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Banding in skies and vignettes and color casts in grayscale PS files.

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I am trying to get some clarity here before my brain explodes.
I am in the process of buying a new monitor for my Mac Pro tower. Well, i have bought it, an expensive one. Very.

But when i got it delivered and calibrated i noticed:
1. Banding in the vignette areas like skies and shadows created under objects in photoshop. In the shadows you cannot actually see the smooth gradation from grey to white. it is super bandy. Almost like looking at the color palette in PS when showing "show only web colors".
2. In a grayscale document when you create a shadow or a grey to white vignette there is the above banding and color. Specifically yellow/green and magenta in areas as the vignette goes from lighter to darker etc.

Now i have never seen this before on any monitors i have had in the past.

Note: On the studio iMac these issues do not appear...

I have attached 2 pics taken with my cellphone showing the banding and color. Obviously the pic of the screen makes the whole thing look worse, but you get the idea.

To try and resolve this we have together with the supplier been through every cable on the planet, we have got a better graphics card (read more expensive), we have even had the monitor replaced.


Well, marginal differences, but suffice to say the issue remains.
The company we bought it through says they never test for that so it is within spec. If the ORIS CT Test Chart is right, then the monitor is right.

But then i need to live with the issues i am seeing and i cannot. Not at that price.

Grayscale has color casts
Vignettes have banding / steps.

So i am not sure if i am just venting or what my question is, but possibly if you have ever seen this i would love to hear from you.

And then if you can tell me what screens you currently work on for accurate color i would be interested to see what is out there.

It would be interesting to hear from a retoucher as they would be most concerned with color and vignettes etc.


If you need the info - the screen is an NEC PA241W Display (24-inch -1920 x 1200) and the graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2047 MB





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When the monitor first came it was not something i checked because it had never been an issue in the past.
I only noticed it when editing a photo with some sky and in PS with a shadow that was under a floating product which was not there when i first set up that document.
There was banding and the shadow (gray) had a greenish tint to it.

So i cannot tell you for sure if it was on that monitor before we calibrated it, but it was there on the new one they brought yesterday before we even calibrated that one.

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Damien, they took that monitor back as i was not happy for them to leave it and i am using a temporary monitor supplied by them in the interim so i cannot test it on that monitor.

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It shows no banding or color casts in the grayscale images.

But it is  5 year old monitor provided by the company that i bought the monitor through and who does the color correction for me.

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He did calibrate it, apparently it is an old monitor (NEC MultiSyncPA241w) - at least 5yrs old so there is a bit of darkness at the bottom on the right hand side so not ideal - it was supposed to be a temporary solution until they brought in a replacement.

Do you think the problem could be the fact that the monitor is a new super fancy 2.5K resolution and my 2009 tower cannot somehow "keep up"?

If you were to suggest an editing machine for a photographer and a web designer, what would it be?
How would an iMac perform to process 1500+ images 5dmk3 RAW files from a wedding through lightroom?

I am wracking my brain to find a solution so i can just move forward.



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I find it unlikely that your computer might be struggling to keep up with the monitor. Your card is still pretty good. Mine is the 550 version and it works great. 

Did the banding re-appear after you calibrated the temporary monitor you are using? And just to make sure we are on the same page, he calibrated the monitor after you hooked it up to your computer, correct?

Damien would never recommend an iMac lol. 

I'd look into getting one of the suggested monitors that Damien has listed on his website: http://www.damiensymonds.net/art_monitor.html if whoever you purchased this monitor from isn't able to give you a suitable alternative. 

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No, it was his calibration tool. I do not have one.

This is the chronological order of events.

After many years of service my  monitor gave up the ghost.
We swapped it with an older Mac cinema display we had in the studio and which he then calibrated.

He suggested the "NEC PA241W Display (24-inch -1920 x 1200)" and ordered it.

When it arrived he installed and calibrated it. A few days later when working on a web project i noticed that the shadow under a product was not smooth but had hard steps in it. There was also a yellowish color tint to it.
I then noticed when processing a wedding that if i pulled a gradient down over a sky in lightroom, there was banding in the sky which moved when i moved the gradient. This had magenta in the banding.
This was the first time i had ever seen this.

We then tried multiple cable options including really expensive "shielded" cables. There was also a setting in the monitor for a "native" setting - not sure exactly what it was called. all of which showed slight changes, but no major improvement. We installed a more expensive graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce GTX 750 Ti 2047 MB ). Also no real change.

When we plugged this monitor into our studio iMac as a secondary monitor, nothing changed BUT it actually degraded the display on the iMac which is very strange.

Eventually i got him to bring in a temporary monitor while the problem monitor was taken to the distributor and "checked". It was found to be problematic.

A replacement monitor was brought in and before it could even be calibrated, i saw the banding in vignettes both in lightroom and when created in PS as well as a grayscale vignette created in PS that had color casts in the banding.

I said this is not acceptable, he said so you are saying the monitor is substandard, i said no, it is just not acceptable for me to have to accept that the level of "banding" and color casts in a grayscale PS file on a monitor that is so expensive.

He has now taken it back again.

That is where we stand - hope that clarifies.

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Yes - i am now awaiting the response and trying to figure out what steps are next.
Do i get a new more current machine from my 2009 MacPro tower, do i just get the screen resolved, do i go iMac...
So frustrating, this shouldn't be this difficult.

Which calibrator do you recommend?

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