13 Replies Latest reply on Jul 5, 2012 2:18 AM by Lundberg02

    Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use

    dkg62 Level 1

      Hi. I am aserious amature photographer wishing to move to the next level and sell some of my work.

      I just had a custom pc built to work with the new copies of Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3 I bought (lots or RAM and HD space, ssd, etc....)

      The last piece of my system is to purchase a monitor. I want to be somewhere in the better then Best Buy but less than NEC/Eizo range in price, or between $500 - $900. I have worked with cameras since the early 80's and moved to digital several years ago but the only post processing I have done is with Photoshop Elements.  I would be doing mostly prints to sell but also need to have a web site to do so. Will also use the pc for daily net surfing... but do not game or watch a lot of video on the pc.

      Being really new to this whole process I have a few questions.

       

      The first thing I need to decide is whether I need to look for a wide gamut display or not.

      I realize the whole chain must be 10 bit (Adobe -OS - graphics driver - graphics card - display port.

      I have Adobe Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3, Win7 64 bit, Zotac ZT 50701 10M video card (which uses GeForce GTX 560  fermi and an nvidia chipset. It does have displayport). I am having a hard time determining whether my video card actually supports wide gamut (10bit).

       

      Standard vs Wide Gamut? Is wide gamut important enough to deal with the issues it brings (calibration, viewing things other than PS and LR or color managed, which appear to be rare?) Is sRGB good enough for most prints (don't do fine art, mostly nature and portraits but starting to do some HRD things). If wide gamut is the way to go I have no problem with that and have the time to learn about calibration, color management, etc... But I also want to make sure the juice is worth the squeeze.

       

      24" vs 27"? Is there any advantage to one or the other when editing photos?

       

      IPS vs PLS? I realize they are similar but are there differences worth noting?

       

      Glossy vs Matte Anti-Glare? seems to be a lot of comments regarding the anti-glare coating, mostly poor. Yet I can see issues using a glossy screen in my study with a window to my back.

       

      One manufacturer vs another? I realize Eizo, NEC and LaCie are at the top of the heap. But with my budget, after upgrading my pc and camera equipment, I can't make that work now. So I need to choose from the next group down (Dell, HP, Samsung, Asus...)

       

      One or two monitors? It looks like many (mid-grade) wide gamut monitors do a lousy job of displaying anything but color managed sites. Is that necessarily true of all the mid-grades? Or can some be used for graphics but as well for routine net surfing, MS Office, etc...? Or am I better off getting two monitors, one for graphics and one for the rest? That would pretty much limit me to 24" or less given my budget (used to using a Dell 21" TN monitor that oddly crapped out just as my new pc was done).

       

      The more I read reviews the more confusing it gets. There seems to be a difference of opinion even among pros on whether to go wide gamut or stick with an easier sRGB. Realizing a standard gamut monitor would be cheaper, I do want to make the right decision up front, given my budget.

       

      The one thing I have found astounding is that there is nowhere to actually see many of the monitors I am considering. We live in Nashville TN but my wife is from Atlanta Ga so we drove there a few weeks ago to visit family and for me to visit monitor shops. Even the largest ones there (Fry's and Microcenter) had minimal IPS monitors, a few Dells and HP's. The knowledge of their sales folks was so poor I finally gave up. Felt bad about this until I posted this on another board and got a reply from a guy in LA (second largest city in the US) that he wanted to see a particular monitor and there was no place even there to do so.

       

      Anyhow, here is what I have considered:

      24" Wide Gamut: Dell U2410 and Asus PA246Q. Dells appear to be good IF you get a good one. The Asus appears to be a clone of the Dell that gets a lot of good press.

       

      27" Wide Gamut: Dell U2711 that also gets a ton of good reviews

       

      24: Standard Gamut: Dell U2412 and HP ZR2440.

       

      27" Standard Gamut: Samsung S27A850D and Apple Cinema- The Samsung uses PLS technology versus IPS while the Apple is a glossy screen that will work with a pc.

       

      Sorry for the long post. Any comments are greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
          John Blaustein Level 4

          In my experience, good monitor calibration is almost more important than the monitor itself.  (Obviously, I don't mean that literally.)  I suspect all of the monitors you list are excellent.

           

          Take a look at:

           

          http://spyder.datacolor.com/display-calibration/

           

          I've used Spyders for years and have near-perfect screen to print matching.  When I send color corrected files to my clients for commercial printing (annual reports, brochures, ads, etc.), I am told they are perfect in terms of color.  All of that is thanks to good monitor calibration.

           

          John

          • 2. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
            Noel Carboni Level 8

            dkg62 wrote:

             

            I realize the whole chain must be 10 bit

             

            Not trying to talk you out of setting up a 10 bit pipeline, but it's still not very mature, and it really isn't a necessity to get a good editing experience.

             

            Personally I find advantage in using two 4:3 ratio monitors for Photoshop work.  All my panels are on the right monitor, while pretty much the entire left one shows the Photoshop main window and the working canvas space.  My desktop is 3200 x 1200 pixels overall, and I find having the panels remain visible all the time is important.

             

            Regarding whether a wide gamut is important...  Will you be printing to devices that deliver a wide gamut?  What other things will you be doing with your system?

             

            It's not a no-brainer whether a wider gamut monitor is always "better" for everything, since it can accentuate the differences between the output from color-managed and non-color-managed applications, and it's definitely true that not everything is color-managed.  With a monitor that's close to sRGB, for example, you might find Internet Explorer output acceptable, while using a wide gamut monitor will result in garishly oversaturated IE displays.  On the other hand, FireFox (with a settings tweak) seems to get color management right, so there is an alternative.

             

            I think, as John has implied above, you should work to get your head completely around how color-management works, soup to nuts.  If you don't, there will always be things that are a mystery or which surprise you at the wrong times.  Being able to order a print and have it come back with the expected color can be very important, as you might imagine.

             

            -Noel

            • 3. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
              b2martin_a Level 2

              Here is a list of IPS monitors:

               

              http://http://www.pchardwarehelp.com/guides/s-ips-lcd-list.php

               

              I think an LED backlight would be good since no warm up time is required.  You need to plan of getting a calibrator for your monitor - I use the Eye One Display and it works great.  I have a 24 inch HP IPS monitor and find it very good. 

              • 4. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                Doug.S Level 3

                I'd suggest two monitors; one for image window work, other for panels/tools and other views or other programs/explorer etc.

                 

                I'm using Dell (2 of them still in your budget) U2412.  I'm using main in landscape mode and second monitor in portrait mode...less neck cranking and can easily read/see all of portrait images/docs.

                 

                two 24" 1920x1600 have good resolution and size (matched size/res)...a 27/30" (needs higher res) has less overall desktop space

                • 5. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                  Lundberg02 Level 3

                  Yuor printer will print outside of sRGB, this is the reason for AdobeRGB1998. I think you need a 12 bit chain with wide gamut or else you get huge delta e. If you shoot RAW ytou need to open in ProPhoto for the yellows, so a wide gamut is very desirable.

                  • 6. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                    Noel Carboni Level 8

                    Lundberg02 wrote:

                     

                    Yuor printer will print outside of sRGB

                     

                    What printer would that be, Lundberg?  Not all do.

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 7. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                      Level 5

                      A whole lot of them do, though. 

                       

                      Below are three views at different angles of a three-dimensional comparison of a good old Epson 2200 printer color space when using Epson Premium Luster paper and the sRGB color space.  Not that this paper/ink/printer combination is the widest imaginable, needless to say; it's just an example.

                       

                      The white wire-mesh is the sRGB color space, the colored plot is the Epson 2200 Premium Luster color space.

                       

                      Picture 1.png 

                       

                      Picture 2.png 

                       

                      Picture 4.png 

                       

                      Not being argumentative here, I'm just glad to have the opportunity to use these illustrations. 

                      • 8. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                        Noel Carboni Level 8

                        Those are very cool!  Thanks for sharing them.

                         

                        Yes, I'll admit a lot of printers can print beyond the boundaries of sRGB.  My old HP can't though.  Sniff. 

                         

                        -Noel

                        • 9. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                          Level 5

                          Here are three views, at random different angles, of the same printer profile, epson 2200/Epson Luster Premium (color plot), compared to the Adobe RGC color space (white wire-mesh):

                           

                          Picture 5.png 

                           

                          Picture 6.png 

                           

                          Picture 7.png

                          • 10. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                            Level 5

                            Lastly—for the sake of thoroughness, so to speak—the same printer profile (color plot) compared to the ProPhoto RGB color space (white wire mesh).

                             

                            No matter how I rotate the graph, the printer profile is completely engulfed by the wire mesh of the ProPhoto RGB color space.  As a matter of fact, the ProPhoto RGB color space is so wide that it doesn't even fit in the window of this version of the Color Sync utility.

                             

                            Picture 8.png

                             

                            Picture 9.png

                             

                            Picture 10.png

                            • 11. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                              mhk1058

                              I've been going through the same questions and also arrived at the dilemma above.... is there any point getting a wide gamut monitor if my printer doesn't print that wide anyway..? but then I can't find out anywhere how the capabilities of the Epson PX730WD (or most other current home printers for that matter) compare to adobeRGB.

                               

                              If you have access to the above for other printers I'd be very interested. On the subject of ProPhoto colourspace, Lightrooms only workspace... why does it even exist if monitors don't display colours as wide, printers don't print colours as wide and the human eye dosen't see colours as wide?

                              • 12. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                                conroy Level 5

                                mhk1058 wrote:

                                On the subject of ProPhoto colourspace, Lightrooms only workspace... why does it even exist if monitors don't display colours as wide, printers don't print colours as wide and the human eye dosen't see colours as wide?

                                 

                                I guess that the larger the working colour space, the less opportunity exists for colours to be clipped by adjustments and other processes before final transformation to output colour space.

                                • 13. Re: Advice needed on monitor for Photoshop and Lightroom use
                                  Lundberg02 Level 3

                                  A decent camera will capture ProPhoto yellows and oranges which will be perceptually retained through your rendering choices down into your output. That's why Lightroom is that way.

                                  Get a reasonably priced Dell and a very good calibrator, learn color management and Camera RAW ( Elements 10 has it), and wait a year to 18 months for a real wide gamut that's better and cheaper.  sRGB is for the web.