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Author Topic: Epson 4000 color problem  (Read 28171 times)
dophoto
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« on: December 21, 2006, 09:19:09 PM »
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I am printing with an Epson 4000 and getting an unwanted salmon color in certain areas of my color images. It is not a cast over the entire image, but distinct areas of bright color that appear to overlay a particular tonal value. That value is roughly a medium tan color (approximately R=195, G=160, B=130). This extraneous salmon color has appered recently in 3 completely different photos. Each was a Nikon RAW file (but from 2 different cameras), processed with Adobe Camera Raw. There is no sign of this color on my calibrated monitor. The intensity of the color varies somewhat with different papers, but is always present. Most images I am printing have been excellent - in color as well as b/w using Quadtone RIP. I have not been having problems with clogged nozzles.

Anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions?
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francois
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« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2006, 03:00:39 AM »
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I am printing with an Epson 4000 and getting an unwanted salmon color in certain areas of my color images. It is not a cast over the entire image, but distinct areas of bright color that appear to overlay a particular tonal value. That value is roughly a medium tan color (approximately R=195, G=160, B=130). This extraneous salmon color has appered recently in 3 completely different photos. Each was a Nikon RAW file (but from 2 different cameras), processed with Adobe Camera Raw. There is no sign of this color on my calibrated monitor. The intensity of the color varies somewhat with different papers, but is always present. Most images I am printing have been excellent - in color as well as b/w using Quadtone RIP. I have not been having problems with clogged nozzles.

Anyone else had this problem? Any suggestions?
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I encountered a similar issue with an Epson 2100 on a few occasions. I've tried  a few things to remove salmon colored areas but only succeeded partially.

My problem seems to be "centered" around tan or beige gradients. I've found problematics colors on some lichen covered rocks, on some animals like wolves and in some instance on portraits with blond hair. I've tried to address the issue with different custom printer profiles, different rendering intents, different document profiles, different RAW converters, different papers (along with OEM and custom profiles), etc. ... without any success. The soft-proof feature of Photoshop didn't show the problematic salmon areas. The only way to circumvent the issue was to print using Epson driver color management instead of printing with a printer profile. This solution is - in my opinion - not acceptable.

I have no valid explanation but I believe that this issue lies in the (non-) linearity of my printer. I remember having read something about that in Andrew Rodney's excellent book. Basically, you make a custom profile with Epson color management enabled. Gamut will be reduced if profiles are made this way.

I don't own a spectro to make custom profiles and since the issue is present only in a handfull of images, I didn't bother to try this solution. I now modifiy slightly my images in order to minimize the issue.

Perhaps someone more knowledgeable could shed some light on this issue.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 03:18:54 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
PeterTinson
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« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2006, 03:30:14 AM »
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It might help if information about the operating system and the application was included in these requests as there have been some conflicts between the MAC osx operating system and versions of photoshop that have caused this type of problem.
Ensure you are upto date with the the updates for both your operating system and application.
Peter
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PeterT
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« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2006, 03:59:38 AM »
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It might help if information about the operating system and the application was included in these requests as there have been some conflicts between the MAC osx operating system and versions of photoshop that have caused this type of problem.
Ensure you are upto date with the the updates for both your operating system and application.
Peter
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It's on a Mac but my issue was present a long time before the conflict between Mac OS X and Photoshop and is still present.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 04:02:05 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
PeterTinson
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« Reply #4 on: December 22, 2006, 05:19:04 AM »
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What version of the MAC os are you running, therewas still some problems with colorsync up to 10.4.7.
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« Reply #5 on: December 22, 2006, 05:37:39 AM »
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What version of the MAC os are you running, therewas still some problems with colorsync up to 10.4.7.
peter
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My issue has been present from Mac OS X 10.3.x to the latest non public dev version 10.4.x. and my main machine is running 10.4.8.
Ian Lyons has described the conflict between PS  9.0.1 and Mac OS X [a href=\"http://www.computer-darkroom.com/pwp_901/pwp_901_1.htm]here[/url]. Ian also has a work-around. BTW, while my issue has similarites, it isn't solved by Ian's work-around and it is happening with PS CS also.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2006, 06:10:29 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
dophoto
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« Reply #6 on: December 22, 2006, 08:07:16 AM »
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It might help if information about the operating system and the application was included in these requests as there have been some conflicts between the MAC osx operating system and versions of photoshop that have caused this type of problem.
Ensure you are upto date with the the updates for both your operating system and application.
Peter
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I am running OSX 10.4.8 and CS2 9.0.2. Thanks for any additional thoughts on the problem.

David
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francois
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« Reply #7 on: December 22, 2006, 08:14:32 AM »
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I am running OSX 10.4.8 and CS2 9.0.2. Thanks for any additional thoughts on the problem.

David
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David,
Have you tried Ian Lyons' work-around? It didn't work for me but it may help (see link above).
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Francois
dophoto
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« Reply #8 on: December 23, 2006, 04:02:41 PM »
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David,
Have you tried Ian Lyons' work-around? It didn't work for me but it may help (see link above).
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Francois,

I did try the work-around and it did eliminate the salmon color; however, it gave me a lousy overall print. Perhaps I could tweak that further, but I did some other experimenting instead.

I took my images to another Epson 4000 and successfully printed there using the same driver and settings. Then I printed from an older Mac G4 to my Epson 4000 using a freshly installed Epson driver and newly installed Photoshop. The print was great - no sign of the salmon color. So, I thoroughly uninstalled the driver and Photoshop on my G5 (from which I originally had the problem) and reinstalled them both. The resulting prints still have the problem.

I am really stumped. Any thoughts would be most welcomed and appreciated.

David
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francois
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« Reply #9 on: December 24, 2006, 11:06:44 AM »
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Francois,

I did try the work-around and it did eliminate the salmon color; however, it gave me a lousy overall print. Perhaps I could tweak that further, but I did some other experimenting instead.

I took my images to another Epson 4000 and successfully printed there using the same driver and settings. Then I printed from an older Mac G4 to my Epson 4000 using a freshly installed Epson driver and newly installed Photoshop. The print was great - no sign of the salmon color. So, I thoroughly uninstalled the driver and Photoshop on my G5 (from which I originally had the problem) and reinstalled them both. The resulting prints still have the problem.

I am really stumped. Any thoughts would be most welcomed and appreciated.

David
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David,
I have no idea why it works fine on your G4 and not on your G5. I'll try to find another computer (I only have G5s here) and see the salmon colored areas are present.
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Francois
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« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2006, 11:44:12 AM »
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snip<<I am really stumped. Any thoughts would be most welcomed and appreciated.
David
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David,
I have a thought that you might look into on your computer.  I experienced a similar problem when printing from InDesign (ID) in the same manner as one would print from PhotoShop (PS).  The prints via ID exhibited problems and did not match the color and quality as those from PS, despite the same settings and same paper and profile.  After two days of digging I found a "glitch" in colorsync, or at least it had manifested itself in colorsync.  To keep this short, here is what you might check.

On the computer that prints the image well, pull down the "Summary" window from the Epson driver's "Print" window.  It should be the last item in the pull down that begins with "Copies & Pages"   Click on the triangle to the left of the item "ColorSync" and note the profile that is listed adjacent to the word "Profile".

Then, on the other computer, do the same thing.  Do they match?  If not, you may need to change the errant one using the ColorSync utility to be as listed for the computer where you are getting satifactory results.  If they do match at this point, then obviously that is not the cause of your problem.

You and others reading this may first think like I did, why would that matter when we have checked "No Color Adjustment" in the colorsync dialog.  I assure you it does, and despite the fact that NCA is checked there is, at least for me, there is some degree of interaction here at some level.  In my case, the profile listed in the summary window when using PS was "Generic RGB" which was present when the profile was created.  In the ID summary, however, "Epson Standard" was listed, and that indeed skewed (until changed to Generic RGB) the print results using the custom profile in the usual and normal manner.

Good Luck,
Ed
« Last Edit: December 24, 2006, 11:44:44 AM by Ed Foster, Jr. » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2006, 08:49:41 PM »
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You and others reading this may first think like I did, why would that matter when we have checked "No Color Adjustment" in the colorsync dialog.  I assure you it does, and despite the fact that NCA is checked there is, at least for me, there is some degree of interaction here at some level.  In my case, the profile listed in the summary window when using PS was "Generic RGB" which was present when the profile was created.  In the ID summary, however, "Epson Standard" was listed, and that indeed skewed (until changed to Generic RGB) the print results using the custom profile in the usual and normal manner.

Good Luck,
Ed
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Ed,

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

This problem has been vexing me for months. I have sought and received advice from informed sources, had my settings checked by gurus, and reinstalled applications and the OS many times. Your message gave me the clues to fix it.

The solution isn't quite as you say. The key is to make sure that ColorSync is using the Generic RGB Profile.icc, not necessarily the profile that works in some applications.

You can find this profile in: /System/Library/ColorSync/Profiles/

As you said, it is totally counter-intuitive but you can drive color all over the place in some applications by making ColorSync use different profiles. Generic RGB is the only one that gives the right colors.

In my case, Photoshop has been giving banding in flesh tones. Printing from Lightroom and InDesign is fine.

When I print from Photoshop with my Epson 4800, ColorSync is set to the default Pro4800 Standard profile when I look in the print setup summary. Using the ColorSync utility to point the Pro4800 Standard profile to something else immediately changed the color. (The ColorSync utility is not intuitive, just as this problem is not intuitive. You can't change the default profile to anything other than Standard. However, you can change the Standard profile to point to another profile.) Only when I pointed the Standard profile to Generic RGB did the color come out right.

It is rather confusing and I'd be glad to walk anyone through it step by step. But it works. I have only tested it with Photoshop 10 (the CS3 beta) but I'm sure it works for other versions.
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« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2006, 10:00:23 PM »
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snip << However, you can change the Standard profile to point to another profile.) Only when I pointed the Standard profile to Generic RGB did the color come out right. >> snip
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Exactly, and that is because when you install the printer driver (as with other devices too) it registers the manufacturer's standard profile as the "Factory Profile" and then  selects it as the "Current Profile".  While I am not aware that you can change the "Factory Profile" per se, you can select the "Current Profile" (via the ColorSync Utility) and that is where I made the change to "Generic RGB Profile".

I have not had the opportunity to delve into this further, but what is distressing to me, is that with "no color adjustment" (NAC) selected in the printer driver, there is still some interaction on the part of ColorSync.   Therefore, this setting which is deep within the system, must always be the same as that used where and when the custom printer profile was made.  And, the second point of distress is that since there is an obvious interaction and we are truly not able to obtain "NCA", when we are creating a profile, is the application of whatever is set for the "Current Profile", be it the Epson (or whatever) Standard, or Generic RGB, actually "choking" or reducing the gamut that we might be able to obtain, or in the very least introducing additional rounding errors, thus leading to less than smooth color transitions.

Take Care,
Ed
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dophoto
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« Reply #13 on: December 25, 2006, 05:24:09 PM »
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It is rather confusing and I'd be glad to walk anyone through it step by step. But it works. I have only tested it with Photoshop 10 (the CS3 beta) but I'm sure it works for other versions.



Ed and Roy,

I checked the "Summary" profiles: The correctly printing G4 was using Generic RGB Profile  but the G5 (problem printing) was using Pro4000 Standard.

I've opened colorSync Utility, but can't figure out how to make the change you guys have discussed. Roy, would you be willing to give me the step-by-step instructions?

Ditto the thank you, thank you, thank you! Sounds like this will get me up and running again. I really appreciate your help.

David
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dophoto
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« Reply #14 on: December 25, 2006, 08:35:42 PM »
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I figured it out and the problem is solved!

Thank you again.

David
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francois
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« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2006, 05:58:56 AM »
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Thanks a millions!
I've printed a few images with the problematic salmon areas and pointing to the Generic RGB profile has fixed the issue.  

Edit: I removed a note about print presets as it was wrong. Generic RGB profile is also used in presets that were created before the Colorsync change (pointing to Generic RGB).

Thanks again!
« Last Edit: December 26, 2006, 01:22:35 PM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #16 on: December 26, 2006, 03:06:40 PM »
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I dug a little deeper to understand what was going on with ColorSync and that Generic RGB profile. I retrieved my developer documents and the notes I took at an Apple Dev conference and found a few elements to explain the reasoning.
I also searched the ColorSync users list at Apple and finally found a post that seems to explain how Colorsync does its business and why the Generic RGB profile was the solution.

Steve Upton (from Chromix) writes;
...My understanding of Photoshop printing today is that it does not include a profile in the print stream. As a result, ColorSync will assign the Generic RGB profile as the source which is potentially dangerous as hell but, in the Epson driver you also have the "Color Management" tab which allows you to turn color management "off". I think this actually lets ColorSync choose GenericRGB as the destination so no conversion occurs. ...

Chris Murphy (from Color Remedies and Real Wolrd Color Management) later replies:
... This is for OS-level color management. When you use application-level color management, the app pre-matches the data, the OS falsely embeds "Generic RGB" in the resulting print-ready PDF document; and if you select *anything* in the print driver other than ColorSync, the OS assumes "Generic RGB" as the destination profile also, NOT the profile in the ColorSync Utility (registered or manually set to something else). Ergo, in an application prematching or same as source context, ColorSync gets involved only to cancel itself out using a null transform.

If you were printing from Preview, then the source profile is Monitor RGB (since Preview converts everything to display space, or assumes it if untagged, or Generic RGB if untagged PDF), and the destination profile is either a.) Generic RGB for any driver color management setting other than ColorSync; and b.) the registered media profile in ColorSync Utility if ColorSync is selected as the color management setting in the driver. As you can see, ColorSync gets involved regardless, in this situation.

The part that doesn't work reliably is the driver itself, which usually calls for the manufacturer profile even if you set a custom profile in the ColorSync Utility>Devices panel.
...

Hope this helps to understand the arcane plumbing of ColorSync!
« Last Edit: December 26, 2006, 03:21:39 PM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2006, 08:22:27 AM »
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<snip>
I have not had the opportunity to delve into this further, but what is distressing to me, is that with "no color adjustment" (NAC) selected in the printer driver, there is still some interaction on the part of ColorSync. Therefore, this setting which is deep within the system, must always be the same as that used where and when the custom printer profile was made. And, the second point of distress is that since there is an obvious interaction and we are truly not able to obtain "NCA", when we are creating a profile, is the application of whatever is set for the "Current Profile", be it the Epson (or whatever) Standard, or Generic RGB, actually "choking" or reducing the gamut that we might be able to obtain, or in the very least introducing additional rounding errors, thus leading to less than smooth color transitions.
</snip>
Ed,
I share your concerns about the "Generic RGB" trick. But what still puzzles me is that in Adobe Lightroom, everything is fine! If I choose one of my custom printer profiles and choose No Color Management in the print dialog, it comes fine wether the factory printer profile is selected with the ColorSync utility or not (set to Generic RGB in this case). This shows in the summary field of the print panel and on finally the prints.

So, is it a bug in Photoshop CS 2 & CS 3? What's your opinion? The Epson driver seems to do its job correctly.

My second point of concern is that this issue hasn't been made "public". I could find only a few references on the ColorSync list.

PS: I enclosed an exemple of "salmon area syndrome" for readers who don't understand the issue.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 08:26:39 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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« Reply #18 on: December 27, 2006, 10:10:09 AM »
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Ed,
I share your concerns about the "Generic RGB" trick. But what still puzzles me is that in Adobe Lightroom, everything is fine! If I choose one of my custom printer profiles and choose No Color Management in the print dialog, it comes fine wether the factory printer profile is selected with the ColorSync utility or not (set to Generic RGB in this case). This shows in the summary field of the print panel and on finally the prints.
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Francois,

I also noted that Lightroom seems to be OK. Lightroom is what I was using to print while I was having problems printing from Photoshop. It seems to be unaffected by whatever ColorSync thinks.

However, now that I have Photoshop printing correctly, I can confirm what I long suspected: Photoshop and Lightroom print the same image slightly differently. Lightroom prints are slightly darker and slightly more saturated. I discovered this when I was making some calibration targets for printer profiling. Targets printed from Lightroom were slightly more saturated than targets printed directly from the Gretag MacBeth calibration program or from Photoshop. The Photoshop and GMB targets match.

Clearly Lightroom does something different, thus avoiding the errant interaction with ColorSync. However, I think that Lightroom is not printing accurately.

I've put so much time, ink and paper into this that I'm going to use Photoshop for printing as I now trust it again. I don't see much benefit in trying to figure what ails a beta version of Lightroom.
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francois
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« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2006, 10:21:32 AM »
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Francois,

I also noted that Lightroom seems to be OK. Lightroom is what I was using to print while I was having problems printing from Photoshop. It seems to be unaffected by whatever ColorSync thinks.

However, now that I have Photoshop printing correctly, I can confirm what I long suspected: Photoshop and Lightroom print the same image slightly differently. Lightroom prints are slightly darker and slightly more saturated. I discovered this when I was making some calibration targets for printer profiling. Targets printed from Lightroom were slightly more saturated than targets printed directly from the Gretag MacBeth calibration program or from Photoshop. The Photoshop and GMB targets match.

Clearly Lightroom does something different, thus avoiding the errant interaction with ColorSync. However, I think that Lightroom is not printing accurately.

I've put so much time, ink and paper into this that I'm going to use Photoshop for printing as I now trust it again. I don't see much benefit in trying to figure what ails a beta version of Lightroom.
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Roy,
I just finished printing the same photos with Lightroom and Photoshop CS 3 beta and there's some differences albeit small ones, at least in the limited number of photos that  I've now printed. I also noticed a slight increase in red and green saturation. I wish this issue is sorted out when both Lightroom and Photoshop will be shipping products.
Well, now, at least I can print the problematic photos without having to modifiy them.
 
« Last Edit: December 27, 2006, 10:21:58 AM by francois » Logged

Francois
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