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Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

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Old 12-02-2009, 01:48 PM
Hartleyb4 Hartleyb4 is offline
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Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

Hello - I'm new to this site I found it while researching monitors.

I am working as an in-house prepress department. I deal with a lot of 4/c books that are printed domestically and overseas. I am presently using a Mac Cinema Display on a Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.66Ghz box.

I have been doing color retouching since '94 and drum scanning since '91. I used to manually calibrate my CRT and was very happy with that. LCDs seemed deficient in so many ways I did not put a lot of effort into trying to find one I really liked. It seems now with the IPS panels and the LED backlights a lot of the problems have been resolved.

I have been searching for in depth reviews and have been able to whittle it down to a couple monitors.

NEC LCD2690WUXi2-BK and EIZO CG243W

My question is if anybody has experience with either or both of these monitors and if the price difference equals a noticeable quality/working difference. I do have an Eye One calibration system (which I have been using on the Cinema Display) but I have always liked manual controls for calibrating because then I know exactly where any deficiencies in color matching are.

Also if you have another monitor suggestion besides these two I would be interested in knowing why you like it.

Thanks
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Old 12-02-2009, 03:25 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

Dear Hartleyb4...

I personally really like the Apple monitors for color and for the way they work together with the hardware. They are easy to calibrate and seem to work without a hitch. And you're right to want to calibrate it manually for color as it should be calibrated to the user's perceptions as opposed to what a diagnostic tool thinks is right. That's why they call it a tool.

But I am curious as to what's leading you to want to switch.

You can always spend more for fewer pixels but I don't think you get much more for your money. There may be a bit of additional color gamut available on the Eizo, but mostly in a range where your eyes won't be able to tell the difference. And for 4-color press work that additional gamut is probably going to be out of your safe range anyway.

You should try compare systems to see if you can even see a difference in your files and how well you can calibrate it to your color preferences.

Is it worth it to spend the money on a "new and better" monitor that's not going to make a bit of difference in the end?

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
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Old 12-02-2009, 04:54 PM
Wolfman Wolfman is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hartleyb4 View Post
Hello - I'm new to this site I found it while researching monitors.

I am working as an in-house prepress department. I deal with a lot of 4/c books that are printed domestically and overseas. I am presently using a Mac Cinema Display on a Mac Pro Quad-Core 2.66Ghz box.

I have been doing color retouching since '94 and drum scanning since '91. I used to manually calibrate my CRT and was very happy with that. LCDs seemed deficient in so many ways I did not put a lot of effort into trying to find one I really liked. It seems now with the IPS panels and the LED backlights a lot of the problems have been resolved.

I have been searching for in depth reviews and have been able to whittle it down to a couple monitors.

NEC LCD2690WUXi2-BK and EIZO CG243W

My question is if anybody has experience with either or both of these monitors and if the price difference equals a noticeable quality/working difference. I do have an Eye One calibration system (which I have been using on the Cinema Display) but I have always liked manual controls for calibrating because then I know exactly where any deficiencies in color matching are.

Also if you have another monitor suggestion besides these two I would be interested in knowing why you like it.

Thanks
I have the NEC and use the Spectraview software made for that monitor and the Eye-One puck.... it's a no brainer... set your parameters and then push the button and it calibrates your monitor. Andrew Rodney, the color management guru likes them very much and uses them exclusively: http://photo.net/digital-darkroom-forum/00MuIR
http://www.openphotographyforums.com...ead.php?t=5716
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Old 12-02-2009, 08:06 PM
pixelzombie pixelzombie is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

nothing wrong with the apple cinema displays, kodak uses them in their virtual matchprint system..the i1 puck with BasicColor software is the ideal set up for calibrating your monitor as the software can compare the calibrations results that allows you see which way the monitor is drifting...
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Old 12-02-2009, 10:39 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

The monitor isn't nearly as important as the operator's understanding of how the image on screen relates to the images coming off the press. You can never get the two perfectly calibrated, because they are different kinds of color. So you need to have an internal understanding/calibration as to how the two work together. This takes some time to develop.

If you're used to the Apple Cinema monitor, and it has been working well for you -- why would you switch?

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.
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Old 12-03-2009, 08:31 AM
Hartleyb4 Hartleyb4 is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

There are a couple reasons why I am looking to change monitors.
1. I was hoping to get an LCD that was able to consistently represent a color across the entire area of the panel. I am often times trying to match color from one image to another sometimes with a designer next to me. I can use the info palette to dial the numbers in but if it visually looks different, next to each other, on screen it not only creates a mental dissonance for me, but the designer is usually shaky until the printed piece comes in.
2. I have had issues with the subtle transitions near white. Using Photoshop I was getting halos on soft brush edges. I create a lot of shadows and when the edge of the shadow looks like hard edge and not a soft transition from white that makes my job much more difficult. I was able to tone this down by customizing my calibration. I still have an issue with the way it sometimes represents smooth tonal transitions in a chunky, banded way.
3. The cinema display has no monitor controls other than brightness and off/on.

After reading Wolfman's links I am now wondering if either of these monitor's would help me. I am starting to understand that the Wide-Gamut displays may introduce a problem where color differences are not accurately perceived by the viewer. It was perhaps a misconception on my part to think that if the monitor was capable of displaying more colors then It would be more accurate in its depiction of any given image. From what I have read it seems that the WG displays may cause the perception of differences between colors to be greater than they truly are.

Seattle-light really hit the nail on the head. I just want a monitor I can dial in and understand where any issues may be in it's ability to match a final printed piece.

Even with it's issues the cinema display is still usable. I was hoping to improve it's weak areas with the newer technology coming out. So let me revise my original question and ask instead if not either of the monitors I originally mentioned, what would be an ideal monitor for prepress color work?

Thanks for your insights.
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Old 12-03-2009, 09:43 AM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

I have red a bit about Eizo Monitors and the idea to buy one of those shpuld be considered twice. You should think what's the purpose you will give to the Eizo or NEC.

I have red the Eizo specifications and they use true 16 bits per channel instead 8 like every monitor and, as Alan said, there are no eyes to tell the difference between 16 or 8 bits. However, they have 2 advantages over common sRGB Monitors.

*They show a color gamut a bit above Adobe RGB 1998.
*The bit of depth of Eizo Monitors works perfect for gray scale images.

The gray scale capabilities of that monitor are very important to keep in mind since gray scaled images are shown through the monitor in one level of 256 shades of gray and they look pretty ugly because of that, even if the image is right edited.

I think the only advantage of Eizo is the gray scale thing.
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Old 12-05-2009, 07:22 PM
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seattle-light seattle-light is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

Dear Mart...

What I said was that one is probably not going to be able to really see the difference in the slightly wider color gamut on the Eizo, and it's not a very useful addition to the color range if you're going to be moving images into CMYK anyway -- since it's in a supersaturated range that's not going to work in print.

The 8-bit vs. 16-bit display is another matter. 16-bit color depth is essential in your files when you are dramatically shifting data around in curves and levels and so forth (to avoid banding and making a general mess).

Having thousands of levels of gray per channel makes those repeated adjustments less apparent. You're still squishing and stretching all the data, but there are thousands of levels to work with so if you end up losing half you still have great tonal variety.

Your eyes certainly aren't going to be able to discern all of the 256 sublevels levels of gray between each pair within the 256 levels of gray 8-bit. That's over 65,000 levels of gray. Theoretically, that would make the image supersmooth, but I doubt that you'd see much if any difference.

Even if the monitor is using the 16-bit data input, that's probably not going to translate into much of a visual difference on screen as the human eye doesn't register minute differences in luminence (assuming that the LEDs are actually displaying them that accurately).

Certainly you should test it out looking at one of your files on an Eizo monitor before you buy one -- to make sure that there's a discernable difference that's worth the expense. You don't want to be paying a hefty premium for a theoretical advantage.

Even if you have perfect 16-bit color on screen, you still need to print them out and calibrate in your mind for the difference onscreen and in print.

Hope you are doing well. Take care. Alan.

Last edited by seattle-light; 12-05-2009 at 07:24 PM. Reason: mistake in pasting
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Old 12-05-2009, 08:07 PM
Quantum3 Quantum3 is offline
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Re: Monitor choices... Eizo Vs. NEC

Yes Alan, I know all that. Just added a bit more info to your reply. I must say you are quite right about the CMYK space. At the end it will printed out that way in most of the cases. There are HDR inks, but hardly that would be the print space. However, paying above $3Kusd just to not see the banding is quite useless. We already know that banding will not appear in the print in almost every case.

Mart
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