Best Monitor for Viewing Flesh Tones?

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by earllogjam, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. earllogjam

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    I am looking for a computer monitor to enhance my porn viewing pleasure. Does anybody have any advice on what kind of monitor/video card set up renders naked people the best? Has anyone found the perfect monitor?

    I went to the electronics mega store the other day and was just amazed how some monitors (on the default setting) just render people and flesh tones better. There is a definite 3D image quality of photographs to the better monitors. Since it is hard to test drive this kind of material at the store, I am asking here.

    I realize that the quality of the original image has much to do with how it is rendered on screen but I was amazed at the NEC Optiflex monitor and how realistic things look on its screen.

    Long ago I had an expesive CRT monitor from Dell that was the absolute pits in terms of porn viewing - unrealistic flesh tones and flat picture quality. If I had known I would find so much enjoyment viewing naked people I would have never mailed ordered that monitor.
     
  2. viking1

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    NEC definitely makes a good monitor. I have an older flat screen Sony CRT monitor. It's so good I hate to get rid of it. It's getting old, and takes up a lot of room, but it still looks better than most of LCD monitors I've seen.
    Sony no longer makes CRT monitors. I was going to get a Sony LDC with the X-Brite system. I saw one in a lawyers office, and I was impressed. I started looking for one, and found out Sony only makes 24" and up screen size now. They are from around $800 and up. I didn't get one, as that is too pricey for me.

    There are only 5 or 6 companies that make the actual LCD panels. All the brands use one of them and just put their name on the front. There may be other differences, but only a few make the actual LCD panels.

    Samsung also makes a good monitor. I have heard that the Apple Cinema Display is very good. They are quite expensive as well.

    I don't know what the overall best for viewing pictures is. I do know that some are better at graphics and others at text. One that does both well would ideal. I know the Sony that the lawyer had looked way better than the Dell we have in the office where I work. The Dell has sharp color and doesn't look "washed out". It does look grainy and digital to me. Like I'm looking through a bug screen. I never have like that thing since they got it.
     
  3. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    What you're looking for is a monitor with the color gamut that come closest to sRGB color standards, as that's the color standard which digital cameras come closest to matching. Windows has an sRGB option so you can choose that as your default color gamut. You also want with which you can control the color temperature. While most web graphics are designed for viewing at 9500K, most digital images are at 6500K! A lot goes into recreating accurate color and setting your monitor to 6500K will do a lot to help recreate accurate fleshtones as 6500K is the NTSC/ATSC color temperature standard for video. Remember that not everyone will have a properly calibrated camera to take the pictures to begin with!

    Assuming you don't want to go the professional route which gets expensive really quickly, I'd go with an Eizo or Apple monitor. Both produce superb images and allow you to control color temp, hue, and gamma. If your graphics card doesn't have digital output (DVI), you'll want one that does to keep the image from being converted from digital to analog and back to digital. If you decide to get picky, some camera shops will rent a color calibration tool to you so you can calibrate your monitor for the web.
     
  4. earllogjam

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    Viking,
    The first CRT monitor I had was a NEC and it was terrific. Great porn viewing from that. I think it was a 15" screen. Great color, great 3D effects for nudes. I am in agreement with you that the CRT monitors seem to be better than the LCD monitors I've seen in terms of picture quality.

    Thanks for the info Jason. Some monitor brands just have flat un-lifelike image rendering compared to others despite the adjustable color settings on the control - does the video card contribute to much of the image quality in these monitors?

    I was actually looking for a basic monitor that has great default settings so I don't need to tweek every image to get it look good on screen. I wonder why some monitors have a greater 3D effect than others. I don't think it is just the accruacy of the colors but rather how it interprets shade and shadows- does the monitor of video card do that?
     
  5. jason_els

    jason_els <img border="0" src="/images/badges/gold_member.gi

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    You had to ask... :spank:

    Yes, it's a combination of the card and the monitor. Each have color settings that can be independently tweaked so it's more a matter of getting them to work together well than either piece of equipment alone.

    The monitors with the finest pixel pitch tend to have better 3D effect but keep in mind that if a picture is well-balanced, it will look great if the equipment is good to begin with. Since porn is all about photo quality, you want to tune your monitor and card to best represent digital images. Set your monitor to 6500K, then drop the contrast to about half and the sharpness to nothing. The resulting picture may be dimmer, but it will be more accurate. Again though, it's important to set the color palette in the O/S for sRGB so that it comes closest to the color palette of digital cameras.

    With either a good nvidia or ATI card, mated to a good monitor that has excellent pixel pitch and color fidelity, you should be able to get a great monitor image. Do remember that a lot of porn is shot by people who have no idea what they're doing behind a camera. They didn't white balance or compensate for the light source.

    In truth, the best thing to do is to get that mug shot of yours out and then after changing the settings, tweak the image so that the picture looks like you. That's a great picture (for many reasons :biggrin1:) because it first of all it shows you and you know your face and flesh tone better than anyone else. Second, it was taken with great lighting and on a decent camera. If you can tweak the image to make that picture look good, chances are it will make others look good too.

    Many LCD monitors have contrast-enhancing and reflection preventative protective screens on them. Try to avoid those as they're harder to make look good, particularly with the naturally dimmer, but more accurate, image of a well-calibrated monitor.

    If you have an Apple store nearby, check out their monitors. They really are beautiful. Eizo are harder to find but if you live in or near a city you should go to place where you can see one. Like with TVs, most stores crank the contrast on their monitors because we interpret a brighter, more vivid image to be a better image even though it's truly less accurate. Try to play with settings on the demo models to get something that looks good to you but keep those brands in mind because even if they don't necessarily look perfect in the store, they're what most professionals use because they can be properly calibrated to look great.
     
  6. snoozan

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    I'm a photographer and a lot of my work is finding acceptable skin tones to render both on screen and on paper. I prefer Sony and Samsung monitors myself, even better than the Apple displays and some of the high end monitors that I've played with. jason_els has a lot of good things to say, and i think he's made some good points that i'm not going to repeat. Setting your white point, color space, have a good graphics card with a DVI out are all important.

    In my work, having a calibrated monitor is really important. For $100-$150 you can buy a little device that will help you set up a color profile on your monitor to give you truer, better color. I love my calibrator because it's saved me a ton of money and the color on my monitor is really rich.

    With that said, I don't know how much of that is really necessary for your video viewing pleasure-- you might be just as well going to a few stores and picking out the one in your price range that looks best to your eye. The monitors that I've been happiest with I've picked that way. I've found sometimes that just eyeballing something can work better than spending a lot of time stressing over the technical details.

    I like jason's idea of using that photo of you, but on my monitor and with my eye, it looks a little green/yellow. To a point, you'll be able to eyeball color on a screen, but because of the way our brains work, we see color more relatively than absolutely and we all see color slightly differently-- so if you're really hot to trot on having "true" color, you might want to get one of the calibrators I mentioned above. Maybe. Then again, you might just want to buy a monitor, bring it home, run a vid through it, and if you like it as much as you did in the store, keep it.
     
  7. earllogjam

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    I had a nVidia card with a Dell Trinitron monitor and the results were less than acceptable. But the same card with a NEC monitor worked great. I am inclined to buy a good monitor simply because I can keep it for a long time. I have a Mac mini now and I remember seeing the Apple monitors and they are good. Does Sony actually make them for Apple? Anyways thanks for the advice Jason. I'll go check them out again.

    Does the calibrator help in making images appear more 3D in terms of enhancing shadows and shading of objects? It seems like it is just for color correction.
     
  8. snoozan

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    To a point, yes. Those smooth contrast-enhancing panels on a lot of the new LCDs look good and can do that, though Jason was right in terms of it changing things in a direction that you may not like.

    Honestly, I think the best thing to do right now is to simply look at monitors and see which ones you like. From there you can look at it at home and see if you like it as much as you did at the store. I only say this because I know for a fact that I can pick out a Samsung from a mile away because my eye really likes the way they render things. The most important part in this, I think, is going to be your personal taste.

    My 2 cents.
     
  9. earllogjam

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    The trouble with those electronic big box stores is that you can never slip in your porno CD and see how it looks on the screens. Darn. Some charge ridiculous restocking fees. Oh well. I'll need to eyeball it. I'm leaning on getting the NEC.

    I have a Samsung SyncMaster 915N monitor at work and very happy with it. It is very good but I don't view any naked pictures on it. I use it mainly for non-graphic type applications. The pictures of people can look a bit flat but I don't know if it is because of the installed graphics card.
     
  10. jason_els

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    I got into this because of my home theater hobby and because I did tech support. That 3D look comes from having a monitor that is properly calibrated. The color correction is part of it, but so is contrast, pixel pitch, pixel refresh rate, sharpness, panel alignment, and brightness. When all those work together, then you get that 3D effect that makes pictures look very life like. There is no one setting that controls that effect. A well calibrated monitor will make a picture look as good as it can possibly be.
     
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