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Author Topic: IPF5000 Plugin Has Larger Gamut - Myth?  (Read 3552 times)
John Hollenberg
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« on: February 11, 2007, 08:26:15 PM »
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I have serious questions about whether the plugin actually has a larger gamut than the driver (as has been stated many times, including by Michael Reichmann).

Here is what I did to make profiles:

1) Followed my own instructions in the Wiki under Creating Custom Profiles :-)
See here for the exact settings:

http://canonipf5000.wikispaces.com/Creatin...on-Canon+Papers

2) Printed Bill Atkinson 1728 patch target through the driver, and again through the plugin. Paper is Canon Heavyweight Satin Photo Paper. Media type: Heavyweight Satin Photo Paper. Settings exactly as specified on Wiki page. Used unidirectional for plugin, didn't do it for driver (a long story why).

3) Measured with Eye-One Pro without UV cut filter

4) Compared the measurement files in GMB Measure Tool. Very few differences. For Delta E94 (thought to give a more accurate estimate of visual differences):

Total Sample - 0.49
Best 90% - 0.42
Worst 10% - 1.14
Maximum Delta E 94 (biggest difference out of all 1728 patches) - 2.48

5) Created profiles using Profilemaker Pro 5.08 using Large, Paper Gray, Logo Chroma Plus (I know some like Logo Colorful, but I have always found it mushes saturated colors together too much for my taste).

6) Calculated the gamut volume of both profiles in Colorthink Pro:

Driver - 734,000 (yup, this one is a tiny bit larger)
Plugin - 724,000

For comparison, Bill Atkinson's profile for Epson Premium Luster on Epson 9800 has a gamut volume of 737,000. Note that the size does not tell you anything about the shape, which may be much better for one printer than another--depending on what colors you want to print.

7) Compared the resulting profiles in Colorthink Pro.  Result:  Virtually identical, with just a hair larger gamut for the driver (yup, the driver).

Conclusion: With optimal settings, both driver and plugin gave virtually identical results on Canon Heavyweight Satin Photo Paper. The driver had just a hair larger gamut. The gamut was quite good for both.

Hypothesis: the smaller gamut reported for the driver previously may be due to incorrect settings in the driver when the profile is made, e.g., Color Match not turned off [Note Color Match is a specific setting in the driver, not the ColorMatch color space]. There is precedent for this, as Epson printers with no color adjustment have a larger gamut than if you profile them with some kind of color adjustment set in the driver.

To see an image with the comparisons for the patches in Measure Tool and the Delta E and Delta E 90 values, see this thread:

http://canonipf5000.wikispaces.com/message/view/FAQ/275183

Thoughts?

--John
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tbonanno
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« Reply #1 on: February 11, 2007, 10:16:24 PM »
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Hi John,

I've been struggling with this issue too...  I have no doubt the 12 color inkset has advantages, but whether the high-bit plug-in makes any difference compared to printing the same file with the standard driver is still a bit of a mystery to me.    I've had similar results as you when using the std driver and the plugin on the same file (16 bit, ProPhotoRGB).  

I'm wondering if part of this puzzle is affected by the original capture source - a RAW file from a DSLR vs a high quality drum scan ??  Not sure if there is bit depth and therefore color depth differences between the sources that might be seen when using the Plug-In vs. the std driver Huh

Wish someone could explain what is really suppose to be happening with the plug-in and under what conditions it would be visible ??  

Tony
« Last Edit: February 11, 2007, 10:22:08 PM by tbonanno » Logged

Tony Bonanno Photography
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2007, 10:28:14 PM »
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Tony,

I used a RAW file from Canon 1DS which was converted to 16 bit (12 real bits) in Prophoto RGB.  So, I was sending all of the available data to the printer, but didn't see a difference in the prints (for this one image of course, the wildflowers shown in the Wiki thread).  

Some of the colors were out of gamut, so I used perceptual rendering intent.  However, I reprinted with Relative Intent and liked the result better.  The out of gamut colors weren't too far out of gamut and weren't in critical places, so the Relative Intent turned out better.  I don't like the perceptual intent of Profilemaker, really prefer Monaco Profiler--which I don't have.

On a tangential note, I made a profile using Logo Colorful (instead of the Logo Chroma Plus which is my standard) and checked the soft proof just for fun.  The deep yellows in the flowers with the bright orange centers got slaughtered; they turned a kind of yellowish orange.  Never have been able to figure out why a photographer would like Logo Colorful--looks awful every time I check it.

--John
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tbonanno
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« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2007, 11:20:08 PM »
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Hi John,

Well, there are certainly some advantages printing with the Plug-in, but color depth and gamut may not be one of them.  When I tried to see the difference using a 16 bit converted RAW file in ProPhotoRGB, I kept thinking that I just missed some critical aspect of the comparison, didn't really understand what I was doing perhaps, didn't have an adequate gamut in the original file to see the difference, etc, etc.   Probably all of the above in my case..  

Now, I'm thinking that it just isn't there Huh  

I understand that Andrew Rodney has an iPF5000.  I would sure like to see him shed some light on this issue.

Tony
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Tony Bonanno Photography
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2007, 08:46:18 AM »
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Tony,

I did discover one error in my readings--forgot to set "Spectral" for the Eye-One in Measure Tool.  Since this problem was present for both driver and plugin and the results were virtually identical when comparing the readings on the two target, I doubt this has any bearing on the final result.  Still, thought I would mention it for the sake of completeness.  

The only effect should be that Profilemaker can't correct for optical brighteners in the paper when making the profile.  I thought it was strange that the checkbox was grayed out, only later realized why.  Eventually I will re-read the targets, but somewhat time consuming to read two 1728 patch targets.

--John
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David White
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« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2007, 11:39:55 AM »
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I'm wondering if the difference would only show up in areas of subtle color gradation.  Somewhat like the difference between making large changes to an image in 8-bit vs 16-bit in Photoshop that could lead to banding.
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« Reply #6 on: February 13, 2007, 10:06:27 AM »
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My observations have been purely unscientific so far, but for many of my images the plug-in produces better results.

That being said, I have yet to determine why. I would love to produce the best prints (or prints equal to the plug-in) via the standard driver or with the use of smaller files via the plug-in. In my workflow I produce my best results with 16-bit files all the way through to the plug-in, and using 600ppi files.

Printing the same image, processed as carefully as I am able for each output strategy, the best print is always via the plug-in and with 600ppi files. I'll be the first to accept that this may have little to do with gamut of the plug-in or 16-bit files, and may have more to do with algorithms used in each process. Perhaps the plug-in takes better advantage of available data than does the OS driver (i.e. Print with Preview).

In my workflow, it's no "myth" that the plug-in produces better results, if sometimes minutely so. But the reason that this is so is definitely unclear to me. I don't assume that it's purely do to a higher bit depth. My opinion has been that the plug-in is more like a "mini-RIP" and as such does a slightly better job of "distributing the ink".

I fully accept that I may be a total klutz with regard to my file processing for the "Print with Preview" approach (or any other), and that others might be producing fantastic results without the use of the plug-in. But until I figure out how to get equal or better results without using large files and the plug-in, I'll continue to plod along with my current workflow.

John, thanks for your observations on this. It's very interesting. Nothing would make me happier than to learn a way to streamline the workflow.

Interestingly (at least to me), is that the subtle differences observed in the results achieved from each print workflow has been mostly fine detail oriented, rather than what could be described as a "color depth' or gamut difference. Admittedly, I've had far too little time to make truly objective comparisons using image files which would fully test the gamut of each process. That should be my next step.

--
Dale
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madmanchan
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« Reply #7 on: February 13, 2007, 10:54:18 AM »
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When you are printing a file from PS (e.g., the target file) using the Canon driver (as opposed to the plug-in), do you print from a 16-bit file or an 8-bit file? My understanding is that as long as the conversion of an image from RGB working space to the printer output space is done in 16 bits, you'll get smooth tonal gradations even if the driver accepts only an 8-bit-per-component input. The dither masks the quantization to 8 bits.

Unless the 16-bit plug-in offers a significantly different way of controlling ink load and ink mixing than the 8-bit driver, I expect the gamuts to be similar. When you print with color management disabled, you just send raw RGB numbers to the printer to emit. Sending raw numbers like (0,0,0) should cause the printer to emit the same black patch regardless of whether the numbers are in 8 bits or 16 bits. The dithering algorithm might differ between the driver and the plug-in, but if the ink mixing and ink loads are the same for a given media type, the colors should be the same.
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med007
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« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2007, 02:40:18 PM »
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My observations have been purely unscientific so far, but for many of my images the plug-in produces better results.

That being said, I have yet to determine why. I would love to produce the best prints (or prints equal to the plug-in) via the standard driver or with the use of smaller files via the plug-in. In my workflow I produce my best results with 16-bit files all the way through to the plug-in, and using 600ppi files.

Printing the same image, processed as carefully as I am able for each output strategy, the best print is always via the plug-in and with 600ppi files. I'll be the first to accept that this may have little to do with gamut of the plug-in or 16-bit files, and may have more to do with algorithms used in each process. Perhaps the plug-in takes better advantage of available data than does the OS driver (i.e. Print with Preview).

In my workflow, it's no "myth" that the plug-in produces better results, if sometimes minutely so. But the reason that this is so is definitely unclear to me. I don't assume that it's purely do to a higher bit depth. My opinion has been that the plug-in is more like a "mini-RIP" and as such does a slightly better job of "distributing the ink".

I fully accept that I may be a total klutz with regard to my file processing for the "Print with Preview" approach (or any other), and that others might be producing fantastic results without the use of the plug-in. But until I figure out how to get equal or better results without using large files and the plug-in, I'll continue to plod along with my current workflow.

John, thanks for your observations on this. It's very interesting. Nothing would make me happier than to learn a way to streamline the workflow.

Interestingly (at least to me), is that the subtle differences observed in the results achieved from each print workflow has been mostly fine detail oriented, rather than what could be described as a "color depth' or gamut difference. Admittedly, I've had far too little time to make truly objective comparisons using image files which would fully test the gamut of each process. That should be my next step.

--
Dale
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Hi Dale,


It could be that your workflow doesn't damage the factors needed for the plugin to work or else it's paper or subject dependant.

If lighting does not have the quality of representative tonality or the texture and color does not have characteristic that could be brought out, or the paper is not up to the task, then the plugin might not have a job to do!

Asher Kelman

[a href=\"http://www.openphotographyforums.com]http://www.openphotographyforums.com[/url]
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 03:02:12 PM by med007 » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2007, 09:09:15 PM »
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Hi Dale,
It could be that your workflow doesn't damage the factors needed for the plugin to work or else it's paper or subject dependant.

If lighting does not have the quality of representative tonality or the texture and color does not have characteristic that could be brought out, or the paper is not up to the task, then the plugin might not have a job to do!

Asher Kelman

http://www.openphotographyforums.com
[a href=\"index.php?act=findpost&pid=100697\"][{POST_SNAPBACK}][/a]

Hi Asher,

I didn't mean to suggest that the print with preview wasn't making very good prints as well. I do get beautiful prints from each output driver with the iPF5000.

In my comparisons I have not done any measurements as John has. I have done direct comparisons on images printed at 12x18". In one case, to my eye, the prints are identical vis-a-via colors (hues, etc.), but not the same in terms of fine shadow and highlight details. This is where I'm seeing my subtle differences. In another comparison with a very intense reddish-orange flower with bright yellow center against an intense slightly blueish-green background the colors of the reddish-orange flower look a tiny bit more "compressed" when printed via the 8-bit driver than they do when printed via the plug-in.

Again, I fully accept that this may be (and is perhaps more likely to be) the function of tonal gradation rather than gamut.

My reply was not in any way intended as a rebuttal to John's findings or the observations of others. Only that they were intended to share that the differences seen when using the plug-in are worthwhile to me perhaps more so with certain types of images than with others. However, I doubt that I'd bother with sorting images for different output drivers in an effort to simplify printing of only certain images. For now I just push everything to the plug-in.

Pointing out that lighting conditions and papers issues has an effect on this process is good. In my full-time daily business I work with judging very, very subtle color differences where a very small difference can make huge differences in valuation. Subtle hues, modifiers, tones, saturation, matamerism, selective color absorption must all be considered. This can make one (me) rather nuts at times in evaluating one's printing results.

Cheers,

Dale
« Last Edit: February 13, 2007, 10:06:36 PM by DFAllyn » Logged

John Hollenberg
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« Reply #10 on: February 13, 2007, 09:30:25 PM »
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Dale,

In spite of my findings re: the plugin vs. driver gamut, I agree that the plugin will give those finer subtle gradations that may be visible at sometimes, not at other times.  I plan to stick with the plugin for my printing, and in fact have decided to go with unidirectional at all times.  I don't print a huge volume, and the fact that some people have seen problems with bidirectional in some circumstances is enough for me to go with the slower, possibly higher quality method of printing.

--John
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #11 on: February 13, 2007, 10:10:53 PM »
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Dale,

In spite of my findings re: the plugin vs. driver gamut, I agree that the plugin will give those finer subtle gradations that may be visible at sometimes, not at other times.  I plan to stick with the plugin for my printing, and in fact have decided to go with unidirectional at all times.  I don't print a huge volume, and the fact that some people have seen problems with bidirectional in some circumstances is enough for me to go with the slower, possibly higher quality method of printing.

--John
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John,

I've been considering the option of unidirectional printing as well. I'm typically in no hurry and simply want to find the technique to achieve the best possible print results. If unidirectional printing is best or less prone to problems then it would be fine for me too, even if a bit slower. I've not had any problems with bidirectional printing so far, but will look into what others are reporting more carefully.

Thanks for the reminder.

Dale
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John Hollenberg
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« Reply #12 on: February 13, 2007, 10:33:30 PM »
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Dale,

I went back and looked at my prints made through driver and plugin with a 4X loupe.  The driver prints look a little "coarser", the plugin prints more refined.  I can almost convince myself that the result of this is that the plugin print looks a little "sharper" to the naked eye, but have serious doubts whether I could pick the correct print without a loupe in a "blind" test more than 50% of the time.

--John
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Dale Allyn
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« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2007, 11:13:56 PM »
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Dale,

I went back and looked at my prints made through driver and plugin with a 4X loupe.  The driver prints look a little "coarser", the plugin prints more refined.  I can almost convince myself that the result of this is that the plugin print looks a little "sharper" to the naked eye, but have serious doubts whether I could pick the correct print without a loupe in a "blind" test more than 50% of the time.

--John
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John,

This sounds rather similar to my results (if we're describing things in a similar fashion). I've done all of my comparisons at 12x18" there seems to be a sort of "acuity" improvement with prints from plug-in. It's not something that looking at a single print would often be noticeable, but side-by-side I see it.

Sometimes I see it more without the loupe as the subtle differences in highlight and shadow effects are more visible to me when viewed with the naked eye.

Interesting stuff.

Dale
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