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Best CRT Monitor for editing pictures (Under $500)

Nita Dyck , May 30, 2007; 03:43 p.m.

I'm want to purchase a good quality monitor but don't have a lot of bucks to spend. What are some good options?


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Ellis Vener , May 30, 2007; 04:57 p.m.

At this point in time? a really good LCD.

Leopold Stotch , May 30, 2007; 05:26 p.m.

For the budget you mention, you could get a high end LCD (or 2 decent ones).

Umut Arslan , May 30, 2007; 06:41 p.m.

CRT is virtually dead. But there are good LC displays for editing pictures. Take a look at EIZO Colorgraphics series. www.eizo.com

Yves Jalbert , May 30, 2007; 07:59 p.m.

I guess I'm one of the few people who still use CRT's hehehe. Well rest assured that many people still use CRTs for the quality of the image you get compared to lcd screens (most professionals in photo labs and people in the graphic design sector). It's true they take longer to warm up and that the lifetime for a precise color calibration is shorter than an lcd. But unless you pay a fortune for an lcd that can actually be used to adjust photo work for prints (professionally), getting a new CRT might do the trick for now and be much less expensive.

Personal choice? I just got two Viewsonic 21 inch Graphic Series CRT monitors (G225fB). A bit big? yes. Heavy too? yes. But they are wonderful to work with. The Viewsonic Graphics Design Series is intended for professionals, mostly people who work in graphic design. And since it's available from 17 to 21 inch you'll find something in your price range.

If you change your mind and decide to get an lcd screen then save the money and get something that can be used for photo work. Something that can actually be used for photo edition so you can work on them and send them to the lab without corrections. They are still expensive but those top of the line lcds are catching up to CRTs reallllly fast.

C Jo Gough - Carmel, CA , May 30, 2007; 08:46 p.m.

used Sony Trinitron 20in ~~ are about $25-50 .

Emre Safak , May 31, 2007; 05:09 p.m.

If you live in America, you might be able to pick up a used CRT for cheap. I obtained a 19" LaCie EBIII this way for $80. A bit soft for text, but moire-free and great detail from shadow to highlight.

Of course you can buy new but why not get used when everybody is so willing to get rid of their CRTs for cheap?

Charlie Chan , Jun 01, 2007; 03:44 p.m.

I bought a secondhand Lacie Electron Blue 22 inch CRT for 60GBP recently via the Bay. Stunning quality, reagrdless of price


Nita Dyck , Jun 06, 2007; 07:08 p.m.

Thanks for all your imput everyone! I've looked into all the suggestions and right now the LCD is still out of my price range.

Like the LaCie but I'm having touble finding a good used one (since no one makes new CRTs anymore) but I've heard that their lifespan is only about 3 years so is used really a good idea anyway?

Yves, I do like the specs on the Viewsonic 21 inch Graphic Series CRT monitors (G225fB) but I read a couple of reports saying there were problems with wavy lines. Have you experienced this? Also, how is the shadow to highlight? I need to see all shades of black and when editing things like a grooms tux :) I am pretty close to shelling out the $500 asking price but don't want to regret it.

Yves Jalbert , Jun 06, 2007; 08:25 p.m.

Well my answer to your question was based on two things. The title of your post is that 1. you need a monitor to edit pictures, and that 2. you want a good quality one.

To me that rules out a -used- CRT at the beginning; so I'm really surprised you got answers pointing out 21 inch monitors at 25$. That's an incredible waste of money, even if it's only that much. You can't edit pictures with a used CRT and expect to make prints that will look close to what you see on screen; or expect other people with calibrated monitors see the same results as you on their monitors.

The lifespan of a CRT monitor is a bit lower than an LCD; that is true. Purchasing a good used CRT monitor (4-5 years and over) means that you probably won't be able to calibrate it (maybe close if you are really lucky). And you can definitely expect some limitations with the brightness and contrast.

As a real life example, it takes me about 10 minutes to go through the full automated step by step calibration process of the Colorvision SpyderPro2 software and device. That's pretty fast considering all it has to do on it's own. Calibrating my Viewsonic is a breeze because it can be adjusted to 6500K precisely, and in no time. Doing the same on another monitor (4 years old - a NEC MultiSync) takes 10 to 15 minutes more. It just ain't precise enough. With a lot of playing around I'll get it somewhat close, but it's a real pain.

Long story short, it depends what you do with the CRT. If you say you edit pictures, do you mean you want the shots to look like the prints you'll get back from the lab (considering they won't make corrections)?

I didn't experience any problems with my monitors at all (but that's just me - a friend has one as well, same thing). And you can believe me I'm fussy when it comes to photos. I don't let the lab do ANY corrections on my shots. I do the corrections at home and send them to the lab for prints. What I get is what I see on my monitor. So for me, I find the shadow to highlight excellent. When I calibrate it with the Spyder Pro it covers these portions in details and you can set it very precisely.

I'm not trying to sell you on the idea of a Viewsonic. There are really good brands out there I'm sure. It's being used as a very good digital darkroom monitor for me. All I'm saying is that a new CRT monitor is better than a used one, depending on what you do with it.

I suggest you read more, especially in the digital darkroom forum. You'll find other responses and suggestions as this question comes around regularly.

Good luck with your searching.

Yves Jalbert

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