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Author Topic: LCD Monitor Recommendations  (Read 436403 times)
jani
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« Reply #20 on: January 30, 2006, 07:15:43 AM »
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As for my quest for a monitor. I am as uncertain as ever and may just collect my thoughts. Part of me says to go with the ACD 20", but the other part wants to see first hand how bright the Dell 2405 is and test whether at a low setting, the luminance can come down to 120-140. Wishful thinking or stubborn, though the return policy should minimize any costs (aside from shipping).
See this thread in this same forum from July/August last year. Unfortunately, many of the posts were lost in the crash.

From my post back when I tried to calibrate my Dell 2405 FPW (I returned it later).
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Now to set the luminance. On my display, I had to set the OSD setting to 0 -- zero, and the Catalyst brightness slider to -87 (139.4-139.6 cd/m^2) or -86 (140.3-140.5 cd/m^2).
Note that I had to adjust the brightness in the drivers, the monitor's brightness adjustments just couldn't make it anywhere near as low as 140!

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Run 4:

Color temperature is excellent, spot on. Ditto for gamma. Luminance is off; the target of 140 isn't reached, the measured luminance is 182.7. The minimum luminance measured is 0.9. That doesn't seem so bad.
My conclusion back then was that I couldn't rely on it for color critical work, so I returned it.

A month ago, I acquired a PowerMac with the 23" Cinema HD, a known-good monitor which also seems better out-of-the-box, but I haven't done the calibration dance yet.
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Jan
Kenneth Sky
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« Reply #21 on: January 30, 2006, 08:22:50 AM »
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I recently purchased an iMac G5 20" which had out of the box amazing colour. However, the eye is easily "fooled". I rented a calibrator and found a signifigant difference in the calibrated profile.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2006, 11:24:25 AM »
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I'm not a professional, just an enthusiastic amateur...
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So you're not [a href=\"http://www.stevenmillerphotography.com/]this guy[/url] eh?
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In practice, is it odd to have a 1680x1050 monitor matched up with a 1280x1024 second monitor?
I had mis-matched resolutions with my CRTs. It's a bit odd at first, but you get used to it. The resolutions aren't too different so it shouldn't be a big deal.

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I realized from one of your posts in the other threads that you are a recent convert to Macs. The emotional side of me has wanted to do this for four years, though the rational side has always said I can do everything photo related on a PC so why bother. What made you finally make the move and are you glad you did? I use Downloader Pro for image ingestion and Qimage for printing. Don't know if you used these before, but if you did, have you found equivalent, relatively cheap alternatives in the Mac world?
Ah yes, the switch. I'd say follow your emotional side! Being happy with the platform you use is very important to productivity and IMHO creativity too. In the end though, both systems are tools. In the same sense we choose between Nikon/Canon or 35mm/MF you should work with the platform that works for you best.

That being said, my history in computers has been with IBM PCs. I learned DOS and Win3.1 more than a decade ago on an old 486 66MHz DX2. For the longest time I was in the "Macs Suck" train of thought based off experience with them from family members and schools. Granted, my interest on computers was for gaming, I still believe Macs weren't a viable platform outside the niche markets until recently.

Once OS X came out I saw potential in the platform and I started to closely observed the development of them. Once the G5 came out and 10.3 gave us Expose (this is seriously a Godsend) I was sold. Considering the state OS X is in now, the track record of Apple since the first colored iMac and the future developments of the platform (Intel switch being one) I believe Macs have a very promising future. More-so than PC have at this time (I'm not saying PCs are dying, just that they aren't going to be advancing much mostly due to Windows).

I switched to Macs because I am disappointed in the direction Windows PCs are heading. With Vista being delayed by several years and the fact that the fundamental flawed design in Windows that causes so much security grief (everything runs as Administrator) won't be fixed until maybe the version of Windows after Vista is irritating. The problems that PC makers are suffering due to the price wars they played means that if I want a PC with decent hardware I'd be building it myself and that means no warranty and no free over-night repairs.

Then there is the issue of using the operating system itself. I just got tired of dealing with the constant security issues and windows flaking out on me for one dumb reason or another. Unlike Windows, OS X works with me and not against me. Printer dialogs (and other apps) don't force themselves in your face, the network connects and stays connected, I can run the system for months strait without the system slowly becoming sluggish, I can run numerous utility apps (such as calendar tools, stats, app launchers, drive monitors, etc) without them having a noticeable hamper on PS performance like they would on Windows, and so on and so fourth. When web editing I typically have a good 15 different apps running including PS and Windows itself within VPC and my mac handles it with grace.

There wasn't much that I had on the PC that the Mac didn't have. With the exception of my web editor (TopStyle) I have found equivalents for the Mac. I never used Downloader Pro or Qimage and I don't know of any equivalents for those. The mac does have an app called Image Capture that will import images but it is not as sophisticated as DP.
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Steve Miller
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« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2006, 01:04:05 PM »
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Daniel,

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So you're not this guy eh?
No, and I'm not this guy either.   Though I'm a bit blown away by the fact that he is still touring.
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I switched to Macs because I am disappointed in the direction Windows PCs are heading. With Vista being delayed by several years and the fact that the fundamental flawed design in Windows that causes so much security grief (everything runs as Administrator) won't be fixed until maybe the version of Windows after Vista is irritating.
Yeah, it's a bit disappointing that the much anticipated Vista won't have anything that Macs don't already have, except of course the security holes.
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Then there is the issue of using the operating system itself. I just got tired of dealing with the constant security issues and windows flaking out on me for one dumb reason or another. Unlike Windows, OS X works with me and not against me. Printer dialogs (and other apps) don't force themselves in your face, the network connects and stays connected, I can run the system for months strait without the system slowly becoming sluggish, I can run numerous utility apps (such as calendar tools, stats, app launchers, drive monitors, etc) without them having a noticeable hamper on PS performance like they would on Windows, and so on and so fourth.
I have to say that my XP Pro system runs pretty well, though what I probably don't appreciate is all of the time I spend on making sure I don't have any problems.
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I never used Downloader Pro or Qimage and I don't know of any equivalents for those. The mac does have an app called Image Capture that will import images but it is not as sophisticated as DP.
Anybody else know equivalent programs for Macs?

Thanks again,

Steve

P.S. There are a couple of Windows Expose equivalents. I had one installed but it didn't seem to want to play nice with my graphics card. So then again, maybe there isn't a Windows equivalent.
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Steve Miller
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« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2006, 01:16:53 PM »
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After reading countless posts on the Dell 2405 and 2005 in the various threads highlighted above, I now realize that even I'm not that stubborn to try to get the Dell properly calibrated. I just want a relatively painless solution. Looks like the Apple CD has my name on it.

Steve
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jani
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« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2006, 04:26:43 PM »
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I recently purchased an iMac G5 20" which had out of the box amazing colour. However, the eye is easily "fooled". I rented a calibrator and found a signifigant difference in the calibrated profile.
If this was meant as a comment to me, I think that reading the links I quoted should reveal that I've learned this thoroughly already, leaving it as a lesson for others who don't want to repeat my mistakes.

When I say that the 23" Cinema Display HD looks better out of the box, I'm thinking of the main problem with the Dell 2405 FPW:

Brightness.

There is no problem whatsoever to adjust the brightness of the Apple display to a comfortable viewing level.
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Jan
Ray
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« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2006, 06:24:59 PM »
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There wasn't much that I had on the PC that the Mac didn't have. With the exception of my web editor (TopStyle) I have found equivalents for the Mac. I never used Downloader Pro or Qimage and I don't know of any equivalents for those. The mac does have an app called Image Capture that will import images but it is not as sophisticated as DP.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57111\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

You forgot to mention RawShooter Premium, the best RAW converter in the business   . Qimage has been a godsend for me. Maybe on the Mac, Photoshop's printing interface would not have given me the same trouble with my 7600. Maybe CS2 would no longer give me the same trouble. I haven't tried it yet because to do so would risk wasting a pile of ink and paper. Photoshop CS with my 7600 had an annoying problem of stopping printing about 3/4trs the way through a 24x36" print. Image Print is just far too expensive for the 7600. Qimage was an inexpensive solution with additional benefits and features enabling me to quickly organise and print a number of different size prints on a large sheet of paper without rescaling the size and ppi of each individual image.
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Steve Miller
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« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2006, 07:56:39 PM »
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You forgot to mention RawShooter Premium, the best RAW converter in the business   .
Ray, I think RSP is very good and has some great features, and was using it a lot. Then I read Peter Krogh's excellent The Dam Book and saw a lot of advantages to using Bridge/ACR/PS. Because of this I forced myself to spend time re-learning ACR in CS2, using a lot of the principals discussed in Bruce Frasier's Real World Camera Raw with Adobe PS CS2. I found that after a bit of time re-learning the program, I was able to generate results that equalled or surpassed RSP, taking the same amount of time. FWIW, I highly recommend both books.

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Qimage has been a godsend for me...Qimage was an inexpensive solution with additional benefits and features enabling me to quickly organise and print a number of different size prints on a large sheet of paper without rescaling the size and ppi of each individual image.
I agree completely. If I make the switch, I'm still going to keep my XP machine (for Microsoft Money), so I can continue to use Qimage if I don't find an equivalent low cost alternative in the Mac world.

Steve
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2006, 08:28:51 PM »
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I have to say that my XP Pro system runs pretty well, though what I probably don't appreciate is all of the time I spend on making sure I don't have any problems.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57113\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Bingo. XP systems can certainly run well given the proper maintenance but require constant work to maintain that. Regardless, the Mac is definitely more stable than WinPCs.

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P.S. There are a couple of Windows Expose equivalents. I had one installed but it didn't seem to want to play nice with my graphics card. So then again, maybe there isn't a Windows equivalent.
I played with one too; probably the same. It was too unstable to be useable. It's really not possible for XP do do the graphical effects found in OS X due to the different means in which graphics are rendered. Granted there are programs that can add effects quite well but they always come at a performance hit.
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Steve Miller
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« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2006, 08:35:34 PM »
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Daniel,

Okay, I'm about to make my first move towards Apple and get the ACD. How long do you figure these monitors last? I'm asking because if in some moment of temporary insanity, I throw cost issues to the wind, I might convince myself to go for the extra real estate of the 23". I see some nice little rationalizations dancing in my head if I can get four or five years out of it. Also, I assume the 20" and 23" are the same with regard to quality, performance, and capacity to be properly calibrated?

Thanks,

Steve
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #30 on: January 30, 2006, 10:08:36 PM »
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It's hard to say what kind of longevity you'd get. I'd guestimate about 3 years although on a tech show I watch (dl.tv) the host pulled out a Silicon Graphics display from 1999 that worked just fine. On the other hand I've heard of displays conking out in a year.

The DVI connector is more likely to go obsolete before the display goes bad (a new connector type is under works actually).

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Also, I assume the 20" and 23" are the same with regard to quality, performance, and capacity to be properly calibrated?
I've heard of some color issues on the 23 at the corners; noting definite. I'm not sure if it was just an issue with the first iteration or if it still continues...
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jani
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« Reply #31 on: January 31, 2006, 04:46:24 AM »
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I've heard of some color issues on the 23 at the corners; noting definite. I'm not sure if it was just an issue with the first iteration or if it still continues...
From what I recall, this is a quality control problem, and the solution for a customer is to return it to Apple and get a new one under warranty.

There have been reports of uneven backlighting in some panels as well. To the extent that it's possible to see these things, I can see no sign of it on my panel.

The standard light grey background of the Mac user interface seems suitable for checking this.
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Jan
grin.n.bareit
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« Reply #32 on: January 31, 2006, 01:48:49 PM »
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After reading countless posts on the Dell 2405 and 2005 in the various threads highlighted above, I now realize that even I'm not that stubborn to try to get the Dell properly calibrated. I just want a relatively painless solution. Looks like the Apple CD has my name on it.

Steve
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57115\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi all,

I'm a newbie to this forum so please forgive any re-hash of old topics. I'm a PC user looking to buy a new lcd and that's how I found this post. But I can't help but bring up the name Formac in any discussion of MAC vs. PC monitors. Formac's supposedly give as good as, if not a little better, image quality for a little less than MAC monitors cost. And again, supposedly they have no problems working with PC's.

From the quality of posts I've read here, I'm especially interested in hearing from anyone with first hand experience with the Formac. Thanks!
« Last Edit: January 31, 2006, 01:50:30 PM by grin.n.bareit » Logged
situgrrl
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« Reply #33 on: January 31, 2006, 02:54:31 PM »
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Okay, I'm about to make my first move towards Apple and get the ACD. How long do you figure these monitors last?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57144\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've got a 15" Apple panel on a 533 G4.  It's 6 I think!  Macs last longer too! (this thing is getting slow though!)
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abaazov
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« Reply #34 on: February 01, 2006, 10:36:06 AM »
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how come no one is mentioning the samsung syncmasters? IMO they are well worth the price, considering the competition (apple, sony).

amnon
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DarkPenguin
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« Reply #35 on: February 01, 2006, 11:26:48 AM »
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Viewsonic also has some nice options.

My Dell 1905 has the unfortunate problem mentioned above.  It is about as bright as the noon day sun.  On  the plus side it is the only monitor I've been able to use when the sun is streaming in through the window by it.  On the minus side prints are an adventure.
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grin.n.bareit
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« Reply #36 on: February 01, 2006, 01:08:08 PM »
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how come no one is mentioning the samsung syncmasters? IMO they are well worth the price, considering the competition (apple, sony).

amnon
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57248\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I also think the Syncmasters are a good call. And for that price range, I've been looking at the 214T over the last 2 days.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #37 on: February 01, 2006, 02:43:17 PM »
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I also think the Syncmasters are a good call. And for that price range, I've been looking at the 214T over the last 2 days.
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=57255\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I got a SyncMaster 213T at a good price just before they were discontinued. I love it!

Eric
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
grin.n.bareit
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« Reply #38 on: February 02, 2006, 02:07:18 PM »
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I got a SyncMaster 213T at a good price just before they were discontinued. I love it!

Eric
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I'm looking for the best deal I can find on the 214T. My oldest son just entered Berkeley as a spring-admit. My wallet is hemmoraging money! YIKES! The worst part is, I don't like to settle for just "good enough" if "the current best" is available when it comes time to buy. It almost always comes down to you get what you pay for.

I don't give a damn about the speed of the monitor, ( in so much as gaming is concerned.) I have the hardest time searching for the 'best post image processing lcd' available. Almost every hit comes back with super, ultra, delux, speed demon. I WANT COLOR FIDELITY! and I don't have the money for a Color Edge. What's a guy to do?
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TimothFarrar
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« Reply #39 on: February 02, 2006, 03:48:46 PM »
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In terms of a low price LCD, I have had good results with the Samsung SyncMaster 910T, however it might be discontinued. I also use this display in a fully color calibrated workflow in MacOSX.

Calibration was done with ColorEyes Display for 2 profiles. One at 5000K and L* (perceptual) instead of a gamma curve, this is what I use for editing, and one at 6500K and gamma of 2.2 to switch to when viewing stuff for the web (sRGB).

At 5000K I used the native white intensity of 180 cd/m^2. Normally this would be concidered too bright, however I did the setup under the assumption that lower brightness would degrade the color quality (now if the brightness settomgs actually adjusted the backlight brightness, this might not be true, anyone know anything about this?). I have a 5000K viewing light setup with brightness that matches the screen, so in practice it is not a problem (but I wouldn't want it any brighter).

My estimation of the actual contrast ratio for my 5000K setting was 370:1 (I worked backwards looking at the black level measurement from the display color profile).

This display is also a non-dithered 8bit per channel display (a lot of LCD's are 6bit per channel dithered).

The only problem I have had is with uniformity (a very common problem on most LCD displays). One corner is visably brighter than the others. In actual use it is not a problem, because when softproofing, I alternate between a black and white boarder to see the print "framed".

For anyone who is interested, I have a full writeup of colorcalibration experiences with this display at,

http://farrarfocus.com/article000.htm

- Timothy Farrar : farrarfocus.com
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