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Author Topic: HP printers with closed-loop calibration  (Read 3750 times)
chilehead
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« on: October 25, 2006, 07:09:45 AM »
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As anyone who’s not been hiding in a cave for the last year knows, newer HP DesignJet and Photosmart series printers have built in densitometers to calibrate the printers.  My understanding is that this process calibrates the printer to a known standard.  If this is the case, AND you have a “factory” profile for a specific paper, does this eliminate the need for a custom profile?  Is there a piece of the puzzle I have missed?

For those of you who own one of these HP printers, and have compared the output with a canned profile vs a custom profile, can you see any discernable difference?  Or, does your print match the monitor so well you don’t see the need for a custom profile?

Of course it would be important to hear from folks who are using are using a calibrated monitor.  (Don’t want much, do I?)

-Mark
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rdonson
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« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2006, 09:04:17 AM »
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What about the need for the paper to dry completely before attempting to create a profile?
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Ron
Greg_E
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« Reply #2 on: October 28, 2006, 12:11:02 PM »
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This has been discussed on a few forums, and I have discussed this with a few customers. The calibration is supposed to bring the printer back to the "known" standard. However it does sometimes miss a little, especially if you are using third party papers. One person who I made some profiles for, found that if he tricked the printer into taking the calibration print a few days later, then the results were different and better. As far as the HP profiles go, there are still small differences with each printer that will bother some people. So some people find that they still want a custom profile. The few people that own a DJ130 and have had me make a profile for them have found that the new profile is better than the HP profile for their pictures.

Now if you use the new Z printers, and HP papers, then you might be able to eliminate the needs for more expensive profile software since it comes with calibration, and profile (small target) software. Optional is the more extensive profile software to use bigger targets.
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chilehead
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« Reply #3 on: November 04, 2006, 07:07:37 PM »
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Thank you for the replies.  I have answered my question in my own mind by going out and buying the darn thing.

Yes. I need custom profiles.

-Mark
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haefnerphoto
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« Reply #4 on: November 05, 2006, 07:44:43 AM »
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Mark, Are you saying that the printer calibration and photospectrometer doesn't work well in creating profiles?
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chilehead
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« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2006, 07:32:51 PM »
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Quote
Mark, Are you saying that the printer calibration and photospectrometer doesn't work well in creating profiles?
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Not completely sure I understand the question.  This is the B9180, so there is no built-in profile creation.  That would be on the Z series.

Of course, I've only owned the thing for a few days, so I'm no expert on it (yet!) but my understanding is that the closed-loop calibration just helps to ensure accurate and repeatable color density.  (Someone correct me if I'm wrong!)

That said, the icc printer profiles that ship with the printer appear to work very well and will please many users.   I'm picky though, so I created my own profiles.  With my custom profile I see differences in highlight/shadow detail, and in screen to print matching of the colors.

I could also see some slight banding of colors (in a blue sky) with the supplied profile for the Advanced glossy, and my custom profile helped to reduce it greatly.  (Although not eliminate it; one would need your new Pixma 9000 for that!)

To be honest, if folks are NOT going to be using custom profiles, then I suppose the printer's closed-loop calibration will help them get very "acceptable" results.  On the other hand, if I just forked over extra money to buy a printer with built-in closed-loop calibration, I think I would rather have spent the extra money on a custom icc profile!  (And skipped the C-L calibration.)

-Mark
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abiggs
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« Reply #6 on: November 07, 2006, 10:52:39 AM »
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Paper profiling is part science and part art, and just running a straight target through and reading those targets will not always get you the best profile. Even though scientifically a given paper has smooth gradations in the shadows, as an example you might want to open up the shadows below a certain spot. Automated profiling doesn't take into account your needs or your desires. I create a ton of profiles all of the time, and probably 50% of the time the profile needs correcting after reading the targets and printing a sample print.

The Colorvision Printfix PRO product is so affordable, and will soon support an additional greyscale target page that lets you create toned icc profiles. This is the direction I am going in, and I like the results from their beta software.

Sometimes automation is nice, but I suspect many people will want more control over their profiles.
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Andy Biggs
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Africa Photo Safaris | Workshops | Fine Art Prints
GerardK
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« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2006, 02:50:14 AM »
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Indeed, closed loop calibration has confused quite a few users. It's an entirely different concept from actual profiling, as the new Z-series do. As Greg says, closed loop calibration returns the printer to a known state, again and again.

This merely means that if you print through a certain profile in January after calibration, the print that you will make lateron in August will look the same after a new calibration because the printer was returned to te same state.

But what if the profile you used is crap? The first print will be crap, and the second print will also be crap. They will, however, be equally crappy.

However, as I pointed out in the article about Gamutvision and PrintFIX Pro that Michael posted a few weeks ago (Fancy Graphics Galore), I don't think the canned profiles from HP are crap at all, I think they're quite good. The profiles I made with PrintFIX Pro were different, not necessarily worse, not necessarily better.

I agree with Andy - it would be a good idea to have software that gives you more control over actually making and editing profiles. As I've learned from the people in Barcelona that design the HP printers, profiling is in essence a subjective process, indeed, 'part art' as Andy indicated. So let's leave the art part to the photographer. With PrintFIX Pro, you have the option to punch in some more magenta, or to reduce the cyan somewhat, but that's all very basic.

It would be nice to have the same level of control over profiling at the end user stage that for instance Adobe Camera RAW or Capture One offers in RAW conversion. That would be neat.


Gerard Kingma
www.kingma.nu
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