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Author Topic: ICC Profile Target Ink Density?  (Read 6978 times)
paulbk
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« on: April 01, 2006, 06:00:01 PM »
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My Printer = Epson 4000, Ink = factory Epson UC

I’m considering having Crane MuseoMAX profiles made by InkJetArt. Prices look very reasonable. ($25) However, before printing the profile targets their instructions require that you print an ink density target and adjust the Epson driver paper selection (or ink density in Advanced/Paper Configuration) such that you can see all of the cross-hairs in the black area and some separation between the #5 (RGB 13) and #10 (RGB 26) in the greyscale ramp.

If I select EpsonFineArt paper, I can see all the crosshairs, but trying to see “grey separation” between #5 and #10 on the print is at best wishful thinking. Remember this is done with No Color Management. I can see separation on screen (calibrated/profiled monitors).

If I go into the Epson driver Paper Configuration dialog (Advanced/Paper Configuration) and backoff color to -35 then I see separtion. But all other colors look washed out.

Shadow Detail -- Anyone have experience with this? Is it reasonable that I should see “separation” between 13,13,13 and 26,26,26 without using a profile? I’ve never had to do this kind of ink density adjustment for profile targets. Comments?

InkJetArt density target:
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paul b. kramarchyk
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2006, 01:23:21 PM »
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Your results are fairly typical for matte papers using the Epson driver. I recently did some extensive testing of matte papers on a 4000 prior to generating my own profiles. Part of my precedure was to print a similar file and I found that "Smooth Fine Art" paper setting gave me the best results. Some matte papers are better at separating dark tones than others.
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digitaldog
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« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2006, 08:51:47 AM »
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-->If I go into the Epson driver Paper Configuration dialog (Advanced/Paper Configuration) and backoff color to -35 then I see separtion. But all other colors look washed out.


Yup! Any setting other than the No Color Adjustment will limit (sometimes severely) the color gamut. That NCA setting is very non linear so you can pick; gamut or shadow detail. All the profile does is fingerprint the behavior. The tough part is finding the right behavior to profile. Note, most profiles are still built over the NCA settings.
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Andrew Rodney
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Johnny V
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« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2006, 09:57:47 PM »
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Try exploring media settings to open shadows...that's what I'd recomend over changing Color Density as Color Density is more of a gamma correction so every part of the image takes a hit instead of just the shadows.

I recently tested the "best" media setting for William Turner paper on my Epson 4800.

Epson's black usually comes in hard and fast, less so with the newest printers, and I wanted to find the media setting that has smoothest black from 100% to 90%.

I printed a ten patch gray ramp from 100% to 90% with five media settings.

My Excel results are below for William Turner on an Epson 4800:

http://homepage.mac.com/johnvito/WilliamTu...diaSettings.png

From 100% to 90% only two media settings show linear density loss albeit stepped at
times. While the other three actually have spiked increases in density ˆcalled reversalsˆ
on some patches. For example Epson's Enhanced media setting has the same density at the following patches: 100%, 99% and 97%. As you can see the 98% patch has a lower density. Another reversal at 94%.

My media setting choice for William Turner was UltraSmooth as it has the most linear path. The custom paper profile will have less work to handle.
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opgr
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« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2006, 03:55:13 AM »
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I second JohnnyV's procedural choice, except with some remarks:

- it is probably not helpful to select a 1% step wedge to measure the density curve. Printer dithering  in general and Epson dithering in particular is good, but has its limits. As does a measurement device, and measuring relatively small steps produces too much noise. In addition, the final profile has a limited number of steps, smoothing out any device noise that may be present.

- depending on your combination of Epson driver paper selection and the real paper, the lowest L value may be reached at an RGB percentage as high as 20%. Following is a curve of GMG paper on a 4000. The green rectange indicates the lowest L value and corresponging RGB values.



- Obviously, it is not usefull to limit all RGB ink combinations to 20%, which would severely limit the maximum primary and secondary colors. However, what happens for black, happens to some extend at the primary & secondary colors as well. (Fortunately though, almost never as bad as blacks.) This means that you should try to limit the graybalance, but not the colors. This is done by selecting a different paper type in the driver.

So, to recap:
You can best try to optimize the ink deposit by selecting different papertypes in the driver. This will primarily influence the graybalance which is the significant culprit for most of the problems, while the color gamut remains relatively untouched.

Another indicator for too much ink: stray dots. You want to avoid those at all costs, because, besides that fact that it will seriously hinder effective targetprints, this can seriously glog your printer in the course of time.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2006, 03:55:46 AM by opgr » Logged

Regards,
Oscar Rysdyk
theimagingfactory
paulbk
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« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2006, 06:42:14 PM »
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re: A. Rodney, "Any setting other than the No Color Adjustment will limit... "

I am using NCA (No Color Adjustment). When I say "backoff color" I mean using the [Paper Config] button, bottom left, on the Advanced dialog for Epson 4000.

Top of the [Paper Config] dialog is "Color Density," THIS is what I was adjusting. While keeping No Color Adjustment checked.

p
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paul b. kramarchyk
Barkhamsted, Connecticut, USA
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2006, 09:58:30 PM »
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Johnny V, this is very interesting - I've been trying all kinds of things to improve deep shade tonal separation, but changing the paper type in the printer driver has eluded me because of the way my 4800 driver is set-up. When I have the MK ink installed in the printer (because I print on Enhanced Matte), the Ultra Smooth is greyed out in the paper choices - not available because the machine knows I'm not using the correct ink for that paper surface. This would not be a problem with the 4000 because it doesn't require changing the ink, so its paper driver doesn't need to be too smart by half. Yet I see you are also doing your tests on a 4800. Do you have the PK or the MK ink installed, or are you printing on matte paper with PK ink and the ultra-smooth paper setting? I'm curious to know how this works on your set-up and why it seems to differ from mine. (PS. I'm on Windows O/S - if you are on MAC perhaps the Epson driver for the MAC doesn't restrict paper choice according to the ink installed?)
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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
Johnny V
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« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2006, 10:22:36 PM »
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> When I have the MK ink installed in the printer (because I print on Enhanced Matte), the Ultra Smooth is greyed out in the paper choices - not available because the machine knows I'm not using the correct ink for that paper surface.

It's not that the proper ink is not installed...it is...

The print driver will not let any of the Art Papers load via the paper tray so they are grayed out.

In Print Settings change "Paper Tray" to "Manual" to have Ultra Smooth and the rest of the Art Papers available. The only problem is having to load paper by hand. But there might be away to over-ride the paper loading checking via the printer control panel. I just switch to Matte so I'm at the start of experimenting with this.

Yep I'm on a Mac but I think it works the same on Windows too!

But you are right the Epson driver is getting too smart for it's own good!
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2006, 04:39:34 PM »
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Johnny, thanks alot. I was on the phone with Epson today about another matter but took the opportunity to run this one by them as well. They tell me the choice of paper path cannot be over-ridden - if one chooses manual feed to get the ultrasmooth option, one must feed the paper manually. There is no way to manage a combination of tray feed with ultrasmooth. He explained they did this for several paper finishes because the surfaces of these papers scratch easily and they didn't want complaints from customers whose paper gets scratched when it is turned over in the machine using tray feed. Now all that said, if you find a way of proving him wrong PLEASE DO TELL!
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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
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2006, 07:58:39 PM »
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Johnny, thanks alot. I was on the phone with Epson today about another matter but took the opportunity to run this one by them as well. They tell me the choice of paper path cannot be over-ridden - if one chooses manual feed to get the ultrasmooth option, one must feed the paper manually. There is no way to manage a combination of tray feed with ultrasmooth. He explained they did this for several paper finishes because the surfaces of these papers scratch easily and they didn't want complaints from customers whose paper gets scratched when it is turned over in the machine using tray feed. Now all that said, if you find a way of proving him wrong PLEASE DO TELL!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62369\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
Interesting. The 2400 driver warns you if you select Ultrasmooth that you must use the manual feed, but it doesn't prevent you from making the selection.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2006, 08:34:47 PM »
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If you get that warning I suspect what will happen if the 2400 driver is as bloody-minded as the 4800 driver - you will select Ultrasmooth, you will load whatever in the paper tray, and when you click "PRINT" nothing will happen until you feed the beast manually. Try and let us know!
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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
Johnny V
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« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2006, 10:00:20 PM »
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They tell me the choice of paper path cannot be over-ridden - if one chooses manual feed to get the ultrasmooth option, one must feed the paper manually. There is no way to manage a combination of tray feed with ultrasmooth. [a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62369\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Bummer!

Too bad if one would like to print many sheets of EEM with the Art paper media settings. I can't see loading 50, 60 or 100+ sheets manually...even for better shadow detail.

There might be a way but I really haven't explored it.

Thanks for the info.
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JeffKohn
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« Reply #12 on: April 12, 2006, 11:37:51 AM »
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If you get that warning I suspect what will happen if the 2400 driver is as bloody-minded as the 4800 driver - you will select Ultrasmooth, you will load whatever in the paper tray, and when you click "PRINT" nothing will happen until you feed the beast manually. Try and let us know!
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=62381\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
What happens with the 2400 is that if you select one of the art papers (VFA, Ultrasmooth, maybe others) while the soruce is set to "sheet" you'll get a message box telling you that you must use the manual roll feed and the source will automatically be changed for you. But you can change it back, and print without problems. For Crane Museo II I have a custom profile built using the VFA paper setting, and I can feed the 250gsm version of this paper through the regular sheet feed without problem.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #13 on: April 12, 2006, 11:47:51 AM »
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Jeff, this is interesting, and I would like to make sure I understand you clearly, because depending on the interpretation I may wish to raise this matter with Epson in an attempt to get a firmware revision for the 4800. By "regular sheet feed" at the end of your message do you mean the paper tray? When you change the paper source back from manual sheet feed to tray feed, have you checked whether the Epson driver has maintained your VFA paper selection, or has it changed the paper selection behind your back? (By the way, the profile is not at issue here - it will use the instructed profile regardless of the feeding mechanism - the problem is the relationship between the feeding approach and the paper choice.
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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
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