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Author Topic: Wasted many years with bad monitors  (Read 10731 times)
DaveCollins
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« on: December 07, 2009, 07:04:08 PM »
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Last week I took possession of a new Dell UltraSharp U2410 24 inch. It was horrible. Strong yellow tint on everything. I used a Spyder Pro to calibrate and it failed due to a lack of calibration data. I tried opening photos in Photoshop and got an error message saying calibration data missing. So I sent the monitor back to Dell.

So I decided to go ahead and get something which was know to be quality. I just got an Eizo ColorEdge CG241W (24 inch). I pulled up the some images on it and using an existing Dell 19 inch as a dual monitor setup, compared the photos side by side. The difference is stunning.

Flesh tones came alive on the Eizo. When I moved the picture to the Dell, all the subtle tones went flat ... almost ghostly by comparison. I zoomed on an S2 image of a model's eye which had many beautiful colors in it on the Eizo and they got washed out on the Dell. By the way, this Dell was successfully calibrated using a Syder Pro 2. The eye in this photo had brown colors near the pupil which almost completely disappeared on the Dell.

There just isn't any comparison. I feel like I've wasted years working with my photos and not knowing what they actually look like. The monitor costs the same as a good Canon L lens. Why I didn't spend a little on a decent monitor I don't know. I feel like all the work done processing my photos was somewhat wasted.
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budjames
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2009, 08:11:53 PM »
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I have a Dell 27" that I replaced with an Eizo ColorEdge CE240W about 3 years ago. I agree that the difference is amazing.

I was able to calibrate the Dell successfully using an Eye-1 spectrometer, but first I had to reduce the RGB brightness manually before it would calibrate properly. The workaround went away of course with the Eizo.

Now I use the Dell 27" as a second monitor for my MacBookPro 15" aluminum which is my "work" computer. I run WinXP in VMWare Fusion 3.0 on the Dell external monitor for work stuff and use the laptop display for all Mac programs.

The Eizo is attached to my MacPro 8-core which is my main "home" computer for Photoshop, Lightroom and everything else Mac.

I've been eying up the 30" Eizo, but I can't bring myself to part with the 24" because it works so good that I cannot yet justify the $5k upgrade for 6 more inches of width.

Cheers.
Bud
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Bud James
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lalithaparam
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2009, 07:48:31 AM »
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I have the 27 inch dell.  Is the EIZO that good.  Have you considered the NEC 30 inch which is priced around $2100.  Many people swear by it and it is on my short list.

Param
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 07:50:06 AM by lalithaparam » Logged
DaveCollins
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« Reply #3 on: December 10, 2009, 11:11:17 AM »
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From what I've read, NEC's top monitors compete well with Eizo. My draw to Eizo is from their reputation, the reviews I've read, and importantly to me, the company's focus. They seem to be focused on producing monitors with high quality color rendering performance. Even to the extent of designing into the monitors a hardware calibration capability in order to achieve the best possible results. I like the fact that they are focused on quality. Eizo doesn't produce cheap consumer grade monitors. All their products are high quality.

Since I got my new monitor I've been going home from work every day looking at my  photo collection and marveling at how much better most look on the new monitor. The most dramatic improvement has been in skin tones. I look at the Dell version of a portrait and then look at the Eizo and wonder how in the world I could try to improve the portrait on the Dell since I can't see important hues which entirely change the look of the pictures. It would almost be like trying to adjust a models picture while working with a false color picture. Sure you could do it, but what's the point.

I have quite a few pictures of flowers. On the Eizo these pictures absolutely come alive. It seems like colors are being clipped on the Dell. There reds, blues and other colors that just disappear when I move from Eizo to Dell.

Over the span of a couple of years I worked on taking pictures of the moon. I have 3 pictures that I like and one that turned out well. I shot it with a 1DsII and a 400mm f/5.6 + 1.4x + 2x to give an overall 1120mm. I didn't expect the image quality to turn out as well as it did so it was a nice surprise. The point of bring this up is that this image had nice detail, but the color was a dead slate gray. Yes the moon is gray, but on the Eizo the moon was transformed and the colors included subtle brown tints in various region and the entire moon took on an "earthy" look. It was a significant improvement. There is some color in that moon dust!
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erick.boileau
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« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2009, 12:52:05 AM »
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I got an Eizo CG243W to Replace my NEC , the difference is incredible
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NoahJackson
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« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2009, 01:11:10 AM »
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I recently purchased a new Dell UltraSharp U2410 24. I like it; out of the box calibration was off but it is decent after calibration. It might also be because I don't have a lot to compare this with. Is anyone using this with good results? Reviews have been mostly positive.

A good monitor -- even on a limited budget-- is important for me. I regularly sell 24" and 36" work (printing with Epsons on several flavors of paper). If I can make an image with 5% better tonal gradation that pops a bit more to my liking -- the physical prints usually have a better chance of selling.

Any experience from those using the new 24-inch dell?  I'm liking the cost, extra usb ports, size, and automatic energy saver modes. I do a lot of writing with my work; so just having a second monitor is also wonderful.

Noah
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geotzo
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« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2009, 02:10:31 AM »
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Quote from: erick.boileau
I got an Eizo CG243W to Replace my NEC , the difference is incredible
You can't go wrong with this class of Eizo and you do get what you pay for.
I got the same one as an upgrade from an older CG and I believe you cannot find many to compete against this quality.
I went through the latest Lacie and Nec. Lacie was nowhere near, Nec was ok. I only found Quatos compete, but the price difference was a bit high
and the menu a bit wierd.
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lalithaparam
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« Reply #7 on: December 11, 2009, 08:04:33 AM »
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So what is the street price of the 24 inch and 30 inch EIZO.

Param.
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NoahJackson
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« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2009, 08:55:20 AM »
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FYI... I paid about $530 USD for the new dell.

Quote from: NoahJackson
I recently purchased a new Dell UltraSharp U2410 24. I like it; out of the box calibration was off but it is decent after calibration. It might also be because I don't have a lot to compare this with. Is anyone using this with good results? Reviews have been mostly positive.

A good monitor -- even on a limited budget-- is important for me. I regularly sell 24" and 36" work (printing with Epsons on several flavors of paper). If I can make an image with 5% better tonal gradation that pops a bit more to my liking -- the physical prints usually have a better chance of selling.

Any experience from those using the new 24-inch dell?  I'm liking the cost, extra usb ports, size, and automatic energy saver modes. I do a lot of writing with my work; so just having a second monitor is also wonderful.

Noah
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erick.boileau
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« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2009, 09:46:20 AM »
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I got my Eizo in UK  http://www.nativedigital.co.uk/shop/produc...escreen---black
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Clearair
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« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2009, 01:57:13 PM »
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Quote from: DaveCollins
Last week I took possession of a new Dell UltraSharp U2410 24 inch. It was horrible. Strong yellow tint on everything. I used a Spyder Pro to calibrate and it failed due to a lack of calibration data. I tried opening photos in Photoshop and got an error message saying calibration data missing. So I sent the monitor back to Dell.

So I decided to go ahead and get something which was know to be quality. I just got an Eizo ColorEdge CG241W (24 inch). I pulled up the some images on it and using an existing Dell 19 inch as a dual monitor setup, compared the photos side by side. The difference is stunning.

Flesh tones came alive on the Eizo. When I moved the picture to the Dell, all the subtle tones went flat ... almost ghostly by comparison. I zoomed on an S2 image of a model's eye which had many beautiful colors in it on the Eizo and they got washed out on the Dell. By the way, this Dell was successfully calibrated using a Syder Pro 2. The eye in this photo had brown colors near the pupil which almost completely disappeared on the Dell.

There just isn't any comparison. I feel like I've wasted years working with my photos and not knowing what they actually look like. The monitor costs the same as a good Canon L lens. Why I didn't spend a little on a decent monitor I don't know. I feel like all the work done processing my photos was somewhat wasted.


I have the same monitor and give up on trying to advise others on the need to think of the monitor AS the most important interface for photographers in the digital age. I like your comparison to the cost of an L but as I have said in a thread (can't be fussed to find it ) before, look how often photographers update thousands of £$ for new camera bodies?Huh?  The monitors are good value in those terms.

Regards
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digitaldog
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« Reply #11 on: December 14, 2009, 09:01:59 AM »
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Quote from: DaveCollins
From what I've read, NEC's top monitors compete well with Eizo. My draw to Eizo is from their reputation, the reviews I've read, and importantly to me, the company's focus.

Well kind of.... The focus is really on medical imaging and the like (the displays for photo are a small part of all that).

I’m still trying to discover what the price premium of Eizo over a similar NEC SpectraView provide. Both are great displays no question, I just don’t understand the pretty significant price difference and suspect that in the case of NEC, they sell far more displays in less a niche market.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2009, 09:02:18 AM by digitaldog » Logged

Andrew Rodney
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DaveCollins
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« Reply #12 on: December 14, 2009, 11:25:23 AM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Well kind of.... The focus is really on medical imaging and the like (the displays for photo are a small part of all that).

I’m still trying to discover what the price premium of Eizo over a similar NEC SpectraView provide. Both are great displays no question, I just don’t understand the pretty significant price difference and suspect that in the case of NEC, they sell far more displays in less a niche market.

I'd like to say that I am an informed consumer and did my thorough research, but that wouldn't be honest. I've heard about these monitors for a while, read a little, and got one. I was impressed by company PR stuff, reviews by others, reputation, and the 5 year warranty.

I attached the hood it came with this weekend and I have to say that the hood does make a difference. Not just by cutting down on incident light on the monitor, but also the effect of looking into a dark recessed space that it creates. After attaching the hood, I also calibrated the monitor. The calibration process is the definition of simplicity.

I am pleased with this hardware and have no buyer remorse.
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SecondFocus
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« Reply #13 on: December 14, 2009, 01:12:44 PM »
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I replaced my LaCie "state of the art" CRT a few years ago with an Eizo and I too was amazed at the difference. I was also somewhat embarrassed by delivering photos from that LaCie despite having calibrated it often. I am sure I kept it at least a year too long. From what I have read, CRT's degrade and anything over two years in use is questionable. I think anyone still using a CRT of any type at this point is doing themselves a disservice.
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Ian L. Sitren
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lalithaparam
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« Reply #14 on: December 14, 2009, 01:49:38 PM »
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Rodney


Are you still using a Sony Artisan or using a NEC lcd monitor (which one if it is the NEC).


Param.
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Gigapixel
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« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2009, 02:52:45 PM »
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Quote from: digitaldog
Well kind of.... The focus is really on medical imaging and the like (the displays for photo are a small part of all that).

I’m still trying to discover what the price premium of Eizo over a similar NEC SpectraView provide. Both are great displays no question, I just don’t understand the pretty significant price difference and suspect that in the case of NEC, they sell far more displays in less a niche market.

Both companies traditionally compete in the medical market.

In my view Eizo has a cleaner and more integrated concept with their CG-Series. They combine very good panels with their own, very comfortable and reliable software (Color Navigator). I consider their package as simply the most fool-proof.

While NEC also uses very good panels, they traditionally mix contrast and brightness settings. This results in the fact, that on NEC monitors the minimum luminance of the backlight is about 140 cd/m^2 by using the "brightness" setting only. To lower it, you have to fumble with the "contrast" setting as well. This intertwined behaviour of "contrast" and "brightness" is a common nuisance with many LCDs. Eizo correctly correlates the backlight level with a single "brightness" setting.

The SpectraView software (= basICColor in Europe) is also more complicated and not as comfortable as Eizo's Color Navigator. The latter lets you change profiles conveniently through the context menu in the dock.

The SpectraView also has a somewhat shaky stand and reportedly NEC's inverter emits some buzzing noise.

The only thing I don't particularly like with my Eizo CG242W is the narrow viewing angle in the dark tones.
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Ray
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« Reply #16 on: December 14, 2009, 05:32:04 PM »
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There's something here that doesn't quite make sense.

For printing purposes, the only requirement is that the print matches what you see on the monitor. If you have achieved that condition, by carefully and successfully calibrating your monitor and by using good profiles for your printer, then I have difficulty in understanding how there could be any significant advantage in getting a better monitor.

I use an old CRT that calibrates very well using an Eye-One Display 2. The color gamut of my old Sony CRT seems so much wider than the capabilities of my Epson 7600 printer in the sense that I often have to selectively reduce the gamut in many parts of an image when viewing the image in 'proof colors' mode before printing.
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DaveCollins
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« Reply #17 on: December 14, 2009, 06:06:47 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
There's something here that doesn't quite make sense.

For printing purposes, the only requirement is that the print matches what you see on the monitor. ...

What I am taking from this thread is that the color accuracy of what  you see on your monitor depends on having a quality device. For me  personally, 98% of the function of my monitor is to enjoy looking at  photographs. For that I want as high a quality device as I can get. I  have an older Dell monitor which is calibrated and which renders  inferior images when compared to my new Eizo. So switching monitors has  significantly improved my photographic viewing pleasure. I take  pictures primarily because I enjoy working with them, looking at them,  and sharing with others.

If you have a monitor and your only  concern is getting prints which match what you see on that monitor, and  your current monitor/printer system successfully accompishes this, then sure there  isn't a need to spend money. However, if your prints don't match what  you see on your monitor and both printer and monitor are  calibarted/profiled, you may want change your hardware and up the  quality.
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Gigapixel
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« Reply #18 on: December 14, 2009, 06:25:32 PM »
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Quote from: Ray
There's something here that doesn't quite make sense.

For printing purposes, the only requirement is that the print matches what you see on the monitor. If you have achieved that condition, by carefully and successfully calibrating your monitor and by using good profiles for your printer, then I have difficulty in understanding how there could be any significant advantage in getting a better monitor.

Even high-end CRT monitors cover little more than sRGB. Since nearly every sensor is sensitive to a much larger gamut than sRGB, especially in the greens, a monitor which covers at least AdobeRGB is necessary to show what the image contains. Calibrating monitors is a tedious task, which is made considerably easier by the concept of hardware-calibration, in which case the software is programming the monitor-LUT according to the target parameters and is therefore conserving the full 24bit color. No more fiddling with brightness- and RGB-settings to preset the monitor. For their SpectraView/ColorGraphic-Series NEC and Eizo use only hand-selected panels which are individually corrected for uniformity and linear grayscale.
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fike
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« Reply #19 on: December 14, 2009, 07:01:53 PM »
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I understand that ambient lighting conditions for both your computer display and for the display of your printed artwork are both highly dependent on the ambient light.  But it seems like you could get good results in a way analogous to the use of "canned paper profiles."  If hardware was consistent enough, or linearized well enough at the factory, you could use a hardware specific profile that isn't made specially for your individual display and environment.  That would get most users 90% of the way there.  Admittedly, the last 10% is where "the devil is in the details."
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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