bought on refurb for $750 including hood and Blue Eye Pro calibration software. Full manufacture warranty. So I made out like a bandit. FWIW LaCie monitors are simply rebranded NEC's with their own internal calibration software (Blue Eye).

    Maybe you are paying higher import taxes on an NEC or LaCie where you live and maybe lower on Eizo but here in the US nothing below $3K will get you a decent Eizo. Matter of fact anything Eizo in the $1 - $2K range new, is totally unsuited for photo work and more than likely is a multi-media type monitor or a hospital type monitor.

    If you do not believe me then take your monitor and set it beside a LaCie or an NEC wuxi and witness the truth.

    Don't get me wrong, Eizo makes a great monitor but, you have to really spend about double to equal or MAYBE better the performance of the 1/2 price NEC/LaCie. In real world tests and EYES, you will notice no difference once they are all correctly calibrated. Once you get up past $3K in Eizo then the you start to reach diminishing returns IMHO. But you can spend as much as you wish.

    For a professional retoucher (editor if you must. although retoucher and editor are two totally different things. An editor simply "picks" photos for publication, much like a writing editor proofs articles, if we want to use correct terms), who does not have unlimited funds, especially in the beginning, do you propose spending $3000 on a monitor just to say you have an Eizo? Or do you propose getting an equally performing monitor at 1/2 the cost and then investing the remaining amount on highly MANDATORY tools such as a suitably sized Wacom, better software, maybe even a good computer upgrade? External drives to house massive RAW images, etc, etc etc. These things all add up, are not cheap and are NEEDED. I suppose if you have an unlimited income already, then sure buy the Eizo.

    But I see a lot of guys at photoshop seminars around the country, high and mighty, "I will only use an EIZO!" Ha, then take a look at their work. They have absolutely no skills, much less an eye for for the craft. And certainly do not do it for a living. But they have an Eizo... These are the same dudes that insist on being NAPP members and have never earned a dime. Ever seen the NAPP guys? They eat well on memberships sold.

    To the OP, if you've never used a proper retouching monitor and you do get one, don't be disappointed when your colors do not "pop" when browsing online. A properly calibrated retouching monitor looks a little drab for things such as web browsing, movies, etc. It is meant to accurately display the color space of the images you are working with.

    Good luck in your search. Checking out the NEC site for refurbs or LaCie can yield some great finds if you're on a budget. Just make sure that the warranty is still applicable.
     
  22. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    #22
    Why is my advice weird? You can still use `less good' displays for things like palettes, browser windows, etc. That's how I use my MacBook Pro's screen.
    I don't think you understand the difference between a glossy (or glassy) and a matte display: matte display have additional layers between the panel and the eye that disperse incident light. These additional layers also absorb light and thus reduce contrast and gamut. To claim a glassy screen cannot be calibrated accurately is false.
    Why are you assuming that the OP falls under the category of people that necessarily need a $3k or $5k display? I find that ridiculous. Judging by the OP's post, I don't think (s)he is. Furthermore, there are plenty of people who work professionally with `lesser displays.' Any professional who works on the road with a notebook (whether its display glossy, glassy or matte doesn't matter), for instance.
    I speak from personal experience: I very much like the quality (image quality and mechanical quality) of my Eizo. I've been very deliberate when deciding on a display. I have no experience with $2.5k+ displays, though. I just don't think displays in such a high price range are relevant to this thread (@OP please correct me if I'm wrong here).

    (Besides, there is a difference between Eizo (or rather: quality) and many other companies: they require tighter tolerances when they purchase components such as panels. Even if the panel is identical, that still makes an overall difference.)
     
  23. whiteyanderson, Sep 10, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2011

    whiteyanderson macrumors 6502

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    #23
    I'm not assuming, nor EVER assumed, that the OP falls into the category of needing a $3K display. As a matter of fact, I said he did not. Another poster whom I quoted earlier stated "anything other than an Eizo is simply inferior". I was quoting him, not you in my initial reply. I was never referring to you at all in the first place. You in fact, came along and questioned my price quote on an Eizo. Your claim that a $1000 dollar Eizo is comparable to an $1500 NEC is in fact, ridiculous. Maybe you should read up on the thread and see where I stated that spending $5K on an Eizo was in fact ridiculous. What I meant, in fact, is that if the OP was even cosnidering an Eizo, he can get a comparable screen for FAR less.

    I never directed ANYTHING towards you, until you questioned me. But if you want to question me, then I will state the facts whether you like it or not.

    And yes, I understand the difference between a glossy, glassy, matte display. I do this for a living. Do you? And no a glossy, glassy display can not be calibrated with the accuracy of a matte screen. Sorry. Do you also think the little Apple calibration utility is an acceptable form of calibration?

    You seem to have convinced yourself that you know everything and appear to desperately need someone to reaffirm it for you. I will not. You'd probably be better off on Model Mayhem or RetouchPro or some other joke site where all the members argue, basically for a living I guess, as they never accomplish anything.

    And yes, you may see a professional "on the road" with a laptop (GOD this is getting boring) and glossy screen. What would you expect, them to drag a 26" monitor around the world with them? But you are confusing temporary covenience with accuracy. And sometimes convenience has to win out in a situation like that. I guarantee that a professional photographer does not turn in those final images to a publication that have been manipulated on that laptop screen. Or a glassy or glossy screen. As a matter of fact, a published, professional photographer will NEVER retouch his own images. It is a stigma in the business that a photographer who "edits" his own images has issues and can lose out on jobs. That is why there are us retouchers. And professional retouchers do not, EVER retouch for a living on a glossy/glassy/laptop screen EVER. Sorry. You have no clue as to industry standards and how they are reached, and the the consequences when they are not reached, I suppose.

    You can "research" all you want. Internet is full of "experts" who do nothing more than research until their eyes bleed, and think they know it all. Problem is just that, they know it all. Yet have no real world applicable experience.

    The facts are simply this: I preofessionally retouch for a living, day in, day out for print/publication. My wife is a professional photo agent who represents some of the most succesful and sought after photographers who shoot for major publication and celebrity work. Chances are when you see an image on the front of a magazine, one of her photographers has shot that image. And/or, I have retouched it. You will NEVER see a professional use ANY of the screens that you claim are "good enough". I see and go to shoots on almost a daily basis and work daily on these images. If someone is paying you $2000 to retouch an image, and inquire on your monitor (it does happen), and you tell them what type of monitor YOU say will work, they will walk away.

    I am not trying to be pompous or rude, or show off, I could care less about whether or not anyone knows what I do. I do it because I'm good at it, enjoy my work, and because I'm my own boss. And I'm not making some slob rich while he pays me slave wages (I've been an in house retoucher and paid my dues). But I know my business. And what I am stating is FACT.

    Again, my post in regards to the Eizo didn't even involve you. But if you wish to jump in and persist in trying to TELL me what is correct, then you simply will not win this argument. But I suppose if you keep telling yourself that you can do enough "research" to know it all, then eventually you will. Seems like you've already convinced yourself that you are the "internent genius" though, so good job.

    Finally, I simply came into this thread, while taking a break one evening, saw a post asking for adivce on monitors, and thought I might offer some assistance. I saw a person in this thread stating the OP must have an Eizo and stated that he in fact did not. I did not come in here to argue. But I will defend myself. I'm done. Sometimes, it's just smarter to walk away.

    Again, if anyone is looking for say an NEC or any monitor for that matter, try the manufacturers website, they will usually have some great deals.
     
  24. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    #24
    Thank You. You've given me some interesting things to think about. And I suspect some good advice...
     
  25. DocNYz macrumors 6502a

    DocNYz

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    #25
    Hahah the receptionist.
     

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