Luminous Landscape Forum

Raw & Post Processing, Printing => Digital Image Processing => Topic started by: Ray on July 29, 2005, 07:55:12 PM

Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on July 29, 2005, 07:55:12 PM
Quote
and as for the price, i believe you can even get it cheaper than 1000$ us now....i have even seen it for around 800$!!
Such equipment is usually cheaper in the US because of the larger market, but I see that Dell are now offering this monitor at A$200 less than just a few days ago. It's now the equivalent of US$1000 and about the same price as the LaCie 22" CRT in Australia.

To cause even more indecision, Lacie produce a 21" LCD, the 321, which is getting rave reviews. Amongst other features it boasts a 10 bit gamma correction (as opposed to the usual 6 or 8 bit for most LCDs), and a CRT-grade color gamut of 72% NTSC. (Is 72% of NTSC good? I wouldn't know  :D ).

The current price in Australia is almost exactly double the 22" CRT. I doubt that LaCie are making an LCD monitor that's better than their top of the line CRT. Perhaps almost as good, so it seems if you want an LCD monitor as good as a CRT and the same size, you have to pay at least double the price. Would this be right?  :D
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 31, 2005, 12:27:10 AM
Quote
Keep in mind that any adjustments to the display other than the analog brightness adjustment on the monitor will alter the video card's LUT tables reducing the number of luminosity values per 8-bit channel you have to display on the monitor.
Hmm, good point, and stupid of me to forget that possibility.

While you're probably right in this case, it is not given that it's the driver's adjustment of brightness and contrast that's the most detrimental to color accuracy. It depends on the quality of the panel's controls -- how badly does the panel take to squeezing gain (contrast), and what happens when you squeeze the backlighting -- and exactly what the graphics driver is tweaking in the first place.

It is, for instance, entirely possible that ATI's display drivers utilize MCCS to send at least some of the brightness/contrast/gamma/geometry/whatever adjustment commands to the display panel. That's what MCCS is there for, but ATI of course doesn't document whether they're using that, nor does Dell.

I've contacted ATI support with a set of questions regarding exactly what the gamma, brightness and contrast controls do, since that is completely undocumented. Well, except for "RTFB", which is beyond my combined patience and capability.

Quote
In plain english that means that your monitor will suffer in color accuracy and is probably why you are having issues with softproofing (not counting many other variables such as light...)
Yes, that's absolutely a plausible explanation.

I'll keep on checking with alternate methods; I've just downloaded trial versions of MCCS aware applications, and I'll see if these give me greater control over the actual panel settings.

It may just be that the verdict "not suitable for color critical work" is warranted. If that is so, I'll definitely return the panel to Dell and say, "sorry, not good enough", and order a LaCie 321 if it's still in stock. I'd rather sacrifice the 320x1200 pixels of real estate than predictability and color accuracy.




Now for an excursion into the joys of the predictability of vendor software:

I've spent a few hours now researching how this brightness/contrast thing might work, so I may (yet again) be a bit too tired to do this properly, but I created a Granger test chart to see if it would be possible to see and problems with the display. I have, after all, calibrated the Samsung successfully (that is, without resorting to software controls).

Thanks to Windows's actually well-functioning Control+PrintScreen function, I was able to capture a screenshot of the Granger chart as I had placed it on the divider of the two monitors:

http://folk.uio.no/jani....405.PNG (http://folk.uio.no/jani/hobbies/photo/test/calibration/Granger-710T-vs-2405.PNG) (587 KB)

What you should see here, is that the right side of the chart (Dell) shows clearly worse color gradations than the left (Samsung). That is, unless your monitor is really, really bad. I can even see the differences on the.

That I couldn't see this last night either might suggest that I was incredibly tired (how did I find my bed?), or that something changes with logout/login. And in case someone wants me to check the obvious: No, Adobe Gamma is not running at startup.

So what's happened?

Well, late at night yesterday, I did an attempt at finding some software controls for the disabled OSD settings, working from the assumption that adjusting things in the monitor would be better than doing it from ATI's control panel. I then noticed that there was one part of the monitor installation disk I'd ignored, and that was a document describing what Dell calls "driver installation". "Aha!" thought I, that's where I'll find the controls for better adjustment!

Guess what it does. :cool:

It does three things that I have noticed:

1) Updates the driver information database.
2) Installs Dell's factory profile to Windows' profile directory.
3) Removes the custom profiles from the available list, and sets the factory profile as the default.

Thanks, Dell, that was helpful. You could have at least asked sometime during the installation process whether I might want to keep my recent profile active or not.

For the record, the Granger chart now only looks slightly different on the two displays, and the difference is in a slightly softer and smoother expression on the Samsung (which has higher pixel density). If I'd left the brightness at minus whatever, the Samsung would clearly dispaly a wider range of colour intensities.


I'll try recalibrating for a higher luminance target when I'm awake again. And then I'll turn my critical eye back on.

Using that Granger chart may just have been one of the more clever things I've tried.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 01, 2005, 07:05:15 AM
Quote
but Samsung's pride and joy would appear to be its new 82" true high definition LCD TV (1920x1080), 1200:1 contrast ratio; color gamut of 92% NTSC and of course, super PVA. Phwoar!
But can you calibrate it?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 01, 2005, 08:11:35 PM
Quote
Perhaps I should not be so dismissive. It's probably good for all purposes other than critical work involving a high degree of color accuracy. After all, you've spent good money on this monitor and I believe it is good value. Just not ideal for photoshop nuts   .
Well, I'd go one step further, and say that it could be good for PS nuts, too. Just not for people who are particular about equivalent color representation on the display and on print.

But it does require quite a lot of ambient lighting to do that. A regular desk lamp with an 11 watt tube and mirror placed just above the screen and helps ... wait, here's a couple of images explaining it better:

(http://folk.uio.no/jani/hobbies/photo/test/DSC00023_desklamp.jpg)
(http://folk.uio.no/jani/hobbies/photo/test/DSC00022_2405andlamp.jpg)

Okay, the lighting should obviously be a bit more even, but the point stands: ambient lighting helps, because there's less strain on the eyes.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 03, 2005, 11:59:02 AM
Quote
Quote
If you are at all serious about making prints you know you will have to calibrate the monitor and probably get custom profiles for your printer.
Of course, and I'm deliberating whether I should get the Blue-Eye Pro with the LaCie 321 (for hardware-to-hardware calibration), or if I should get the Eye-One Photo and have the option of making my own custom print profiles.
The Blue-Eye is nothing more than the original Eye-One (not the Eye-One 2) and according to DryCreek  (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm)the Eye-One 2 will turn out better calibration results.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 11, 2005, 03:51:58 PM
well then i must be doing something wrong. i hae had the dell for a month now, have tried calibrating it i dont know how many times, it is always too bright. it is absolutely a beautiful screen, but i just cant get the image to match the printout (or vice versa). the screen is always much brighter, and when i say much i mean much. can anyone suggest what the best way to remedy the situation is..short of buying another screen.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 13, 2005, 11:00:57 PM
no the monitor is too bright, that is the prints are not at all what i see on the monitor (after calibration of course, i use monaco xrite). it is not that the image that i see on the monitor is necessarily too bright, it is just that the print is not at all as bright as the image on the monitor. i dont think it's the calibration device, i have used it before to calibrate other screens with a higher level of success. i dont know what the problem is with this dell, i just can't calibrate it even close enough. very very annoying.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on August 15, 2005, 12:03:41 AM
Quote
well then i must be doing something wrong. i hae had the dell for a month now, have tried calibrating it i dont know how many times, it is always too bright. it is absolutely a beautiful screen, but i just cant get the image to match the printout (or vice versa). the screen is always much brighter, and when i say much i mean much. can anyone suggest what the best way to remedy the situation is..short of buying another screen.
That's easy. Increase ambient light to match the screen. Any monitor-print match will only be valid for one lighting condition. Increasing ambient makes the print brighter and the monitor relatively darker; decreasing ambient has the opposite effect. If your monitor is "too bright" it's because your room is "too dark".
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 16, 2005, 08:46:21 PM
Jonathan,
Notice I mentioned this kludge fix as a last resort if the brighter lighting doesn't fix the problem. Increasing the lighting under which the print is viewed will certainly make a dark print look lighter but it does not have a reciprocal effect on the image on the screen, ie. make the screen image look darker; rather it makes the screen image look washed out and less contrasty.

I get the impression Abaazov's prints are still slightly too dark in bright daylight. If that's the case, he needs to create the conditions such that the screen image looks darker. I assume that the monitor's brightness adjustments are already at a minimum, therefore the only alternative I see is the kludge approach I suggested, unless Abaazov is able to get a different calibration result through perseverance and use of different settings, reducing the RGB values through the video adaptor and/or the monitor's controls, whatever.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 17, 2005, 12:21:46 PM
well for whatever its worth guys, and obviously i am no expert, like i said before, i believe the color rendition to be quite accurate. in the monitor calibration process, i changed the room lighting parameter to dim and recalibrated a few times and i have gotten respectable results. i must point out again though that the final product varies greatly depending on the paper i use, namely with the premium luster the printout is very very good. i have done a few more tests with velvet fine art and the last couple of prints are pretty darn good. but i would have to do more tests with "tougher" images to be sure, although thats no fun given the cost of this beautiful paper. with the enhanced matte i am still having problems, i am using the epson profiles. either way, every single print, regardless of paper, looks much better and much truer when viewed in daylight, and i guess thats the way i want it. for my money this screen is worth it, as i am not a professional, and i doubt i'll be hanging up my prints in any gallery anytime soon.

amnon
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on July 23, 2005, 12:15:07 AM
hi, i just got the dell 2405. i was wondering if anyone out there has it, and if you could advise me as to the parameters to use when calibrating it. i am using monaco optix xr.
also, when i plug the monitor using the dvi outlet, i have no contrast option. does that make a difference when i calibrate? should i be using the dvi outlet?
thanks...
amnon
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 29, 2005, 09:06:55 PM
Here are some preliminary results after calibration, and impressions from the calibration process, which is a first-timer for me, although I've been convinced that calibration is healthy for a good while. Maybe someone will find this useful, perhaps the more recent members?


Introduction

I calibrated my recently acquired Dell 2405FPW (and my old Samsung SyncMaster 710T) with a borrowed Eye-One Proof set. The result was (unsurprisingly) an improvement over Adobe Gamma, but unfortunately not as good predictability for prints as I'd hoped. Printer calibration may rectify that. Viewing quality is pleasing, and I'm pretty sure I can live with the 2405FPW after this.


Setup and Equipment

As a minor note, I'd like to point out that it's very convenient to have a secondary monitor to place program windows in when the initial steps of the calibration process are done. It's especially important on DVI connected displays, where e.g. contrast is set in software rather than through the OSD (on-screen display).

My relevant equipment is:

Displays: Dell 2405FPW and Samsung SyncMaster 710T
Graphics adapter: Sapphire Radeon 9800 Pro Atlantis
Printer: Epson R1800
Photo editing software: Adobe Photoshop CS2
Profiling/calibration: Eye-One Proof (borrowed from a friend's workplace, lucky me!)


The Profiling and Calibration Process

Since there were no instructions in the box (they have been misplaced, I suppose), I just inserted the CD and installed Eye-One Match 3 from there.

I started the software, and the user interface seemed quite okay. I selected monitor profiling, and advanced mode.

The first menu meeting me to select LCD, CRT or Laptop, so I changed to LCD from the default CRT.

The next menu asks me to select target white point, gamma and luminance.

This is where 2405 owners must beware; setting the target luminance to the LCD recommendation of 140 is only possible through the use of adjustments in the graphics driver combined with those of the OSD. Keep in mind that a warmer white point makes it easier to reach the LCD recommendation of 140.

I've tried setting the target white point to both 5000 and 6500. 5000 is what they recommend for proofing, and that's what I've ended up using.

I left gamma at 2.2.

At this point, I'm allowed to make an ambient light measurement. I already suspected that the ambient lighting in my apartment's workroom/guestroom wasn't up to par, and measuring as advised shows that while the luminance level is surprisingly good, the color temperature is approximately 2900 K instead of the recommended 5200 K. Oops. But there's nothing I can do about that right now; I probably have to repaint the walls and get white bookcases. ::

The next step is to calibrate the Eye-One. That was really easy, just placing the device on the holder with the ceramic calibration tile. A minor annoyance is that if you go back and forth between the steps, then you're still required to re-calibrate the device, which is an annoying waste of time. I'd like to be able to say "no, thanks, I just calibrated the thing, remember it for me".

Now to what turned out to be a tricky step; placing the Eye-One on the monitor, and as close to the center as possible. This is a problem both with my Samsung 710T and the Dell 2405FPW, and I suspect with any LCD, until the operator's brain engages and notices that the rubber band connecting the counterweight and the LCD holder is adjustable.

A more serious problem is that unless I tilt my monitor a bit or drag the USB cable underneath and behind the monitor, the LCD holder has a tendency to not lay flat, but rather leave a small gap at the bottom. This creates an uneven pressure, which of course can result in coloring artifacts near the top. And that's where the sensor is closest to.

Now comes the "bummer" for those of us using a DVI display: adjusting the contrast. I can do this by right-clicking on the empty desktop and selecting "ATI CATALYST™ Control Center", selecting View->Advanced View, and "Color" from the Graphics Settings. Then I'll see a nice contrast slider. At this point, it's wise to check that you're adjusting the right graphics adapter, as in the one controlling the monitor you plan to calibrate ...

While the Eye-One Match 3 instructions tell you to "Set the contrast to 100%", this means that the ATI contrast slider should be set to 200 (the maximum). I hope. :cool: I leave the other settings ("Gamma" and "Brightness" in their neutral positions, 1.0 and 100 respectively.

Clicking on "start" then initiates the procedure for locating where I've placed the Eye-One. When that's done, it's just an easy matter of resetting the contrast to a sane value, which is indicated by a black bar being as close to the middle of a green field (and a zero above it) as possible. For my graphics card and the 2405FPW, a contrast setting of 105 has consistently proven to be the nearest I can get.

The next step, RGB adjustments for setting the white point, is another tricky one with the 2405. There are two choices; RGB controls or RGB presets. The recommendation is to use the controls if the monitor supports it, and that is true for both my monitors.

The first attempt failed spectacularly when the Eye-One failed completely to detect adjustments in the blue channel above "50" (the midpoint), while I could clearly see the colors change onscreen. Ouch. I went back and wiped the ceramic tile for self-calibration with a lens microfiber cloth, and with the next two attempts, the Eye-One cooperated. I then did another calibration just for the sake of writing this up, and now suddenly the red channel adjustments above midpoint were undetected. Restarting the adjustment procedure for RGB doesn't help, setting the correct red channel value becomes guesswork. Am I supposed to be at 51, 52 or 53? My only clues are the changes in green and blue. Redoing the calibration yields the same problems with red. That's three failures out of five attempts.

Now to set the luminance. On my display, I had to set the OSD setting to 0 -- zero, and the Catalyst brightness slider to -87 (139.4-139.6 cd/m^2) or -86 (140.3-140.5 cd/m^2).

The final step is the easiest, the one where the Eye-One measures all the colors and hopefully shows some good results.

Edit:
During the last run, I also had a temporary problem with a green cast to the black background when the device was doing the last step of profiling. I aborted the step, touched the bottom part of the device, and restarted that last step. No cast.

But after this step, there is no stepping back to the previous point, and that's very bad user interface design. What if I want to rerun the last step because I realized I'd accidentally touched a color, brightness, contrast or gamma control and the result sucked? Well, obviously, I have to close the program completely. Come on!


So, What About the Results?

Here's a summary of the last runs tonight:

Run 4:

Color temperature is excellent, spot on. Ditto for gamma. Luminance is off; the target of 140 isn't reached, the measured luminance is 182.7. The minimum luminance measured is 0.9. That doesn't seem so bad.

Run 5 (attempting to detect changes in red again):

Color temperature is 4900 (off by 100 K), gamma is 2.1 (off by 0.1), luminance is 179.8 (off by 39.8). The minimum luminance measured is 4.5, and the screen's contrast is lousy.

I'm sticking to the profile from run 4.


The Important Part: How Good Does It Look?

Looking at a selection of a handful of images that I took on July 2nd, the colors look slightly more natural than they did before. And yes, the difference is only slight, compared to the manual adjustments I performed with Adobe Gamma. But shadow detail and gradation is also slightly better, and I see a marked improvement in the highlights; that's where my real gain has been.

Why did my highlights improve? Well, the color temperature has come down from around 6000 K to 5000 K, the contrast is up by 5%, and the brightness is down by a lot. These were the things that Adobe Gamma couldn't do for my eyes, and I've had as clear an advantage from profiling as I've expected and hoped for.

The Prints

The printer uses the canned profiles from Epson. I had a vague hope that I could use the Eye-One Proof to calibrate this one for my selection of papers (it's supposed to support "RGB easy"), but I could find no way to work around the error message for selecting an RGB printer.

For testing, I selected a picture of a rose, taken on a sunny day:

(http://folk.uio.no/jani/hobbies/photo/test/24-70L-AF/crop/_MG_3523_crop.jpg)

Soft-proofing revealed that a lot of the background, particularly the darker areas, were well out of gamut for one of my chosen papers of the day, Epson Premium Glossy Photo. The other paper, Ilford Galerie Smooth Pearl, did not show as much out-of-gamut (huh?). For the Epson paper, I created a hue/saturation adjustment layer based on a fuzzy selection of the out-of-gamut colors, and tuned down the saturation until I was close to in-gamut. I also did one version where I just converted to the Epson paper's profile before printing.

The results were somewhat surprising. The printed images are very similar in color tones, but the color balance is different from what I see on my monitor. The rose looks more pink on screen (regardless of soft proofing or not), and I'm tempted to say that the image on paper is both more red and yellow, and slightly less natural-looking. I think the representation on-screen (pre-softproofing) is closer to what the rose really looked like. But the yellow on this printer is really good.

Ilford's supplied profile for smooth pearl seems definitely better than the canned profile for Epson's own papers, or it's the paper itself. The Ilford paper's color gradations are smooth and nice, whereas Epson's paper seems to give me something similar to a posterization effect in the yellow, green and dark green transitions, especially visible in the lower right corner. This is visible in the soft proof, too. The Epson paper seems to deliver a wee bit more detail, but I didn't use USM, Focus Magic or anything similar to bring out the details in the first place, so it's really hard to tell. I think I'll be using smooth pearl quite a bit in the future, though.


Ruminations On Quality and Results

While some of the things I write may indicate that I'm unhappy with the performance of the calibration device -- which would be a correct observation -- I think that there may be reasons other than quality control on the manufacturer's side here.

For one thing, it was a borrowed device, it's been used many times by the owner. The way the device is constructed, it's entirely possible for dust to accumulate near and around the sensor. It's also possible for dust and grime to do their worst on the ceramic calibration tile. This probably happens when the owner/user isn't careful enough with handling. I'll be sure to notify the owner about this when I return it, their own calibration results may be off by quite a bit if they don't pay attention.

I'm mostly satisfied with the results for my part, though I wonder what I can do to fix that imprecision with red/yellow, except re-profiling, re-calibrating and hoping for the best. And if I squeeze things in that end, will my blues, cyans and magentas suffer next?


Conclusion

The Dell 2405FPW can definitely be profiled and calibrated, and it resulted in a clear improvement on both measurable and perceived image quality. This is in spite of technical problems with the profiling process.

Soft proofing still leaves a bit to desired for accuracy, but I'll work a bit on that by re-profiling and re-calibrating a few times more.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on July 30, 2005, 09:44:21 PM
Quote
The results were somewhat surprising. The printed images are very similar in color tones, but the color balance is different from what I see on my monitor. The rose looks more pink on screen (regardless of soft proofing or not), and I'm tempted to say that the image on paper is both more red and yellow, and slightly less natural-looking. I think the representation on-screen (pre-softproofing) is closer to what the rose really looked like. But the yellow on this printer is really good.
Jani,
Thanks for taking the trouble to describe your calibration attempts. The impression I'm getting is that you basically haven't succeeded in a proper calibration yet. As you say, it could be because the calibrator has been knocked around a bit, or maybe the canned Epson profiles you are using are simply not accurate enough.

I'm using an Epson 7600 with Bill Atkinson profiles. What I see on my 5 year old 19" Viewsonic CRT does not quite match the printed output interms of red saturation and over all 'pop'. But what I see with softproof on and 'simulate white paper' ticked does match the print output almost exactly.

I usually make a copy of the broadly adjusted image and fine tune that in relation to a specific paper profile with softproof on. This usually involves making a general increase in saturation (or specifically just the reds) and perhaps a local contrast adjustment.

The whole point of calibration is to provide the confidence that, when you hit the print button, the results are going to match what you expect and what you see on your monitor in all respects; degree of shadow detail, accuracy of colour and tone etc.

You don't seem to have arrived at this state yet, with your 2405.

I'm relying on you, Jani, to get a perfect match before I make the decision to buy this LCD monitor  .
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 10:22:30 AM
Quote
But can you calibrate it?
Or more to the point, can you calibrate it sufficiently well to make viewing your photos on it, as a slide show, a pleasurable experience, which might even save lots of ink and paper.  :D
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 03, 2005, 09:10:34 AM
Quote
jani, what is that contraption you have unearthed?? is there another, simpler way to get more ambient light? i'mnot sure i understand, is ambient light supposed to make everything else around me brighter, to compensate for the brightness of the screen? if i decrease the brightness on a monitor that has been calibrated, does that render the calibration completely useless?
It's not a contraption, it's just a regular desklamp, for illustrating the point about needing more ambient light.

Ambient light is the light around you, generated by the Sun, reflections, light bulbs, light tubes, ...

Having brighter ambient light in the workroom works just the same way as the difference of looking at a window to the sunny outside and being in the sunny outside.

But it's still just a poor solution for the problem.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 11:03:27 AM
Perhaps I should not be so dismissive. It's probably good for all purposes other than critical work involving a high degree of color accuracy. After all, you've spent good money on this monitor and I believe it is good value. Just not ideal for photoshop nuts  :D .
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 11, 2005, 11:31:16 PM
I've got no experience calibrating LCD screens. Best ask those people at Rob Galbraith's site what the secret is  :D .
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 13, 2005, 10:30:26 PM
Quote
ok, but it wont do anything to help me with the calibration problem, i.e. after calibrating the monitor the prints are too bright. or will it?

Sorry, I'm not followng. You saying the prints might be too bright if the abmient lighting was higher?

Quote
The big question with the Dell 24" is whether the brightness control on the monitor is just playing with the numbers coming in, or whether it's actually putting less juice into the backlighting.

If the latter is the case, and providing it doesn't sacrifice 'evenness' in the backlighting, and calibration still works OK, then why shouln't this monitor be quite satisfactory?

-Milt
There is no question that the brightness controll on the monitor is adjusting the backlight; it is.

The problem is that with the backlight at its dimmest, the monitor is still too bright.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 15, 2005, 01:35:53 AM
is there a simple way to measure ambient light?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on August 16, 2005, 12:17:45 PM
And when you view the print in proper lighting it will be all jacked up. Ray, you should be ashamed of yourself.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jacquescornell on August 21, 2005, 12:55:20 AM
Quote
2750K means that your ambient light has a strong red/orange cast compared to your monitor, and you should definitely not use that light to do monitor-print comparisons. in order for such comparisons to be meaningful, luminance and color temp need to be as close as possible. Buy a halogen lamp or something.
Better yet, put a $15, 15W, "5000K" screw-in flourescent bulb in a gooseneck desklamp and position it over your printer's output tray. Mine's a Rolite, and my color meter measured it as 5700K.

As for comments on brightness earlier in this thread, the solution to an overly bright monitor is not to view the prints in brighter light. You should view the prints under illumination typical of display conditions, and your monitor should be adjusted to match that brightness. At 180cd/m2, the monitor is too bright, and prints will look dark and dingy under typical indoor illumination. You'd have to shine a floodlamp on the prints to make them look as bright as the monitor. Hence the need to get the monitor down to 120-140cd/m2.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on July 28, 2005, 09:29:33 AM
Abaazov,
Have you succeeded in calibrating this monitor yet, using the DVI input? The Dell 2405FPW seems to be remarkably good value with very impressive specifications; contrast ratio of 1000:1; brightness 500 cd/m2; native resolution 1920x1200; PVA technology for rich blacks that rival those of CRT; a host of interface choices, including DVI, YUV, S-Video and RCA; 8 bit processing per channel and a price tag of around US$1000.

I guess a major disappointment is the DVI interface does not support HDCP which would be needed for encrypted HDTV signals.

I'm thinking of getting one but I'd like some feedback from someone who has used this monitor with Photoshop and successfully calibrated it.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on July 29, 2005, 11:25:38 PM
Keep in mind that any adjustments to the display other than the analog brightness adjustment on the monitor will alter the video card's LUT tables reducing the number of luminosity values per 8-bit channel you have to display on the monitor.

In plain english that means that your monitor will suffer in color accuracy and is probably why you are having issues with softproofing (not counting many other variables such as light...)

For best results and color critical work this monitor is too bright and the only solutions to reducing the luminosity of it are either;
1. Don't use this monitor for photo editing
...or...
2. Install a dimmer switch in the back of the monitor to further reduce backlight brightness. Now that would be an interesting project...
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on July 31, 2005, 09:42:46 PM
Quote
There's always the Samsung 213T. It's not the fanciest LCD technology, but luminance with default settings is about 120 cd/m (down from approximately 140 a year ago when it was new) and it calibrates very nicely.
The Samsung 213T seems a bit overpriced in Australia. Don't know about Norway. In US dollars, it's $1500 over here as opposed to $1950 for the LaCie 321. Since the 213T has been around for a couple of years now, perhaps it's due for a price drop as people ceased to be impressed with its slow response time of 25ms and low brightness of 250cd/m2, which of course is of no concern to Photoshop users, I know.

The other issue is 10 bit grayscale. It seems very few monitors are capable of this range. I don't believe the 213T is, because it's not advertised. I could be wrong. The LaCie 321 is definitely 10 bit. In fact, the only negative I've read about the LaCie 321 is the awkwardness of the tilt and swivel mechanism.

What disturbs me about the 213T is the occasional 'less than flattering' review, so I wonder if the Samsung, whilst exceptional when it first came out, is now behind the times.

The following comment is from a recent review (April 2005).

Quote
To test the 213T's color we used Colorvision's Spyder2 Pro Studio. This product enables user to test and calibrate the color of their CRT or LCD display.
The overall color representation of the 213T is acceptable, but not amazing. The Spyder2 showed us that the monitor at 100% brightness was producing about 228 cdm/2, a bit below the advertised brightness. As far as color accuracy is concerned the 213T did a pretty good job, though like many LCD monitors it had trouble producing reds accurately. This will not effect most users but if you are into graphic design you will probably want to get a tool like the Spyder2 in order to calibrate it properly. The use of DVI, which meant the colors could not be changed with the OSD, left the monitor looking cool and bluish before calibration and a bit warm and reddish afterwards. These issues can be more or less fixed with calibration but the color accuracy on the 213T is not the best out there.

Graphic designers who are extremely picky about their color may have some qualms with the 213T. Though the display had good contrast and excellent reproduction of dark colors the overall color representation could be improved upon. It was certainly acceptable, and better than most other monitors this size, but professional users may be happier with the Dell 2001FP, which is a bit smaller, but has the edge in this respect.

Of course, the explanation could be simple. The reviewers simply don't know what they're doing. They are not as expert as Jonathan.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 01, 2005, 04:16:05 AM
Quote
Quote
There's always the Samsung 213T. It's not the fanciest LCD technology, but luminance with default settings is about 120 cd/m (down from approximately 140 a year ago when it was new) and it calibrates very nicely.
The Samsung 213T seems a bit overpriced in Australia. Don't know about Norway. In US dollars, it's $1500 over here as opposed to $1950 for the LaCie 321.
In Norway, it's about half the price of the LaCie 321 (ca. USD 1100  vs. USD 2200, incl. taxes), though it was almost the same as in Australia just a few months ago.

Reviews are generally positive, but somewhat mixed for the 213T. It seems there is some production variation. But then again, most reviewers don't calibrate.

Among reviewers that calibrate, the NEC 2080UX and 2180UX receive generally better reviews, and the LaCie 321 is reported as a notch above the NECs, particularly because of the better grays. The LaCie reportedly uses the same panel as the 2180UX, but the NEC doesn't have 10-bit gamma correction.

It appears, though, that Samsung has a new display generation on the way. A panel named LTM213U6 is listed as being in production from 2Q 2005, with S-PVA, 1600x1200, contrast ratio of 1000:1, 300 cd/m^2 and 10 ms response time. It also has a wide aspect ratio sibling, the LTM210M2, 1680x1050, 1000:1, 400 cd/m^2 and 8 ms. (samsung.com (http://www.samsung.com/Products/TFTLCD/common/product_list.aspx?family_cd=LCD01))

Perhaps I should just bide my time for a few weeks and see what crops up (the LTM213U6 shouldn't be too bright). But it disturbs me that in the meanwhile, I have to battle with my monitor and printer and not get easily predictable results.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 01, 2005, 10:37:46 PM
jani, what is that contraption you have unearthed?? is there another, simpler way to get more ambient light? i'mnot sure i understand, is ambient light supposed to make everything else around me brighter, to compensate for the brightness of the screen? if i decrease the brightness on a monitor that has been calibrated, does that render the calibration completely useless?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: DarkPenguin on August 11, 2005, 11:43:30 PM
Michael Tapes was in that Rob Galbraith thread.  I would suspect he would provide a nice answer.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 13, 2005, 09:43:35 PM
I think the trouble is, calibration can be a bit tricky in the best of circumstances. Starting off with a monitor that might be more suitable as a TV makes it even more tricky.
The fact that the signal processing is only 8 bit (per channel)seems to me to create some limitations. The more extensive the adjustments required, the higher the bit depth required if the final result in 8 bit is not to be degraded.

What quality would you expect from a digital camera that had an 8 bit A/D converter, or film scanned at 8 bit instead of 16 bit?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 14, 2005, 08:42:26 PM
DAC is a Digital-to-Analog converter that converts digital signal to an analog signal for CRT monitors. I'm guessing since you do not have that on the video card you must not have a D-SUB connector and just have two DVI connectors (a mac?).

I'm also guessing the test you downloaded (which I can't download as their site seems to be down) is testing for writable DAC support which basically refers to the ability to alter the LUTs via the DAC.

There is also DDC (Display Data Channel) which lets the Manaco software adjust the analog monitor controls automaticaly but this is an item that requires special monitor support.

Niether DAC or DDC are required to calibrate a monitor of any sort. The analog brightness adjustments on the LCD are controlled entirely by the LCD and are accesed though the buttons on the front of the LCD.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 15, 2005, 09:20:23 PM
I probably can't help you much. I have no experience calibrating LCDs. It could even be there's some setting that's wrong in the printing procedures you're using. Are you using Photoshop Elements? Are you using a specific profile for the printer and paper type? Are you using proof setup? Do your images have an embedded profile? Have you disabled the printer's handling of color management?

An ambient light reading of 2750k seems very warm. Is this in the evening with tungsten lighting? Daylight is 6500k. I really don't know how you should be using that ambient light reading. I calibrate my CRT to D65 and in the evening I use energy saving lights that claim to emit a cool daylight spectrum. Sometimes the packaging even mentions a temperature of 6500k.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 16, 2005, 11:56:24 PM
Quote
And your impression is not correct anyway, note the following:

Quote
this seems to be especially true when i print on premium luster and colorlife photo paper (epson). on those two papers the print is remarkably similar to what i see on screen when i view them in daylight.
Well, perhaps you're right. Abaazov hasn't made it clear if the prints are too dark in their intended viewing environment or just too dark in a poorly lit working environment in the evening with normal tungsten lighting. I've assumed, rightly or wrongly, they are too dark for hanging on the wall in a room with a reasonable amount of daylight streaming through the windows, as opposed to taking them outside in bright sunlight. If they are not too dark in a normal room in the daytime, then there was never a problem in the first place. When I'm printing in the evening, my prints are also too dark compared with the monitor unless I shine a light on them. I have a table lamp next to my monitor with a D65 globe
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on July 28, 2005, 09:46:22 AM
yes ray i have calibrated it using the dvi input, and yes it is really a very good monitor. it might be just a little too bright, but it is otherwise a great performer. i used monaco optix xr. for photoshop i think it is excellent, and as for the price, i believe you can even get it cheaper than 1000$ us now....i have even seen it for around 800$!!
but i have a technical question that maybe you can answer. when i calibrate the monitor using the dvi input, i dont have any contrast control for calibration. can you explain to me why that is?

amnon
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on July 28, 2005, 02:33:53 PM
If both contrast and color reproduction improve just a bit after calibration, I'll keep* this monitor[/QUOTE]

i think you will be pleasantly surprised....with ca;ibration the improvement was more than just a bit jani

as for the blacks, they are certainly better than what i had before, (samsung 913t) but i also think they could be better.

amnon
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 29, 2005, 09:20:19 PM
Quote
To cause even more indecision, Lacie produce a 21" LCD, the 321, which is getting rave reviews. Amongst other features it boasts a 10 bit gamma correction (as opposed to the usual 6 or 8 bit for most LCDs), and a CRT-grade color gamut of 72% NTSC. (Is 72% of NTSC good? I wouldn't know  :D ).
NTSC = Never Twice the Same Color.

But the basic gamut of NTSC is something that many want to compare their gamuts to, yes.

The 321 is on my purchase list if I decide to return the Dell. The price is 40% higher than the Dell over here, and I'll lose 320 pixels wide screen real estate. But the 321 is "known good".


Quote
The current price in Australia is almost exactly double the 22" CRT. I doubt that LaCie are making an LCD monitor that's better than their top of the line CRT. Perhaps almost as good, so it seems if you want an LCD monitor as good as a CRT and the same size, you have to pay at least double the price. Would this be right?  :D
Hehe, that's funny.

But why wouldn't LaCie do that? Business wise, it would be a pretty sound decision, if they can do it.

By the way, the price difference is only 50% here in Norway, so get over here and get buying. ::

As for price and quality, the EIZO CG220 (also LCD) is, for instance, in the same price range as the Sony Artisan was. EIZO claims that this monitor has

Quote
grayscale rendering that is on a par with high-end CRT monitors. The result is a much greater degree of color detail, especially in dark areas and shadows.
(EIZO's Adobe RGB boast-sheet (http://www.eizo.com/products/graphics/cg220/features.asp#adobe%20RGB))

That's what I'd buy if I had the money.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 31, 2005, 12:37:36 AM
Quote
Thanks for taking the trouble to describe your calibration attempts. The impression I'm getting is that you basically haven't succeeded in a proper calibration yet.
That's a fair and probably accurate impression. ::

Quote
As you say, it could be because the calibrator has been knocked around a bit,
I talked to my friend yesterday, and he said that both it and the calibration tile had been lying on desks for months. Accumulated dust is entirely possible, and that doesn't exactly bode well for the predictability of calibration, either.

Quote
or maybe the canned Epson profiles you are using are simply not accurate enough.
This is quite possible, too. But with the current circumstances, that's really hard to tell. For the record, the now-calibrated Samsung disagrees with both the Dell and the printer.

Quote
I'm using an Epson 7600 with Bill Atkinson profiles. What I see on my 5 year old 19" Viewsonic CRT does not quite match the printed output interms of red saturation and over all 'pop'. But what I see with softproof on and 'simulate white paper' ticked does match the print output almost exactly.
While here it's almost vice versa; the print output appears to show more saturation in at least some colors. And that's compared to either display.

Quote
The whole point of calibration is to provide the confidence that, when you hit the print button, the results are going to match what you expect and what you see on your monitor in all respects; degree of shadow detail, accuracy of colour and tone etc.

You don't seem to have arrived at this state yet, with your 2405.

I'm relying on you, Jani, to get a perfect match before I make the decision to buy this LCD monitor  .
I'll do my best. But I may just end up returning it and go for that tempting LaCie 321.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Eric Myrvaagnes on July 31, 2005, 09:23:27 PM
Quote
There's always the Samsung 213T. It's not the fanciest LCD technology, but luminance with default settings is about 120 cd/m (down from approximately 140 a year ago when it was new) and it calibrates very nicely.

I'm glad to hear that, Jonathan, as I've just gotten a 213T myself. It looks gorgeous out of the box, but I haven't calibrated it yet (need to be awake to do that).

Eric
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on July 31, 2005, 10:57:41 PM
Quote
Jani,
It seems there's a push towards greater brightness and contrast ratio in LCD displays to make them more suitable as TVs. I guess the Dell 2405 would be an attractive proposition for those who want their monitor to double as a TV set and who are not into critical color/graphics applications.

It's interesting that many big screen CRT monitors (20-22") such as LaCie Electron22blue now feature a 'high brightness' option to make them more suitable for watching video. Don't know if LCD technology inherently makes such an arrangement impossible, but as LCD displays compete in the TV market such an option would be very desirable.
It has to do with the "Shiny Factor." The average person is oohed and ahhed by bright shiny things. When they look at a sharp and very bright LCD and then at a dimmer CRT they think the LCD is nicer. I don't think it's anything beyond that. The word "brighter" is easily marketed since it sounds good. If they advertised "accurate color" then all the poeple with loads of cash to blow who don't even know what color accuracy is will ponder, "why do I care about that?" and then they'll move off to the next new and neet thing.

It may be a turd, but at least it's a well polished turd!

TV's aren't as bright as many LCDs if you compare them side by side.

</rant></ramble>

Quote
The other issue is 10 bit grayscale. It seems very few monitors are capable of this range.

Just for clarification if needed: The monitor is not displaying a 10-bit/channel image. It's just using the 10-bits of data to allow for some digital adjustments without sacrificing image quality. The final image is converted to a 8-bit/channel image before it's displayed.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 06:01:32 AM
Quote
Quote
It appears, though, that Samsung has a new display generation on the way. A panel named LTM213U6 is listed as being in production from 2Q 2005, with S-PVA, 1600x1200, contrast ratio of 1000:1, 300 cd/m^2 and 10 ms response time. It also has a wide aspect ratio sibling, the LTM210M2, 1680x1050, 1000:1, 400 cd/m^2 and 8 ms. (samsung.com (http://www.samsung.com/Products/TFTLCD/common/product_list.aspx?family_cd=LCD01))

Interesting! First we has IPS then Super IPS. Then we had PVA and now we have Super PVA  :D .

I don't see anything on that list that matches the specs of the 213T panel, so I presume it's out of production. It's also interesting that Samsung are producing 2 types of 24" widescreen panels, both with a contrast ratio of 1000:1, but one with a brightness of 500 cd/m2 and the other 300 cd/m2.

I see that a color gamut of 72% of the NTSC standard is fairly common amongst 'good' quality LCD panels (including the LaCie electron22blue CRT), but Samsung's pride and joy would appear to be its new 82" true high definition LCD TV (1920x1080), 1200:1 contrast ratio; color gamut of 92% NTSC and of course, super PVA. Phwoar!
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 10:51:34 AM
Yes. Good for slide shows, video and gamers. Not good for critical Photoshop work.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 12, 2005, 02:29:55 AM
In that thread Micheal Taps stated:
Quote
This Dell (and all of the recent ones that i have profiled) allows you to calibrate it so well, that the profiles are almost straight lines, which is how you want your monitor profile to be. A file that almost does nothing. I find the Dell to be high quality. I calibrate using Eye-One match 3.2 with an Eye-One pro spectrophotometer.

This is a given considering the geneology of the screen. Apple would not use it if it did not have top-notch color reproduction. My monitor does the same as Mr Taps' if the luminosity value in Eye-One match is set to match the minimum luminosity output of the monitor. The calibrator expects the monitor to be bright and so it does not need to compensate.

This dosn't change the fact that the bugger is blasted bright. I''m constantly finding myself making adjustments on this monitor thinking the image is of proper brightness only to find out that I'm a good ways darker than it should be.

A non-luminecent item that is pure white should read at about 238-242 numerically. On a good monitor of proper brightness I generally could consistantly eye-ball that with a good level of accuracy. On this 2005FPW I find myself constantly adjusting images to find I set the whites at 180-220. They look to be white but aren't. When adjusted to the proper range they then look almost nuclear-white on this screen.

The last post by JayGanaden says it all:
Quote
I dialed down the brightness manually using the buttons up front... dunno why others have had to use their card software.

I'm sure Mr. Taps is doing the same. So how could the profile curve be so strait if that's improper? Well first off, the curve is a two-dimensional representation of a 3d color space. Secondly, it's tiny. Thirdly, as the software states, it's not an accurate representation of what's happening. It's only there for giving you a rough idea of things.

When profiling, only a certain number of color/greyscale values are measured. So sure, those that are measured will be correct but if the LUTs are altered, then the failures in the profile will occure in values that weren't tested by the calibrator. So things may seem up-n-upat the end of the calibration process but the profile will show it's true colors (pun certainly intended) in real-world use.

This is where the ColorEyes software Michael reviewed would be handy. It shows you a greyscale and lets you select specific values that are displaying wrong to correct them. The new values are then added to the profile.

You'd be suprised at how many pros don't know some fundamental things about digital photography. But then agian, that's not too suprising as many are relativly new to digital or not technically inclined to begin with. There is alot to learn after all. However I am suprised to see Mr Taps miss the ball on this one.

On a side note, I noticed there are alot of comments by people impressed by the monitors brightness. This just proved my theory of how people are drawn to shiny things.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 08:50:28 PM
Quote
it could be good for PS nuts, too. Just not for people who are particular about equivalent color representation on the display and on print.
Do I sense here that you really want to keep this monitor, Jani  ? If you are at all serious about making prints you know you will have to calibrate the monitor and probably get custom profiles for your printer. I wonder which LCD models use the other 24" Samsung panel with 300 cd/m2 brightness, the LTM240W1?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: tived on August 03, 2005, 08:52:20 AM
best compromise...is there such a thing?

If you have your workflow calibrated then you should have the best compromise.
So, input devices, viewing devices and output devices and you are set.

Henrik
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 14, 2005, 02:54:42 AM
Quote
no the monitor is too bright, that is the prints are not at all what i see on the monitor (after calibration of course, i use monaco xrite). it is not that the image that i see on the monitor is necessarily too bright, it is just that the print is not at all as bright as the image on the monitor. i dont think it's the calibration device, i have used it before to calibrate other screens with a higher level of success. i dont know what the problem is with this dell, i just can't calibrate it even close enough. very very annoying.
I see what you saying.

The problem is the brightness of the dell. Your eyes get used to looking at it and then when you go to look at a print it appears much darker than expected. Prints are typically darker than what's on screen anyway but using softproof in PS helps compensate for that when comparing a print to what's on screen. If the monitor is too bright however, the softproofed image will not match the print (it'll be too bright). A veiwing booth with an adjustable dimmer might help compensate for the brightness of the Dell by shining more light on the print (if it can get bright enough - I don't have one so I could be mistaken). However, for the cost of one of those you could just buy a new monitor for color-work or return the Dell and get a very nice Eizo.

The only way you'll get around the brightness issue with that monitor is to darken it via the LUTs but that has it's downsides as mentioned.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on August 15, 2005, 02:58:50 AM
The better measuring devices have the ability to measure ambient light's luminance and color temp, although not necessarily at the same time as monitor calibration. As Ray said, the best viewing condition is sunlight unless you happen to have a dimmable print viewing booth that you can adjust to exactly match your monitor luminance. Otherwise you just have to be prepared to accept the fact that you can't do sided-by-side monitor/print comparisons.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 11, 2005, 08:43:08 AM
Just browsing Rob Galbraith's site and I notice in this (http://forums.robgalbraith.com/showflat.php?Cat=0&Number=350263&an=0&page=0#350263) thread that everyone seems very pleased with his Dell 2405 and is able to calibrate it perfectly. Seems to be the best thing since the invention of sliced bread.

Are these people at Galbraith's site just easily pleased, or what?  ???
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 12, 2005, 10:48:05 AM
Quote
However, such screens are not ideal as computer monitors, unless they have a 'low brightness' mode.

The question is, is the low brightness mode ideal for calibration?
As Jani said, as long as the adjustment effects the brightness of the light and not the LUTs. However, switching between bright and not-so-bright™ modes would require re-calibration each time you switched since you could not possably go back to the  exact same brightness you were at when you first calibrated.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: mct on August 13, 2005, 08:53:01 PM
I've been reading this thread with some interest, as like Ray I am need of an update to my hardware setup, and I thought I would start with looking at LCD screens.

The big question with the Dell 24" is whether the brightness control on the monitor is just playing with the numbers coming in, or whether it's actually putting less juice into the backlighting.

If the latter is the case, and providing it doesn't sacrifice 'evenness' in the backlighting, and calibration still works OK, then why shouln't this monitor be quite satisfactory?

-Milt
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 14, 2005, 11:17:27 PM
although you dont need dac or dcc to calibrate a monitor, i am guessing they make monitor calibration easier and/or better. i downloaded the newest drivers for the ati card, which offer dac support, and calibrated again. after about five calibrations, while the printed image is not what i see on the monitor, it is closer than what i had before and the monitor is not as bright. unfortunately the calibration is still far from perfect. i am about ready to give up. oh pixelman where are you now?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 15, 2005, 10:02:16 PM
abaazov,

You may have mentioned this before but I don't remenber. Do you have any other monitors than the Dell?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on August 15, 2005, 10:42:09 PM
2750K means that your ambient light has a strong red/orange cast compared to your monitor, and you should definitely not use that light to do monitor-print comparisons. in order for such comparisons to be meaningful, luminance and color temp need to be as close as possible. Buy a halogen lamp or something.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on August 16, 2005, 10:39:58 PM
Increasing ambient light will solve his problem, at least up to the point where screen and print match reasonably well. Beyond that it will make the screen look washed out, but also not as bright.

And your impression is not correct anyway, note the following:

Quote
this seems to be especially true when i print on premium luster and colorlife photo paper (epson). on those two papers the print is remarkably similar to what i see on screen when i view them in daylight.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 28, 2005, 10:37:29 AM
Quote
yes ray i have calibrated it using the dvi input, and yes it is really a very good monitor. it might be just a little too bright, but it is otherwise a great performer. i used monaco optix xr. for photoshop i think it is excellent, and as for the price, i believe you can even get it cheaper than 1000$ us now....i have even seen it for around 800$!!
but i have a technical question that maybe you can answer. when i calibrate the monitor using the dvi input, i dont have any contrast control for calibration. can you explain to me why that is?

amnon
According to my technical sources (people, not web pages*), this is because you control the contrast through the DVI interface.

If you have an ATI card, the catalyst control panel's advanced mode provides you with a slider to adjust both brightness and contrast, use those. nVIDIA's drivers should provide similar features.

I ordered the same model on June 24th, and my sample arrived yesterday. It's huge, but consider that praise.

Now to borrow that calibration gadget to improve on the image! :cool:


* ... but if you must a link to some blabbering on the issue ... (http://forums.anandtech.com/messageview.aspx?catid=31&threadid=1627034&STARTPAGE=2&enterthread=y)
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on July 31, 2005, 08:44:04 PM
Quote
Quote
I'm not only inclined to agree with Daniel's assessment that this monitor is unsuitable for color critical use, I also think that it needs special circumstances to be a good monitor. All of this could probably be avoided if Dell had only allowed for a lower background lighting level, but perhaps that exposes other weaknesses in the panel.

Jani,
It seems there's a push towards greater brightness and contrast ratio in LCD displays to make them more suitable as TVs. I guess the Dell 2405 would be an attractive proposition for those who want their monitor to double as a TV set and who are not into critical color/graphics applications.

It's interesting that many big screen CRT monitors (20-22") such as LaCie Electron22blue now feature a 'high brightness' option to make them more suitable for watching video. Don't know if LCD technology inherently makes such an arrangement impossible, but as LCD displays compete in the TV market such an option would be very desirable.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 12:23:29 AM
Quote
Just for clarification if needed: The monitor is not displaying a 10-bit/channel image. It's just using the 10-bits of data to allow for some digital adjustments without sacrificing image quality. The final image is converted to a 8-bit/channel image before it's displayed.
Okay! Gottcha! But the bottom line is, if the Dell 2405 had 10 bit processing with all else the same, you'd be able to get better calibration. Yes?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 02, 2005, 11:01:30 PM
what is the best compromise, if there is such a thing, with a calibrated monitor that is still too bright? is there some way to "fix" the problem without getting rid of the monitor? do i have to do a printer calibration? are there any other options?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 04, 2005, 05:43:07 AM
Quote
The Blue-Eye is nothing more than the original Eye-One (not the Eye-One 2) and according to DryCreek  (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm)the Eye-One 2 will turn out better calibration results.
Are you sure that you're not confusing this with the old Blue-Eye?

There is a Blue-Eye 2 now, and the test is of the "Blue-Eye 1.0.3".

The Blue-Eye Pro is relatively new (January this year), and seems to be based off either the Blue-Eye 2 or something else.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 12, 2005, 04:32:55 AM
Quote
On a side note, I noticed there are alot of comments by people impressed by the monitors brightness. This just proved my theory of how people are drawn to shiny things.
Well, it's true. People are dawn to shiny things. That's why chromium plated bumper bars and tail fins are (were) so popular on American automobiles.

But the fact is, if you're watching TV in a normally lit room, in daytime, you need a high brightness, high contrast ratio, TV set.

The move is now on to create acceptable LCD TV sets with sufficient brightness to be impressive even in daylight from a distance..

However, such screens are not ideal as computer monitors, unless they have a 'low brightness' mode.

The question is, is the low brightness mode ideal for calibration?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 12, 2005, 11:17:34 AM
ok, but it wont do anything to help me with the calibration problem, i.e. after calibrating the monitor the prints are too bright. or will it?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 15, 2005, 03:37:56 AM
You've probably tried this already, but in case you haven't, is it possible to tilt your screen in such a way that the image darkens?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 15, 2005, 10:17:24 PM
yes daniel i do, the dell is connected to the dvi and i have a samsung 913v connected to the vga. while the dell is brighter than the samsung (both calibrated) the color rendition is still truer on the dell. i think ray and jonathan hit the nail on the head: as well as i can calibrate it, the images that are printed out are best viewed in daylight, where the colors jump out more, and the print doesnt look so dark. this seems to be especially true when i print on premium luster and colorlife photo paper (epson). on those two papers the print is remarkably similar to what i see on screen when i view them in daylight. however with the enhanced matte and the velvet fine art even in daylight there is still not as much "life" in the pictures as there seems to be on the screen. as for my printing procedure i believe i am doing everything right. th eonly thing i dont do yet is softproofing, and i am now going to read more about it and how to do it and practice that a bit. i need a break from calibrating this monitor...hopefully softproofing is easier to learn and apply!!
thanks again guys...
amnon
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 17, 2005, 05:01:13 AM
Quote
Of course if you are right (and you frequently are on matters photographic   ), then the Dell 2405 would appear to be a monitor that is capable of being accurately calibrated despite what Daniel has been saying on this matter. Perhaps Jani now wonders why he returned his.
Well, Dell still hasn't come around to dealing with the shipping.

And there were other problems with calibration that I mentioned, such as the complete inability of the spectrophotometer to notice adjustments in individual RGB colors when I calibrated for a brighter target. I only achieved some degree of predictability (in terms of repeated, near-identical results) when I turned down the brightness in the ATI Catalyst Control Panel, and that showed visible, horrible results in a granger test chart.

That the spectrophotometer actually worked - with repeatable, near-identical results - for a dimmer monitor (my old Samsung 710T) seemed definitely to indicate that it had to do with the Dell's brightness being out of range for the sensor.

Maybe there is enough sample variation between the Dell monitors that this isn't an inherent problem, but I'm not willing to ask for a new monitor, wait another month, try again, lather, rinse, repeat until I get one that actually works.

And after making it work, I'd have to redecorate to get the correct ambient lighting. ::

I'm not discounting that I may have to do something about the ambient lighting anyway, but perhaps I can do that without making it too bright inside.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on July 28, 2005, 11:47:00 AM
Quote
I ordered the same model on June 24th, and my sample arrived yesterday. It's huge, but consider that praise.
I'm getting conflicting reports on the net regarding the blacks. Some say they are still not as good as a CRT. That extra real estate should be good for photoshop, but I hate having to compromise on quality. The PVA technology (patterned vertical alignment) is supposed to be a major improvement. How do you find the image quality in general, compared to a CRT? For a lower price than the Dell 2405 in Australia I can get a LaCie 22" CRT with a dot pitch of 0.24mm and maximum resolution of 2048x1536, which I guess would be more accurate than all but the most expensive LCD monitors. I'm undecided  :D .
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on July 31, 2005, 07:21:41 PM
There's always the Samsung 213T. It's not the fanciest LCD technology, but luminance with default settings is about 120 cd/m (down from approximately 140 a year ago when it was new) and it calibrates very nicely.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 01, 2005, 02:40:04 AM
Quote
Or they're using a calibration device that isn't as good as some others available. See

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor...ation_tools.htm (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm)
Well it's not necessarily a matter of using a calibration device that's not as good as some others, but more like using a calibration device that complements the monitor or is the most compatible with the monitor.

The Dry Creek results you refer to support this. ColorVision Spyder2 is not particularly good on any of the monitors in the Dry Creek analysis, even the Sony Artisan. But all of the Dry Creek results are comparing the performance of different calibrators against a particular monitor. One cannot draw any conclusions about the relative performance of any particular monitor/calibrator combination.

It so happens I recently received in the mail, shipped all the way from the US of A, an X-rite DTP94 spyder with ColorEyes software. I look forward to testing this on all my monitors which include a very average 17" Sony SDM-S74 LCD which I bought to play around with my 64 bit system, but will eventually hand it down to my ex wife (the monitor, not the 64 bit system). Of course the DTP94 does not support 64 bit operating systems. (Didn't these manufacturers and software developers know that 64 bit was on its way  ??? ).

But I have a dilemma. I can't decide which has greater priority; demonstrating that fine grain MF film can be superior to the 1DsMkll, or demonstrating how much better ColorEyes is than my original ColorVision spyder  :D .
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 02, 2005, 08:07:43 PM
Quote
if i decrease the brightness on a monitor that has been calibrated, does that render the calibration completely useless?
If the monitor has been accurately and successfully calibrated, then of course any subsequent changes to contrast and brightness will throw out the calibration. Once your monitor has been calibrated, you should not make further adjustments, and in the case of an LCD, not even tilt the monitor.

However, I have little experience with LCD monitors. I would have thought a high contrast ratio should compensate to some degree for excessive brightness, ie. 1000:1 plus 500 cd/m2 perhaps could be adjusted before calibration to a contrast ratio of 500:1 in conjunction with a brightness of 250 cd/m2, but as explained before, if this can only be done through the video card, then you are throwing away much needed levels (0-255). In any case 250 cd/m2 seems still too bright.

When I calibrate my 19" Viewsonic CRT, starting with contrast at a maximum and brightness at a minimum, the initial measured brightness is around 130 cd/m2. The calibration instructions specify that brightness should be in the range of 85-95 cd/m2, which means I have to bring the contrast down from its maximum at some point during the calibration procedure.

I still don't understand how LCDs can be less strain on the eyes if one is staring at 500 cd/m2 of brightness as opposed to 90 cd/m2 for a calibrated CRT  :D .
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 04, 2005, 11:57:09 AM
Quote
Quote
The Blue-Eye is nothing more than the original Eye-One (not the Eye-One 2) and according to DryCreek  (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm)the Eye-One 2 will turn out better calibration results.
Are you sure that you're not confusing this with the old Blue-Eye?

There is a Blue-Eye 2 now, and the test is of the "Blue-Eye 1.0.3".

The Blue-Eye Pro is relatively new (January this year), and seems to be based off either the Blue-Eye 2 or something else.
Ah, then it may be based off the Eye-One 2. Still I'd be hesitant on buying it untill I know the software end of things is up to par. Since the Eye-One 2 is cheaper than either of the Blue-Eyes I'd personally just stick with what is proven.

Heck, if you want to spend $350 then just get the Eye-One and that Color Eyes software Michael reviewed and then you'd have a top-notch monitor calibration system.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 12, 2005, 05:31:30 AM
Quote
Well, it's true. People are dawn to shiny things. That's why chromium plated bumper bars and tail fins are (were) so popular on American automobiles.

But the fact is, if you're watching TV in a normally lit room, in daytime, you need a high brightness, high contrast ratio, TV set.

The move is now on to create acceptable LCD TV sets with sufficient brightness to be impressive even in daylight from a distance.
Over the past week and half, I've had to explain this point to several of my friends, while adding that it's not a bad monitor. It's just not right for this use. In a brightly lit room, there probably is no problem!

Quote
However, such screens are not ideal as computer monitors, unless they have a 'low brightness' mode.

The question is, is the low brightness mode ideal for calibration?
As long as the brightness adjustment is in the brightness of whatever actually emits light, and the lighting still remains even and reliably adjustable, I don't see why not. But perhaps your question is rather about whether it's possible to create something that works well on "normal" light levels as well as for burning bright?

I don't know.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: 61Dynamic on August 12, 2005, 11:14:06 AM
Only in the sence that it'll be less strainfull on the eyes.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 15, 2005, 06:38:05 PM
i've tilted the screen up and down and i dont notice any darkening. my monaco can actually measure the ambient light, but how accurate is that? and do i use that as a white point setting for my screen calibration? it is giving me a reading of 2750k.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 15, 2005, 10:04:59 PM
ray when you say an ambient light reading of 2750 seems very warm what do you mean? do you mean there is not enough light?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 17, 2005, 01:38:01 AM
Of course if you are right (and you frequently are on matters photographic  :D ), then the Dell 2405 would appear to be a monitor that is capable of being accurately calibrated despite what Daniel has been saying on this matter. Perhaps Jani now wonders why he returned his.

A monitor that is inherently too bright is likely to produce prints that are too dark. Suggestions sometimes can become self-fulfilling prophesies. Someone tells you the monitor is too bright. You expect the prints therefore to be too dark. You see a print that is too dark for obvious reasons that everything is too dark with insufficient light (except things like monitors that have their own light), and you think there's a problem.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 28, 2005, 02:10:59 PM
Quote
I'm getting conflicting reports on the net regarding the blacks. Some say they are still not as good as a CRT. That extra real estate should be good for photoshop, but I hate having to compromise on quality. The PVA technology (patterned vertical alignment) is supposed to be a major improvement. How do you find the image quality in general, compared to a CRT?
I must admit that I haven't seen a high-quality CRT in ages, and that it's a failing of my own. I had a medium-quality CRT, and after 5 years of service, I bought my Samsung 710T. Most of my friends and colleagues moved to LCD monitors before me.

Comparing is difficult without having a high-quality CRT right next to it, but from what I can see, I'm tentatively satisfied. The blacks are really very close to black, at least according to my eye.

The Samsung 710T was good enough (except for the lamentable brightness/contrast change depending on vieweing angle) to replace any consumer grade CRT, and similarly-priced CRTs were no longer available. The Dell 2405FPW is a very clear step above it.

I have no problem seeing myself choosing this one over a CRT, but the chief reasons would be:

 - Screen real estate
 - Geometric perfection
 - Desk space saved

There's currently no way that I could fit a 22" CRT on my desk, and even a 20" would be pushing it.


Quality wise, I'm reminded of the Apple Cinema Display HD 30" model, except for the size. Perhaps it is the same panel as in the 23" HD? Dell's panels are made by Philips, according to my Dell representative.

The factory supplied profile works well for daily use.

Viewing angle differences in brightness/contrast are nearly invisible, as they are on the Apple 30". I don't see significant differences until I've changed the viewing angle by 30 degrees or more.

Reflections from other light sources do not appear to be disturbing after my first two evenings of use.

The contrast is good (as it should be, with a 1000:1 specification). I see fairly clear differences between dark greys and near-black while retaining differences between different highlights, which is clearly better than the previous display. But there are still differences I'd like to see, which I hope will improve with proper calibration.

As others have commented, yes, the display is bright. But that is adjustable.

I can't comment on color reproduction yet, though it appears to be easier to get good reproduction out of this unit than from the 710T.

My images certainly look better, but whether that comes from spending approximately 1500 dollars on a display or not, well, who knows ...

There are no dead or stuck pixels that I can see yet.


And of course, being able to view entire images at 45% rather than just 30% has immense value for judging quickly whether something might be a keeper or not.

If both contrast and color reproduction improve just a bit after calibration, I'll keep* this monitor.

And I'll certainly post my opinion.

Quote
For a lower price than the Dell 2405 in Australia I can get a LaCie 22" CRT with a dot pitch of 0.24mm and maximum resolution of 2048x1536, which I guess would be more accurate than all but the most expensive LCD monitors. I'm undecided   .
That monitor (LaCie Electron 22blue IV, I presume) is at almost exactly the same price as the Dell over here. Dell recently slashed the price by nearly 40%, permanently, just after I'd haggled for a lower price for my monitor. Maybe you can try to do the same.

I also considered the LaCie 321, but after reading a couple of favorable reviews of the Dell, I suspected that this monitor might just be good enough while providing a really comfortable amount of screen real estate.


*Thanks to Norwegian legislation on remote purchases, I'm allowed to decide to return this monitor within 14 days of receiving it, as long as it's in fundamentally the same state and I pay for the return shipping. So I'm not using it as a whiteboard quite yet.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on July 31, 2005, 04:48:08 PM
Calibrating this monitor feels like fumbling in the blind, now that I've done it a few more times.

I think I can see how the problems occur.

The Eye-One Pro spectrophotometer has a specified working range of 0-300 cd/m^2.

An unadjusted Dell 2405FPW is at well above that, according to the same spectrophotometer.

So, er, no wonder it has problems seeing the correct red, green and blue values if the brightness is high. If the brightness is low, the problem is less pronounced, but that means fiddling with the LUT in the graphics card instead.

For instance, my three latest calibration runs have passed with three quite different RGB settings in the monitor's configuration. I don't recall what the first of these value sets was, but I think it was 50-something red, 50 green and 53 blue. The second was 34/35/40. The third was 34/36/43. And I still couldn't get the graphical representation of the RGB sliders to align properly.

Of course, my eyes can't tell the difference between these settings, because it's impossible to do a side-by-side comparison. But what I can see quite clearly, is the following:

You can choose to have a "correct" brightness level with a color distribution that is as good as the monitor can do, but with fewer colors to play around with. Or you can choose to have a brightness level where every pastel in the Granger chart is too bright, and the brighter pastels are nearly white.

The monitor is so bright that it's uncomfortable working with in a normally illuminated room. Perhaps it would work in an operation room, a sunny pavillion or other environments where the lighting must be brighter.

In contrast (ha ha), the Samsung 710T that I want to ditch because of its narrow viewing angles, is far more easily calibrated. I don't have to fudge around with the contrast setting, it can remain at 100%. The only LCD settings I have to touch are brightness and RGB levels just ever-so-slightly.

The Samsung won't win any medals for representing the rose print I made to the Ilford paper, either, but it actually seems a bit closer this time. I suspect the problem with the Dell is that my screen just is a bit too blue after calibration, and that since the spectrophotometer can't read off the correct blue value, Eye-One Match generates an incorrect profile.


I'm not only inclined to agree with Daniel's assessment that this monitor is unsuitable for color critical use, I also think that it needs special circumstances to be a good monitor. All of this could probably be avoided if Dell had only allowed for a lower background lighting level, but perhaps that exposes other weaknesses in the panel.


I should return this monitor before I get too accustomed to a wide-screen working space. My finances and workspace don't allow for two big monitors on the same desk. ::

But what I should buy instead is an open question. Both the Apple HD 23" and the LaCie 321 are appealing and in the same price class (although 30-50% above the Dell). I suspect that the LaCie is the better choice then, though.

And should someone decide to dump a big load of money on me, the CG220 is waiting for my order.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Jonathan Wienke on July 31, 2005, 09:54:15 PM
Or they're using a calibration device that isn't as good as some others available. See

http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor...ation_tools.htm (http://www.drycreekphoto.com/Learn/monitor_calibration_tools.htm)
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 01, 2005, 10:41:05 AM
am i to assume that the conclusion here is that the dell is subpar? does it have any saving grace (other than size)?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 03, 2005, 09:02:13 AM
Quote
Do I sense here that you really want to keep this monitor, Jani  ?
No, I've already called Dell and notified them that I want to exercise my consumer rights, and they accepted (as they have to, but they accepted in a very professional manner).

So a few days' worth of usage of this monitor has cost me the equivalent of 30 dollars in shipping and return shipping. It was worth it to find out, even though I hate wasting money.

Now excuse me for a few minutes while I whack my head for not ordering a GMB color checker when I ordered that Kata rain cover earlier from B&H.  ::

There, back again.

Quote
If you are at all serious about making prints you know you will have to calibrate the monitor and probably get custom profiles for your printer.
Of course, and I'm deliberating whether I should get the Blue-Eye Pro with the LaCie 321 (for hardware-to-hardware calibration), or if I should get the Eye-One Photo and have the option of making my own custom print profiles.

When you're hooked on getting better quality, it's hard to stop!

Quote
I wonder which LCD models use the other 24" Samsung panel with 300 cd/m2 brightness, the LTM240W1?
Me, too. I also wonder how I can find out, and if I should bother with it.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: jani on August 04, 2005, 02:11:12 PM
Quote
Ah, then it may be based off the Eye-One 2. Still I'd be hesitant on buying it untill I know the software end of things is up to par. Since the Eye-One 2 is cheaper than either of the Blue-Eyes I'd personally just stick with what is proven.
It's not that much cheaper over here; the difference is approximately 50 dollars (incl. taxes) in favor of Eye-One 2 over Blue-Eye 2, if I buy them separately.

However, one shop sells the LaCie 321 with the Blue-Eye Pro for a premium of only 200 dollars (incl. taxes).

Quote
Heck, if you want to spend $350 then just get the Eye-One and that Color Eyes software Michael reviewed and then you'd have a top-notch monitor calibration system.
Well, importing ColorEyes (I haven't found a Norwegian reseller) incurs a 25% tax on the software and the shipping cost, so I'll first have to see how expensive shipping is. It's clearly not any cheaper than getting the Blue-Eye Pro. But that X-Rite bundle is of course tempting.

However, there remains the question of printer calibration, and I suspect that I might just get an Eye-One Photo set instead of purchasing two different devices to achieve this.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 12, 2005, 11:00:47 AM
are you saying that the brighter my room is the better this monitor will perform?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: abaazov on August 14, 2005, 10:05:21 AM
i just downloaded a lut support test from the monaco website....apparently my ati radeon 9600 does not contain dac support....i am guessing that means i cant calibrate with it?
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 15, 2005, 01:59:23 AM
Well, let's work through this in a logical fashion. Your prints are too dark, but are the colours accurate? To test this, view the print outside in true daylight (D65). Are you in fact making prints that are best viewed in outdoor light when you really want them to look best indoors in dimmer light?

If one wishes to be absolutely precise about this whole issue of calibration and print matching, any print will look best only under specific lighting conditions. A print that's created to look best in a daylit room cannot also look good in the evening with tungsten lights. (Well it might also look good. There's no accounting for personal taste, but it won't look the same.)

If you want to view the prints in a permanent fashion under your current lighting conditions but the prints are too dark, then the image on the screen needs to be lightened through real adjustments, that is, internal adjustments to brightness and levels. Changing the appearance of the image on screen by increasing the ambient light in your work area has no effect on the image data whatsoever of course.

Jonathan's solution is not as simple as it sounds. As far as I can tell, my X-rite colorimeter has no means of measuring ambient light. In fact, it seems designed to exclude ambient light as much as possible. If your prints are too dark for the lighting conditions you want to view them under, you have to change the viewing conditions for your monitor so that you would feel compelled to brighten the image on screen with Photoshop tools. Simply increasing ambient light around the monitor might be the solution if you want to permanently view the prints in those increased lighting conditions. If you don't, then you'll need to produce prints that actually look too light in the bright lighting conditions around your work area.
Title: dell 2405
Post by: Ray on August 16, 2005, 12:06:48 AM
Now isn't that an interesting paradox of language usage  !6500k is hotter than 5000k yet is described as being cooler  ???

Abaazov, learn softproofing, play around with the rendering intents and make adjustments to the image with proof colors ticked. You'll notice a difference but I don't think it will cure the problem of the prints being too dark. There is a 'kludge' fix to this problem, however, if the brighter lighting doesn't work.

After making a print, adjust the image on the monitor so that it looks as dark as the print. Next time you print (and for all subsequent prints), make the reverse adjustments to the image just before printing. (ie. if the darkening adjustment involved moving the gamma slider in levels to say 0.8, then move it the other way to 1.2). The image on the screen will then look too light, but should print right. It sort of defeats the purpose of calibration, but if it's just a lightness/darkness issue and the colors are okay, it might work.