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Is the PA271W better than the PA241W Monitor?

ShulimShulim Member
edited October 2013 in post-processing
Hi,

I recently started getting lotsa gigs, and I need a good monitor for my peace of mind.
So B&H announces a sale, and I'm ready to buy, but I need some help!

Here's the 2 I'm considering:

The PA271W (27") costs $800, while the PA241W (24") costs $727 (links below).
I'm willing to shell out the extra $70 for the additional 3", and the 1ms quicker response time, but it seems there are other differences.

The 241 has a number of advantages over the 271:
-The 241 has 99% of Adobe colors, while the 271 only has 97%. Is that significant?
-The 241: 360cd/m² Brightness. The 271: 300cd/m² Brightness. Aren't I supposed to lower brightness to around 90cd? So I guess that's definitely not an advantage?
-The 241 has a different "sync type" but I have no idea what that means.

To summarize my question: Is the PA271W better than the PA241W Monitor?

Thank you!
Shulim


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Links:
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/689882-REG/NEC_PA271W_BK_MultiSync_PA271W_BK_27_Widescreen.html
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/676418-REG/NEC_PA241W_BK_MultiSync_PA241W_BK_24_Widescreen.html

Comments

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited October 2013
    Shulim,

    You would not notice those tiny differences at all and if able shell out to get the 27" one.

    Adobe % coverage, only truly critical if doing large scale commercial CMYK work, and even then you would be very hard pressed to spot the difference unless you had to have 100% densitometer measure a Pantone color for a commercial/corporate logo etc., as you would be in sRGB mode 99.9% of the time for photo prints anyway.

    Just ask yourself, when was the last time you needed to do a job requiring Adobe RGB/CMYK totally accurate readings. Never?

    Brightness. Nah, not an issue at all, because when you set it up you will be aiming for something like my Eizo [you will be going for 'Paper White' around the 90cd as you stated.

    It's the contrast ratio; the Black Point; and the White Point settings which are crucial.

    The Luminance [Brightness] around 90cd/m2
    Black Level around 0.4 cd/m2
    White Point 6500K
    Contrast Ratio you need to be around the 190 to 220:1; not the stupid 1000:1 or plus monitors are.

    You main objective is to get as close to 'Paper White' settings as possible.

    Here is my recent calibration [only just started alerting me this morning to re-do as 250 hours have passed since last one.

    image

    I have had my Eizo 241W for over 5 years now, and it's absolutely brilliant.

    The advances now in monitor technology is superb. btw, that price is ludicrous these days, I would jump at it.
    I would not bat an eye on getting the 27" beast, your whole world will open up color accuracy wise.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited October 2013
    Yep, I would. I use the x-rite i1Display Calibrator also.

    Now, when you get the Calibrator, you can throw away the disc, don't load/use the software that come with it. Remember, this is a calibration device which calibrates a wide variety of monitors and if you use the software that come with it, you miss out on the internal hardware calibration in the NEC PA series which will do a much better job.

    With the NEC PA monitor, you can use the SpectraView software which accesses the monitor's LUTs [Look-Up Tables] and it does a much much better calibration from the monitor's hardware built-in.

    You should get a disc with the monitor, but it may not be the latest version, so I would download it from here:

    http://www.necdisplay.com/support-and-services/spectra-view-II/Downloads

    Make sure you use the Serial Number that comes with it as I think it requires that to load the special hardware calibration program. [my software, ColorNavigator for Eizo monitors does not require serial, totally free]

    Also, when it's a new monitor, make sure you calibrate it 3-4 times in a row, as the calibration will get better each time.

    Don't just calibrate a new monitor once and think it's ok, it may, and probably will, improve with each calibration.

    Set the Preferences in the SpectraView software to remind you to calibrate every say 250 hours, or whatever you are happy with.

    I just did a new calibration as it was alerting me this morning and the figures are almost perfect from 'Target' to the actual 'Result' I got. It would be very very rare you get the precise figures but if this close you are good to go.

    image

    Here is a thread, where 'Naftoli' had just got a new monitor and the Spectraview program, it will give you good indicators on what to aim for, since I don't have SpectraView I cannot help with how to calibrate it.

    http://neilvn.com/forum/discussion/593/best-pc-monitor-for-processing-photographs#Item_51

    Also, here is another link on how to from a guru on monitors here in Australia.

    http://www.imagescience.com.au/kb/questions/142/How+To+Calibrate+An+NEC+Monitor+With+SpectraView+II

    Here, from that link just above: N.B If you are using an NEC PA Series monitor you *must* download the latest version of SpectraView 2 here and install that, AND if using a PA series monitor you MUST also connect a USB cable to your computer and the PA monitor, or SV2 will not recognise your monitor! You don't need to install the version on your CD, just install the version you download and then use the number in your CD case to register it.


  • Thanks! I will do my "research" by reading the other discussions. I bought the screen and calibrator.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    You won't regret it. Have fun.
  • Hey Trev... just for summary, when you calibrate your monitor, would the screenshot settings you show in your post above be your prefered profile for images being sent to a lab? I don't do any printing locally. I always send to a professional lab. Am I to assume the Brightness, Black Level and White Point are your key parameters?

    One final question regarding Contrast. I see you are targeting around 200:1. Is this value set in software or is this something manually set on the monitor itself?
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited January 2014
    David,

    Yes, those are the settings I target/achieve to send normal prints to my lab.

    Contrast. Ahh, that's a different kettle of fish.

    1] NO, I do not "manually set on monitor"

    2] It is not 'set' in ColorNavigator for my Eizo monitor. - confused yet? Bear with me.

    3] Contrast is the ratio of my Black Level to my Brightness. I try to achieve around 200 so the closest I do is set Brightness of 85 cd/m2 and set my Black Level to 0.4 cd/m2 (Brightness divided by Black Level = Contrast) so when the Target figures are set and the 'Achieved Results' come back it rounds it up to that 208:1 Contrast Ratio you see there.

    4] However, with an NEC and SpectraView monitor, you can 'target' your Contrast.

    I think I gave you the link before on NEC, but here it is again on how to achieve.

    You do need to read carefully because the first half just shows a 'set default' calibration results with a wild 900+ contrast result, you need to read all the way on what he does to get a

    Calibrating an NEC Monitor

    The reason you aim for the 190-230(max) Contrast Ratios is so you can achieve 'Paper White' which means you are targeting on your highly contrasted monitor with rich colors to tone it back down so you get 'realistic' Photographic Paper whites showing on your screen.
  • Trev... Very interesting. Thank you for the explanation. I do understand this. However, this brings up one more question in my mind. If you target the monitor for a good printing result on paper, how does that affect your image if your goal is not to print... but rather posting to the web? Would you calibrate your monitor differently?

    I ask this because, more times than not, my images end up on the web/facebook or some webpage. Let's say 90% are posted and 10% are printed. That being the ratio, should I still set my monitor to the "print" configuration or something else?

    I hope you understand my question.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Most certainly understand.

    This is not a problem, 2 ways to go.

    1] Leave it as it is, post to web and it will look fine, not a problem at all.

    2] Create a new Profile, adjust to get very contrasty (if you want that) and rich colors then when you save that profile you will now have 2 profiles.

    So when printing, you would open SpectraView, click on the Profile for Printing and then edit image to suit.

    For web, same deal, but just click on the Web View, adjust to suit.

    Personally when I post to web, the only thing I change is the file itself as in reduced/sharpening @ 72 ppi.

  • Trev... monitor should be here next week. It is drop shipping from NEC. This has taken a long time to complete but my full system should be here next week. I hope to have updates soon.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Dave,

    Excellent. Your new system? What's the ETA on that also, got the PSU sorted?
  • Yes.. went to pay for it and noticed they didn't include my card reader. Yes, I just saw your eyes roll. Mine too. The system looks great but he had to order a card reader. Without that, I couldn't import my images from the camera disc. Anyway, everything should come in next week. I'll be out of town most of next week on business but will return Thursday evening. By then (keeping fingers crossed), everything should be sitting here waiting for me. Friday will most likely be the day I sit down with everything and start the process of getting PS and LR all set up. I've printed out the three different posts regarding moving fonts, setting up and calibrating the monitor and moving important directories for PS and LR. I'm ready for this to be completed.
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    Good to hear. Been a bit of a wait but will be worth it. :)
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