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Thread: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    I figured that folks here would have their fingers on the pulse for the current best recommendations for displays for image processing, preferrably under $2k for a 27in or so display.

    I've been looking to add an NEC PA271W BK-SV model for use alongside my Apple Thunderbolt display & MBP17in display but I confess that I've been out of this market for a while. Currently I have an aging Lacie Pro CRT monitor that’s past it's prime and Apple Cinema display on my MacPro, alongside also a Cintiq 21UX. However, I find myself using my MBP more day to day and so now want to add a newer wide gamut display for use at home.

    Any good suggestions? Would you recommend the NEC or are there better options today?

    Also, would anyone forsee any problems adding a second large display monitor such as the NEC alongside my thunderbolt display on a current generation MBP 17in? Is the built in GPU up to the task of running the laptop display, thunderbolt 27in display AND another wide gamut display?
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    I have a couple of Eizo's running at work. They aren't the top end Eizo's but they work quite well, but I think the 27" ACD is pretty close. We do a lot of custom printing for photographers as well as a lot of copy/printing for artists and my staff does quite well with them. (I rarely use them personally).

    At home I recently added a Nec PA301W, which sits next to my 30" aging Cinema display. These are running on a MacPro and personally I feel the NEC is terrific. This display is calibrated with the NEC Spectraview II software, and I have several target settings based on sRGB, as well as a custom one which I feel is the closest match to my prints I've ever had.

    I think the bundle which includes the Spectravision II software probably runs a little over your $2k budget, and I don't know how the PA217w compares (similar numbers, maybe just as good but a little smaller). If so it might be just what you're looking for.
    wayne
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Thank you Wayne - I particularly respect your judgement & experience when it comes to all things colour & print.

    The 30in model might be worth the small extra investment as they seem to be about the $2100/2200 level from reputable online dealers and I tend to keep these things for a while. (My 30in cinema display is embarrassingly old these days!).

    I would assume that using my current colormunki for calibration would be adequate for my use too. Any feedback on the advantages of the Spectraview software?
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post

    I would assume that using my current colormunki for calibration would be adequate for my use too. Any feedback on the advantages of the Spectraview software?
    I don't know how the monitor performs with a normal calibration (I assume it's OK). With spectra vision you have a lot more options, including limiting the gamut of the display (so you can limit the display to sRGB to simulate what normal monitors show, and make web browsing a little more normal). There are lots of options, including manually tweaking the white point to get a better match to the prints. Easy to move from one setup to another ...takes a few seconds. Here's a quote from Andrew Rodney which references the technical reason why it's better...

    "Yes, you absolutely want to use the NEC software to drive the display calibration (SpectraView). It will take advantage of the high bit LUTs in the panel and provide a lot more functionality than any other software product. The software alone should only be $99, the higher price may include an EyeOne Display-2 with mated filters for this display which would do a better job than the Spyder on this unit."

    Basically with the spectra vision software, you calibrate the display itself, not the LUT in the video card.

    So personally I think it's worth the extra ... logical if you are going to drop a couple grand on a high gamut display you want the best tools to make use of what it offers.
    wayne
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Thanks Wayne - that makes sense.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    FYI, Graham - you can use your Colormunki Photo just fine with the Spectraview II software - no need to buy the NEC dongle. You may have to turn off the Colormunki software while calibrating with the Colormunki. Check the NEC website - the Colormunki is supported.

    Cheers, -Peter

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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Graham, I have been shopping for a new monitor as well. I spent a good bit of time looking at both the NEC and Eizo at PhotoPlus Expo last month. The new Eizo is really good and has a built-in profiler that swings out of the bezel (e.g., self calibrating). I felt that it was better than the NEC, but only marginally and it costs >$3200.

    B&H has the NEC PA271W-BK-SV for $1439 with free shipping right now and NEC has an offer where they send you a hood for the monitor for free after you register it online. I ordered the NEC from B&H yesterday. I couldn't justify the extra cost for the Eizo although I really wanted to.

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    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Graham,

    I like my NEC 30". I have the older 3090 WQxi, and would replace it in a heart-beat with the newer PA 30", and it's in your price-price range.
    Jack
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    The PA-xxx-BK-SV ranges are all looking very attractive. The 24in might do but the cost delta is pretty small vs the 27in. The 30in is a bigger step up but I do like that size as it matches my 30in Cinema that has worked well and is on my Mac Pro. For me the downside is actually desk real estate as I also have a 27in thunderbolt display which is essentially the digital hub for my MBP.

    Choices choices. I'm not sure that I can justify the Eizo options over the NEC wide gamut displays.
    Remember: adventure before dementia!

    As Oscar Wilde said, "my tastes are simple, I only like the best"

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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    It may not be wide-gamut, but I've been using the Apple Cinema Display 27" LED for about six months now and am completely delighted with it. I calibrated it to my target settings (Luminance 110, Gamma 1.8, white point 5600K) and find the fidelity in output to paper is spot on.

    Not to hijack the thread, but ...
    I've not quite seen the point of going to a wide-gamut display since paper and inks have nowhere near the gamut of even the ACD27LED. The point of the color managed printing process, to me, is that I can use a calibrated screen with my eyes to pre-visualize what is going to appear on paper.

    Given this notion, someone can educate me as to what the value in using an even wider gamut display really is.

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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamWelland View Post
    The PA-xxx-BK-SV ranges are all looking very attractive. The 24in might do but the cost delta is pretty small vs the 27in. The 30in is a bigger step up but I do like that size as it matches my 30in Cinema that has worked well and is on my Mac Pro. For me the downside is actually desk real estate as I also have a 27in thunderbolt display which is essentially the digital hub for my MBP.

    Choices choices. I'm not sure that I can justify the Eizo options over the NEC wide gamut displays.
    The 27in NEC monitor is selling for $1199.00 today at B&H (w/o Spectraview) - hard to resist!
    -- Joe

    http://mountainjoe.zenfolio.com/ - excuse the mess

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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    I've not quite seen the point of going to a wide-gamut display since paper and inks have nowhere near the gamut of even the ACD27LED. The point of the color managed printing process, to me, is that I can use a calibrated screen with my eyes to pre-visualize what is going to appear on paper.

    Given this notion, someone can educate me as to what the value in using an even wider gamut display really is.
    There are certainly colors that your monitor can reproduce that the printers can't, but the converse is also true. Here are some gamut plots to give you an idea of how many colors lie outside of sRGB (and even AdobeRGB) monitor gamuts but are printable by inkjet printers.

    http://people.csail.mit.edu/ericchan...00/gamuts.html

    Martin

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    Workshop Member Wayne Fox's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for a new color managed wide gamut display

    Quote Originally Posted by Godfrey View Post
    Given this notion, someone can educate me as to what the value in using an even wider gamut display really is.
    well, it isn't that simple, since color management is mostly about the relationship of tonal values and colors and simulating those relationships on devices of various capabilities. A wide gamut display has more colors and values in which to do that, and has been mentioned current papers and inks exceed even wide gamut displays.

    This doesn't mean you can't do a good job with lesser displays, but the wider the display gamut the better it can render subtle transitions and tones ... and often that's what get's lost in translation when printing to paper.

    Another advantage of a high end display such as the NEC is the ability to control contrast. Most displays are very limited at this. I never realized how much difference it made until I set up my NEC301w next to my 30" apple Cinema Display ... viewing the same image side by side is substantially different, and with the lower contrast target and correct luminance of the NEC along with a completely customized white point, my screen to print match is better than anything I've ever had before ... by quite a bit.
    wayne
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