The truth is that it is a technical subject that cannot be discussed fully in a short article like this.
However, we covered the basics that will help improve your understanding of the concept.
Viewing Angle Defined
In other words, it is the number of different positions (angle of view) you can still see an image on a display without distortion in colors nor contrast. But there is more to it which this article will try to explain in simple terms.
It is measured in horizontal and vertical degrees.
Usually, most monitors with good angle of view post equal number of degrees for both horizontal and vertical. For example 178 degrees horizontal and 178 degrees vertical. Or simply put as 178/178 degrees.
With modern LCD monitors, 178/178 degrees is the maximum attainable so far.
However, sometimes the vertical degrees are lesser than the horizontal ones. For example 170/160 degrees. This will mean that when you view it from bottom to up or from up to bottom, the display quality you get will be fairly poorer than what you will see when you view the display from one side to the other.
What determines it
It is basically determined by the panel technology.
Some panel technologies typically feature it wider. While others feature it narrower.
For instance, Twisted Nematic (TN) panels have fairly restricted angle of view.
Vertical Alignment (VA) provide good view angles.
While In Plane switching (IPS) panels offer you almost the wildest you can get.
However, even within the panel technologies themselves, there are significant differences in performance.
For instance, the consumer targeted IPS panels like e-IPS offer slightly narrow view angles. Which is certainly not as bad as the TN panels. But not as impressive as the professional grade IPS panels.
The age of your monitor also influences it.
Why is it important?
As a photo editor, you need a monitor with wide view angles. Because it gives you the convenience of viewing your photos in many different angles. Without any change in color fidelity or luminance.
However, even for those not doing color critical work like gamers and movie enthusiasts, a narrow angle of view is pretty limiting.
It actually requires you view the monitor right from the optimal position or focal point. And any attempt to move away from that angle will be greeted with a considerable change in color and brightness.
How To Identify a Wide Angle monitor In A Physical Retail Store
Sometimes vendors feature wider view angles than what their monitors can achieve.
Luckily, if you are purchasing from a physical retail store, you can take certain measures to avoid being misled or duped.
It’s quite a simple process. Start by identifying the display you want to buy and look at what the vendor claims it offers.
Proceed to check it physically by viewing the displayed screen from side to side and from bottom to top.
If the angle of view is not as wide as claimed, you are likely to see colors and brightness shifting from one side to the other. And from bottom to top.
The Best and Lowest Angle of View for a Photo Editor
As a serious photo editor, 178 degrees for both horizontal and vertical view is highly recommended and should be the minimum you should work with.
Because it will give you the best results you need to view and edit your photos. Especially when you are sharing your screen with someone else, when you will be showing your work to a client, or when you are far off the screen. Or even at off angles such as above, below or far towards the side of the screen.
With a wide angle of view, you and someone else viewing your screen with you such as your client will see exactly the same colors and contrast.
Slightly narrow angle of view are acceptable however. Provided it is not below 175 degrees for both horizontal and vertical view.
Also bear in mind that there is no adjusting or tweaking its value. Not even calibration can help a monitor whose angle of view is poor.
Hope you now understand what viewing angles means. With the definition and explanation we just gave.
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