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Thread: A Monitor Question

  1. #1
    Sean_Reid
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    A Monitor Question

    Just as many stuck with film in the midst of the "Digital Revolution" I have stuck with good VGA monitors and Matrox cards because they excel, in particular, for displaying B&W pictures.

    But, I can't use one of my much-loved Matrox cards in this Mac Pro and the DAC on this computer's video card is pretty mediocre. It just does not send a high quality VGA signal out. So, either I spend $1000 on a Quadro card or I make the move to LCD.

    I have found most LCD screens to do quite poorly with B&W files. They just can't seem to nail down delicate tonal transitions and so tend to make a generalized grey kind of mess of things.

    I suspect my LCD future would need to lie in an IPS panel (S or H) and I'm considering two monitors in particular. The first is the often-maligned 23" Cinema Display (I don't need a 30") which I need to go look at seriously next week. I know the early ones were troubled but how do folks like the current ones - esp. for B&W. If anyone reading has had a lot of experience making fine silver B&W prints, I'd be especially interested in your feedback because you might really understand what I'm after in a monitor.

    The other contender, naturally, is the NEC 2490. Yes, there's also Eizo but I'm not sure I need to spend $2K plus on this.

    Input very much welcomed and double welcome for anyone who really knows what a fine B&W silver print can look like and can imagine what the equivalent might be in a monitor.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  2. #2
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Sean: I find the 30" cinema does a more than credible job with B&W. For whatever reason, a few of the 23's I've edited on student's machines with seem to have a slight magenta cast near the edges which may show up on grayscale images...
    Jack
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    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  3. #3
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Hi Jack,

    There was supposedly a pink issue like that with the earlier 23s. Do you recall if the monitors you saw were older?

    Thanks for the info. BTW, I don't know if you saw the other thread but that e-sata kit worked beautifully. Thanks for the tip about installing it without removing the components.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  4. #4
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    My new 23 inch looks exactly like my 30 inch cinema so that issue maybe a past one.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  5. #5
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Hi Guy,

    Cool, you have a 23". Do you find that its able to show the really small tonal transitions in a B&W file. Most LCDs I've seen really suck in that respect.

    If I lived closer to an Apple dealer I would have been able to check this myself today.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  6. #6
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    My closest Apple Dealer had only a 30" set up but I made an appointment to spend about 45 mins. looking at my own pictures on it. I thought it was excellent and if the 23" is as good, then that should do the trick. I'd just also like a chance to look at an NEC 2490 and/or NEC 2690.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  7. #7
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Hi Jack and Guy,

    Thanks for nudging me towards the Cinema display. I'm using it right now and so far it seems wonderful. Word on the street is that the Cinema monitors are outdated, over-priced, etc. That may or may not be true but I think, for me, this monitor will do just fine. At some point, I'd love to look at an NEC 2490 just to see what all the excitement is about but I doubt that I'll need one.

    There certainly is a world of difference between this IPS display and the many other (type name escapes me) LCD monitors I've looked at. They're worlds apart, actually. This may be the first digital display I've seen that doesn't quickly make me miss higher end CRT screens.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  8. #8
    Senior Subscriber Member
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Here's another vote for the 23" Cinema. I'm sure I would have noted magenta casts in the corners! It calibrates quite well.

  9. #9
    Sean_Reid
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Ten hours or so later and I'm still dazzled by this display... I'm sure even better models exist but I'm certainly going to savor this one.

    Cheers,

    Sean

  10. #10
    Administrator, Instructor Guy Mancuso's Avatar
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    I do like the Cinema display's . The Eizo maybe the cat's meow but my budget is the beer kind. Have much more things that i need but I have been very happy with my cinema's . I had trouble with one 30 inch but Apple replaced it than one was stolen and my new one now but they have not missed a beat and B&W look very good with it. If I was doing extreme press work than yes the Eizo would be better but these calibrate very nicely and i have yet to have a complaint from a client that I was off.
    Photography is all about experimentation and without it you will never learn art.

    www.guymancusophotography.com

  11. #11
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    I went from a 23" cinema display to an Eizo CG210 and it was like going from 35mm to medium format. Honestly, you can do pretty much anything on a cinema display, but the Eizo is so much better is literally astonishing. The 5 year warranty certainly doesn't hurt either...my apple displays failed multiple times. Granted, apple care always replaced them, but I feel much better with the Eizo. The integration of the calibration tool is so much better as well. Anyway, I don't mean to rain on the parade or anything, I just found the Eizo to be hugely better.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    The tinted edges can be an aging problem - flourescent tubes are by no means perfect and tend to deteriorate at a different pace at the ends than in the middle which can lead to edge tint. This is yet another quality aspect to consider when purchasing a display, one which shows over time.

    Another reason to hope for a better future with LED backlighting .

  13. #13
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    FH Royce said: The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten. So I suggest an Eizo.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Robert Campbell's Avatar
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    Re: A Monitor Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Robert Campbell View Post
    FH Royce said: The quality remains long after the price has been forgotten. So I suggest an Eizo.
    This chap


    This site might be useful:
    http://shop.colourconfidence.com/ - look under monitors.
    Sláinte

    Robert.

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