Computer screen

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clarnibass
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:33 pm

Computer screen

Post by clarnibass »

Hi

This is not exactly about macro but since most of my photos are macro I thought it's worth asking here too.
After maybe 15 years I'm going to upgrade my LG 17" screen :)
This screen is (maybe surprisingly) pretty good, but I'd like something bigger.

I managed to move things around and fit a screen up to about 55cm wide (physically), so narrowed it down to three options that are available here (local prices converted to $US):
Dell U2419H 23.8" 1920x1080 ($270)
Dell U2415 24.1" 1920x1200 ($260)
Dell U2518D 25" 2560x1440 ($420)

From what I understand, the main advantage of the U2419H is that colours are supposedly "better" (more accurate?). I'm colourblind so exactly accurate colours are not that important to me. Not sure it has any advantage other than that.

I'm really tempted by the extra height of the U2415, it's even higher than the 25" screen. One of the main reasons to get a new screen is to have extra space for panels, etc. while viewing more of a photo (or tracks in Premiere).

The 25" screen is obviously the best but it's shorter than the 1920x1200 screen, only slightly longer than either, and I really can't tell if I gain much from the higher resolution...?

Leaning towards the U2415 for now.

Thanks

kaleun96
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Re: Computer screen

Post by kaleun96 »

I bought a new monitor not too long ago and these were the things I was looking for (not an expert on any of this btw):

Resolution: QHD (2560x1440) or FHD (1920x1080)? Go for QHD where possible otherwise you'll be looking to upgrade again in a short amount of time. Monitors have come a long way in the past 15 years, the difference compared to your existing monitor will be huge.

Size: I'd recommend a 27" or 28" monitor if you can make room for it. I upgraded from a 23" or 24", which was too small for multi-tasking, to a 32" monitor as I wanted it to double as a TV. The 32" is fine to work on at a close distance but 28" would be sufficient.

Technology: IPS, TN, or VA? I went with IPS at the time since VA monitors were quite expensive and less common. IPS will be better for accurate colour rendition and wider viewing angles (if you view the monitor from an angle, how well does it look compared to viewing straight on). I'd recommend IPS or VA here as well since you don't need the fast refresh rate of TN monitors.

Stand: Decent height adjustment is a must and preferably the screen can rotate a full 90 degrees. Alternatively you can buy a monitor arm and not worry about the stand. I have a monitor arm myself that cost something like 50GBP and I can highly recommend it.

Other: Two HDMI ports is nice, bonus if it supports USB-C or has a Display Port. Good to have one or two USB ports to provide external power for charging things.

So based on the ones you suggested, I'd pick the U2518D or similar. Dell makes pretty good monitors these days, we mostly have the 27" version at my work and I'm pretty happy with them.[/list]
- Cam

JKT
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Post by JKT »

If your eyes are still sharp the QHD display might work. I'd rather reserve that resolution for 27" displays or larger. Mine is 32" with 2560x1600 resolution and the resolution doesn't seem too low for the size.

Lou Jost
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Post by Lou Jost »

One of the most important features of a monitor is the size of its color gamut. Does it cover just sRGB? Bad. Does it cover Adobe RGB? Good. Maybe it covers a bigger color space? Excellent but rare.

This makes a huge difference (unless you are color blind as clarinbass mentioned). I think especially for nature photographers this is important, because the color that usually gets the worst rendering on small-gamut screens is green, and that is the most common color in nature.

Macrero
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Post by Macrero »

Not the best photo-monitor out there, but arguably the best value for money:

https://www.benq.com/en-us/monitor/phot ... 700pt.html

If you are ok with FHD, its little brother is a solid choice as well:

https://www.benq.com/en-us/monitor/phot ... sw240.html

- Macrero
https://500px.com/macrero - Amateurs worry about equipment, Pros worry about money, Masters worry about Light

clarnibass
Posts: 103
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:33 pm

Re: Computer screen

Post by clarnibass »

Thanks everyone.
kaleun96 wrote:Resolution: QHD (2560x1440) or FHD (1920x1080)? Go for QHD where possible otherwise you'll be looking to upgrade again in a short amount of time.
Maybe, but since I've been more or less ok until now with a 1280x720 screen that was probably extremely outdated a decade ago... maybe not :)

It really sounds like the difference in colours between them might not matter that much to me since I'm colourblind. I guess this is what I'm trying to determine.

dickb
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Computer screen

Post by dickb »

clarnibass wrote:It really sounds like the difference in colours between them might not matter that much to me since I'm colourblind. I guess this is what I'm trying to determine.
There is a whole spectrum of what people call colourblindness. Unless your version is on the more extreme end my guess is differences in colour reproduction may well be of importance in a monitor for you. Anyway, I'm quite happy with my older Dell UP2414Q, a 4k 24 inch monitor. To my eyes there is a big difference between 1080 and 2160 (4k), even on a relatively small monitor. But if there is a place where you can actually go and see various monitors in action that would be more more useful to you than our opinions I presume.

clarnibass
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Post by clarnibass »

Hard to say. I can probably see a difference in shade/brightness better than most, seems to be because I'm colourblind I learned to notice other differences. However if parts of a photo would have some shades of blue and other parts would have more or less similar shades of purple (and the same for red/green/brown, pink/gray, yellow/green, and some others) I might not even notice they are two different colours. Some differences inside the blue might look more different to me than the difference between the blue and purple.

For example I was editing this photo from a concert where they used red lights. I removed a lot of the red until it looked pretty good to me, with barely any red tint at all. It looked close to B&W because it had desaturate it a lot to remove all that red. I showed it to someone to make sure before finishing and... they said it looks ok but everything is very red... :)

clarnibass
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Re: Computer screen

Post by clarnibass »

dickb wrote:if there is a place where you can actually go and see various monitors in action that would be more more useful to you than our opinions I presume.
Because of corona, other than super markets and a few other places, everything here is closed and sold by shipping only for the foreseeable future.

dickb
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Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2010 1:54 am

Re: Computer screen

Post by dickb »

clarnibass wrote:
dickb wrote:if there is a place where you can actually go and see various monitors in action that would be more more useful to you than our opinions I presume.
Because of corona, other than super markets and a few other places, everything here is closed and sold by shipping only for the foreseeable future.
Indeed, that limits your options. Anyway, I used a U2415 and UP2414Q side by side and both are perfectly useable. The 2160 resolution makes a big difference to me though, photos look far more like actual prints to me. It is more of a challenge for the graphics card though, so if you get that one make sure your card is compatible with it.

Your version of non-standard colour perception sounds more extreme than mine, so maybe the extra expense for large colour gamuts is not worth it for you. Whether the extra resolution is worth it is hard to say.

clarnibass
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Post by clarnibass »

FWIW this is this standard test they have on the Wikipedia page.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Color_bli ... hara_9.png
"Example of an Ishihara color test plate. With properly configured computer displays, people with normal vision should see the number "74". Many people who are color blind see it as "21", and those with total color blindness may not see any numbers."

Dickb, are you colour blind (to some degree)? What do you see here?

I don't see 74 and not sure I can even guess where it is. Now that I know people who are colour blind might see 21, I can see where it is and sort of see it, but it's not very clear. I can see the separation between the colours/hues/shades that make the 21 and the others. When just looking at it at first without knowing anything, I didn't see any number, even though I don't have "total colour blindness".

Chris S.
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Post by Chris S. »

Clarnibass,

I'd suggest that when choosing a monitor, a key question is: Do you want a screen that is pleasant for you to look at, and nothing more? Or do you want a screen that will help you prepare photos for print or for other people to display on their screens?

If the former, then you can probably get by with any screen that looks good to you. And these days, it's surprising how pleasant-looking most name-brand monitors are, at least when viewed on-axis; for decent off-axis viewing, look at IPS monitors. (To those more current than I--is there currently anything better than IPS or S-IPS monitors?) I used to send computer clients out to look at monitors and tell me what they liked; but lately, I've simply ordered by brand, specs, and price, and everyone's been happy--the rising tide of quality lifted lots of boats, including nearly all of the mainstream monitor brands that sell in quantity, and for which significant numbers of reviews exist and are studying before buying.

If the latter, you should probably be looking at monitors that can be calibrated by the numbers, and support the use of a colorimeter and matching software. In my experience with the Spyder-II colorimeter, this device hangs in front of your monitor during the calibration process, measures the colors coming out of the monitor, and permits you to adjust the monitor's output to match industry standards. This--if carefully used--can permit very accurate printing. And it will permit publishing images to the Web that will display accurately on other people's monitors, if their monitors are also correctly calibrated. That last is a very big "if," but if someone sees your pictures as "off" after you produced them via a by-the-numbers calibrated workflow, the problem is on the viewer's end.

To my mind, your color-blindness seems to make this sort of calibration particularly important for images you share with other people, as you may be less able to discern by eye when colors communicate accurately to other people. This said, I also think by-the-numbers color calibration is vital for most serious photographers, particularly those who make high-quality prints.

(Must admit that I'm currently remiss on this myself. For a long time, I kept a high-end, color-calibratable CRT, and used my Spyder II colorimeter to keep it in calibration. I've gotten rid of that CRT, and am using three flat-screen monitors whose calibration has proven frustrating. I need to buy another flat monitor that includes robust features for calibration, a newer colorimeter (my old one works only with CRTs), and current calibration software. This is on my do-list, just haven't gotten around to it. But I've been embarrassed a few times when images that looked fine on my monitors looked wrong when uploaded. Seeing this, I wouldn't dream of printing before fixing this issue. Calibration capability, sadly, does add cost.

On other points, I agree that if producing images for print, wide color gamut is essential. And for comfortable workflow, a monitor's physical adjustability in several dimensions is useful. Also, if you have the room for two or even three monitors, multiple monitors make work more pleasant and efficient. For years, I've not used fewer than two monitors on any computer. Now, my preference is for three monitors per computer. Only one of these monitors need be color calibrated. Imagine the main Photoshop workspace on your middle monitor, all the photoshop tools, history, layers, navigation pain, etc. on your right monitor. On your left monitor, file directores, email, notes on processing, a browser if a question comes up, Zerene Stacker, etc. (Could easily make the case for four, five, or six monitors--the more monitors you have connected, the more convenient your work. It just comes down to desk space.)

Cheers,

--Chris S.

chris_ma
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Post by chris_ma »

I can probably add some input here since I've been working in color critical fields on pretty high end monitors for the past 15 years...

first, as always things are not as simple as they seem. a larger gamut sounds good but on a cheap monitor or in the wrong workflow they do more harm then good. a few general points:

1. you get what you pay for (as in most other fields)
2. it's not only about the pixel numbers and the gamut size, but the *quality* of the pixels and the *accuracy* of the colors
3. optimal pixel density is dependent on personal taste and intended use.

a bit more detail about these points:

1. more expensive monitors usually have better image quality then cheaper monitors, even if the specs are exactly identical. lets say we have two 24" monitors, both IPS panels, both adobe 1998 gamut, bot 1920x1200 pixels, one for 300EUR and one for 1000EUR - the later one will look significantly better!
if that is worth it to you is another question, it is to me if you sit in front of the screen 8 hours a day. in any case, it's pretty much pointless to look only at specs sheets.
if you want something really good, get an Eizo. their professional 24" start around 600EUR, and the higher end around 1100EUR. I have both (plus two different 27" at another place) and they are great and I would buy them immediately again. they also give 5 years warranty.

2. a larger gamut sounds great, but only helps if the quality of the colors is good too. I know it sounds silly to talk about quality of colors, but think about the colors from a 300EUR digital camera and a 2000EUR digital camera with the same resolution.
If I could choose between my 1000EUR Eizo calibrated to sRGB and a 300EUR Dell with Adobe 1998 gamut, I'd go for the Eizo every single time. Also a larger gamut means you have to take care of your workflow so things look right.
finally, if you do color critical work you'll need to get things calibrated, which means buying a calibration probe. more expensive monitors will have hardware calibration features which is much preferable if you do critical work. but without any calibration we can pretty much forget any color critical work.

3. the same image will look different on monitors with different pixel density. a high pixel density means you can better judge detail on low image magnification, but it will also look crisper and harsher. it works best with clean high-resolution images and not so well with low resolution images that need to be upscaled or noisy/grainy images. I personally prefer normal pixel density (around 100ppi) since I do a lot of analog photography, but if I need to judge how things look or an iphone or ipad, then the high density looks closer to that. so it's very hard to optimise an image that it looks good on both as the level of sharpening etc would have to be different for both.

hope that helps to get a bit of an overview
chris
chris

dickb
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Post by dickb »

clarnibass wrote:Dickb, are you colour blind (to some degree)? What do you see here?
Screen based Ishihara tests aren't that reliable, but I can discern a 7 for the first digit and and both a 1 and 4 for the second. At first glance I may say 71. Most people perceive red as more of a distinctive bright hue than I do.

clarnibass
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Post by clarnibass »

Thank you.

All these details about the colours is good to know and sort of made me think it's less important than I thought...

I occasionally print, sometimes pretty large (about 1.5m long, though not often). What I found is that even on the calibrated screens in the printing lab, it's not always the same. It could be quite different on two different types of papers. Non-colourblind people there seem to agree with me (looking at their prints and mine). Also for something important I always do a test on the actual type of paper before and adjust based on that.

Last year I printed about 50 large(ish) photos at another place because I wanted to use lightjet for a specific purpose (I think that's how it's called). I edited everything on my "crappy" screen and very little adjustment was necessary after the test. I did tests with inkjet at the same place, and colours were different. I can't say one was necessarily better than the other, but I can't see how calibrating my screen would help, unless maybe you adjust it for a specific paper/printer/etc. that you use?

The change in angle is annoying with my screen but it sounds like the IPS screen would be a huge improvement. Other than that, it already gives a decent rough estimate before tests, so I think I'll just go for one of those Dell screens and it would be ok and much better than what I have now. At worst case I'll upgrade in only ten years this time :)

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