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Own Two Apple Displays - which should be my main for ACR/PS

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Hi Brian -

I just have a question regarding which monitor you think I should be using as my "main" monitor for my setup.

I have a 15" Retina Macbook Pro laptop (2014).  I bought this computer before I really started getting into the digital photography world (I am also a musician that enjoys recording in Logic so I bought the laptop to supplement my old 2009 Mac Pro desktop).  I have noticed that sometimes it is very difficult to see sharpness and luminance adjustments on this monitor, but after reading through comments in the RAW class and on this forum, I have concluded that my issue may just be that I have a Retina display.

My other monitor is an Apple Cinema Display (27")... BUT it is the model that existed right before they went to Thunderbolt.  This is not a Retina display.  Uses the Mini Display Port.  So this is a much older monitor (probably 2010'ish - literally bought it right before Thunderbolt came in).  

Both monitors are calibrated to my prints.  So I guess my question is whether to use the newer, but smaller, retina... or the older, but bigger, Apple Cinema Display as my main workhorse in my journey into photography?

I really appreciate your help!


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Believe it or not, I'm going to recommend that you use the old Apple Cinema Display!

Reasons are as follows:

  • It's an External Display. It stays at the same viewing angle until you change it.
  • An External Display stays in the same area. You won't be editing from the couch, in bed, beside the pool, or the kitchen table...each with different color casts and type/quality of light.
  • When you use a laptop, the angle of the display changes each time you open it. This can shift how you see detail in the shadows as well as in highlights.
  • The Retina Displays tend to have higher resolutions, which make photos look crappy, especially during editing. I know, you can't get anything but a 5K screen these days, but with all that resolution in the same physical area, things appear smaller. So when you enlarge them to see what you are editing, it doesn't look as good.
  • External Displays tend to be easier to Calibrate.
  • Like 1
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