so here is the monitor review I promised.
First of all; the monitor is to todays photographer what the rosetta stone was for language- it defines how we communicate with each other.
not all monitors are created equal-and this one isn’t perfect- but was priced right.
the brand is VIEWSONIC and the particular model is VX2240W ( although I later found out they had more “professional” versions- more on that later) These are fast (2 Milisecond) displays and have a native resolution of 1680×1050- very nice.
Upon first glance, it is sleek and at around $250.00 to $300.00 ( depending on where you get it) it looks OK out of the box.
But NO monitor is completely set up until it’s calibrated. this is where things got interesting……Lots of control over all parameters of how the monitor displays an image.
If you set the gamma first, you’ll find that the screen is too bright and some calibration systems have a problem until you “dial it down” a bit on brightness and contrast. I had to start around 47 contrast and 70 brightness. This is in part due to it being a “gamers” monitor- the settings are a bit higher than you’d use for photographs.
After that , the calibration was straightforward ( I was using a Gretag MacBeth eye 1 calibration device)
*NOTE* Be sure and turn off “HIGH DYNAMIC CONTRAST” in the manual settings – it’s way too much for photo editing.
One of the nice things about the VX2240W ( and a selling point to me) was the fact that I could adjust the Red, Green and Blue settings individually on the monitor- this is pretty precise and works with your color temperature settings..
Am I glad I dumped my CRT? No- not really. It was much more accurate for what I do, but as it is hard to find one new- it’s better to join the ranks and get used to editing on an LCD monitor along with everybody else these days.
Is there a difference between a $1200.00 monitor and one for $300.00? You betcha! Better componants, better calibration, better display- But for the price- if you can’t afford the more expensive monitor right off- this is a good one to start with.
Will I get an Eizo or lacie flat panel in the future? Probably- but not for a while yet…..as long as the viewsonic keeps buying me some time…….
One More Thing- Viewsonic says they have a P model ( professional graphics LCD) for a bit more- so that may be worth a look as well- I didn’t get one because I couldn’t try it out- they aren’t available in a store near where I am- and I’m all about hands on testing of new unproven ( at least to me) equipment- but I would probably spend a little more and get one of those ( hindsight being 20-20!)
this isn’t the “end all be all ” monitor for professionals- and I will upgrade to the “big boy” flat panels at a later time- but for now( and since my CRT died) this will do………..