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haikai
11-30-2004, 11:29 AM
i posted this at photographyblog, but these forums seem much more active so i hope there is someone here who can advise me on this.

my old CRT monitor has died on me and so i'm now in the market for a new one. i was once die-hard against LCD monitors, but from what i've read lately there are LCD monitors out there that rival, if not surpass, CRT ones. this is where Eizo LCD monitors come in.

they are even more expensive than other high end LCD monitors, but are apparently amazing (especially their ColorEdge line). has anyone here worked with them and would you recommend them over other high end LCD displays?

i was considering the Apple Cinema Display and the HP L2335 because the widescreen aspect is compelling, but i figure if i'm going to pay that much then i should ensure that colors and quality of the display are as good as they can be.

i know eizo unveiled a 22" widescreen at Photokina, but i seriously doubt that will be in my price range... something around $1500 and less would be ideal. i know for this price, i can just get 2 lesser LCD monitors and use them in dual screen mode, but my primary concern is color quality. i am a bit concerned with the relatively high response times of some eizo monitors so if anyone has any severe issues with this then please share your experiences. i'd love to hear them :)

hai

John Tropi
11-30-2004, 12:07 PM
I'm curious as to the mention of response time when the primary requirement is for still pictures?

John_Reed
11-30-2004, 12:53 PM
i posted this at photographyblog, but these forums seem much more active so i hope there is someone here who can advise me on this.

my old CRT monitor has died on me and so i'm now in the market for a new one. i was once die-hard against LCD monitors, but from what i've read lately there are LCD monitors out there that rival, if not surpass, CRT ones. this is where Eizo LCD monitors come in.

they are even more expensive than other high end LCD monitors, but are apparently amazing (especially their ColorEdge line). has anyone here worked with them and would you recommend them over other high end LCD displays?

i was considering the Apple Cinema Display and the HP L2335 because the widescreen aspect is compelling, but i figure if i'm going to pay that much then i should ensure that colors and quality of the display are as good as they can be.

i know eizo unveiled a 22" widescreen at Photokina, but i seriously doubt that will be in my price range... something around $1500 and less would be ideal. i know for this price, i can just get 2 lesser LCD monitors and use them in dual screen mode, but my primary concern is color quality. i am a bit concerned with the relatively high response times of some eizo monitors so if anyone has any severe issues with this then please share your experiences. i'd love to hear them :)

haiI'm pretty happy with my Formac 20.1" LCD Monitor (http://www.formac.com/p_bin/?cid=solutions_displays_gallery2010_01), which I paid ~$1400 for a couple of years ago, and is now selling for $899. Its display is 1600X1200 pixels, ideal for the 4:3 format of digital photos. Check it out.

haikai
11-30-2004, 01:06 PM
I'm curious as to the mention of response time when the primary requirement is for still pictures?

well, since this would be for my home monitor, it would be nice if it was useable for general computing use as well (meaning the occasional game or movie being played). i know these two things don't necessarily go hand in hand, and it's a lower priority than the color/quality of the image. :p i'm just interested in knowing because i can probably tolerate some moderate ghosting, but was wondering how extreme it might be on such expensive monitors.


I'm pretty happy with my Formac 20.1" LCD Monitor, which I paid ~$1400 for a couple of years ago, and is now selling for $899. Its display is 1600X1200 pixels, ideal for the 4:3 format of digital photos. Check it out.

i'll check out the Formac too. i've also read a few good things about them.

hai

Rhys
11-30-2004, 01:08 PM
I can't remember which monitor I have at home. It's the cheapest LCD 15" screen I could find and is 1024 x 768 resolution. The colour rendition is excellent. I'm very happy with it. If you're in Britain, try Argos - it's where I got mine.

haikai
11-30-2004, 03:55 PM
I'm pretty happy with my Formac 20.1" LCD Monitor (http://www.formac.com/p_bin/?cid=solutions_displays_gallery2010_01), which I paid ~$1400 for a couple of years ago, and is now selling for $899. Its display is 1600X1200 pixels, ideal for the 4:3 format of digital photos. Check it out.

John_Reed: this Formac 2010 display is sounding better the more i look at it. i was wondering if you could answer a few quick questions about it:

1) do you find the effective viewing angle to be problematic at all? the specs say 170 degrees, but i'm wondering how much fading or color shifting there is the further you get away from looking at it head on.

2) i'm actually working on a PC (i know, i know, don't throw stones!). i see the 2010 has a DVI input which is great, but i've heard of some people having trouble seeing DOS and BIOS boot screens with monitors originally designed for Mac use... then again, some don't so maybe it's a problem with certain graphics cards?

3) i'm crossing my fingers on this... are the USB ports full speed 2.0 compliant?

4) i read that you can only really adjust the brightness... have you had any disappointment with not being able to adjust contrast (which sounds great already) or having control over color?


I can't remember which monitor I have at home. It's the cheapest LCD 15" screen I could find and is 1024 x 768 resolution. The colour rendition is excellent. I'm very happy with it. If you're in Britain, try Argos - it's where I got mine.

it sounds like you made a great find :) however, i'm looking for something a bit larger... 19" LCD at the least. i've been spoiled for many years working at 1600x1200 resolution on a 21" CRT so i'd like to stay as close to that as possible.

thanks for all the input so far everyone! i might not make a decision for another month or so so please feel free to post any further thoughts or recommendations!

hai

John_Reed
11-30-2004, 04:45 PM
1) do you find the effective viewing angle to be problematic at all? the specs say 170 degrees, but i'm wondering how much fading or color shifting there is the further you get away from looking at it head on.I think they're true to their word in that respect. The color intensity doesn't seem to vary much as I move my head around, or walk around the room. (I can't see it from behind, though! :-))

2) i'm actually working on a PC (i know, i know, don't throw stones!). i see the 2010 has a DVI input which is great, but i've heard of some people having trouble seeing DOS and BIOS boot screens with monitors originally designed for Mac use... then again, some don't so maybe it's a problem with certain graphics cards?I'm not sure it WAS originally designed for Mac use, even though you'd think so, from the name "Formac." For this question, I'd call tech support at Formac to be sure. And I will throw no stones at you for using PCs. Sheesh, that'd be dumb, making enemies out of 19 out of every 20 friends, don't you think? For every rock I threw, I'd get pelted with 19 - lousy odds for survival!

3) i'm crossing my fingers on this... are the USB ports full speed 2.0 compliant?I don't know. Mine aren't, since when I got the monitor, USB 1.1 was in vogue. Another question for tech. support.

4) i read that you can only really adjust the brightness... have you had any disappointment with not being able to adjust contrast (which sounds great already) or having control over color?No, I haven't. The screen is very sharp and contrasty anyway, and I've not had a problem with not being able to adjust contrast. I've been told before that a big old CRT will still give you more subtle gradations of color, but I'm not convinced that it's true.

haikai
12-20-2004, 09:09 PM
well, i purchased a Formac 2010 monitor and i thought i'd share my impressions with anyone who may come upon this thread in the future. i know this post doesn't really belong on a digital camera forum, but i'm sure many of you out there do color correction and photo manipulation, and having a good display is a key part after actually taking the photo.

first of all: it was almost a keeper. i was a little wary of the company because i had read bad things about their customer service, but after discovering that they have been better at it in recent years i decided to give it a shot.

first impressions were good... i was able to see my BIOS screen and everything worked. i noticed a stuck red pixel and one dead one, but luckily these were off-center and weren't a big deal for me (Formac's dead pixel policy is 5 or less, or 2 or less if you pay for an extra level of protection). the image was razor sharp and very bright.

my main reason for going with this monitor was because i wanted an LCD monitor that faithfully reproduced color. the Formac performed admirably in this regard, clearly better than the LCD monitors i'm used to seeing at work. there wasn't any real color-shifting when viewing the screen off-center, but the image does change a bit (although this isn't different from any other LCD screen i've used). i performed a variety of photoshop tests to judge the performance of the colors, and especially the ability to distinguish between very dark greys and blacks... i was impressed! is it better than a CRT? hmmm, i think i'd still feel more comfortable with a CRT for critical work, but it's good enough for what i wanted.

despite these successes, there was a problem that became almost immediately apparent to me while using the monitor... the ghosting. i was a bit surprised because the specs claim a response time of 15-16 ms. i know you can't really trust manufacturer claims when it comes to this, but i had also read a cnet review of the smaller version of this monitor and they reported that they had no problems with ghosting when viewing dvds... therein lies the catch. i should have taken this into account, but while it's true that my new monitor was able to play movies without too much trouble, things like games are completely out of the question for me (at least with fast-paced games where the whole screen moves). i could almost accept this negative except that i noticed the lag even with basic Windows operations... of course, my intolerance for these kinds of things may just be higher than others.

other nitpicks... i'm not a fan of the easel design of the monitor. it's not a big deal, although it is a little frustrating that you can't get the screen to be perfectly perpendicular to the desk surface. the bezel is also extremely thick making the monitor seem larger than it really is. really though, i knew these things before i ever got my hands on it.

i should say that my coworker liked this monitor. he pointed out that the screen surface was exceptionally clear also because it lacked the "sparkly coating" that many other LCD monitors have (difficult to describe). in fact, he probably would have bought it off me had he not already just recently bought an LCD monitor. he was not bothered by the ghosting as much, and even thought the Formac performed better than his own monitor (Dell 2001FP) because it lacked input lag (even more difficult to describe). so if you're in the market for an LCD monitor with good colors, and don't really care about games or aren't bothered by ghosting, then i would really recommend this.

however, after about 2 days of testing it out i decided to return it. there was a 20% restocking fee, which i knew about before i got it. it's exorbitant, yes, but i realize that i did use it so it's not totally out of the realm of reason. of course, 20% off $899 plus the $35 it cost me to ship it back did not make for a happy me, but rather than having a product that i might or might not learn to live with i thought it would be better to recoup what i could and get a decent 21" CRT (my conclusion is that i don't think i'll be happy with any reasonably priced LCD for quite some time).

the return process was convoluted, but i received timely help from their customer service and had no real problems. if this were purely a work monitor then i would have been able to live with the ghosting. but for something that i'm going to be using for general home use for the next few years as well, i figured i would be better off with a CRT and wait until LCD's get better and cheaper (this was what i said several years ago too!). so in the end, this was an expensive experiment, but i hope this information can help others in their LCD buying endeavors :p

thanks to John_Reed for his recommendation. i didn't go with it, but it certainly is a viable option!

hai

John_Reed
12-20-2004, 10:52 PM
So I guess I haven't noticed a problem with "ghosting," though I also wonder if your video graphics card is up to the task of moving the data around on that big screen to keep up with the action? Whatever, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. :(

DigitalEyeBall
12-21-2004, 05:36 AM
Hi... we have used the Apple 23 LCD's now for 2 years. Both the previous model and latest models have proven to be good for digital imaging work. However, LCD's, including the Apple LCD's did suffer at the dark/shadow end of things a little with subtle shadow details not always being discernable. So we bit the bullet, swallowed the PR blurbs about the EIZO ColorEdge range of LCD's and bought one to test.

We love it! It was a simple task to calibrate the unit with an Eye-One Display calibration unit (a MUST to get the best from this LCD!). We set the brightness to 80cmd2 - same as our Artisan, and the gamma to 2.2 and the resulting shadow/highlights details are terrific. Skin Tones are simply beautiful and we can get an excellent match to our printed images using Photoshop's softproofing profile setup.

Is it worth more than three times the cost of another 19 LCD? Mmmm... may be not .. but having spent the money, we now fight to use this particular LCD over the larger Apple 23 Display. We are now seriously considering getting another .

haikai
12-21-2004, 07:43 AM
So I guess I haven't noticed a problem with "ghosting," though I also wonder if your video graphics card is up to the task of moving the data around on that big screen to keep up with the action? Whatever, I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. :(

i run an nvidia 6800 which i think should be easily capable of powering the display. i also tested the monitor with the workstations we have at my workplace with the same results (using a Wildcat 3 6110 which, although not a recent card, is still a powerhouse for driving high resolution displays). perhaps i got a defective monitor? i kind of doubt it because everything else about it worked so well.


Hi... we have used the Apple 23 LCD's now for 2 years. Both the previous model and latest models have proven to be good for digital imaging work. However, LCD's, including the Apple LCD's did suffer at the dark/shadow end of things a little with subtle shadow details not always being discernable. So we bit the bullet, swallowed the PR blurbs about the EIZO ColorEdge range of LCD's and bought one to test.

We love it! It was a simple task to calibrate the unit with an Eye-One Display calibration unit (a MUST to get the best from this LCD!). We set the brightness to 80cmd2 - same as our Artisan, and the gamma to 2.2 and the resulting shadow/highlights details are terrific. Skin Tones are simply beautiful and we can get an excellent match to our printed images using Photoshop's softproofing profile setup.

Is it worth more than three times the cost of another 19 LCD? Mmmm... may be not .. but having spent the money, we now fight to use this particular LCD over the larger Apple 23 Display. We are now seriously considering getting another .

now you're making me jealous :p still, as much as i'd like an Eizo ColorEdge, my bank account isn't going to be happy if i went with it (and knowing my luck, it still may not cure my visions of ghosting!). i'm glad to hear a user's experience with it though, especially in comparison to another LCD i was considering, the Apple Cinema Display. oh, well... maybe one day i can convince my workplace to get us one too! ;)

Hai