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Samsung S24A850DW monitor?

Feb 25, 2012 7:34 PM

Hi Guys

 

I'm an event/concert photographer currently using a decent enough consumer grade monitor and wanting to upgrade to something more professional.

 

99% of my output is for the screen, personal websites, social networking - you know the one! LOL! - etc, and probably 75% of my output is B&W.

 

I'm using Photoshop CS5 and my OS is Win7 Pro 64 Bit.

 

I've been looking at the Samsung S24A850DW  and wondered if anyone here has had any experience with one, or based on its features and spec would you consider it a good "Photoshop monitor."

 

Thanks in advance

Paul

 
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2012 2:19 AM   in reply to pf22

    pf22 wrote:

     

    would you consider it a good "Photoshop monitor."

    Yes, absolutely. This is the new PLS technology from Samsung, which is similar to IPS with wide viewing angles without color or gamma shift.

     

    The usual caveats apply: look very carefully for uneven color or brightness across the screen. This is much more widespread than you would believe, even in supposedly high-end models. If possible, test that particular unit before you bring it home. If that's not possible, check the return policy.

     

    This is a standard gamut monitor, but I wouldn't worry too much about that. Wide gamut is nice (I have one at work), but it's in no way critical. Other things are much more important. All in all, it looks similar to e.g. the Dell U2412, HP ZR24w, or the one I have at home, Eizo EV2335. These are all IPS.

     

    I'd be interested in hearing your experiences, if you buy it.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 26, 2012 4:20 AM   in reply to pf22

    One other thing: We have been discussing monitor calibration a bit lately. I don't know if you have a calibrator.

     

    You might think this is not critical since you work in B&W, and of course it isn't in terms of color. But the native gamma of a monitor is very rarely a regular 2.2 curve, and the irregularities are often most pronounced in the shadows. I'd say this is one of the most important aspects of calibration/profiling - being able to trust the deep shadow values you see.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Feb 26, 2012 11:50 AM   in reply to twenty_one

    D Fosse wrote:

    This is the new PLS technology from Samsung, which is similar to IPS with wide viewing angles without color or gamma shift.

     

    And that indeed is one of the first things one should consider when looking at monitors (most folks consider price).  This is ESPECIALLY true if you are concerned with color accuracy.

     

    Just last weekend I was at the local Best Buy (high tech store here) and I almost became ill when I saw the tremendous shift in color and gamma virtually every monitor they had was showing, just from changing the viewing angle.  In most cases I could just move my head up and down a little and BAM, the color changed HUGELY!  There would literally be no sense in trying to calibrate and profile such a monitor, unless you could somehow place yourself in exactly the same position while using it every time.  Most were even SO BAD that the color shift from one edge of the monitor to the other was visibly significant, because of the small difference in viewing angles.

     

    Not long ago I bought a small, very inexpensive Hannspree monitor for a file server - basically a machine that has no one in front of it for 99.9% of the time.  Whenever I have to use it, e.g., to install updates or whatever, it's sickening to see how utterly BAD it looks, as compared to the old Dells that I have on my main workstation, which don't color-shift noticeably almost until you're straight to the side of them.  The $100 Hannspree is nice and sharp, but the color shift is horrendous.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    Feb 26, 2012 7:05 PM   in reply to pf22

    Well, given that this Hannspree is powered-down most of the time owing to no one being in front of the computer I hope it will last rather longer.

     

    Can your budget stretch to handle the Dell U3011? 

     

    Dag, what's that monitor test web site you turned up a while back when we were discussing the Dell monitors?  They had some great info there.  Somehow I've misplaced the link.  Edit: I think this was it:   http://www.tftcentral.co.uk/reviews/content/dell_u3011.htm

     

    Note especially the photos in the Viewing Angles section.

     

    I didn't see a review on that site for your S24A850DW, but I didn't do an exhaustive search.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2012 8:20 PM   in reply to pf22

    pf22 wrote:

     

    Hi Noel

     

    HA! I wish my budget could stretch to the U3011! It looks gorgeous, and Dag mentioned the Eizo... if I win the Lottery I'll buy TWO!!!

     

    I'm afraid I'm looking at about the $500 mark so can't get too crazy here, but thanks for the site link, and this appears to be the S24A850DW's bigger brother.

     

    And whilst looking around the site I saw the Dell U2412M, which seems to well regarded, both at tftcentral and over on Amazon, and Newegg.

     

    Quite frankly I was dubious that a sub-$400 monitor could be that good, but the reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and I will be purchasing a colorimeter... any thoughts?

     

    Thanks again

    Paul

    Hi, pf22,

     

    I have the Dell as well, and itcalibrates/profiles quite well; a good substitiution if you cannot afford, say, an Eizo.

     

    My primary concern is shadow values in b&w, so the 2412 seemd made to order, being an led monitor. It is very good in that dept.

     

    But color is no problem either. As has been stated, it is essentially an sRGB monitor, and not even 100% sRGB. I have found certain values that are off a ways from the average, but well within the range of acceptability.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 27, 2012 11:05 PM   in reply to pf22

    Actually this particular Eizo wasn't all that expensive, but I've long since given up on trying to understand Eizo pricing, at least here in Norway. Yes, they're generally expensive, but some models occasionally go for peanuts. Then you just have to snatch'em up.

     

    And they do have a line of TN panels, mostly for office use. These are all "normally" priced and should be avoided as all TN panels.

     

    But I have high hopes for the Samsung PLS technology. The problem with uneven panels is mostly in IPS monitors, and these panels all come from one manufacturer, LG Display. And yes, Apple cinema displays and iMacs suffer from this too. It would seem manufacturing tolerances from LG are a joke.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2012 6:43 AM   in reply to twenty_one

    I see a very, very slight unevenness in the 2412, so small that, by moving a small flat image across the screen, I note no discernable changes, and certainly none that would alarm me about potions of the image being in error. My crt was worse and i didn't see it's problem on images except for the very corners in a full screen presentation. So the 2412 comes across very well.

     

    As to costs, I would have had to pay 3X the cost of the Dell and still would not have an LED backlight. For color, that would be a plus because the Eizo would show aRGB very well, and sRGB at 99% or better. But, I am on Paul's page. B&W rules!

     

    I'm still tracking the errors between print and display color. There is no doubt that with colors,  tweaks using Selective Color with unsaturated tones are necessary, and where (rgb, highlight, midtones , shadows) and what amount is dependent on the image. So there is no one shot fix for all errors. OTOH, it's quite easy to fix: Make a print, go to Sel Color and muck around (usually in the highlights, then shadows) until you see on screen what the print looks like, change the sign of all the adjustments to - and print again. Works well, but damn, I should not have to do that!

     

    I have to do a custom profile to be sure the printer isn't off. Then proceed from there.

     

    But B7W, no problem, even using Advance B&W color tint to warm or cool the print is highly accurate and repeatable.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 28, 2012 6:59 AM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Of course some tiny variation in color and brightness is almost inevitable. I didn't mean to scare people into returning their perfectly fine monitors...

     

    But when one end of the screen is 5800°K and the other is 7200°K...then I think you may be forgiven for feeling just a tad f***ed, especially when you've just laid down $600 or $1000 for the privilege. I'm talking about serious discoloration. And it happens all the time. People should be aware that it's a very real possibility.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 9:51 PM   in reply to pf22

    Thank you for reporting back.  This type of feedback makes the forums much more meaningful.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 3, 2012 11:19 PM   in reply to pf22

    I think HP monitors may be underrated. I never had one myself, but I've looked around and never seen the barrage of complaints that Dell faced with some of their models.

     

    Maybe that's because they have the LP2480ZX Dreamcolor in their portfolio, an extreme high-end, price-no-object unit, and the only RGB LED array monitor commercially available (that I know of).

     

    I did have an HP laptop once, and while it was filled to the brim with all kinds of bloat- crap- and shovelware, the hardware itself was excellent. My wife still uses it, 5 years old and still working perfectly.

     

    Thanks for the feedback.

     
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  • Pierre Courtejoie
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    Jan 11, 2006
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    May 4, 2012 2:09 AM   in reply to pf22

    Given how they name monitors, you might get one with your handle, pf22...

    Yes, thank you for the feedback, I've put it as best answer.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 4, 2012 6:35 AM   in reply to Pierre Courtejoie

    I've had the 2412 now since the first of January and it is performance, stellar. I calibrated it yesterday and it's now settled down, with an dE AV of .35, pretty much from where it started.It's only problem area is red, where dE is about 1.2 Contrary to popular belief, that is visible, especially in comparison because the match difference between a print and the monitor is in that region. I haven't profiled the printer yet so I'll hold back final judgement until I do.Finally getting work so some leeway in spending (JIT for upgrading to CS6) and I'll spend the bucks to profile the printer.

     

    Black and white, however, is marvelous.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 4, 2012 6:47 AM   in reply to pf22

    pf22 wrote:

    Colors out of the box looked great, but it was retina-searlingly bright!

     

    I think that's borne from the specifications wars, and for a long time the contrast ratio was a competition point.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 5, 2012 7:37 AM   in reply to pf22

    People are obsessed with numbers.  Something optimized to run certain benchmarks well will virtually always outsell something that actually is more well-rounded and just works better overall.  Perhaps long years of buying stuff on supermarket shelves based on size and price has led to that.  Suffice it to say there's a little more involved with comparing two different display monitors than two jars of pickles, but the human mind always wants to simplify things.  It's our greatest strength, and also our weakness.

     

    Experience like yours here, where you're actually describing the overall operation of the new device in the context of what others here are most interested in doing (photo editing), is golden.  Thanks.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 10:08 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Way too subjective, Noel.

     

    Obsession with numbers is the name of the game in technology. You should know that. Without knowing how the poster actually works, it is almost meaningless to just go with that.

     

    Case in Point: When CS5 first appeared, lens calibration for Distortion and other factors was delegated to the user, photographing a supplied chart and shipping the results to Adobe. As you may recall, I really objected to that and some of the feed back was "good enough for me", supposedly ending the conversation. OTOH, DxO does it by the numbers, as well as the SLR Gear website, and I have never found DxO to be wrong.

     

    Numbers are the only way yo be able to peer review the information. Otherwise, what's your yard stick?

     

    I know my monitor is off to the greatest degree in the red end. I have the exact numbers and if I wish and had the knowledge, I could compensate exactly and repeatablly.

     

    The red end is where I see the mismatch between screen and print. I will likely find out that the monitor is the culprit, because I have to shift slightly the red end in printing. Otherwise the print tends slightly to cyan, which is expected if balancing say skin tones on the monitor look too red. Subtract red and get cyan.

     

    But I haven't done the printer profile. People are getting $60 and up these days for doing profiles, and I have several to do.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 5, 2012 10:16 AM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Hudechrome wrote:

     

    Way too subjective, Noel.

     

    Just subjective enough, Lawrence. 

     

    What I'm preaching is balance.  Left brain and right brain working together to achieve a result greater than the sum of the parts.

     

    What I'm advocating is avoidance of syndrome of "the operation was a success, but the patient died".  Of "I bought a monitor with great specs, but the pictures just look lousy".

     

    Adobe has been down this road with Camera Raw.  Then gradually they improved it to where it now excels in both math and art classes.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 10:52 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    If the picture is "lousy" (very subjective term) then look at the numbers. What else is left? If the numbers are right and the pix, lousy, maybe it's the pix!

     

    Centerist philosophy may be reasonable in politics, but not in science. Take the Leica 50mm f2 Summicron. It is held as the closest optic to perfection. It was desgned long before computers, which meant all the ray tracing was done by hand. Good enough obviously never entered Leica's collective mind, which in itself, is amazing. Today, "balance" is the cry, resulting in optics which are far from good enough, let alone perfection. Why? Fix it with software. Um, not really. Fixing an error with software rarely results in perfection because for every point fixed it is usually at the expense of another point being let go, or introducing other artifacts.

     

    There are plenty of places where subjectivity reigns supreme, as it should. Technical subjectivitiy is an oxymoron imo. It's either right or wrong, and if it's wrong, we all pay the price. Certainly work will go on, and sometimes with striking results obtainable no other way. But for my money, I want the tools to disappear so to speak as i use them. Fussing over poor tolerances (or maybe no tolerances!) just isn't "good enough" for me. Ultimately, it's what one knows on which one can depend that matters. Right now, I can depend on getting b&w correct from camera to print, but not color.

     

    "Adobe has been down this road with Camera Raw.  Then gradually they improved it to where it now excels in both math and art classes."

     

    Yep. And the math ultimately has to come first.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 5, 2012 12:41 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    If you could boil everything down to numbers, Lawrence, then there would be no art.  Last I looked, art is still alive and well.

     

    A jedi learns to feel the force flowing through him. 

     

    Anecdotally I shoot many of my photographs through a zoom lens - by chioce - and because it is necessarily a compromised design, now Adobe and DXO (among others) have created software that compensates for some of the resulting imperfections during raw conversion.  Now I can have my zoom cake and eat it too, better than ever before.  My point is this:  If no one ever thought that the compromises would be offset by the increased utility of a variable focal length, then I would never have had a zoom lens in the first place.

     

    Perfection is the enemy of good enough.  Sometimes good enough can be very good indeed.

     

    Perhaps the differences in our viewpoints are because one of us is more a scientist at heart vs. the other, who's more an engineer at heart.

     

    I don't mean to come across as one who thinks that there cannot be a "right" and "wrong".  I just think the world is too complex for black and white (which is why we have 32 bit floating point HDR ).  In the real world, some things are more "right" than others.  Man is imperfect.  His inventions are imperfect.  What someone says is "right" may well be very "wrong" in actuality - and that ties back to my comments above about buying monitors purely on specifications.

     

    One needs to look past the marketing and the hype to things that actually work, and do all of what you need them to do well, not just turn in good numbers by fooling some measurement processes.  THAT is why it's really good to have people here who say, "I bought one and it actually works like this..."

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 5, 2012 1:36 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    So long as good enough is not a shield against shabbiness.

     

    Engineers always have to stop at good enough somewhere, otherwise nothing gets produced. I know that and use that attitude when stopping work on a photo. Many times, however, I won't show it (personal work) because it really isn't "good enough". My gut says so. Then one day after learning a few more techniques, or especially after an excellent upgrade, the category into which CS6 falls, I open those files and try again. I"ll also open files I have shown and work with those as well. It never ends.

     

    OTOH, I have maybe a couple of dozen images I no longer revisit, because each time I have, they lost their " je ne sais quoi", as the French like to say. That certain something. And those results never come from the head but from everything working together.

     

    I do break and bend the rules.

     

    I'll say this then end: I'm far better off finding a block to my output solvable by checking the numbers. Amazing, isn't it, that fixing that fixes the problem! You know "why?", the question to answer to get to the root.

     

    -Lawrence


     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 5, 2012 1:48 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Hudechrome wrote:

     

    So long as good enough is not a shield against shabbiness.

     

    On this we agree wholeheartedly.  We both seek excellence I think. 

     

    Our brains' tendency to try to oversimplify problems whispers to us that pursuit of perfection is necessary, or we will have shabbiness (white vs. black).  In fact, "good enough" is a light gray that can actually be defined...  One way is to look at who succeeds in a realm where there is competition.  But brand loyalty becomes challenged when those at the helm decide to cheapen the brand, and that happens ALL TOO OFTEN nowadays. 

     

    P.S.,

     

    I keep my Histogram and Info panels open all the time. 

     

    When preparing images with people in them I make sure the brightness of the highlights in the skin is around 90%ish.

     

    Even when flying VFR one doesn't ignore the instruments.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 4:36 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    I believe most of these things can be quantified into meaningful numbers. In the original context here (monitor specs), the problem isn't the numbers. The problem is that we're given irrelevant or unimportant numbers, and not the ones that really matter. Contrast ratio? Meh, it's too high already. How about max Delta E deviation across the screen? Now that would be useful.

     

    I keep my Histogram and Info panels open all the time. 

     

    When preparing images with people in them I make sure the brightness of the highlights in the skin is around 90%ish.

     

    Even when flying VFR one doesn't ignore the instruments.

    I'll go with that. It seems the political correctness these days is to ignore the histogram and just work to make the image "look good", or perhaps even merely "good enough". But that's ignoring the fantastic diagnostic power of the histogram: you see something's not quite right, it just doesn't snap, but you can't put your finger on it. Surprisingly often, a quick peek at the histogram can tell you precisely what the problem is. A simple thing like a shadow color cast can ruin an image, but be incredibly difficult to nail visually.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 9:25 AM   in reply to twenty_one

    The political correctness is to ignore the numbers!

     

    Actually, I know why my images don't "Snap" (That's a technical term, right?) 90% of the time, it's because the black clipping is set incorrectly. The rest of the time is because the image simply sucks! (another technical term!) It possesses no je ne se quoi in the first place. (no numbers for je ne se quoi...yet!)

     

    Interesting word, histogram. It's concept goes back to at least to nuclear engineering, where we plotted the number of events at a particular energy level over a specific time period. The machines were called multi-channel analyzers, and came in two resolution flavors; 256 channel and 440 channel. (circa 1958) The output display is the histogram we have all come to recognize and love. But, while the histogram of the collection of data points in nuclear physics was complete, in photography, it is incomplete because we truly do not have a map of the real estate, only a path through the real estate defining where the collection of the measured intensities lie. A fuzzy path to be sure. The true histogram would be 3 dimensional, showing the places where all the, say, 4th bit, occurred. However, that may be way to complicated for real world use, but it might be nice to know, just as knowing the distribution of rgb across the monitor real estate would be nice to know for the user. It is vital, imo, for the designer/engineer of the monitor, and accordingly, Eizo makes the effort to know it and to pick the panels that meet their tolerances.

     

    A true map of the monitor would have as many points as the total pixels it contains, a rather large number indeed! So compromise and hope there is no defugalty (another tech term) between measurement points. And besides, once you know, what are you going to do about it? Even from an engineering pov, it's quite an undertaking. Noel, what do you suppose the software would look like were it possible to have real time information on each pixel from the hardware controlled in real time by the software? I might like that because the Red anomaly on my screen probably would vanish..

     

    Maybe.

     

    Of couse, with the measurement tools we do possess as users, we can aproximate the distribution by running the profile software in data collection mode only which some systems provide across the screen in as many points as we can tolerate spending the time, then plot to values in Excel. But then what?

     

    So a glimpse into what can occur when you ask "Why?" To which most would counter with: "Why ask why? Or, iow, it's good enough.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 6, 2012 10:19 AM   in reply to Hudechrome

    You're thinking of constant active calibration?  As in, some tiny detector on the monitor face is watching the color rendered in each and every pixel, and making real-time adjustments to keep it perfectly calibrated?  Active feedback monitoring, in other words.

     

    How would you ensure the measurement detectors are (and stay) calibrated then?

     

    In modern terms, assuming parallel hardware the software to watch one pixel would just be run multithreaded (possibly on multiple processors) to watch multiple pixels.  GPUs already do things to each and every one of the millions of pixels in real time, so this doesn't sound like a big deal.

     

    But this is all precisely in the direction opposite my viewpoint:  Sure, you could have the penultimate in precision, but at the end of the day if you're pushing your curves around subjectively in Photoshop, is all that perfect precision useful for more than just a "feel good" factor?  How far off is the printer or the print house you subsequently use from ideal then?  Hard to say precision is bad, but it may not be necessary at this level.

     

    I suppose it would solve the problem of the monitor rendering different results in different parts of the display, though.  But I can think of rather less involved solutions to that...  Imagine a monitor with a controller that simply passed each pixel's output through an adjustment lookup table.  Then some photographic measurement device could characterize each display in a post-manufacture calibration process and write that table into the individual monitor.  You could conceivably have a monitor with a near-zero delta E right from the factory.

     

    What about drift over time?  Conceivably such a manufacturer could offer you the option of photographing your screen under controlled conditions and submitting the photograph to some kind of analysis process that would re-correct the flatness of your display down the line.  Or maybe a "send it back in for recalibration/refurbishment for a (no doubt healthy) fee" option.

     

    I wonder if a company like EIZO already does this sort of thing.

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 11:12 AM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    In a perfect world there would be an absolute way to determine at a significant level of detail what the actual colors are and what the departure from ideal exists. Then the software kicks in to compensate for that departure and the monitor is shipped with the capability to re-measure and re=profile the screen at a given point and assuming the drift was uniform across the screen (which it basically now does) tweak all the numbers. The big difference would be a table shipped with the monitor that contains all the errors as shipped.

     

    Digital capture and display being what it is, the same problem exists whether the device is capturing information or displaying it. Capture is a bit easier as one can flood the sensor with a known color and read out each pixel accordingly. Screens are actually producing the color.

     

    One method to accomplish this task is that the color information is sent to video and this information is presented in a scanned form as a raster. The colorimeter looks at the screen through a lens, which focuses the flying spot on the sensor, and with position information from the monitor coupled with the output from the colorimeter, a well defined picture of the screen's performance would result. Most likely, we would not need a 1 to 1 pixel correspondence, and using the concept defining depth of field, we can know, at the target viewing difference, how many pixels constitutes a "spot".

     

    The is in the details!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 3:44 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    As one of the winning team, a former philosophy professor, said at the Kentucky Derby, quoting Wittgenstein, " When all the questions of philosophy are resolved, they will be of no imortance".

     
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  • Trevor Dennis
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    May 6, 2012 3:52 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    I've mentioned it here before, but my experience is that your graphics card will likely have more affect on colour than your monitor, and some sort of calibration device is not optional.  It is a must.   The Huey Pro I use is as chap as any, but does the job and sees and corrects a second monitor (possibly more?).

     

    Another point is that it can be heartbreaking to see images that looked amazing on your screen, look dreadful on a client's third rate monitor.  Because of that, I always give prints as well as digital files to commercial clients.  I guess B&W is not going to be quite so problematic, but still relevant.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 3:58 PM   in reply to Hudechrome

    Good discussion, gentlemen!  

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 4:23 PM   in reply to Trevor Dennis

    I would expect the graphics card to be dialed out of the loop, that is, the correction is systemic not simply the monitor, but maybe not.

     

    My concern is that the monitor output and the Epson do not quite agree, and the error is in the reddish areas. I don't worry about stuff on uncaled systems. Nothing to do about that.

     
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  • Noel Carboni
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    May 6, 2012 5:19 PM   in reply to pf22

    pf22 wrote:

     

    this could get confusing!!!

     

    I'm just back from the Forum Comments section complaining about the same thing.

     

    Perhaps Adobe wants us to use threaded view.  Not I!

     

    -Noel

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 6, 2012 6:46 PM   in reply to Noel Carboni

    Threaded view?

     

    Don' need no stinkin' threaded view!

     

    Hmmm, what's threaded view?

     

    BTW, does anyone know when CS6 is going to get released? Amazon said May 7, and since this update here is supposed to correspond with the release of CS6, might it be tomorrow?

     
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