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Thread: Monitor shopping; a slow descent into madness?

  1. #1
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    Monitor shopping; a slow descent into madness?

    There are so many monitors out there, and without seeing them with my own eyes, I am having a lot of trouble picking.

    I want it to be good for photo processing, and it will also be my only monitor.

    I have the Spyder 4 Elite calibration tool.

    I am reasonably sure I want an IPS monitor, though I read that with IPS the blacks are not all that black. I don't really need to show other people my screen so I am not 100% sure I need that 178 degree viewing angle uniformity if it is costing me unacceptable damage to my blacks?? OTOH, I am now looking at my old TN screen and I actually can detect pinky-orange cast at the sides. On a bigger monitor I would probably see that even more.

    I want a fast enough GtG response time to avoid really obvious ghosting, though I am not a big time gamer or anything so it does not need to be super fast. Is 6ms fast enough? 8 ms? 10ms?

    I want a 25" to 27" monitor.

    I do not want to spend more than at max $750.00, and preferably a little less. Or do I actually need to spend a grand?

    I have a pretty new NVidia card, so I do have Display Port, and I my computer is PC, not Apple.

    Looking at Dell U2515h, Dell u2715h, or anything else, really.

    General input? Specific suggestions?
    Last edited by Scott Stephen; 02-22-2015 at 02:22 PM.
    Canon 6D, Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art"; Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro; Canon 24-105 f/4 L ; Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS (unused nowadays), EF 85 f/1.8; Canon 1.4x TC Mk. 3; 3x Phottix Mitros+ flashes

  2. #2
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    Went through that a couple of years back. Decided that the ability to render a wide gamut was the most important. Picked up an Asus Pro Art monitor for a bit over 600 on sale which is on the low price end of the graphics quality monitors. Won't be using anything with less gamut range moving forward as I do print and the colours that I can get on some papers do go a bit past my monitors ability to reproduce them. With a less capable monitor I wouldn't have much hope of editing for printing as I can't deal with what I can't see unless I were to restrict the colour space to sRGB.
    If most of what you do is for the Web then full coverage of the sRGB space would be enough. For hobby usage or a business that sells digital files, most frequently shot and supplied in sRGB colour space to save themselves issues from clients, then this is likely sufficient. This is what a lot of the world uses as a standard for colour reproduction and avoids the occasional weird thing with colour shifting when folks view their files at home or go to a low cost print shop.
    Neither is right or wrong, they are just different choices in work flow for different end purposes of the images.
    My son does a fair bit of gaming and finds that the limitation is the video card not the monitor. How many frames per second of your games can it produce?
    Back to your questions, my response is what the end use of your images will be? Your reply to that may eliminate many contenders depending on your response.

  3. #3
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    Hi,

    I don't sell prints. I make photo books, calendars and prints for family, friends, self, and I do the online posting thing of course. I just want a monitor that calibrates well and can do what I need. The Dells are on sale at this moment at B&H and I have always had Dells before, but I am not married to the brand. The Dell 25 and 27 are on for $485 and $515 respectively and I was maybe leaning towards the 27". Or any better brand. Thanks.
    Canon 6D, Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art"; Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro; Canon 24-105 f/4 L ; Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS (unused nowadays), EF 85 f/1.8; Canon 1.4x TC Mk. 3; 3x Phottix Mitros+ flashes

  4. #4
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    Well I hope the Dell U2715h is not too much of a lemon, because I just pulled the trigger. The reviews were all pretty good and from what Imread the Dell Ultrasharps are what many people buy who cant really justify an NEC (or Eizo).
    Canon 6D, Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art"; Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro; Canon 24-105 f/4 L ; Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS (unused nowadays), EF 85 f/1.8; Canon 1.4x TC Mk. 3; 3x Phottix Mitros+ flashes

  5. #5
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    Got the Dell 27 inch ultra sharp U2715H today. Only had time to play with it a little but it is a very nice piece of hardware. Much sharper and lots more "screen real estate" than my last monitor. Viewing angles great, solid feel and the no side bezels look is great. I must say I am happy so far.
    Canon 6D, Canon EF 16-35 f/2.8 L III; Sigma 35mm f/1.4 "Art"; Canon EF 70-200 f/2.8L IS II, Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 L IS Macro; Canon 24-105 f/4 L ; Canon EF-S 17-55 f/2.8 IS (unused nowadays), EF 85 f/1.8; Canon 1.4x TC Mk. 3; 3x Phottix Mitros+ flashes

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Kayaker72's Avatar
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    Thanks. Please keep us updated. I've often wondered if I should upgraded to a better monitor....

  7. #7
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    YES!

    It often amazes me how much folks will spend on gear but won't put any money into a proper monitor so they can see their images.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by jrw View Post
    YES!

    It often amazes me how much folks will spend on gear but won't put any money into a proper monitor so they can see their images.
    I've been staring at high end computer monitors since 1982 believe it or not. My first job out of college was working on a turnkey computer graphics system. My boss had no idea how it worked, but knew he needed to jump on the bandwagon. Up to that point he had a very well known boutique photo lab in San Francisco, and was moving into making slides for high tech.

    Those things (Barco's) could literally give you a tan. From there I got him to start buying Macintosh's when it became apparent they were going to be a tool in the future. People used to laugh at me when I said that we would be doing color separations soon enough on these things. I remember the first color calibrated monitors we bought - Radius was "the" brand, soon followed by NEC. But when you were matching colors for printing - and Sony or Kraft says the color is "x", that color had better be "x" on the package, or tens of thousands of dollars (plus press downtime etc.) were on the line. I was the guy that got flown all over to do the press checks.

    In a way, the color of your photography really doesn't matter if it's off on your monitor if you do nothing else with it. If you enjoy your photos that way, or in a slide-show on TV that's all you need. It's your reality, and not having to share makes it easy. Who cares if the grass is a little off, or a terra cotta pot is a little on the orange side?

    Chances are, that's not the case. If you want to print, or if your photos pass through other hands for whatever reason, there's no excuse to not have a decent monitor. Out of the box they're pretty impressive these days, but they always need calibration. We are so spoiled to be able to get a "puck" that can calibrate a monitor and to continue to check room ambiance all day for $150. That's (honestly) nearly 100 times cheaper than what was similar in the world of CRT's used to cost. And (oddly) because of gaming, the cost of a decent graphics card is very cheap. They're capable of being able to drive Photoshop without breaking a sweat - I remember what it was like trying to scroll a 350 dpi file (or several) zoomed in back in the 90's.

    It took a while for the flat panels to catch up, but they have. The only real limit is how much you want to spend, and size is usually the determining cost factor. There are a few types of more inexpensive IPS panels now that can still deliver amazing color accuracy and consistency for fantastic prices. There's not a lot of reason to have to spend top dollar these days, especially for photography. Many of the shortfalls of the IPS monitors has been overcome (viewing angles, uneven coverage), and with LED back-lighting as well as some new technology (PLS), things are looking pretty exciting. The main purpose for my setup is to reproduce fine art, from scan to monitor to printer. Some of the colors are actually fluorescent. I'm happy to say the worst I get is about 98% of my goal.

    Sadly, a lot of people don't make the necessary investments, and then wonder why they're having problems (I see some doozy's). If I try to explain the problem, their monitor is so bad that they can't see the issue.

    Prices continue to drop, and it's not so funny to see that what I spent a lot of money on just a few years ago is now about half that.

    Anyway, Dell can be a very good brand, depending on where they've sourced their panels. But overall, they're always in the top contenders. The problem I've had with past Dell's is the AG coating, which has improved lately. Another excellent brand is Asus (I have one). BenQ used to make junk, and now they're at the top of the heap. NEC and Eizo are still the choice for designers and an insanely wide color gamut. Samsung makes some of the best panels on the planet, and they used to make the worst monitors. It looks like that's changing.

    Also, just because a brand has one good 23" panel, it doesn't mean that their 27" panel is worth shooting. The electronics in each one is completely different. Many come out of the box terribly calibrated, and need to be adjusted. Some are nearly dead on out of the box. Some cannot ever be properly calibrated.

    I haven't been checking for a long time, but I should probably see what's going on as I've been getting raves on the new Samsungs and BenQ's. One of the best sources for Monitor reviews is PRAD. Also, hardware Canucks were very good - and put things in terms for laymen. I'm sure they're still on top of things. Their testing was pretty good, but nowhere as thorough as PRAD.

    BTW, the number one problem I see with people's monitors is that they're set far too bright. In fact, some monitors cannot be dialed down enough! This is what typically leads to the "why are my prints so dark?" question. Unfortunately, this isn't necessarily a good thing if you want to play video games or watch movies, which is really what most monitors are calibrated for. A toggle can be a good thing here.
    Last edited by Anthony M; 03-15-2015 at 11:54 PM.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Jonathan Huyer's Avatar
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    Anthony - Thanks for this detailed analysis and history. I plunked down a healthy chunk of change several years ago for a high-end LaCie monitor, and I still don't regret it at all.

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