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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > Screen glare is a health hazard

Screen glare is a health hazard
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Aug 12, 2007, 01:39 PM
 
Some people say that the glare from a glossy screen is not a problem because after a while, their eyes can get used to it.

Well, people may not notice the glare, but does it mean our vision will not be affected by glare over the long term? I don't think so.

Optometrists have been telling people to avoid glare for a long time:
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Aug 12, 2007, 02:27 PM
 
I cannot say anything about the iMac's glossy screen. I do have a MacBook, however, and the screen hurt my eyes after a short while which is why I'd not go for a glossy screen again, eventhough I do prefer them. But my eyes won't let me.
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 02:35 PM
 
I have a Compaq laptop with glossy screen. Because it is the first laptop I have ever purchased, I didn't pay attention to the glossy screen. What a mistake! Never again!

For a photographer, nothing is more important than the health of eyes!
( Last edited by Tigerlittle; Aug 12, 2007 at 02:51 PM. )
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 03:02 PM
 
I suffer from computer vision syndrome, but anyways I'm going to buy the new iMac, because I just use it at home 1 or 2 hours a day. The rest of the day I'm working with my HP laptop, that has a non-glossy screen.
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Aug 12, 2007, 10:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by Betox View Post
I suffer from computer vision syndrome, but anyways I'm going to buy the new iMac, because I just use it at home 1 or 2 hours a day. The rest of the day I'm working with my HP laptop, that has a non-glossy screen.
Think that over.

One or two hours is a lot of screen time, if you are already suffering from eyestrain. Why not get one of the previous generation iMacs. They are as fast, are easier to your eyes, and will possibly cost hundred dollars less.
     
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Aug 12, 2007, 11:44 PM
 
whether this thread is a jab at the iMac's glossy screen, i don't know. i do know that regardless whether glossy or matte, i really don't believe humans were designed to stare at a screen for hours or even minutes at a time.

the tips in the links given in the first post are things many of us should follow. i know that my opthalmologist has told me that i don't seem to produce enough tears, which in turn causes my vision to be affected. he thinks it could be a result of my daily computer work, who knows. but i think it's safe to say that most people, like me, don't blink as often as we should when we're busy doing whatever we're doing, causing our eyes to fatigue. i've been told to step away from the computer every few minutes or so, and to use drops, or force myself to blink, and that has made a world of difference.

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Aug 13, 2007, 08:19 AM
 
Why does everyone equate having a glossy screen to some guarantee that they will have glare? I am right now looking at my brand new iMac's screen, and glossy or not, I have NO glare. None.
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Aug 13, 2007, 04:58 PM
 
You also have no lights on, and no windows.

The apple apologists are just getting ridiculous.
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 05:06 PM
 
wait...is getting a macbook with a glossy screen not a good thing? I'll be using it a lot. its says it ha better blacks and richer colors. whats painful to the eyes about that?
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 05:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by vtboyarc View Post
wait...is getting a macbook with a glossy screen not a good thing? I'll be using it a lot. its says it ha better blacks and richer colors. whats painful to the eyes about that?
The MacBook has great colours. It has no glare. At least mine does not. But, I cannot use it because my eyes won't play along for some reason and I get a headache after a short while. It's the reason I don't use it anymore but it's not because it hat glare, because it didn't.
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 05:53 PM
 
wow, what a shocker...no glare in a dark room, you've converted me into a believer.

you proved nothing with that photo, good job...

hows bout you go into a bedroom with a window, face the imac against the opposite wall of that window and take a snapshot without covering up the glare with your body to make it less noticeable, or hows bout you take a snapshot of the screen with flash in a well lit room...my dell lcd wont show a glare...wanna bet your imac will?
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Aug 13, 2007, 06:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
wow, what a shocker...no glare in a dark room, you've converted me into a believer.

you proved nothing with that photo, good job...

hows bout you go into a bedroom with a window, face the imac against the opposite wall of that window and take a snapshot without covering up the glare with your body to make it less noticeable, or hows bout you take a snapshot of the screen with flash in a well lit room...my dell lcd wont show a glare...wanna bet your imac will?
Careful, he is an admin. He might ban you for disagreeing with him, like Lateralus does. Hopefully not though, he's always been one of the more rational ones.
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 06:18 PM
 
Maybe he is trying to point out that unlike a portable when you are bound to suffer from glare sooner or later, a desktop can be setup in a place without glare and the issue goes away.
I work in a workshop which has no windows but is well lit. I don't get any glare issues from any of the dozens of glossy screens I look at on a weekly basis.
     
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Aug 13, 2007, 07:18 PM
 
Originally Posted by imacman View Post
You also have no lights on, and no windows.

The apple apologists are just getting ridiculous.
That was both rude and incorrect. I have quite a bright light on in that picture or you wouldn't have seen the picture at all. There is a windows directly to my right, and with the blinds open there is still no glare

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Aug 13, 2007, 07:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
wow, what a shocker...no glare in a dark room, you've converted me into a believer.

you proved nothing with that photo, good job...

hows bout you go into a bedroom with a window, face the imac against the opposite wall of that window and take a snapshot without covering up the glare with your body to make it less noticeable, or hows bout you take a snapshot of the screen with flash in a well lit room...my dell lcd wont show a glare...wanna bet your imac will?
The room is quite bright-just no flash was used.

Seriously, why pick apart the picture? The room is very brightly lit in that picture. While the picture is admittedly not bright, that's because I used no flash and the camera was less than two feet from the screen.

So, the iMac is on a wall that it shares with a window. I've taken three pictures with flash to show where the window is in relation to the iMac. I'm in San Antonio Texas, and it's very clear and about 97ºF out-it's damn bright out.



Aside from the mess on the desk (I haven't finished organizing everything yet), and the fact that the flash is two feet from the screen and MUST show up in the pictures, there IS NO GLARE. You can see THIS THREAD in the screen-quite clearly.
( Last edited by ghporter; Aug 13, 2007 at 07:31 PM. )

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Aug 14, 2007, 01:13 AM
 
I just want to throw in a comment from an observer's perspective (not having participated in this discussion yet):
I think a compromise of opinions has to be found here. The topic of glossy screens has become one of those hotbutton issues that everyone gets overly excited about these days. One has a right to dislike glossy screens but another has just as much right to think they're great without being an "Apple apologist." Contrary to popular belief, it is possible for people to have opinions purely because they like it one way or another, without being biased, stupid, or pushing an agenda.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 01:20 AM
 
jesus christ. what did you people do when everybody was using crts?

it is seriously not bad. at all. wow some of you are overblowing it.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 01:55 AM
 
i dont mind the glare...really i don't, but im not gonna do any design work or photo retouching on it. no way no how. i will however watch a movie on it . i think if i do end up with the imac, ill keep my dell lcd for work and use the imac screen for play.

sorry for sounding so snooty earlier, but theres no way anybody could convince me theres no glare when using that thing. ive worked on a macbook for a day and ill never make that mistake again.

and just because you dont have the flash on doesn't mean the room has to look extra dark like that, if it was well lit like a home computing/office outta look, you're shot wouldn't be as dark as it would.
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Aug 14, 2007, 08:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
i dont mind the glare...really i don't, but im not gonna do any design work or photo retouching on it. no way no how. i will however watch a movie on it . i think if i do end up with the imac, ill keep my dell lcd for work and use the imac screen for play.

sorry for sounding so snooty earlier, but theres no way anybody could convince me theres no glare when using that thing. ive worked on a macbook for a day and ill never make that mistake again.

and just because you dont have the flash on doesn't mean the room has to look extra dark like that, if it was well lit like a home computing/office outta look, you're shot wouldn't be as dark as it would.
You did come across as both snooty and opinionated-without having the machine in front of you to be able to see for your self. I was not terribly happy about feeling it necessary to post pictures of my still-messy desk and office to show that IN MY CASE there is no "glare" on my screen. The only time I see reflections is when it's off and there's strong light coming from a fairly narrow range of angles behind me. My whole point in diving into this discussion was to show that it IS possible to set up the new iMac in such a way as to avoid glare and distracting reflections. I would have completely changed where I put the computer and how it was positioned if there had been any objectionable glare in its current location.

Frankly, with the way my camera meters, that is how my "well lit" setting shows up. I don't have a light meter handy, but the room is well lit and free of hot spots or deep shadows (except way under desks, of course). The first picture was taken at f2.8 with a 1/60 shutter speed at ISO 80-not at all the optimum for this situation to be sure.

I feel that this particular display is spectacular, that it's clear, crisp, and renders colors very well. There is nothing wrong with the overall display that can't be (in my opinion) corrected by simply altering its angle and perhaps its position in relation to light sources.

And I'll be careful to preview pictures I post in the future to make sure I don't accidentally make things look different from the way they really are.
Originally Posted by imacman View Post
Careful, he is an admin. He might ban you for disagreeing with him, like Lateralus does. Hopefully not though, he's always been one of the more rational ones.
Nobody on staff bans anyone for simply disagreeing with them. However, when users act like jerks, that's a different story. The person behind "imacman" has a history of poking at a few of our mods, Lateralus in particular. Pay no mind to his post.

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Aug 14, 2007, 02:35 PM
 
and just because you dont have the flash on doesn't mean the room has to look extra dark like that, if it was well lit like a home computing/office outta look, you're shot wouldn't be as dark as it would.

try shooting a close up pic of your monitor and you will see how dark the background behind it becomes.. it is because the screen is so bright
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 05:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by ghporter View Post
Why does everyone equate having a glossy screen to some guarantee that they will have glare? I am right now looking at my brand new iMac's screen, and glossy or not, I have NO glare. None.
I don't know, at the Apple Store I had to move my head in order to read things on the sceen because of the reflection of some lights from behind. Even with the Macbooks I did not have to do that...
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 06:02 PM
 
glare, no glare; glossy vs matte. seems to be an endless argument.

from my humble point of view, it isn't that one is better than the other, but that, for some of us, matte is better.
so anyone who likes the glossy screen is good to go, and for the rest of us, it's an problem.
but neither 'side' needs to convince the other that they are 'right'.

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Aug 14, 2007, 06:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by fisherKing View Post
glare, no glare; glossy vs matte. seems to be an endless argument.

from my humble point of view, it isn't that one is better than the other, but that, for some of us, matte is better.
so anyone who likes the glossy screen is good to go, and for the rest of us, it's an problem.
but neither 'side' needs to convince the other that they are 'right'.

peace!
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Aug 14, 2007, 06:46 PM
 
and therein lies the problem, the fact that we now have no choice is the issue/problem at hand. it's obvious i prefer matte vs glossy, but there seems to be a ton of glossy mac owners who seem to say that there is no glare when there obviously is (albeit however little you think it is as opposed to how big i think it is), and that us matte lovers should just jump aboard when a thought like that is preposterous.

also, i have a bedroom set up just the way i like it, i shouldn't have to change the orientation of my furniture to accommodate my computer if i don't have to, and i used to not have to. no offense glossy guys, i just don't like it.
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Aug 14, 2007, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by idyll View Post
and just because you dont have the flash on doesn't mean the room has to look extra dark like that, if it was well lit like a home computing/office outta look, you're shot wouldn't be as dark as it would.

try shooting a close up pic of your monitor and you will see how dark the background behind it becomes.. it is because the screen is so bright
i have a camera, and yes i know how metering works but that shouldn't give you an entirely black background like the image above. remember, i said a properly lit area...not what you like. the following is my room with my matte dell lcd.

from where i would normally sit


a closer shot where apparently my screens brightness should make the background black


taken with a canon s500 with no flash.
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Aug 14, 2007, 09:41 PM
 
[QUOTE=idyll;3455260] what did you people do when everybody was using crts?

You hit one on the head here. I remember getting my first Apple LCD, the 17 inch 'nice and tall version'. Perhaps I was a little over excited when I plugged in but in fact I was so disappointed that the blacks were not black. That was a few years ago of course, and I have to say that the blacks have improved over the years and I've become used to that effect. A change could be as good as a rest but I still think the new model looks like a sony widescreen.
     
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Aug 14, 2007, 09:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by iREZ View Post
i have a camera, and yes i know how metering works but that shouldn't give you an entirely black background like the image above. remember, i said a properly lit area...not what you like. the following is my room with my matte dell lcd.

from where i would normally sit


a closer shot where apparently my screens brightness should make the background black


taken with a canon s500 with no flash.
I took my picture from much closer than even your "closer" picture. I just measured it and it was about 20 inches from the screen to the lens. There was no zoom involved-the iMac actually did fill the viewfinder. THAT is why there is so little light in the picture-my Kodak DX6490 meters from the center of the picture, and there was just nothing around the screen that was anywhere near as bright.

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Aug 14, 2007, 10:51 PM
 
Glossy is so yesterday...

Matte is where it is at.

I avoid glossy like the plague.
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Sep 7, 2007, 02:31 PM
 
Went to the Apple Store - eager to see (and possibly buy) the new imac. The first thing I noticed was that all I saw on the computer screen were the store lights and noticed my eyes hurt right off the bat. I asked store personnel if a matte screen was available - he said no. Went back later in the day - interesting - the staff had faced all the screens down as far as they could go (so people obviously would not notice this problem). There's no way I will buy this machine. Will look for other options. What a disappointment. I will also bring up with issue with my Macintosh Users Group.
     
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Sep 8, 2007, 10:28 AM
 
Matte or glossy should a per-pixel choice
     
   
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