View Full Version : Monitor Selection

03-05-2005, 03:59 PM
My wife is looking for a new monitor to use for her photoshop. She presently has a G4 dual 1Ghz tower and is using an old 19 " flat screen viewsonic professional series.

She wants to move to a new LDC screen and has been reading reviews and checking pricing. It seems that the Apple monitors are highly rated, but also the most expensive. She wants at least a 19" monitor. She was reading ratings for 18 to 23". The following are the ones that have risen to the top of her list from the reviews:

Princeton SENergy 981 - 8.5 rating = 19"
Planer - 7.9 rating ============19"
Apple - 7.6 rating==== 20"
Lacie proton 321 - 8.0 =====21+"
Eizo flexscan L885 - 8.3 rating=====pricey 20"
Eizo color edge - 8.5 ====== 18"
Is the apple the only one that uses a widescreen? Is there a special advantage to the wide screen format?

Is there a real increase in quality by using the Apple since it has its own special plug in on the computer?

We will probably end up with a 19 or 20 since the prices seem to get to high on the larger screens.

We are looking for ideas and recommendations.

Thanks Fred

03-05-2005, 04:17 PM
Dell and ViewSonic, also. And prices are quite good.
ViewSonic VP191s 19" DVI and VGA $479 (http://www.zones.com/cgi-bin/zones/site/product/index.html?id=000830420) - just dropped ~$75. Very nice.

03-05-2005, 04:22 PM
Hello Fred,

it depends if she is doing color corrections and if she is using CMYK images.

Most LCD's lacks showing a real black (looks dark grayish) and CMYK colors.

I am using a Sony 23" LCD (http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/eCS/Store/en/-/USD/SY_DisplayProductInformation-Start;sid=wbxLLBfyjK5LY1XY_K1BJ1j-pBtR7EwXlKk=?ProductSKU=SDMP234%2fB&Dept=cpu_Displays&CategoryName=cpu_Displays_FlatPanelLCDs_20%22) it is great but costly.

Had an LG before wich I could not use for color corrections.
Went back to a Samsung 21" CRT wich could be easily calibrated too .

The new 20" 20" Eizo (http://www.eizo.com/products/lcd/l887/index.asp) is a good one.



03-05-2005, 05:14 PM
The new 20" 20" Eizo (http://www.eizo.com/products/lcd/l887/index.asp) is a good one. I've been considering for awhile the 19" Eizo L788 (http://www.eizo.com/products/lcd/l788/index.asp). Dual DVI inputs, 1000:1 (1) contrast ratio, and closer to my budget than the 20". They just released a new multimedia 19" L787 (http://www.eizo.com/products/lcd/l778/index.asp) -- real close to the 788 (with some other goodies for motion graphics). Only drawback is DVI and VGA inputs, not dual DVI. Give something up to get something else. :p

But getting back to alahag's list. For awhile the Eizo Color Edge series were considered tops for color for photo/graphics work. May still be true today, you'll note the Eizo Color Edges tend to be the most expensive for a give a dimension.

03-06-2005, 08:36 AM
Anohter idea:

HP. We have several of the the HP 20" LCD (http://h18004.www1.hp.com/products/monitors/tft/l2035/index.html) monitors at work, and folks love them. Not widescreen, but the actual panel comes out of the same factory as the Apple ones (there are only a handful of companies that actually make the LCD panels, which are then sold and "branded" by other companies like Apple, Dell, and HP, etc).

The HPs are not the cheapest, but a very good value compared to the Apple models. Another brand that we have been very happy with is CTX (http://www.ctxintl.com/products/compare.asp?pagetypeid=2&articleid=32610&subsectionid=372&subsubsectionid=41) . Not a house hold common name brand, but we have about 8 of their 17" LCDs and they have been great. Really good color I am told (I am colorblind, so never I would never confirm or deny... :rolleyes: ) Neither are up to the specs the Eric menttions - so are not really in the same category - but are quite nice for the price range they are in.

I strongly recommend that you see the monitors in person if you can. Nothing quite like a side-by-side test.

03-06-2005, 05:47 PM
I gotta agree with Nicholas...the LCDs are great: small footprint, low energy use...and they look totally cool!

_However_ color accuracy is still an issue and the CRTs have an edge. Pricepoint of CRTs is really good these days too. Sony Trinitrons and Apple Colorsync could possibly be found cheap.

That having been said, I like Sony LCDs and think that the NECs are great deals (like $475.00 at Microcenter for 19").


MultiSync LCD1935NXM 19" LCD Display
Mfg. Part No. NEC LCD1935NXM
SKU 449397 UPC 805736010916
Price $469.99

Monitors are worth spending a bit more on...it's what you're going to be staring at.

03-07-2005, 08:38 AM
I make my living in pshop doing images primariliy for print. If she wants a monitor that gives her a true idea of what her print images will look like, I recommend that she use two monitors. The LCD's are wonderful for contrast and eye strain reduction. I had the first 22" cinema display, and now have the alum 23"....which is touted as "swop" calibrated at factory spec. I have tried all color management short of buying a puck and doing custom calibrating.... and I'll say that I could not get either LCD to look like the print image. LCDs seem inherently more contrasty and saturated. I keep a second monitor....the 17" apple colorsync crt adc on my system to press check. It is very reliable..and you should be able to pick one up for a couple hundred on eBay...but I work on the LCD. If she's selling images, she needs to know that she's delivering a file that is "right".



Jason F
03-10-2005, 04:28 PM
I recently bought a Dell 2005FPW which is a 20" widescreen LCD (just like the Apple 20" Cinema), and it is awesome!

They're on sale today for $486, you can find information about the sale via dealmac.com (http://dealmac.com/articles/82424.html)

10-04-2005, 08:11 AM
Same here, Jason...
Though this post mainly directed to the 'Ueber-Doktor' TZ...

Well, I did what I said I would. And things are looking mighty good. Had tons of setup issues at first. Even Dell's help desk (in India) couldn't figure a solution. They send me a replacement faster than U wold imagine. Didn't have to open the box 'cause I applied a bit of my own 'smarts' in the meantime. Main trouble was the screen going dark every minute or so. Power off-on, a minute or so and here I went again... Same difference with Nvidia GeForceTI or ATI Rad. 9000 128 Pro. Each with DVI-connect. Funny thing was, that screen worked somewhat better when plugged into Formac PCI card via VGA... After that its functions improved with the AGP cards. Not to my full satisfaction, however. Still couldn't manage color profiles from within the computer. Only manually via the buttons on the screen. A rather painstaking, if not frustrating process.

And then..? And then along came OS past 10.2.8... Installed Panther, which I couldn't do with my sgi screen & the Formac card. Succeeded even though the screen would still go dark off & on. Now I seem to have control over most of the adjustments. No more sudden darkness'. CS2 hasn't crashed for the few times I gave it some heavy tasks.

Too bad I had to hang on for so long to 10.2.8... Now the cursor responds as fast as in OS 9... Everything else also seems to be faster as well. Especially SAFARI which was extremely slow before.

Except for the lack of a designer frame, the screen itself seems to project as good as Apple's CINEMA... For a lot less and with much better warranty.

Facit: I owe someone (far away) a drink. Thanks, Dr. TZ.

10-04-2005, 05:42 PM
I think daveseeley has the solution nailed in his post. :D
Buy whichever LCD suits your eyes and budget,
and the proof your work on a CRT!
A simple and excellent idea I had not considered...duhhh.
Thanks Dave...

10-14-2005, 07:23 PM
If you are going to be using this for judging color for print, you really should invest in a monitor calibrating package. You can get them fairly cheap these days, around $250. CRT are still the best for color. Or very good one is the Lacie Electron Blue. They may be a little hard to find, but they will be better than most LCD's, and it's only around $750. Now the absolute best CRT, under $5000, is the Sony Artisan. They listed for $1800, but this monitor can calibrate and profile itself, and adjust the monitor's RGB gain and bias to the required color and luminance rather than simply adjusting levels in the video card's lookup table (LUT), as needs to be done with all third party systems. This monitors calibrator even measures the rooms ambient light. Another bonus is that it comes with a 5 yr warranty. The bad news is that they are no longer making these, but you probably could still find them used.

10-14-2005, 07:37 PM
We have two new LCD's at work replacing two Barco Calibrators NEC SpectraView 21" they are great.




10-15-2005, 03:44 AM
Hm, I don't know, Nicolas...

Checked specs on Ur Necs, pretty poor dot pitch with limited resolution. I don't know how U do it, sitting & working in front of a screen like that for hours..? Most likely U're much younger than I am, so Ur eyes don't tire as easily, yet...

My recent addition, a Dell 20.1" wide, with better resolution & finer dot pitch than the NEC, is no match compared to my smaller sgi lcd's. Same goes for Apple's cinema displays, of which I tested a 20" for a day or so. The sgi's had been made by Mitsubishi (NEC), for sgi, and, as far as I know, there still isn't anything on the market that comes close.

So, here I am, with a larger screen, for work in CS2 via a DP MDD... Guess what? Whenever I'm done with a CS2 task, I switch to another G4 with OS 9.2 which tolerates the old Formac graphics card.

Life is but a compromise.

10-15-2005, 09:14 AM
Hello Wolf,

good points, but color space is only a bit smaller than on the Barco and the images looked the same as on the Barco also on the proof and offset print.

I had chosen the Sony 23" but the boss is NEC/Mitsubishi fan (since the Diamondtron monitors) and we got a faforable price for the two displays.

BTW I loved the SGI display on the Octane, keeped it, but I am still searching for a way to connect it to a DVI or VGA equipped Mac. The only solution I found was an adapter from SGI wich costs 250Euros.



10-15-2005, 10:11 AM
Adapters for the sgi nowadays, Nicolas, are more expensive than the actual monitors in gd to very gd condition...

Dr. Bott shows a gizmo for $ 250,- if I'm correct. Haven't been able to get any feedback on its workings, unfortunately.

Try to be kind to Ur eyes, no matter what. No 2nd chances.

11-08-2005, 11:02 PM
I agree completely with speters1, you must use some kind of external calibrator for any monitor. I'm very happy with the Gretag Macbeth Eye-One Display2. It's about $250 and you can calibrate/profile (really the same thing) as many monitors as you want. No limit with the license. The spyders are good too, I just happen to be a big Gretag Macbeth fan. Also, if you buy Eye-One Display 2, it comes with a coupon to put the purchase price towards the purchase of Gretag Macbeth's serious color managment tools. (These solutions are well over $1k)

If your work is in graphics, expecially images, you must calibrate your monitor in order to have any fighting chance in maintaining any kind of color managment.

Think about it this way, the monitor is the only tool you have to evaluate your images. It's like tires- you can put the stickiest rubber on your car, but if the tires aren't inflated to their optimum pressure, you will still get lousy performance. Not to mention, the tires are the only part of the car that actually meets the road surface.

Same thing with your monitor. After I calibrated my monitors with an external calibrator, it was like someone removed a veil from my screens. You might have a good sense of color and contrast, but there is no way that any human being can be as precise or consistient as a calibrator.

Is Joe average looking at your work with a calibrated monitor, maybe but probably not. But at least if your monitors are calibrated, you are starting with a repeatable, consistient foundation.

I'm using an Apple 17" LCD and a 13" sony CRT for my palates, but the next chance I get I'm getting an Eizo. I think they are just a smidge pricier than an Apple display, and the Eizo is far more adjustable. The Apple monitors don't have the same fine adjustablility that the Eizo does.

The color edge series is definitely pricy, but the flexscan's are in Apple territory.

I've seen the ColorEdge monitor that displays true adobe1998, and with a piece of flat art next to the monitor for soft proofing, the monitor looks spot on.

Don't get me wrong, the Apple monitors are good, but the Eizo's are a good step ahead.