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02 October 2008

Ask MeCha: pen tablets? [More:]

I'd like to get a Wacom tablet, probably 6x8" and probably not the Bamboo. Anyone here use the Graphire and/or Intuos models?

I realise that just about any pen tablet will be a serious upgrade from doing photo retouching / photoshoppery with an $11 corded laptop mouse, no?

or will getting a pen tablet merely push me over the slippery slope into wanting a studio display to supplement my MBP's aging and not-so-wonderful LCD monitor (and if I was gonna bother with an SD, I'd honestly be better off just springing for an iMac already...)

hmm. advice, recommendations, anecdotes, speculation, wild-ass-guesses and arrant mockery are all welcome.
Go with the smaller unless you need the larger for spacific tasks. The smaller can toggle from screen to tablet ratio and back so it will be MORE than enough.

I've got the Intuos. I would recommend it and have, to many people.

Buy a really nice HUGE HD monitor.

Well, my expirence is with the Intuos I bought several years ago and it changed the way I worked completely. Especially in PhotoSnot. Changed the work, improved it for the better. It's made me think differently about images and pixels and so on.

Once? When I wad 12? I eat a worm.

You'll find it's really a whole new world using the tablet. It's just more natural.

Wild-Ass Guesses(s):
I would venture that we're gonna have a very cold wet winter in the North East.

Arrant Mockery(s):
Doooood. . . You've kind of a freakishly big head.

posted by MonkeyButter 02 October | 12:36
I've also been considering buying a tablet and as much as I have looked for bargains, it really does seem there is Wacom, and then everyone else. Since most stores don't have them on display, I just blocked out the dimensions of the various sizes on a piece of paper with pen and ruler to see what I was comfortable with. For me, the smallest size seemed cramped. But a 6x8, or more likely the 6x11 is the one I will go with. I still use a 4x3 monitor, but since any future monitors will be 16x10, I will probably just get the wide format and turn off the currently extraneous section in the driver.
posted by King of Prontopia 02 October | 13:28
In ethylene's old post, Wacom was mentioned a couple of times. It's got me wanting one now.
posted by Hellbient 02 October | 13:30
I have the 4x5 Intuos 3. If you're going to go for it, I'd go with the better quality unit. However, I haven't really used it in the past 18 or so months I've had it. I find it weird the way you have to hover closely over the tablet to position the cursor [maybe I'm doing it wrong?], and then touch the tablet to start painting. It's probably just a matter of getting used to it.
posted by DarkForest 02 October | 13:32
DF, it took a bit for me to get used to it too but when I did, I didn't even have to think about it.
posted by MonkeyButter 02 October | 14:34
Wacom is pretty much the only brand that's worth looking at, and i agree with Monkey Butter, a 6x8 is the right size. I had a larger one for a while, it eats up too much desk space. If you find a used one, make sure it's not too old, the older models used ADB on Mac and Serial on Win.
posted by doctor_negative 02 October | 15:11
MonkeyButter: thank you for that long and detailed response, you (and everyone else in thread, thanks for the old link Hellbient) get whuffles if ya want 'em!


Tho the Intuos 3 6x8 is a tad more than I really wanted to spend, it looks like they're on sale at Amazon and I can probably justify the extra.

*sigh* ... I also know you're right about the HD monitor, it's just I don't have that kind of loot. To make matters worse, my MBP has developed some pretty irritating monitor artifacts (dark smudgy looking things) owing to pressure from the keyboard when closed, I'm guessing, and it drives me nuts when I'm working on graphics stuff.
posted by lonefrontranger 02 October | 16:44
I've got a 6x11 Intuos3 (widescreen) and I love it. Works like a charm.
posted by CitrusFreak12 02 October | 18:03
I couldn't live without my Wacom tablet (just got a new Intuos 3 A6 size for the macbook after I killed my old one with a cup of coffee).

I will say though that I wish they offered more colour options for the Intuous because the charcoal grey matches nothing.
posted by gomichild 02 October | 18:43
I started with a Graphire 4x5 and have since moved on to an Intuos 6x11. People rag on the 4x5 size; it's really not bad for most things (especially photo editing), and you can take it on the road pretty easily. The closer you can get to 1:1 movement the better, but the improvement is significant regardless of which size you pick.

Make sure the proportions of the tablet match your screen's. The wrong one will still work, but it's off just enough to throw off the natural feel.

Also. I'm almost certain that the Bamboo is just a fresh marketing approach for the Graphire line.

If you're into photo editing, it's definitely a slippery slope affair.
posted by pokermonk 02 October | 20:14
The Moon is Waxing Crescent (10% of Full) || A relevent political allegory for these days? The Walrus and The Carpenter