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Old Dec 28, 2005, 11:29 AM   #1
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Hi,

I shoot with a Canon 20D and do some equestrian event photography. I use Photoshop for editing, and do sell some photos. I usually use online printers (Shutterfly pro and Kodak), and have depended on them to color correct my stuff because I haven't color calibrated my monitor (yet). So far I've had pretty good luck trusting Shutterfly and Kodak to color correct my images. I think I'm going to want more color control in the near future.

I currently have an 8 year old 17" Trinitron CRT monitor on my desk at home. It's big, ugly, and hogs desk real estate. I've been lusting after the sleek LCD flat panel monitors in the stores.

I've heard that LCD monitors are more difficult to color calibrate (than CRTs). Any thoughts? I only have a budget of around $500. I could eek out a few hundred dollars more, but am thinking that "extra" money might be better spent on a calibration system in a few months. It's unfortunate, because it seems that at the $750 mark, there are some pretty nice LCD monitors out there. That's life, I guess.

I'm waffling between two $500 LCD monitors right now: the 17" Eizo L568, and the 19" Viewsonic VP930b. I've read that the Eizo is the better monitor, but it's only 17". Both monitors have identical native resolutions (1280 x 1024, I think), and I think it will be easier on me to have that resolution be on a bigger monitor. I use a basic 17" Dell LCD monitor at work, and I find 1280 x 1024 to be a stretch for me because the text is very small. I do mainly Office stuff at work, and very little graphics work. At home I do digital photography stuff with Photoshop, as well as other Office stuff.

What do you guys think, the 17" Eizo, or the 19" Viewsonic, for the same price?


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Old Dec 28, 2005, 11:54 AM   #2
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I recommend a widescreen monitor if you're going to be working on images frequently. Something like the Dell 2005FPW 20.1" monitors would be a great option for a nice LCD monitor under $500. It has enough resolution to display every pixel of a1.8MP image and would give you nice sized text at highest resolution also.
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 12:08 PM   #3
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I have dual Samsung 930B 19" LCDs at home and I've been quite happy with them. You can usually pick one up for around 350 at your average best buy. Unfortunately they don't come with a DVI cable (they do support it) so you have to get one seperately.

Overall I've been very happy with them for the $ plus I like the flexibility of having additional desktop and application room to save on alt tabbing, etc..

Given your two choices, I'd probably get the Viewsonic myself.. but the suggestion of the Dell 20" is a good one as well.
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 10:13 PM   #4
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Unfortunately the answer to this is partially a question of your standards.

I've borrowed the 2005FPW Dell wide screen LCD. I calibrated it via a hardware system and used the monitor for 3 weeks.

My 8 year old and dieing CRT showed better dark details and was closer to the output of my printer than the LCD (and the LCD was around 6 months old.) The whites were better on the Dell, though.

So I didn't buy one for myself. I just purchased a refurb NCR CRT with the same tube that is in the Lacie Blue CRTs. One of the best tubes out there (the high end Sony tubes are better.) I am expecting its arrival in about 3 days.

Getting a system to profile your monitor is very important for getting correct colors. I highly recommend you get one. Some people here like the Spyder line of devices, I don't. I got a Monaco Optrix XR Pro

The biggest problem with LCDs are:
brightness - they are too bright, which washes out details. Many can have their brightness reduced, which helps a lot. Some can't be reduced enough.

Color & angle - the viewing angle effects color and brightness too much. If you don't view it from the same angle all the time you're in trouble. If you turn the monitor so someone else can view it.. and then turn it back you could be in trouble.

Color correctness - after profiling the high end LCDs can do a good job with color correctness. Lower end ones won't have as wide a gambit as a good CRT.

The real question is if you can deal with these issues. As you can see above by other people's posts, some can. Many people are very happy with a LCD. I wasn't. But I have very high standards (and pay through the nose for them.)

Eric
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Old Dec 28, 2005, 11:32 PM   #5
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I had the 2005fpw from Dell and now I have the 2405fpw from Dell.

The 2405 is a dream come true compared to the 2005.

1. The panel on a 2405 is samsung (lgphillips on 2005) and the colors are MUCH better. the blacks are darker and the bright colors are brighter. viewing angle is also far far better than the 2005.

2. it's bigger! 24" widescreen lets you do pretty much whatever you want

3. it has a CARD READER built itno the side.. super amazing for popping the cards in easy access

As for brightness issues.. they're supposed to be that bright.. I think you just need to have a bright light in your room to balance it. LCDs are ideally viewed in extremely well lit rooms. this monitor is brighter than the 2005 but it's sooo nice you'll love it. comparing the 2 is like night and day.. the 2005 seems dull and lifeless in comparison. also, LCDs are always supposed to be at max brightness I thikn


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Old Dec 29, 2005, 9:26 AM   #6
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I'm sorry Doug_M, but monitors designed for photo editing are not designed to be as bright as most LCDs are. I've read extensively on this, and talked with people who run graphics editing shops (Both for photos and print ads) and they all agree.

Bright LCDs are popular because they make reading text and general home use easy. But they are not good for photo editing. They also have the problem that because they produce light and paper reflects light that having a very bright LCD makes it look less like paper. Most (but not everyone) tries to calibrate their monitor to match prints, and a very bright LCD will not look like a print.

It is good to hear that the new Dell LCD is better than the old one, it sounds like they have addressed most of my problems with the older one. Some people who liked the old one, but many did not. Sounds like they are taking things in the right direction. I know they want to compete with Apple and their LCDs (which some people also like for photo editing) and if Dell really wants to do that they will have to improve.

Eric
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Old Dec 30, 2005, 9:37 PM   #7
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Thanks for the info! I've ordered a Viewsonic VP930b - it's on backorder until 1/12/06.:sadI want it now!) It's a 19" LCD, about $500.

I've read some good things about it. I've read that you can turn the brightness down on this monitor, yet still have decent color accuracy. I hope I like it! I'm really wanting to save some desk real estate..and have something cool. I'll keep you posted, if you're interested.

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Old Dec 31, 2005, 12:18 AM   #8
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I have the dell 20" and really happy with it. I will proably upgrade to dell 30" sometime in the future as that display is more like the apple cinema displays.

LCDs take much less space, easier on my eyes, easy to handle, more sharp. Pretty soon you won't find CRTs. And more basic editing work, it doesn't make such a big difference. I bet if you send your prints to diiferent labs, you probably see more difference in their outputs that output on your own printer using LCD vs CRT (assuming everything is calibrated).


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Old Dec 31, 2005, 1:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
I'm sorry Doug_M, but monitors designed for photo editing are not designed to be as bright as most LCDs are. I've read extensively on this, and talked with people who run graphics editing shops (Both for photos and print ads) and they all agree.

Bright LCDs are popular because they make reading text and general home use easy. But they are not good for photo editing. They also have the problem that because they produce light and paper reflects light that having a very bright LCD makes it look less like paper. Most (but not everyone) tries to calibrate their monitor to match prints, and a very bright LCD will not look like a print.
I think you overstate your case somewhat. In my experience it is perfectly possible to match the brightness on my Dell LCD to very closely match what I get on my prints from my Epson R800.

When it comes to brightness matching even on a CRT a lot depends on getting the ambient lighting just right too. Unless there is no daylight coming in the doors/windows then the time of day or night makes a difference - it's not easy getting what you see on screen to match what you get out of your printer regardless of what type of monitor you are using.

Are LCDs good enough for a print shop? Well that rather depends on the standards of the print shop; I get better quality prints than most labs can do for me, after all most labs are not staffed by experts.

LCDs are improving all the time and the gap narrows with each new generation, certainly CRTs still have the edge but it's nowhere near as bad as you make out, and LCDs have a lot of compensating advantages.


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Old Dec 31, 2005, 11:05 AM   #10
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Hey guys,

This question comes down to a couple of things IMO. 1. What are YOUR standards and 2nd, can you afford to meet them :?

My standards are very, VERY high but my wallet is only 1/2 as thick as it needs to be to meet them.

My 20" CRT is still better than most of the LCD's out there. I tried to buy the Big Blue but they can't be found any more. The only LCD I found that was pretty good was the Samsung 213T for a fair price. After spending 1500.00 on a Eye-One photo calibration system my prints are very, VERY close to what I see on the monitor. (I can't stress the importance of 1. calibrate your monitor, and 2. if you can afford it and print on multiple papers, profile your paper, the Eye-One photo does both.) The LCD's that meet my standards are in the 1500.00 dollar range for a 20", if I go 24" then the price jumps dramatically from there.

It's impossile to match the screen image to the print image exactly. However, with a good calibrated monitor, profiled paper and proper lighting in the room you can get darn close. I haven't used a lab yet that can get better results than I can. But they don't take the time that I do either. I care more about my prints of course than they do. I do all of my color correcting at night, my room has a couple of adjustable 6500 K lamps in it. Also, the Eye-One photo has an ambient light test also! The difference in color on the monitor and print under different lighting conditions is truly amazing!

IMHO you should read the book "Real World Color Management". Great start on this entire subject!

Joe
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