Rod tells me about his new monitors. 

On a photography front I ended up getting 2 Dell u2711’s that I love I’m waiting on an Xrite Color checker Passport & an xrite eye-one i1display 2 colour profiler. I also took the plunge and bought an NEX-5 and Canon 85mm f/1.2. 

My Reply:

Sounds nice.  You won’t have any problems color profiling two U2711’s (they use the video card LUT’s) because you have two video cards.. your only problem will be choosing which color profile you want to use.  Every other purpose will be a compromise.  Let me give you an example.  I have 5 major profiles I use: 

  1. sRGB for the web.  I want to process an image and have it appear 100% on the web, as I see it in Lightroom or Photoshop.  This means other people as well can see it the way you desire, because sRGB is the web standard.  This includes shops that make your prints.   Also, when set to this standard it allows you to see the work of others on the web as they designed it to be. 
  1. CYMK   I use this for processing images used for advertising brochures and the such.  We call it pre-press. 
  1. In house printing.  Here, I use the full color gamut with my own in house printers.  I want to be able to see output from my printer that looks exactly as it does in Lightroom or Photoshop.  This means the monitor will usually be very dim compared to sRGB, which means I’ll need to increase the exposure relative to sRGB to get correct prints.   If I sent out these files to an out of house printer who’s set up for sRGB.. they’d not only turn out underexposed, but the colors would be off. 
  1. Out of house specialty wide-gamut printing.  This is a profile for when I want to process my images in Lightroom or Photoshop, at their widest possible gamut, and then pay a specialty print house who uses wide-gamut inkjet art printers.  This type of file printed on an sRGB printer, or viewed on an sRGB monitor.. will look severely oversaturated.. especially in the reds. 
  1. And finally.. I want a profile less bright than standard sRGB but where the colors still look correct.. for my every day web viewing.    

This is five profiles.  With the NEC’s I can profile each of these on each monitor using my calibration software and hardware (in this case Spectraview II), and because the NEC’s use 12-14 bit hardware LUT’s, I can switch between them with the click of a mouse.

In contrast, your U2711’s use 8 bit video card LUT’s (the difference between 8 and 12 bits is a few million shades of color).. This means when you profile your monitor, you’ll have to choose a single purpose, and during the calibration process you’ll need to manipulate the monitor controls (brightness, contrast, red, green, blue) on the monitor itself.. so the monitor will be set up to work ONLY with that one profile.  I did it this way for years.. and I learned that if I was profiled for one, I could get close to the others by upping/lowering the exposure, or increasing/decreasing colors.. but it was always a guess.. and I NEVER got the web part right..  

So.. while the U2711’s are S-IPS quality monitors.. they lack this major ability photographers really need.  I’ve only been fortunate enough to have this capability since I’ve had my new NEC’s.. but it’s like someone took the handcuffs off.. and I’m now 100% accurate on all profiles.. and I can do one kind of work now, ten minutes later another kind of work, and so on.. with no penalty.  It’s great..  

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