Seeing The World Through New Eyes

It’s amazing what happens when you have your eyes checked and get a new pair of glasses or contacts.  The world is that much crisper, clearer, and you realize how much you have been missing lately.  Well the same thing goes for getting a new professional monitor.  And this afternoon I was excited by the fact that my online and digital darkroom experience was about the change…and change dramatically.  My NEC MultiSync LCD2690WUXi2 arrived!


If you have never experienced your computer time through a large 26″ monitor…you should.

If you have never experienced you photos being displayed in 107% of aRGB color gamut…you need to!

One of the lightning bolts that hit me a few weeks back at the Epson Print Academy in San Francisco is the need for wide gamut color display if you are going to do any serious printing on your own.  While this was something that I knew, it took attending the Print Academy to slap me into action.  The old 17″ Sony Trinitron CRT just wasn’t cutting it anymore, in size or color space.  Most older monitors don’t even display 100% of the sRGB color gamut.  Most of the time you are working in the aRGB color gamut (much larger than aRGB).  And when you’re printing you should be printing in the proRGB color gamut which is very close to the color gamut that the human eye can see…but that is a discussion for the future.

sRGB and aRGB Color Gamuts

The diagram above shows a graphical representation of the sRGB color gamut (inner line) compared to the aRGB color gamut (outer line).  You can see that the aRGB gamut shows considerable more colors in the green and blue spectrum but also noticeable more colors in the red, orange, and yellow (these are the ones that most noticeable jumped out at me right away).  The impact was quite dramatic even within the desktop image that I have installed on my Mac.  When comparing the NEC monitor with the MacBook Pro LCD, the blues, oranges, and yellows were much more dramatic.

The 2690WUXi2 is the second generation of this specific monitor from NEC.  The key differences are

  • a jump from 92% to 107% aRGB color gamut  (more color shades being displayed)
  • increased contrast ratio from 800:1 to 1000:1 (more tonal gradients being displayed)

All while costing essentially the same price as the first generation monitor!

I have been on the fence on upgrading my monitor for a while.  I had been considering the new Apple 24″ Cinema Display, but was very disappointed with the lack of information about the color gamut it could display (that and it’s monitor connection wouldn’t work with my older MacBook Pro…only the latest Generation, and no adapters were in sight).  Actually, most Mac Monitors (counter to popular belief) are not that great for high end/professional level graphics.  I know many photographers who go with a Eizo professional  monitor but end up paying almost twice what this NEC costs.  I’m ecstatic that I went with the NEC.

Now, with so much screen real estate and color gamut…it’s time to get back to some photos.  And start planning my Epson printer investment…

(Side Note: Jim Goldstein recently posted his review of the Epson Print Academy held in San Francisco.  Not only do I have to thank Jim for the complimentary ticket to that event, I also have to agree with his review…it’s well worth the time to attend.)

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