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Archive 2012 · Monitor recommendations - part 2
  
 
nolaguy
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p.1 #1 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Hello friends,

Id solicited display and calibration gear guidance a few months ago (responses much appreciated). Im about to finally pull the trigger on the purchases and am asking for final input before sending B&H yet another mortgage payment.

I think Im settled on the:
X-Rite i1Display Pro ($299.00 kit including ColorChecker Passport)
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/867210-REG/X_Rite_EODIS3CCPP_X_Rite_i1Display_Pro_.html


but am undecided on the monitors. Current top contenders:

NEC 24" - P241W-BK $699.99
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/822727-REG/NEC_P241W_BK_24_Widescreen_Professional_Graphics.html

NEC MultiSync PA241W-BK 24" $999.99
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676418-REG/NEC_PA241W_BK_MultiSync_PA241W_BK_24_Widescreen.html

LaCie 324i 24" 131081 $1219.88
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/740130-REG/LaCie_131081_324i_24_Widescreen_LCD.html


Please offer any thoughts or guidance you have - or alternate recommendations.

Many thanks in advance for your kind assistance and best wishes to fellow countrymen and women for a happy and safe Fourth.

Chuck



Jul 04, 2012 at 04:55 AM
ben egbert
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p.1 #2 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


See my adjacent post about browsers and calibrated monitors.

I use an NEC2690 with and old xrite and Spectraview calibration software. This is a fantastic system for post processing and printing. With a custom printer profile, I am able to get a very close match between screen and print.

But when using a high end system in a model-T world of browsers that are not color aware you will never know what other folks are seeing on the web.

My monitor is about 5 years old and when running in calibration mode, it does not even display true sRGB. It can be changed to sRBG mode but its a pain switching back and forth.

If you want to easily see what the sRGB web version looks like, make sure you have a good path to that.




Jul 04, 2012 at 03:31 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #3 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Thanks so much for the advice, Ben.


Jul 04, 2012 at 04:01 PM
M. Magallon
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p.1 #4 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Wouldn't get the LaCie. It's an older model and when LaCie used to make model 723, it was just a rebadged NEC priced a few hundred dollars more. Also, Lacie doesn't seem that vested anymore in monitors as I only saw this one particular model on their website. That's a red flag to me.

I own a NEC 2690WUXI2 w/ Spectraview II software and it's a fantastic monitor. If I were you, I would spring for the Spectraview II upgrade. A base PA-241W-BK is around 850 and one w/ SVII software and calibrator is about 980. That's a difference of 130. Get a passport seperately for $100 and you saved $60 over getting the calibrator and passport seperately. You can probably even easily find a passport used for cheaper.

The reason I recommend this is twofold. 1.) The calibrator used for the NEC's is custom made for it's wide gamut monitors. 2.) The SVII software makes it a breeze to calibrate the monitor.

However, if you're calibrating multiple devices/monitors, forget that suggestion.

As far as which monitor to get, if you're pretty good w/ color management, get the wide-gamut display. Trust me, don't get too caught up in getting the "exact" tones of color when looking at sRGB monitors. When a consumer looks at your images from an uncalibrated sRGB monitor, it will look different from what you see on your monitor regardless what gamut you came from. Just remember to tag the images to sRGB when exporting to the web and you'll be in the ballpark and your images won't look dulled out.

If you're printing regularly, the wide gamut display is hugely beneficial, especially if you have a higher end printer. I print from an Epson 3880, and while the gamuts aren't an exact match, I can often spot tonal gradations better using my NEC than when proofing with my wife's Apple Cinema Display.

Last, but not least, after looking at images from a wide gamut display, it almost hurts my eyes going back to an sRGB display. It's like going from SD to HD for me. When I look at colors on an sRGB display, they don't seem to "breath" at all. They saturate much quicker than looking at a wide gamut display. The colors on a wide gamut seem much more "true-to-life" for me. This is comparing my NEC to sRGB Dell Ultrasharps and Apple Cinema Displays. Forget resolution, I believe monitors should really start standardizing larger color gamuts.




Jul 04, 2012 at 04:44 PM
Alan321
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p.1 #5 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


I recommend that you find a monitor with well over 100 pixels per inch. At about 90-95 the monitors you are considering just don't cut it. Pixels are clearly visible as separate from each other and fine details don't display nicely when they straddle pixels. This is especially obvious with text but images are affected too in areas of high detail. I've gone off my nec 2690 even though I love the colours and other features. I want something with at least 110ppi and preferably 132 or more (like on good laptop screens).

- Alan



Jul 05, 2012 at 05:34 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #6 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


ben egbert wrote:
But when using a high end system in a model-T world of browsers that are not color aware you will never know what other folks are seeing on the web.

My monitor is about 5 years old and when running in calibration mode, it does not even display true sRGB. It can be changed to sRBG mode but its a pain switching back and forth.

If you want to easily see what the sRGB web version looks like, make sure you have a good path to that.



It's not that hard to switch the NEC PA series to sRGB and back, it just takes a few seconds with SpectraView 2.
And it delivers a near perfect sRGB, actually much closer to sRGB specs than almost all sRGB-only monitors, and since it stores everything internally, you could use ANY browser with it in that mode and see everything rendered perfectly.

And then you can pop it into wide gamut mode for your own viewing or editing for large gamut scenarios.



Jul 05, 2012 at 07:45 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #7 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


M. Magallon wrote:
The reason I recommend this is twofold. 1.) The calibrator used for the NEC's is custom made for it's wide gamut monitors. 2.) The SVII software makes it a breeze to calibrate the monitor.


Since they siwtched to i1 Display Pro I don't think they custom calibrate anymore since the stock off the shelf i1 DIsplay Pro are now all calibrated to NEC PA241W for their wide gamut calibration. When they used to use i1D2 it made a HUGE difference to get the NEC one though, the off the sheld wasn't even usable.

I don't know if they changed it, but at least at first the nec i1 display pro custom was locked from being able to be used with xrite or other software (due to a silly new x-rite policy, which hopefully they have since changed, but maybe not). So there is a chance ti makes more sense to just get an off the shelf i1display pro.



Last, but not least, after looking at images from a wide gamut display, it almost hurts my eyes going back to an sRGB display. It's like going from SD to HD for me. When I look at colors on an sRGB display, they don't seem to "breath" at all. They saturate much quicker than looking at a wide gamut display. The colors on a wide gamut seem much more "true-to-life" for me. This is comparing my NEC to sRGB Dell Ultrasharps and Apple Cinema Displays. Forget resolution, I believe monitors should really start standardizing larger color gamuts.


Yeah for some types of shots, such as ones with deeply saturated yellow, sunsets, sunrises, many flowers, deep tropical waters, super bright clothing, fall foliage, things can look much truer to life on wide gamut. For years I kept wondering what I was doing so wrogn when I took pics of flowers, even just 'simple' red roses. And when I got a wide gamut monitor I realized the answer had been nothing! It was sRGB at fault.




Jul 05, 2012 at 07:53 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #8 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Thanks to you all for taking the time to provide such thoughtful replies.


Jul 07, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Phil Radlick
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p.1 #9 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


I struggled for a long time with the new monitor question. I wanted an NEC but I could not find one to look at in the SF Bay area. So, I postponed the decision for months. Then finally, I took the plunge and got a NEC Multisync PA241W with Spectra View calibration from B&H. I am thrilled with it. It is by far the best monitor I have ever had. Calibrating is easy and so is the switch from RGB to SRGB. I should have pulled the trigger much sooner than I did. Best, Phil


Jul 08, 2012 at 06:54 PM
nolaguy
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p.1 #10 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Thanks Phil. Good to have your perspective. Now I'm just debating between the 24" and 27".

Funny how easily budget-creep happens.



Jul 08, 2012 at 11:01 PM
 

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Mark Metternich
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p.1 #11 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


I've been extremely happy w my Dell Ultrasharp


Jul 27, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Keith B.
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p.1 #12 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


A warning to all USA buyers of NEC monitors: Carefully and thoroughly inspect the unit over the first week or two of ownership. If there are any warranty-issue defects(backlight bleed in my case) be sure to report them to NEC USA within 30 days of purchase. After 30 days, NEC wants to replace your defective monitor not with a new replacement unit, but with a "refurb" unit, which in my case appeared to be merely a defective unit(PA271) that some other user had returned to them. They're very nice on the phone, but this is their policy.


Jul 28, 2012 at 06:28 AM
howardm4
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p.1 #13 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Unfortunately, that is a fairly common policy these days, not something specific to just NEC


Jul 28, 2012 at 01:28 PM
skibum5
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p.1 #14 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Keith B. wrote:
A warning to all USA buyers of NEC monitors: Carefully and thoroughly inspect the unit over the first week or two of ownership. If there are any warranty-issue defects(backlight bleed in my case) be sure to report them to NEC USA within 30 days of purchase. After 30 days, NEC wants to replace your defective monitor not with a new replacement unit, but with a "refurb" unit, which in my case appeared to be merely a defective unit(PA271) that some other user had returned to them. They're very nice on the phone, but this is their policy.


it's always far safest to just exchange from the store you purchased at



Jul 28, 2012 at 10:42 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #15 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


Considering the Dell U2711 or NEC PA241W. Other than the obvious resolution differences, what are your thoughts?


Aug 22, 2012 at 01:48 PM
nelvayut
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p.1 #16 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


For more than 2 yrs, we've been using NEC Multisync LCD 2490WUxi2 and NEC Multisync LCD 2690WUxi2 with spectraview II and x-rite calibrator from B+H and very satisfied with the quality.


Aug 22, 2012 at 03:24 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #17 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


I have a spyder4 pro. Is it worthwhile to get the spectriview II or will the spyder4 give me equivalent results?


Aug 22, 2012 at 03:29 PM
howardm4
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p.1 #18 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


get the spectraview II software (directly from necdisplay.com for $89). It supports the Spyder4


Aug 22, 2012 at 03:42 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #19 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


thanks howard.


Aug 22, 2012 at 03:46 PM
jzucker
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p.1 #20 · Monitor recommendations - part 2


What does the spectraview II software do that the spyder4 software doesn't?


Aug 22, 2012 at 03:48 PM
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