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Old Nov 16, 2007, 3:47 PM   #1
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I acquired my first LCD 17" monitor about six months ago, an HP 'vs17e'. Its sticker says it was manufactured in October 2006, and I got it cheaply in an electronics store because it had been on display for a while.

My 8-year old VDU had finally needed thumping every 5 minutesinstead of 10 to turn its image back to its normal, rich rendering from bright blue.

Although I am in general very pleased with it, I sometimes wonder whether I'm seeing what others see around these forums. Like every LCD screen on every type of device I'veowned, the brightness is critically dependent on viewing angle, especially in a vertical plane.

I'd been thinking about an LCD screen for a while, and had been reassured that the viewing angle was now much improved in modern screens.I confirmed this by walking from side to side in front of TVs and monitors. However, I now realise that this experiment only demonstrated lateral viewing angle. Lots of folk sitting around a room or standing in front of a screen would see the same image.

However, at least on the screen I have, the brightness depends whether I'm standing up, sitting up, slumped in my chair, or kneeling. It shows the same phenomenon as on phone & camera screens, where tilting alters the apparent image brightness.

It seems to me from casual observation in these forums that quite often folk are not discussing quite the same image, in terms of lightness & darkness. It's as though some have their screens tilted up and some down.

My questions are...

Have I bought a duff old-fashioned end-of-an-era monitor? I am alone in this observation? If not, is my assumption correct that the 'correct' image will be seen when viewing the centre of the screen perpendicularly? When adjusting images, I sometimes resort to displaying images on my son's VDU monitor to ensure I've got it right by my old standards.

I have various test images showing a variety of colour step wedges, which I have always used to assure correct monitor adjustment, but it's perfectly possible for two images of different brightness both to look right, with all the density steps visible.

Please reassure me, or not, somebody.
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 10:01 PM   #2
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This seems to be the Achilles Heel of LCD, and the reason I am sticking with CRT for photo work. I have observed this phenomenon on even the newest (at least newest to me) versions. It seems that a lot of problems people have with color calibration are actually brightness/contrast differences. At least on person on another forum, after pursuing various solutions, raised his monitor.

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Old Nov 16, 2007, 11:56 PM   #3
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Thanks, Brian. Your answer is reassuring, and I no longer need doubt my sanity.

In all other respects I'm very happy with my LCD monitor, because I can now run at 1280x1024 resolution on a quitesmall monitor in a quite small space, and see the detail well, in a very small room. I shall happily use my own judgement on tone now, ensuring that I sit up straight and look directly at centre screen.

The old monitor not only failed, but precipitated the collapse of the beaten-up old table on which it stood. The new smaller, lighter footprint enabled remodelling of the layout of my cramped former 'darkroom in a boxroom' for marginally better working conditions.

It is quite difficult to assess one version of an image vs another; I have to put them alongside each other, and not one above the other. It's pretty obvious to me that many users of the Forums aren't doing that, to judge from crossed-purposes discussions I see.

Thanks very much
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Old Nov 18, 2007, 3:45 AM   #4
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VTphotog wrote:
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......At least on person on another forum, after pursuing various solutions, raised his monitor...
I now have my monitor raised (on top of a suitable stack of spare printer paper). This has effected a great improvement in consistency of image presented toviewers crowded around, and in ease of judging image brightness. Thanks for the suggestion.

More care will be necessary in reading the text attached to my posts, however! I'm not a touch typist, and it's harder now to glance from keyboard to screen. The photography's the most important thing, though, isn't it?

An adjustable laboratory scissor-jack platform or some kind of hoist would fix that for when I write my novel. I'll put it in the 10-year plan.
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