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Author Topic: Which software & puck for the NEC PA241W?  (Read 2923 times)
shayaweiss
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« on: June 15, 2010, 07:21:54 AM »
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Hi,

Following advice from this forum, I am about to buy a NEC MultiSync PA241W, for most critical color work. As they come without the calibration software from NEC, without a hood and without a puck, I was wondering whether basICColor Display 4 paired with EIZO's DTP94b colorimeter, will be able to do the best possible job.

Thank you in advance for your advice, help and insights.

shaya

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shewhorn
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« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 08:17:54 AM »
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Why can't you get the Spectraview package?
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2010, 08:30:21 AM »
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Quote from: shayaweiss
Hi,

Following advice from this forum, I am about to buy a NEC MultiSync PA241W, for most critical color work. As they come without the calibration software from NEC, without a hood and without a puck, I was wondering whether basICColor Display 4 paired with EIZO's DTP94b colorimeter, will be able to do the best possible job.

Do you have something against following the manufacturers recommendations?  ;o)

There is no doubt you'll want the Spectraview II software package.. online its' like $89.00   This is the only software I'm aware of that allows you to access their excellent hardware control and LUT's.  Not getting this is like a pair of running shoes without laces.

My new NEC LCD2690uxi2's manual showed a list of "compatible" pucks.   The one you already have, the 1i2, is listed for my model and it appears to work fine.  You might want to check if it's also recommended for the PA241w.. and if it is, and you already have it, you'll lose nothing by giving it a try.

While looking in the manual you will find your answer regarding the DTP94b..

And ask yourself do you really want "the best possible job" or do you simply want it good enough for your needs?  If you want it better than you need.. share why.  Might make interesting conversation.

Hoods you can make.. though I bought two NEC hoods for mine and they're nice enough.  I have the 2690's on a dual display stand which butts them up side to side and tilts them inwards.. so the hoods couldn't be used as intended.  No big deal, my 17 year old had it figured out in five minutes.. two 1 inch squares of double sided tape later and they're great.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2010, 09:15:40 AM »
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Quote from: Steve Weldon
There is no doubt you'll want the Spectraview II software package.. online its' like $89.00

Agreed, the SpectraView software is a component key to the entire system.
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Andrew Rodney
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shayaweiss
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« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2010, 10:54:53 AM »
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Many thanks for your replies.

So I'll go for the SpectraView II software, according to the manufacturers recommendation. I don't want the whole kit, since, as Steve knows, I indeed do already have the i1D2 (and a DPT94b), which the NEC colorimeter is apparently based on. I'll save the money for the hood too and build my own one, as I did till now. Also I like them to be quite bigger than the ones they sell. The only argument in favor for a branded hood would be that they look better, more professional and cleaner, than the hoods I am able to build myself. And this does matter, as my clients do sit in front of them during the shoot and aftwerwards to choose their pictures.

As to why I want "the best possible job" regarding the monitor, Steve, you are right that I want it to be good enough for my needs. But what does that mean? As you know, Steve, I just had enough problems with the FlexScan Eizo's. The problem for me is that all this little shortcomings of the monitors, calibration and profiling disturb me a great deal. I see them maybe more than others do, don't know. That's one thing. The other is, that these monitors and "good enough for the job" products might be good in most cases, but the monitor, in front of which I spend quite some time, and is in multiple crucial instances at the heart of the whole digital work flow, I want it to be reliable. I want to be able to know what's going on in that file.

So, what do you think, does the NEC PA241W with SpectraView II, i1D2 and homemade large hood qualify for the best possible job regarding color critical work or is it just good enough for the job as a commercial and portrait photographer? I want to add, that I still do some, so called "fine art", for which I want the best I can afford.
« Last Edit: June 15, 2010, 10:58:40 AM by shayaweiss » Logged
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2010, 01:13:43 PM »
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Quote from: shayaweiss
So, what do you think, does the NEC PA241W with SpectraView II, i1D2 and homemade large hood qualify for the best possible job regarding color critical work or is it just good enough for the job as a commercial and portrait photographer? I want to add, that I still do some, so called "fine art", for which I want the best I can afford.
1.  The NEC hoods I got are plenty big.  I don't think I could easily make a cardboard hood any bigger that wouldn't sag and look worse.. and the NEC hoods are secured in such a way as to not impede air flow.. this is important.  I'm not saying someone couldn't make a better one, only that it would be difficult and time consuming.

2.  You still haven't defined or specified what "good enough" is except in the most general sense.  Sure, everyone wants their monitor to be as accurate as possible.. but there is a point of marginal returns for every type of photography.  The 1i2 appears to be fine for my needs.  I use the Gretag color checker as a reference and so far I'm pleased.  If I was doing product photography that included different color cars, fabrics, and the such.. then my "good enough" needs would tighten up.  I'd look closer.  But until I have the need to look that close I'm not going to look.  There's just no sense in it.  It won't make my models skin tones any better, it won't make my landscapes any better, my wedding shots nicer.. if there is any improvement at all to be made it's very small differences between specific shades of colors.. not all of them.

I'd stop worrying so much.  You have a recommended puck.  Many pros are using the exact same puck and SVII software and are happy.  Personally I'd be more worried about using a relatively new monitor.. though I hear it's performing brilliantly.. it's just that the Uxi2's are proven and tested over a long period of time.  This is why I bought what I did a month before the PA271w's are coming out.  For a professional consistency and reliability are more important than the eighth degree of accuracy and new technology.. The Uxi2's are proven and have no issues.. the PA series is brand new and in a years time will probably have the same or better reputation..

3.  "Fine Art" doesn't necessarily require accurate colors either.  It's far more important to get balanced colors first.. And we do this hopefully during the capture with a gray card or some other such device with a custom white point.. so our 'as captured' file is as balanced as possible for the correct colors we're seeing.  You get the most from a file this way.  It's true that 'for the most part' adjusting white balance in post comes free.. but not always and not at the fringes.   Its far more important to make a correct capture than to have that last 1% of accuracy on your monitor.

Personally.. I think you're going to be blown away with the NEC's and their simplicity and ease of setup.. You're cautious now after your latest experience..  but don't let it make your paranoid..

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shayaweiss
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« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2010, 05:20:26 PM »
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Steve,

Quote from: Steve Weldon
1.  [...] I don't think I could easily make a cardboard hood any bigger that wouldn't sag and look worse.. [...]

You are right, but I use black Styrofoam 81/2" deep, coted on the inside with thick black felt, stretched around and leaving the vents open. For the puck, you have to cut a trap. As I said, it does still not look professional at all. So because of my clients seeing that, I'll maybe go for a NEC hood.

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2.  [...] there is a point of marginal returns for every type of photography. The 1i2 appears to be fine for my needs. I use the Gretag color checker as a reference and so far I'm pleased. [...]

I agree and do also use the CC, the simple classic one.

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[...] If I was doing product photography that included different color cars, fabrics, and the such.. then my "good enough" needs would tighten up.  I'd look closer. [...]

That's the thing, catalogs.

Still, I have no problems on the capture side. It's just that I want to be able to see what colors are in the file. As long as I don't change anything in post, and normally I do have WB and all the colors right, and indeed don't change anything, I am fine. But if, for example, while softproofing, I have to tweak the colors etc., without a reliable screen, I am working like a blind. And this is a problem even for skin tones...

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I'd stop worrying so much.  You have a recommended puck.  Many pros are using the exact same puck and SVII software and are happy.
I think, I found out where my confusion originated. In the SpectraView II FAQ on NEC's Website it says that there is a European version of their monitors, which sells with a software by basICColor.

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Personally I'd be more worried about using a relatively new monitor.. though I hear it's performing brilliantly.. [...]
So maybe I should get one of the Uxi2's? They are cheaper now.

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3.  "Fine Art" doesn't necessarily require accurate colors either.  It's far more important to get balanced colors first..[...]
I agree, after the Color Balance comes the accuracy of colors. I do my digital capture in Raw and try to do close to nothing, or as little as possible in post, pretty much the same way as if I would do when I do 4x5 slides, for example.
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[...] that last 1% of accuracy on your monitor. [...]
well till now, with the monitors I had, it was more in the 50% or worse.

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Personally.. I think you're going to be blown away with the NEC's and their simplicity and ease of setup.. [...]
I can't wait to see. I think you are right.

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You're cautious now after your latest experience..
 Yes, not saving money in the beginning would have saved me quites some in the end.


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but don't let it make you paranoid..
I start to have to remind myself of that lately.

Thank you Steve for all your comments and suggestions.
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