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Author Topic: 16 bit Plug Question - iPF5000  (Read 5588 times)
Dale Allyn
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« on: November 25, 2006, 12:22:03 PM »
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I'm looking for clarification on the "best" output settings in Photoshop 16-bit plug-in. That is, I want PS to control color and turn off the printer control of colors.

I've read numerous posts and .pdf files with profiles suggesting that one go to the color settings tab and set matching mode to "off". However in my version of the plug-in I have only color correction controls under the Color Settings tab. On the Main tab I have Output Profile which offers a pull-down menu and a Matching Method option. The latter allows for a choice of rendering attempt. The former offers the three choices of "Auto (color)", "Auto (Monochrome), and None (no color correction), and a list of all loaded icc profiles.

Normally I would have chosen "None (no color correction)", but since the profile was selected automatically on my first run and the print was very nice I stayed with that for a while. (I was looking for a way to turn off color management in the color settings tab).

My question is: are others choosing "None (no color management)" from this Main tab Output Profile menu? For the prints that I'm making at this point there is no perceivable difference in 11x17" images between those printed with the proper profile selected and "None" selected . I'm still at the testing, learning and tweaking stage and would love to save what paper and ink I can.

The plug-in which I'm using is the Mac OSX Canadian download, v2.02.

Thanks for any clarification you can share.

Dale
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2006, 12:43:07 PM »
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I guess I've found my answer. It seems that some of the .pdf docs and various posts are mixing details. Some are referring to OS printer driver and some are referring to the PS plug-in with out distinction or clarification.

It seems that I should continue to select the paper profile and rendering intent in the PS plug-in. Do correct me if I'm wrong.


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Dale
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tbonanno
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« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2006, 01:24:20 PM »
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I guess I've found my answer. It seems that some of the .pdf docs and various posts are mixing details. Some are referring to OS printer driver and some are referring to the PS plug-in with out distinction or clarification.

It seems that I should continue to select the paper profile and rendering intent in the PS plug-in. Do correct me if I'm wrong.
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Dale
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Sounds like you've figured it out Dale..  I've always used the paper profile or the auto monochrome.  Never used the "none" setting.  With the Canon, I've found Relative Colorimetric rendering to work best for my files.  One thing I have confirmed is to resize the file to 600dpi BEFORE bringing it into the plugin (assuming you have selected the "high accuracy 600ppi" setting).  The difference between using bicubic smoother ahead of the plugin vs letting the plugin resize the file does result in a visible improvement to my eye.
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Tony Bonanno Photography
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2006, 01:31:55 PM »
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Sounds like you've figured it out Dale..  I've always used the paper profile or the auto monochrome.  Never used the "none" setting.  With the Canon, I've found Relative Colorimetric rendering to work best for my files.  One thing I have confirmed is to resize the file to 600dpi BEFORE bringing it into the plugin (assuming you have selected the "high accuracy 600ppi" setting).  The difference between using bicubic smoother ahead of the plugin vs letting the plugin resize the file does result in a visible improvement to my eye.
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Tony, thanks very much for the confirmation. Yes, your workflow is similar to what I am settling on as well. I'm having to sort of re-learn to sharpen my files as I've never worked in 600ppi before.

Do you find that up-rezzing in two steps is sufficient? So far, I've just used two increments to get from my native resolution of 240ppi to 600ppi (Canon 5D mostly), but that feels like a big jump.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2006, 03:48:26 PM »
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Tony, thanks very much for the confirmation. Yes, your workflow is similar to what I am settling on as well. I'm having to sort of re-learn to sharpen my files as I've never worked in 600ppi before.

Do you find that up-rezzing in two steps is sufficient? So far, I've just used two increments to get from my native resolution of 240ppi to 600ppi (Canon 5D mostly), but that feels like a big jump.
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I've tried most combinations of Qimage, PS bicubic smoother, Genuine fractals, NIK sharpener etc. The differences are slight and all seem to work well so I have settled into an easy workflow.
1. presharpen in DXO optics
2. in PS resize with bicubic smoother to 6" x 9"  600ppi (to standardize my image size)
3. in PS smart sharpen (amount 45 to 180, radius .9, lens blur)
4. export to the 16 bit plugin and let the plugin resize to fit.

the results are just a bit better if you resize to the final print size but it is a small difference and usually I don't go to the effort.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Dale Allyn
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« Reply #5 on: November 25, 2006, 04:05:08 PM »
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I've tried most combinations of Qimage, PS bicubic smoother, Genuine fractals, NIK sharpener etc. The differences are slight and all seem to work well so I have settled into an easy workflow.
1. presharpen in DXO optics
2. in PS resize with bicubic smoother to 6" x 9"  600ppi (to standardize my image size)
3. in PS smart sharpen (amount 45 to 180, radius .9, lens blur)
4. export to the 16 bit plugin and let the plugin resize to fit.

the results are just a bit better if you resize to the final print size but it is a small difference and usually I don't go to the effort.
Marc
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Marc,

Thank you for describing your workflow. It's interesting to me that you resize to 6x9 early in your flow. Can I assume that you do your curves, levels, etc. at the native size first?

I've always done all processing work in the native size (and I tend to process conservatively); then up-rez and upsize (or downsize) to my final image print size; followed by sharpening and exporting to the plug-in.

My native files are about 12.1"x18.2" @240ppi. I'm always looking to learn the best way to do the least "pixel bruising" and this 600ppi process is new to me. I've been doing my printing prior to adding the iPF5000 at 240ppi or 300ppi.

Dale
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #6 on: November 25, 2006, 06:14:18 PM »
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Marc,

Thank you for describing your workflow. It's interesting to me that you resize to 6x9 early in your flow. Can I assume that you do your curves, levels, etc. at the native size first?

I've always done all processing work in the native size (and I tend to process conservatively); then up-rez and upsize (or downsize) to my final image print size; followed by sharpening and exporting to the plug-in.

My native files are about 12.1"x18.2" @240ppi. I'm always looking to learn the best way to do the least "pixel bruising" and this 600ppi process is new to me. I've been doing my printing prior to adding the iPF5000 at 240ppi or 300ppi.

Dale
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I'm no expert so in the past 6 months I have done a lot of experimenting with the iPF 5000 and 5d so there might be better ways to do it but to my eye this works. I think the resolution of the 5d is so good and the output of the 5000 is so good that you can do nothing and get a good print or do a lot and get a great print. The 600 ppi is just because canon designed the printer that way and with my experimenting I verified it is a bit better. The 6x9 @600ppi is because I wanted a reasonable file size, same aspect ratio as the 5d, a step twords the large file the iPF5000 wants and a standard size so font sizes on the title are consistant. The bottom line is most of what you read is for the epsons not the iPF5000 so I tried many "out of the box" combinations and a lot of prints and ink later, think with the two (5d+5000) it would be hard to make a bad print. Yes I make my adjustments after the first uprez (to 3600x5400), or sometimes I forget and do it at the end, seems to be a negligable difference in a 16 bit workflow.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Dale Allyn
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« Reply #7 on: November 25, 2006, 08:29:27 PM »
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I'm no expert so in the past 6 months I have done a lot of experimenting with the iPF 5000 and 5d so there might be better ways to do it but to my eye this works...

Marc
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Marc,

I knew that you had been doing lots of experimenting and was pretty sure that you'd weigh in on this thread. Thank you.

I have a pretty solid workflow for my previous equipment, I believe, but with Canon's design of 600ppi and other features it makes sense to learn from others experience here.

I love that the iPF5000 allows us to work in 16-bit and has such a wide gamut. And I agree that the printer seems to output "acceptable" prints with little effort. It's also obvious that if we feed it a great file and make the correct plug-in choices it will produce a great print. I'm pretty anal (understatement perhaps) so try very hard to provide the printer with "ideal" files. Learning what constitutes "ideal" is the challange. Trial and error is likely the best teacher here, but I'm very pleased to be able to experiment with the benefit of some info from you others who have had more time with this printer.

I thank you all for sharing your experiences. It's great to be able to consolidate some of the testing. Who knows, maybe even Canon will jot down some of these details and consider putting them in a... I don't know... maybe... a manual!

Best,

Dale
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tbonanno
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« Reply #8 on: November 26, 2006, 01:10:48 AM »
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I'm learning as I go too.  The 600dpi had me a little confused.  I always shoot RAW and rarely uprez the native 1DsII resolution which I set at 300 in ACR, etc.  IF I decide to uprez, I do it before any further postprocessing in PS.  In the past I would use Smart Sharpen and/or Pixelgenius Output Sharpner when printing with the Epson 4000.  Now that I have the Canon, and am resizing to 600, I'm not sure I'm using the best workflow.  At first I tried letting the plugin handle it all, then tried resizing before importing into the plugin.  I compared prints side by side and resizing to 600 in PS prior to using the plug-in was clearly better to my eyes.   However, I've been pretty lazy in my approach.  I just use bicubic smoother in one step to go from 300 to the same size at 600.  I've been pleased with the results, but it appears that Marc  and others have tweaked this workflow far better than I.  I suspect that larger size prints might benefit from muti-step bicubic smoother.  Seems that I read somewhere though that "stepping" is built into the bicubic smoother algorithm, but I'm not sure.
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Tony Bonanno Photography
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #9 on: November 26, 2006, 02:20:28 AM »
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Tony, I agree that fully "prepping" the file for export to the plug-in renders the best results at least in my limited tests so far. This is going to make for some pretty large files for archiving if we choose to save the final, prepped file (which is my approach). I can see the merit in Marc's approach of creating a working file of 6x9 if one wishes to control the possibly exponential growth of file sizes.

I don't always know what the final output size of an image will be. Typically I'll print in full-frame ratios that cover the range from 8x12 to 16x24 and tend to process each size from a "finished" native-sized file. Then I save a version for each size that I may need (though any one image is usually not saved in all sizes). This approach may prove impractical now... or I'd better buy some more hard drive space. I'd love to find the right mix of sizing/uprezzing and sharpening that allows for the archiving of mostly just a working "parent" file of each image, as it seems that Marc has for his needs.

More testing, more paper, more ink...  
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David White
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« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2006, 01:08:50 PM »
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At the recent 2006 Summit in Page, AZ the Canon rep who was doing prints for us on a 5000 tried to tell us that the native resolution of the 5000 was 218.18ppi.  How he arrived at this was pretty strange.  He tried to tell us that to find the native resolution, divide the maximum resolution (2400) by the number of inks minus one since only one black is used.  He was very adament that the printer would interpolate to this resolution if anything different was sent.  He had some obtuse arguments for this but none that made any sense to me.

Needless to say, most of us just rolled our eyes and continued to use whatever we had been using.  Joe Holmes was quite adament that the native resolution would be 300ppi for the printer and that anything else would be a waste.

I've been using 300ppi based on the conventional wisdom that it should be a multiple of the maximum resolution and that anything higher than 300 would just result in larger files with no benefit to be seen in the print.  Most of the recommendations for the Epsons were for 360ppi, but the Epsons do not have a 16-bit driver.

I'm going to try a blind comparison of a couple prints at 300ppi and 600ppi to see if there really is a difference before commiting to the larger file sizes and increased processing time.

I would be really interested to see what Canon has to say about what really happens in the 16-bit plug-in and under what circumstances interpolation to a different size is done.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2006, 01:09:30 PM by gvdavewh » Logged

David White
Gary Damaskos
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« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2006, 03:54:57 PM »
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DFAllyn -

I agree the conventional wisdon for Canons (at least to now) has been 300 is as big as there is a point in doing. I acknowledge that I have not uprezed a file to 600 to print, which for me I am only interested in doing for a 16x20 or larger size. That because the smaller sizes without a microscope just cant get better (maybe, but not with the images I have been processing so far anyway). I will try this to have my own experience. But then the uprezing causing problems itself. And are "you" (who believe in the 600 dpi file rez) sending 8bit or 16bit files over? My 16x20 print 8bit files at 300 are 83Mb. At 600 they will be 166Mb, at 16bit they will be 332Mb. From previous in depth discussions prior to this printer release by many quality freaks, 8bit/300 was generally indistinguishable to "more" in almost all cases. And the fact is uprezing introduces its own issues to balance out. That is my data base. Sometime in the near future will add my own experiment with this issue. In the meantime...
Gary

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At the recent 2006 Summit in Page, AZ the Canon rep who was doing prints for us on a 5000 tried to tell us that the native resolution of the 5000 was 218.18ppi.  How he arrived at this was pretty strange.  He tried to tell us that to find the native resolution, divide the maximum resolution (2400) by the number of inks minus one since only one black is used.  He was very adament that the printer would interpolate to this resolution if anything different was sent.  He had some obtuse arguments for this but none that made any sense to me.

Needless to say, most of us just rolled our eyes and continued to use whatever we had been using.  Joe Holmes was quite adament that the native resolution would be 300ppi for the printer and that anything else would be a waste.

I've been using 300ppi based on the conventional wisdom that it should be a multiple of the maximum resolution and that anything higher than 300 would just result in larger files with no benefit to be seen in the print.  Most of the recommendations for the Epsons were for 360ppi, but the Epsons do not have a 16-bit driver.

I'm going to try a blind comparison of a couple prints at 300ppi and 600ppi to see if there really is a difference before commiting to the larger file sizes and increased processing time.

I would be really interested to see what Canon has to say about what really happens in the 16-bit plug-in and under what circumstances interpolation to a different size is done.
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Tim Ernst
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« Reply #12 on: November 26, 2006, 04:23:11 PM »
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gvdavewh:

So did the Canon rep make any test prints at 218.18ppi and at other resolutions to compare the results? If there is any truth to this low native resolution that would be great. I have found that a great many reps know little about their products, but I would think someone at this type of event would be well informed, especially with folks like Joe Holmes there.
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #13 on: November 26, 2006, 07:24:50 PM »
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DFAllyn -

I agree the conventional wisdon for Canons (at least to now) has been 300 is as big as there is a point in doing. I acknowledge that I have not uprezed a file to 600 to print, which for me I am only interested in doing for a 16x20 or larger size. That because the smaller sizes without a microscope just cant get better (maybe, but not with the images I have been processing so far anyway). I will try this to have my own experience. But then the uprezing causing problems itself. And are "you" (who believe in the 600 dpi file rez) sending 8bit or 16bit files over? My 16x20 print 8bit files at 300 are 83Mb. At 600 they will be 166Mb, at 16bit they will be 332Mb. From previous in depth discussions prior to this printer release by many quality freaks, 8bit/300 was generally indistinguishable to "more" in almost all cases. And the fact is uprezing introduces its own issues to balance out. That is my data base. Sometime in the near future will add my own experiment with this issue. In the meantime...
Gary
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Hi Gary,

I have no problems with your approach and findings. In fact I have printed one of my favorite images at 300ppi and the print is fantastic. It's an image that doesn't need super detail beyond what I get @300ppi and I've not printed it very large either. I have also printed it at 600ppi, letting plug-in uprez, as well as 600ppi from Photoshop and they are all very good. The 300ppi version is best in this case IMO because I did a better job of sharpening. I'm more familiar with 300ppi images. Differences were slight and all acceptable. I was, and remain, the weak link as I'm learning this printer. This "test" was done on an 8x12"  image so I would not expect huge differences anyway.

I'm preparing to print another image that I think will be the type that will show the differences between 300ppi and 600ppi if this difference is significant. I'll print it at 16x24 and it has many details, textures, shadow gradients, etc. I'll try it at both resolutions. The original file is very clean and prints extremely well on my other printers.

I've not printed enough different types of images on this printer yet to know when it may be best to go with 600ppi. So far, I've just been looking for the recommended "best" approach used by those whom I've come to respect. Like you, I need to try more images at different resolutions and see the differences for myself. In time this will come. I agree with your comment that uprezzing has it's issues too, and I'm anxious to know the facts.

Oh, and yes, I am using 16-bit files before the export. I work in RAW, then 16-bit at the native resolution of the camera. The files do get large when upsized and uprezzed.

Gary, you're way ahead of me on the use of this printer. I look forward to learning what works best for my image files and best suits my eye. I appreciate that many continue to contribute their observations here.

Rgds,

Dale
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #14 on: November 26, 2006, 10:32:13 PM »
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I see a noticable improvement using a 16 bit file and the plugin.
I see a slight improvement sending it 600 ppi over 300 ppi files.
I see a slight improvement uprezing in photoshop.
I would not think that what works for a epson works for the canon.
I would trust your own eyes on a quality paper with a custom profile over what others (including me) say!
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
Dale Allyn
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« Reply #15 on: December 02, 2006, 10:11:49 PM »
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Just a follow-up after some more "testing" to share some of my results.

Like Marc (above) I found similar results to his when I'm printing images which were highly detailed. One image in particular which is an autumn scene with a wide variety of fine details, prints best at 600ppi, uprezzed in Photoshop, and printed at the highest quality with 16-pass. The improvement over the 300ppi version is most noticeable to me in this type of image so far.

In another example where the image is a street portrait of a young girl in soft light, 300ppi is as good as 600ppi IMO. If anything, I prefer the 300ppi version, exported to the plug-in and printed at highest quality (600ppi in the plug-in). These results are likely due to my incompetence in the nuances of such a workflow, but the result of the 300ppi version is truly remarkable on this image.

I'm doing all of my printing via the plug-in. I'll likely do a bit of both 300ppi processing (letting the plug-in uprez to 600 because that's what is available to 16-bit files), and some 600ppi exports as well. For now, I'm letting the image detail or style dictate these choices. If the file prints to my needs at the lower rez. then saving fewer 600ppi files will save some disk space.

I should add that I'm working with 16-bit files captured in RAW from DSLRs.

--
Dale
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #16 on: December 02, 2006, 10:29:57 PM »
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I see a noticable improvement using a 16 bit file and the plugin.

I guess the key question here is:

What is the difference between an 8 bit file printed through the Photoshop plugin and a 16 bit file printed through the plugin?  The test above says that the two together are better than printing an 8 bit file through the driver, but doesn't really answer the question of whether it is the plugin alone, or the extra 8 bits plus the plugin.  For example, I would like to print to file with Qimage, load into Photoshop, then print from the plugin.  Problem is, Qimage is 8 bit only.  Would still be printing through the plugin.  Has anyone done this test yet?

--John
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #17 on: December 02, 2006, 11:17:38 PM »
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I guess the key question here is:

What is the difference between an 8 bit file printed through the Photoshop plugin and a 16 bit file printed through the plugin?  The test above says that the two together are better than printing an 8 bit file through the driver, but doesn't really answer the question of whether it is the plugin alone, or the extra 8 bits plus the plugin.  For example, I would like to print to file with Qimage, load into Photoshop, then print from the plugin.  Problem is, Qimage is 8 bit only.  Would still be printing through the plugin.  Has anyone done this test yet?

--John
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I have taken a 16 bit file and used Qimage to print to file then sent the file to the 16 bit plugin with excellent results 17x22 but a bit of work. I used pyramid as the algorithm. I'm just guessing the printer is good enough to see a difference with 16 (12 bits) of data over 8 bits. My original tests were 17x22 with genuine fractals, Qimage and bicubic smoother + smart sharpen all were very good, no one method was a standout better way so Ive settled on the easiest since after DXO optics I work on the Tiff in PS so bicubic smoother and smart sharpen is less work.
I never compaired a 8 bit file between the windows driver and the plugin.
Marc
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Marc McCalmont
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« Reply #18 on: December 02, 2006, 11:48:37 PM »
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I have taken a 16 bit file and used Qimage to print to file then sent the file to the 16 bit plugin with excellent results 17x22 but a bit of work. I used pyramid as the algorithm. I'm just guessing the printer is good enough to see a difference with 16 (12 bits) of data over 8 bits. My original tests were 17x22 with genuine fractals, Qimage and bicubic smoother + smart sharpen all were very good, no one method was a standout better way so Ive settled on the easiest since after DXO optics I work on the Tiff in PS so bicubic smoother and smart sharpen is less work.

Are you saying the comparison was between Qimage print to file (8 bit result) printed through the plugin and a 16 bit (12 bit) version of the same file upsized with bicubic smoother, smart sharpened and printed through the Photoshop plugin with all 12 bits?

If so, was that the comparison that you couldn't see much difference in?  I am trying to figure out if it is the plugin that makes the difference, the 12 bits from the file, or if both are needed.

Thanks.

--John
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Jonathan Wienke
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« Reply #19 on: December 03, 2006, 02:10:40 AM »
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When printing a 16-bit image to an 8-bit device, the color space conversion from your editing space (Prophoto, Adobe RGB, or whatever) to print profile is done in 16-bit mode, then rounded to 8-bit values, so you'll still get smoother gradients than 8-bit to 8-bit prints.
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