Monitor Black Luminance Very Low

I just tried calibrating my LaCie CRT monitor, and got an error message that said my Black Luminance was too low to calibrate, and I had to do part of the calibration manually. It also said that this is not a sign that my monitor is going bad. Ive had the monitor for several years. It is a refurbished one that LaCie replaced my original with. Never a problem before. As you can see from the screen shots of my last 3 calibrations below, they have always been fairly consistent, except for the one I just did. Black Luminance was 0.07. Normally it is between 0.21 and 0.24.

Is it time to start looking for a new monitor? I bought the monitor new in June 2005, and it was replaced with a refurb in Sept 2006.

Below are screen shots from my last 3 monitor calibrations, starting with 3 calibrations ago to the one I just did.


Yep, that black is whacked. The bad news is that it won’t get any better, but instead probably worse.

I’m sure a lot of more technical people could chime in here as well… yes. Its time to get a new monitor. Typically, the LaCie Electron III or IV (which is a Mitsubishi Diamond Pro core CRT) roughly had about 3 years of ‘in-gamut’ viewing range before they started to drift in areas outside of this viewable range. Things tend to eventually get very poor in your blacks as well, to the point that it is below thresholds set for calibration products. If you’ve had it this long and it’s been useful (perhaps accurate) then you’ve more than exceeded your ROI.

The aging process contributes significantly to the degradation, but also environmental elements contribute as well. The glass darkens, electron guns weaken, phosphors decay, components deteriorate. Oxygen, heat, moisture, pollution, gases, dust all contribute anda canacceleratethe aging.

LCDs are (right now) your only viable option.

Eizo (ColorEdge series), LaCie (700 series), NEC (most MultiSync '90 series, and a couple other models), HP DreamColor series, Quato, Samsung XL series are considered the top commercial brands with color accurate viewing. TMI to list here though.

Good luck. Happy to help if you need it.

Rick Hatmaker

Thanks for the quick reply. I sort of glanced at monitors a couple of months ago for fun, but prices are steep. My original LaCie was an Electron IV, and it was replaced with an Electron III when my first one died.

I have looked at monitors a little since reading your reply. As with my research a couple of months ago, I ended up with the same monitors in my wish list. The LaCie 320 is the cheapest of all LaCie and Eizo monitors. Ive had a couple of months to let the price of the LaCie 320 sink in, which is considerably more than the LaCie CRT monitors.

I dont know if I want to put out the money for an Eizo, but the Eizo ColorEdge CE210W seems to be the lowest price of all Eizo ColorEdge monitors, but they want another $200 for a hood, which I know I can make one for probably under $5.

Im not sure about wide screen monitors either. Ive never seen or used one before. I know they are very popular, and the price goes up significantly for wide screen. I wish there was a way I could look at and try monitors in person. As is, Pro Photo in Portland is the closest, and its a good 6 hour drive. I might get up there once or twice in the summer months, so all my research has to be online. I would like to stick with LaCie or possibly Eizo.

It looks like IPS Panels are the way to go for photo processing, but not all manufacturers specify what type of panel they are. Do you have any info to enlighten me on that?

You mention the LaCie (700 series). I think the prices of all 700 series monitors are a little bit out of my price range. What does the 700 series have over the 300 series monitors?