Two studio screens provide exceptional color consistency [Setups]

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If there’s one thing Apple displays are known for, it’s high prices. OK – kidding aside – if there is two things they are known for their crisp, accurate colors and are worth the price for this level of quality.

After all, those who work or play with graphics, photos, videos, or animations need great colors.

And if you opt for dual display, it helps if it’s the same model. Today’s Mac Studio setup, for example, fixed incompatible displays and the resulting color inconsistency by adding a second Studio display.

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The Mac Studio setup with 2 Studio displays means perfect color consistency across all monitors.

Photographer and Redditor Onionpicklecake (“OPC”) showcased the display-centric setup in an article titled “Mac Studio with two Studio displays in morning light.”

OPC runs a basic Mac Studio model, but it’s still a powerful desktop computer with an M1 Max chip. It has a 10-core CPU, 24-core GPU, 16-core neural engine, 32GB of unified memory, and 1TB of storage.

From 1 Studio Display and a Dell to 2 Studio Displays

But the stars of his setup show are the two Studio screens. He went from one of those plus a 24-inch Dell 4K monitor to two Studio displays with standard glass (no nano texture for an extra $300). And he is delighted with the change.

“The displays are really well put together and complement the Mac and the rest of the setup really well,” he said. “The color consistency across both screens is identical to factory calibration; their primary use is for critical color work, so this consistency is fantastic.

When asked if his productivity has improved, this is what he said:

“Not as big as the leap of going from 1 to 2 screens – going from 24 to 27 [inches] naturally gives more work surface. The other improvement is not having to swap content between screens to check the color,” he replied.

And one commenter asked a somewhat unusual question: Is OPC sitting in the middle of the two screens?

Here is his response on positioning for work:

It varies depending on what I’m doing. The left display is set as primary, the closer I am to single or single-tasking display, the further left I am. A big final cut project? Pretty close to the middle. Lightroom with magnifying glass on the second screen? From the left. Surfing the web with YouTube on the second screen? I’m pretty much in front of the left monitor.

This is what the film and negative scanner looks like.
Photo: PlusTek

Mega-storage and a sophisticated film scanner

Although the base Mac Studio comes with 1TB of storage (SSD), that’s not necessarily enough for someone who works with large files like photographs and such OPC. So it also has a 10TB Lacie external hard drive.

And it also works with something we rarely see in setups. In order to digitize physical films, it uses a Plustek OpticFilm 8100 35mm negative/slide film scanner.

A commenter with heaps of family photos wondered if it was worth buying a film scanner and whether it was better to scan from prints or negatives.

OPC had a good answer:

If you have the negatives, it’s definitely worth scanning the negatives rather than the prints. Depending on when and how the photos were printed, there can be a large discrepancy between the data on the negatives and what is on the prints.

I have scanned both my photos as well as older family photos and there is a huge leap in quality from prints to scanned negatives which are post-processed.

I use Silverfast to scan DNG RAW, then process in Lightroom with the Negative Lab Pro plugin. You can squeeze a lot of dynamic range out of negatives, assuming they’ve been properly rotated and developed.

Solid input devices and optimal audio

OPC uses the mouse we see most often in the most diverse configurations, the Logitech MX Master 3 Wireless Mouse. Many people consider it the best for routine productivity. That is, that one or its more recent sibling, the Logitech MX Master 3S. And, by the way, an MX Master 4 is said to be coming pretty soon.

In addition to the ubiquitous Logi mouse, OPC uses a Keychron Q1 custom mechanical keyboard. There are Gateron Brown switches below the Gateron “Hacker” keys.

And OPC’s audio gear doesn’t disappoint either. Along with a set of Apple’s flagship AirPods Max noise-canceling headphones, it uses a pair of IK Multimedia iLoud micro-monitors for in-room sound.

“These will destroy Studio Display speakers,” he said. And who can quibble? iLoud 50W speakers are designed for music production.

“The world’s smallest active studio reference monitoring system, iLoud Micro Monitor gives you ultra-precise true linear frequency response without coloration,” the company said of the powerful little speakers, adding that their ” sound is so good it’s almost inconceivable for a speaker system of this size and price.

Well. Rock on, OPC.

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If you would like to see your installation featured on cult of macsend high resolution photos to [email protected]. Please provide a detailed list of your equipment. Tell us what you like or dislike about your setup and let us know of any particular quirks or challenges.


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