PP, laptop, dual monitor?

Discussion in 'Digital Discussion & Q&A' started by M.Powell, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. M.Powell

    M.Powell TPF Noob!

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    Ok, I've been reading a LOT about this and still have questions. Not sure if this is the right thread but it was the closest one I could find to deal with this subject. Ok. I have a Sony Vaio and a Dell Inspiron. I do not have a desktop pc. Both of my laptops are glossy screens. Now my question is this. I do all my photo work on my Sony, and love working on it. BUT do I need an external monitor with a matte screen to view my PP work? Also about calibration. Can a laptop be calibrated or should I buy an external matte monitor and calibrator? If so, does it matter what brand of screen or type?
     
  2. M.Powell

    M.Powell TPF Noob!

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    bumping because I seriously need some feedback on this...
     
  3. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Glossy or matte has nothing to do with it. It's all about consistency and bitdepth.

    Laptops are crap. They are TN film panel screens since they are the only ones that can be made light and thin and cheap. They suffer from horrid viewing angles (giving you no consistency, repeatability, or accuracy), and produce only 6bit colour. Calibrating them is like polishing crap. It can be done, mythbusters did it, but ultimately you end up with a shiny ball of crap anyway.

    Given the choice get an external screen, but don't get the cheapest one you can find or you'll end up with a TN film panel again. At the very least you want a PVA panel which has much better viewing angles and can actually display 8bit colour. But ultimately what you really want is a IPS screen since they produce perfectly consistent colour across viewing angles, and depending on your budget you can get an IPS screen with an internal 12bit lookup table where rather than fudging the output to make your screen appear calibrated, the screen stores a table of values based on a correction curve.

    Grab the model number of whatever you're thinking of getting and type it in here: www.flatpanelshd.com - Your guide to flat panel monitors and TVs - Panel Search to tell you what kind of panel it is.

    Also note that there are quite a few screens on the market which advertise wide colour gamuts (the standard is advertised at around 70-75% of the NTSC gamut, but screens with 90% and even bigger can be found for cheap). This will thrust you into a world of colour management hell. Quite manageable but expect a learning curve.


    Summary: PVA or IPS panel, not TN.
    All other details are far less important for calibration.
     
  4. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    How do you output your photo's? Internet only? Self printed? Printed by a lab?

    Garbz well covered the "a laptop screen is crap for image editing" aspect already.

    There are 2 kinds of calibrating tool: spectrophotometers and colorimeters.

    Colorimeters can only calibrate monitors. (X-RITE, EyeOne Display 2)

    Spectrophotometers can calibrate monitors and printers (self-printing). (X-RITE, ColorMunki)

    If a lab is doing your prints you not only need to calibrate your monitor, you also need to get their printer ICC profiles so you can 'softproof' in your image editing software.

    I use a dual monitor setup for image editing so I can have the image on one monitor, with all my editing tool pallets out of the way and not taking up image screen space, on the other.

    My main monitor is 22" and can be rotated to the vertical format when necessary. I use a pen tablet (Wacom) instead of a mouse.
     
  5. M.Powell

    M.Powell TPF Noob!

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    Thank you soooo much! both of you. I have a great place to start when I start looking! I would like to know more about finding out the labs printer ICC profiles. How would I do that? Call me crazy or whatever, but I'm seriously just getting into this in a serious manner. Thanks so much again!
     
  6. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    I also do not own a desktop computer. I use my Dell Latitude 830 laptop for everything. Although it has a matte WUXGA+ monitor on it, I was never satisfied with editing on it. I bought an outboard Dell 2209WA IPS panel monitor and I now am happy running it in the dual-monitor configuration with my laptop monitor for my Photoshop/Lightroom work. I calibrate both monitors with the Spyder 3, but always look at the final image on the Dell before saving it.
     
  7. KmH

    KmH Helping photographers learn to fish Supporting Member

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    Most labs have the profiles available for download somewhere on their web sites, just contact customer service and ask.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Soft proofing takes a bit to figure out. Basically every input and output device needs a system whereby they can tell what colour is what. With a calibrator your display gets an ICC profile. Photoshop converts colours using the ICC profile in the image (working profile) to a standard mathematical representation, and then converts that representation into colours on your screen using the ICC profile generated by your calibrator.

    When softproofing it'll convert the agnostic representation to the soft proofing profile (provided by the lab), and then convert that result to your display profile to show the picture on the screen. That way you can edit clearly showing the problems that the colour space of the printer may cause before you actually print.

    Introduction to Icc Profiles <- This page here can guide you through the steps involved in the process.
     

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