NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

Started Oct 1, 2007 | Discussions
Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

I'm about to get a new monitor. I've narrowed it down to one fo three:

1. NEC 2690WUXi
2. NEC 2490WUXi
3. Eizo CE240W

The 2690WUXi is appealing, because it's IPS and large. BUT: I have read that its wide gamut can only be calibrated to aRGB, and won't handle sRGB. That's fine for Photoshop, but if that's true it would mean blown-out reds and oversaturated colors for ordinary use, such as internet sites and video clips.

I know some of you have this monitor. What's your experience?

I read one post by a guy who was so frustrated with the 2690's inability to do sRGB -- which, as you know, means MOST images in computer usage, they're almost all sRGB -- that he sent it back and got tthe NEC 2490WUXi, which he loves.

The 2490WUXi is a standard gamut, not wide, and has no trouble with sRGB. It can also be calibrated to aRGB for Photoshop.

This is driving me crazy. I haven't seen any but a couple of people commenting on it, and those who did comment disliked the 2690 so much they got rid of it.

The Eizo has gotten unanimous raves by professional reviewers. Also, I spoke with the guys at B&H last week, and they LOVE the CE240W. They use it themselves every day, and see an improvement in the way images appear on the CE240W versus their other screens, and they have a lot of screens to compare with.

But: it's a PVA panel, so I'm worried that I'll get the same off-axis contrast issues as with othe PVA's, despite it being an Eizo. Is this true? Anyone know?

Any experience you guys have with these screens would be much appreciated.
---------------
Tom B

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Jim Dandy Regular Member • Posts: 178
Re: NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

Hi Tom,

I just installed a NEC 2690WUXi and I went through the decision you are trying to make now.

I bought the 2690 over the others because:

1) I do color critical photoshop work for my images, all in aRGB so I wanted the 93% coverage of the Abobe colorspace.

2) I do not care about sRGB except when preparing images for the web. The 2690 has an option to set it up for the sRGB colorspace when I need to use it.

3) I didn't want to deal with the Eizo because of the luminescence variance across the screen and it's lower coverage ofthe aRGB colorspace. If you want an Eizo for color critical work you need to but a CG series.

So, if I did not work in the aRGB colorspace like I do I would have opted for the NEC 2490 over the Eizo.

With my monitor set to use the aRGB colorspace, everything I have seen on the web so far looks fine on this monitor. I am not overly critical of someone else's work when I have no idea what it is supposed to look like. I do not see a problem with images being over saturated.

Hope this helps.
--
Jim
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Jim Dandy Regular Member • Posts: 178
Edit to last post

After going to my own website, I see now what others are complaining about as far as oversaturated colors on images prepared in sRGB, so I take back my statement about all being fine. I was referring mainly to general websites as far as appearances go. sRGB images are...well...yikes!

This issue, for me, is still unimportant as the great majority of my work in in aRGB and I can still tune the monitor to sRGB for those 4 times a year I update my website with images prepared in that colorspace.

Sorry for my premature and incorrect previous statement.
--
Jim
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Flagstaff, Arizona

bullet1 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,251
You can download Firefox 3 alpha version to view sRGB images

It was still a lot of work just get tagged sRGB images look right. Any untagged images are assumed to be in the Adobe RGB space so the ones in the sRGB color space will be shown oversaturated. This applies to most of web sites and icons, graphics and video clips on the Windows.

You can see what I did to make the Dell 30" HC (wide gamut) version work from the following threads.
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1004&message=24998798
http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1006&message=24998934
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DavidC Senior Member • Posts: 2,166
Re: NEC 2690WUXi - can it handle regular sRGB?

I have a 2690 and have the colour space set to sRGB. I calibrate it with an Eye-One Display 2 and my vga card software shows these profiles and appears to use them quite happily. I am running under Vista Ultimate.

I have had no problems with colour that I am aware of. I also use sRGB for CS3 and Corel's Painter.

David
http://www.davidcolepictures.co.uk

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Edit to last post

Jim Dandy wrote:

After going to my own website, I see now what others are complaining
about as far as oversaturated colors on images prepared in sRGB, so I
take back my statement about all being fine. I was referring mainly
to general websites as far as appearances go. sRGB images
are...well...yikes!

Thanks Jim. That confirms what others have been seeing and commenting on.

It explains how some people can love this monitor because most of they do is Photoshop, where the colors look great because it's an Adobe program in aRGB. It also explains how the average user could detest the screen because of the way everything else looks.

Nelson, you also confirmed this:

Any untagged images are assumed to be in the Adobe RGB space so the ones in the sRGB color space will be shown oversaturated. This applies to most of web sites and icons, graphics and video clips on the Windows.

Nelson, I read your detailed post about how to set up for sRGB. I followed what you did and saw that it would work, but it's pretty involoved, requiring rebooting into safe mode and all. I't not something one would do to go from Photoshop to surging the net. As you said,

It was still a lot of work just get tagged sRGB images look right.

It's not something you would do five or ten times a day, to switch from using Photoshop to surfing the net.

David, your experience is different:

I have a 2690 and have the colour space set to sRGB. I calibrate it with an Eye-One Display 2 and my vga card software shows these profiles and appears to use them quite happily.

Do you set the monitor to sRGB and leave it there? When you use Photoshop, are you using the 2690 in sRGB mode? Does that mean if you set the 2690 to sRGB, ignoring aRGB, you can see images properly in Photoshop?

Please bear with me on these questions. I'm coming from a CRT. I have never owned an LCD monitor.

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Tom B

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DavidC Senior Member • Posts: 2,166
Re: Edit to last post

Tom_Bruno wrote:
David, your experience is different:

I have a 2690 and have the colour space set to sRGB. I calibrate it with an Eye-One Display 2 and my vga card software shows these profiles and appears to use them quite happily.

Do you set the monitor to sRGB and leave it there? When you use
Photoshop, are you using the 2690 in sRGB mode? Does that mean if
you set the 2690 to sRGB, ignoring aRGB, you can see images properly
in Photoshop?

Please bear with me on these questions. I'm coming from a CRT. I
have never owned an LCD monitor.

Tom

I've got this wrong. Your post pushed me to have another look at the 2690 manual and it now looks to me as though a calibrated profile will not change settings when the display is in sRGB mode. Under "Colour Control Systems" the manual says:
"Native, sRGB: Original colour presented by the LCD panel that is unadjustable."

In the other colour presets (1, 2, 3, , and 5) Temperature, White Balance, Hue, Saturation" ...
can be adjusted.

I use sRGB in my Canon 40D camera, in Photoshop and in the display. I have not noticed any colour shifts when moving an image between these. I did see colour problems when I had colour set to aRGB in PS and moved images between the sRGB Corel Painter software and PS. Since most of my work is for the web and printing is amateur, staying in sRGB works ok. Though it has come as a bit of a shock that profiles are ineffective when the 2690 is in sRGB mode.

I'll have to do some tests profiling an adjustable preset.

David

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Just got off the phone with NEC

I too am pondering the 2490 or 2690. The Eizo is out of the question because it is a PVA panel.

Anyhow, I spoke with an expert at NEC and this is what he basically told me.

Colors from applications that are non color managed WILL LOOK INCORRECT on the 2690. It's kinda like saving a photo that you edit in ProRGB and uploading it online without converting it to sRGB and stripping the color profile.

There are a couple of solutions, the 2690 has a sRGB color space mode. Unfortunately, this space CANNOT be hardware calibrated. So your expensive 12-bit hardware calibrated 2690 LUT becomes useless while in this mode.

Hardware calibration can ONLY be done while in aRGB space.

So with that said, it sounds like unless you are looking at PhotoShop all day, then it becomes a major PITA to work with a high gamut monitor.

On a further note, the 2190UXi is a highly acclaimed monitor in terms of proper color reproduction. When I asked the NEC rep how the 2490WUxi compared to this monitor he said that could expect the same level of quality.

So with that said, I am going to purchase a 2490 as a color critical AND general purpose monitor.

Dave

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Like you, David C, I also contacted NEC today, and did a live chat with their tech support guy. He confirmed that the 2690WUXi CAN NOT BE CALIBRATED when in sRGB mode. And identical to the information you were given, he said images on the internet or programs that don't run Adobe RGB WILL NOT APPEAR PROPERLY when the 2690 is set to sRGB.

The world's images run on sRGB. Adobe RGB is specialized, and seems to be used only in graphics programs, and not even all of them. The whole internet is sRGB. Digital cameras are sRGB. Video clips are sRGB. Unless you're doing graphics all day, you NEED sRGB.

According to NEC, the 2690 can not be calibrated in sRGB mode. There is an sRGB preset, which is what it sounds like. It's set. You can't fine tune it, you can't use your Eye One or Spyder on it.

This is a MAJOR design flaw for such an expensive monitor. And a real hassle for people like me who are not using Photoshop all day. There's no way I'm going to do extensive computer hacking just to go back and forth between Photoshop and the internet. Future versions may have this fixed, but who knows when? I need a monitor now.

I've been looking at monitors for some time now, and I want a screen that looks great, is easy to use, is accurate, can be used for general purposes -- and can be calibrated in the sRGB mode that everything but Photoshop uses.

Like you, Dave, I'm leaning strongly towards the NEC 2490WUXi. A 24 inch screen is big and beautiful, it has IPS, there is no issue with color spaces and all reports are that the images are bright, sharp and detailed. It seems like a winner.

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Tom B

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DavidC Senior Member • Posts: 2,166
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Tom
I actually just consulted the 2690's manual, not NEC direct.

It is odd that in sRGB mode the 2690 cannot be calibrated though I have to say I am not sure what practical difference this makes (the calibration). I am not aware of any practical colour problems this causes me.

David

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
One thing to point out.

Is that although the monitor cannot have it's LUT calibrated when in sRGB mode, you CAN calibrate your video. But if you are going to go this route, then why even bother putting your money into something that you pay a premium for so that you can calibrate the monitors internal LUT.

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

Really? I can think of one. You can't calibrate your display while running in sRGB mode, you can calibrate your gfx card, but this defeats the purpose (and frankly I haven't tried this, so I don't know how well this would work).

I mean, suppose you are looking at online images while processing images, it will be a major pain to have to switch back and forth between color spaces in order to see all images properly.

I just don't see these displays as practical unless they are used in a fixed environment i.e. Photoshop and that is it.

DavidC wrote:

Tom
I actually just consulted the 2690's manual, not NEC direct.

It is odd that in sRGB mode the 2690 cannot be calibrated though I
have to say I am not sure what practical difference this makes (the
calibration). I am not aware of any practical colour problems this
causes me.

David

PicOne
PicOne Veteran Member • Posts: 6,932
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

I don't understand this at all.. sorry for being dense. The monitor itself has an sRGB setting? And, why exactly can't a hardware device (eg. EyeOne) run calibration on the monitor when in this setting to create a profile?

DavidC wrote:

Tom
I actually just consulted the 2690's manual, not NEC direct.

It is odd that in sRGB mode the 2690 cannot be calibrated though I
have to say I am not sure what practical difference this makes (the
calibration). I am not aware of any practical colour problems this
causes me.

David

PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

I think part of the reason why people spend money on the NEC monitors is because you can use the spectraview software to calibrate the monitors via the internal LUT vs the GFX card.

If you put one of these monitors in sRGB mode, they are designed in a such a manner that no adjustments can be made, i.e. you cannot calibrate the internal monitor LUT while in this mode.

What this leaves you with is the ability to calibrate the monitor through you gfx card and not through the hardware LUT. So that being said, what is the point in spending the $$$ for fancy features if you are not going to utilize them.

PicOne wrote:
I don't understand this at all.. sorry for being dense. The
monitor itself has an sRGB setting? And, why exactly can't a
hardware device (eg. EyeOne) run calibration on the monitor when in
this setting to create a profile?

DavidC wrote:

Tom
I actually just consulted the 2690's manual, not NEC direct.

It is odd that in sRGB mode the 2690 cannot be calibrated though I
have to say I am not sure what practical difference this makes (the
calibration). I am not aware of any practical colour problems this
causes me.

David

HS Newman Regular Member • Posts: 318
Re: One thing to point out.

Thanks for this useful discussion. If you cannot program the LUT in sRGB on the NEC, is there any reason not to get the Planar PX2611W which uses the same panel, is half the price and does not have an LUT? Is there a graphics card (or perhaps a switch in Vista) that will allow you to easily switch between sRGB and aRGB?
Howard

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OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Re: Just got off the phone with NEC

PixelDave wrote:

If you put one of these monitors in sRGB mode, they are designed in a
such a manner that no adjustments can be made, i.e. you cannot
calibrate the internal monitor LUT while in this mode.

What this leaves you with is the ability to calibrate the monitor
through you gfx card and not through the hardware LUT. So that being
said, what is the point in spending the $$$ for fancy features if you
are not going to utilize them.

Exactly. I didn't understand this for some time. Then I read a number of posts, some of them on the Hard Forum:

http://www.hardforum.com/showthread.php?t=1095840&highlight=nec+2490wuxi&page=59

People there cite the inability to adjust the sRGB preset using the 12 bit internal LUT -- the big reason you buy this fancy screen -- as a huge negative.

When I first read reports of this, I told myself that the reports had to be in error. I couldn't believe that a big high-tech company like NEC would commit such a blunder, on a high-end screen no less, and was very skeptical of the forum posts. So I contacted NEC directly today, as mentioned previously. Sure enough. The sRGB is preset internally. That means pre-set, as in you can't change it. The only way to adjust sRGB is with your 8-bit graphics card, and NOT use the fancy internal 12-bit LUT's. Oh: there is a way to adjust the the screen internally through or through the NEC service menu -- which would void the warranty.

Unbelievable, but there it is. All too true. The only way you can tweak sRGB -- which is basically everything except Photoshop -- is through your graphics card. Huh? Your 8-bit card? Those fancy internal LUT's are basically of no use! And for a lot of money, too.

The happy part is that the 2490WUXi has no such problem. The sRGB settings CAN BE CALIBRATED INTERNALLY on the 2490, giving you full advantage of the hardware you pay for. And as David C has observed, if you have good sRGB settings you'll have no problems.

The 2490 seems like a winner to me. Hardly smaller than the 25.5 inch 2690. Big, beautiful screen, able to be fully calibrated using the 12-bit internal LUT's. What the 2690 should be, the 2490 actually is.

I'm afraid the 2690 needs another iteration or two before it's where it should be.

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bullet1 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,251
10 or 12 bit LUT and 8 bit eveything else

What is good of paying big bucks for the extra bits when the rest of the system don't even have or care? A system can only be as good as its weakest link.
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PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Re: One thing to point out.

I believe that the monitor itself has a quick switch to go from sRGB to aRGB. You would then have to switch the profiles on your GFX card. I personally have not tried this.

Frankly for the price, I think that the 2490 could be a better option since it can be found for almost the same price as the Planar.

HS Newman wrote:

Thanks for this useful discussion. If you cannot program the LUT in
sRGB on the NEC, is there any reason not to get the Planar PX2611W
which uses the same panel, is half the price and does not have an
LUT? Is there a graphics card (or perhaps a switch in Vista) that
will allow you to easily switch between sRGB and aRGB?
Howard

OP Tom_Bruno Senior Member • Posts: 1,360
Ken Rockwell's take on aRGB

If you've read messages in this thread and are going, "Huh? What's sRGB? What difference does it make? Do I have to know this?" etc, here's a quick intro to the subject.

Ken Rockwell, who people at DPR love to hate, has a page on the basics of sRGB versus aRGB. He says that the difference DOES matter, and that unless you're a graphics pro (which some people here are) that sRGB is the way to go.

If you know nothing about color spaces, and can ignore Rockwell's braggadocio for a minute or so, read this for a quick, easy intro:

http://www.kenrockwell.com/tech/adobe-rgb.htm

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Tom B

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PixelDave Regular Member • Posts: 363
Great deals at

provantage.com btw. Best price I have seen yet.

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