Sunday, July 26, 2009
I GOT LUCKY!
No my sex-life has not improved. I haven’t been looking for a new squeeze. But I have been looking for an inexpensive LCD display that will work for digital photographers. Actually I discovered it among numerous models LG Electronics has listed on its web site awhile ago. But a request to LGE for a loan to review it for Shutterbug was denied because it is a 2008 model that is not being offered in the 2009 product lineup.
The model is a L227WTG, a wide screen 22 inch, wide gamut, with 1680X1050 pixel resolution using a (TN,IPS) panel, with a 2MS response time, and a pixel pitch of 0.282, with a recommended price of $360. I have seen this model LGE advertised by a number of on-line vendors like NewEgg, Amazon and Tiger Direct usually under the price listed by LGE. The other day I saw a price of $219 plus shipping and I could not resist, although I have no need for another display. It was delivered a couple of days ago.
The next morning I had it unpacked, and installed on one of my systems in about 15 minutes. I turned the system on along with the new LGE display, and went for my second espresso of the day while it warmed up. After answering a couple of e-mails, I went back to my lab and proceeded to adjust, calibrate and profile this new LCD display using ColorEyes Display Pro and a DataColor Spyder3 colorimeter. With the ColorEyes application on-screen the first item is monitor setting, selecting what kind of display you are connected to, so I tried the top selection for DVI-DDC displays, and after waiting just a bit the software confirmed that the connection had ben made and there is support for DVI-DDC that allows screen adjustments made via ColorEyes as part of the process of calibration and profiling. (I didn’t have to deal with manually adjusting screen contrast and brightness controls the software did that to the 90.0 CD/m2 aim point I selected in the CEDP software application, along with the selection of L* Gamma, and a color temperature of D65. With all my aim points selected, I clicked on the Profile button and sat back while ColorEyes did its work; almost half an hour and this was on my fastest computer.
But it seemed worth it. Once the calibration and profiling was done I re-started the computer and checked to be sure the new profile was now set as the boot default. With a largely blank medium grays desktop the gray was neutral and even across the screen, at least as even as any display I use with CCFL tube backlight. Then I launched Photoshop and opened my standard personal print test image. There was nothing in the display image reproduction I could find any fault with, but this display has its own look. That may be in part due to the fact it has a much shinier screen surface than I am used to, but nothing like the glass mirror finish of the new Apple iMacs and 24” Cinema display. I wasn’t concerned at this point as every new display I test takes getting used to perceptually. So I set about color correcting and adjusting Raw camera files from a recent shoot. I soon felt fairly comfortable with this new display, and after finishing a good number of files I did some color managed prints to see if both color and density matched what was displayed on-screen. Not bad at all. A little varied but learning how to anticipate results with a strange new display takes more than a handful of processed images. I expect to have it zeroed in after a couple more days living with the L227WGT, and I also expect I will like this display even though I am not a fan of wide format sizes and screen proportions. But that’s all there will be in the future as new 3:4 aspect ratio displays are being discontinued at a rapid rate.
The 3rd day with this new LGE display, and many more images color corrected and adjusted with increasing accuracy and ease. So I decided I should be sure of this experience and move the display to my least powerful Mac Mini computer, and re-calibrating and profiling the display. That proved to be just as accurate. And I will take advantage of my use including e-mail and writing at the lower display resolution, 1680X1050 with a 22” provide larger font display, versus a 20” with 1600x1200 pixels. As I have said before I like the older 20” displays and their high resolution, for the sharpness and its advantage doing retouching.
The bottom line is that this L227WGT display provides the essential attributes of a large color gamut, most of Adobe RGB, DVI-DDC support for more beneficial adjustment to achieve a brightness match to photo inkjet paper white, about 90.0 CD/m2 white luminance, as well as accurate calibration and profiling. This performance supports screen to print matching in both color and print density. However, even though the screen appearance is as good as more costly LCD displays, the affordable price is achieved in part by very light weight construction and limited adjustment capability, particularly this display cannot be raised or lowered, as well as only two connection inputs, a digital DVI interface and an analog D-sub connector for older computers.
How many of these LGE L227WGT displays remain in stock and available for purchase is unknown, but it is limited number and will not be increased by LGE as this model has not been continued in 2009. So, if you want a very affordable display that is an effective solution to avoiding prints that are too dark, get on the Internet and make your search for an advantageous price.
If you have a comment, they are welcome, so please post it. If you have a question you want me to answer please address an e-mail to David B. Brooks at: email@example.com
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