I am a very serious portrait photographer which means dealing with getting perfect skin tones printed. I use an Epson 7900 Stylus Pro printer (there is no better printer on the planet). I have had to do tons of proof printing to get the image on paper to look like what I want, even though I have used a calibrated LaCie 324 printer (calibrated with iDisplay2 software and XRite colorimeter). All in the LaCie and calibration software cost about $1100--big money from my perspective and I expected color calibration perfection.
Turns out--again, my opinion, that the LaCie is a great monitor but not fully integrated with the iDisplay software (meaning the software doesn't control every aspect of the calibration process--much of the process requires trial and error with variable results--not satisfactory at all).
Out of frustration, after reading David Brooks' review of the NEC P221W in the recent Shutterbug issue, I ordered one because it offered full software automation and integration of the calibration process with the controls of the monitor. Long story short--total cost of about $800 and the result is PERFECTION. Enter the settings that you want (I use 5500K white point, 2.2 Gamma, and 90 cd/M luminance). Absolute color perfection--I don't know what else to say.
Prints on my Epson 7900 now look EXACTLY like the photo on my monitor.
As a side benefit, I have been able, through the trial and error and software assisted process, successfully calibrate my LaCie 324 by making manual adjustments to match what I see on the NEC Spectraview. So, I'm now overmonitored (which isn't all bad) BUT.........
Here's the lesson and the recommendation: If you want color calibration that is truly simple and more importantly effective, get the NEC. You will be happy.
I have nothing but praise for the NEC Multisync P221W with Spectra View II. It came faster than the delivery date indicated, it was easy to set-up. It took me a while to figure out how to calibrate it, but once I did, it has worked great. I like being able to set the white point to 90, and when I print my photos they look like they did on the monitor.
I you are serious about what image you see on your screen and subsequent print, this is the ticket. Finally a affordable monitor with top notch performance if combine with the SpectraView II Color Calibration Solution. I could not be happier!
I've really enjoyed this monitor so far. The calibration device and software work very well. I've never seen any of the more expensive IPS monitors in person, so I can't compare them to each other, but I've been very pleased with this monitor for photo editing.
I have been using a more expensive RGB monitor for photo editing for the last 2 years, but have been constantly struggling with prints being too dark. This monitor lets me set the luminance to 90 cd/m2 as recommended by a renown photo magazine and my prints finally match what I see after literally spending many hundreds of dollars on expensive calbration equipment and wasted prints.
I bought it a few months ago and am today still not sure if I like it! I swear my ears hurt since I've bought it. I had my eyes checked just 2 weeks before I received it and got a thumbs up on them. So why do my eyes hurt so much? Something doesn't seem right. the colors and sharpness and everything seem to be ok.