Best monitor for graphic design

Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
5
Hi! I need some good recommendations for a monitor I will be using for graphic design work. My budget is $800 - $900. Currently, I have been doing a lot of design work for iphone/ipad applications and web design, but I would like to move out into print as well. Color accuracy in my workflow is becoming a major concern for me, so I want a monitor that will best deliver on color range and accuracy. I am still learning a lot about graphic design, so any reasons for your recommended monitors would be very helpful/educational for me.

Right now I have been looking at the Dell U2711. I like the 27" size, and a lot of people seem to be very positive about it. I am a little put off reading on these forums that certain people aren't pleased with the AG coating. Is this a deal breaker for graphic design? There is the Apple Cinema Display, but its screen is glossy, and I've opted against gloss on my mbp. Is gloss better for color design work? Your thoughts are most appreciated. Thanks!
 

mlewis

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
283
Gloss makes no difference to the actual colours. It can make things look slightly different. The choice to get glossy or not boils down to whether you don't mind or get annoyed by the reflections.

The best monitors for colour accuracy would be the NEC Spectraview or Eizo Coloredge ranges but they cost more than your budget. Have a look at the NEC PA series without the Spectraview kit. Some of them might come within your budget.

Remember that if you are interested in colour accuracy you will need to buy calibration kit.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
5
The NEC PA series looks tempting. I may be able to justify spending a little more if I am getting a calibration solution with the purchase. Can the spectraview calibrate more than one monitor (I want to calibrate my mbp's screen as well)? Would it work well to buy a PA series without Spectraview kit and get a different and possibly cheaper calibrator?
 

mlewis

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
283
If you are in the US:
The spectraview kit comes with a custom i1 Display 2 colorimeter and the Spectraview software. The software will only work with the NEC monitors. The colorimeter will work with the i1 Match software which you can download from X-rite and that will calibrate other screens, but the custom colorimeter may not give correct results. You could buy a calibration kit (i1 Display 2, Spyder3, etc.) which which will work with all monitors. You can get the Spectraview software seperately and use the previously bought colorimeter for superior calibration results with the NEC PA monitors.

If you are in Europe:
If you buy a Spectraview monitor it comes with software that will hardware calibrate the monitor (different from the US software) which can also calibrate other monitors. You will have to supply the calibration hardware. If you buy an non Spectraview monitor you can't get the Spectraview software later and hardware calibrate the monitor. You can obtain the US software (has to be purchased with a credit card registered in US though so you will need a third party to help) and supply your own calibration hardware.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
5
Thanks, mlewis, you've been really helpful! I am in the US. Right now I am thinking of going with the PA241W without the spectraview and buying perhaps a spyder or other calibrator to go with it. Do you think this would be a good choice? Also, would I be missing out on a lot if I didn't end up getting the spectraview software to help calibrate the nec?
 

mlewis

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 19, 2008
Messages
283
If you don't get the Spectraview software then you can't access the advanced calibration features of the monitor - the inbuilt 14but LUTs, and the way you can define all your targets in the software and click on one button and the software adjusts the monitor for you - which should give better calibration results and smoother displays of gradients. Of course using normal kit should give good results.

If you really want the monitor and it is cheaper at the moment to get a colorimeter and the screen without the Spectraview kit then go for it. You can always buy the Spectraview software later if you wish to anyway if funds become available.
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
611
Thanks, mlewis, you've been really helpful! I am in the US. Right now I am thinking of going with the PA241W without the spectraview and buying perhaps a spyder or other calibrator to go with it.
NEC doesn't implement necessary corrections for the WCG-CCFL backlight in SpectraView II. The (handpicked) NEC OEM EOD2 has an appropriate correction matrix which is accessed via SpectraView II. Other possibility would be a spectrophotometer (EyeOne Pro, ColorMunki).

The colorimeter will work with the i1 Match software which you can download from X-rite and that will calibrate other screens, but the custom colorimeter may not give correct results.
Outside SpectraView II it should behave like a normal EOD2 (corrected against a 72% NTSC CCFL spectrum).

Best regards

Denis
 

Startup123

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
92
...The (handpicked) NEC OEM EOD2 has an appropriate correction matrix ...
Do you have any pointers to an OEM or reseller selling EOD2 who claims that these colorimeters are also made to work with wide gamut monitors?

So far the only official claim I've seen about a colorimeter working with wide gamut monitors is from the manufacturer of Spyder 3. They have written that on the package .
Also the company making the best third party calibration/profiling software ColorEyes Display Pro sell their program also bundled with different colorimeters like DTP94, but for wide gamut monitors they actually recommend Spyder 3 which they also offer as a bundle with the program.

I've also read a lot of wide gamut monitor users confirming these claims based on their experience. Me one of them :)
 
Joined
Aug 3, 2004
Messages
611
Do you have any pointers to an OEM or reseller selling EOD2 who claims that these colorimeters are also made to work with wide gamut monitors?
HP also uses a selected EOD2 with a new correction matrix for their LP2480zx Dreamcolor (RGB-LED backlight). Apart from that don' t know if there are commercially available "edited" EOD2s which have one or both matrices changed.

I know that the Spyder 3 is advertised a beeing "universal". But we should be quite cautious redgarding such advertising messages. That would mean that the 2 degree CIE observer is inherently achieved via the filter solution (there are other limitations of colorimetry but that's due to the standard observer self). But even the high end CS-200 of Minolta needs some corrections for different spectra. BasICColor has just released the Discus which can hold many corrections (up to now usually only 2 corrections were stored @factory and fixed).Hopefully I get a test sample soon.

The filter solution of the Spyder3 undoubtfully is more close to the 2 degree standard observer than the anorganic filters of the DTP94. The latter one has a quite good inter instrument agreement and ageing stability. Hence the generic corrections in iColor Display lead to very usable results for WCG-CCFL displays.

Best regards

Denis
 
Last edited:

Q-BZ

Fully [H]
Joined
Sep 28, 2007
Messages
18,472
The NEC PA series looks tempting. I may be able to justify spending a little more if I am getting a calibration solution with the purchase. Can the spectraview calibrate more than one monitor (I want to calibrate my mbp's screen as well)? Would it work well to buy a PA series without Spectraview kit and get a different and possibly cheaper calibrator?
You're getting a lot of good advice in this thread. :)

I just wanted to add my two cents:

My sister is into this kind of work and just got the NEC pa24 last week and she and I were both utterly blown away by it. I thought Amazon had about the best price I'd seen for it. Easily falls within the range of your budget. That's just for the monitor without SpectraView I must note.

IMHO, you'd be hard pressed to find appreciably better for your budget and needs.

If you want bigger than 24 inches and want to stay within your budget I know that the NEC pa27 is a bit more expensive and out of your proposed budget.

You're probably at Dell or HP if you want nice quality, larger than 24, and fits your purposes within your budget.

Since you mentioned Apple products, I don't know how you feel about one of their monitors. Could be an option.
 
Last edited:

Startup123

Weaksauce
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
92
...

I know that the Spyder 3 is advertised a beeing "universal". But we should be quite cautious redgarding such advertising messages...
I completely agree with this. I'm thinking though and I may be completely wrong, but I suspect that with Spyder 3 they are taking the chance that most people who will need colorimeters would be wide gamut monitor users and since they can't have it both ways they may have optimized the Spyder 3 more towards the wider gamut which makes it less accurate with standard gamuts in comparison to EOD2 which had been my experience too. I don't think they will ever sell separately wide and standard gamut optimized colorimeters as this will not result in better profit.
 
Joined
Dec 8, 2010
Messages
5
You're getting a lot of good advice in this thread. :)
I definitely am! :) Thanks everyone for your help. A lot of this is new for me as I am working very hard to teach myself this color critical stuff. (I've just been ignoring it, to my eventual frustration). I am confused on a few things and would appreciate if you can help me out.

NEC doesn't implement necessary corrections for the WCG-CCFL backlight in SpectraView II. The (handpicked) NEC OEM EOD2 has an appropriate correction matrix which is accessed via SpectraView II. Other possibility would be a spectrophotometer (EyeOne Pro, ColorMunki).


Outside SpectraView II it should behave like a normal EOD2 (corrected against a 72% NTSC CCFL spectrum).

Best regards

Denis
Let me see if I understand what your saying: Basically, just getting the SpectraView II software wouldn't be good enough with a Spyder3 because the custom hardware calibrator (what you call the OEM EOD2? If not, what is that?) has its own settings that help get the most out of the CCFL backlight in the PA241W. Additionally this custom calibrator should work fine calibrating my MacBook Pro's screen as well.
Did I get it?

If this is the case then I need some advice. The Spyder3 is attractive to me because I can get the monitor for around $850 and the the Spyder for $130. If I get the monitor with Spectraview II, then I am going to spend $1100, and I just don't think I can do that. The combination of either an EyeOne Pro or ColorMunki puts me even further over budget. So, Can I get by with the Spyder3 as I move into more color critical work, or should I be bitting the bullet and spending more to get the "awesome" level calibration you are recommending?
 

Tephnos

Limp Gawd
Joined
Jul 11, 2010
Messages
489
Get the Eye-One Display 2. Spyder 3 sucks. It's not calibrated at the factory and so can be hugely inaccurate.

You only need the pro if you need "perfect" colour, and even then it's not the best. Most places recommend that you use both a Pro and a Display 2 (Reason being that Pro has better colour accuracy, Display 2 has better black level accurary, or something like that) then offset the differences in a calibration program such a Calman
 
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
42
I'm an industrial designer who dabbles in graphic design work. I would recommend an NEC as well. There is a guy on Ebay who sells refurbished NEC 2690's for around $700 dollars. He is an authorized dealer so it comes with a warranty. I emailed him and he will pull the monitor out of the box and inspect it for dead pixels for an extra $25.00 prior to sending it: http://cgi.ebay.com/NEC-LCD2690WUXi...2403?pt=Computer_Monitors&hash=item45f7674023

I use a 30" Samsung 305T with an S-PVA screen. I absolutely love this monitor. The real estate is incredible at 2560 x 1600. It will never go back to using two screens.
 
Last edited:

TheArTcher

Limp Gawd
Joined
Dec 9, 2007
Messages
242
If you produce large, complex drawings like I do, don't consider anything less than 30 inch, 2560 x 1600 monitors. Compared to the 20 inch monitor I was using, My HP monitor pays for itself about twice a year in increased productivity alone. It also reduces fatigue caused by constant pan and zoom operations that the smaller monitor required more of.
 
Top