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New monitor

So, being that time of year, I am adding to the list of purchases for this season a new monitor. I don't think I am looking for an Eizo but something under $500. Any experiences?


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited November 2015


    I do believe that the BenQ monitors are now a serious and interesting contender for the editing stakes, but the top one is around $1000US, however there are some cheaper versions I should think.

    BENQ PG2401PT

    Also the NEC range is IMO a top notch range as well.

    NEC PA242W-BK

    I rank monitors in order of: Eizo | NEC | BENQ in the colour critical editing monitors personally, but not cheap.

    Do some research and you can get different series of monitors in the NEC/BenQ range.

    This is my next monitor I am thinking of getting, but only thinking at this stage, very pricey.

    EIZO CG318 4K Colour Critical Monitor


  • TFT Central tests a large number of monitors.  These are serious tests for color space, how well they calibrate, uniformity across the screen, and so on.  A great resource.


  • MikeZMikeZ Member
    edited November 2015
    Thanks guys great info! Yes, Trev pricey….not the first word out of my mouth…lol
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited November 2015


    Yep and it's not 'fudge' either.... :)

    I think at this stage it's more of a pipe dream to be honest.

    My current Eizo is over 5 years old and that was a massive expense, but it seems to be getting better and better, as each time I calibrate it, it is soooo close to the settings I put in it's virtually spot on. eg: Edit: I just did a calibration, see image how close it is.

    My Eizo has had 40,603 hours of use so on an average of 18 hours on per day that equates to 4.6304 years of live use, but closer to 6 years in real terms of ownership.

    Mike, the one thing you need to be able to achieve is 'paper white' on the screen, you therefore must calibrate with settings to get to that.

    Some of the newer monitors have a Contrast ratio of something stupid like 5000:1+, it may look great for gaming, visually, but totally useless when judging contrast for photographic paper prints.

    Your contrast should be in the range of around 160:1 to 225:1 tops to reflect paper white.


  • JerryJerry Member
    edited November 2015

    I'm about to get a proper stationary setup within the next few months, now that Trev mentioned the Eizo CG318-4K I might actually opt for the Eizo CG248-4k instead of my preplanned Eizo CG277. Bigger resolution and about the same price, think it's just about an extra £200 or so...

    Tower wise I've been looking at this one:


  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited November 2015

    Nice choice re monitor. Also by getting an Eizo, you get the exclusive 5-year warranty that goes with it, win|win situation. (thumbs up button pressed)

    Regarding the tower set up, it all looks good to me with specs, really good, but I have a concern with the secondary HDD mate.

    Being 3T that's fine, it's the lower end speed I would be most concerned with at only 5400 rpm, which is a very slow and laptop speed so you would lose out on any benefit of the SSD drive which no doubt you would have Windows 10 OS loaded onto.

    I have SSD's, 1 exclusively for the OS, and 1 for my work projects, rest are the Western Digital Velociraptors 10,000 rpm for my Data and Back-up Data.

    The only reason I mention this is that by putting your files (Documents/images, etc.) onto the 2nd drive, you have lost the Read/Write speed advantage capable by the SSD by working from that slower drive, especially in Photoshop/LR editing.

    If you could cough up a bit more coin and replace it with a 2nd SSD (1Tb is plenty) you would be laughing.

    The one thing you could do, but you are then having to compromise locations, is to create a folder with sub-folders on the SSD/OS drive, drop your current working projects into them, do the work with editing, etc. so either LR/Photoshop is accessing and writing back from and to the same drive. As long as you have the space though, only put 1 project at a time on it.

    That way you are utilising the SSDs  faster Read/Write instead of the very slow 5400 rpm (SSD's Read/Write anywhere from 500Mbs up to the massively expensive Ocz Z-Drive 4500 Pcie Ssd/3200Gb/Pcie Gen. 2 X8 Zd4Rpfc8Mt320-3200 which can do a sustained Read of a gargantuan 2900Mbs and Write @ a sustained 2200Mbs (that's over 2G per second - damn)

    So I am afraid that's a bit more food for thought. I know I would rather sacrifice something for a faster Read/Write SSD drive. But as I said, you could put the current working projects onto the SSD, finish them, then transfer them out of the SSD to the Sata for your normal storage.

    Good luck Jerry. Do let us know of course if/when you get it. I built my 'if I win Lotto' Tower only scenario, and come out at around $80K.

  • MikeZMikeZ Member
    edited November 2015
    Thats impressive Trev! How do you handle your web files? Such as your social media images. Calibrate for your prints and leave at that? Kinda what I do and I have had no issues really...

    (Side note; the HP I purchased last year has been a beast and a Godsend. Love it! Not sure about win10 upgrade though. I hear is sluggish with Lr and such.)

    Example of this image. I set it for print which looks amazing and pretty impressive around the web villages as well

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited November 2015


    Calibrate for prints and done. I do have one extra calibration for inkjet printing onto a warm fibre-based B&W paper I send out to a special lab, but that's very very rarely, 99.9% of time it's just normal print calibration.

    Re your print, that's a really great print Mike, it's got those old school tones almost like a small cross-processing. Well done, and yes, I reckon that would be a fabulous canvas print to hang on wall, absolutely love the 'ye olde' autumn toned background/leaves in there.

    That little girl's pose, just standing there 'freehand' and the combination of even the bike's colours with the deep cherry red/white is just fabulous, a print to be proud of, I would be.

    Everything about that image screams, PRINT ME ON A LARGE CANVAS. :)


    EDIT: I just noticed that one solitary yellow leaf falling, could not have timed it better, and also noticed the positioning of their heads against the background, they are not covering the tree trunk nor the hanging foliage, by design or accident, marvellous.

    Shot around f4 @ 100-150mm by the looks??

  • Wow thanks Trev! That means a lot! I liked that big branch and thought it was a nice way to frame them a little bit in the image. I love the leaf as well. Never noticed it till culling later!

    This was a really busy fall season and these return clients needed a set of bday pics for the little girl. The day we scheduled was miserable! It was spitting rain, windy and brisk. Mom said I don't care lets do it! 

    On a whim we decided lets use the tricycle and see what we can get. Persistence paid off. The girl fell of at least ten times on her own…probably a few more with big brothers help..lol… 

    You are almost spot on with the settings… maybe 3.5? Ill have to look at the exif. The coloring is a tint I came up with using curves and saved as a preset. There is zero PP other than that. They truly have that magic skin.

    Camera left was the edge of the canopy and just enough soft light to be pleasing. I had and SB800 cam right on a TT5 with a small white umbrella to lift the eye shadows. More than I normally use with kids but it was dank out lol…

    By the way…my 24x24 canvass just arrived and is stunning, I am like most and hardly ever impressed with my work but I love this one! CG pro prints is my fav right now for canvass. 

    Hope the back story wasn't too much but I enjoy the BTS details so I thought I'd share. Thanks again...
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited November 2015

    Back story was just what was needed Mike, it helps anyone else out there shooting under similar conditions and I like to read it.

    I am glad you did get that canvas back mate, it's so rewarding when you see a shot you love come back in print form.

    I know this thread is about monitors but it was started by you so I won't feel guilty about posting this image, as an effect, and it's interesting to see what can be achieved with some ideas out of left field.

    It was taken at 5.32 pm, late afternoon but sun still high where I am, summer here.

    Settings: ISO 125; Aperture f2.8, 1/1600th shutter.

    Sun still harsh coming from camera left as you can see by shadows behind/side of them, I had an off camera flash set up on camera right parallel to the fence at their faces. The flash is HSS capable, so with my HSS controller on hotshoe I was able to control ambient.

    Now here is the normal shot, as you can see sunny as anything.


    Then I wanted to do something dramatic, so here is result, and yes, they are thinking of getting a canvas also:



  • I was considering external SSD drives originally via USB 3/Thunderbolt, but using internal ones makes more sense. Good thinking there Batman (Trev), as we say around these parts.

    Regarding the posted photos, nice tint works there. I've been experimenting with tinting for the last few months. My normal process is grabbing colour schemes via my phone and Adobe Color, eg Autumn colours from trees, sandy colours from the beaches etc etc, you get the idea. I then apply these via a gradient map in PS, darker colour for the darker regions and a lighter one for the light regions, normally adjust the percentage up so there are more light colur then dark (between 60-80%). Apply it and set mode to Color and opacity somewhere between 10-50%. Obviously removing the tint from colour critical areas like skin etc via the mask.

    Any good colour combinations I come up with I save as Gradient Map presets to save a step, all the other steps are photo independent though, and quite often I end up with more than one gradient map tinting in one photo...

    The attached have two maps applied to it, just as an example.

  • TrevTrev Moderator

    Yes, it would be much easier/faster to have a dedicated internal drive in conjunction with your OS all being SSD.

    The image has that nice tone through it also via the GM's, and as you say a lot of images some effects will look great, others not so good, depends on the image if lots of greenery or sky or beach/sand, etc. but you have a nice feel for that image with the young lady walking through the field. :)

  • Trev!

    Sorry for my absence...been super busy!

    So I slowly rolled down and looked at the before pic and I thought...hmmm... Nice esp for that harsh sun....then I scrolled down... WOW!~ that is awesome! Love it!

    I am reverse engineering it as we speak....hahahah!!

  • Nice post processing Trev.  That looks amazing.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Mike & Dave,

    Thanks guys. I have an adjustable action to get the semi desat with a B&W Adjustable Layer set to 50% opacity, adjusting each of the colors for the look I want plus a sunset Solid Color wash through it, (Blend Mode Color 100%) but then I use pic below on Soft Light Blend (100%), with a Blur/Motion Blur and adjust the angle to suit, then I Rasterise that layer so I can then do a Transform on it and move it around, stretch it out, etc. to suit the image.

    Color Code for the wash: dd801c

  • MikeZMikeZ Member
    edited December 2015
    Thanks for the guidelines! I have a bunch of textures. I really need to spend more time playing with them!

    It almost looks like there is some type of motion blur going on there too...
  • TrevTrev Moderator

    You mean blur in the space image above, nope, as is from a general search for 'space galaxies' I think from memory.

    But there is blur on the image during the creation of my effect of course.
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