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Author Topic: Glossy displays on new MacBookPros  (Read 9250 times)
AdrianL
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« on: October 16, 2008, 10:30:47 AM »
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New 15" MacBookPros announced this past week come with glossy displays, and no option for a matt display.  My current 15" MBP has a matt display, has a 30" Apple matt display attached and I find them comfortable to use and have no problems callibrating.  There is a lot of static about this on the web discussion groups.
Can anyone happy with their glossy display comment on this? I for one use a glossy display at work (PC) and (non-photographic) and find it tiring on my eyes.  I can work for hours on my Mac displays.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2008, 05:38:38 PM »
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Everyone I know is lamenting the glossy screens, especially for outdoor work. Even when using a hoodie a glossy screen requires more effort to view than a matte screen.
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KWSmith
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2008, 03:03:36 AM »
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Quote from: Chris_Brown
Everyone I know is lamenting the glossy screens, especially for outdoor work. Even when using a hoodie a glossy screen requires more effort to view than a matte screen.

From what I can tell, the new MacBooks are a giant step backwards for professional photographers. They seem to be even more delicate (glass touchpad??) and all have glossy screens. The previous models were never great road machines but the new ones seem to be even less so.

This obviously won't be of any comfort to those with large investments in OSX software, but Lenovo recently came out with what I think is the very first laptop that can do double duty as a rugged road machine and powerful desktop solution for photographers, the W700.

Built-in Wacom drawing tablet, RAID, Nvidia graphics, high res, wide-gamut MATTE display with integrated color calibration, etc., etc., etc. No extra charge for the waterproof keyboard or legendary Thinkpad stability and ruggedness. This is a serious, mobile, visual arts workstation that, on a hardware level, is an order of magnitude better than anything Apple has ever made.

No it doesn't run OSX and that's a shame, but the hardware is so good it's worth putting up with Windows (and XP is still available). If Apple was smarter they'd hook up with Lenovo to make something more like this, but Apple is increasingly interested in pretty little things that appeal to pretty little consumers, and less interested in appealing to creative professionals.

Anyway, I use a gracefully aging T60 for location and business work and was in the market for a new desktop. Now I'm seriously going to reconsider that, and probably get one these these instead. Apple might be ignoring our needs but Lenovo hit the nail on the head with this thing. IMHO, of course, but decide for yourself.
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santa
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2008, 05:09:24 AM »
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I would never want to use one for extended periods. If I had to use one at home or in an office on a daily basis I would get a good monitor to use with an external keyboard and leave the laptop glossy screen for use on the road only. Frankly, if a laptop were my day to day computer I'd get a PC with a good matte screen...and I'm a long time Apple fanboy. Same stupid move with the macbook losing firewire. incredibly stupid. Some folks work in a place where glare is not an issue and for them, no big thing. For others it's a  huge issue. Either way I would use a second monitor on a day to day basis if I had a glare screen in front of me.
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2008, 04:12:49 PM »
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Quote from: Chris_Brown
Everyone I know is lamenting the glossy screens, especially for outdoor work. Even when using a hoodie a glossy screen requires more effort to view than a matte screen.

Actually this probably isn't quite accurate.  As one that has actually been using a glossy screen MacBook for quite some time now (and will never buy a matte screen again), there might be some truth to the fact that a matte screen with a hood may work a little better than a glossy screen without a hood in bright conditions (outside for example), the fact is I have never found a condition that I couldn't work fairly easily with the glossy screen, even outdoors, no hood necessary.

The challenge of reflections isn't nearly as bad as most assume, and in fact a rarely an issue.

Here's the bottom line as I see it.  Both screens reflect the same thing.  They have to.  One screen reflects in a specular manner ... like a mirror. Those reflections are extremely out of focus when you are focused on the screen, and in fact many reflect at an angle you don't even see them.  sure, you can create circumstances that may emphasize them, but as soon as you focus on the screen itself, the effect on the image is very similar to the glare that reflection causes with a matte screen.

A matte screen reflects this as well, but it turns the reflected light into glare.  So true, you can't see any "reflection" but this happens at the sake of brightness and contrast. And that glare is now part of the screen itself, so it is in pefect focus.

While most of the time either screen will perform very similarly, any condition that makes the glossy screen hard to use will be equally, and probably more challenging to use the matte screen.

I bought my first glossy screen just to see what I thought.  Almost everyone in my office has now switched to the glossy screen because it is so much easier to use under even challenging conditions.  I will never use a matte screen for a laptop again.

Desktop .. not sure yet, although I've used one of the new iMacs frequently and really didn't have a lot of problem.
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Chris_Brown
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« Reply #5 on: October 17, 2008, 04:23:28 PM »
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... there might be some truth to the fact that a matte screen with a hood may work a little better than a glossy screen without a hood in bright conditions (outside for example)...
My location work is about 70% outside and even a matte screen can be difficult to use. However, my laptop screen is old tech and I'm looking forward to an LED backlit screen, which is brighter and hopefully more color accurate.

Rumor has it that the 17" Macbook Pros will be updated in the near future.
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« Reply #6 on: October 17, 2008, 05:03:26 PM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
One screen reflects in a specular manner ... like a mirror. Those reflections are extremely out of focus when you are focused on the screen, and in fact many reflect at an angle you don't even see them.  sure, you can create circumstances that may emphasize them, but as soon as you focus on the screen itself, the effect on the image is very similar to the glare that reflection causes with a matte screen.
Not true, earlier today when the sun was rising the white wall behind me was very bright. on the laptop with the glossy screen the background was very visible when looking at the screen. When light is bright pupils contract, huge depth of field remember - result horible viewing conditions.
I placed glossy laptop up in front of my matte monitors to comp[are and it was distinctly inferior in use.
The other day when using laptop, I had to keep adjusting screen as the main light was reflecting in screen and was very distracting.
Glossy screns are annoying, not as bad as I first thought [as most of the time the  bright lighting I work under is in behind screen], but it is still markedly inferior to matte screens.
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2008, 09:59:47 AM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
While most of the time either screen will perform very similarly, any condition that makes the glossy screen hard to use will be equally, and probably more challenging to use the matte screen.
Photographer's eyes are no different than eyes belonging to a doctor, they often see different things.

I completely disagree with Wayne Fox's analysis of the glossy screens. I'm glad he's happy but I'm not. I don't know one art photographer in NYC who would agree with his analysis either.

I've worked with both screen types (not by choice), in the field and in the studio, and the differences astounded me. The matte screen handled reflections much easier and most important, any reflections were diffused, making them far less distracting if they did appear. In bad lighting situations, the glossy screens needed to be physically moved and sometimes required relocating in a room to see a screen without sharp, distracting elements. If a group of people needed to view the glossy screen at the same time, the room had to be dark and windowless.

Reflections aren't the only problem with glossy screens. Photographic images look COMPLETELY DIFFERENT on a glossy screen. Glossy adds contrast and eliminates shadow detail. If I'm not supposed to care about contrast and shadow detail, why on earth pick photography as a career?

As a professional who retouches and prints from a non-glossy monitor, WHY ON EARTH would I want to view my images or encourage anyone else to view my images on a screen different than the one used at my workstation?

I LOVE my images as they appear on my digital workstation in my studio. And with my matte screen MacBook Pro, I am capable of duplicating that viewing experience for any client, within reason. Consistency helps define professionalism. You can't create the same viewing experience with a glossy screen and I don't appreciate the way a glossy screen changes my art.

Glossy screens are for consumers who enjoy shine and overly whitened teeth. (My housekeeper owns an iPhone and I don't.) Slick and shine is fine for some marketing and merchandising but not always. It's definitely not fine for my professional presentations. I view high contrast and lack of shadow detail as tacky.

Apple seems hell-bent on making more money and I can't fault them for that. But, abandoning their professional loyalists will attract some negative heat (and maybe some new competition). Glossy screens are sparking quite the debate at Apple Discussions.

Poor PhotoExpo seminar leaders. Imagine comparing a glossy screen image to the same image projected on a white screen. Apple, give us professionals a break.
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AdrianL
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2008, 03:25:36 PM »
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I decided to go to the Apple store in Salem New Hampshire and see for myself.  The sales person admitted that many customers were displeased with the glossy displays.  She indicated that ALL new Apple displays will eventually be glossy - that's really sad.  The new screens are more than glossy, they are like mirrors.  I brought up some photos from the Adobe site, shadow detail is gone, way too much contrast, not suitable for serious photography..
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KWSmith
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2008, 10:32:08 PM »
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Quote from: AdrianL
I decided to go to the Apple store in Salem New Hampshire and see for myself.  The sales person admitted that many customers were displeased with the glossy displays.  She indicated that ALL new Apple displays will eventually be glossy - that's really sad.  The new screens are more than glossy, they are like mirrors.  I brought up some photos from the Adobe site, shadow detail is gone, way too much contrast, not suitable for serious photography..

Ya, I found the same thing when I wandered into an Apple store on Friday. I looked at my own website and immediately saw the uselessness of their glossy screens. Clearly, Apple only cares about consumers now that their market share is improving. Good for them, bad for us. Don't see why they can't handle both markets at the same time but they aren't. It's like "thanks for keeping us on the map but we don't need you anymore." Insulting.

The Lenovo W700 I mentioned above doesn't have this problem...far from it, great display.  A colleague has one and it's an amazing machine and FAST. Expensive though. Incredibly expensive if you option it up, like $5000 with everything.

I'm not trying to start a Mac vs. PC thing here but Apple screwed up and I'm just trying to inform you all of a much better, portable hardware solution, than Apple has now. No it doesn't run OSX but anyone with half a brain can get Windows XP to work for them just fine. Thinkpad's have very good utilities that more than less solve a number of Window's failings and are, in my experience, the most stable Windows machines you can buy. You get what you pay for,  vis a vis Dell, etc.
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jvora
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« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2008, 05:45:26 AM »
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Quote from: KWSmith
Ya, I found the same thing when I wandered into an Apple store on Friday. I looked at my own website and immediately saw the uselessness of their glossy screens. Clearly, Apple only cares about consumers now that their market share is improving. Good for them, bad for us. Don't see why they can't handle both markets at the same time but they aren't. It's like "thanks for keeping us on the map but we don't need you anymore." Insulting.


Hello KWSmith - I feel really bummed about this    : (

Are there any films that can be applied to the glossy screens that make them "matte" ??

If yes, would such a film make the glossy screen look and feel like the old matte apple monitors ??

Is there a way we can have apple re-consider they decision, thus permitting a matte screen option besides the glossy ??

I have a hunch that the glass on the screen provides the required sturdy-ness which the new books need as metal has been shaved off.

Frustrating to say the least    


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peterpix
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« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2008, 10:17:56 AM »
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There are now good buys on the previous Mac Book with the matte screen. They appear to have the same specs as the new models. My new one is 2.5 GH, 2 megs ram, 250 gig drive.  Check MacConnection.

Peter
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Peter Randall
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« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2008, 12:55:32 PM »
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Just received a new "early 2008" MacBook Pro (the model just discontinued) with matte display, purchased from Apple at a great clearance price.

My initial reaction to the display was not good - poor contrast and pronounced blue cast. Turns out that the profile supplied by Apple is terrible. After profiling with a GM eye-one, the display is great.

Be wary of comparing glossy and matte screens unless both have a custom profile.

I have used both and like the matte screen for photo work. A glossy screen is saturated and contrasty, looks dramatic, but it doesn't help me make prints, and it doesn't match the monitors on my MacPro. I will be old-fashioned and work with matte as long as I can.
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paul_jones
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2008, 02:41:17 AM »
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Quote from: Wayne Fox
Actually this probably isn't quite accurate.  As one that has actually been using a glossy screen MacBook for quite some time now (and will never buy a matte screen again), there might be some truth to the fact that a matte screen with a hood may work a little better than a glossy screen without a hood in bright conditions (outside for example), the fact is I have never found a condition that I couldn't work fairly easily with the glossy screen, even outdoors, no hood necessary.

The challenge of reflections isn't nearly as bad as most assume, and in fact a rarely an issue.

Here's the bottom line as I see it.  Both screens reflect the same thing.  They have to.  One screen reflects in a specular manner ... like a mirror. Those reflections are extremely out of focus when you are focused on the screen, and in fact many reflect at an angle you don't even see them.  sure, you can create circumstances that may emphasize them, but as soon as you focus on the screen itself, the effect on the image is very similar to the glare that reflection causes with a matte screen.

A matte screen reflects this as well, but it turns the reflected light into glare.  So true, you can't see any "reflection" but this happens at the sake of brightness and contrast. And that glare is now part of the screen itself, so it is in pefect focus.

While most of the time either screen will perform very similarly, any condition that makes the glossy screen hard to use will be equally, and probably more challenging to use the matte screen.

I bought my first glossy screen just to see what I thought.  Almost everyone in my office has now switched to the glossy screen because it is so much easier to use under even challenging conditions.  I will never use a matte screen for a laptop again.

Desktop .. not sure yet, although I've used one of the new iMacs frequently and really didn't have a lot of problem.

i shoot location mainly, and i bought an imac for a specific shoot recently. in my office the glossy imac was sweet, but location it was a nightmare. everybody who used it compained about it. i had to get elaborate tents out of flags made to use it on each set. i know all displays are hard to see outside (i regularly use a 30" display outside), but the glossy screen was worse- it needed a large black behind it or you couldnt see what was on there, and assists found it hard to see when they wore white shirts!  (see pic attached)

maybe a small laptop would be better as there isnt a large area to reflect, but the imac size was  a pain.

but isnt there somewhere that make matt screen cover/ protectors? i thought there was one for the imac. i guess those people will also make one for the macbook pro as well soon.

paul
« Last Edit: October 31, 2008, 02:42:19 AM by paul_jones » Logged

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choen
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« Reply #14 on: November 03, 2008, 05:07:51 AM »
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On a demo unit at the local reseller (in KL, Malaysia),I put a default black and white picture as desktop, and there was silent 'ugh' from some folks (all strangers) reflected on the display.
The young shop assistant politely displaced me from the demo unit so he could change the desktop back to something brighter. It's no good, cos by that time people who were looking at the screen became very aware of their own faces on the thing.

I am still kicking myself for not getting the 'classic' macbook pro when the prices were slashed for a quick clearance sale. All stocks have since finished in every outlet in this town.



It's no good  
Quote from: paul_jones
i shoot location mainly, and i bought an imac for a specific shoot recently. in my office the glossy imac was sweet, but location it was a nightmare. everybody who used it compained about it. i had to get elaborate tents out of flags made to use it on each set. i know all displays are hard to see outside (i regularly use a 30" display outside), but the glossy screen was worse- it needed a large black behind it or you couldnt see what was on there, and assists found it hard to see when they wore white shirts!  (see pic attached)

maybe a small laptop would be better as there isnt a large area to reflect, but the imac size was  a pain.

but isnt there somewhere that make matt screen cover/ protectors? i thought there was one for the imac. i guess those people will also make one for the macbook pro as well soon.

paul
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John.Murray
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« Reply #15 on: November 04, 2008, 12:00:17 PM »
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I'm also squarely in the matte screen camp.  I find the reflections of a glossy display distracting, although Wayne raises very good points.  A recently ordered Macbook Pro went back, after discovering the matte screen option (which I had ordered) was no longer available.  I'll re-order one as soon as they make it an option once again . . .
« Last Edit: November 04, 2008, 12:00:58 PM by Joh.Murray » Logged

GregW
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« Reply #16 on: November 04, 2008, 12:38:55 PM »
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Quote from: Joh.Murray
I'm also squarely in the matte screen camp.  I find the reflections of a glossy display distracting, although Wayne raises very good points.  A recently ordered Macbook Pro went back, after discovering the matte screen option (which I had ordered) was no longer available.  I'll re-order one as soon as they make it an option once again . . .

I suspect you'll be waiting a while. From most of the tear-downs the glass screen/cover is integral to the construction. A matte glass screen/cover might help but I'm not sure how effective this could be.
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jvora
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« Reply #17 on: November 05, 2008, 01:48:07 AM »
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Quote from: Joh.Murray
I'm also squarely in the matte screen camp.  I find the reflections of a glossy display distracting, although Wayne raises very good points.  A recently ordered Macbook Pro went back, after discovering the matte screen option (which I had ordered) was no longer available.  I'll re-order one as soon as they make it an option once again . . .


Hello all :

To state a few points from my perspective, experience and understanding :  Its not just the reflections that is problematic, but also the following -

1. Glossy screens tend to provide a more saturated range of colors - This will make calibrating the monitors to "simulate" what the image will look like on paper very difficult if not impossible.

2. Not only do the screens provide highly saturated colors, but also provide for high contrast images - This makes for very difficult setting of highlight and shadow detail, a very critical aspect in working with images !

3. The glossy screens are highly reflective - Working a whole day in front of a monitor that reflects will cause a lot of eye strain and become an annoyance.


I have already written to Apple ( like many others ) requesting them to reconsider, but Apple will mostly not provide an option for a matte screen.

Now for "possible" solutions :

Noting all of the above will a film such as PhotoDon's LCD Anti-Glare Film ( http://www.photodon.com/lcdprotect-sheet.htm ) resolve the above issues ?  - In particular :
   ( i ) Will such a film enable accurate calibration of a LED monitor ?
   ( ii ) Will applying this film reduce contrast so that highlight and shadow details can once again been "seen" ?

Have any of you used/tried this film - What have your experiences been noting the 1 and 2 points ?

Any thoughts ?

Jai
« Last Edit: November 05, 2008, 04:44:07 AM by jvora » Logged
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