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Monitor Poll

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Replytoken, Jul 10, 2015.

  1. Laptop Display

    2 vote(s)
    4.9%
  2. TN panel

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  3. IPS panel

    8 vote(s)
    19.5%
  4. IPS panel w/software calibration of graphics card

    14 vote(s)
    34.1%
  5. IPS panel w/monitor hardware (LUT) calibration

    11 vote(s)
    26.8%
  6. Other

    3 vote(s)
    7.3%
  1. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I am looking at upgrading one of my older NEC IPS panels and have been trying to narrow down a list of possible candidates within a reasonable budget range. My preference is for a 24" 16:10 IPS panel. The models that I am considering range from sRGB IPS panels that can only be calibrated through the computer's graphics card to Adobe RGB panels that offer hardware calibration with proprietary software and compatible hardware.

    Unfortunately, like monitors, calibration software and hardware packages also run the price gamut, and the packages that I am currently considering range between $100-$300 (over and above the cost of the monitor). Yes, you can buy a higher end panel without the dedicated calibration package to calibrate its hardware, but that seems a bit contrary to buying this capability in the first place. But, an expensive calibration package on top of a higher end monitor can add up quite quickly, and I am not sure how the IQ curve stacks up against the cost curve as I look for any sweet spots on the curve.

    I realize that like all equipment, the choice is personal (as is the reconciliation of the IQ/cost curves), but I am curious to know how far up the IQ/color management ladder people go when they purchase a monitor for editing their photographs. Vote and comments are appreciated.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  2. tkbslc

    tkbslc Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I just bought a boring old off the shelf monitor with an IPS panel and a <$100 colorimeter and ran the tool it came with and I've been very happy. No need to go crazy unless you are trying to match color for marketing and professional graphics work.
     
  3. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    When it came time for me to buy one (after I got really annoyed trying to do photos on a sub-hd, TN panel monitor that cost $50 :D) I basically determined that there was nothing worth really spending a lot of money on at the time (holding out for IPS, 144hz, gsync, 1440p/4k, ~$1000 - getting pretty close to that now!), so I kind of went for the best semi-cheap one that I could find.

    The reviews on TFTcentral and PCMonitors.info are pretty well done and go into a fair amount of detail on what the out-of-the-box colour coverage/gamma/uniformity of their sample looks like and what they needed to do to fix it if anything. Ended up with the Dell U2414H mainly because it seemed like the least buggered up IPS monitor for its price range ($290 or so).

    Oh - the other key consideration - if you are sensitive to the terrible kinds of dimming they threw into monitors for a while (where turning the brightness down just increased the interval between light/dark) I would see if your candidate monitor appears on the flicker free database.
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    The Dell U2415 was a candidate for an affordable AH-IPS monitor that would work with software calibration. One question I had was how different this would look compared with a hardware calibrated NEC P series or Eizo CS series.

    --Ken
     
  5. davidzvi

    davidzvi Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 12, 2012
    Outside Boston MA
    David
    I use an NEC PA241W and xrite i1 Display. But I would not bother with the something that expensive again. I don't print myself, my lab has a better setup and as long as I process the images to my liking and let my lab do their thing, my results will be consistent.

    I also know that even if I was fully profiled (monitor, LR, Photoshop, etc) the chances that any one of my clients are viewing images on a monitor that is calibrated the same are slim to none.

    I would look at Samsung, Asus, and Dell first.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  6. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    I use a ViewSonic IPS which isn't expensive or fancy, and I haven't calibrated it with actual hardware. I just use the sRGB setting, which seems to be pretty close (I compare prints under a white light next to the monitor whenever I'm in doubt).
     
  7. WasOM3user

    WasOM3user Mu-43 Veteran

    458
    Oct 20, 2012
    Lancashire, UK
    Paul
    I also have a Dell Ultrasharp monitor calibrated with X-rite i1 Display Pro. Works extremely well.

    I suspect this would give you 95-98% of what the high end Hardware calibrated monitors would give. I would only go to a higher spec/cost if I was a full time professional.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  8. PacNWMike

    PacNWMike Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Dec 5, 2014
    Salish Sea
    guess?
    I use an HP ZR2440w calibrated with my old Monaco x-rite pro. However if your monitor is listed in the TFTcentral database you could just use one of those profiles and not have to buy the additional hardware. My profile turned out to be very similar to the ones in the database. Ambient light made a bigger difference. The key was to reduce the default brightness to 30%. The current crop of IPS monitors come pretty well calibrated off the shelf (except for brightness). Hardware profiling was much more critical with old CR tubes and cheap panels.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  9. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    In 2007 or so I purchased a 30-inch Eizo ColorEdge CG301W that is almost 100% Adobe RGB colorspace. I could not get the colors that I wanted out of almost anything I produced so purchased a Dell 24" monitor that covered 98% of the sRGB colorspace for final proofing. Dell later exchanged a U24XX (I can't remember if it was an 05 or 15) for my monitor. Both are still on my desktop and still produce a Delta_e of less than 1.25% and 2.0% respectively. Although the Eizo was very expensive some of my counterparts have purchased several monitors during the same time frame, costing them more in the long run.

    The newer monitors that excel at color managed sRGB colorspace are really good, but they don't show what is in the Adobe RGB color space photos accurately. The high-end Eizo, LaCie and others provide professional graphic artists a colorspace that saves time in accurately producing the correct/wanted colors in sRGB or CMYK color spaces. I believe anyone is better off with an accurate sRGB monitor than a poor Adobe RGB color space monitor.
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  10. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Clint,

    I agree that accuracy is more important than a gamut wider than sRGB. I was only considering two Adobe RGB monitors, the Eizo CS240 and Dell's U2413. And, I would only consider the Dell if I had the proper hardware calibration to go along with it, which in this case is an X-Rite i1 Pro. Curiously though, IIRC, this Dell monitor actually calibrated better with a software calibration than with a hardware calibration, but I believe the luminance was pre-adjusted through the monitor controls prior to calibration (a technique that, if I understand correctly, reduces any negative impacts from more radical software corrections to the graphics card, like possible banding).

    I do my post processing in Lightroom which can take advantage of a wider gamut monitor, but my output is split between the web and labs, many of which do not take files saved in Adobe RGB. So, the value of the wide space is not exceedingly high for me, but both of these monitors have GB-LED back lighting, and that has some appeal to me. If my budget was larger, I would probably purchase a NEC PA242, the Eizo CS 240 or the Eizo CX241. But, I have a lot of computer hardware needing to be upgraded, and there are just not enough funds to pay for it all in the near future, as well as leave a few pennies behind for anything else needing attention.

    I have been playing around with La Cie's Blue Eye Pro software and my Spyder 2 to see just where my current monitors are at these days. As expected, the 90-Series NEC MultiSync looks quite good. The other monitor is going to be a bit more challenging to bring back into reasonable tolerance until it is replaced.

    --Ken
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2015
  11. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Ken, your current setup will do pretty well for photography purposes. When do buy a replacement look at something like the U2415, and then get the i1 Pro when wanted.

    The better color calibration programs have the ability for you to adjust brightness/luminance, contrast, and even each of the RGB values. And the monitor having these adjustments available becomes a major plus in the calibration process. If either the luminance or contrast is out of whack, the calibration software may not be able to build a viable color profile. This is one of the reasons why so many people have issues with color calibration.

    Lightroom has so simplified the color space conversions, it really works quite amazing. But you have no controls on how it maps/convert colors from one space to another – so there are limitations on what you’ll gain from a larger color space. On the other hand, Lightroom does not allow one to make changes that will become totally unacceptable at the print stage, which can easily be done in Photoshop.

    I didn’t realize that the U2415 monitor was an Adobe RGB monitor when I made my previous post – however if gaming is not a use then the monitor should be really good for enthusiast, yet still overkill for most. What I do know about going from very good monitors to high end ones (like you mentioned) is that the increase in accuracy comes at a significant cost. And for most, an unnecessary expense unless dealing with customers that have high expectations.
     
  12. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Hi Clint,

    Thanks for the additional information. And a couple of quick updates since last night. I played around with the La Cie software for a bit to get the luminance set to as close to 120 as possible for both monitors, and then decided to recalibrate the 20WMGX2. The post calibration tests were greatly improved, although 120 is certainly bordering on the dim for daily use.

    Regarding the U2415, a friend just purchased a new model a few weeks ago, and I was able to spend a few hours with him yesterday cleaning up some Lightroom catalog issues. As we were at his house, I could not really give it a detailed workout, but it did not really offend me in any way. The one thing that struck me as odd was that I was somewhat underwhelmed by the additional resolution. It just did not seem as much of an increase as I would have expected. And in thinking more about it more last night, I was wondering if I would be better served by Dell's U2515 screen. This is a bigger jump in resolution, but in a package not much bigger than a 24" monitor. The U2515 has an AH-IPS panel, is normal sRGB gamut, and uses W-LED backlighting. BTW, the U2415 is a normal gamut monitor. The wide gamut Dell panel with the GB-LED backlighting is the U2413. Dell certainly does not make it easy when naming their monitors.

    I am glad that I was able to tune up my monitors, as I suspect that I will want to give this a bit more thought before making any decision. My Thinkpad could use a bit of upgrading or replacement, and I am split between wanting a laptop or desktop (mostly for the extra horsepower to run Lightroom) if I do buy a replacement.

    And I take it you are a fan of the i1 Pro? Have you tried any of Datacolor's Spyder products? I was supposed to have a 30% off upgrade coupon to use before today, but it did not work, so I suspect that I have until Monday to decide if I should upgrade, wait, or buy an i1 Pro. I know that NEC and Dell use branded versions of the i1 with their monitors, but Eizo uses a branded version of the Spyder. Thankfully, as my friend would say, they are all first world problems.

    --Ken
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2015
    • Like Like x 1
  13. oldracer

    oldracer Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 1, 2010
    USA
    I have no idea what an IPS panel is. Nor a TS. I just have a Fujitsu monitor and a Huey color calibrator.
     
  14. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
  15. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    Clint,

    Have you ever used the out of gamut warning while softproofing in LR? I found it helpful when I had some intense blue and purple tones that were not printing correctly, and this helped me get a much better match between the exported file and the print. There was a slider that could be used to bring down the areas marked as out of gamut that was quite helpful.

    --Ken
     
  16. Ulfric M Douglas

    Ulfric M Douglas Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 6, 2010
    Northumberland
    I seem to be the single vote (so far) for a TN panel which I assume is a non-IPS desktop monitor.
    Does me fine, great colours and it's a really cheap LG which didn't get good reviews.
     
  17. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Clint
    Ken,

    The out of gamut warning in software programs is inaccurate – however it is the best visual aid there is.

    For your luminance value, there is not one best setting, just get the monitor luminance/brightness as close to what the software ask for, for the value you chose. Once you have setting you think looks good, get some prints made. And then make a new profile changing the luminance so the end result is that your monitor looks closer to the final print.

    Can’t say I’m a fan of the i1 series, I personally use a PhotoMunki Photo for all of my calibrations. Most graphic artist and printers I work with use i1 or x-rite products. Eizo’s big plus is their Color Navigator software, I have no knowledge of their own calibration products. I did try a Spyder (a low cost one), but the software was limited for my needs and I needed something else. The PhotoMunki Photo best met my needs at a cost effective price.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  18. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Ken
    I was not aware that it was inaccurate. Good to know.

    Thanks,

    --Ken
     
  19. agentlossing

    agentlossing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jun 26, 2013
    Andrew Lossing
    8697858fb2255c3f8d440bf295cb0c12.
    Anybody use this guy? My ViewSonic display broke, half the screen is now green. Serves me right for buying reconditioned with a short warranty :(

    The Asus looks really nice and has a greater than 1080p pixel count, however it's about $100 more than my last monitor. Trying to decide whether it's worth it, or just try another (new this time) cheaper IPS display with sRGB coverage.
     
  20. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    Barry
    You can find a 24" dell in higher resolution and 16:10 for $299 usd frequently, new.
    (List price is $399)

    Barry