Computer monitors

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by m Ransley, Dec 11, 2005.

  1. m Ransley

    m Ransley Guest

    What should one look for in a monitor for viewing photos in the under
    500$ range. I see Viewsonic has a 21" CRT with 2048x 1536 or 3.145m
    resolution and LCDs are much much lower. Best Buy told me LCD are the
    best for photos. I use a Sony W5. Isnt the highest resolution the best
    for digital cameras .
    m Ransley, Dec 11, 2005
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  2. m Ransley

    miso Guest

    CRTs are best for photography. There are some LCDs that are ok for
    photograph, but not in the $500 range. [Check out the NEC 2180)

    At this point in time, the high end CRTs are trinitron based. Can you
    stand to see those trinitron lines?

    I just had my Nokia 445x Pro repaired in order to have a high
    resolution CRT that doesn't use a Trinitron tube. You may be able to
    find a used Nokia 445x Pro or Eizo F930.

    With CRTs, you have these problems:
    1) Convergence error
    2) weight and size
    3) annoying trinitron lines (unless you get a shadow mask tube)
    4) moire

    Regarding moire, some monitors look bad unless you drive them at their
    maximum resolution, or at least one step less than maximum resolution.
    I suspect 2048x1536 will be too fine for some computer programs, i.e
    you may have to set up large fonts, icons, etc. I use 1600x1200 on a
    21 inch screen. If you really want to use 2048x1536, you might want to
    think about having two displays, using the LCD for text and the CRT for
    photographic display.

    WIth LCDs, you have these problems:
    1) poor cool gamut
    2) dead pixels
    3) uneven lighting due to CCFT diffusion quality
    4) slow response time will smear moving objects (not a problem with
    5) screen door effect due to gaps between the pixels

    You should probably get a CRT, and then get a LCD in a few years when
    the technology has improved. I keep hoping they will have DLP monitors.
    DLP color is fine. I'd be plenty happy with 1080p on my desk.
    miso, Dec 11, 2005
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  3. My only contribution is that one should not go into any store and ask them
    what you need. They will tell insist that what is needed is the one they
    make the most money from. Do your homework. This is a good start.
    Gene Palmiter, Dec 11, 2005
  4. m Ransley

    Pete D Guest

    Generally speaking any calibrated monitor is better than one that is not,
    generally speaking CRT is much better tha LCD, some higher priced LCD
    screens are now close to the CRT's but are much more spendy.
    Pete D, Dec 11, 2005
  5. m Ransley

    Matt Ion Guest

    LCDs are better for Best Buy's bottom line.

    The general feeling in these parts and on other photo sites is that most
    current LCDs, particularly cheap ones, are inferior to CRT for photo
    work - they tend to be "blockier" and color is too often inaccurate
    until you start getting into the more expensive models.

    IF you want to try the LCD, go ahead, as in the end you want the monitor
    that you can sit and stare at for hours without buddering up your eyes.
    Just make sure Best Buy will let you bring it back if you find it's
    not right for you.

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  6. m Ransley

    bmoag Guest

    If color management is your main concern then CRTs will be easier to use and
    more yield more accurate results. If color management is not your mantra
    then you will want a flat panel with a high contrast and rapid response
    time. Alas manufactuers lie (can you imagine?) in their printed specs.
    bmoag, Dec 11, 2005
  7. m Ransley

    pboch Guest

    Take a look at: ViewSonic A91f+ 19" I worked for Best Buy...Not knocking
    the store...But chances are-they know little about monitors....

    pboch, Dec 11, 2005
  8. m Ransley

    Trevor Noble Guest

    The simplest in-the-store test you can do to assess whether a flat
    screen monitor is suitable for photo work is this: Move your viewpoint
    from center, a foot to the left and right. Does the brightness of the
    image alter? Do the same test in the vertical direction. Any variation
    in brightness rules it out immediately.

    If it passes, only then go looking at the colour and resolution specs.

    Hold onto your CRTs a while longer!

    Trevor Noble, Dec 11, 2005
  9. m Ransley

    m Ransley Guest

    Im a bit confused, from looking at just resolution specs of a
    Viewsonic 21" with 2048x1536 is 3.145mp. A Lcd in that price range is
    something like 1.3mp and max may be 2 ? or so for Lcds . I have a 5mp
    camera, wouldnt it be ideal to get a 5mp monitor if one was made, but I
    don`t believe is. Why should I consider anything less then than the most
    pixels, which Crt has. Size, power consumption, modernness are not a
    factor. Wouldnt detail, viewing pleasure, editing ease and potential be
    much better on a 3.135 mp Viewsonic Crt than a 1000$ 2 mp Lcd. Isnt
    detail what we want and need. Or what am I missing. Ive Googled Reviews
    unsuccesfully relating to monitors and photography, and salesman lie.
    This isnt like buying a digicam where it is easy to learn the truth. I
    now have a 6 yr old Lcd by Sony apx 1.3? mp, its kind of dull.
    m Ransley, Dec 11, 2005
  10. m Ransley

    Al Dykes Guest

    I have a Viewsonic 18 inch P95f+ and love it. It cost about $250.

    19 and 21 inch monitors are too big for my desk.

    LCDs have their place but I'd spend a lot more than $500 to get the
    quality I get in this CRT monitor.
    Al Dykes, Dec 11, 2005
  11. m Ransley

    rafe b Guest

    If you want to use either kind of monitor for photo editing,
    you need to know how to properly set the monitor's
    brightness and contrast. This can be done using just
    your eyeballs and a program like Adobe Gamma --
    or it can be done with a proper monitor calibrator, which
    go for around $150-250 nowadays and are quite simple
    to use.

    Without doing one or the other, any comparison of
    monitor technologies is beside the point. Having done
    either one, you find that either technology will do.

    You get somewhat more bang-for-the-buck right now
    with CRT over LCD, but that's mostly because CRT
    technology is being phased out and shut down.

    CRTs *in general* have a slight edge in gamut and
    contrast over LCDs, but there are exceptions, mitigating
    factors, etc. I switched from CRT to LCD about a year ago.
    No regrets.

    rafe b
    rafe b, Dec 11, 2005
  12. m Ransley

    Matt Ion Guest

    Well first of all, monitors aren't rated in megapixels. Obviously you
    want the highest possible resolution, but matching monitor "megapixels"
    to camera ratings won't tell you much. That really only affects whether
    you'll be able to view your pictures un-zoomed at full-screen. You're
    going to need to zoom in for fine-detailed work anyway, and keep in mind
    that your photo software will have toolbars and such that will reduce
    the viewing area even if you do manage to find a monitor with high
    enough resolution.

    Also remember that standard monitors use a 4:3 aspect ratio (four units
    wide, three high), and newer WXGA LCDs are 16:9, whereas most cameras
    shoot in a 3:2 ratio. In short, zooming a ladscape-oriented picture to
    fit a standard monitor, CRT or LCD, will either stretch the picture,
    crop the sides, or band the top and bottom.

    Example: my Digital Rebel at full-res shoots at 3072x2048. I run my 21"
    Sony CRT at 2048x1536; if I zoom to fit the whole picture on the monitor
    without stretching, it's 2048x1365.

    Finally, your video card has to be able to keep up: it has to have
    enough memory to display full resolution at full color depth, and it has
    to be fast enough to refresh the display at that size. It also really
    should be fast enough to give you higher refresh rates at the resolution
    you choose: LCDs only run at 60Hz refresh, and that's fine, but with
    CRTs, you'll get a noticeable flicker at 60Hz; the higher the
    non-interlaced refresh you can run, the better your viewing. My
    Radeon9800 will do up to 70Hz at 2048x1536, but at lower resolutions the
    refresh goes up to 120Hz.

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    Matt Ion, Dec 11, 2005
  13. m Ransley

    Scott W Guest

    CRTs are better for color then an LCD, but not by a lot anymore. But
    CRTs have their own problems. A CRT of course uses an electron beam to
    make the image, this beam can get pretty soft (out of focus) in the
    corners. The convergence is also a problem in the corners. A CRT,
    particularly a large one, ages pretty fast, the cathode starts to go
    bad. When the cathode starts to do bad the black level changes and the
    gamma gets screwed up. This is a far bigger problem with computer
    monitors then TVs, a TV has a large spot and therefore can use a large
    area on the cathode. To get the high resolution needed on a computer
    monitor you have to use a smaller area of the cathode and this means
    more amps/cm^2, not a good thing for life.

    Scott W, Dec 11, 2005
  14. m Ransley

    miso Guest

    I looked at a few LCDs and didn't think the color was all that bad.
    [note: I have a slight red/green color blindness] It was the screen
    door effect that I couldn't take. Even the Apple/Sony displays have big
    gaps between the pixels. I really think waiting for the next generation
    is a good idea.

    Then again, I had a high end CRT that only cost $130 or so to fix.
    [Check out Yes, the English isn't the best on the
    website, as everyone there came from someplace else, but they did a
    good job on my CRT. Most of their business is LCD repair. There were
    plenty of Apple Cinema displays getting new CCFTs.]

    I've used Cantoo photolab in Berkeley for developing film. They have a
    few Macs with Imagen scanners that can be rented. They use LaCie
    monitors, both CRT and LCD. The LCD is the LaCie's version of NECs
    2180ux, and the color was good enough for my tastes. However, the
    response time wouldn't work for anything but photography. It is 30ms,
    way too slow for anything with motion. The guy who does the calibration
    says that particular LCD isn't all that bad, but he uses a CRT for his
    own work.
    miso, Dec 11, 2005
  15. m Ransley

    Leo Guest

    There's your proof they aren't!!! NEVER listen to a salesman, especially from
    those type of stores, they are trained to sell high margin crap, not technology.
    Resolution is just a horse power race, color quality, dynamic range, and
    linearity are more important. LCD's usually win on linearity, but fall down
    everywhere else.

    Note that the electron beam in a CRT can be shut off mid-pixel, but an LCD can't
    do that, the entire pixel must either light up or be dark, so CRTs always have
    more resolution.
    Leo, Dec 12, 2005
  16. m Ransley

    Robert Guest

    My current monitors are 19 inch and 15 inch LCD monitors, but I used CRT's
    for years.

    The 19 inch monitor has 6 rocker buttons for adjusting the screen, and I
    often check to see how a photo looks on the 15 inch monitor. For me, the
    newer LCD monitors are better than the usual CRT monitor.

    Click on "Cruise S. A." on the "Nabors Home Page" index to see some of my
    later photos. Most of the photos are accessed by clicking highlighted text.


    Robert, Dec 12, 2005
  17. m Ransley

    miso Guest

    I'm baffled by what this is supposed to prove or disprove?

    miso, Dec 12, 2005
  18. In practice, you can't do that with a CRT either. It simply
    won't have the bandwidth to handle that high a slew rate.
    Floyd Davidson, Dec 12, 2005
  19. m Ransley

    Robert Guest

    I'm baffled that I am supposed to "prove or disprove" anything. Opinion
    isn't allowed on this Board?

    It means as I said, and I quote, "For me, the newer LCD monitors are better
    than the usual CRT monitor." Notice, "For me." That statement is not a
    tested, proven, scientific fact. I assume we are talking about the general
    home market and telling of our experiences?

    There are probably some high tech CRT monitors that are used in very special
    situations that are so costly they are not on the general home market, but
    are much better to use than a high tech LCD. This statement does not prove

    There may be applications that call for the use of a CRT monitor rather than
    a LCD monitor. I don't know that CRT monitors have "bit the dust" in all
    situations. This statement does not prove anything.

    If one must prove everything that is said on a News Board, then most people
    couldn't say anything.

    If you like I'll ask my son that is an PHD electrical engineer in San Hose,
    and develops high tech gear, if the use of CRT monitors are in decline?
    I'll also ask my other electrical engineer son in Hartford, CT, about this

    So, don't bother to give me your opinion that won't "prove or disprove"


    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <>
    Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2005 9:19 PM
    Subject: Re: Computer monitors

    Robert, Dec 12, 2005
  20. m Ransley

    miso Guest

    It's San Jose, not San Hose. You make a giant leap thinking I haven't
    spent a few decades in Silicon Valley.

    You sent me to a website, yet I can't find a single thing on the
    website relevant to the discussion of CRT versus LCD. Hence, I am
    baffled why you posted the website URL.

    miso, Dec 12, 2005
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