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Author Topic: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?  (Read 501 times)

tsinsf

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Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« on: September 13, 2020, 10:31:07 pm »

I want to upgrade my old MacPro and the best option is a specked out 27 inch iMac 5k. The problem is I really don’t need or want a new monitor since I have a great monitor now (30 inch NEC). I don’t have room at my workspace for both monitors, so I would have to use the 5K for editing and printing. I have read mixed reviews of it for use in photography; some love it, some don’t. I would love opinions of current users. I’m especially interested in how well it calibrates (with the proper equipment of course) and how it would behave with the brightness turned way down. I have the brightness of my current monitor turned down to 80 cd/m2 because that is what produces prints with the best match to my monitor. I know this monitor is very bright and worry about how it would perform turned way down.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2020, 10:51:53 pm by tsinsf »
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rdonson

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Re: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2020, 09:20:39 pm »

I have a 2017 5K 27" iMac and I'm very happy with it.  I have room on my desk though so I also have a 25" monitor along side of it.  The 25" isn't near as good a monitor as the iMac but.... for me, having a second monitor for PS is a boon.  Handy for Skype as well.

I calibrate my 27" iMac with an x-rite i1 Display Pro.  I've had no issues with that as long as I keep the x-rite software up to date. 

I set the monitor up for D65, 100 luminance and standard 2.2 gamma.  I'm happy with my prints.  I print from LrC. 

The 27" provides the ability to choose between several resolutions:
- 1600 x 900
- 2480 x 1152
- 2560 x 1440 (default)
- 2880 x 1620
- 3200 x 1800

I mostly use the default resolution because the 3200 x1800 turns text into an eye exam.

Hope this helps,

 
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Ron

tsinsf

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Re: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2020, 10:56:11 pm »

Thank you, your response is helpful. How does the brightness at 100cd/m2 seem? Does it in any way seem flat or dim since that is so much less than the default setting?
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digitaldog

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Re: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« Reply #3 on: September 15, 2020, 10:22:38 am »

Thank you, your response is helpful. How does the brightness at 100cd/m2 seem? Does it in any way seem flat or dim since that is so much less than the default setting?
1. There's nothing  inherently special about the iMac displays (they are wide gamut) but hardly based in class for a color reference display system. Can you use it and make nice prints, get good soft proofing (to one target)? Of course.
2. Cd/m2 is based on the print viewing conditions next to the display. YMMV. One person may use 100cd/m2. I use 150cd/m2 because with MY setup, it produces a match in brightness:
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Eric Brody

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Re: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« Reply #4 on: September 15, 2020, 01:10:44 pm »

I'm in your boat. I have used a 2013 Mac Pro (trashcan) since it came out with a lovely NEC PA271 monitor. I just purchased a tricked out 2020 iMac (i9, 10 core, 4TB, 64GB RAM[OWC-not Apple-saved $720!). I've got a large desk and the iMac sits near my NEC but I still use the NEC, profiled with Spectraview II, for my image work and plan to continue to do so. I tried calibrating the iMac with my NEC labelled i! Display puck and Displaycalc and it's pretty nice for viewing but not a close enough match to my prints to have it take over from my NEC. I'm still debating what to do with the iMac monitor. It is lovely to look at albeit not as accurate as the NEC. Were the NEC to die, I'm not sure how long they are supposed to last, I'd probably look at another NEC (or Eizo, of I were feeling rich). Color accuracy is very important to me. I have many friends who do superb work with their iMac monitors so I may be just stubborn and/or it's that darned OCD kicking in again. I'm not sure my experience and situation is helpful to you but here it is. Good luck! My problems are certainly first world ones with COVID and our local wildfires and smoke. I do worry about our planet  :(
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rdonson

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Re: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2020, 11:20:48 pm »

Iíve followed Andrews recommendations for about 10 years.  He doesnít steer anyone wrong. I print for myself with my Solux set up booth and Iím happy with my results.  YMMV.  I am NOT a professional printer and I am not looking for perfection. I try to get the best results I can without going nuts.
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Ron

sbay

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Re: Anybody using a 27 inch iMac 5k for printing and editing?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2020, 11:50:20 am »

I want to upgrade my old MacPro and the best option is a specked out 27 inch iMac 5k. The problem is I really donít need or want a new monitor since I have a great monitor now (30 inch NEC). I donít have room at my workspace for both monitors, so I would have to use the 5K for editing and printing. I have read mixed reviews of it for use in photography; some love it, some donít. I would love opinions of current users. Iím especially interested in how well it calibrates (with the proper equipment of course) and how it would behave with the brightness turned way down. I have the brightness of my current monitor turned down to 80 cd/m2 because that is what produces prints with the best match to my monitor. I know this monitor is very bright and worry about how it would perform turned way down.

I have 2017 iMac 5k and it seems to be fine for my editing work. I have no illusions that this the best monitor for critical color correction but for landscape type shots it is fine for me and my prints match my monitor. I calibrate with the xrite color munki (same device as i1 display) using DisplayCal. I set my brightness to 7 pips which works out to about 120 cd/m^2. There is some drop-off in brightness from the center (maybe around 10cd/m^2 -- don't remember exactly). For sharpening and other detailed work, I always use an integer magnification.
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