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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 02, 2005
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    any reason 2 wait to buy new monitor? tech is pretty consistent right?
    Hello,
    I am a photographer and use mac's...over the past few years though I have been using a la cie CRT monitor. It's huge but did a good job with color calibration.
    I chose mac's though because they are supposed to accurately represent the true colors of the image in the monitors....I need to get a mac display.
    I have been doing 6 months stints shooting overseas and then return home to edit. I have just returned home with a load of images to edit...but will be leaving again in a couple of weeks for another possible 6 months.
    In computer terms, It seems that I should edit as normal with what I have and buy the top new thing when I return.
    But in thinking about it....I computers continue to improve by leaps and bounds....but are monitors the same?
    I know there are always improvements in size, weight, they get thinner, brighter, better at conserving power...but I simply want to move to a flat screen monitor that is going to continue to give me exact representation of the pixels from my camera. I am not looking for the screen to display hyper saturation or contrast unless I have personally made the photograph that way.
    Have the monitors in the past 4 years changed that much or would a 3 year old mac monitor be quite similar in image quality to what you see now?...and possibly in the next few years?
    The monitors have looked stunning for the past few years and I was just waiting for the price to drop a bit, but I don't think they do that very much.
    Thanks for the advice...sorry to be long winded!
    Have never really shopped for a monitor before....
    cheers,
    M

  2. #2


    Member Since
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    LED backlit monitors (IPS, not TFT) are amazing, but will need to be color-corrected with a third-party tool if you're going to be using them for serious photography work.

    The expensive-but-really-good option is the Apple Thunderbolt Display, though there are plenty of monitors at the very pro end that make the price tag seem like a steal!

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    '11 15.4, 2.2, 8gb MBP - '11 15.4, 2.0, 8gb MBP, 2x4gb Gen1 Nano, 8gb Gen3 Nano,
    Quote Originally Posted by wrightm View Post
    Hello,
    I am a photographer and use mac's...over the past few years though I have been using a la cie CRT monitor. It's huge but did a good job with color calibration.
    I chose mac's though because they are supposed to accurately represent the true colors of the image in the monitors....I need to get a mac display.
    I have been doing 6 months stints shooting overseas and then return home to edit. I have just returned home with a load of images to edit...but will be leaving again in a couple of weeks for another possible 6 months.
    In computer terms, It seems that I should edit as normal with what I have and buy the top new thing when I return.
    But in thinking about it....I computers continue to improve by leaps and bounds....but are monitors the same?
    I know there are always improvements in size, weight, they get thinner, brighter, better at conserving power...but I simply want to move to a flat screen monitor that is going to continue to give me exact representation of the pixels from my camera. I am not looking for the screen to display hyper saturation or contrast unless I have personally made the photograph that way.
    Have the monitors in the past 4 years changed that much or would a 3 year old mac monitor be quite similar in image quality to what you see now?...and possibly in the next few years?
    The monitors have looked stunning for the past few years and I was just waiting for the price to drop a bit, but I don't think they do that very much.
    Thanks for the advice...sorry to be long winded!
    Have never really shopped for a monitor before....
    cheers,
    M
    Look to the NEC wide gamut displays with the Spectraview package.

    NEC MultiSync PA271W-BK-SV 27" Widescreen PA271W-BK-SV B&H

    I'm a generation behind with the NEC 2690, but I can tell you it was worth every cent I spent on it. These monitors have an internal LUT which is far superior to setting up the color of the monitor using your computers video card. It also allows you to switch from one calibration setting to another with a simply mouse click. This is very useful if you create files for reproduction using one monitor setting and images for the web with another.

    Aside from the new Apple Thunderbolt display not having the same level of internal color correction as the NEC, it also has a a glossy screen. No way in the world I would suggest a glossy screen that big to edit photography. Even glossy laptop screen drives me batty.
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  4. #4


    Member Since
    Sep 10, 2011
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    1,805
    The colour temperature of the iMac screen is approximatey 6500 degrees kelvin which is way too far over to the blue end of the spectrum.
    There are some specific RGB profiles that you can choose from in System Prefs>Displays and there is a calibration option in there too.

  5. #5


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    The colour temperature of the iMac screen is approximatey 6500 degrees kelvin which is way too far over to the blue end of the spectrum.
    There are some specific RGB profiles that you can choose from in System Prefs>Displays and there is a calibration option in there too.
    6500k is the standard for sRGB and Adobe RGB among others.

    The profiles in perfs and the calibration utility are pretty much worthless for critical color work. You need a hardware/software solution to properly profile and calibrate a monitor to decent standards for photography
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by infocusinc View Post
    6500k is the standard for sRGB and Adobe RGB among others.

    The profiles in perfs and the calibration utility are pretty much worthless for critical color work. You need a hardware/software solution to properly profile and calibrate a monitor to decent standards for photography
    Well I'll take you up on asking you to impart your knowledge for the benefit of others here if I may.

  7. #7


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    Well I'll take you up on asking you to impart your knowledge for the benefit of others here if I may.
    What do you want to know?
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Sep 10, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by infocusinc View Post
    What do you want to know?
    Cheers infocusinc, well I'll declare that I've never used a hardware/software solution but from what I understand (and I may need correcting), this is a two part process where you have a tool that will read colour patches on the screen and some software to set-up and manipulate the results to obtain as near as possible a 'screen to print' match. The 'screen to print' match is ultimately a WYSIWYG eyeball test where you would compare the results in print with it's originator on the screen.

    Leaving all the other variables apart, what set's this method apart from the iMac's own screen display calibrator which is comprehensive enough ? Is it the screen tool, the software or a combination of the two?

    Both methods rely ultimately on the eyeball test I would think, except the iMac version does so from start to finish.

    I would be interested to know your opinion also on LED screens and ocular health and as to whether we should be using calibration ultimately to reduce injury and degeneration. It's not that long ago that we were working on CRT with UV filters stuck to the front.

    http://www.gtc.org.uk/media/fm/Zerb%...ty%20final.pdf

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    Cheers infocusinc, well I'll declare that I've never used a hardware/software solution but from what I understand (and I may need correcting), this is a two part process where you have a tool that will read colour patches on the screen and some software to set-up and manipulate the results to obtain as near as possible a 'screen to print' match. The 'screen to print' match is ultimately a WYSIWYG eyeball test where you would compare the results in print with it's originator on the screen.

    Leaving all the other variables apart, what set's this method apart from the iMac's own screen display calibrator which is comprehensive enough ? Is it the screen tool, the software or a combination of the two?

    Both methods rely ultimately on the eyeball test I would think, except the iMac version does so from start to finish.

    I would be interested to know your opinion also on LED screens and ocular health and as to whether we should be using calibration ultimately to reduce injury and degeneration. It's not that long ago that we were working on CRT with UV filters stuck to the front.

    http://www.gtc.org.uk/media/fm/Zerb%...ty%20final.pdf
    It always comes down to eyeballs SOMEWHERE but the choice to set your screen to set of standards time and time again is the point of doing hardware/software calibration. You simply cant do that with a visual calibration tool, because you see things different every time.

    That's the role of a hardware/software solution, to add a layer of consistency to the process and to allow you to fine tune your setting.

    Let look at using a "canned" profile. If you have made any changes to the monitor - video card LUT setting from the ones used to create the canned profile, you are hosed. Profile is now meaningless. Why? because the monitor is no longer calibrated.

    Ok, you say, so lets calibrate the monitor using visual system included in the Mac OS (Adobe used to supply one as well, dropped it year ago)

    1. Is the room the same brightness level as last time you ran the program?
    2. How much coffee have you had?
    3. Did you get enough sleep last night?
    4. Have you been looking at your green desktop image for the last 2 hours?
    5. You get the picture, the variables are endless.

    So what happen? Every time you run the program you get slightly different results. And now the photos you edited on a visual calibration 4 months ago look different today. Why? Because you have no ACCURATE and repeatable standard for your monitor. It's one more variable in the image chain.

    This may be overkill for you. This is SOP for someone engaged in photography for commerce. You don't get to work in a closed loop like simple monitor/printer setup. You need to send files to others for reproduction or display. Without some sort of standards and a reliable method calibrate to them in a repeatable fashion, everyone ends up looking at files on a monitor that is adjusted to who knows what. We did that in the very early days of digital commercial photography and it was a complete mess. Its still a mess in some circles.


    And you may need to work in different white points as well, so you ill need different calibrations and profiles and a way to easily switch between them. And do so in a repeatable fashion.

    I have a setting on my NEC for prepress, 5000k, gamma 2.0, intensity 120cd/m2. It works great for files going to quality offset houses. These files are in Colormatch colorspace

    I also have a setting for those who prefer A98 files, 6500k, gamma 2.2, 140cd/m2, and Adobe rgb.

    Web images get 7500k, gamma 2.2 160cd/m2 and sRGB. Web is a crapshoot since so many monitors in the field are all over the place calibration wise.

    Now if I were trying to do this with a visual based system, can you imaging the mess i would be creating?

    Oh, and if you are so inclined, you can also profile the output of your printer by doing the same thing, running color patches and measuring them to set the printer to a standard as well.

    I do this for my Epson printers and it works a treat.

    This may be complete overkill for you application. Maybe for the OP as well. But if you want professional results, you need to start with as many repeatable standards and as few variables as possible.

    Sure in the end you will edit via eyeballs to some extent, even though you can also set color and density in most image editing software using color patches in a test image and setting the color by the numbers just like profiling your monitor.

    Long story short, its all about repeatability and standards.
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Craig,
    I appreciate that this is a passion for you.

    I've not had time to digest your post because I've been out for most of the day but apart from candelas per square meter and look up tables etc (and the variables like coffee) why are you all producing your own profiles for different genres and camera set up and expecting each other to see the same just because it's commercial.

  11. #11


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    Craig,
    I appreciate that this is a passion for you.

    I've not had time to digest your post because I've been out for most of the day but apart from candelas per square meter and look up tables etc (and the variables like coffee) why are you all producing your own profiles for different genres and camera set up and expecting each other to see the same just because it's commercial.
    There has to be standards of some sort. How else can one person communicate with another about things like the density and color of a photograph?

    its no different than the film days, just more complicated.

    Light boxes for viewing transparencies and reflective art and proofs were all 5000k.

    You did that so everyone was looking at the work with the same illuminate.

    Then the customer could tell the pre-press house that one image looked green for example and when new scans and proofs were produced they could see the change. How do you do that when you have one guy looking at a proof under a desk lamp at 2900k and yet another standing by a window using 7000k while the printer uses his standardized 5000k booth?

    Now with digital it gets done with electronic viewing device..the monitor.

    And everyone needs to profile and calibrate their on monitor directly because they change over time and settings get changed etc.. Its just SOP for color critical work.

    Its not so much passion on my part but rather necessity. My clients spend a lot of money producing the photos and even more money putting ink to paper and getting a website to look good.

    If my photos don't print or display properly and they require third party- expensive- intervention, my clients just might opt to find a photographer who's work will.

    Color management has come a long ways over he last decade. its not a black art anymore and the hardware/software is mostly reasonably priced.

    Its not for everyone but I think even a just for fun photographer can benefit from the process
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  12. #12


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by infocusinc View Post
    There has to be standards of some sort. How else can one person communicate with another about things like the density and color of a photograph?

    its no different than the film days, just more complicated.

    Light boxes for viewing transparencies and reflective art and proofs were all 5000k.

    You did that so everyone was looking at the work with the same illuminate.

    Then the customer could tell the pre-press house that one image looked green for example and when new scans and proofs were produced they could see the change. How do you do that when you have one guy looking at a proof under a desk lamp at 2900k and yet another standing by a window using 7000k while the printer uses his standardized 5000k booth?

    Now with digital it gets done with electronic viewing device..the monitor.

    And everyone needs to profile and calibrate their on monitor directly because they change over time and settings get changed etc.. Its just SOP for color critical work.

    Its not so much passion on my part but rather necessity. My clients spend a lot of money producing the photos and even more money putting ink to paper and getting a website to look good.

    If my photos don't print or display properly and they require third party- expensive- intervention, my clients just might opt to find a photographer who's work will.

    In a former career I had twenty years as a commercial and architectural lighting designer and specifier so I get the science. The last sentence I quote from you above sums your situation up but it's not relevant for most of us. I'm now (as an old git) more concerned about the health risks of rear-firing LED screens and fettling around with colour temperatures and gamma.

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    In a former career I had twenty years as a commercial and architectural lighting designer and specifier so I get the science. The last sentence I quote from you above sums your situation up but it's not relevant for most of us. I'm now (as an old git) more concerned about the heath risks of rear-firing LED screens and fettling around with colour temperatures and gamma.
    I agree it might not be relevant to many of you, I've said that more than once.

    But the OP stated his use was for photography thus my comments.

    As always, his and your mileage may vary.
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

  14. #14


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by infocusinc View Post
    I agree it might not be relevant to many of you, I've said that more than once.

    But the OP stated his use was for photography thus my comments.

    As always, his and your mileage may vary.
    But your comments were dismissive of well meaning input. Your involvement is valued but the proselytising is hard work for me to comprehend particularly when the topic is so subjective and the health concerns are not obvious.

  15. #15


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pendlewitch View Post
    But your comments were dismissive of well meaning input. Your involvement is valued but the proselytising is hard work for me to comprehend particularly when the topic is so subjective and the health concerns are not obvious.
    You have got to be kidding me. You need to take a chill pill dude.

    Excuse me for correcting your errors.
    Craig Lamson - Craig Lamson Photo

    www.craiglamson.com

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