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Author Topic: Disappointment with Hahnemuhle papers  (Read 18908 times)
Mark D Segal
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« Reply #20 on: September 17, 2006, 09:16:23 PM »
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Brad, this is the firt I hear of gloss differential or gloss artifacts affecting matte paper. In principle it cannot happen with matte paper. Gloss differential happens most usually in highlight areas, where the printer lays little or no ink on the paper. This creates a difference in the appearance of the finish between those parts of the paper surface that are more inked and those that are less or not inked (as suggested in item (4) of the paper you reference). But there is no gloss to differentiate on EEM. Just this afternoon I churned out another batch of prints from my 4800 on EEM and for the life of me, whether the hues are bright or dark there simply is no trace of the problem you started this thread with. If you've checked that all your settings in the printer driver and Photoshop are correct, it strongly leads me to believe that you have a hardware problem and should contacrt Epson Tech Support for help.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #21 on: September 17, 2006, 11:21:03 PM »
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p.s. Don, FWIW, I don't see immediately why WC/RW would lay down less ink than EEM. It makes much more sense to me that the first set of paper types listed in the Epson driver would be ordered by increasing ink density: Photo Quality Ink Jet paper, Singleweight Matte, Enhanced Matte, Archival Matte, Watercolor.
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I tried most (not all) of the media settings both with canned profiles and with Ethan's density target and WC/RW was the only one that didn't overink. Other's have also reported that they find it best for most any non-epson rag paper. Try it.

- DL
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Brad_Stiritz
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2006, 07:16:48 PM »
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Mark, Don,

Thanks for your further comments & suggestions.

Mark--

>Just this afternoon I churned out another batch of prints from my 4800 on EEM and for the life of me, whether the hues are bright or dark there simply is no trace of the problem you started this thread with.

Thanks very much for doing that evaluation. Very helpful info. I'll definitely get in touch with Epson and see what they think.

>this is the first I hear of gloss differential or gloss artifacts affecting matte paper. In principle it cannot happen with matte paper...

I hear what you're saying, but please, let's not get into a semantics debate. I agree that with matte paper, it can be confusing to speak of "gloss" - anything. Certainly, it's not meaningful to speak of apparent differences between paper and ink "glossiness". But going back to my original post, though, I believe I was careful to indicate that the problem was limited to the inked regions, not including paper highlights.

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dark tones print with severe oversaturation of ink. Wide ripples in the paper took days to absorb. Worse, there's a continuing "water-stained" appearance in the dark tones, which I presume is basically ink sitting on top of ink.

Maybe a better description of my problem would be to say there's a visibly mottled appearance to the ink surface (reminiscent of water staining) when the print is viewed at an angle to strong incident light.

Don--

>I tried most (not all) of the media settings both with canned profiles and with Ethan's density target and WC/RW was the only one that didn't overink. Other's have also reported that they find it best for most any non-epson rag paper. Try it.

Thanks for the additional encouragement. I did print my test image on EEM via the WC/RW setting, and compared to EEM prints using SW and EEM settings. As far as the goal of achieving minimal ink surface "mottling", I prefer the SW print, with WC/RW in 2nd place, and EEM last. An additional critical factor of course is the density of jet black, and here as well I find SW preferable to WC/RW.

I'll query Epson about all of this on Monday, and will report back once I have a definite response. I'm hoping that I won't end up having to give up the Epson driver for a RIP. I was browsing around the ColorBurst site this afternoon, and kind of bumming out to see how much additional detail and complexity I'd have to get into and get competent with.

Brad
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Brad Stiritz
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« Reply #23 on: September 24, 2006, 02:23:05 PM »
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I'm hoping that I won't end up having to give up the Epson driver for a RIP.
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Brad, a long time ago I switched to using ImagePrint. My primary motivation was not overinking issues with some images, but rather the horrible PS/Epson print setup rigamarole.

In general, with custom profiles, I see little or no difference between the Epson driver prints and IP prints. However, for images with lots of black, IP allows ink reduction which solved the problem. After IP came out with the black slider, I found that I could solve the problem with this slider without resorting to ink reduction. The slider affects only the blacks as opposed to ink reduction which affects everything.

I was only having a problem on a very small number of prints, such as [a href=\"http://www.lashier.com/home.cfm?dir_cat=23544]this one[/url]. The black rock actually has detail (doesn't show on the web quickproof either), but without IP's black slider (or ink reduction) it printed as one black mass and overinked to the point of being shiny (on matte rag).

- DL
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2006, 03:34:36 PM »
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Brad, a long time ago I switched to using ImagePrint. My primary motivation was not overinking issues with some images, but rather the horrible PS/Epson print setup rigamarole.

In general, with custom profiles, I see little or no difference between the Epson driver prints and IP prints. However, for images with lots of black, IP allows ink reduction which solved the problem. After IP came out with the black slider, I found that I could solve the problem with this slider without resorting to ink reduction. The slider affects only the blacks as opposed to ink reduction which affects everything.

I was only having a problem on a very small number of prints, such as this one. The black rock actually has detail (doesn't show on the web quickproof either), but without IP's black slider (or ink reduction) it printed as one black mass and overinked to the point of being shiny (on matte rag).

- DL
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Don, firstly gorgeous photograph - I really like it. Congrats.

Secondly, I agree with your observation that for most situations there is no noticeable difference of print quality whether using IP or the Epson Driver with good profiles.

Thirdly, the PS-Epson set-up rigamarole you refer to is a well-known problem on O/S X; on a Windows platform it is a piece of cake - the height of simplicity and works reliably. For once, something to say for Windows! (OK let's not get into another one of those.........)
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #25 on: September 24, 2006, 04:54:56 PM »
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Thirdly, the PS-Epson set-up rigamarole you refer to is a well-known problem on O/S X; on a Windows platform it is a piece of cake - the height of simplicity and works reliably. For once, something to say for Windows! (OK let's not get into another one of those.........)
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77507\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]
I'm on windows - maybe it's improved with CS2 and newer epson driver. My issue was that I had to check all the epson settings everytime I printed lest something had reverted. I wasted enough paper failing to do this to pay for ImagePrint. I also had issues controlling the positioning of the print with PS/Epson and although it was a bit arcane figuring this out with IP, once I had it figured out it works reliably and consistently. I also like the fact that it's easy with IP to print multiple proof images (on the same sheet) with different rendering intents and/or profiles. I suppose you may be able to do this in PS also but not nearly so directly I suspect.

- DL
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #26 on: September 24, 2006, 07:39:40 PM »
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I'm on windows - maybe it's improved with CS2 and newer epson driver. My issue was that I had to check all the epson settings everytime I printed lest something had reverted. I wasted enough paper failing to do this to pay for ImagePrint. I also had issues controlling the positioning of the print with PS/Epson and although it was a bit arcane figuring this out with IP, once I had it figured out it works reliably and consistently. I also like the fact that it's easy with IP to print multiple proof images (on the same sheet) with different rendering intents and/or profiles. I suppose you may be able to do this in PS also but not nearly so directly I suspect.

- DL
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=77513\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

I've had no reversion problem on WIndows XP with either CS or CS2 on either the Epson 4000 or the 4800, so I'm a bit surprised to hear you've had that experience. Print positioning was an issue with the Epson 4000 due to a technical error in one firmware up-grade. This was fixed with the subsequent firnware up-grade and thank goodness hasn't come back to haunt us again. I don't believe what you describe about multiple proofs can be done with the Epson driver through PS. There are lots of extra features you get with IP that one does not have otherwise - so IP makes alot of sense for people who find these features useful.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Brad_Stiritz
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« Reply #27 on: October 03, 2006, 04:23:00 PM »
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Hey everyone,

Mark and Don, thanks again for your interest and many comments. I have some new findings and progress to report. To recap, I had an on-going problem with overinking on Epson Enhanced Matte paper--

>I see mottled or "water-stain" artefacts in EEM/4800/MK most easily under strong incident light at a 45 degree angle. Previously I had said that this effect was restricted to the darkest of dark tones, but now looking more carefully at my entire test chart (see attachment in previous post), I can see significant reflective mottling in several of the Gretag Macbeth Color Chart patches (e.g. moderate red, purple, red, neutral 3.5), and less significant but still clearly visible mottling in several other patches-- again, when the print is held at an angle.

I thought that a good solution might be to switch to a heavier, all-cotton paper: ink would absorb better, and I might even get wider gamut / improved Dmax. Unfortunately, Hahnemuhle papers (which seemed a consensus premium favorite) are too rough / not bright enough. Based on recommendations to try one of the Red River papers, I got samples of their Aurora bright white, as well as the GC (greeting card) paper. Unfortunately, the Aurora has too much texture for my taste, and the GC is non-archival.

So it looks like I'm "stuck" with EEM for the foreseeable future, and it's up to me now to solve the overinking problem. Epson "pro" support was no real help, unfortunately. The guy knew that overinking (which they call "caukelling") can happen, and all he could suggest was to adjust the color control params in the driver, or switch to their Ultrasmooth Fine Art paper. Unfortunately, there are just too many variables in the color control dialog to optimize over; and UFA paper isn't bright enough for me.

I've corresponded with Andrew Rodney about some of my problems, and he's suggested considering a RIP in order to have finer control over inking. Because this would be quite an expensive step, I'm checking out the docs carefully. Interestingly, I found that my "water-staining" problem appears to be described in ColorBurst's documentation as "inkjet reversal"--

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When the channel ink limits are not set correctly for a particular media, a wide range of problems can occur. If the ink limits are too low, your prints may show banding or you may end up with low ink densities. If your ink limits are too high, your prints may be too wet or you may experience inkjet reversal. Inkjet reversal is a phenomenon that occurs when an optimal ink limit has been exceeded—as more ink is laid down on the media, less color saturation and/or density is achieved.

http://www.colorburstrip.com/windows/Spect..._Win_Layout.pdf

I would feel more confident pursuing this RIP path if I knew chances were high that a fully optimized RIP print would be noticeably "superior" in some visible way over a fully optimized "Epson driver" print from the same system.

Any comments appreciated,

Thanks,

Brad
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Brad Stiritz
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #28 on: October 03, 2006, 04:55:13 PM »
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Brad, I think the primary issue is whether or not your printer is working properly. If it is not working properly on the Epson driver, it could mean there is a hardware problem or a firmware problem that could also prevent it from working properly with a RIP; so there is no point spending alot of money on a RIP until you've drilled down further on what is causing the over-inking. If the printer is still under warranty, you need to get very serious with Epson about servicing the machine. If it is out of warranty, you should find out who is their authorized service facility nearest to you, and just pay for having the printer completely checked and adjusted as needed. Then test it on the Epson driver. If the over-inking problem is thereby solved, you can think further about the idea of a RIP, but until then, I would not throw good money into a software add-on that may not resolve the issue.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Brad_Stiritz
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« Reply #29 on: October 03, 2006, 07:26:35 PM »
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Mark,

Thanks for your response.

>I think the primary issue is whether or not your printer is working properly...

Sorry, I'm not clear on why exactly you feel my printer may not be working properly, other than that you have the same model, and you're not suffering from overinking. Don, Andrew, Epson support, and ColorBurst all indicate that overinking does happen, and that people can deal with it in different ways. I'm not ruling out a hardware problem, but I just don't see the smoking gun. The evidence seems to be leading towards profile + driver settings.

>If it is out of warranty, you should find out who is their authorized service facility nearest to you, and just pay for having the printer completely checked and adjusted as needed.

Yes, in my case, unfortunately it's out of warranty. Checking and adjusting, plus two-way shipping, will almost certainly add up to a significant expense, plus the loss of my printer for a period time. If there's nothing to be fixed or adjusted, as I suspect, that would be a "lot" of inconvenience for nothing . And I still would have the inking problem.

Brad
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Brad Stiritz
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #30 on: October 03, 2006, 07:37:33 PM »
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Neither of us would see a smoking gun because we aren't printer mechanics, and the same goes for Don and Andrew. Colorburst has a product to sell. I suggested there MAY BE a mechanical problem because you have already done quite a bit to get to the bottom of it and not yet succeeded. Epson is another story: if they acknowledge this problem they should also send you a detailed check list of the things to do about it that don't require a technician's intervention. With sending the machine for a check-up the kind of inconvenience you say it is, then you should get such a list from Epson, try the items on the list, and if one of them solves the problem, you're done; if not, all the more reason to suspect a malfunction.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Jonathan Ratzlaff
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« Reply #31 on: October 05, 2006, 10:56:30 PM »
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Have you tried printing the image using epson's canned profile.  If you have a profile that is laying down too much ink you are going to run into problems.  
If you use the epson's profile and get the same result, then you may have a problem with your printer.  If not then there is a good chance that your profile is not as good as you thought it wasm especially for dark areas.
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« Reply #32 on: October 06, 2006, 05:18:08 AM »
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Don,

A little bit of topic, but you said you are able to print different profiles/rendering intents using Imageprint. How do you achieve this? I would like to do this, but Imageprint always comes up with the notice that the same profiles have to be used.

Jochem

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Have you tried printing the image using epson's canned profile.  If you have a profile that is laying down too much ink you are going to run into problems. 
If you use the epson's profile and get the same result, then you may have a problem with your printer.  If not then there is a good chance that your profile is not as good as you thought it wasm especially for dark areas.
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« Reply #33 on: October 06, 2006, 01:44:16 PM »
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Don,

A little bit of topic, but you said you are able to print different profiles/rendering intents using Imageprint. How do you achieve this? I would like to do this, but Imageprint always comes up with the notice that the same profiles have to be used.

Jochem
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Jochem, I've printed on one sheet using different rendering intents and just assumed different profiles could be used also. Perhaps I'm wrong - I'll check this out later tonight.

- DL
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« Reply #34 on: October 06, 2006, 09:31:47 PM »
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Don

Which version of ImagePrint are you using ? I had v5.5 with an Epson 2100 and I could use different profiles on the one sheet as you describe.

I presently use v6.1 with an Epson 7800 and it does seem that this feature is no longer supported. i.e. all images on a particular sheet must now use the same profile.

Regards

Frank
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« Reply #35 on: October 08, 2006, 02:36:19 AM »
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Which version of ImagePrint are you using ? I had v5.5 with an Epson 2100 and I could use different profiles on the one sheet as you describe.

I presently use v6.1 with an Epson 7800 and it does seem that this feature is no longer supported. i.e. all images on a particular sheet must now use the same profile.
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Frank, I'm still using IP v5.6. That probably explains the discrepency. I find the capability very useful - you can two-up or four-up small proofs on one sheet to evaluate profiles and/or rendering intents.

- DL
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« Reply #36 on: October 08, 2006, 11:56:36 AM »
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I am on 6.1 (9800) as well, explains the difference. Wonder what the reason is that they took this feature out?!

Jochem

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Frank, I'm still using IP v5.6. That probably explains the discrepency. I find the capability very useful - you can two-up or four-up small proofs on one sheet to evaluate profiles and/or rendering intents.

- DL
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Brad_Stiritz
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« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2006, 09:00:01 PM »
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Hi everyone,

I got a recent PM from a fellow forum member, asking for an update on my investigation. Here's what I've worked out over the last two months:

I decided to take the plunge into RIP printing, rather than continue working within the Epson driver framework. I purchased (as a bundle) the entry-level ColorBurst X-Photo RIP ("CB") & X-Rite DTP-20 spectrophotometer. I then chose to put in considerable time & effort to sort out all the various choices and trade-offs that one can make in CB using its low-level controls over the 8 inks in the Epson K3 class printer. It's cool and fascinating to be able to experiment with the various controls, but the discovery process is iterative & time-consuming. print-measure-adjust settings-reprint. And there's a lot of ICC color science basics that have to be considered in order to make sense of everything: Lab values, CMYK values, Lab space vs. CMYK, etc.

Whether this will ultimately turn out to be "progress" is still an open question, as I still haven't made any image prints yet! But at least I feel like I've resolved the over-inking issue. To respond to Jonathan's remark--

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If you have a profile that is laying down too much ink you are going to run into problems... If you use the epson's profile and get the same result, then you may have a problem with your printer. If not then there is a good chance that your profile is not as good as you thought it was especially for dark areas.

--well, yes, in the last couple of months, I've learned that in fact my Dry Creek custom profile wasn't as good as I thought! But at the same time, I already knew that the Epson profile isn't any better. I'm definitely not facing a printer problem, as speculated by a few writers in this discussion thread. This is basically a question of asthetics. In creating any given printer setting and/or profile "XYZ", one question that has to be answered is, how much of the various CMYK inks are "too much"? Apparently the profile makers at Epson & Dry Creek have a higher tolerance for ink-on-paper than I do. I'm willing to sacrifice a touch of maximum density in each of the primary inks in order to reduce unsightly build-up when several inks are combined, as they are in the deepest darks. As one professional color technology consultant told me about printer profiling, "there isn't one right answer. you have to make choices."

So getting back to the initial thread topic-- how I was feeling envious of the awesome ink-soaking ability of heavy rag papers like Hahnemuhle's, and at the same time disappointed with their ragged surfaces-- I'm hopeful now that I'll be super-happy again with my Epson Enhanced Matte (now called Ultra Premium Presentation Paper Matte), because I'll soon have a super-optimized printer driver environment for my personal taste in photographic prints     I should have some further results to report before the holidays.

Brad
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Brad Stiritz
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howie
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« Reply #38 on: December 10, 2006, 07:04:36 PM »
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Hmmm.  I never really understood what a RIP was until I read this thread and as a result went and looked at the Colorbyte Software site and Imageprint.  If the profiles offered are as good as people say they are, and with the cost competitive with a good spectrophotometer unnecessary, it almost seems like a no brainer.  Am I misunderstanding the technology?
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #39 on: December 10, 2006, 08:09:02 PM »
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Hmmm.  I never really understood what a RIP was until I read this thread and as a result went and looked at the Colorbyte Software site and Imageprint.  If the profiles offered are as good as people say they are, and with the cost competitive with a good spectrophotometer unnecessary, it almost seems like a no brainer.  Am I misunderstanding the technology?
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=89782\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

The point you may be missing is that these profiles are generic for the paper and printer model, not your specific printer. You are depending on your printer performing identically to the one they used for making the profile. Quality control starts with whether you are using a professional printer that is individually calibrated to a common standard before it leaves the factory and stays that way thereafter. If you are only going to be using several paper types it isn't worth buying either a spectrophotometer or Image Print for the profile advantage alone. It would be far cheaper to get a few custom profiles made from a reputable profile-making service.
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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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