The nightmare of shopping for a new monitor.

L
Posted By
Lovegasoline
Oct 3, 2008
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1666
Replies
44
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Closed
First, I apologize if this has been asked before however I’ve been searching the internet and on the Pshop forum and can’t seem to find solid info.

The monitor will be used primarily for still image color correction in Photoshop (I’m still using CS2) such as would be standard in the advertising industry.

I bought a used LaCie Electron Blue 22 IV (a CRT monitor) about 2.5 years ago and I have been pleased with it, but my OPTIX-XR calibration system claims the monitor now is outside calibration parameters [I suppose the CRT phosphors or whatever the heck they are, are burning out?]. The result is I can no longer get the monitor correctly calibrated and I am loosing shadow detail.

I want to replace this with a 23”+/- LCD and $1000 is my target budget.

When I last went through the research 2.5 years ago (I dread going through this again) reliable info was very hard to come by and everything seemed to be up in the air as LCD technology was evolving. I bought a DELL (forgot the model#, but it used it same Philips LCD panel as the Apple Cinema but cost less), but he DELL had brightness uniformity issues so I sent it back.
I lucked out and found the used CRT locally (for about $200) which rescued me.

What are the current market options?
I’ve read where the La Cie 324 is recommended as a solid budget solution for color correction work. Can anyone share their experience with this monitor?
I’ve always read mixed assessments of the Apple Cinema Display, but it is still an option. Any other monitors on the market I should know about in my price range? Additionally, if anyone can point me to respected online reviews which have real substance it would be a huge help.

Thanks a bunch for any input.

-Lovegasoline
NK
Neil_Keller
Oct 3, 2008
LG,

I’ve always read mixed assessments of the Apple Cinema Display, but it is still an option.

I’ve had absolutely no issues (color, color casts, contrast, brightness, evenness, ability to calibrate, et al) with my 23" Apple HD Cinema Display, bought new at the beginning of 2006.

And I’ve heard good things about today’s comparable Dells as well.

Neil
RM
Rick McCleary
Oct 3, 2008
NEC 2690
Very accurate, wide-gamut (90% of Adobe RGB)
Comes with i1 colorimeter
Very elegant calibration interface
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 3, 2008
I second Rick’s opinion of the NEC 2690.

BUT, be sure that you specify, and get, the NEC 2690WUXi SV which comes with the NEC GreytagMacbeth Colorimeter and the SpectraView calibration software if you decide to take this route.

(There is similarly named version which costs about $200 less because it doesn’t include those tools and so loses the whole point of buying a monitor of that standard. The one currently on special offer at B&H is NOT the "SV" version.)

This one comes with the Colorimeter and SpectraView:
< http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/538163-REG/NEC_LCD2690 WUXIBKSV_MultiSync_2690WUXi_25_5_Widescreen.html#features>

<http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00MuIR>

The advantage of this monitor is that it is able to display the "Wide-gamut" of Adobe RGB while most screens are limited to the much smaller sRGB space.

If you are preparing files for Print, I would suggest that you choose an Adobe RGB monitor if you can.

However, wide gamut displays show oversaturated colours in non-colour managed applications (including Flash at this time).

The same with non-tagged sRGB files when viewed in a Web Browser — unless you convert all images destined for the web to sRGB and embed the tag; and you are using one of the only two color-manageable web browsers (Safari or Firefox).
B
Buko
Oct 3, 2008
Very happy with my 23" Apple Cinema HD with i1
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 3, 2008
The NEC 2690WUXi SV is looking a bit too pricey with the calibration hardware. As mentioned, I already have an Optix-XR calibration system, but from what I read it is pointless to buy the NEC without buying the bundled calibration software/hardware.
Any issues with text display (I recall some had issues there due to resolution). Also, any conflicts with Pshop and/or Lightroom/Aperture due to to the wider gamut monitor?

What Dell model? Is it considered a serious color correction monitor?

My primary interest is color correcting for images that will be output to inkjet and to press CMYK.

Thanks a bunch for all your input and any additional follow-up. Still struggling with this.

-Lovegasoline
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 4, 2008
Regarding the NEC 2690WUXi-SV:

Any issues with text display

None: text is beautifully clear and crisp

Also, any conflicts with Pshop and/or Lightroom:

None. Both are Color-managed Applications

(I don’t know about Aperture because I have never used it.)

My primary interest is color correcting for images that will be output to inkjet and to press CMYK.

Then you should definitely be buying a wide-gamut monitor.

But buying a monitor based on other people’s opinions is no substitute for checking the various models out ‘in the flesh" if you can.
R
Ram
Oct 4, 2008
NEC 2690WUXi SV is looking a bit too pricey

Here’s a recent recommendation by Shutterbug magazine:

The New ViewSonic VP2250wb LCD Display; Higher Performance, Lower Cost Display For Photographers (CLICK HERE). < http://www.shutterbug.net/equipmentreviews/software_computer s/0908viewsonic/>

(Especially attractive if you already own a calibration package.)
R
Ram
Oct 4, 2008
Ann,

Aperture, like all Apple applications, throws Monitor RGB at untagged files.
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 4, 2008
I had a feeling that it might!

Apple really do need to change their misguided ideas concerning Color Management — and quickly.
TL
Tim_Lookingbill
Oct 4, 2008
This site’s review of the new HP LP2475W looks good and is within your price range. It’s also a very thorough review site for current and past LCD performance testing including specifics for digital imaging:

<http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/hp_lp2475w.htm>
L
Lundberg02
Oct 4, 2008
That is not a wide gamut monitor. It can’t be because it is CCFL. ONLY LED backlight is wide gamut (at or near Adobe RGB). It only claims to be 92% of NTSC which is not aRGB.

It would be pointless to buy anything but wide gamut now. In fact, Eizo or some other good outfit will probably build one with two more LEDs and start creeping toward an even wider RGB or maybe even Prophoto. Don’t ask me what LED gives you orange or violet or yellow, I’m just livin’ the dream.
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 4, 2008
Thanks for all the well considered replies.

So, there is a dividing line here it seems. Perhaps wide-gamut is a relative term without an objective reference and is being thrown around too loosely (i.e. marketing teams)?

The idea that only LED is wide gamut further confuses things. But, I can understand the point being made…and perhaps the terms has been applied too loosely?

Apple’s monitor line hasn’t been updated for a while and rumors abound about a new generation of Apple LED monitors. Even speaking of vaporwear, I imagine the first gen will be pricey as are all other LED monitors on the market. Maybe the price will come down if it is marketed widely…but this is all speculation at this point. I could get a smaller (maybe used) Apple Cinema Display to tide me over and see what the market brings in the next 6 months. But I think LED monitors will just be out of my price range.

The other issue and I suppose this goes for the ‘almost’ wide gamut monitors as well, like the NEC 2690/2490, is the limitations in Apple’s computer hardware & Pshop to really take advantage of true wide gamut monitors. A few years back Karl Lang wrote the an article about this. I’m a little lost in the technicalities and have not kept abreast of them, so I have to ask, has the hardware/software evolved since then to accommodate the monitor technology?:

< http://www.outbackphoto.com/tforum/viewtopic.php?TopicID=170 0>

"A wide gamut LCD display is not a good thing for most (95%) of high end users. The data that leaves your graphic card and travels over the DVI cable is 8 bit per component. You can’t change this. The OS, ICC CMMs, the graphic card, the DVI spec, and Photoshop will all have to be upgraded before this will change and that’s going to take a while. What does this mean to you? It means that when you send RGB data to a wide gamut display the colorimetric distance between any two colors is much larger. As an example, lets say you have two adjacent color patches one is 230,240,200 and the patch next to it is 230,241,200. On a standard LCD or CRT those two colors may be around .8 Delta E apart. On an Adobe RGB display those colors might be 2 Delta E apart on an ECI RGB display this could be as high as 4 delta E.
It’s very nice to be able to display all kinds of saturated colors you may never use in your photographs, however if the smallest visible adjustment you can make to a skin tone is 4 delta E you will become very frustrated very quickly.

….and…

Only the Eizo 210, 220 and NEC2180WG have 8-10-10 paths. If you really want to know… the path in the Eizo is "8-14bit3D-8-10bit1D-10" go figure that one out 😉 The 2180WG has an actual 10 bit DVI interface with a 10-10-10 path but nothing supports it so you can’t use it yet – but for $6500 your ready when it does ;-)"

Any comments on that? I certainly do not want this to evolve into a dissertation : )

Real world, is the NEC 2490/2690 worth the price?

Still gathering opinions, so keep any ideas/recs coming if you have them.

Thanks again,
Lovegasoline
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 4, 2008
Real world, is the NEC 2490/2690 worth the price?

The NEC 2690 WUXI -SV is worth every penny in my opinion.

Also there are virtually no CRTs, if any, being manufactured anymore — and any second-hand ones must be near the end of their life now.

Also you are wrong about Photoshop — it can take full advantage of this monitor.

You will have a problem with Apple software though, because, as we have already explained to you, Apple have adopted an atrocious method of Color Management.

Perhaps wide-gamut is a relative term without an objective reference and is being thrown around too loosely (i.e. marketing teams)? >

No, it’s a very real term.

"Wide-gamut" means that the display gives youthe ability to view a far wider color space (very close to Adobe RGB) than the very narrow sRGB space which standard monitors can display (which is fine if you are only going to be working in sRGB and preparing images for the Web).

This image might make the issue clearer to you:

< http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1SKCwnawVhBOsrOG7W aWZgZE2ICR1>

The colored spectrum encompasses the colors that are visible to me on the 2690; The Yellow triangle encompasses the color-range of Adobe RGB (just a fraction larger than my monitor can display).
The Cyan triangle encompasses the much more limited color-range of sRGB.

The white perimeter-band encompasses the full spectrum of human vision.
GB
g_ballard
Oct 4, 2008
I have a 30" Apple and Nec 2490.

I prefer the Apple picture, except you can only attach one computer at a time and the 1-year warranty.

the 2490 can switch easily between two computers and has a 3yr warranty

I have also tried a Dell WG monitor (I returned it for the NEC because of the Mac problem)

if you are buying a wide-gamut panel, be forewarned:
g ballard, "Wide Gamut Monitors" #1, 8 Sep 2008 5:36 pm </webx?14/0>
R
Ram
Oct 4, 2008
"Wide Gamut Monitor" is a very real and realistic term. The implications of running one are manyfold. They’ve been discussed in other threads.
L
Lundberg02
Oct 6, 2008
Look at the NEC spec for delta E.

Don’t worry about old critiques. Apple will fix their problem, which you can easily avoid. Wide gamut is the wave of the present.
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 6, 2008
Thanks for all the great info and replies. I’m getting a better grasp of the technology.

Ann, special thanks for the efforts you took to relate the monitor/color space info.

g Ballard, that referenced thread was very helpful in explaining away a good deal of my confusion.

Lundberg02, I’m still uncertain here…other’s on this thread are saying that LCD monitors (ex. NEC 2690WUXi SV ) are true wide gamut devices, however you disagreeing and saying that only LED monitors are truly wide gamut. Am I missing something here?

-Lovegasoline
L
Lundberg02
Oct 6, 2008
Only LCD monitors with LED backlight are wide gamut. CCFL backlight has very narrow and spiky reds. Eventually by some weird doping techniques, LEDs will be designed to fill in the space larger than aRGB, maybe even close to Prophoto.

LCD is the transistor layer, LED is the backlight. You’re not as up to speed as you think <g>.

It must be Neil’s infectious <g>, I’ve never used an emoticon in here before. What is wrong with me. Don’t start, MO, I don’t give a —- about prepress.
JS
Jeff_Schewe
Oct 7, 2008
Only LCD monitors with LED backlight are wide gamut.

Actually, not true. NEC 2690 and 3090 both have near total Adobe RGB and are not LED backlights…you really need to have accurate info in order to really state the specs on these things.
L
Lundberg02
Oct 7, 2008
How do they do it, Jeff ? I suspected someone was doing something to CCFLs but couldn’t prove it.
L
Lundberg02
Oct 8, 2008
Until proven incorrect , I still say LED backlight is the only wide gamut.
D
designdemon
Oct 9, 2008
You want to make sure you go for a monitor with ips panels such as apple cinema displays, they will have superb color accuracy and viewing angles.
Some of the photosharp Dells can also be very good and worth a look. Also check out eizo lcds.


designdemon
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Lovegasoline
Oct 9, 2008
Ann what Mac are you using? I am tempted and have read now many fine reviews of the NEC. Will the SpectraView II software work to its full advantage (doing hardware calibration) with the Monaco/X-Rite OPTIX XR calibrator? The monitor is still a bit out of my price range, but maybe if I found a good deal on just the monitor (sans calibrator/software), I could buy the SpectraView software separately and use my calibrator.

My main computer is a Dual 2.3 GHz G5 PowerPC. Can this model support the 26" NEC 2690? .

My Video card is the NVIDIA GeForce 6600:
Chipset Model: GeForce 6600
Type: Display
Bus: PCI
Slot: SLOT-1
VRAM (Total): 256 MB
Vendor: nVIDIA (0x10de)
Device ID: 0x0141
Revision ID: 0x00a4
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 9, 2008
If you look at the Spectrum that I posted, it shows that the screen color space of my NEC LCD 2960 fills about 98% of the Adobe RGB color space.

< http://www.pixentral.com/show.php?picture=1SKCwnawVhBOsrOG7W aWZgZE2ICR1>
L
Lundberg02
Oct 9, 2008
What is the answer to her calibration question?
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 9, 2008
Ann, I’m convinced and I’d like to test drive one of the wide gamut NECs. I recall when the first wide gamut LED monitors were hitting the market for $5K-$6K. It seems that NEC has pulled of a feat and managed to come within striking distance of the Adobe RGB bull’s eye for a relatively modest cost. I want to have a look at one of these monitors. Very tempting.

PS: Do you (or anyone else) know the answer to my up-thread question regarding calibrating the NEC with the SpectraView II software BUT using the Monaco OPTIX XR calibration puck (instead of the NEC branded calibration puck)? I already own the OPTIX XR.

Thanks again.
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 9, 2008
I don’t know the answer but I do wonder if SpectraView can recognise the Monaco OPTIX XR and drive it to first calibrate the monitor and then create a Profile.

If you live in the Connecticut/NY area, you could come and try it on my monitor but you may do better just to sell your OPTIX and put the money into the NEC equipment.
J
JeffN
Oct 9, 2008
I didn’t have time to read all the previous posts, so if this was already mentioned, sorry, Check out a site called Shootsmarter.com
Will Crocket an experienced shooter out of Chicago, has a lot of good info and testing. Here is a link to the monitor tests

< http://www.shootsmarter.com/index.php?option=com_content&amp ;task=view&id=164&acat=16>

You will most likely have to sign up for a log in name, (free) Search the "Smart Articles" section for monitors. He has several in there.
R
Ram
Oct 10, 2008
Lovegasoline,

Did you ever read post #7?
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 10, 2008
Yes Ramón, I skimmed the review. Thanks.
I just went back and read it again more carefully.

I’d like to read more about the ViewSonic, it seems that there isn’t as much written on this monitor as the NEC, maybe it is a recent released model. Are there other good review sources for this monitor?

One area of concern is the view angle issue. I tend to work at a 2′ or under distance from the monitor. One thing that I LOVE about the NEC2690 reviews is the uniformity adjustment feature that keeps all quadrants of the LCD plane very close in brightness. One thing I HATE in monitors is variations across the screen, even with a fixed eyeball…you move an image and areas change: darkening, lightening, color temp changes. I also dislike the shifts that occur when the eyeball moves.

But, the price is right. I’d like to test drive these side by side.

BTW, does anyone know a easy, quick, reliable, and fairly comprehensive method to test out a new LED monitor in a showroom? Some sort of test file(s) or actions?

Thanks.
R
Ram
Oct 10, 2008
Yes, the wide gamut ViewSonic is very recent.

I have only seen the Shutterbug review, so I can’t tell you more.

Google is your friend. 😉

As for test images go to Google > Images and search for PDI Target.
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 11, 2008
I like the price of the ViewSoni. I just found an in depth 16 page review of the ViewSonic VP2250wb which states:

"The VP2250wb offers an extended colour space and achieves good to very good coverage of the sRGB, AdobeRGB and ECI 2.0 colour spaces. However, many colour values are not matched precisely enough. This quality is sufficient for editing holiday photos or creating images for your own homepage.

Above all, we have to ask the question why the ViewSonic VP2250wb, as a "Professional monitor", contains a TN panel and not a VA panel, like that which is included in the Eizo S2231W. All in all, the VP2250wb, with its good ergonomic functions, offers a good performance for office and Internet use as well as for games, but is not suitable for graphics workers."
C
cosmos
Oct 11, 2008
Get a large glossy Mac monitor if you want the best


cosmo
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Lundberg02
Oct 14, 2008
It’s my experience that viewing angle claims for LCD monitors are absolute bullshit.
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 14, 2008
Lundy:

Go and take a peek at a NEC 2690 WUXi when you have a moment — it might change your mind!

🙂
L
Lovegasoline
Oct 14, 2008
I had wanted to make some comparisons so I looked around NYC at my usual sources, but I could not find ANY of the NEC monitors on display. None.

However, based on reviews and feedback alone, – yesterday I bought a used NEC LCD2490WUXi sight unseen.

I’ll report back when it arrives.
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 14, 2008
I think — and very much hope — that you will be very happy with your choice.

Just make sure that you did specify the SV part of "LCD2490WUXi-BK-SV" when you placed your order so that you get the full SpectraView package.
MO
Mike_Ornellas
Oct 14, 2008
Lundy only likes LSD monitors. That way he can get all colors of the rainbow.
L
Lundberg02
Oct 14, 2008
If I am elected. my health plan will provide 300 dollars worth of cheap heroin from Afghanistan to all senior citizens every month. It’s win -win. Supports the Afghan economy, provides seniors with a feeling of well being and makes them more productive, saves billions in Medicare, brings down health care costs for you youngsters, what’s not to like? LSD might be a nice bonus.
Since my expert doctors screwed up both eyes doing a cataract on one of them, I’ll probably be seeing only three shades of grey soon, but Apple just announced a bunch of LED backlight displays including notebooks.
M
mayhem
Oct 14, 2008
;9223235 Wrote:
I had wanted to make some comparisons so I looked around NYC at my usual sources, but I could not find ANY of the NEC monitors on display. None.
However, based on reviews and feedback alone, – yesterday I bought a used NEC LCD2490WUXi sight unseen.

I’ll report back when it arrives.

Good monitor, should do the job nicely.


mayhem
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AW
Allen_Wicks
Oct 15, 2008
I’ll probably be seeing only three shades of grey soon

Sorry to hear that. I wish you well and hope the outcome is much better than you suggest.
AS
Ann_Shelbourne
Oct 15, 2008
Lundy:

That’s terrible! Let’s hope that things turn out better than you now fear.
R
Ram
Oct 15, 2008
That’s downright criminal! Hope they can correct it, Lundy.
L
Lundberg02
Oct 15, 2008
I may sue because I wasn’t warned that post op complications might affect both eyes which are both worse than before the op and so different and screwed up that glasses won’t do it.
Also it has cost and will cost hundreds more than insurance will pay for my retina specialist, who has already tried his whole bag of tricks. I will go back one more time just to find out how bad it is. I am sure of one thing, I will never drive legally again.
Just a friendly warning to any of you who are aging. Cataract operations on diabetics especially are not risk free for the other eye. I’m not even going to get into the pill flinging antics my internist favors. Got a side effect? Well then give it to Lundberg, he’ll prove it.
My senior health plan has no monthly payment, and I paid twelve dollars for a complete 2500 dollar cardio stress test, so it isn’t really a money thing, but I am living proof that doctors will bullshit you just like any salesman.

Anyway, Apple has finally gotten the message about gamut. I would love to have that 15" notebook. The viewing angle is still probably head up and locked or no fidelity.

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