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Thread: Monitors - Premium IPS vs Reasonable TN in the real world

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    Monitors - Premium IPS vs Reasonable TN in the real world

    OK, I'm trying to decide on a monitor. I know there are a ton of threads on this, and IPS monitors with calibration etc. The problem is I am having trouble justifying the price differences. I've just decided to pull the trigger on a new PC so need to buy a monitor to go with it. My options are:


    1. Dell U2410 24inch IPS 1.07 billion colours - the bees knees! $578 (Harris) Specs here.
    2. Dell U2311 23inch IPS 16 million colours - This is IPS but doesn't have the colour range of the other?? $248 (Harris) Specs here.
    3. Dell ST2420 24inch TN panel 16 million colours - $268 (local JBs) Specs here.


    Now I know what the purists will say, just buy the 2410 and to a level I agree. I don't however do much printing, but my clients might print my photos. To date I have been using a 5 year old Dell monitor which I find very good and I've never really noticed any issues. One set of prints came out very dark, but I wonder if that was more a result of the cheap printers I used.

    In the real world, how much difference is there!?!? Is it worth the premium of spending more than twice as much!?!?! Who has gone from TN to the 2410 IPS and noticed the difference and could say it was worth the price premium?
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    I have the older version of the U2410 - the 2408 - and an Eizo ColorEdge 24" and have used cheaper monitors. I would definitely choose the best screen you can afford. I use them side by side and the Eizo is noticeably better than my Dell, which is superior to the cheaper screens you list above. One would expect this of course, given how much more the Eizo costs, but the point I think is that even monitors that we think of as expensive are not always great for photography.

    My Dell is not easy to calibrate, varies in brightness day to day and sometimes shows banding in images that have subtle gradations of tone. This last issue, which is much worse with cheaper screens, is a real pain for photographers because it makes it difficult to tell whether the fault is with the image or not.

    I understand the U2410 is improved over the 2408 and lots of photographers use them, so it would no doubt be quite serviceable - and they're great for things other than photography - but I would not buy a lesser screen if I could afford the U2410.

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    I just bought a 2311 on sale for $248. At this price it's hard to justify a TN panel at all. The different between them is night and day to me. My old TN panel was very poor at consistency across the panel.
    If you can afford the 2410 then I'd certainly recommend it. Your monitor will serve you for years and is a worthwhile investment.

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    A royal pain in the bum! arthurking83's Avatar
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    If you can justify the slight expense of the U2410, I reckon you should do it.

    I got myself a cheapo LG 24" a while back now, and back then was on a very strict budget(it is TN technology) and while it calibrates well(Spyder3 and BasICColor calibration software), and the colours and contrast are perfectly set when compared to a print, the big issue is tonality(with respect to colour graduation ... ie. posterization .. not tone brightness!). I see lots of posterization in images that simply doesn't exist in most cases(printed for proof).
    That's why you want the aRGB ability(10 billion colors), and 8bit(or 10bit capability in the screen hardware).
    I think that the U2410 is true 8bit capable(whereas most lower grade screens are only 6bit hardware technology), and the U2711 is supposedly 10 bit, but apparently not true 10 bit. I think(I read) it was supposedly 8 bit hardware with some 10 bit software trickery.

    I note that Harris have the U2711 for $768 ATM, which is slightly cheaper than Dell's site, and is what I want now ... think.
    My reasoning is that, you buy it once and then forget about it for the next ten years .. the additional cost will fade in oblivion.

    It seems that the better the hardware tech in the screen, the easier and more accurately it calibrates.

    I can't give you a direct comparison between a cheap TN type screen and a higher quality IPS screen to see the actual real world difference, but I have noted that on images of mine, where I've seen posterization, I don't see the same level of posterization on Andrew's(I@M) Eizo. It's not much, and when I do see this posterization(usually in the blue channel), I tend to tone down the processing in the image(just to be sure), but I may be doing this where I don't really need to be.
    (that's the problem with cheaper screens.. what you see is not necessarily what you're getting).
    Of course this will depend on the software you use to process the images, the colourspace you're editing in, and other such variables.
    FWIW, the 16million colour screens are only really sRGB capable, whereas the 10billion colour screens are aRGB capable.
    If you work in the aRGB colourspace then it makes sense to get an aRGB capable screen(I think??.. well that's the theory, anyhow!).
    It kind of makes sense(doesn't it?) but the whole point of the calibration process, is that it interpolates the colours to suit the screen.

    As a side note: I've been eyeing off and contemplating the idea of getting a Dell ST2220T screen as well(I can hand down this current LG screen to the kids) as this ST2220T is a touch screen. Thinking that it may work well as a pseudo graphics tablet for some basic and simple touch and tweak 'processing'. TFT seem to have given this screen a good calibration report, and they reckon the touch screen capability seem to be quite reasonable and accurate(considering it's a screen and not a tablet I suppose).
    It is only a 21.5" screen, but I think the touch screen capability makes it worth the price.... $379 on the Dell site(haven't seen it listed anywhere else).

    I've briefly played with a few touch screen capable PC's in at OfficeWorks(HP's I think) and I gotta say they were woeful! Going from that experience, I'd never even contemplate one as it was slow and unresponsive.
    TFTC reckon a 15ms response time on the DELL, but I reckon it was more like 15mins on these HPs! .. lots of ghosting and you had to be really deliberate with your movements. But I can see the value in them, if they work well that is.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arthurking83 View Post
    I note that Harris have the U2711 for $768 ATM, which is slightly cheaper than Dell's site, and is what I want now ... think.
    My reasoning is that, you buy it once and then forget about it for the next ten years .. the additional cost will fade in oblivion.
    Keep a eye on the Dell outlet site. I picked up my band new U2711 for just over $600.00 a little while ago.

    Figured the same as you on biting the bullet and spending the extra bucks.
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    Hi Sean,
    How are you finding the Dell U2711? Do you calibrate it or just using preset mode (like AdobeRGG?). The anti-glare screen is quite annoying to me at times but I love the 2560x1440 screen.
    Quang

    Quote Originally Posted by ausguitarman View Post
    Keep a eye on the Dell outlet site. I picked up my band new U2711 for just over $600.00 a little while ago.

    Figured the same as you on biting the bullet and spending the extra bucks.
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    Have a Dell U2711 which I purchased to replace and old Samsung 19inch (and ti wasnt much good for Lightroom editing). Had the Dell for about 3 months and I find it fanstastic fro photos.

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    Well I did it, I bought an IPS screen and rather than buy the U2410 I listed above, I thought well if I am going to buy a decent monitor I might as well go for something that I'll not outgrow in a hurry. I bought a U2711.

    I have only had it plugged in for a short while and not side by side with my old PVA screen, but my REAL WORLD first impressions are that IPS is worth the money. The consistancy of colour is simply brilliant across the screen no matter the viewing angle which in my mind is a massive plus. How often do you look at an image and wonder if it is right and then sit up in your chair changing the angle slightly and it changes colour! (well it happened to me a fair bit on my old PVA screen). The antiglare screen that I was also worried about is not an issue at all, I love it.

    I'm really impressed with this so far, now to learn how to set it up properly. I'll update here when I get it set up properly and I do some comparisons on images.

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    Picked and old post but think it has a good starting point for my doubts...yes, still have doubts with the Dell U2410 after reading lots of info on the forum

    - Screen Resolution, is it 1920x1200 enough for the 24" screen of the U2410? comparing with my 13,3" macbook that has 113 PPI the Dell should be only 94 PPI, the extra pixel size would it be noticeable?

    - 1.07 Billion colors! sounds amazing but can I take advantage of them in real life? more specifically would my camera (Nikon D90), computer (2009 Macbook with OS Lion) support them? even more, will normal printing equipment (not personal printer but when you print on a store) handle all the colors?

    Im was almost decided as finally Dell has listed it in their chilean website but they also listed the U2312 for half the price, main difference is the number of colors supported so it got me thinking again
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Patagonia. Although I generally agree about having an IPS monitor, I still haven't got one. It's because I didn't know about them at the time I got my current and still very good ASUS 241H. This is a 24 inch (and full 24" across the diagonal) model running 1920x1200 pixels. In all other respects it's tops. I get the same pixel pitch (measured horizontally) as you, and I can say that at the viewing distance I use, 50-60 cm, - and with reading glasses - I cannot see the pixels.

    (It may not produce "100% colour accuracy" as perhaps a calibrated IPS screen, but any printing I do is very close to what I get on screen.)

    Am.
    Last edited by ameerat42; 29-02-2012 at 12:59pm.
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