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  • LCD monitor

    Anybody have any good things to say about a particular brand of LCD monitor.

    My CRT is going out (10 years old) and I do almost all of my proofing with my monitor. Problem is we have a ton of CRT's around here.

    My Dell LCD at home works fairly well with my G5 which is exactly what I use at work but I think there would be a better brand of monitor for Apple that's not 800 dollars.

    Probably my range would be no more than 250 bucks and 20 inches isn't necessary like I have at home.

    This is taking me some tough negotiating with the management. Right up there with talking them into Pitstop once upon a time.

    Thanks a bunch!

    Vincent Niehaus

  • #2
    Re: LCD monitor

    Hi Vincent

    My favorites are Eizo and Apple Cinema Displays. Unfortunately both are going to be WAY out of your target $250 price range. With LCDs its really a case that you get what you pay for. Many of the cheaper displays use the less expensive TN panel technology that just isn't suitable for color critical work. You'll also find that most of the screens less than 20" use this type of panel. Generally gamut and viewing angles in these displays are poor. SIPS or PVA are better for color work.

    For non critical work we do use some Dell displays on our G5s here and we've found that they work well for general use but the quality for color work can vary greatly. I've got a couple of the same model (2007WFP). One will calibrate as well as the Apple Cinema Display, but the other is noticeably dimmer and won't come nearly as close.

    Here are a few links with some helpful info:

    Monitor Panel type guides: I always do a search on one these to see what type of panel is used before buying

    Good Luck


    • #3
      Re: LCD monitor

      We have a few Dell LCDs that were bundled with our Printready installation, and the lighting is VERY uneven on all of them. Even the Dell 20" Ultrasharp is not consistently lit, but we use it with an extended desktop for Palettes and impositioning so it's not a big deal.

      Whenever I'm buying I go with Samsung. My favorite is my older 19" 910T, but even the cheap 17" models I've bought recently for administrative use are bright and evenly lit. The best one we have in the shop for production is a 23" Apple Cinema HD Display, the acrylic trimmed version not the aluminum one. It is the most accurate and the easiest to calibrate. Customers still say "Wow!" when they see it.

      Oh, and we use a MonacoOPTIX xr for calibration. It does a pretty good job if you're willing to spend the time, but I don't spend hours fine tuning. I'm more interested in what's on my proof the what's on my monitor.

      For me it's Samsung or Apple. Check ( for deals.

      Good luck.


      • #4
        Re: LCD monitor

        Thanks Shawn. My thinking was it wouldn't be all that easy to choose a good LCD for prepress and design work unless I was able to go the Apple LCD route. I have noticed some weird color display problems with my Dell LCD at home. It is really nice though once you get used to the LCD from a CRT.

        My work isn't all that critical for color. I'm used to relying on my gut feeling what a color should look like on press compared to my monitor. I've got the CRT working fairly well with just my eyes over the years. I'm lucky just to have a spectrodensitometer for press work and that was because we got a heck of a deal on a 528 at an auction.

        For the few customers I have I've been making PDF's with the sRGB profile embedded and hoping for the best when I send them a soft proof. So far all has been good and I like to think that my customers trust me when it comes to getting color right.

        Thanks Jim this is good info for me. The best!

        I have a lot of respect for you guys that deal with customers all day long every day.

        Edited by: Vincent_ on Mar 20, 2008 10:36 AM


        • #5
          Re: LCD monitor

          Hi Vincent.

          Recently I evaluated an Eizo ColorEdge CG241W (£1,250 or thereabouts), CG221
          (£2,250 or thereabouts) and have also just purchased a Samsung XL20 (£519).
          Eizo also do a CG301W model (not sure on price without checking).

          The CG221 was excellent, although rather expensive at £2k+. The Eizo CG241W
          was good.

          However, the XL20 I have is I think the best there is in terms of value for
          money and quality (hence why I bought it). In the UK you can buy a 600
          contrast ratio model for just over £400 and a 1000 contrast ratio model for
          just over £500 - both being 20.1" models. Now you might think ouch, as
          that's $800 and $1,000, however, both of these two come with not only a
          hood, but also an XRite Eye-One Display - that on it's own in the UK would
          cost you about £150 ($300). So for the extra money it's well worth it.

          But what about quality - the XL20 (which also has an XL24 (£1,250 or
          thereabouts) and XL30 (£2,500 or thereabouts) model) has a gamut that covers
          sRGB, AdobeRGB and also that of some printing inks. It's gamut is larger
          than the Eizo CG241W (93% AdobeRGB IIRC) or CG221 (97% AdobeRGB IIRC) .
          Where I think the Eizos are better, is in quality and uniformity - from what
          I recall when I had them, the images were higher quality, with better
          uniformity (dE across the screen being very small - Eizo guarantee less than
          3 dE across the panel). My Samsung XL has a larger dE than that across the
          panel, although they do have a runtime method to adjust areas of the screen
          to produce better uniformity.

          If someone was giving me any monitor FOC of my choosing, I'd choose & take
          the CG221 as the best quality one out of those I've tried. If money was no
          object, I'd also purchase the CG221. However, if I was spending my own money
          (that is my companies or my own), I'd choose the Samsung XL20 as having the
          best quality / price ratio, with a high level of quality.

          Oh and with either the Eizo or Samsung, use the built in ColorNavigator or
          NaturalColorExpert to calibrate it, as that's better (simpler, faster and
          more accurate) than using the XRite Eye-One Match s/w.

          Hope this helps.




          • #6
            Re: LCD monitor

            Thanks Mr. Cave, I've been on the forums for a long time. I know who you are have a lot of respect for what you do.

            These 3 posts have answered my questions. I'll have to do a little more willin and dealin with my management because I don't believe that buying a cheap LCD is worth the trouble. Maybe I'll bring my 20 inch Dell LCD to work and see how it does in a production environment for a week or two.

            It's like going to Wal-Mart and buying a 600 dollar HP machine compared to buying a PowerMac G5. Which almost everybody I know buys the 600 dollar HP machine and then wonders why they have so many problems with it.

            My 8 year old(or 10 maybe) 450mhz G4 Compose Harlequin rip still screams and gets the work out for me when my 3 year old cheaply made IBM RipIt is dead and gone.

            Thanks Again for the help!

            Vincent Niehaus


            • #7
              Re: LCD monitor

              I ran a LaCie 321 for a couple of years and loved it. And I just looked it up at - the LaCie 324 is under $1000!! Can this be true?!

              New Samsungs are gorgeous.

              Neither of these is gonna' fit your price range. You will not get a monitor of sufficient quality for $250.

              If you can swing it, it'll be worth the expense to get calibration/profiling software and hardware - then you can quit "interpreting" what you see. We're not talking about that much dough.


              • #8
                Re: LCD monitor

                Hey Rich! How's it going?

                I believe that the 20 inch Apple Cinema Display is the best at what I can do.

                And Rich, I've been trying to get my hands on color profiling software and hardware for years but it's just not justified in my environment (cost). The standard profile's are working well enough for us. The SWOP profile's and sRGB.

                We got lucky and found an X-Rite 528 at an auction. It's really nice for 4 color GTO work but we don't even put color bars on our web press because it's mostly spot color work. A lot of the jobs do not have room on the press sheet for color bars.

                Every press sheet is OK'd by me I and also do 90% percent of the press work since our last pressman quit. I'm going to have to throw a linux box down by the press and VNC to my mac so I don't have to run up and down the stairs all day long. We are not going to hire another pressman. <Kinda Sad>

                I guess I can say goodbye to my CRT tan. I'll have to find a hobby working outside.


                • #9
                  Re: LCD monitor

                  > {quote:title=vniehaus wrote:}{quote}
                  > Hey Rich! How's it going?

                  Going well, thanks.

                  Gee whiz, Vincent. You're the reason the nation's productivity numbers keep going up ;-}


                  • #10
                    Re: LCD monitor

                    Hi Vincent

                    For monitor work the cost of hardware profiling equipment has come down dramatically in the last few years. Do a search for Spyder, Huey or Eye One and you'll find they may be cheaper than you think. Spyder 2 Express and Huey on Amazon are both around $60. While these products have very basic software when compared to the more expensive packages, you'll find that even entry level hardware calibration is much more reliable over time than doing it by eye.



                    • #11
                      Re: LCD monitor

                      Thanks Shawn! I'll look that up.

                      You know it's been a year or two since the last time I looked that stuff up, but I haven't forgot about it. I've read both edition's of Real World Color Management maybe ten thousand times so I'm familiar with that software and have tried the demo's, but the only hardware I have had to play with is that X-Rite 528 which is really nice to have.

                      One thing I really like about color bars on a press sheet is the grey balance bar. It really helps me out. We run color bars on all of our GTO work.

                      Thanks everybody you helped me get a new Apple Display Monitor. I'll have to make me a new hood for the monitor too. Super!


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