Recommendations needed for flat-panel and CRT monitors for photo work?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2004.

  1. Mxsmanic

    Mxsmanic Guest

    My excellent Sony 20" CRT is gradually giving up the ghost; it has
    dimmed enough over the past two months that I no longer trust it for
    photo work, and so I've suspended my scanning activities until I can
    replace it.

    I'm very interested in hearing recommendations for a new monitor. I
    want a monitor that is well suited to precision photo work, and it
    _must_ support at least 1600x1200 pixels at at least 60-70 Hz refresh.
    It must have standard analog inputs compatible with my existing NVidia
    video card. The monitor should be a 20" model (or a 19" viewing area
    minimum). It must be able to resolve individual pixels on the screen at

    I'm interested in both flat-panel and CRT monitors. Traditionally I've
    looked to CRTs for the very best quality for photo work (and I'd still
    love to have a Sony Artisan, but I doubt if I can afford that now), but
    I'm wondering how much the flat panels have improved. My CRT is
    slipping so fast that just about anything would be better, I suppose.

    I'd like recommendations based mainly on quality and reliability, and
    also on both of these with respect to price (price/performance).

    Have manufacturers succeeded in consistently producing large flat-panels
    without defective pixels yet?
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2004
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  2. Mxsmanic

    Michael Guest

    Price/performance-wise, even though LCDs have improved
    over the past few years, still nothing touches Mitsubishi's
    Diamondtron CRT. Their 22" 2070 is ~$700. To get the
    same color gamut on an LCD costs 3x as much, or more.
    Not to mention a CRT's resolution and refresh rate flexibility,
    which cannot be had on an LCD at any price.

    Michael, Oct 31, 2004
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  3. Mxsmanic

    Dave Guest

    Personally I think you should invest in monitor like in speakers for your
    stereo system. The speakers on your stereo system are literally what you
    hear - you don't hear the DVD player or the receiver, etc. Within limits
    and unless you have very discriminating ears and are a real audiophile, the
    impact of receiver and other electronics are nothing next to the speakers'
    quality. Also, everyone has different ideas about what sounds good to them.

    Same thing, in my mind, applies to monitors. The process/box/memory needs
    to meet certain minimum standards (depending on use) but after that I would
    say it doesn't matter much. But that is not true of the monitor. Go to the
    store, take a look, try to get the salespeople to display from a CD a jpeg
    file that you KNOW should look a certain way. See what YOU prefer. If you
    want that Sony, GET IT. It will be with you for years, the 100s of dollars
    different it might cost you now are nothing compared to the enjoyment and
    satisfaction you will get over the years because you bought the right
    display that was perfect, in your mind, for your use and application.
    Dave, Oct 31, 2004
  4. Mxsmanic

    Dave Guest

    Interesting, while a CRT does have inherently higher resolution and more
    flexible resolution than LCD, with LCD there is as far as I know NO issue on
    refresh rate - is not applicable to LCDs. The picture I've seen on LCDs is
    always rock-steady. NEVER have observed ANY flickering.
    Dave, Oct 31, 2004
  5. Mxsmanic

    Michael Guest

    Granted, refresh rate is not an issue for still photography work,
    but certainly is for video. Ghosting is still a problem on most
    Michael, Oct 31, 2004
  6. Mxsmanic

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Are you talking about just this specific model, or all the related
    Diamondtron models?

    I've always bought Sony, but I see that these Mitsubishi CRTs seem to be
    widely appreciated. Do they age gracefully (no blurring or distortion
    as they get older)? My Sony's only real problem is that it's going
    dim--the resolution and sharpness and convergence and geometry have
    barely changed at all.
    So I've noticed.
    Yes. My other concern, though, is just putting the CRT into place. A
    huge cube half a metre on a side weighing 30 kg is a lot to manipulate
    by oneself, especially when it must be placed on the corner of a desk
    (hard to avoid bending over in that case, and bending over with a heavy
    weight is very risky).
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2004
  7. Mxsmanic

    Mxsmanic Guest

    I don't work with video at all. The closest I come is an occasional
    session with Flight Simulator. Also, I seem to be very insensitive to
    flicker, so I can get by with refresh rates as low as 60 Hz at
    1600x1200, without really noticing anything at all.

    Also, overall my biggest requirement is for high resolution and
    sharpness, but for photos I really do need proper gamma and color
    rendition. So I have to try to find a balance between going for broke
    just for the photo work and saving a bit in consideration of the fact
    that I do a lot of other stuff on the machine that doesn't require fancy
    image specifications.
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2004
  8. Mxsmanic

    Michael Guest

    As far as I know the 2070 is Mitsubishi's only remaining 22"
    model that uses this tube. But any monitor based on the
    Diamondtron CRT will have about the same gamut. LaCie
    and others use them, but they cost more.
    I routinely see 5 and 6 year-old Diamondtrons in the field
    that are still perfectly calibrated and performing perfectly.
    LCD backlights, like all other fluorescent bulbs lose much
    of their brightness within the first 2-3 years.
    In that regard LCDs are a godsend. They're excellent for
    text work, and even for casual, non-critical graphic work.

    Michael, Oct 31, 2004
  9. Mxsmanic

    Larry Guest

    I know I'll get jumped on for this, but when working with
    photos I allways get better results (whats on the screen is
    whats comes out on paper) if I use a crt.

    I have used LCD for video work (and I've spent a LOT of
    money on 17", 19", and 20" LCD displays) and for video,
    even high res video, the LCD monitors do a good job.

    When it comes to WYSIWYG doing PRINTS, I'll settle for a
    $300 or $400 CRT.
    Larry, Oct 31, 2004
  10. Mxsmanic

    Mxsmanic Guest

    Why would anyone jump on that? The superiority of CRTs for such work is
    well known. Unfortunately, they are extremely bulky and heavy, and they
    wear out faster, and their specs change continuously (albeit slowly)
    over their lifetimes.
    Have you used LCD for photos? If so, what problems have you
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2004
  11. Mxsmanic

    Mxsmanic Guest

    So how much would I lose by using, say, a $1000 LCD monitor for photo
    work, as compared to a good CRT? What are the weaknesses of the LCD and
    what would I have to sacrifice or be careful about?

    FWIW, on my other two machines, I already use flat panels. Neither is
    used for photo work, so the flat panels are more than good enough, and
    they have been rock stable since I bought them (and they are always on).
    Mxsmanic, Oct 31, 2004
  12. Mxsmanic

    GT40 Guest

    Take a look at the Wacom 18" LCD, it also supports the use of pen
    based work, great for Photoshop. Can be expensive though
    GT40, Oct 31, 2004
  13. Mxsmanic

    GT40 Guest

    Do you color calibrate your LCD ?
    GT40, Oct 31, 2004
  14. I'm happy with my 19" LaCie ElectronBlue IV. It uses the Mitsubishi
    Diamondtron tube. It's currently running at 1600x1200 just fine.
    I can't speak to how well it ages, having had it for only a few months.

    BillyJoeJimBob, Oct 31, 2004
  15. Mxsmanic

    Michael Guest

    Their biggest problem is and always has been with near blacks
    and near whites. The backlight technology used in consumer/
    prosumer LCDs does not allow for anything approaching true
    black, at least not relative to CRTs. Instead one has to choose
    between muddy blue or dark gray to represent black.

    Michael, Oct 31, 2004
  16. Mxsmanic

    Larry Guest

    Even the best I have used are not WYSIWYG for shadows and
    dark areas.
    Larry, Oct 31, 2004
  17. Mxsmanic

    Larry Guest

    To the extent that they can be calibrated, I calibrate

    IMNSHO They just dont do blacks and shadows well enough for

    I use them, and I like them, but NOT for mission critical
    photo-editing... (read that to mean, something someone
    besides me is paying for).
    Larry, Oct 31, 2004
  18. Mxsmanic

    Ken Oaf Guest

    Can you turn up the sub-brightness? There is usually a knob for adjusting this
    inside the monitor itself.
    Ken Oaf, Oct 31, 2004
  19. Mxsmanic

    GT40 Guest

    How do you calibate them, with one of the devices you place over the /
    part of the display?
    GT40, Oct 31, 2004
  20. Mxsmanic

    Steve m... Guest

    I read just this week in PC Magazine that if buy a LCD monitor to check the
    spec for response time. Anything below 25ms is a bonus as you will see very
    little blur. There are a few with response times around 15ms.

    Steve m..., Oct 31, 2004
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