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Old 08-11-2009, 06:02 PM
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koputai (Jason)
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PC monitors for photo work

It's time to think about a new monitor for the PC here. I'm currently running a 37" Sharp Aquos main and I-O DATA 19" secondary. The 37 is great for size, but lacks resolution. I thought I'd pretty much decided on a Samsung 2443WB (24 inch, 1920x1200) but then I read about colour gamuts. This monitor is said to have 82-85% gamut, and not very good for photo stuff. I'm now thinking of either the Dell U2410 or HP LP2475, both 24 inch, 1920x1200 with 110% gamut, supposedly billions of colours versus 16.7 million of the Samsung.
I can't justify an EIZO or a HP Dreamcolor, so something like the two above will have to do.
What do you guys recommend as far as a good 24 inch (or thereabouts) monitor for photo work?

Cheers,
Jason.
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Old 08-11-2009, 06:05 PM
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Octane (Humayun)
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Jason,

I'm still using my Dell 2405FPW. It has been calibrated and works well.

Back in those days, Dell was still using Samsung panels. They're the goods.

I'll be moving to an Eizo as soon as possible.

I don't think you can go wrong with either the Dell or the HP.

Regards,
Humayun
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:05 AM
dpastern (Dave Pastern)
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The Dell 30" is a really nice monitor, s-ipa panel as well. The Samsung 245T is pretty good too. Of course, Eizo's are very nice, but quite pricey.

Dave
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:18 AM
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I was always wandering, why there is a need for so many colours for monitors.. unless you are in business of counterfeit notes or paintings.
Is human eye capable of seeing the difference between 16 or 160 millions and 16000 millions of colours? Can anyone see the difference between two adjacent colours?
There are colours in nature which can not be reproduced with tricolour technologies anyway.. so is this really an issue ?

EDIT:
Or is this all about individual perception ( in terms of something like this "I feel this monitor is better" but this can not be measured or quantified exactly, but it must be better because it is more expensive.. )
Because, all those things with eyesight are very relative.. they are nothing like "absolute hearing" some rare individuals are blessed with. Eyesight performance/perception varies over short time scale (minutes), environment illumination, age, it depends on blood pressure, even on how much coffee or alcohol the individual consumed in the past half an hour). I do not know....

Last edited by bojan; 09-11-2009 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 05:42 AM
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kinetic (Steve)
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Bojan, all

Thanks to this place I read up a bit a few days back about what
exactly gamut meant. Wow, I really used to think a CRT did a better
job at representing colours than an LCD. I was so wrong.

The thing is, I have a really good 19" CRT in the dome for the
capture PC, and because it does a better job at near blacks and,
(I feel) the colour gamut, I think a lot of my deep sky results look
better on the CRT.

When ever Fred V,Mike S or Pete W post a ballbuster for example, I always
do myself a favour and view it on the CRT.

For the daytime photography, it is the reverse....the good colour
DSLR shots look better on the cheap LG 17" LCD.

I read up about the technology behind the two colour schemes CMY
vs RGB and how they cannot ever reproduce all colours.
Fascinating stuff.....shows how amazing the human eye/brain combination
really is.

Steve
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Old 09-11-2009, 08:58 AM
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Octane (Humayun)
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Steve,

You're right, CRTs are the business. But, they are so big and cumbersome and power hungry, etc.

Regards,
Humayun
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Old 09-11-2009, 09:25 AM
jase (Jason)
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I like your analysis Bojan. It is true that colour is an interpretable visual aspect. There is no right or wrong, but aesthetic and ugly. All of which depends greatly on the individual.

That said, in the digital realm colours come with numerical values. Distinguishing the difference between adjacent hues has become childs play. Sure, I may visually not be able to see the difference, but from numerical values I become well informed and can then make judgement on contrast, balance, saturation or basic push pull of channels. The digital darkroom of today delivers unprecedented colour accuracy.

Most monitors display the traditional sRGB colour space fairly accurately. With hardware calibration, it is possible to come close to near perfect colour presentation. So regardless of the monitor you choose, make sure you calibrate it regularly if you're keen on keeping your work to publishing levels.

I've been using a Eizo 21" ColourEdge monitor with hood for approximately two years now. They are pricey, but you're paying for the quality and level of colour accuracy. Get a good monitor and it will last you a while - just like a telescope mount. You'll be forever upgrading the PC as advances in micro computing continue. Monitors on the other hand do not see such a rapid change. LED will probably be the next shift assuming it is possible to reproduce colours with extreme accuracy. It has taken a while for publishers to adopt LCD's for that reason.
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:33 AM
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Hmm..
I am aware of quantifying colours it terms of numbers, of course.. And I do understand photometric/colorimetric aspects of the issue.
Especially when we are talking about chromatography and applications in chemical analysis and/or medical tests, which are very sensitive thanks to determining the exact colour of specimen after reaction with agents (? I hope I am using the right terms here)
However, what is the point of precisely calibrated monitor and billions of colours if you can not see the difference between two adjacent colours from that vast pallet on the screen (or in publications )?
Pure academic, me thinks..

In the past many people approached me for advice on HiFi speaker cables, asking should they or should they not cough out k$ for special gold-plated speaker cables for their new system (they have been told in the store that gold resonates better on audio frequencies and the acoustic quality achieved will be almost perfect with this cable, and mind you, this was in times of vinyl )... What rubbish !!! I tried to argue, even with some formulas and calculations that there is no way such a cable cable could be any better than ordinary humble copper multi-thread wire of the came thickness.. but in some cases they still purchased "special" cable, just in case. And they even told me their system sound better than before !!
In those cases, I would just said "good for you :-) "

Last edited by bojan; 09-11-2009 at 11:02 AM.
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Old 09-11-2009, 11:30 AM
jase (Jason)
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Billions of colours...yes agree, no point. However 16 million colours is not out of the question. There was a study done some time ago across a large sample of people which determined a limit of 10 million colours were perceivable to the human eye. This probably assumes a healthy, young individual with 20/20 vision.
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jase View Post
Billions of colours...yes agree, no point. However 16 million colours is not out of the question. There was a study done some time ago across a large sample of people which determined a limit of 10 million colours were perceivable to the human eye. This probably assumes a healthy, young individual with 20/20 vision.
And direct comparison, I assume.
Seeing a difference in colours when two coloured areas are side by side or on top of each other is one thing.. and perceiving the colour hue without comparison is something completely different (and impossible of course)
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Old 09-11-2009, 12:46 PM
jase (Jason)
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Indeed. It is performed by comparison typically to a parent primary or secondary colour. This is actually what monitor calibration is doing. As your monitor outputs red, green and blue on the screen (usually midtone shades), the calibration puck hardware is measuring the numerical values of the each colour and adjusting it to match the desired colour space. Comparison against reference colour space is key to accuracy. All monitors generally calibrate well. When typically done in software its 8bit calibration. More advanced or dedicated graphics monitors perform the calibration in hardware providing 10bit to 16bit calibration suited for larger colour spaces such as aRGB.

With today's monitor technologies I don't think you can go wrong. Comes down to your goals and budget.
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Old 09-11-2009, 01:26 PM
jase (Jason)
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You may also wish to ring around for demo models of the brand you're looking for.

I know someone that got $2k off one of the top end Ezio models. Absolute bargain. Try these guys to see what demo stock they've got if you're interested in pursuing the Eizo route. There are a few other top end manufacturers that may have the goods.
http://www.imagescience.com.au/
http://www.kayellaustralia.com.au/

EDIT: If getting a demo model, check how many hours its done. The lower the better.

Last edited by jase; 09-11-2009 at 01:36 PM. Reason: Check hours
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Old 09-11-2009, 03:54 PM
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Hi All,

I have the Apple 30" Cinema display at home. I got it secondhand off eBay for a bit over $1200. It is an excellent display. The new LED 24" displays are also excellent from all reports, though the do use a mini display port, to which there is no DVI adapter yet. The older 23" LCD displays are cheaper on eBay. They are a top quality LCD, so not in the Samsung etc. price bracket.

I do some magazine work with the 30" (calibrated with a Spyder), the last magazine I did the colours were much better than previous mags done with a Dell 24" display.

The 30" does take some getting used to though, it's a huge display and take a few swipes of the rodent to get from one side to the other.

Cheers
Stuart
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Old 09-11-2009, 10:03 PM
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My main computer operates both a Samsung 275T main display and a Viewsonic VX2235 monitor either side of the main display. When dragging images between the screens, there is a very noticeable difference in colour quality between them - the 275T is far 'nicer'. Whilst these screens are not calibrated (and this may make the cheaper Viewsonics better) I certainly would never use a cheaper panel for photo editing ever again.

But that's just my $0.02.
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Old 10-11-2009, 07:44 AM
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I think the problem with calibration is, it is still relative: it relies on primary colours (R-G-B) generated by each individual screen (LCD panel, backlight etc), and those could be different for different brands/manufacturers.
I am very sure that two different-brand "calibrated" screens will ALWAYS display images differently, as you noticed (unless display unit comes from the same manufacturer).
Maybe I am wrong here.. but I never saw two different brand monitors displaying the same image in the same way. there was always a difference, sometimes huge.

Last edited by bojan; 10-11-2009 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:43 AM
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kustard (Simon)
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The company I work for make LED lighting and controls. Part of my problem as the software engineer is getting people to understand that the colour they see on their screen (whether it be LCD or CRT or even printed out PANTONE or RAL colour swabs) will be different from the colour mix they get from the RGB(W) LED blending system we use.

I've noticed that there is a perceivable difference from one person to the next when it comes to determining colours. We always have a disclaimer on our products to the effect that users need to understand these differences and to test the colours on-site to ensure the customer gets exactly what they asked for.

With digital photgraphy there are three electronic steps before a physical photo is produced: CCD -> PC -> Printer. To get the best results all steps should be calibrated to some standard, either PANTONE or HKS I guess.

</ end of unqualified rant >
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Old 09-08-2010, 09:45 PM
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koputai (Jason)
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After deliberating for quite some time, I brought home my shiny new Dell U2711 tonight!
Amazing spec on these things, and lots of great reviews.
27 inch, 2560 x 1440, 110% Gamut. So far it looks great!!

Cheers,
Jason.
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