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Author Topic: the mythical colour space magic bullet  (Read 3500 times)
pad
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« on: February 21, 2006, 02:03:04 AM »
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The equipment: Windows XP, 2.5Mhz Pentium, 1Gb RAM, Photoshop CS, Epson 2100., Epson papers.

After purchasing and using a monitor calibration kit (Spyder 2) and a print calibration kit (printFIX Pro), costing several hundred pounds each. I find I still have the complaint, echoed many times in this forum, that my prints are significantly different to what I see on my monitor.

So .. I question why did I bother?

I originally used Adobe Gamma and then made many test prints while adjusting the printer colour managment to tweak magenta, cyan, brightness and contrast etc, until I perceived the print to look like the image on my monitor. These "profiles" were saved for each paper I use.

Then as a result of reading glowing product endosements, I purchased the above mentioned kits in the belief that I would get superior results. "the magic bullets". This was not so.

Having produced print profiles for my papers I will now return to printFIX Pro to the "tweak" page and again go through the process of producing test prints until I'm happy with the results.

I agree with all the comments about choosing the lighting conditions for viewing both monitor and final prints. Prints DO look different in full sunlight compared to 100W room light.

To re-iterate my main comment: the tools are not the "magic bullets" that will solve all your colour printing problems.
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61Dynamic
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« Reply #1 on: February 21, 2006, 11:40:52 AM »
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1. Could you elaborate on how drastically different the prints appear?

2. Are you comparing the prints with soft-proofing on or off?

3. What monitor do you have and how (what process) did you calibrate it?
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sgwrx
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« Reply #2 on: February 21, 2006, 11:51:51 AM »
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after much research i've come to the conclusion that the best one could hope for is to calibrate a print such that it will "look right" under "gallery conditions". then, hope for the best.

even if one were to get a perfect print, suppose you framed and matted it and then gave it to a local restaurant to hang up for sale. now suppose they aimed a very blue or very yellow spotlight on it. or they stuck it in a dark corner.
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Geoff Wittig
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« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2006, 08:38:51 PM »
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A print is intrinsically a different medium than a computer monitor, so there will always be an irreducible gap between them. However, you can get pretty close allowing for the luminance of the monitor against the lower contrast range of the print.
A calibrated monitor is critical, and the Spyder 2 is more than good enough. However, PrintFix pro, like all other scanner-based printer calibration, simply cannot compensate for varying ambient lighting. Results will always be mediocre and inconsistent, leading to a lot of trial and error with attendant ink wastage. I know, because I've tried! You have several choices for getting a reasonably good printer profile. You can spend the $1,500 or so needed to get a spectrophotometer-based profiling system, or you can obtain profiles from someone using such a system. There are many vendors out there who will generate a profile for you, usually for about $50 apiece. Or, you can splurge on a printer that comes with good profiles out of the box, like Epson's 2400/4800 etc. Or, you can spend money for a RIP like ImagePrint that comes with excellent profiles for your 2100.
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Brian Gilkes
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2006, 09:45:16 PM »
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Pay a colour guru to drop in ,show you how to set things up properly and pay them to build and edit the profiles. Unless you are a Joseph Holmes, dont attempt to be a one man band. Further not anyone with the gear can make a beautiful profile. There is much art as well as science in profile making and there are some b**** awful profiles out there.
HTH
Brian
www.pharoseditions.com.au
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2006, 11:25:43 PM »
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I think Daniel asked the key questions about this problem.

There are a few more:

(1) Do you have Soft PRoof set-up correctly for the paper and profile you are using?

(2) Are you selecting the correct paper in the printer driver?

(3) In Photoshop Print with Preview do you have Let Photoshop Determine Colours active, do you have Black Point Compensation active, do you have the correct profile for the paper you are using selected?

(4) If the answer to all of the above is yes, in the Epson printer driver software, do you have NO COLOR MANAGEMENT (COLOR MANAGEMENT OFF) selected?

As you see, there are a number of variables, which if properly addressed should give you decent print to monitor match without the need for expensive RIPs. Epson's printer profiles are not bad.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
Author: "Scanning Workflows with SilverFast 8....." http://www.luminous-landscape.com/reviews/film/scanning_workflows_with_silverfast_8.shtml
tpassin
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« Reply #6 on: March 06, 2006, 11:50:58 PM »
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Epson's printer profiles are not bad.

I have had my 2200 for about a year.  I usually print on Epson Enhanced matt, or on Kodak Pro Satin for B&W, now that Kodak offers a profile specifically for B&W.

My printer came with profiles dated in 2002.  After I'd had it for some time, Epson announced they had new and better profiles.  Well, those new profiles were distinctly worse than the original ones.  The colors appeared less accurate, and the shadows were kind of annoying.   This is mainly for matte paper, 'cause I haven't used the new profiles much on other paper.

So I went back to the original ones, and am fairly happy.  

Also, before I started using the new Kodak B&W profile, I liked to let the printer manage the color for B&W, but let the printing software manage it for color.  I got better definition in the shadows that way.
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